Adobe Premiere: Understanding What the Project Settings Mean

When you begin editing a new video in Adobe Premiere one of the first things to determine will be your project settings. What you decide here will create the foundation for your video's post production. Be very careful in what settings you choose.

Create a New Project

The very first step for every video in post production is to create a new project. Open Adobe Premiere. When it has finished loading a window will appear with three options: "New Project," "Open Project," and "Help." Click on "New Project."

The Project Settings

"Action and Title Safe Area"

So now the "New Project Window" will open where you can adjust the project's settings. The first section for project settings is the "Action and Title Safe Areas." Sometimes television sets tend to overscan video images and this setting creates an area that you might know to be in danger of getting cropped out. This prevents you from creating any titles or effects in this area that may accidentally not get seen. 


Next we have to concern ourselves with the "Video Display Format." There are four options to choose from: "Time code," "Feet + Frames 16mm," "Feet + Frames 35mm," and "Frames." If your project was shot entirely in video then you want the display format to be "Time code" because that is how the video was logged onto the tape. If you shot on film and then transferred to video then you would concern yourself with the other options. You would use the other options because once the video of the shot film is edited an "Edit Decision List" is composed and the negative cutter will use the feet and frame marks to physically cut the film into the video you edited.


The audio display format lets you choose if you want to see the audio as "Audio Samples" or have it displayed in milliseconds. Audio is not bound to a frame rate but if you choose to edit in Audio samples then the smallest unit you can get will be the same length as one frame of video. In milliseconds you can trim the audio down to a thousandth of a second.


If you're transferring your video from a DV tape to the computer then this setting allows you to determine what the file format would be for your video.


This determines where on your hard drive the file of the project will be saved.


This allows you to create a name for your project. Choose one that is easy to remember and relevant to your content. 

"Scratch Disks"

In this window you will see a tab called "Scratch Disks." When you edit a project and add titles and effects your computer needs to create a preview file in order for it to play back smoothly. Choose a destination that has a lot of free memory because this file can get filled up pretty quickly.

"Sequence Settings"

Once the project settings are complete it's time to create a new sequence with settings based on the video you shot. Once that is under way you can start editing.

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