The Basics of Adobe Premiere Pro: The Guide to Getting Started

By Timothy Brauning on November 18, 2021

Adobe Premiere Pro is a video editing software that has been used for years by professionals and amateurs alike. It can be used to make anything from commercials to TV shows to family videos. This guide will cover some of the basics of Adobe Premiere Pro, so you know how to get started!

Premiere Pro can teach you how to use a timeline, how to edit clips and audio, and how to export your final product.

If you want to turn multiple video clips into a movie, add transitions, add music and sound effects, or add titles to a video, you have come to the right place.

Table of Contents

  1. How to start a new project in Adobe Premiere Pro
  2. Learning the Premiere Pro interface
  3. How to import assets into Adobe Premiere Pro
  4. How to create a sequence in Premiere Pro
  5. How to edit the timeline of a video in Adobe Premiere
  6. Using the source monitor in Premiere Pro
  7. How to Add Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro
  8. How to Add Transitions in Premiere Pro
  9. How To Edit titles in the Essential Graphics panel of Adobe Premiere Pro
  10. How to do Color correction and color grading in Premiere Pro
  11. How to export video in Premiere Pro
  12. Conclusion

How to start a new project in Adobe Premiere Pro

The first step into creating projects in Adobe Premiere Pro is creating a new project. This process is as simple as opening Premiere Pro, then clicking the blue button titled "New Project..." in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

how to start a new project in premiere pro

After you have clicked "New Project…," you will want to name your project and choose a location on your computer to save your file.

Next, choose your "renderer.” If you have a graphics card that is good enough, you will have multiple options. We recommend using the highest level possible to keep the program running at optimal levels.

how to start a new project on premiere pro

For now, we will leave all of the other default settings.

From there, simply press "OK," and you have successfully created your first new project!

how to start a project in premiere pro

Depending on which version of Premiere Pro you have, this initial screen may look slightly different from the picture above; however, the main features are just about the same.

Learning the Premiere Pro interface

After you have created your project, you will need to learn about the primary Premiere Pro Interface.

At first glance, you will get a screen that is made up of 4 different panels. These panels are easily adjustable by moving them around, and adjusting the sizes of each will create a layout that is best suited for your needs.

premiere pro interface

You will start on the default layout named "Learning," however, for our purposes, you will want to switch to the "Editing" layout.

adobe premiere pro interface

premiere pro interface labeled

In the menu across the top of your screen, you have many more options for opening new panels that will help edit the videos of your choosing. For the time being, let's just stick with the default panels that are already provided.

How to import assets into Adobe Premiere Pro

Importing assets into Premiere Pro is as simple as right-clicking the bottom left panel, then clicking "Import."

import premiere pro assets

Once you have selected this, it will open up a window where you can find and choose the files you wish to import into Premiere Pro.

For purposes of this Adobe Premiere Pro Tutorial, we have downloaded stock videos from the internet:

premiere pro tutorial with assets

Select all of the videos or other assets such as photos, music, or audio files that you wish to import for this project, then select "Import."

how to move all adobe assets into premiere pro

In the bottom left corner of that panel, you can switch between views to see a thumbnail or a list view of all the files.

import assets into premiere pro

Congratulations, you have now successfully imported files into Adobe Premiere Pro!

How to create a sequence in Premiere Pro

The next step in learning Adobe Premiere Pro is to learn how to create a sequence, which is the meat and foundation of the project. By Creating the sequence you will be able to manipulate the basic settings of the video, such as the resolution.

By right-clicking on the video clip you wish to start with, then selecting "New Sequence From Clip," you will create a sequence from the settings of the video file selected.

create sequence premiere pro

How to create a sequence in Premiere Pro

With this method, you have now created a sequence in Premiere Pro!

How to edit the timeline of a video in Adobe Premiere

Now we can finally start editing your timeline and create your video.

There are two parts of your timeline:

1) The top half of the timeline contains 3 tracks noted as V1, V2, and V3 which is for video, photos, effects, and other visual effects:

edit the timeline of a video in Adobe Premiere

2) The bottom half contains 3 tracks noted as A1, A2, A3 which  is for audio files such as music, voiceovers, or sound effects:

How to edit the timeline of a video in Adobe Premiere

By dragging a file over from the imports panel to the timeline panel, you can place the video or audio file of choice wherever you want it in the timeline. You can view your video at the top right panel and use the space button to start and stop the video.

edit timeline of a video in Adobe Premiere Pro

You can also drag in multiple video and audio files at one time.

