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Organizing Media in Adobe Premier Pro

Chapter Description

Learn how to organize your clips using the Project panel in Adobe Premiere Pro. This sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Adobe Press.

Using the Project panel

Everything you import into your Adobe Premiere Pro project will appear in the Project panel. As well as giving you tools for browsing your clips and working with their metadata, the Project panel has folder-like bins that you can use to stay organized.

In addition to acting as the repository for all your clips, the Project panel gives you important options for interpreting media. All your footage will have a frame rate (frames per second, or fps) and a pixel aspect ratio (pixel shape), for example. You may want to change these settings for creative or technical reasons.

You could, for example, interpret video recorded at 60 fps video as 30 fps to achieve a 50% slow-motion effect. You might receive a video file that has the wrong pixel aspect ratio setting and want to correct it.

Premiere Pro uses metadata associated with footage to know how to play it back and can display and edit additional metadata (such as location log notes) in the Project panel or the dedicated Metadata panel. If you want to change the clip metadata, you can do so in the Project panel.

Customizing the Project panel

It’s likely that you’ll want to resize the Project panel from time to time. You’ll alternate between looking at your clips as a list or as thumbnail icons. Sometimes it’s quicker to resize the panel than to scroll to see more information.

The default Editing workspace is designed to keep the interface as clean as possible so you can focus on your creative work. Part of the Project panel that’s hidden from view by default, called the Preview Area, gives additional information about your clips.

Let’s take a look.

  1. Open the Project panel menu.

  2. Choose Preview Area.

    The Preview Area shows you several kinds of useful information about a selected clip in the Project panel, including the frame size, pixel aspect ratio, and duration.

    If it’s not already selected, click the List View button f0082-03.jpg at the bottom left of the Project panel. In this view, you’ll find a lot of information about each clip in the Project panel organized in columns, but you need to scroll horizontally to see it.

  3. Choose Preview Area from the Project panel menu again to hide it.

There is also a Freeform view in the Project panel, which can be used to organize clips or even begin to build sequences (more on this in “Freeform view,” in this lesson).

Finding assets in the Project panel

Working with clips is a little like working with pieces of paper at your desk. If you have just one or two clips, it’s easy. But when you have 100 to 200, you need an organizational system.

One way you can help make things smoother during the edit is to invest a little time in organizing your clips at the beginning. If you rename your clips after importing them, you can more easily locate content later (see “Changing names” in this lesson).

  1. Click the Name column heading at the top of the Project panel. Each time you click the Name heading, items in the Project panel are displayed in alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical order. A direction indicator next to the heading shows the current sort order.

    If you’re searching for several clips with particular features—such as a duration or a frame size—it can be helpful to change the order in which the headings are displayed.

  2. Scroll to the right until you can see the Media Duration heading in the Project panel. This shows the total duration of each clip’s media file.

  3. Click the Media Duration heading. Premiere Pro now displays the clips in order of media duration. Notice the direction arrow on the Media Duration heading. Each time you click the heading, the direction arrow toggles between showing clips in order of increasing duration and decreasing duration.

  4. Drag the Media Duration heading to the left until you see a blue divider between the Frame Rate heading and the Name heading. When you release the heading, the Media Duration heading will be repositioned right next to the Name heading.

Filtering bin content

Premiere Pro has search tools to help you find your media. Even if you’re using the nondescriptive original clip names assigned in-camera, you can search for clips based on a number of factors, such as frame size or file type.

At the top of the Project panel, you can type in the Search (or Filter Bin Content) field to display only clips with names or metadata matching the text you enter. This is a quick way to locate a clip if you remember its name (or even part of its name). Clips that don’t match the text you enter are hidden, and clips that do match are revealed, even if they are inside a closed bin.

Try this now.

  1. Click in the Filter Bin Content box, and type jo.

    Premiere Pro displays only the clips with the letters jo in the name or in the metadata. Notice that the name of the project is displayed above the text-entry box, along with (filtered). This is the only indication that some of the clips in the Project panel may be hidden.

  2. Click the X on the right of the Search field to clear your search.

  3. Type psd in the box.

Premiere Pro displays only clips that have the letters psd in their name or metadata. In this case, it’s the Theft_Unexpected title you imported in the previous lesson as a layered image—this is a Photoshop PSD file. Using the Filter Bin Content box in this way, you can search for particular types of files.

Some types of metadata can be edited directly in the Project panel. For example, you can add notes to the Description field, and these will immediately be searchable.

Be sure to click the X on the right of the Search field to clear your filter when you have found the clips you want. Do this now.

Using advanced Find

Premiere Pro also has an advanced Find feature. To learn about it, let’s import some more clips.

Using any of the methods described in Lesson 3, import these items:

  • Seattle_Skyline.mov from the Assets/Video and Audio Files/General Views folder

  • Under Basket.mov from the Assets/Video and Audio Files/Basketball folder

At the bottom of the Project panel, click the Find button f0085-01.jpg. Premiere Pro displays the Find dialog box, which has more advanced options for locating your clip.

You can perform two searches at once with the advanced Find dialog box. You can choose to display clips that match all search criteria or any search criteria. For example, depending on the setting you choose from the Match menu, you could do either of the following:

  • Search for a clip with the words dog and boat in its name.

  • Search for a clip with the word dog or boat in its name.

You can refine your search with the following menus:

  • Column: This menu lists the columns in the Project panel. When you click Find, Premiere Pro will search only within the column you choose.

  • Operator: This menu contains a set of standard search options. You can choose to have the search return clips that contain your search term, match it exactly, begin with it, end with it, or lack it entirely.

  • Match: Choose All to find a clip with both your first and your second search text. Choose Any to find a clip with either your first or your second search term.

  • Case Sensitive: Select this option to return only results that exactly match the uppercase and lowercase letters you enter.

  • Find What: Type your search text here.

When you click Find, Premiere Pro highlights a clip that matches your search criteria. Click Find again, and Premiere Pro highlights the next clip that matches your search criteria.

Click Done to exit the Find dialog box.

3. Working with bins | Next Section Previous Section

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