3 Importing Media – Adobe Premiere Pro Classroom in a Book (2020 release)

3 Importing Media

Lesson overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:

  • Use the Media Browser to load video files.

  • Use the Import command to load graphic files.

  • Work with proxy media.

  • Use Adobe Stock.

  • Choose where to store cache files.

  • Record a voice-over.

This lesson will take about 75 minutes to complete. To get the lesson files used in this chapter, download them from the web page for this book at www.adobepress.com/PremiereCIB2020. For more information, see “Accessing the lesson files and Web Edition” in the Getting Started section at the beginning of this book.

However you approach editing sequences, importing clips to the Project panel and getting them organized are the first steps. In this lesson, you’ll learn multiple methods for browsing and importing media.

Starting the lesson

To create a sequence, you’ll need to import media files into your project. This might include video footage, animation files, narration, music, atmospheric sound, graphics, or photos.

With the exception of graphics and titles that you create in Premiere Pro, items in sequences always appear in the Project panel. For example, if you import a video clip directly to a sequence, it will automatically appear in the Project panel. If you delete that clip in the Project panel, it will be removed it from sequences that it appears in (you’ll be given the option to cancel if you do this).

In this lesson, you’ll learn to import media assets into Adobe Premiere Pro. For most files, you’ll use the Media Browser panel, a robust asset browser that works with many media types you’ll import into Premiere Pro. You’ll also learn about special cases such as importing graphics or capturing from videotape.

For this lesson, you can continue to use the project file you created in Lesson 2, “Setting Up a Project.” If you do not have the previous lesson file, you can open the file Lesson 03.prproj from the Lessons folder.

  1. Continue to work with your project file from the previous lesson, or open it from your hard drive.

  2. Choose File > Save As.

  3. Browse to Lessons, and save the project with the name My Lesson 03.prproj.

  4. In the Workspaces panel, click Editing; then click the panel menu next to the Editing option, and choose Reset To Saved Layout.

Importing media files

When you import items into a Premiere Pro project, you are creating a link to the original media file with a pointer that lives inside your project.

The pointer is called a clip, and you can think of a clip as a special kind of alias (macOS) or shortcut (Windows).

When you work with a clip in Premiere Pro, you are not making a copy of the original file or modifying it; instead, you’re selectively playing a part of, or all of, the original media from its current location, in a nondestructive manner.

For example, if you choose to edit only part of a clip into your sequence, you’re not throwing away the unused media. A copy of the clip is added to the sequence with instructions to play only the part you selected. This changes the apparent duration in the sequence, even though the full original duration in the media file is unchanged and still available.

Also, if you add an effect to a clip to brighten the image, the effect is applied to the clip, not the media file it links to. In a sense, the original media file is played “through” the clip, with interpretation settings and effects applied.

Media can be imported in three principal ways.

  • By choosing File > Import.

  • By dragging media files directly from Finder (macOS) or Explorer (Windows) into the Project panel or Timeline panel in Premiere Pro.

  • By using the Media Browser.

Tip

Another way to open the Import dialog box is to double-click an empty area of the Project panel.

Tip

When project ingest options are enabled, they are applied to all newly imported media, regardless of the way it is imported.

Let’s explore the benefits of each.

When to use the Media Browser panel

In short: if in doubt, use the Media Browser panel. It’s a robust tool for reviewing your media assets and then importing them into Premiere Pro. The Media Browser shows the fragmented files you might capture with a digital video camera as whole clips; you’ll see each recording as a single item, with the video and audio combined, regardless of the original recording format.

This means you can avoid dealing with complex camera folder structures and instead work with easy-to-browse thumbnails and metadata. Being able to see this metadata (which contains important information, such as clip duration, recording date, and file type) makes it easier to select the correct clip in a long list.

By default, in the Editing workspace, you’ll find the Media Browser in the lower-left corner of your Premiere Pro workspace. It’s docked in the same panel group as the Project panel. You can also quickly access the Media Browser by pressing Shift+8 (be sure to use the 8 key at the top of the keyboard).

Like any other panel, you can position the Media Browser in another panel group by dragging its panel name (sometimes referred to as the panel tab).

You can also undock it to make it a floating panel by clicking the menu next to the panel name and choosing Undock Panel.

Browsing for files in the Media Browser is similar to browsing with Finder (macOS) or Explorer (Windows). The contents of your storage are displayed as navigation folders on the left, with buttons to navigate forward and backward at the top.

