Adobe Premiere: How To Use the A/B Editing Workspace

Those new to editing may have some difficulty wrestling with the dizzying number of options in Adobe Premiere. If you've had some experience with other software in the past, the adjustment may not be as cumbersome. One of the most notable tools that make Adobe Premiere stand out is its A/B Editing Workspace. Where most editing software simply has a single-track or linear editing timeline, Adobe Premiere provides the option for A/B Editing Workspace. This is more recommended for those starting out with the program.

A/B Editing in Adobe Premiere operates on the non-digital premise that video editing started out with. In the days before computers and digital technology, editing consisted of an A-Roll and a B-Roll. With two tape decks hooked up to a master output, editors would manually scan through their A and B materials, and add transitions in real-time as their edit is being dubbed out. Though there's no need to create an A-Roll and B-Roll in Adobe Premiere, the program gives you an A-Track and a B-Track to help you visualize your edits. Here's how to effectively use this A/B Editing Workspace in Adobe Premiere.

Step 1: Launch Premiere and Choose A/B Editing Workspace

When you first launch the program, it will ask you for this option. A/B Editing Workspace is the default setting of Premiere. If you find yourself in the single-track timeline, simply go to Window > Workspace > A/B Editing.

Step 2: Import and Organize Your Files

Through the Project Window, you can import files located in your computer. Here, you can collate videos, images, pictures, music and graphics that you want to use in your project. You can organize these into bins for easier access.

Step 3: Place Clips on the Video 1A Track on the Timeline

Here's when you really start editing. You will notice in the timeline that you have Video 1A, Video 1B and above all that is Video 2. The higher you go up the timeline, the more priority your video will get. So, if you have overlapping clips in one column, the clip on the highest timeline will be the one to appear. If you want to place transitions between two clips, focus on tracks Video 1A and Video 1B.

Step 4: Place Your Transition on Transition Track

This is located below Video 1A track. Here, you more clearly visualize the first scene or clip transitioning into the second clip. Place your first clip on Track 1A, determine the transition you want to use and its duration, and place that on the Transition track. Make sure that the end frames of your clip and the transition are aligned. Then, place the second clip on Track 1B, with the first frames of the transition and clip perfectly aligned.

Step 5: Customize Your Transition

Double click on your chosen transition to assign the attributes. Make sure that the transition is set properly. You can have the clips transition from Video 1A to Video 1B and vice versa. 

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