Adobe Premiere Pro CC

How to create a video story with Premiere Pro

Learn how to use Premiere Pro to edit together different types of media to tell a video story about North American bald eagles. (Try it, 36 min)

FromRichard Harrington

Editing video in Adobe Premiere Pro CC for the first time? This project is for you.

What do I need?

Get files Sample files to practice with (ZIP, 279 MB)

Get PDF Premiere Pro keyboard shortcuts

In this series of tutorials, you’ll use Premiere Pro to edit together different types of media to tell a video story about North American bald eagles. This tutorial is not intended to teach you all the ins and outs of Premiere Pro, but you’ll understand what it does and we hope you’ll want to learn more. No previous Premiere Pro experience is needed, but if you have any problems during the tutorial, please ask questions in our forum.

Note: This tutorial was created for Premiere Pro CC. The project files will not open in CS6 or earlier versions of Premiere Pro. Please download and install Premiere Pro CC to follow along with the provided sample files. If you don’t have a Creative Cloud membership, you can still download the 30-day trial. Premiere Pro CC can safely be installed on the same computer as earlier versions of the product.

First, create your new Premiere Pro project.

The first step in creating any video in Premiere Pro is to create a new project. In this video, you’ll create the project and set up your workspace so you can start pulling together the nature story.

Create a project (0:52); Save the project (1:27); Set your workspace (1:43)

Import the nature photos and media into the project.

Now you’ll bring photos, video, and audio files of the bald eagles into your project. Then you’ll use the Project panel to preview the imported video clips, view information about imported media assets, and organize the assets for use in future video tutorials.

Import the assets (0:24); View the assets (1:41); Organize the assets (1:54)

Create a sequence or timeline and add audio.

Now that you have set up the project and imported media assets, you’re ready to start adding these assets to the project. You’ll also bring in a couple of audio tracks to make your video come to life. You’ll adjust the volume of the music and narration to make them sound great together.

Create a new sequence (1:41); Add audio (2:20); Move between markers (8:00)

Assemble a rough cut.

In this video, you’ll add in and out points to your video clips and use markers to add shots to your project. You’ll learn how easy it is to make changes — such as extending a shot, changing edit points by adding a rolling edit, and adjusting the beginning and end frame using the Slip tool.

By the way, don’t worry about the picture size right now. The imported photos appear cropped when viewed in the timeline. You’ll get to fix that later in this tutorial.

Add shots (0:10); Review the sequence (4:00); Make simple edits (4:28)

Add a title to your video.

Now it’s time to add a title to your video. This helps engage your audience and set their expectations. In this tutorial, you will use the titler to create and style a title asset. You’ll then add the title to the timeline.

Open the titler (0:12); Style the text (0:56); Add the title (2:24)

Enhance your video with effects and transitions.

If not done to excess, using effects and transitions can improve the look of your video and give it a more professional feel. In this video tutorial, you’ll make some simple exposure, color, and tonal adjustments to your video. You’ll apply transitions between clips to help convey changes in time or location between the video shots. As a bonus, you’ll use keyframes to animate a pan and zoom on one of the photos.

Note: Because the imported photos have a higher resolution than the imported videos, they will appear cropped when viewed on the timeline. At 5:12 in this video, I show you how to scale the photos to match the videos on the timeline. The newer Set to Frame Size command preserves the full resolution of the photos without rasterizing them. Either option will work here but I wanted you to know about the more recent media resizing command available in Premiere Pro.

Add an effect (0:22); Apply transitions (3:06); Scale images (5:12)

Export your first completed video.

The final step of any Premiere Pro project is exporting it to a final video. Many video formats are supported. In this video tutorial, you’ll learn about some common formats, presets, and settings and then export your video.

And that’s it — you’ve finished your first project! We hope that you learned the basics of Premiere Pro and that you will start creating more videos using what you learned.

Render the sequence (0:46); Define file settings (1:19); Export the video (2:15)

Let us know what you think

Richard Harrington

Richard is a digital video expert, certified instructor for Adobe, and a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals Instructor Dream Team. He is a popular speaker on the digital video circuit and has served as program manager for conferences hosted by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Follow him on Twitter @rhedpixel.