Once you have selected a folder or media file, you can use arrow keys to select items.

There are several benefits to using the Media Browser:

  • Filtering the display while browsing a folder. You can narrow the display to a specific file type, such as JPEG, Photoshop, XML, or ARRIRAW files, by choosing items from the File Types Displayed menu .

  • Autosensing camera data—AVCHD, Canon XF, P2, RED, Cinema DNG, Sony HDV, or XDCAM (EX and HD)—to correctly display the clips.

  • Correctly displaying media that spans clips across multiple camera media cards. Premiere Pro will automatically import the files as a single clip even if a longer video file filled a storage card and continued onto another.

  • Viewing and customizing the kinds of metadata to display.

When to use the Import command

Using the Import command is straightforward (and may match your experience in other applications). To import any file, just choose File > Import.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut Command+I (macOS) or Ctrl+I (Windows) to open the Import dialog box.

This method works best for self-contained assets such as graphics and audio files or video files like .mov (QuickTime) or .mp4 (H.264), especially if you know exactly where those assets are on your drive and can quickly navigate to them.

This importing method is not ideal for file-based camera footage, which often uses complex folder structures with separate files for audio, video, and important additional data describing the footage (metadata), or for RAW media files. For most camera-originated media, you’ll want to use the Media Browser panel.

Working with ingest options and proxy media

Premiere Pro offers excellent performance when playing back, and applying special effects to, a broad range of media formats and codecs. However, there may be occasions when your system hardware will struggle to play media, especially if it’s ultra-high resolution or RAW footage.

You may decide it will be more efficient to work with low-resolution copies of your media while you edit and to switch to the full, original-resolution media just before you check your effects and output your finished work. This is a proxy workflow—creating low-resolution “proxy” files to use temporarily instead of your original content. You can switch between the two types of media whenever you like.

Premiere Pro can automate creating proxy files during import. If you’re happy with the performance on your system when working with original footage, you’ll probably skip this feature. Still, it offers significant advantages, both for system performance and for collaboration, particularly if you’re working with high-resolution media on a less powerful computer.

You define the options for ingesting media and creating proxy files using the Ingest Settings tab of the Project Settings dialog box:

  • Copy: When you import media files, Premiere Pro will copy the original files to a location you choose from the Primary Destination menu below. This is a valuable option if you are importing media files directly from your camera storage, because media files must be available to Premiere Pro when your cards are not connected to the computer.

  • Transcode: When you import media files, Premiere Pro will convert the files to a new format and codec based on the preset you choose and will place the new files in a destination location you choose. This is useful if you are working in a post-production facility that has adopted a standard format and codec for all projects—sometimes called a mezzanine media file.

  • Create Proxies: When you import media files, Premiere Pro creates additional copies that are lower resolution, based on the preset you choose, and stores them in the location you choose from the Proxy Destination menu. This is useful if you are working on a lower-powered computer or you want to temporarily save on storage space while traveling with a copy of your media. You would not want to use these files for your final delivery, but they open up the option of using a number of collaborative workflows as well as speeding up effect configuration.

    Tip

    When copying media files, Premiere Pro can perform MD5 verification. This helps ensure the files have copied correctly at the expense of extra time to perform the copy.

    Tip

    You can add a Toggle Proxies button to the Source Monitor or Program Monitor to quickly switch between viewing proxy or original media. See Lesson 4, “Organizing Media,” to find out how to customize the monitor buttons.

  • Copy and Create Proxies: When you import media files, Premiere Pro will copy the original files to a location you choose in the Primary Destination menu and create proxies that are stored in the Proxy Destination menu.

    Note

    Adobe Media Encoder does the work of transcoding files and creating proxies in the background, so you can use your original media right away, and as the new proxy files are created, they’ll be used instead of the original media files automatically.

    If proxy media exists for clips in your project, it’s easy to switch between displaying your original, full-quality media and your low-resolution proxy versions. Choose Premiere Pro > Preferences > Media (macOS) or Edit > Preferences > Media (Windows), and toggle Enable Proxies.

Let’s check out the options.

  1. Choose File > Project Settings > Ingest Settings.

    Tip

    You can also open the Project Settings dialog box to the Ingest Settings tab from the Media Browser panel by selecting the box for Ingest or by clicking the Open Ingest Settings button .

