105 Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 Questions Answered

A long list of questions from the recent Premiere Pro CS6 for Final Cut Pro editors webinar
Scott Simmons
By Scott Simmons 06.25.12


Just a couple of weeks ago I was the host of another webinar presented by Moviola Filmmaking Webinars. This one was an info packed presentation called Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 for Final Cut Pro Editors. It was one of the most featured packed webinars that I've done as there was so much material to cover. As usual we received tons of questions before, during and after the webinar. I've tried to take most all of them and answer the questions in the blog post that follows. If there's any corrections or updates to any of the questions please let me know. If you missed the PPro for FCP Editors webinar then the on-demand version is now available for purchase. So here we go.{C}

1) Will Premiere Pro CS6 output an OMF file for audio mixing?


Yes: File > Export > OMF will bring up this export dialog box to choose your preferred settings:




2) How to bring one timeline from one project to another?


The simplest method is you have a project open that you want to move a select sequence from is to just select the sequence and COPY. Then open the next project and PASTE. That will paste that new sequence into the edit. Note that all the media that is in that new timeline will get new items created in the project as well.


A more interesting method is to do a File>Import and choose a Premiere Pro project that contains a sequence you want to import. You’ll get an option import an entire project or a selected sequence:




Choose Import Selected Sequences and you can choose exactly what edits to import:




That’s one of the joys of Dynamic Linking amongst the Creative Suite applications, great interchange.


3) Can a FCP project be brought into CS6?


Premiere Pro CS six supports FCP XML so projects can be both imported and exported from Premiere Pro to Final Cut Pro. Export your entire project from Final Cut Pro as an XML and then import that XML into Premiere Pro. You may have to reconnect some media and it might not be a one hundred percent translation but it’s actually quite easy process.


4) How many clips in a multicam can you have while connected to a broadcast monitor using thunderbolt?


I’m guessing the question is really how many clips can play back in real time in the multicam split because you can have many more clips in a multicam and you can play back. How many you can play back at once in real time is dependent on many factors including frame rate, resolution, speed of your Mac but more importantly hard drive speed. The exact number is a bit unknown since I don’t know of a specific formula but if you’re using thunderbolt storage and you’re using ProRes as your codec of choice you will be able to play back more simultaneous streams you can actually keep track of in real-time


5) Is there a comparable Track Selection Tool? FCP shortcut (T)?


Yes, It’s called the Track Select Tool (it defaults to A on the keyboard). It selects one track at a time. Hitting Shift with the Track Selection tool active will give a double arrow that will select ALL tracks to the right. There isn’t an option to select tracks to the left.


You have to be careful when using the select all option in that if you release thee Shift key and click to drag it’ll then select only the single track you click on and deselect the “all” tracks you had selected. I make it a point to change to the Selection Tool (V) after making the selection if I need to click and drag.


6) How can you move a clip to a different layer with keyboard shortcuts?


You’re looking for the option up arrow, down arrow shortcut that Final Cut Pro uses to move clips up and down into higher and lower video tracks or audio tracks. Premiere Pro CS6 does not have the shortcut or a similar keyboard shortcut. It’s too bad as this is one of those little features that Final Cut Pro has that works very very well and is very very useful. Please Adobe add such a shortcut or something similar.


7) Can you rename clips in the browser and have them match the source clips in the CS capture scratch?


Nope, PPro doesn’t have this option to rename “Clip to Match File” or “File to Match Clip” that FCP has. That could be a dangerous option if you didn’t know what you are doing so it’s certainly not a deal-breaker for me … though I used it in FCP quite a lot.


8) How do you reconnect media?


Reconnecting media happens via the Project > Link Media command (or right+click on a clip). It’s a bit unlike FCP in that a clip has to be offline for it to work. Relinking is similar to FCP in that you get a dialog box with a file name the app is looking for:




But unlike FCP there is no option to have PPro automatically search a drive for a clip. That is greatly missed.


There is also a Make Offline command under the Link Media command. With Make Offline you can opt to leave the file(s) in disk or be deleted. Think about Make Offline as being just like FCP’s Make Offline command only you don’t have to option to leave the files in the trash.


9) Can you compare working with Audio in Premiere with FCP?


