Adobe Premiere Pro: The Basics
 We are going to talk about:
  • The definition of a project in Premiere Pro

  •  Creating, saving, and opening projects

  • Adjusting project settings

  • Moving projects to different editing stations

About Premiere Pro Projects

Every video that you produce in Premiere Pro is produced in a project file. Project files are files that simply point to source files – or the files that will be used in the video that you're producing using Premiere Pro.   The project file is NOT the actual media file.   If you try to export the project file from your desktop to your laptop, for example, with plans to view the media from the laptop, it will not work. Again, project files are not actual media files.  

If that still confuses you, think of it like this.   Let's say there is a web page about spiders. This web page ONLY contains hyperlinks to articles about spiders. These articles are found on other sites. If you printed out the web page with the intention of reading the articles later, you would NOT be able to read those articles because the

page you printed only contained hyperlinks.   This is in essence how a project file works.

Creating a New Project in CC

The first time you open Premiere Pro CC, you will see this welcome screen:

To create a new project, choose New Project.

NOTE:  If you already have Premiere Pro running, you can also create a new project by going to File>New>Project on the Menu Bar.

You will then see this dialogue box:

The dialogue box above is where you set your project preferences. 

In the Name field, type a name for the project.

Next, click the Browse button and select a location to store the new project file.

There are two tabs in this dialogue box: General and Scratch Disks. For now, let's work with the General tab.  

Under the General tab, click the Renderer dropdown menu. If Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA) is shown, select it.   If it is not available, you have to select with Mercury Playback Engine Software Only. 

Now, click on the Video Display Format dropdown menu.   Select the format you want.   You will find that Timecode is the best option for this. By definition, Timecode is a coded signal on video that gives information such as time or recording, exposure, and frame number.

In the Audio Format dropdown menu, select the audio format. Audio Samples is typically the best one to choose. 

Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Adobe Premiere course?

Next, go to the Capture Format dropdown menu and select the format you want. You don't have to worry about it if you will use HDV (high definition) or DV at this point. You can change it later if you need to do that. 

Now let's go to the Scratch Disks tab. You can click on it now.

Under this tab, you will specify where you want to store the media that is part of your project. As you can see, you will decide where to store the captured audio, video previews, audio previews, etc.   It is recommended that you store these in the default locations already listed for you. This way all your media is stored with your project file.

Click OK when you're finished.

Creating a New Project in CS6

The process of creating a project in CS6 varies from CC. For all the CS6 users, let's discuss the differences.

Just as with CC, when you start Premiere Pro, you will see a welcome screen.

Choose New Project. You will then see the New Project dialogue box.

In that box, you will want to enter a name for the project and specify a location for it, just as you did with CC.

Click OK when you're finished.

Your new project is created, and you will then see the New Sequence dialogue box. For now, type the name of your sequence in the Sequence Name field.   We are just going to stick with the default name (shown below).

Click OK. 

A project with a sequence is then created for you.   You will see the Premiere Pro CS6 interface. The interface contains the same panels as CC. The only major difference will be in the appearance.

To set your project settings as you did in CC under the General and Scratch disk tabs, go to Project>Project Settings in the Menu Bar.

Closing a Project

To close a project, go to File>Close Project. 

The welcome screen will appear.

Click Exit.

Saving a Project

It should go without saying that before you close a project, you should make sure that's saved. 

To save a project, go to File>Save or File>Save As.   File>Save will allow you to save the project under its current name and in its current location.   File>Save As will let you choose a file name and location.

Opening a Project

You can also open an existing Premiere Pro project. 

To do this, you can either go to File>Open Project then navigate to the file, or you can go to File>Open Recent if you want to open a project you've edited recently.

Finding Missing Files

As we stated earlier, a project file doesn't actually contain media. Instead, it is more of a database that stores locations of different media. You got to see this first hand when you set up your project settings. 

That said, if you move or delete a file that is part of your project, you will see the Link Media dialogue box. You will also see it if you change the name of a file – or move or delete a file –while doing editing on a project.

You will see the files that are missing, as well as where Premiere Pro thinks the file should be located. 

This is what you can do to fix problems with missing files:

Locate the file and incorporate it back into the project.

You can treat it as offline. Premiere Pro creates a placeholder for it. This appears as a big red "Media Offline" message in the Program Monitor and Timeline.   You can then either delete the files from the project or relink to the file later. 

If you do nothing, Premiere Pro will create a placeholder for you anyway.

Relinking Files

To relink a file to the project, go to the Link Dialogue box. 

Select the file to link, then click the Locate button.

You will then see the Link Media To dialogue box.

If the file name has changed, uncheck the Display Only Exact Name Matches box. 

Next, navigate to the missing file, then click Open. You will see a checkmark appear next to the file in the Link Media dialogue box.

To close the Link Media dialogue box, click Cancel.   If files are missing, they will appear as offline.