    This dialog box contains the original project setup options you saw when creating the new project. You can change any setting at any time.

    By default, all the Ingest options are deselected. Whichever ingest options you choose, those actions will be performed regardless of the way you import media files from now on. Importantly, files you have already imported are not affected.

  2. Enable Ingest by selecting it, and open the adjacent menu to see the options.

  3. Choose Create Proxies, open the Preset menu, and try choosing a few options. Look at the Summary in the lower part of the dialog box that explains each option.

    It’s most important that the preset you choose matches the aspect ratio of your original footage (the ratio of the width to the height of the image). This way, you’ll be able to position titles and graphics correctly while viewing the proxy files.

  4. When you have finished looking at the settings, click Cancel to exit without applying any of the options.

Note

When you output a sequence that is set to display proxy media, the full-quality original media is automatically used rather than the low-resolution proxy media for the export.

This was just an introduction to the proxy media workflow. For more information about managing proxy files, linking proxy media, and creating new proxy file presets, see the Adobe Premiere Pro Help.

Working with the Media Browser panel

The Media Browser allows you to easily browse for files on your computer. It can stay open, it’s fast and convenient, and it’s optimized for locating and importing footage.

Note

To complete this lesson, you will import files from your computer. Be sure you have copied all the lesson files included with this book to your computer. For more details, see the “Getting Started” section at the beginning of the book.

Working with media files

Premiere Pro can use footage from file-based cameras without conversion, including compressed native media from camera systems such as P2, XDCAM, and AVCHD; RAW media from Canon, Sony, RED, and ARRI; and post-production-friendly codecs such as Avid DNxHD, Apple ProRes, and GoPro Cineform.

For best results, follow these guidelines (no need to follow along for now):

  • Create a new media folder for each project. This will make it easier to differentiate between projects when cleaning up your storage.

  • Copy camera media to your editing storage with the existing folder structure intact. Be sure to transfer the complete data folder directly from the root directory of the card. For best results, consider using the transfer application that is often included by the camera manufacturer to move your video files. Check that all media files have been copied and that the original card and the copied folder sizes match.

  • Clearly name the copied folder of the media with the camera information, including card number and the date of the shoot.

  • Create a second copy of the media on a physically separate drive in case of hardware failure.

  • Really do actually create that second copy of your media on a physically separate drive! Storage can fail without warning…

  • Ideally, create a long-term archive copy of your media using another backup method, such as LTO tape (a popular long-term storage system), an external storage drive, or cloud-based file storage.

Understanding supported video file types

It’s not unusual to work on a project with video clips from multiple cameras using different file types, media formats, and codecs. This is no problem for Premiere Pro because you can mix different types of media in the same sequence. Also, the Media Browser can display almost any media file type.

If your system hardware struggles to play high-resolution media, you may find it helpful to use proxy files while editing.

The following are the major types of file-based media supported by Premiere Pro:

  • Any DSLR camera that shoots H.264 media as QuickTime MOV or MP4 files, or H.265 (HEVC) media. H.265 requires a more powerful computer for playback.

  • Panasonic P2, DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, DVCPRO HD, AVCI, AVC Ultra, AVC Ultra Long GOP.

  • RED ONE, RED EPIC, RED Mysterium X, the 6K RED Dragon, REDCODE.

  • ARRIRAW, including ARRI AMIRA.

  • Sony XDCAM SD, XDCAM 50, XAVC, SStP, RAW, HDV (when shot on file-based media).

  • AVCHD cameras, including XAVC Intra and LongGOP.

  • Canon XF, Canon RAW.

  • Apple QuickTime media, including Apple ProRes.

  • Image sequences, including DPX.

  • MXF media including Avid DNxHD, DNxHR, and Apple ProRes.

  • Blackmagic CinemaDNG.

  • Phantom Cine camera.

  • AAC, AIF, BWF, WAV, and OMF audio.

Finding assets with the Media Browser panel

In many ways, the Media Browser is like Finder (macOS) or Explorer (Windows). It has Forward and Back buttons to go through your recent navigation. The contents of a storage location selected in the left area are displayed on the right.

Note

When importing media, be sure to copy the files to your local storage, or use the project ingest options to create copies before removing your memory cards or external drives.

Continue working with your My Lesson 03.prproj project.

Note

When you open a project created on another computer, you may see a message warning you about a missing renderer. It’s fine to click OK in this message. It indicates that the project was last saved with project settings configured for a different (or missing) GPU.

