3.1 Importing stills for a slide show type video.
Make sure you note the bugs above when dealing with footage with different
pixel aspect ratios (PAR).
If you are outputting for the web or CD-ROM so your video will be display on a
square pixel device (a computer monitor) you can just bring in your stills in the
bin and drag to the timeline. Nothing special needs to be done.
If your output is to DV, you need a little extra work. More technical details are
above in section 2.1 Here are the general steps you need:
1. Crop or matte your stills so the image size width to height ratio in pixels
matches your final output display size width to height ratio. For normal
TV's, this is 4:3. Examples are 640x480, 720x540, 1024x768, etc. Adobe
Premiere has a max size of 4000x4000.
2. If you are importing lots of stills, you should set the default setting under
"Edit -> Preferences -> General and Still Image". Set the default duration
to the time (in frames) you want each image to be. 150 frames is about 5
seconds. Make sure "Lock Aspect" is turned OFF.
3. Use "File -> Import -> File..." or "File -> Import -> Folder..." to bring your
stills into the bin. If you have all your stills in a single folder (with nothing
else there) use the "Folder..." option. It will create a folder in your bin and
put all the stills in it.
4. Drag your images to the timeline. If you have all your images in a folder in
the bin, you can drag that entire folder to the timeline to add them all at
Because you had selected not to "Lock Aspect" in preferences, your stills will not
have "maintain Aspect ratio" checked. The will stretch the still to the size of the
video frame. When it is displayed on the TV, the stills will be correct.
In version 6.5 of Premiere, because the pixel aspect bug has been fixed, you
can skip step 1 above as long as you turn ON "Lock Aspect" in step 2. This is a
HUGE time saver! You can pretty much drag and drop your stills to the timeline
and render without doing anything else.
3.2 Picture in Picture
1. Place one clip on the timeline on the "Video 1A" or "Video 1B" track. This
will be the background video.
2. Place your second clip on "Video 2" track or above.
o You have a few options here:Use "Clip -> Video Options ->
Motion..." and set the begin and end time to the same settings
(position and zoom). Use a zoom value of less than 100% (maybe
around 25%) for the smaller images
o Use the effect "Perspective -> Transform" and set the "Scale Width"
and "Scale Height" to the same values (maybe around 25%). Set
the "Position" where you want the video to be placed.
Note that you can overlap many videos on top each other on the Video 2+ tracks
and set the positions/size as above to get some really cool effects (multiple
videos play and moving around, etc.) Set different keyframes for position, scale,
and rotation to add even more complexity to your video.
3.3 Slow motion
The easy answer... Use "Clip -> Speed" to a value less that 100%
For better quality slow motion, there are plugins that you can purchase that does
some better field/frame interpolation. Just remember, when you slow down a
video, you are adding frames to the video. The frames are completely made up
out of thin air (or bits). The better the algorithm that you use for the slow motion
(looking at the fields of a frame) the better your video will look.
3.4 Make video play backwards
Set the speed to a negative percentage. -100% will play normal speed
backwards. -50% will play half speed backwards.
3.5 How do I add a transition?
You place a clip on the "Video 1A" track and the other on "Video 1B" track. Make
sure the clips overlap the amount you want your transition to be (30 frames is a
good number). Drag a transition from the "Transitions" pallet to the area between
the two clips where they overlap. Some transitions have some really nice options,
so make sure you double click them (on the time line) to see what they can do. If
you cannot decide what transition to use, just pick "Cross Dissolve". Do not get
overwhelmed by all the choices. Cuts and cross dissolves are probably all you
really need to use 98.7% of the time.
3.6 I do not see any transitions (effects etc.), just an "X" in the monitor window.
Unless you have a real-time card, you will have to render your transitions to see
them. You can do a "render scrub" by holding down the [Alt] key while scrubbing
the timeline. That should get what you want. You can also "preview" your timeline
video (just hit [Enter]). That will actually render frame by frame using your project
settings to temporary files, then Adobe Premiere plays the final render.
For more information, check out: "Help -> Editing Video -> Previewing a video
... then for more info click at the bottom -> "Previewing by scrubbing the time
3.7 What is 4:3, 16:9, etc.?
When people talk about 4:3 and 16:9, they are talking about the width to height
ratio of the actual TV display. For DV (NTSC) the frame size is 720x480. Notice
that this is not 4:3 or 16:9! Yet it is used as the format for output to both of these
display sizes. How can this be? Well, the content is stretched in different ways so
that when the 720x480 image is stretched to the size of the correct TV, it looks
correct. This is where pixel aspect ratio (PAR) comes into play (see 3.9 below).
