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Unleash the Power of the Premiere Pro Project Panel

Jason Boone

Staying organized is key for becoming a faster and more efficient editor. Here are a few ways to customize your Premiere Pro Project panel for your specific project.

A lot of video editors don’t realize the power of the Premiere Pro Project panel. There are obvious workflow benefits and opportunities to streamline the editing process that come with organization and utilizing metadata. All of this organization and streamlining takes place in the Project panel.

The Project Panel

The Project panel is the heart of your video project. It’s where all of your media assets reside. Graphics, video clips, audio — Adobe Premiere Pro is known for its ability to cater to a wide range of file types. You can view your assets in two different view modes: List or Icon. While in List View, the Project panel displays a row of columns containing information about each media asset. This information is the metadata.

Unleashing the Power of the Premiere Pro Project Panel

Don’t let the word metadata scare you away — it’s simply the information included with a media asset that gives detailed information about that particular file. It’s data about data. Metadata can include a very wide array of information, including the date the file was created, the camera used to create the image, the lens used, exposure settings, etc.

Unleashing the Power of the Premiere Pro Project Panel: List View

These metadata columns in the Project panel can be customized through the Metadata Display window. You access this window by control-clicking one of the columns, or by simply going to the Project panel dropdown menu. Once you’re in the Metadata Display window, you’ll see just how much information can be displayed with an asset. The Premiere Pro Project Metadata section alone has 40+ properties for you to choose from.

Unleashing the Power of the Premiere Pro Project Panel: Metadata Display

A Real World Example of Using Metadata to Organize Your Workflow

Every so often I shoot and edit video content for submission to a stock house like Shutterstock. This includes shooting a variety of takes of the same subject matter, often in slightly different angles and setups. I name the clips with a short and simple description and number. In Premiere, I load up my clips in the source monitor for review and then place them in a timeline to prepare them for export, one clip at a time.

In the beginning, I found myself looking back over into the Project panel, occasionally wondering which clips I had already prepped. If I took a break and came back to the project later, I would have to look through my sequences and find the last clip I had prepped for export. I needed a faster and more efficient way to see which clips were finished and which ones still needed to be prepped and exported. I created a Bin labeled ‘Exported,’ but it was still a bit clunky.

To speed up the process, I added several metadata columns to my Project panel. Using the Metadata Display window, I added three columns: Video Usage, Good, and Label.

Unleashing the Power of the Premiere Pro Project Panel: Metadata Organization

  • Video Usage: As the name entails, Video Usage allows you to see if a clip has been used somewhere within your project. It will show you where and on what sequence the clip is being used, right down to the timecode. You can click and launch that sequence straight from the column. AMAZING.
  • Good: This is a nothing more than a checkbox. By dragging this column next to my clip names, it allows me to quickly check off and see which clips I have used. As soon as I’m finished with a clip, I can check it as Good.
  • Label: This is a simple color. Premiere offers you eight different color options. You can group your clips by color to help keep yourself organized.

As you can see in the image above, I can use just one or all of these metadata columns to keep my project organized and help speed up my workflow. And I’m sure there are additional columns I could use to help speed things up, since there are 1,000 different ways to do the same thing within Premiere. You just have to find what works best for you.

Now that I’ve customized the columns in my Project panel, I can save the layout by right clicking on any of the metadata columns and selecting ‘Metadata Display.’ This way, if I find myself jumping around between different types of productions, I can have several metadata display presets available for quick access.

Unleashing the Power of the Premiere Pro Project Panel: Metadata Display

And finally, if you can’t find a metadata property that you like, you can create your own! Simply click on Add Property and you’ll see that you have four different flavors from which to choose:

  • Integer: a whole number
  • Real: any number including decimals. (Quick Note: You can do real math equations by clicking into the number.)
  • Text: a blank text box for editing.
  • Boolean: a checkbox.

Unleashing the Power of the Premiere Pro Project Panel: Add Property

The possibilities for customization are really limitless when it comes to organizing and streamlining via metadata in the Premiere Pro Project panel. I suggest you open up the Metadata Display window in your Project panel and poke around. You’ll streamline your workflow before you know it!

How do you use the Premiere Pro project panel to keep your projects organized? Share in the comments below.