Note

If you can’t see the Workspaces panel, select it by choosing Window > Workspaces (at the bottom of the menu).

  1. Begin by resetting the workspace to the default; in the Workspaces panel, click Editing. Then, open the panel menu adjacent to the Editing option, and choose Reset To Saved Layout or double-click the Editing workspace name.

  2. Click the Media Browser panel name to bring it to the front of the panel group (it should be docked with the Project panel by default).

  3. To make the Media Browser easier to see, position your pointer over the panel, and then press the ` (accent grave) key (it is often in the upper-left corner of a keyboard) or double-click the panel name.

    Tip

    It can be difficult to find the right key in some keyboard layouts. If you can’t locate the ` (accent grave) key, you can double-click the name of a panel to enlarge it to fill the screen.

    The Media Browser panel should now fill the screen. You may need to adjust the width of columns to make it easier to see items.

  4. Using the Media Browser, navigate to the folder Lessons/Assets/Video and Audio Files/Theft Unexpected.

  5. Click the Thumbnail View button at the lower left of the Media Browser panel, and drag the resize slider next to it to enlarge the thumbnails of the clips. Choose any size you like.

    Note

    The Media Browser filters out non-media and unsupported files, making it easier to browse for video or audio assets.

    Tip

    As you navigate into a folder system, the navigation area on the left of the Media Browser can fill up with folders. Drag the vertical divider to resize the navigation area or scroll within the navigation area to display the folders you are interested in.

    You can hover your pointer over any clip thumbnail that is not selected, without clicking, to see a preview of the clip contents. Hovering over the left edge shows the start of the clip; hovering over the right edge shows the end of the clip.

  6. Click any clip once to select it.

    You can now preview the clip using keyboard shortcuts. When a clip is selected while in thumbnail view, a small preview timeline appears under the clip.

  7. Press the L key or the spacebar to play a clip.

  8. To stop playback, press the K key or press the spacebar again.

  9. To play backward, press the J key.

  10. Experiment with playing back other clips. You should be able to hear the clip audio during playback.

    You can press the J or L key multiple times to increase the playback rate for fast previews. Use the K key or the spacebar to pause playback.

    Note

    If you can’t hear audio, check the Audio Hardware preferences and make sure the correct output device is selected.

  11. Now you’ll import all these clips into your project. Press Command+A (macOS) or Ctrl+A (Windows) to select all the clips.

  12. Right-click one of the selected clips, and choose Import.

    Tip

    You can also drag selected clips onto the Project panel’s tab and then down into the empty area to import the clips.

    Having completed the process of importing, the Project panel opens automatically and displays the clips you just imported.

  13. Press the ` (accent grave) key or double-click the Project panel name to restore the panel group to its original size.

Like the Media Browser panel, clips in the Project panel can be viewed as icons or as a list, with information about each clip displayed. Switch between these two viewing modes by clicking the List View button or Icon View button at the bottom left of the Project panel.

Importing still image files

Graphics are an integral part of post-production. People expect graphics to both convey information and add to the visual style of a final edit. Premiere Pro can import just about any image file type (except RAW images). Support is especially excellent when you use the native file formats created by Adobe’s leading graphic tools, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.

Anyone who works with print graphics or performs photo retouching has probably used Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is a powerful tool with great depth and versatility, and it’s an important part of the video production world. Let’s explore how to properly import files from Adobe Photoshop.

First, you’ll import a basic graphic.

Importing single-layer image files

Most graphics and photos you will work with will have a single layer—one flat grid of pixels that you can work with as a simple media file. Let’s import one.

  1. Select the Project panel.

  2. Choose File > Import, or press Command+I (macOS) or Ctrl+I (Windows).

  3. Navigate to Lessons/Assets/Graphics.

  4. Select the file Theft_Unexpected.png, and click Import.

    This PNG graphic is a simple logo file, and it appears in the Premiere Pro Project panel.

When the Project panel is in icon view, it displays the contents of graphics as thumbnails.

Importing layered Adobe Photoshop files

Adobe Photoshop can create graphics with multiple layers. Layers are similar to tracks in a Premiere Pro sequence and allow for separation between visual elements. You can import Photoshop document layers into Premiere Pro individually to layer-specific adjustments and animation.

You’ll use the Import Layered File dialog box to choose options for importing Photoshop files. It contains the Import As menu, which offers four ways of selectively importing layers.