Premiere is a track based audio editor which means when you’re using the audio mixer and moving sliders up-and-down you are changing the level for an entire audio track and not just an audio clip. You can adjust the audio on a per-clip basis by using the audio volume rubber bands that are available when you twirl down one of the audio timelines. The audio rubber banding works very much like Final Cut Pro where you can and keyframes and adjust the rubber bands with the mouse. Rubber banding and key framing the rubber bands can also be turned on on a per track basis as well.


When you turn on Track Volume or Keyframes the audio rubberband runs across the entire audio track in the timeline:




While some people like this track based audio editing approach better because it allows for a bit more flexibility others do not like the way Premiere Pro works with audio. One advantage is that you can add audio effects such as compression or dynamics to the entire track at a time. This is great for on camera interview when you have all one subject’s dialogue on the same track. You can also route individual audio tracks into the sub mixes and then apply effects to a sub mix. Automation key framing as in automatically recording keyframes as you play back the timeline and adjusting faders on the audio mixer are also possible only per track basis. In Final Cut Pro automation is only possible per clip.


This track based audio type of mixing is how many high-end audio applications works well. Both Adobe audition and Avid ProTools work in a similar fashion. Personally I like it as it gives a bit more flexibility than was possible in Final Cut Pro though I do wish you could have the audio mixer only change the levels on a clip if you were so desired.


10) Do you recommend starting with FCP7 keyboard shortcuts preset or Premiere 6 - before customizing?


I think that’s more a matter of personal preference if you are a very keyboard driven editor or not. I started with the Avid Media Composer set since my FCPs are more of an Avid/FCP hybrid. If you’re very fast on the default FCP keyboard setup then starting with the Final Cut Pro 7.0 setting is probably wise. If you’re a mouse-driven editor I’d option for the Adobe Premiere Pro CS 6.0 keyboard mapping.


No matter what your keyboard starting point is work hard to learn keyboard shortcuts as that makes for much faster editing. Better still map they keys to your own preferences because only you know exactly what you can do to edit fast. Read the Keyboard Manifesto for more info on how I feel about keyboard editing and keyboard shortcuts.


11) In FCP I can choose an In and Out Point on my sequence and then either lift or ripple delete. I can’t seem to do that in CS6. Is it possible?


It is but it works differently, and is a bit confusing IMHO.


If you have clips “hard” selected directly with the mouse then you can use the Delete key to do what PPro calls Clear Selection. For a Ripple Delete hit Option+delete to delete the items and close the gap if that operation is possible.


If you want to use the Lift(;) or Extract(’) option then you have to use IN to OUT marks to define the range you want to Lift or Extract.


I find this approach overly confusing myself.


12) Any way to move the patch with a keyboard command?


PPro calls the patching of audio and video for edit Assign Source.




A search of the keyboard shortcuts doesn’t reveal any option to assign source video or audio so I don’t think so. That’s a shame as the PPro timeline patching is quite clunky.


13) Do adjustments to clips done via the modify> command in the project panel - ripple through to the clips that have already been edited into a sequence (s)?


For the properties of Timecode and Interpret Footage those changes do seem to ripple through to clips already in the timeline.


For Audio Channels it does not and you may be this Master Clips in Use warning if you’ve already used those clips in the timeline:




14) Is there a thumbnail view on the timeline?


When you twirl down and open a video track there’s a small pop-up menu under the output eyeball. From there you can choose different view types including Show Frames:




15) Can I select an edit point and, for example, use a keyboard shortcut to apply a crossfade transition?


When your playhead is parked on an edit use the keyboard shortcuts to apply whatever the default transition is set to. That is, by default, a Cross Dissolve but can be changed by right+clicking on a transition and choosing Set Selected as Default Transition.


If you search the word “apply” in the Keyboard Shortcuts you can see the default mappings as well as an unmapped option to Apply Default Transitions to Selection. That’s a question I heard asked often.




16) Where is the Don’t stop playback command located? In the preferences? Is there on/off toggle for “Don’t Stop Playback.”?