If necessary, you can use the zoom and move features to get a closer look into your editing timeline or move the frame at the bottom and right side of the timeline.

premiere pro timeline

You may also use the cmd+mouse scroll or alt+ mouse scroll to move around the frames.

By hovering over either the right or left side of a clip, you can shorten the video or audio clip to your desired length.

On the left side of the timeline panel, there are more tools. Next, we will use the Razor Tool.

how to make timeline bigger in premiere pro

You can also select this tool by pressing the C key on your keyboard.

This tool is used to cut portions of a video into more than one part. You can see below how we turned "Test Video 2" into two parts.

cut tool premiere pro timeline

Now that you have cut the video, you can go back to the selection tool by either pressing the selection tool in the toolbar on the left or pressing the V key.

From here, you can either move that piece of the video to another part of the timeline or delete the cut-out clip altogether.

If you have chosen to delete the clip, you now have a space without a video. Be sure to either fill that area with another video or delete that space by right-clicking the area and selecting "Delete Ripple."

delete space in premiere pro timeline

Notice there are multiple levels of video. If you have stacked videos, the one with the highest level stack will show before the others.

stacking videos premiere pro timeline

Using the source monitor in Premiere Pro

The Source monitor in Premiere Pro allows you to view and add items to the timeline. The Source monitor displays an item in the top left screen in the panel. To push a video clip into the source panel, double click the video you want to preview, and the video will appear.

source monitor premiere pro

Not only can you preview the item here, but you can also add in and out points.

By pressing the space button, you will play the video. You can create (I) in points and (o) out points using the I and O buttons.

Here you can see the blue in point and red out point.

add in and out points premiere pro source monitor

By dragging the points with your mouse, you can change the length of each section.

By left-clicking the video after setting your in and out points then dragging it over to the timeline, you can add the desired video clip section that you want to your project.

By clicking the “Drag Video Only” button and dragging it over to the timeline, Premiere Pro will forgo the audio attached to the video and only drag it into the video.

dragging video and audio to timeline from source monitor in premiere pro

Adding audio and no video is also possible by dragging over only the audio from the source monitor.

audio file from source panel to timeline premiere pro

How to Add Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro

Adding effects in Adobe Premiere Pro can add more excitement and interest to your project. To do this, follow the steps below:

The effects panel is located in the bottom left panel, where you have imported your audio and video clips.

How to Add Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro comes with a few stock effects and transitions, so we will use some of those to start. We will begin with a few of these, so you know how to use them.

Let's start with the Gaussian Blur:

Gaussian Blur effect adobe premiere pro

Select the Effects panel > Video Effects > Blur & Sharpen > Gaussian Blur

This effect will add a blur to a video and is great for adding titles and text on top of the video.

To apply the blur, click “Gaussian Blur” in the effects and drag it on top of whichever video clip you want to add the blur effect to in the timeline, then double click the video clip to bring it into the source monitor, and select the “Effect Controls” panel in the source monitor:

how to add Gaussian Blur to video in premiere pro

Changing the number of “Blurriness” will add more or less blur to the photo. Selecting “Repeat Edge Pixel” will push the blur out to the edges of the clip.

The “Find Edges” Effect will look for edges of the video and line them out.

find edges effect premiere pro

You can also disable effects by clicking the logo next to the name of the effects in the Effect Controls Panel.

quickly disable effects premiere pro

There are just two of hundreds of possible effects that you can add to a single video clip in your timeline. Each effect is adjustable to your liking in the Effect Controls Panel.

Another handy tool inside the Effect Control Panel is adjusting resolution. Some of your videos may have different resolutions, and for the timeline to be smooth, you will want to be sure that all of the videos have the same.

By selecting Motion > Scale, then adjusting the %, you will be able to adjust the video clip to fill up the frame.

adjust resolution adobe premiere pro

This same panel is where you can animate the video.

To do this, you need to add keyframes by clicking the logo next to each effect.

how to animate video adobe premiere pro

adding zoom to video premiere pro

By adding these “Scale” keyframes, we can add a zoom in or out effect to the video.

There are hundreds of more effects, either downloadable or free to use directly inside Adobe, so be sure to play with more to learn how to use them!

For a better way to learn, see our Adobe Premiere Pro crash course!

How to Add Transitions in Premiere Pro

The use of transitions in video editing is a common technique to create an emotional connection between scenes. A transition can be used as a subtle crossfade or stylized effect, depending on your needs for the project at hand. 

