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Managing your Projects

Chapter Description

The Project Manager in Adobe Premiere Pro enables you to manage, archive, copy, and share your projects and media. Learn foundational skills such as importing and organizing your content in this sample chapter from Adobe Premiere Pro Classroom in a Book (2021 release).

Using the Project Manager

The Project Manager provides several options that automate the process of consolidating your project. This means gathering together (collecting) all the media files you’ve used in one or more sequences.

Open the Project Manager now by choosing File > Project Manager.

Managing your project in this way is useful if you intend to archive your project or if you want to share your work. By using the Project Manager to gather all your media files, you can be confident nothing will be missing—or offline—when you hand the project over to colleagues or move it into storage for archiving.

The result of using the Project Manager is a new, separate project file and new copies of the associated media files. Because the new project file is independent of your current project, you should double-check it before deleting your original media or project file. It’s ideal to check the new project on a different editing system, just to be certain you have all the files you need. Make sure all the clips you expect are in the Project panel and all media is online.

To configure the Project Manager, select the sequences you want to include in the new project in the Sequence section.

Next, choose one of the options in the Resulting Project section:

  • Collect Files And Copy To New Location: Duplicate the media files used in your selected sequences, and save them in a location you choose, as described in “Collecting files and copying them to a new location.”

  • Consolidate And Transcode: Create new versions of the media files based on just the parts of clips included in those sequences (the trimmed clips). When this option is selected, several menus become available. These menus, described in “Consolidating and transcoding,” allow you to choose from a range of formats and codecs.

Depending on your selection, further options may become available:

  • Exclude Unused Clips: With this option selected, the new project will include only clips that are used in the sequences you selected.

  • Include Handles: If you’re creating a trimmed project using the Consolidate And Transcode option, this includes additional frames. The extra frames give you the flexibility to trim and adjust the timing of your edits later—a great idea that is usually worth the extra storage required.

  • Include Audio Conform Files: This includes the audio conform files that are already with your project, so Premiere Pro won’t need to conduct analysis of your audio again. Premiere Pro will re-create these files automatically as required, but choosing this option can save time waiting for the processing to complete. This is particularly noticeable on longer projects.

  • Convert Image Sequences To Clips: If you have imported one or more image sequences as clips, this option converts them to regular video files. This is a useful option because it simplifies file management. It might also improve playback performance.

  • Include Preview Files: If you’ve already rendered your effects, you can include the preview files with your new project so you won’t need to render them again. Like the audio conform files, these aren’t necessary but can save you a considerable amount of time waiting for complex effects to render.

  • Rename Media Files To Match Clip Names: As the name implies, this option renames the new copies of your media files to match the names of the clips in your project (useful if you have renamed clips to make them easier to find). Consider carefully if you want to use this option, because it can make identifying the original source media difficult.

  • Convert After Effects Compositions To Clips: Choose this option to replace dynamically linked After Effects compositions with rendered video files. This option can be helpful because the Project Manager is unable to collect dynamically linked After Effects compositions or the media files associated with them. This is a good reason to stay extra organized when working with After Effects and Premiere Pro together. See “Collecting files and copying them to a new location” for more information on collecting files.

  • Preserve Alpha: If you are transcoding your footage, you can choose to include alpha channel information so transparent areas will stay transparent. This will lead to larger media files but means retaining valuable picture information. Be sure to select this option if you have chosen to convert After Effects compositions to clips. If your sequence includes dynamically linked After Effects compositions with transparency, the alpha channel information will be used.

In the Destination Path section of the dialog box, choose a location for your new project and media files.

Finally, click Calculate in the Disk Space section to see an estimate of the total storage space needed for your new project, including the copies of the media files.

Provided the estimated project size will fit in the available disk space, you can click OK to create your new consolidated project.

Collecting files and copying them to a new location

Perhaps your media files are in several locations in your storage system. Or perhaps you’re sharing your work with another editor. Perhaps you’re taking an edit on the road. You may not need every clip incorporated into your newly created project.

Selecting Collect Files And Copy To New Location creates perfect copies of your original, complete media files in a new single location. If you select the Exclude Unused Clips option, only clips used in the selected sequences will be included.

There’s no need for you to go right through the process with this Lesson 17 Working project, but let’s take a look at the options you’d select to collect all the files used in your selected sequences to a new, single location.