  • Merge All Layers: Merges all layers into one, importing the file into Premiere Pro as a single, flattened clip.

  • Merged Layers: Merges only the specific layers you select in this dialog box into a single, flattened clip.

  • Individual Layers: Imports only the specific layers you select in this dialog box, with each layer becoming a separate clip in a bin in the Project panel.

  • Sequence: Imports only the layers you select in this dialog box, each as a single clip. Premiere Pro then automatically creates a new sequence (with its frame size based on the imported PSD dimensions) containing each clip on a separate track (matching the original stacking order).

    If you choose Sequence or Individual Layers, you can choose one of the following from the Footage Dimensions menu:

    • Document Size: Brings all the selected layers into Premiere Pro at the size of the original Photoshop document.

    • Layer Size: Matches the frame size of the new Premiere Pro clips to the frame size of their individual layers in the original Photoshop file. Layers that do not fill the entire canvas will be cropped tightly, as transparent areas outside of the rectangle containing the layer’s pixels are removed. Layers are also then centered in the frame, losing their original relative positioning.

Let’s import a layered Photoshop file into our project.

  1. Double-click an empty area of the Project panel to open the Import dialog box, or choose File > Import.

  2. Navigate to Lessons/Assets/Graphics.

  3. Select the file Theft_Unexpected_Layered.psd, and click Import.

    The Import Layered File dialog box appears.

    Note

    There are some deselected layers in this PSD. These are layers with layer visibility turned off in Photoshop but not deleted. Premiere Pro honors this layer selection automatically on import.

    Tip

    There are good reasons to import individual PSD layers with different layer sizes. For example, some graphic designers create multiple images for editors to incorporate into video edits, with each image occupying a different layer in the PSD. The PSD itself is a kind of one-stop image store when used this way.

  4. For this exercise, choose Sequence from the Import As menu, and choose Document Size from the Footage Dimensions menu. Click OK.

    Note

    Bins in the Project panel look and behave a lot like folders in your computer file system, but they exist only inside the project file. They are a great way to stay organized.

  5. Look in the Project panel for the newly created bin called Theft_Unexpected_Layered. Double-click it to open it.

  6. Inside the bin, double-click the sequence Theft_Unexpected_Layered to open it in the Timeline panel.

    Sequences have one icon in List view while a different icon is displayed over their thumbnail in Icon view .

    If you’re unsure which item is which, hover your pointer over an item name (not the icon) to display a detailed tool tip. This will tell you if it’s a clip or a sequence by reading the tool tip.

  7. If necessary, drag one end of the navigator along the bottom of the Timeline panel to shorten it and zoom in to see the clips in the sequence more clearly.

  1. Look at the sequence in the timeline. The contents of the sequence are displayed in the Program Monitor. Try clicking the Toggle Track Output button at the left of the timeline for each track to reveal and hide the content on each layer.

    In the Project panel, when you double-clicked the Theft_Unexpected_Layered bin, it opened in a new panel in the same group as the Project panel. Bins have the same options as the Project panel, and opening multiple bins to browse their contents is a common way to navigate the available media in a project.

  2. Close the Theft_Unexpected_Layered bin by choosing Close Panel from its panel menu .

Importing Adobe Illustrator files

Another important graphics component in Adobe Creative Cloud is Adobe Illustrator. Unlike Photoshop, which is primarily designed to work with pixel-based (or raster) graphics, Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based application. Vector graphics are mathematical descriptions of shapes rather than drawn pixels. This means you can scale them to any size in Adobe Illustrator and they always look sharp—useful for titles and graphics.

Vector graphics are typically used for technical illustrations, line art, or complex graphics.

Let’s import a vector graphic.

  1. In the Project panel, deselect the Theft_Unexpected_Layered bin.

  2. Double-click an empty area of the Project panel to open the Import dialog box, or press Command+I (macOS) or Ctrl+I (Windows).

  3. Navigate to Lessons/Assets/Graphics.

  4. Select the file Brightlove_film_logo.ai, and click Import.

  5. A clip linked to the Illustrator file you imported will appear in the Project panel. Double-click the clip icon to view the logo in the Source Monitor.

    There’s black text in the logo that disappears into the black background of the Source Monitor. That’s because the logo has a transparent background; you’ll learn more about working with layers and transparency in Lesson 14, “Exploring Compositing Techniques.”

