Today we’re talking about how to set up a Premiere Pro project from the very very beginning. We’ll talk about the process and why we make certain decisions when it comes to choosing the settings that fit your project specs. There may be some overlap in this tutorial when it comes to working within your project file folder, but don’t worry, I did do a video on how to organize your project folder. Let’s get started!

Open Premiere Pro Application.

Click on New Project!

We come to a screen that says Name and Location at the top. And has three tabs underneath (general, scratch disks, and ingest settings).

Start by giving your project a name.

Under location, click on browse and navigate to your Premiere Pro folder within your project files. Then click choose.
Picking your Video Rendering and Playback option all comes down to your graphics card. Essentially, the better graphics card you have, the better render option will be available. To be honest, I don’t know a ton about the technicalities of graphics cards, but from the research I’ve done it seems like most people prefer Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (OpenCL) over the (Metal) and Software Only options.

Under Video, you’ll see a display format option. These options are essentially different ways of defining the time on your timeline. If you shot your video entirely in video (not film), choose the option “Timecode”. If you have shot in film, concern yourself with the other options. The display format is usually defaulted to “timecode” because most people now shoot their video in a digital format.

Under Audio Display format, choose “Audio Samples”. Similar to the Display format, the Audio Samples and Millisecond options are different ways of defining time for your audio in your timeline. It’s the difference of editing in frames or milliseconds. I usually find myself choosing to edit in frames – so we’ll choose Audio Samples.

Below Audio Display format, you’ll see “Capture Format”. Don’t concern yourself with this unless you are capturing a video stream. If you are importing files in an already digital format (e.g .mov, mp4, etc..), then this option doesn’t matter to you. It defaults to DV, and I just leave it like that.

Next, click over to the “Scratch Disks” tab. When you edit a project in Premiere, the software uses disk space to store preview files required by your project. As your timeline grows, more and more preview files are saved to the scratch disk – taking up more space. If you want to get technical with big projects and make your system faster, it is recommended by Adobe that you set up your scratch disks on a separate hard disk than your project files are on. However, if you are only working on one hard disk, it’s best to choose “Same as Project”. This will set your scratch disks to the same file folder your Premiere project is on. I find this helps keep things organized.

We don’t need to worry too much about ingest settings right now. To explain this briefly – ingesting your footage (or generating proxies) allows you to work with massive file sizes, by duplicating and compressing the native high-resolution video that you filmed. You are then able to edit with the compressed video and audio footage, while Premiere automatically associates those files with the native full-resolution footage you have. This is especially great for working with raw, 6K, and 8K files. But for now, we don’t need to worry about it because our files aren’t too large.

The next thing we need to do is click “OK”.

At this point, we need to set up a Sequence. This is the timeline you will be editing your video on. If you know the specs of your footage, follow this step. If you don’t know the specs of your video, don’t worry – I have a simple solution for you that I will share afterwards. So stay tuned for that.

At the top of your screen go to File > New > Sequence

A list of presets will appear. Click on the preset that correlates to your footage specs. For example, I shot this in a Digital SLR format in 1920×1080 at 24fps. So this is the option I will choose.

Under “Sequence Name”, you can choose the name of your Sequence. To keep things simple, we’ll name the sequence the same name as our project. Most editors have different workflows that are the most efficient for them, and will, therefore, name their sequences accordingly – but we won’t dive into that.

Click “OK”.

The next thing we want to do is import our media. Go to File > Import OR double click in the Project box.

Navigate to your project folder, and select the videos you want to use.

Click “Import”.

Now for those of you who don’t know the specs of the footage that you’re editing, this is what you can do. S\imply right click on the video thumbnail and select “New Sequence from Clip”. This will create a sequence that matches the specs of your video.
Drag your video onto your sequence timeline, and that’s it. Time to start editing!

I hope this short tutorial has helped, and it was detailed enough to understand the technical aspects of starting a video project. If you have any questions for me, let’s talk!

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