There are many different types available from Premiere Pro with various degrees of complexity - choose which one best suits what you're trying to accomplish.

To add transitions into your video in Premiere Pro, simply return to your bottom left panel, select “Effects”, and find “Video Transitions.”

How to Add Transitions in Premiere Pro

Your most common transitions are in the “Dissolve” folder.

common premiere pro transitions

To apply a transition, simply drag them to the timeline and place the transition between the two clips that you want to use the transition.

In the image below, we have applied a cross dissolve.

add transitions adobe premiere pro

If a transition is uncentered, double click the transition to view the change in the source monitor; many different types are then selected “Center at Cut” to center the transition between the two clips.

centering transitions adobe premiere pro

How To Edit titles in the Essential Graphics panel of Adobe Premiere Pro

Adding text and titles on the graphics panel is as simple as pressing the “Type Tool” or pressing (T) for text. 

How To Edit titles in the Essential Graphics panel of Adobe Premiere Pro

Then, to add text, simply click where you want to add the text to the video in the program panel and type out your title.

add text to video premiere pro

Returning to the selection tool, you can move the title to anywhere you want in the clip.

Now that you have added the title or text, you can see if it displays in the timeline, and you can adjust the length of time that the graphic is shown in the video.

adjust text adobe premiere pro

This layer is called an Essential Graphics Layer.

To edit the text style such as size, font, etc., go to “Window” in the top menu, and select the “Essential Graphics” panel.

edit text font, size adobe premiere pro

Then a new panel will open up.

Select the text field, and make your adjustments.

text field adobe premiere pro

Aligning your text, changing the size and color are just a few of the many adjustments you can make.

align text premiere pro

In this screen, you can also add a new text layer to the timeline and adjust them individually within the essential graphics editor.

new text layer adobe premiere pro

individually adjust text adobe premiere pro

By combining the texts with other effects and animations, you can make the text stand out.

text effects premiere pro

To quickly add templates to your timeline, select the “Browse” tab and you can have pre-made templates that are quick and easy to add.

text templates adobe premiere pro

Edit the animation however you like and it's ready to go!

How to do Color correction and color grading in Premiere Pro

Sometimes you may import a video that can be too dark and need color correction. In this section, we will show you have to make color corrections and change the color grading in Adobe Premiere Pro.

To start this process, open the Luminetri color panel.

How to do Color correction and color grading in Premiere Pro

First, select the “Basic Correction” tab in the panel that opened.

basic correction premiere pro

This tab is for color corrections, and you can adjust exposure to make the video more bright, among many other options to adjust the color and brightness of the video.

If you select the “Creative” tab just below “Basic Correction,” you have pre-made templates called “Lut” that you can quickly use to apply to the video. Use the arrows to preview the settings and apply one that you like.

apply lut premiere pro

 

How to export video in Premiere Pro

Now that you have completed your project let's move to the last part of this tutorial, exporting.

In your top menu, select File > Export > Media

How to export video in Premiere Pro

A new window will open up that will allow you to select settings for exporting, such as format.

Choosing a format that works best for whatever you want to do with the video next is best. H.264 is quite common and suggested by our team.

After the format, choose a preset that works for you. A “High Quality” Preset is suggested for non-online purposes, but if this video is for Facebook or otherwise, choose the preset for those specific platforms.

exporting present adobe premiere pro

Next, select “Output Name” and change the name of the file and folder that you wish to export the video to, then click the “Save” button.

Output Name premiere pro

 

The last setting that we suggest is to select “Use Maximum Render Quality,” then press “Export,” and you have now exported your project from Adobe Premiere Pro onto your computer.

Use Maximum Render Quality premiere pro

 

Conclusion

Adobe Premiere Pro is a great video editing software that allows its users to produce high-quality videos but does come with its hurdles. People who want to learn how to edit videos properly and make them look professional can choose from a number of our classes that cover all types of projects.

If you're looking for professional guidance, enroll in one of our Premiere Pro classes with FMC Training.

Check out our YouTube channel for more!

Join our Facebook group for a professional Adobe online community!

Topics: Adobe, training, Premiere Pro, Premiere Pro Transitions, Premiere Pro Timeline, filmmaking, premiere pro editing

FMC provides quality, consistent and accessible training for content creators and IT professionals.

Our courses are designed to help individuals and institutions meet their goals by enabling them to be on the cutting edge of technology.

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