Note

If you right-click Brightlove_film_logo.ai in the Project panel, you have the option to choose Edit Original. If you have Adobe Illustrator installed on your computer, choosing Edit Original will open this graphic in Illustrator, ready to be edited. This means, even though the layers are merged in Premiere Pro, you can return to Adobe Illustrator, edit the original layered file, and save it; the changes will immediately appear in Premiere Pro.

Here’s how Premiere Pro deals with Adobe Illustrator files:

  • Like the Photoshop file you imported earlier, this is a layered graphic file. However, Premiere Pro doesn’t give you the option to import Adobe Illustrator files in separate layers. It always merges them into a single-layer clip.

  • Premiere Pro uses a process called rasterization to convert the vector-based Adobe Illustrator art into the pixel-based image format used by Premiere Pro. This conversion happens during import automatically, so be sure your graphics are configured to be high enough resolution in Illustrator before importing them into Premiere Pro.

  • Premiere Pro automatically anti-aliases (smooths the edges of) Adobe Illustrator art.

  • Premiere Pro sets all empty areas of Illustrator files as transparent so that clips on lower tracks in your sequence will show through.

Importing subfolders

When you bring media into Premiere Pro, you don’t have to select individual files. You can select a whole folder. If you have already organized your files into folders and subfolders on your storage drive, when you import them, the folders are re-created as bins in Premiere Pro.

Try this now.

  1. Choose File > Import, or press Command+I (macOS) or Ctrl+I (Windows).

  2. Navigate to Lessons/Assets, and select the Stills folder. Don’t browse inside the folder; just select it.

  3. Click the Import (macOS) or Import Folder (Windows) button. Premiere Pro imports the folder and its contents, including two subfolders containing photos. In the Project panel, you’ll find bins have been created to match the folders. In List view, you can click the disclosure triangle next to any bin to toggle the display of its contents.

Note

You can import folders and subfolders this way using the Media Browser panel too. Select a folder in the right side of the Media Browser, and import it to achieve the same result.

Note

If you import an entire folder, it’s possible some of the files will not be media supported by Premiere Pro. If so, a message will inform you that some files could not be imported.

Using Adobe Stock

The Libraries panel allows you to easily share design assets between projects and users. You can also search Adobe Stock directly in the Libraries panel, choose video clips and graphics, and use a low-resolution preview in your project immediately, prior to purchasing the full-resolution versions.

Adobe Stock offers millions of images and videos you can easily incorporate into your sequences via the Libraries panel.

If you’re happy with a stock item and you’d like to purchase the full-resolution version, you can click the License And Save To Shopping Cart icon that appears on the item in the Libraries panel. The full-resolution item will be downloaded and automatically replaces the low-resolution version in your project and sequences.

For more information about Adobe Stock, check out stock.adobe.com.

Customizing the media cache

When you import files in certain video and audio formats, Premiere Pro may need to process and cache (temporarily store) a version of the file or additional files to make clip playback or waveform display smoother. This is particularly true for highly compressed formats, and the process is called conforming.

Note

You may have noticed the word conform is used to describe both the way clip playback is adjusted to match sequence settings and the way certain formats are processed when imported to Premiere Pro. That’s because the principle is the same—the original material is adapted to improve performance.

If necessary, imported audio files are automatically conformed to a new CFA file (conformed audio file). Most MPEG files are indexed, resulting in an extra MPGINDEX file that makes it easier to read the file (it’s a little like creating a map of the file to make playback easier).

You’ll know that the cache is being built if you see a small progress indicator in the lower-right corner of the screen when importing media.

The media cache improves preview playback performance by making it easier for your editing system to decode and play media. You can customize the cache to further improve performance. A media cache database helps Premiere Pro manage these cache files, which are shared between multiple Creative Cloud applications.

Let’s take a look at the options. Choose Premiere Pro > Preferences > Media Cache (macOS) or Edit > Preferences > Media Cache (Windows).

Here are the options:

  • To move the media cache files or the media cache database to a new location, click the appropriate Browse button, select the desired location, and click Choose (macOS) or Choose Folder (Windows).

  • Select Save .cfa And .pek Media Cache Files Next To Original Media Files When Possible to keep media cache files stored on the same drive as the media. If you want to keep everything in one central folder, leave this option unselected. Remember, the faster the drive for the media files, the better the playback performance you’re likely to experience in Premiere Pro.