3.8 What is drop frame coding?
Drop frame timecode is used so that the time code on your video matches actual
time (time code of 4 minutes is really 4 minutes into the tape). The reason for this
adjustment is that NTSC is NOT 30 frames per second, but 29.97 frames per
second. The time codes for frames 00 and 01 are skipped at every one minute
mark, except for every ten minute mark (including the start at 00;00;00). If this
adjustment is not used, the time code will be off by a few seconds after only a
few minutes. This can cause very bad problems with audio sync. For more
details, check out
3.9 What the heck is pixel aspect ratio?
Pixels do not have any size, they are points, but when displayed on different
types of display systems, the points that makes up the content is converted to
some electrical (on a TV) or mechanical (when printed on paper) form to display
the value of that point. This is the only time a pixel has a size. Because of the
way pixels are displayed on TV screens throughout the world, they will be
"shaped" differently. This is mostly an analog conversion artfact that lets the
display a bit more resolution in width or height. In NTSC DV, the specifications
are for a 720x480 pixel frame. This gets displayed on a 4 to 3 size ratio display.
720/480 = 1.5 does not equal 4/3 = 1.333. To account for this, the horizontal line
on a TV is squeezed a little bit to fit the screen. The pixels will be smaller in width
than in height.
This is really just a rough explanation, but is still pretty hard to understand at first.
There are many other factors that go to work in the real world of digital and
analog video. To learn more (or be more confused) check out this great site:
A Quick Guide to Digital Video Resolution and Aspect Ratio Conversions
Square and Non-Square Pixels
You may want to check out the Premiere manual (paper or electronic) for a
different explanation. Just look in the index for "pixel aspect".
3.10 Will Premiere automatically detect scenes when capturing from DV?
No. DV is a really cool format. When recording, most cameras will store extra
information in the video stream. When playing back, you should be able to
determine scene breaks based on the date and time stored in the data
stream.Any time there is a discontinuity in the date / time, you know the camera
was stopped and started again. Unfortunately, Premiere 6.5 does not do this!
Some capture cards come with deticated software to do this. You can also
purchase third party software that does a really good job of working with batch
capture. Try Scenalyzer.com. It will do a "fast forward" record in about 5 minutes
to find all the scenes on a 60 minute tape. You can then select the clips you want
and do a batch capture. A few features that I would like to see is a way to catalog
the scenes in a tab delimited format that would allow you to import into
spreadsheet, database or even Premiere. Nother cool feature would be the ability
to export thumbnails and create an HTML page with the information. Greate for
saving in a database or printing out and storing with the tape.
3.11 Why does Premiere tell me my disk is full? I have plenty of space left!
Depending on how your system in configured, you may be hitting a 2 gigabyte
limitation to the size of a single file. You must be using Premiere 6.x and an
advanced file system such as NTFS on Windows NT/2000/XP or HFS+ on a
Mac. This will allow you break the 2 gigabyte limit. Here is the Adobe technote for
3.12 Where is the "Save for web" option in Premiere 6.5?
As mentioned in section 1.9, Premiere 6.5 no longer includes the Cleaner EZ
product which supplied the "Save for web" feature. If you have version 6.0 of
Premiere, you may be able to copy it over to the 6.5 directories and get it to work.
It will not work correctly under WinXP or Mac OSX.
3.13 What do the different pixel aspect formats look like?
You can see the differences in the formats here:
These are a few examples of images in different format sizes related to digital
video and digital video editing. Some notes also talk about how you should
handle the different formats using Adobe Premiere 6.5. Please note that Adobe
Premiere 6.5 is the first version of Premiere to correctly handle pixel aspect ratio
(PAR). Version 6.0x had a few bugs.
Here is a hint to those working in Adobe Premiere. Your project settings should
match your final output format and may not be what you clips are! If you are
going to display on a 16:9 TV, use a 16:9 Widescreen project setting. Make sure
all your clips have the correct pixel aspect ratio (change it if you need to). When
you put the clips on the timeline, make sure "maintain pixel aspect" is turned on.
Just remember that you may not want to output to a 16:9 display format if the
majority of your content is 4:3 in size. You will end up with black bars on the left
and right. Choose your final display format carefully and make your project match
Lets start with a 16:9 image (a). When we say 16:9, we talk about the ratio of the
size of the image (width to height). Because of the way digital formats for NTSC
(and PAL for that matter) handle the content, your video file will look stretched
when played on a device that does not correct for PAR. Image (a) could be any
image that is 16:9 in size ratio (1600 pixels wide by 900 pixels tall is an easy
example). All of the standard HDTV formats are square pixels which makes
working with digital video on a computer MUCH easier, but for now, a bit more
Image (a) - 16:9 display image.
