101 - Intro to Premiere Pro

101 - Intro to Premiere Pro

An Introduction to Premiere Pro.

Developed by Michelle Brown 2019, updated by Amelia Paxman 2022.

What makes a good edit?

  • Think about your audience
  • Who are they?
  • What music do they like?
  • What feel are you going for?
  • Using images to evoke emotion

Discuss some of the favourite edits or techniques as a group so the induction can focus on some specific areas as required.


During this session we will touch on the following.

Project set up Source monitor
Program monitor
Project window
Tabs for different workflows
File management Folder structure
Keeping everything together
Importing assets
Offline files
Saving your project Save as
The importance of regular saving
Reopening Auto-Save files
Setting up sequences Naming sequences
Duplicating sequences
Bin structure
Using the editing timeline Dragging footage onto the timeline
Audio and visual components
Muting, soloing, eye icon
Zooming in and out
Creating slugs
Editing tools Drag
Footage duration Slowing
Transitions The cut
The cross dissolve/fade to black
Wipe / page tur
Effects Effects library
Colour correction
Adding and removing other effects
Effect controls
The vertical timeline Opacity
Keyframing Size
Working with still images
Text Graphics tab
Adding text
Exporting Checking your timeline
Choosing your export location
Choosing your settings

Before getting started

This introduction covers the basics of Premiere Pro, including getting to know the user interface, but one of the key things before you even open the program is to be organised with your assets!

Whether working off an internal or external hard drive, start every project by creating a project folder and this folder will contain all the files related to your project. Make sure you have dedicated folders for your raw footage, audio and for the exported drafts and final video files.

This will just make things a whole lot easier as you go.

User Interface

There are four main windows which make up the Premiere Pro workspace:

This image shows the layout of the Editing workspace without any imported media, you will see different tabs at the top of the screen to change to different workflows.

  • Project (bottom left): Where you import and organize your media
  • Source Monitor (top left): Where you view and trim your raw media
  • Program Monitor (top right): Where you view your timeline sequence
  • Timeline (bottom right): Where you create your edit

You can move these windows around and customize your workspace in Window > Workspaces

Projects and Sequences

Starting a new Project

Open the Program and you will be prompted to open or start a project.

Name your project and save it.

Starting a new Sequence

  • The sequence is where you will build your video.
  • File
  • New sequence or Command N
  • Select the type of camera - media type. Since Premiere Pro does a great job at automating this process once you place your footage on the timeline, leave all this as it presents itself. Just rename your sequence at the bottom of the window and hit OK.

Projects can contain multiple Sequences

Importing Media

2 Options;

  • File Import
  • Command i

You can import multiple media files or folders.

We have some video and audio files that we will pass around to use as assets so you can follow along with some basic composition and editing, copy the folder 'Premiere Pro Induction Assets' on to your desktop and pass the USB along to someone else to do the same.

Use what we just learned to import one of the video files.

Editing Basics

In and Out Points

Double click on one of the video files you have imported in your project panel; this will load the clip into your Source Monitor. Use the Mark In ({) and Mark Out (}) buttons to set the desired start and end for this clip. The grey bar under the clip shows your clip selection. You will always be able to tweak the length of this selection once you place your clip on the timeline, so no need to worry about getting the perfect selection now. You can also use the I and O keys to input in and out points.

Getting a Clip Onto the Timeline

Once you’ve made your selection using in and out points, you can either drag the clip onto the timeline (from the Project or Source Monitor windows) or using the Insert/Overwrite buttons.

Editing a Clip on the Timeline

Now that you’ve got your clip on the timeline, you can move it around and adjust its length on either end using the Selection Tool (V). Your cursor will turn into a red arrow symbol when you position it at the inner or outer edge of the clip, allowing you to lengthen or shorten it. Using the Razor Tool (C), you can split your clip in two or cut out a section in the middle.

These two tools will allow you to do most of your basic editing.

Building your Sequence

This image depicts an imported video file being viewed in the Project, Source and Project Monitors and in the Timeline window.

We have one video file which includes an audio track already added to our Sequence, but let's add some more.

Find one of the backing audio tracks provided and import this into your project, find another video file and add this so you have two lots of video footage to work with.

What we want to do is have two video tracks transition and add the music soundbed to the sequence so we can still hear the interview, but have the music playing at a good volume underneath.


Transitions are what happens between each bit of footage (or audio), there are many ways you can use transitions effectively, but beware of going overboard and alienating your audience with a wrong transition choice!

You can't really go wrong with some of the basics;

  • straight cut
  • dissolve / fade in and out (Dip to Black)

Applying transitions is as easy as dragging a transition from the Effects panel and dropping it into the timeline at the beginning or end of a clip. To find the Effects panel if it isn't open already, choose Window > Effects from the main menu (or press Shift+7).

Some more info on Transitions; https://helpx.adobe.com/au/premiere-pro/how-to/apply-transitions-premiere-cc.html


Basic audio adjustments

Although Premiere Pro includes a full-featured Audio Track Mixer, there are times when many of these options are not required. For example, when creating a rough cut from video and audio captured together from DV footage, output to stereo tracks, follow these guidelines:

  • Start with the Master meters and volume fader in the Audio Track Mixer. If the audio is too far below 0 dB or too high (the red clipping indicator appears), adjust the level of clips or tracks as needed.
  • To temporarily silence a track, use the Mute Track button in the Audio Track Mixer or the Toggle Track Output icon in the Timeline panel. To temporarily silence all other tracks, use the Solo button in the Audio Track Mixer.
  • When making audio adjustments of any kind, determine whether the change is applied to the entire track or to individual clips. Audio tracks and clips are edited in different ways.
  • Use the Show/Hide Tracks command in the Audio Track Mixer menu to display only the information you want to see and save screen space. If you aren’t using Effects and Sends, you can hide them by clicking the triangle at the left edge of the Audio Track Mixer.