  • You should clean the media cache database on a regular basis to remove old conform and index files that are no longer required. To do so, click the Delete button. In the Delete Media Cache Files dialog box, click OK.

    Any connected drives will have their cache files removed. It’s a good idea to do this after you wrap up projects because it removes unnecessary preview render files too, saving space.

  • The Media Cache Management options allow you to configure a degree of automation in the management of cache files. Premiere Pro will automatically re-create these files if they are needed, so it’s safe to enable these options to save space.

  • To remove all media cache files, including those that are in use, restart Premiere Pro and access the Media Cache preferences from the Home screen. When you click Delete, the Delete Media Cache Files dialog box will then allow you to choose Delete All Media Cache Files From The System.

For now, click Cancel to close the Preferences dialog box without saving your changes.

Recording a voice-over

You may be working on a video project that includes a narration track. It’s likely you will have the narration recorded by professionals (or at least recorded in a location quieter than your desk), but with the right hardware, you can record high-quality audio right into Premiere Pro.

Tip

If you have multiple audio input devices connected to your system, you can choose which will be used for voice over recording by right-clicking the Voice-Over Record button and choosing Voice-Over Record Settings. The dialog box that appears also allows you to pre-name the new audio file.

This can be helpful because it will give you a sense of timing for your edits.

Try recording a scratch audio track.

  1. If you’re not using a built-in microphone, make sure your external microphone or audio mixer is properly connected to your computer. You may need to consult the documentation for your computer or sound card.

  2. Every audio track has a set of buttons and options on the far left. This area is called the track header. There’s a Voice-Over Record button for each audio track.

    Right-click a microphone icon in the header area of the Timeline panel, and choose Voice-Over Record Settings to choose your microphone.

    Then click the Close button.

  3. Turn down your computer speakers, or use headphones to prevent feedback or echo.

  4. If it is not open already, open the Theft_Unexpected_Layered sequence, in the Theft_Unexpected_Layered bin.

  5. To see the result more clearly, increase the height of the A1 track.

    To increase the height of an audio track, double-click an empty space to the right of the track header, drag down on the horizontal dividing line between two audio track headers, or hover the pointer over the track header, while holding Option (macOS) or Alt (Windows), and scroll down.

    In the Timeline panel, time moves from left to right, just as it does with any online video. At the top of the Timeline panel, where the time ruler is displayed, a playhead indicates the current frame displayed in the Program Monitor. You can click at any point in the time ruler, and the playhead will move to show that frame. You can also drag on the time ruler itself to view the contents of the current sequence. This is called scrubbing (like scrubbing a floor).

  6. Position the Timeline playhead at the beginning of the sequence, as far left as it will go, and click the Voice-Over Record button for track A1 to begin recording.

  7. After a brief countdown, recording will begin. Say a few words, and press the spacebar to stop recording.

    A new audio clip is created and added to the Project panel and the current sequence.

  8. Choose File > Save to save the project. You can close the project or keep it open, ready for the next lesson.

Review questions

1. Does Premiere Pro need to convert P2, XDCAM, R3D, ARRIRAW, or AVCHD footage when it is imported?

2. What is an advantage of using the Media Browser rather than the File > Import method to import multiple media files that are part of one clip?

3. When you’re importing a layered Photoshop file, what are the four ways to import the file?

4. Where can media cache files be stored?

5. How can you enable proxy media file creation when video is imported?

Review answers

1. No. Premiere Pro can edit P2, XDCAM, R3D, ARRIRAW, and AVCHD, as well as many other formats, natively.

2. The Media Browser understands the complex folder structures for P2, XDCAM, and many other formats. It automatically stiches multiple media files together into a single clip where it’s needed.

3. You can merge all the visible layers in the Photoshop file into a single clip by choosing Merge All Layers from the Import As menu in the Import Layered File dialog box; or select the specific layers you want by choosing Merged Layers. If you want layers as separate clips, choose Individual Layers and select the layers to import, or choose Sequence to import the selected layers and create a new sequence from them.

4. You can store media cache files in any specified location or automatically on the same drive as the original files (when possible). The faster the storage for your cache, the better the playback performance.

5. You can enable proxy media file creation in the Ingest Settings dialog box. You’ll find these in the Project Settings dialog box. You can also enable proxy creation by selecting the box at the top of the Media Browser. There’s an Ingest Settings button there too.