The “don’t stop playback” feature isn’t an actual preference that can be turned on and off. It just works that way as you are playing back in Premiere Pro. Playback will continue when you’re doing many different types of operations such as trimming, adding effects, key framing effects or even doing actual editing in the timeline. Ironically playback will stop if you just click to a different place in the timeline timecode ruler. One would think that playback would continue but in this particular version it actually stops


17) Is there copy and paste attributes in Premiere CS6? If not, what is the work-a-round? Have you found any way to copy only certain aspects of one clip attribute to another? As in FCP, it gives you a dialog box to choose which attribute of a clip to another.


You can copy and paste attributes via Edit > Paste Attributes (option+command+V) but it pastes everything applied to a clip. The only workaround that I see is to paste attributes and immediately use Clip > Remove Effects:




Remove Effects will allow you a limited option of removing certain effects. It’s an inelegant solution.


18) Show keyframing on a video track.


You can see keyframes by twirling down the triangle and opening a view track. There lives a keyframe popup where you can show keyframes, show Opacity keyframes or hide keyframes.




Opacity has its own menu option because I can only assume it’s the most often accessed parameter for things like fading up on a clip. Of note is the fact that with Show Keyframes selected you can then choose what type of keyframes to show on a PER CLIP basis with the clip keyframe menu:




There you can even choose keyframes for things like filter effects as well as the usual Motion, Opacity and Time Remapping


19) What happens if you move a clip? Do the track keyframes follow the clip and also change position or stay and create a chaos on your mix?


When you move a clip the track-based audio key-framing that you have done does not move. This is just the nature of track based audio mixing in Premiere Pro CS6.
You’ll notice that when you have Track Keyframes and Volumes turned on your can’t just grab audio clips for trimming and moving. Again, the nature of track based mixing in PPro CS6. You can still move and trim the audio by turning off Track Keyframes or grabbing and trimming the attached video but the audio track keyframes don’t move.


20) If you send your audio to Audition for mixing, does it retain all of the effects and keyframes from Premiere?


I had always thought that most keyframing and effects would move from PPro to Audition with most things intact but upon trying it out it doesn’t seem to. A clue is in the export dialog box you get when sending a sequence to Audition. It has a checkbox for Clip Volume Keyframe Metadata and nothing else:




That makes me think only clip keyframe translate and upon investigation that seems to be the case.




The above timeline has track keyframes on tracks two and four and clip keyframes on one and three as well as several track audio filters you can’t see.




Above is that same timeline sent to Audition. You can see all the clip keyframing cross over intact but none of the track keyframes translated (I’ve opened the track volume and pan envelopes where appropriate) which surprises me as I would think that would come across. None of the audio effects came across either.


21) Can you sync audio?


Premiere Pro CS 6 doesn’t have an automated audio syncing function like Final Cut Pro 10 has. You can get a version of PluralEyes that works with Premiere though. What Premiere does have are syncing functions such as syncing by markers, timecode, in and out points as well as the ability to align clips in the timeline based on functions such as markers and timecode.


22) Can you master back to XDCam Disk?


I honestly don’t have any idea but here are a couple of links that might help:


An Adobe PDF about working with XDCAM and this Adobe forum post from CS5 about going back to disk. If that doesn’t help a post into Adobe’s official forums might be a good idea.


23) How does Premiere process the difference between interpreting frames 59.94 down to 23.976?


When you tell Premiere to interpret 60 frame footage as 24 it will just slow the footage down by doing a function similar to what cinema tools would do. It doesn’t actually rewrite the media to make it slower it just plays it back at slower frame rate. Unlike cinema tools this is a nondestructive process as the files on disk remain at the original frame rate.


24) What is the fasted way to do subtitles? Do I have to create a new title for each subtitle or can I cut & edit like i do in FCP?


You have to create a new title for each subtitle. Each time you cut a title into two in the timeline it still acts like one … as in if you change the text in one it’ll change in the others as well. Same if you copy and paste titles in the timeline. You can duplicate titles in a Bin and change those to have new and different titles but not in the timeline.


So I think the answer is to create or duplicate a new title in a Bin each time you need a new title and edit that into the timeline. Probably not the speedy answer you were looking for.


25) Can you explain more about blackmagic output? does it plays native with card not CPU?