More info here - https://helpx.adobe.com/au/premiere-pro/using/overview-audio-audio-mixer.html


You can apply one or more Standard effects to a clip by dragging effect icons from the Effects panel to a clip in the Timeline panel. Alternatively, select the clip and double-click an effect in the Effects panel to apply it. You can apply the same effect multiple times, using different settings each time.

You can apply Standard effects to more than one clip at a time by first selecting all the clips you want to affect.

You can also temporarily disable any effect, which suppresses the effect without removing it, or you can remove the effect completely.

To view and adjust effects for a selected clip, use the Effect Controls panel. Alternatively, you can view and adjust effects for a clip in the Timeline panel by expanding its track and selecting the proper viewing options.

By default, when you apply an effect to a clip, the effect is active for the duration of the clip. However, you can make an effect start and stop at specific times or make the effect more or less intense by using keyframes.

Learn more here - https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/applying-removing-finding-organizing-effects.html

Colour Correction

You can find the color- and luminance-adjusting effects in the Color Correction bin inside the Video Effects bin. Although other effects also adjust color and luminance, the Color Correction effects are designed for making fine color and luminance corrections.

You apply the Color Correction effects to a clip the same way you apply all Standard effects. The effect properties are adjusted in the Effect Controls panel. The Color Correction effects and other color effects are clip-based. However, you can apply them to multiple clips by nesting sequences, which is a more advanced area that we won't really have time to go over today.

A basic guide for us to try;

  • Choose the clip you want to add color to on the timeline and double-click it.
  • Click the Effects Control tab.
  • Search for Fast Color Corrector, and double-click it.
  • When the effect loads in the Effect Controls window, it’s going to give you a ton of options. Scroll down to the White Level and click the eyedropper icon.
  • Find the brightest/whitest area of your picture and click the eyedropper there.
  • Now go back to the Effect Controls window and go to the Black Level eyedropper.
  • This time you’ll be finding the darkest/blackest part of the image and click the eyedropper on it.
  • If you want to do more to the image, you can go to the Gray Level and use the eyedropper to identify the neutral colors in your scene. However, you don’t always have to do this and you can actually mess up the picture using it.
  • You can also adjust your Color Level Settings: you can intensify the colors or add richness to your look. The left corresponds to the blacks in the scene, the right corresponds to the highlights.

When correcting color, it’s useful to use the Vectorscope or waveform scopes (YC Waveform, RGB Parade, and YCbCr Parade) to help you analyze the chroma and luminance in a clip. You can view a scope in a separate Reference Monitor that’s ganged to the Program Monitor so that you can check your video levels as you make adjustments.

Learn more on colour correction here - https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/color-correction-adjustment.html

Exporting Video

Basic Guide to a simple export;

  • To export a sequence as an H.264 file (the most popular option), make sure the Timeline panel is active and choose File > Export > Media or press Control+M (Windows) or Command+M (macOS).
  • In the Export Settings dialog box, choose Format: H.264 and Preset: Match Source – High Bitrate.
  • To choose a filename and location, click the blue filename to open the Save As dialog box. Use this to choose an export location and a name for your new file, and then click Save.
  • When you’re happy with your settings, click Export. The new video file will be created, ready to share with the world.

There are many preset options for exporting, you can use the drop don menu to look through and choose the best one for where the video project may end up being hosted.

Health & Safety

Running this workshop at The Edge?.. You should familiarise yourself and your participants with:

  • DML Risk Assessment


Great set of general tutorials and tips and tricks: https://motionarray.com/premiere-pro/adobe-premiere-pro-cc-tutorials/

Premiere Tutorials and Tips: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/tutorials.html

Editing tips: https://vimeo.com/blog/category/video-school/tag:editing

Editing Technique: https://vimeo.com/insidetheedit

Working with and import video content from different cameras: https://www.lynda.com/Premiere-Pro-tutorials/Starting-from-scratch-Importing-media/371692/413960-4.html

Understanding Audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIqV8nIjTTE

Learning the art of colour correction and grading: http://www.learncolorgrading.com/

Post haste: Is a free tool that set's up project folder stuctures: https://www.digitalrebellion.com/posthaste/

Adobe Premiere pro forum: (issues or questions about the software) https://forums.adobe.com/community/premiere

Green Screen footage to practice with: http://www.hollywoodcamerawork.com/green-screen-plates.html

Art of editing: when should you cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q3eITC01Fg

Types of compression and video formats: http://nofilmschool.com/2014/08/heres-what-you-need-to-know-video-compression Where to find Creative Commons licensed footage and Music:

What is Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org.au/

Public Domain/ Creative Commons Video Footage: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/20-free-online-stock-video-sites/

Creative Commons Music: https://incompetech.com/

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their continuing connection to land and as custodians of stories for millennia. We are inspired by this tradition in our work to share and preserve Queensland's memory for future generations.