Image (a) will look this way on a 16:9 TV. There is no distortion (stretching) of the
image in any direction.
Now lets place that into a Premiere 6.5 project set to DV Widescreen to get
image (b). This is what we mean by anamorphic video. Notice how everything is
stretched top to bottom (tall).
Image (b) - 16:9 DV Widescreen (Anamorphic)
image. This is how an anamorphic video would
look when played on a device that does not
correct for pixel aspect, such as your computer
using Windows Media Player. Note that if the file is
properly tagged as 16:9 DV Widescreen
(Anamorphic) pixel aspect, then Premiere 6.5 will
actually correct it when you preview it in Premiere.
The preview is strictly for display and does not
change the file.
If we wanted a 16:9 image to be displayed on a 4:3 TV, we can either crop (see
image (e) below) it or add a matte around the image to make it fit a 4:3 TV. This
a Letterbox image (c) as it would be displayed on a standard TV.
Image (c) - 16:9 Letterbox display image.
This is how a 16:9 letterbox image should
look on a standard 4:3 TV. The black matte
(bars on the top and bottom) let the 16:9
image fit inside a 4:3 TV without and
distortion or cropping of the original.
Image (d) - 16:9 Letterbox DV image. This is how
letterboxed 16:9 video would look when played on
a device that does not correct for pixel aspect,
such as your computer using Windows Media
Player. Note that if the file is properly tagged as
4:3 Standard DV pixel aspect, then Premiere 6.5
will actually correct it when you preview it in
Premiere. The preview is strictly for display and
does not change the file. The preview would look
like image (c).
Moving on to standard 4:3 content. Image (e) is what we would see if we had just
a plain old 4:3 image displayed on a 4:3 TV. Notice that we loose some of the
content (left and right). This cropping is what is refered to as pan-and-scan. For
movies to be formated for your TV, the director (hopefully) decides what is most
important to the video and that is the part you see.
Image (e) - 4:3 Standard display.
The DV NTSC format is 720x480 pixels. This is not 4:3 in size. This is what they
say the pixels are not square, the are rectangular (taller than wide). the 720x480
pixel video file is used for both DV Widescreen and DV Standard. For DV
Widescreen, the pixels are also rectangular, but wider than tall. For image (f),
notice how the image looks stretched left to right. Treating the pixels as square
causes this. When the video is played on a 4:3 TV, you can think of the pixels as
being sqeezed left to right so that the video fits into TV display.
Image (f) - 4:3 Standard DV image. This is how
standard 4:3 video would look when played on a
device that does not correct for pixel aspect, such
as your computer using Windows Media Player.
Note that if the file is properly tagged as 4:3
Standard DV pixel aspect, then Premiere 6.5 will
actually correct it when you preview it in Premiere.
The preview is strictly for display and does not
change the file. The preview would look like image
Now for something fun! Let put a 4:3 image onto a 16:9 display. Just like the
reverse (16:9 on a 4:3 display above) you either have to crop the image (cutting
off the top and bottom) or matte the image on the left and right. Matting the
image in this way is usually refered to as "Windowbox" video.
Image (g) - 4:3 Standard DV image in a 16:9 display.
Now what would the raw DV Widescreen (Anamorphic) video of image (g) look
like if it was not correct for PAR? We would see image (h).
Image (h) - 4:3 Standard DV image in a 16:9 DV
Notice how images (g) and (h) compare to the first two images (a) and (b). The
4:3 version have the left and right sides cut off.
Ok, now for a few special cases. These will only be presented in a display
example and the stretching will be similar to above. When an image is
letterboxed or windowboxed, you are creating a new video. Letterbox video (a
16:9 image on a 4:3 display) is longer purely widescreen. It becomes standard
video with black at the top and bottom. The same holds for windowbox video (a
4:3 image on a 16:9 display). If you take these letterbox and window box formats
and bring them into a project of their original format (letterbox into a 16:9 display
and windowbox into a 4:3 display), you get the following two images (i) and (j).
Basically a matte all the way around the original image.
Image (i) - A 16:9 image was letterbox into a 4:3 video
which was then put into a 16:9 widescreen video.
Image (j) - A 4:3 image was windowboxed
into a 16:9 video which was then put into a
4:3 standard video.
There are a few issues that I have not covered. The biggest is the problem of
interlacing. When you are changing pixel aspect ratios, anything that changes the
height of the original image has the potential of severe interlacing problems. This
is because when you make the height shorter, you are getting rid of lines of
video. This make some interlaced lines display out of order. There are probably
some very complex things you can to to fix this, but the easy thing to do is test
your video and apply deinterlacing to the clips that have the problem. You will
see this the most when going from a 16:9 image to a letterbox 4:3 video.