Getting Started with Video Editing in Adobe Premiere

Video marketing is becoming more important for everyone in business, and creative professionals are no exception. But it can feel a bit intimidating to take on the task of video editing in an advanced program like Adobe Premiere Pro. In truth, the interface can be about as overwhelming as the first time you ever opened Photoshop.

But in one way, that in itself could be encouraging. If you’ve learned one Adobe application and become comfortable with it, the odds are that you can learn another one! Adobe Premiere Pro may not share the same tools and menus that Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign do, but you can bring the same “mentality” you have in those programs to this video editing system.

Adobe Premiere Pro is more like Adobe Lightroom in the sense you are processing your video footage with many of the same principles in mind as preparing your raw photo files.

This tutorial video will walk you through preparing and Adobe Premiere Project from start to finish.

Getting Started In Premiere Pro

Video Editing is About Preparation.

Before you worry too much about the Adobe Premiere interface, one of the first things you should do is prepare and get organized. You should set up a folder specifically for copying your footage from your memory card or hard drive and label it appropriately. You should NEVER work directly off of your memory card or hard drive if it is the only copy of the footage. Also, avoid deleting or formatting your memory cards or external drives until you have completed your finished project. This one piece of advice will save you lots of heartache and tears.


I recommend that once you’ve made an organized folder with your footage, then review it and label the individual files. Use a naming convention that includes the original file name at the end in case you need a way to identify files later or lose the working file. You should also consider making a secondary backup of your source footage, either in the cloud or on a DVD/Bluray.

My Usual Video Editing Workflow:

  1. Copying and organizing source footage.
  2. Importing footage and organizing within a project folder.
  3. Identifying footage for subclips or footage to be edited on the timeline.
  4. Arranging and footage on a timeline sequence in the right order.
  5. Adjusting and processing the audio for noise reduction or increasing volume/gain.
  6. Editing/trimming individual clips and footage on the timeline.
  7. Adding any necessary transitions to the A-Roll/Video Track 1
  8. Determining if there is B-Roll or overlay footage to add to Video Track 2
  9. Editing B-Roll Footage on the Timeline if needed.
  10. Adding an adjustment layer to do any color correction & color grading or video effects (non destructively).
  11. Adding a secondary audio track to Audio Track 2.
  12. Mixing the audio tracks appropriately so that Audio Track 1 or my Voice Over Track is clear.
  13. Preview the footage from beginning to end.
  14. Add Video Metadata for SEO purposes.
  15. Export and Render via Adobe Media Encoder in order to keep working on other projects.
  16. Backup Final Video footage, then upload to video hosting site (YouTube).

Here is a Tutorial focused specifically on editing and producing a video rather than getting familiar with Adobe Premiere Pro itself:

Basic Video Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro

Here is a tutorial specifically on color grading and color correcting your video footage:

Adobe Premiere Pro Color Correction and Color Grading

Color correction and color grading will give your footage professional and polished look. It is much the same approach as processing your Camera Raw footage using Adobe Lightroom. However like Photoshop the recommended method for color correction is to utilize Adjustment Layers.

Premiere Pro takes advantage of Adjustment Layers and allows you to apply video effects non destructively to either the entire timeline or to select areas within a time line, giving you complete control of the look for each individual scene.

Tips for Exporting Video Files

When its time to save/export your videos, this is the technical part where people get confused. I cover this in my tutorial videos above, but beginners should take advantage of presets based on what they intend to do with the video footage. If you plan to upload to YouTube, use that preset. If you intend to upload to Vimeo, then use that one. Eventually you will want to learn more about exporting and encoding, but for now, trust the technology to make the best choices. This is similar to shooting in Auto on a DSLR camera until you learn how to adjust the settings manually to get the result you want.


Some Final Thoughts on Using Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is part of a Adobe Creative Cloud membership. With the power of video marketing and its ability to reach broad audiences today, you should really take the time to familiarize yourself with it so that you can leverage it to effectively promote and market yourself as a creative.

Like any tool, the more you use it, the faster you will come to understand it. Even with the detailed workflow I have, a 5 minute video doesn’t typically take me more than 15 minutes to edit, even with background music and color grading. That is the result of years of practice and habit. This is not unlike someone who has been using Lightroom for years being able to process an entire wedding shoot in a 3-day weekend and have the shots come out beautiful.


In terms of basic editing the learning curve is not that steep if you simply want to produce a video that you shot with edits to parts where you messed up a line or took a water break. The video tutorials I’ve put out are specifically meant to help you execute on that type of project within the same day of viewing.

Should you have any questions feel free to reach out in the comments or in social media!

Posted on: July 3, 2015

Roberto Blake

Roberto Blake is a Graphic Designer helping Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses improve their branding and presentations. Roberto also teaches Graphic Design and Adobe Tutorials through his YouTube channel and community. Roberto's Photoshop artwork has been featured in publications such as Advanced Photoshop and Photoshop Creative Magazine. See

1 Comment on Getting Started with Video Editing in Adobe Premiere

  1. Very good video showing the basics of video editing!

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