Part 1 - SetupEdit
Setting up Premiere for editing is pretty simple but might seem daunting if you haven't done it before. You can do without it, but once it's done you can save a preset and use the same setting for every episode of your LP that you edit in Premiere. It’s well worth it to take a minute to set it up properly.
When you start up Premiere Pro, this is the first popup you see, it shows the latest projects you've worked on and gives you some other options as well. We’re setting up a new project so let's click New Project and get going.
We can mostly ignore the stuff in this window, except Location and Project name. Location is where Premiere will save the project and where it kind of expects you to keep all the files related to the project. You can import stuff from other folders than the one you use for Location, but it tends to get a bit messy so to keep everything tidy I usually move all the videos and commentary tracks to whatever folder I input in Location:
Premiere tends to cache a lot of video and audio stuff, so I recommend going over to the Scratch Disks tab and changing everything to Same as Project, this is another step to make sure that everything is nice and tidy. If you want to delete everything from an old project you can just delete the folder and not have to worry about any missed cache files laying some place else on your HDDs. When I started out I didn’t do this and Premiere defaults to My Documents, which meant that after a few month I ran out of space on my OS disk. So make sure you change all these over to Same as project and then mash OK.
Sequence are what Premiere calls its timelines, the window that you use to lay out video and audio, and right now it wants us to tell it what type of video we’re planning to edit so it can setup everything properly. All these folders contain different presets based on different types of video from video cameras. But since we’re not using a video camera we’re better off setting up our own preset. Luckily this is easily done as long as you already know what video you’re going to edit. If you don’t just check your frapsed or captured video in a program like Mediainfo and it will tell you all you need to know. For now let’s move over to the general tab.
Editing Mode might throw a few users off, just leave it on Desktop and you’ll be fine. Once again all the other option under Editing Mode refers to a bunch of different cameras, but we’re not using one. So we’re sticking with Desktop.
I almost always use Fraps and record at 720P 30 FPS, so those are the video settings I’ve used here. You want to make sure that Timebase matches the framerate of your video; otherwise you might suffer frameblending, which is bad. Frame Size is the resolution of your video. Pixel Aspect ratio should be what aspect ratio your video is in. Fraps outputs square pixels, so that’s what I’ve gone for. Field should be on No Fields unless you’re using interlaced video and even then you’re better off de-interlacing before or after using Premiere with an AviSynth script. Display Format controls the timecode on the timeline, you should keep this at the same rate as your video and Timebase settings.
Audio I almost never mess around with, just stick with the basic settings I’ve used here.
You can mess around with Video Previews if you want, but I never had a need to, it won’t impact your exported video in any way. All it does is change the way the preview window in the editing portion of Premiere behaves. It might be worth messing with if you have a low end computer and Premiere is acting sluggishly when you’re editing. But in most cases just leave it alone.
In the final tab, we have a few settings for the amount of video and audio tracks we want. You can easily add or remove both video and audio tracks when you’re editing so this can be left as is. You settings might differ a bit from mine; I have it set to two mono tracks and two stereo tracks as I usually sync my commentary in Premiere. I know my commentary will always be in mono and usually I’ve got a co-commentator so I make sure that my preset starts with two mono tracks. That way I don’t have to add any when I start editing. It’s a timesaver, but nothing really vital.
You’re now ready to save your very own preset, I called mine Tutorial.
Going back to the first tab we can now see our very own preset in the Custom folder, I have a few others already, but you can see the new Tutorial one at the bottom. In the text field to the right we’ve got all the settings this preset uses. It's good for checking to see if you want reuse a preset. For example I use my Duke 4ever preset for pretty much every 720P LP I do, so more general names than mine might be the way to go here.
You can change the name of the Sequence you start with if you want. I personally like to make a new project for every episode of an LP I do, but if you’re going to do all your editing in the same project then keeping track of episodes by naming each sequence might be a good idea. Mash OK and you should be good to go.
In the next chapter we’ll look at the different windows in Premiere Pro and what they all do, and we will probably edit out first video.
Part 2 - The BasicsEdit
Part 3 - ExportingEdit
At this point you should know how to set up a project and some simple editing in Premiere Pro, and should be ready to export a video. Premiere does have its own media encoder cleverly named Adobe Media Encoder. It works outside of Premiere, as in you can shut down Premiere while it's encoding your file and it will still happy keep encoding. It also allows you to queue files, which is nice. It is however not amazing at encoding files, don't get me wront it's not bad. It's just not as good as something like MEGui nor is it as fast. Luckily we can take advantage of both Premiere's editing abilities and MEGui's encoding mumbojumbo without having to export a large video file from Premiere. We do this by using a frameserver.
A frameserver is pretty much what it says, it serves frames from an editing program to any other program, one frame at a time. In reality this means you can take advantage of another encoding program without using a large lossy file as a go-between. Saving you a bunch of hdd space, and giving you the added benefit of having more control over your encoding settings.
Here's how you do it.
Download a frameserver plugin for Premiere, DebugMode's frameserver is the one I use in this tutorial.
Here's a finished video I did for a Super Meat Boy Race, we'll use this for the tutorial. Make sure you've covered the parts of the video you want to export with the workbar, as that's what Premiere assumes you want to export.
Go to File -> Export -> Media , Ctrl+M also works.
This window should pop up, this shows all the exporting options you have, you can export a range of video codecs, image sequences and audio format. What we want to do is use the frameserver plugin.
The nice thing about using a frameserver is that we don't really have to change any settings in the export window, all you need to do is make sure the Format: is Debug Frameserver, and a name for the video file that's easy to remember. I usually use signpost.avi but Premiere will default to whatever you named your Sequence/Timeline, so in this case it's going to be Sequence 01.avi.
Click Queue once you're done.
This should launch Adobe Media Encoder, it's going to wait for 2 minutes to start the encoding unless you click Start Queue, so go ahead and do that.
Which in turn launches the actual frameserver. Everything should look like this when you launch it the first time, if it doesn't change settings accordingly. Then mash next.
At this point the frameserver creates the .avi we'll use in our .avs script. It's created where ever you told Premiere to save the file in the export window.
Make a .avs script in the same folder as the signpost video. It should look like this:
DirectShowSource("Sequence 01.avi") ConvertToYV12()
Open Megui and do whatever you need to do, there are better MEGui tutorials around so go read those for settings and whatnot. Once all that is down, load your .avs script.
This next part might take a while as Premiere, or AME rather, is going to start preloading your video assets. If you click around a bit this might happen.
Not to worry though, just leave it alone for now and it should once it's done show you the MEGui preview window.
This can take anything from a minute up to 20 - 30 minutes depending on the amount of assets and the length of the video. Once the preview window has loaded you can go ahead and queue up your encoding in MEGui and just wait for it to finish.
That's all there is to it, make sure you close the frameserver once the encoding is done as it has no way of knowing if it's finished serving a video or not.