  1. If it’s not already open, choose File > Project Manager.

  2. Select the sequences you want to be included in your new project.

  3. Select Collect Files And Copy To New Location.

  4. Select Exclude Unused Clips.


    If you want to include every clip in your project, regardless of whether they are used in a sequence, deselect this option. Deselect this option if you are creating a new project to organize your media files a little better—perhaps because you imported them from lots of different locations.


    When the new consolidated project is created, every media file used in the selected sequence(s) will be copied to the new project location.

  5. Decide if you want to include Audio Conform Files to save Premiere Pro from having to analyze the audio files again for the new project.

  6. Decide whether you want to include existing preview files to save you from having to re-render effects in the new project.

  7. Decide whether you want to rename your media files to match their clip names. Generally, it’s better to leave your media files with their original names. However, if you’re producing a project to share with another editor, it might be helpful for them to identify the media files if they are renamed. If you are sure you will never need to reference your original source media again, renaming your clips is a great idea.

  8. Click Browse, and choose a location for your new project file and associated media.

  9. Click Calculate to see an estimate of the total new size of your project, based on your selections. Then click OK.

Premiere Pro will create copies of the original files in a single location. If you intend to create an archive of your entire original project, this is the way to do it.

Consolidating and transcoding

Premiere Pro can transcode (convert) all the media in your project to a new format and codec in a single step if you select Consolidate And Transcode in the Project Manager.

This is useful if you plan to use a so-called mezzanine codec (sometimes called a house codec). This means all media is converted to one codec (and usually one format) before being stored on a media server or edited. These codecs are usually easier for editing systems to play back than the original in-camera codecs, as well as being high quality, maintaining the quality of the original media. These codecs don’t add quality but do help maintain it.

To create copies of all your media, deselect Exclude Unused Clips. Otherwise, the options are similar to those you’d choose when creating a trimmed project.

Creating a trimmed project

To create a new trimmed project file with new media files, including only the parts of clips used in your selected sequences, do the following:

  1. Choose File > Project Manager.

  2. Select the sequence or sequences you want to include in the new project.

  3. Select Consolidate And Transcode.

  4. From the Source menu, choose one of the following options:

    • Sequence: If clips in the selected sequence (or sequences) match the sequence settings (frame size, frame rate, and so on), the newly created media files will be formatted to match the sequence they are used in. If they don’t match, the media files are copied instead to minimize format conversion.

    • Individual Clips: The newly created clips will match their original frame size and format (though it is possible you will be changing the codec). It’s likely you will generally choose this option to maintain the maximum quality of your footage by minimizing conversion.

    • Preset: This allows you to specify a new format using the Preset menu; many choices are available.

  5. Use the Format menu to choose one of the following options:

    • DNxHR/DNxHD MXF OP1a: This is an MXF file type with DNxHR/ DNxHD preselected as the codec. DNxHR and DNxHD are the preferred codecs for Avid Media Composer, but playback performance is also excellent in Premiere Pro.

    • MXF OP1a: This selects an MXF file type with a range of other codec options in the Preset menu.

    • QuickTime: This selects a QuickTime MOV file type, giving access to the GoPro CineForm codec and Apple ProRes codec in the Preset menu.

  6. Choose the codec you prefer from the Preset menu or click to import a preset. You can create a transcoding preset in Adobe Media Encoder, export it as a file, and import it here. For more information about codecs and export options, see Lesson 16, “Exporting frames, clips, and sequences.”

  7. Select Exclude Unused Clips.

  8. Add some handles. The default is one second on each end of the clips used in your sequences. Consider adding more if you’d like to have more flexibility to trim and adjust your edits in the new project (the maximum number of frames is 999).

  9. Decide if you want to rename your media files to match your clip names. Generally, it’s better to leave your media files with the original names. However, if you’re producing a trimmed project to share with another editor, it might be helpful for that editor to identify the media files if they are renamed.

  10. Click Browse, and choose a location for your new project file.

  11. Click Calculate to have Premiere Pro estimate the new total size of your project, based on your selections. Then, click OK to close the dialog box and create the new project and associated media files.

The benefit of creating a newly transcoded, trimmed project is that you no longer have unwanted media files filling up your hard drive. It’s a convenient way to transfer your project to a new location using the minimum storage space, and it’s great for archiving.

The danger with this option is that once your unused media files are deleted, they’re gone! Be sure that you have a backup of your unused media or at least double-check that you definitely do not want the unused media before you create a trimmed project.

When you create your trimmed project, Premiere Pro will not delete your original files automatically. Just in case you selected the wrong items, you can always go back and check before deleting the files manually.

4. Performing final project management steps | Next Section Previous Section

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