I love tips. There’s nothing like a good tip to save time and make me feel like I’m a power user.
Here are several tips that save me time every time I edit in Premiere. Some of these have been around for a long time, however, one is brand new with the latest version of Premiere. And, like all good editing, the tips start long before you start adding clips into the Timeline.
This first tip is brand new. In the past, when you added a new clip to the Timeline, Premiere displayed it at 100% size. This isn’t bad, but, costs us time and energy when we reframe it.
NOTE: There was a default preference setting for image scaling, but it only made things worse because it never reset the Scale parameter, as well as reducing the image quality if you needed to zoom into the image to create a new frame.
Today, we often shoot 4K media to edit into an HD project. Displaying these clips at 100% size means that we need to scale them before we can edit them.
Now, with the latest version of Premiere, go to Preferences > Media and change the Default Media Scaling from None to Set to Frame Size.
This scales the image to fit the project frame size, without damaging quality AND shows the amount the image was scaled in Effect Controls.
I am a fan of list view for projects and thumbnail view for media. However, the fact that the Project pane displays everything alphabetically sometimes drives me nuts.
So, I start all sequence names with a space, which means that sequences always bubble up to the top of the Project pane, regardless of how media clips are named.
NOTE: You could also use a number, letter or symbol, but that just looks tacky.
It’s true. I’m a keyboard shortcut junkie. BUT, here’s something even faster. Double-click anywhere inside the Project pane to display the Import Media dialog.
This is a great tip when you know exactly what you want and where it’s stored. If you don’t, use the Media Browser.
NOTE: You could also Control-click inside the Project pane and choose Import, but that’s pretty boring.
Drag a clip on top of the New Item icon in the lower right corner of the Project pane to create a new sequence AND match the sequence settings to the clip.
The New Item icon turns blue when it senses a new clip on top of it.
A nest allows us to add a sequence into a sequence; for example adding the opening credits to a program.
A fast way to nest a portion of a sequence into another is to switch to thumbnail mode in the Project pane, hover-skim the thumbnail, then set an In and Out for the section of the clip you want.
Then, drag the sequence from the Project pane into the Timeline to add just that section to your edit.
If you need to move a clip, or a group of clips, precisely, use timecode. Be sure the clips you want to move are not blocked by other clips in the direction you want to move.
Select the clips you want to move, then type the + key to move clips to the right, or – key to move clips to the left.
You don’t need to add punctuation, nor worry about math. Enter +90 to move 90 frames to the right, or -2000 to move twenty seconds left. Premiere will do the math for you.
If you need to select one side of a linked clip – say, just the video or just the audio – hold the Option / Alt key prior to clicking. This gives you the option of selecting just one side of a clip.
Sometimes, we need to move just the audio side of a linked clip up or down in the Timeline. Dragging won’t do this. We need another option.
Ah, yes! Press the Option / Alt key to select one side of a clip, then, while still pressing the Option key, type either the Up/Down arrow keys to move the selected clip up or down.
NOTE: You can’t move audio up into the video tracks and you can’t move video down into the audio tracks. And if you move a clip up when there’s another clip on the higher track, the lower clip will erase the higher clip.
I hope you enjoy using these tips as much as I do. Feel free to share your own favorites in the Comments section below.
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