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Video Editing Basics: How to Sequence Shots in Adobe Premiere Pro

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Read Time: 5 min

Capturing high-quality video has never been easier. In almost all cases, however, the raw video needs to be altered, trimmed, adjusted, and edited, and this is a major road block. 

In this video tutorial from my course on Video Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, you will get a detailed introduction to a key element of video editing: sequencing. You'll learn how to create a sequence and discover a few methods for adding shots to your sequence.

Anatomy of a Sequence

A sequence is an ordered collection of video, audio, photo, graphic and title assets, with a beginning and an end, on a timeleine.

In Adobe Premiere Pro, we have a timeline ruler which shows us hours, minutes, seconds and frames, from left to right. Then we have some video tracks and some audio tracks: every sequence is going to have at least one video track, and any sequence with audio is going to have at least one audio track. By default, when you create a new sequence it will oftentimes put empty video tracks and audio tracks in the sequence so that they're ready to use. 

You can create a sequence in a few different ways. The easiest way is to just drop a media clip right into the timeline panel.

How to Make a New Sequence

Dragging clips over to the timeline window is not the only way you can make a sequence. You can also create a new sequence with the keyboard shortcut Control-N. This gives you a dialogue box with a number of different presets, so you can modify the settings and create the number and types of tracks you want.

But the easiest way, again, is to just drag one of your media clips into the timeline. That will create a new sequence with the right frame size, time base, pixel aspect ratio, and audio sample rate.

A new timeline in Adobe Premiere ProA new timeline in Adobe Premiere ProA new timeline in Adobe Premiere Pro
Drag and drop to start a timeline.

Organized Bins Make Editing Easier

You can take anything from the Project panel and just click and drag that right over in your sequence. You can see as you're dragging there are some lines that show up when you get to the edge of other media clips. With Snapping (S) turned on, the leading clip right will snap to the edges of other media clips. Items will also snap to the play head. This makes it very easy to pull things in from your bins right into your sequence. You can add multiple clips to your sequence at the same time: select the clips, then just drag them over to your sequence. 

Now when you're in Icon View you have some sort options. For example, if you change the Sort Order to Name now you're going to see that the clips are sorted in alphabetical order. Usually I like to have the set to User Order and that way I can jump into the icon view and I can reorder things and then add them to the project in the order of the story. Using the icon view is a handy way to quickly get a visual idea of what these shots look like, so that you can order all the shots without having to open them up and watch them, which is time consuming.

How to Add Three-Point Edits on the Fly

Another way to add clips to the sequence is right from the Source Monitor, which is helpful for making a rough edit while you review your shots.

Double click on a clip to pull it up in the monitor. Click anywhere inside this picture and then pull that down into the timeline to add this shot to the sequence.

Three-Point Editing

You can also do all this from the keyboard, which is very helpful for certain types of editing, like documentary, where multiple shots are part of the same unbroken source file. 

With the three-point editing technique, you set three points: an in (starting) point on your timeline, and in and out points on your source. First, move the playhead to the end of the last clip on your timeline. With the source video loaded, set the Mark In (I) point and Mark Out (O) at the beginning and end of the segment you want to add to the sequence. Hit apostrophe (') to Insert this clip to the timeline. Repeat as many times as needed from your source material.

Three point editing is a fast, efficient, intuitive way to make a rough edit. We go into detail about how to use ins and outs with clips in the next lesson in this course.

Automate to sequence in Adobe Premiere ProAutomate to sequence in Adobe Premiere ProAutomate to sequence in Adobe Premiere Pro
Automate to sequence

Automate to Sequence

One more additional way to add clips to the sequence when you select multiple clips: there's a button labeled Automate to Sequence. When you click this you get a series of options. You can select the order of clips, default audio transitions, and video video transitions. It's a fairly rudimentary way to make a sequence, really only viable for basic projects, but if it works with your project it can save some time.

Watch the Full Course

The full course, Introduction to Video Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, will get you up and running with one of the most popular video editing applications today: Adobe Premiere Pro. You will learn how to organize your files outside Premiere, import your assets, and set up your project. You will also learn editing essentials like how to make cuts, the basics of editing, audio and video effects, titles, how to export your project, and more!

And don't forget to check Envato Market for a huge range of helpful resources for your video projects, from stock footage to motion graphics and more.

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