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Exporting Frames, Clips, and Sequences in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

Working with Adobe Media Encoder

Adobe Media Encoder is a stand-alone application that can be run by itself or can be launched from Adobe Premiere Pro. Working from within Adobe Premiere Pro, after you choose your export settings and click OK, Adobe Media Encoder adds your export to its queue.

In addition to sequences loaded from Adobe Premiere Pro (like the second file in the batch shown in the previous figure), Adobe Media Encoder can also encode from several sources.

For example, it can encode stand-alone files of multiple formats added to the batch by choosing File > Add. The final file in the batch shown in the previous figure was added via this technique.

You can also import and encode compositions from Adobe After Effects by choosing File > Add After Effects Composition, and you can import sequences from Adobe Premiere Pro by choosing File > Add Premiere Pro Sequence. The third file in the previously shown batch is an Adobe Premiere Pro sequence loaded from Lesson 15-5.prproj.

You can also create watch folders by choosing File > Create Watch Folder and then assigning a preset to that watch folder. Source files dragged into the folder later will be automatically encoded to the format specified in the preset.

You choose a Format/Preset separately with each approach, and once the encoding tasks are loaded into Adobe Media Encoder, administration is straightforward. To change any encoding setting, you click the target task and then the Settings button on the right.

You can add, duplicate, or remove any tasks by using the like-named buttons and drag any tasks that haven’t yet started encoding to any place in the queue. If you haven’t set the queue to start automatically, click the Start Queue button to start encoding. Adobe Media Encoder encodes files serially, rather than in parallel, and if you add any files to the queue after starting encoding, they’ll be encoded as well.

Speaking of setting the queue to start automatically, this is a critical new feature to the Adobe Media Encoder CS5 that you control in the Preferences dialog by choosing Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Premiere Pro > Preferences (Mac OS). Specifically, check the “Start queue automatically when idle for: x minutes” box, dial in the desired delay time, and Adobe Media Encoder will start encoding automatically after the specified time expires. This is a critical enhancement to watch folder functionality. In previous versions, you had to click Start Queue to begin encoding, which prevented unattended operation. Now, if you have access to a designated shared folder on a network, you can encode files immediately without any action on your part—a very significant enhancement.

You can also preview while encoding via the “Preview while encoding” check box, which is a nice option that lets you check for errors during encoding and supplements the encoding progress bar to let you know how your encoding is progressing. You can also use the Preferences dialog to select a default output folder and many other options.

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