Premiere Pro CS6 introduced Mercury Transmit which is technology that allows third-party hardware vendors to write specific drivers for this new version. It works very well and works with many different third party video cards. The hardware that is supported in version 6, with the proper drivers, will take advantage of the Mercury playback engine and provide all the benefits and real-time playback capabilities that Murphy playback engine provides.


26) Is/will Premiere pro cs6.0 be optimized for the new Mac Book Pros with retina display?


At the time of this writing I don’t think that Premiere Pro CS6 has been optimized for the new MacBook Pro with retina display. I can’t imagine Adobe wouldn’t optimize in the future as they have already shown that Photoshop will be optimized.


27) I have a FCP project that has multiple streams and will be adding new footage. Do I have to go to the original files uncut and transfer to Premiere with all edits, transitions, effects intact?


I don’t exactly understand the question but I don’t see why you would not want to transfer all of the original files into Premiere. If you want to move an edit from Final Cut Pro into Premiere you can do so by exporting XML’s out of Final Cut Pro and importing them into Premiere. Adobe has specifically designed XML support into Premiere for this purpose. Many edits transitions in certain effects will come across intact. Not everything will translate from one application to another but it’s a pretty seamless process. After the XML import it may be just a matter of relinking the edit to your original footage.


28) How many resources does CS6 eat? Do I need lots of cores?


That’s tough to say overall but being that PPro CS6 is a 64-bit application it’ll take a lot of the RAM you throw at it. I’ve spent some time with the Mac Activity Monitor open when working and it seems pretty efficient at managing resources but I have to admit I have an NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac which allows for amazing realtime performance in the timeline using the Mercury Playback engine.


One thing that I have seen peg the processor and its cores is using the Warp Stabilizer which has to analyze footage first, though it will analyze it in the background.


29) I’m on V5.0 Is it worth upgrading to V6.0?


The version 5 version 6 upgrade is well worth it in my opinion. First of all the new interface is much less cluttered and much more pleasant to work with. They’re great new features like Hover Scrub as well as the Mercury transmit technology which works much better with third-party video cards and other versions of Premiere. It was an easy decision for me when I use the new version to move from the older version 5 that I was using before.


30) Hope to ingest HD video and DV video on same timeline with no RAID system. Does Premiere Pro CS6 support that?


Premiere does support the mixing of resolutions and formats which is exactly what you’ll be doing if you mix HD with DV. You can play back this media without a RAID (especially DV) but the faster your drive the better performance you’re going to get especially with multicam. The faster your media drive the better overall performance you’re going to see when editing. For example’ you’ll play back ProRes Proxy a lot better than you will be able to play ProRes 4444 if you’re cutting with just a FireWire drive. In my opinion, a fast RAID is one of the best investments a hard-core editor can make. As drives fill a drive up with multiple projects at HD resolutions a fast drive can often mean the difference between dropped frames and smooth playback.


31) I use Magic Bullet Colorista II with FCP and I am unable to use it with PP CS6. ie. When using secondary keying, the Colorista window doesn’t park on the frame I’m on in PPCS6. It works fine with FCP. What’s a workaround?


I’ve seen the same problem and I was led to believe it has to do with renders on the timeline. You might try clearing or deleting any renders on the current timeline and try again. But I have seen the issue happen on a completely unrendered timeline. My guess is that Colorista II just isn’t optimized for Premiere Pro CS six as of yet. It seems to work much better in after effects.


32) When I edit multicam in ppro then move to AE is their a way to only show my active camera angle in AE?


There doesn’t seem to be. This Adobe forum thread called “Premiere multicam to after effects” might have some helpful tips though. It seems like there should be an option to collapse or commit multicam clips for just this purpose. Maybe in CS6.5.


33) Want to also know how to maintain synch when you have multiple video clips and many, many audio tracks all synched up with PluralEyes. I have experienced drifting… Have you?


I haven’t experienced any drift at all but all my sources have been matching formats: resolution and especially frame rate. My first question would be just that: do all your formats match? Having PPro perform a realtime frame rate conversion on one clip might cause it to drift. The other thing to look at is drive speed as slower hard drives might drift over time if it’s having trouble keeping up with performance.


Next up: Questions 34 - 67.


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