Starting Off On The Right File, Part 4

Last time, I demonstrated how things can get pretty messy if you simply import RED footage into Premiere Pro. Error messages, duplicate clips and a confusing bin structure were among the problems.

But there’s also a pretty simple solution: the Media Browser. It usually shows up as a tab next to the Project tab but can also be reached via the Window menu. While its name says “browser” it is more active than that.

Once in the Media Browser, a window shows all your storage devices, similar to what you see in Finder on a Mac or File Explorer on a Windows machine. Click on a folder to see the contents of that folder in the right-hand window of the Media Browser.

At the top of the window are several controls, one dealing with ingest (which I’ll cover another time) and two that help display the files in the window. These are the file type filter and the directory viewer.

The file type filter allows you to limit what files are displayed in the window.

The filter is useful if you only want to import a particular type of file. For example, use this control if you were sent a lot of still graphics and want to import just the TIFFs and not the JPEGs. I typically leave this control set to “All Supported Files”. Then I will only see files that Premier Pro can handle. This prevents the error dialog box from popping up when you try to import RED files since it won’t show the RMD files I talked about last time.

The directory viewer is automatically used to parse out files that are stored in a folder structure. Options range from ARRIRAW to XDCAM-HD and include AVCHD and RED. With the directory viewer enabled, when you click on a folder on the left-hand window of the browser, the right-hand window shows you thumbnails of any media files it recognizes in the folder.

The directory viewer can automatically recognize many of today’s popular media types.

These thumbnails are scrubbable so you can see beyond the first frame or slate. Press the spacebar to play the clip in the thumbnail and you can hear audio, too. Double-click the thumbnail to load it into the source window.

But the Media Browser’s real purpose is to bring the footage into your project. You can simply highlight the clips and drag them to a bin window to import them. That’s it. No error messages, no duplicate clips due to memory card restrictions and no funky folder names.

One thing I should mention is that you do need to drill down into the folder structure to find the clips to import. If you don’t do that, you will run into similar problems with error messages and duplicate files.

I use the “problem” of having to find the clips as a way of organizing my footage. Instead of having one large bin with all my footage, I can create many sub-bins and then drag each day’s clips into those bins.

Take a look at the Media Browser if you haven’t used it to import footage. It helps you start off well organized. With projects getting bigger with more and more footage, that is a good thing.