First, before opening PremierePro, make sure to set up a hierarchy of folders where your project and all its asset files will live, including a Premiere poject files folder for the actual PremierePro project file.
This will keep all your project files together neatly and minimise the chance of losing anything. It will also make moving a project to another hard drive or computer easier.
Here’s an example:
When you start a new project in PremierePro, there are not a lot of choices for the size and format of the image you want – for the Capture setting, it’s DV (which pretty much no one uses any more), or HDV. Unless you are making a DV format project, just select HDV – you can tailor the settings later to suit your project.
Type in a name.
Click Browse to select a location for your project. Choose the Premiere poject files folder you have already created.
Usually you won’t need to change any of the other settings, except to choose between DV and HDV for the Capture setting.
PremierePro presents you with an empty work space.
All editing must be undertaken in the bottom right panel, but first you need to add a Sequence to it.
There are 2 ways of adding a sequence: 1) Create a New Sequence from the menu, or 2) import a video clip and drag it to the bottom right panel – a new sequence will be automatically added, taking on the attributes of the video dragged into it.
Method 1 – create a New Sequence from the menu
Pick a preset that suits your project, or is a close match – you can still alter it after this step. Common choices for High Definition video would be HDV 720 (1280 pixels wide x 720 pixels high, of full HDV 1080 (1920 pixels wide x 1080 pixels high)
A Sequence will appear in the Project Bin (bottom left window), and an expanded view of the Sequence will appear in the Sequence window at the bottom right.
The Sequence area is the actual editing work area, which contains a video and audio timeline on which video clips are placed. A sequence can have multiple timelines. A project can contain more than 1 sequence. One or more Sequences can be ‘nested’ inside another Sequence. Nesting is where you drag a Sequence onto the timeline of another Sequence.
When you import a video clip to the Project bin (bottom left window) and drag it from there to the Sequence window (bottom right window), the clip will appear in the Sequence’s timeline, and the video will appear in the Program window (top right window), showing the video frame at whatever point in time where the Sequence Playhead happens to be (you can drag the Playhead along left and right, or play the clip with the buttons or by pressing the spacebar on your keyboard.
Method 2 – create a New Sequence by importing and dragging a video clip.
Once you have made a New Project and got as far as having a new, empty work area, you can import a video clip (Menu: file > Import…) and just drag it from the Project Bin (bottom left window) to the Sequence window (bottom right window). The Sequence that this creates will automatically take on all the attributes of the video file (size, frames per second, whether the pixels are square or rectangular etc.)
If you set up a Sequence and then import and drag a video clip to the Sequence timeline, and the video clip attributes are different from the Sequence settings you chose, you will get a mismatch warning and Premiere will ask you what to do –
Change sequence settings (Sequence settings will be changed to match the clip you are dragging onto the Sequence timeline), or
Keep existing settings (Sequence settings will remain unchanged and the video clip’s attributes will be changed to match the existing Sequence settings).
For example, if you had set up a project that was to be say, 720HD, you would want to keep all the project sequences conformed to 720HD, no matter what the attributes of any component clips. In that case, if you got a mismatch warning because you were including a non-720HD clip, you would choose Keep existing settings. The placed video may be too large or too small to fill the Project screen, so you may have to select it and adjust its Scale setting in the Effects Controls panel. You can find the Effects Control panel by selecting Menu: Window > Effects Controls
If you just wanted to edit a video and you didn’t know what its size or other attributes were, or didn’t want to manually set up a sequence to match the clip, you could just drag the clip to the Sequence window. If the Sequence window is empty, dragging the clip will set up a new Sequence, automatically setting its attributes to match the clip, but…
If you drag a clip to an existing Sequence and the attributes of the clip are different to the existing Sequence, you’ll get the Mismatch warning. You’ll have to decide if you want to go with the settings of the video, or the settings of the existing Sequence.