Know How...

Dec 5th 2013

Know How... 71

Importing Analog Video & Editing with Premiere Pro

In this episode, you'll learn how to digitize your analog content and then how to edit it using a non-linear editor.
Records live every Thursday at 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific / 19:00 UTC.
Guests: Iyaz Akhtar
In this episode, you'll learn how to digitize your analog content and then how to edit it using a non-linear editor.


The project is quite simple and straightforward. First up, find your analog hardware. In our case, Iyaz grabbed an old camcorder circa the early 1990s that would work with the 8mm format. The camcorder itself had analog outputs. So how do we get the video content from the camcorder to our computer? We used Elgato Video Capture, which accepts analog video inputs and ships it over to your PC via USB. It works with both Windows and Mac machines and costs about $80. The hardware comes with capture software that only works with the Elgato Video Capture hardware. You simply connect the Video Capture device to your camcorder via the included analog cables. The software will guide you through the steps to capture the video and check your audio levels. Importing your video will take as long as your actual video. So far, we haven't seen any video capture software that lets you import analog video other than in real time. Video capturing requires about 700MB of hard drive space per hour. There were plenty of real world issues. The camcorder Iyaz used was very old and had some lockups. Tape was regularly pulled from the actual cassette. Don't fear, our friend the pencil was used to rewind the tape into the cassette. If you're thinking about putting off this kind of project, think about how your hardware is aging. Get it done! The sooner, the better.

Organize and Archive

When dumping files to your editing workstation, take the time to organize your assets into subfolders that make sense to you. Typical divisions would be "A-Roll", "B-Roll", "Audio", "Music" and "Screengrabs" - A little organization at the start of your project will help to keep your files accessible for future content projects. When archiving Adobe Premier projects you can reduce the data that you need to backup by deleting the temporary files. These auto-save and render files will be automatically recreated by Adobe Premiere should you reopen the project.

Adobe Premiere 101

Importing Assets

Adobe Premier has two ways to import assets into a project. The first way is to go to "File" - "Import" and select the folder or files that you wish to add to the asset window. The second method is to drag and drop files and folders directly into the asset window. After importing assets, Adobe Premier will automatically conform the files and generate preview files.

Adding clips to the Timeline

Once files are in the asset window you can drag them directly onto the timeling or into the preview window. If you drag the asset onto the timeline it will place the entire clip, both audio and video. If you first drag the asset to the preview window, you can select a piece of the asset to add to the timeline using the "In" and "Out" markers. Once selected, you can add the clip to the timeline in one of three ways: Dragging the preview window itself will bring both audio and video to the timeline. Dragging the filmstrip will bring only the video, while dragging the speaker will only bring the audio.

Transitions and Effects

The lower left corner of the workspace contains effects and transitions - both for audio and video. To add an effect, find the filter your want to add, drag it to the clip you want to change, and drop the filter on the clip. You can then use the "Effect" tab in the preview window to change the parameters of the filter. To add a transition, place two clips adjacent to each other, then drag and drop the desired transition onto the intersection of the two clips. Alternatively you can place the clips in different video tracks, adding transitions to the end of clips, transitioning between layers of the video workspace.

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