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A Tour of Adobe Premiere > Creating a rough cut

Creating a rough cut

For many projects, you may want to begin by creating a rough cut of your video program. A rough cut is simply a series of clips assembled in the general sequence you want, with little or no editing. A rough cut can quickly give you some sense of your video program's effectiveness, letting you start making decisions about where to cut, trim, and add transitions and special effects.

If the Timeline window is not open, choose Window > Timeline to open it. You may need to resize the Project window to see the Timeline window clearly.

The clips you imported do not become part of the video program until you place them into the Timeline. The Timeline window is where you'll construct and edit your video program—adding, copying, and moving clips, adjusting their lengths, and so on. The Timeline provides a schematic view of your work by showing where in time each clip begins and ends, as well as the relationships between clips. Changes you make in this window appear in the Program view in the Monitor window.


Premiere also provides a Storyboard window in which you can quickly and easily organize a set of clips, and then move the set to the Timeline to create a rough cut. You'll learn how to create and use storyboards in Lesson 3, “Basic Editing.”

One of the best things about Adobe Premiere is that there are many alternative ways to approach different tasks. Whether you are importing clips, developing a rough cut, or doing any of a variety of editing tasks, you can choose to work in the way you prefer. This Tour shows you only one approach to developing a relatively simple project. Upcoming lessons will describe alternative and more advanced approaches.

When you first open the Timeline window, it displays five separate rows, called tracks, underneath the time ruler. The tracks act as containers for the clips. By arranging clips within the tracks, you create sequences that become the video program you are making. This Tour introduces you to the kinds of controls available for all tracks.

In the Project window, select the Boys.mov clip by placing the cursor to the left of its name and dragging the clip into the Video 1 track when the cursor changes to a hand. As you drag it into the Video 1 track, the clip appears as a darkened box. Before releasing the mouse, make sure that the left end of the darkened clip box is up against the left side of the Video 1 track.

Next, select the Cyclers.mov clip and drag it into the Video 1 track, positioning it just after the Boys.mov clip, so that the beginning of the Cyclers clip is up against the end of the Boys.mov clip.

Likewise, select the Fastslow.mov clip, drag it into the Video 1 track, and position it just after the Cyclers.mov clip. Do the same with Finale.mov clip, dragging it to a position just after the Fastslow.mov clip.

Now you have four clips in your Video 1 track, forming a video program about 32 seconds in length. This is a rough cut, giving you some idea of how your sequence works and what needs to be trimmed, edited, and modified. In the next section, you'll preview this sequence. Before you move on, you'll change how the clips are represented in the Timeline window.

Click the Timeline window title bar to make sure the window is active. Choose Window > Window Options > Timeline Window Options.

For Icon Size, select the middle option. For Track Format, select the second format (showing graphic images on both sides of the filename) and then click OK.

The clip representations in the Timeline change size accordingly. Now, change the unit of time displayed throughout the Timeline.

From the Time Zoom Level pop-up menu, in the lower left of the Timeline window, choose 2 Seconds.



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