Managing Your Assets

Open Premiere to your workspace. If you just finished transferring clips to your "scratch disk," they should show up in your workspace's Project window.

But you may have shut down Premiere without saving your project and have just reopened it to find a Project window staring blankly at you--just as it's doing in Figure 4.1. Not to worry.

Figure 4.1. An empty Project window. Fill it up by right-clicking inside it and selecting Import, File.


The Project window is simply a means to help you organize and access your "assets"--video clips, audio cuts, and graphics. The Project folder is basically just a collection of links. Only the names of your assets will reside in the Project window. The files themselves--the video clips and so on--remain in their scratch disk file folder(s).


It's a good thing that the Project window contains only links and not actual asset files. It saves disk space by not copying assets to a new location. This means you can have multiple projects access the same assets without duplicating them. It also means you can delete a project file without mistakenly deleting your precious video clips.

Even when you trim a clip, the original clip remains untouched. Premiere doesn't lop off the unwanted sections, it merely records the data that describes how you trimmed the clip. Premiere is nondestructive.

I'll assume you need to gather your assets. As usual with Premiere you have several ways to do that. Here's the one I like. Right-click anywhere within the white area of the Project window (except for the little monitor in the upper-left corner). Figure 4.2 shows you how this action opens one of several right-click-accessible menus in Premiere.

Figure 4.2. Premiere's right-click menus provide a convenient way to perform many functions. Use the Project window's right-click menu to import your clips to a new project.



Right-click menus are accessible in at least three other currently open locations: the timeline, the monitor, and individual video clips. Give the timeline and monitor each a right-click trial run (if you have any clips in the Project window, right-click a clip icon). You'll see that the right-click menus nearly match the little fly-out menus accessible using those handy little arrows in the windows' upper-right corners.

Unfortunately, they aren't exact menu matches. For instance, the handy little arrow fly-out menu in the Project window inexplicably does not display that window's most important command--in this case, Import. And if you right-click in the gray area or within the little Project window monitor, you can access only a couple options.

Select Import, File and then locate your scratch disk. Once there, select whichever clips you want to use in this project. You can Ctrl-click (Windows) or Shift-click (Mac) filenames one-at-a-time to select more than one clip.


You can import a plethora of file types. Just about any kind of video or graphics file format supported in Windows or on the Mac will work in Premiere.

Now that you've selected your files, you'd think you could just drag and drop them to your Project window, but Premiere won't let you do that. Instead you click the oddly named "Open" button, which closes the Import window, sends the selected filenames to the Project window in the editing workspace, and returns you there.


Double-click in any empty area of the Project window to import files only (this won't let you import a folder full of clips).

Take a look at your assets. Figure 4.3 is representative of what you might see. The icons tell a story:

  • A film strip icon indicates video with no sound.

  • A film strip with a speaker icon indicates video with sound.

  • A speaker icon indicates an audio clip.

  • A page icon indicates a still image.

Figure 4.3. The Project window filled with clips. The icons visually characterize each clip's file type.


Play around with the Project window a bit. Just as I did in Figure 4.4, drag the window's right side to your workspace border. Turns out there's a lot of information associated with each listing. You can sort on each column's field by clicking that column header. Clicking Name alphabetizes your clips, and clicking Media Type groups them by, well, media type. Note that Video Info shows their resolution.

Figure 4.4. Expanding the Project window reveals more information about your clips.


Right-click a blank space within the Project window and select Project Window Options (if you right-click a clip you'll get a clip menu). Figure 4.5 shows a collection of check marks that indicate what columns will show up in the window you just stretched to the right.

Figure 4.5. You access the Project Window Options dialog box by right-clicking within the Project window. This sets what will display in the expanded Project window.


The drop-down list lets you change the appearance of the clips in the Project window from the default List View to Thumbnail View or Icon View.

Thumbnail View displays the first image of a video or graphic along with its name and resolution. Icon does something similar but is more an unordered collection of thumbnails on a page than an ordered list.


As with all things Premiere, surprise, there are other ways to switch among the various views. Check out the little icons at the bottom of the Project window. Let your cursor hover over each one. A tooltip will pop up telling you the button's function. The three toward the lower-right side will display Icon, Thumbnail, and List View, going left to right. You can scroll right-to-left through the clip list by dragging the scroll button in the lower-right corner.

I prefer the list approach. It has more readily available information and consumes less processor power than graphics-oriented listings.

    Part II: Enhancing Your Video