An Easier Transition from Media Composer to Premiere Pro

Josh Short, long time Media Composer editor gives us an insight from his experience of using Media Composer to Premiere Pro editing. You don't want to miss this helpful read on these editing software's.

Tips for Switching to Premiere Pro from Media Composer

I let out a sigh and leaned over to pick up the mechanical pencil that had fallen off my desk. My fist was still clenched from hitting it on the desk seconds earlier in frustration. All I wanted to do was make an Add Edit just like I would have in Media Composer. Today, four months later, I now know to hit Cmd+K. But as someone who has spent the past seven years using Media Composer 40+ hours a week starting fresh in Premiere Pro had me feeling frustrated to say the least. That’s why this post exists – so as a longtime Media Composer editor learning Premiere you have better expectations than I had. Like most freelancers we have to constantly learn new skills and new software in order to keep finding work. In my case, I needed to learn Premiere. Years of Media Composer usage left me with habits tattooed on the way I think about using an NLE. The transition hasn’t been easy but it is doable. In this post I’ll share some of the main concepts to wrap your head around when you jump into Premiere for the first time. Then I’ll give some props to what I’ve been enjoying about Premiere and also lament the features that I miss which I had in Media Composer. Legos vs. the Sandbox Think back to when you were 6 years old. Maybe you were like me and you had a small table in the corner of your family room with all your Legos on it. Brick by brick you’d snap the pieces together. You’d build your castle or house or fort one brick at a time, each having a specific job. You’d pop the yellow head off of one of the knights, put armor on him then press his head back onto his body. Using Premiere feels a lot like this. Each clip in your timeline is like a Lego piece. The mouse is an extension of your hand and clip by clip you are building your digital castle or house or fort. Your Lego pieces are part of the whole, but in reality they are individual pieces. While you could think about Media Composer in the same way, when you compare it to Premiere working in Media Composer feels more like building a sandcastle in a sandbox. For better or worse, each frame is a grain of sand. You feel that type of control in Media Composer. Each feature of your sandcastle is a clip. You can remove a tower and make a different tower but you are forever conscious that the tower is connected to the entire castle. Let’s take this thinking down from 10,000ft and talk some specifics. At the end of the day you are still using an NLE and it’s going to act in ways that you are familiar with. Take your clip from a bin, put it into the Source Monitor, find an in and out point then edit it into your sequence. Repeat. One big difference though is that when you actually hit the period key and do an Overwrite Edit. When you have four edit points (an in and out point in both the Source Monitor and on the fitcliptimeline) a dialogue box will pop up. This doesn’t happen in Media Composer. The dialogue box called Fit Clip will let you decide which edit point to remove. This box will also pop up if the Source clip doesn’t have enough footage to fit the in and out points in the timeline giving you the option of slowing down the clip in order to make it fit – think like an automatic Fit-to-Fill in Media Composer. In Media Composer it’s assumed by default you don’t want to use the Source’s out point. So each time you do an Insert or Overwrite Edit you also have to make a selection in this dialogue box. You can turn it off. However, even I have to admit, it’s kinda handy sometimes. This dialogue box is a microcosm for how I feel about working in Premiere – it’s kinda handy sometimes. Let’s brush the sand off and get into some more specifics. [Continue Reading...]

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