Using a storyboard to build a rough cut
Film directors and animators frequently use walls of photos and sketches to visualize story flow and camera angles. These are known as storyboards, and they can be very useful in planning a project and making sure you get the shots or material you need.
Storyboards also help after the shoot ends. In the case of Adobe Premiere Pro, you can arrange clip thumbnails in the Project panel to get a basic feel for how your finished video will work. Then you can move all those clips to the Timeline for more precise editing.
This approach is useful in revealing gaps in your story. It’s also a way to note redundancy and to quickly place a whole bunch of ordered clips on a sequence. When you’re confronted with a Project panel loaded with clips, storyboards can help you see the big picture.
After creating your storyboard, you can place several clips in a sequence on the Timeline at one time. To begin, do the following:
- Open Adobe Premiere Pro.
- Choose File > Open Project, navigate to the Lesson 05 folder, and double-click Lesson 05-01.prproj.
- Notice that Lesson 05-01 has the clips you will be working with already imported into the Project panel.
- Click the New Bin button in the Project panel, and name your new bin Storyboard.
- Double-click the new Storyboard bin icon to open it in its own window. This makes it easy to move assets into this bin.
- In the main bin, select the seven assets (do not select Sequence 01).
- Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) one of the selected clips to open the context menu, and choose Copy. Note that you need to click the clip name, or you will deselect all the clips.
- Select the Storyboard bin to make it the active window, and choose Edit > Paste.
All seven files now appear in the Storyboard bin. They remain in the main Project panel as well, because you copied them rather than dragged them.
- Click the Icon View button in the Storyboard bin to switch to Icon view.
- Click the panel menu icon, and then choose Thumbnails > Large.
- Resize the Storyboard bin so you can see all the thumbnails.
Arranging your storyboard
In this section, you’ll learn how to arrange thumbnails into a logical order. Keep in mind that you will trim the clips later to make the edits work more smoothly.
In turn, view each clip in the Preview Monitor by clicking the clip to select it and then clicking the Play button in the preview area.
After viewing the clips, decide in what order you want them to run in your project.
Here’s how to create the sequence after you’ve decided the order in which the clips should run:
- Continue where you left off in the previous section, or load Lesson 05-02.prproj from the Lesson 05 folder.
- Drag the thumbnails within the Storyboard bin to position them in the order you want them to play.
To move a clip, simply drag it to a new location. The pointer changes, and a black vertical line indicates the new location for placement.
Automating your storyboard to a sequence
Now you’re going to move your storyboard clips to the Timeline, placing them there contiguously, in sequential order. Adobe Premiere Pro calls this process Automate to Sequence. Here’s how you do it:
- Make sure the current-time indicator is at the beginning of the Timeline. Automate to Sequence places the clips starting at the current-time indicator location.
- With the Storyboard bin window active, choose Edit > Select All to highlight all the clips. You can also marquee-select or use the Shift-click, Ctrl-click (Windows), or Command-click (Mac OS) method.
- Click the Automate to Sequence button in the lower-left corner of the Project panel.
- The newly opened Automate To Sequence dialog has several options. Choose the settings shown in the following image. The options
Ordering: Sort Order puts clips on a sequence in the order you established in the storyboard. Selection Order places them in the order you selected them if you Ctrl-clicked (Windows) or Command-clicked (Mac OS) individual clips.
Placement: This places clips sequentially on the Timeline.
Method: The choices here are Insert Edit and Overlay Edit, both of which will be discussed later in this lesson. Because in this instance you are placing the clips on an empty sequence, both methods will do the same thing.
Clip Overlap: Overlap presumes you’ll put a transition such as a cross-dissolve between all clips. The goal in this lesson is to create a cuts-only video—that is, a video with no transitions—so set Clip Overlap to 0.
Transitions: Because you’ll opt for no transitions, make sure these two options (Apply Default Audio Transition and Apply Default Video Transition) are deselected.
Ignore Options: Select the Ignore Audio check box to exclude the audio portion of the selected clips.
- Click OK. This places your clips in the order you selected in Sequence 01.
- Drag the Project panel out of the way. Click inside the Timeline to activate it, and press the spacebar to play your sequence.
View this sequence critically. Several edits are jump cuts or feel awkward. Some clips are too long. The next task is to fix those flaws.