Here's an excerpt from the official guide to Adobe Premiere Pro that I co-authored.
This excerpt covers ways of performing common tasks such as playing video clips, including a new browsing feature in Premiere Pro CS6 called hover scrub, and other key topics such as essential playback controls and customizing your monitors.
Note: This excerpt is from the forthcoming book Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 Classroom in a Book.
If you have an older or slower processor, your computer may struggle to play back very high-quality video clips. To work with a wide variety of computer hardware configurations, from powerful desktop workstations to lightweight portable laptops, Premiere Pro can lower the playback resolution to make playback smoother. You can switch the playback resolution as often as you like, using the Select Playback Resolution menu on the Source (and Program) monitor.
At the bottom left of the Source monitor, a timecode display shows the current position of the playhead in hours, minutes, seconds, and frames (00:00:00;00).
At the bottom right of the Source monitor, a timecode display shows the total selected duration for your clip. Later, you’ll be adding special marks to make a partial selection. For now, it shows the complete duration.
Old-style CRT monitors crop the edges of the picture to achieve a clean edge. If you are producing video for a CRT monitor, click the Settings (spanner icon) button at the bottom of the Source monitor and choose Safe Margins. Premiere Pro displays white outlines over the image.
- The outer box is the Safe Action zone. Aim to keep important action inside this box so that when the picture is displayed, cropping does not hide what is going on.
- The inner box is the Title Safe zone. Keep titles and graphics inside this box so that even on a badly calibrated display, your audience will be able to read the words.
- Click back into the Settings button at the bottom of the Source monitor and choose Safe Margins to turn them off.
Essential playback controls
Let’s look at the playback controls.
- Double-click the shot 16_6B in the Double Identity bin to open it in the Source monitor.
- At the bottom of the Source monitor, there’s a yellow playhead marker. Drag it along the bottom of the panel to view different parts of the clip. You can also click wherever you want the playhead to go, and it will jump to wherever you click.
- Below the clip navigation bar and the playhead, there is a scrollbar that doubles as a Zoom control. Drag one end of the scrollbar to zoom in on the clip navigator.
- Click the Play button to play the clip. Click it again to stop playback. You can also use the spacebar to play and stop playback.
- Click the Step Back and Step Forward buttons to move through the clip one frame at a time. You can also use the left- and right-arrow keys on your keyboard.
- Use the J, K, and L keys to play your clip.
Customizing the monitors
To customize your monitors, click the Settings button on the Source monitor. This menu gives you several different display options for your Source monitor (the Program monitor has a similar menu). You can choose to view waveforms and vector scopes to analyze your video.
For now, we just want to know how to get regular video on-screen. Make sure Composite Video is selected in this menu. You can add or remove buttons at the bottom of the Source monitor.
- Click the Button Editor button at the bottom right of the Source monitor. A special set of buttons appears.
- Drag the Loop button from the floating panel to the right of the Play button on the Source monitor, and click OK.
- Double-click the di05c_compv_02 clip in the Double Identity bin to open it in the Source monitor.
- Click the Loop button to enable it, and then play the video using the spacebar or the Play button on the Source monitor. Stop the playback when you have seen enough. With Loop turned on, Premiere Pro continuously repeats playback.