Ten Essential Moves for Video Editing in Adobe Premiere Rush By Justin Hodgson (with an assist from Todd Taylor)

This guide is modified from Lesson 2 of Todd Taylor's Guides for Video Editing in Adobe Premiere Rush (found here on the Adobe Education Exchange). This guide, much in the spirt of Todd's initial creation, is intended for those who are new (or relatively new) to video editing and/or to Adobe Premiere Rush. It is intended primarily as an extension of the Adobe Creative Campus Collaboration Premiere Rush Workshop (led by Justin Hodgson with support by Shauna Chung).

There are many potential uses for working with Premiere Rush--from homework and coursework activities for students to instructors creating their own instructional media assets--but the step-by-step guide below is designed to primarily as an introductory experience: helping workshop participants learn some key terms, identify the parts and functions, and start to gain familiarity with the interface and the process of making videos.

Additionally, while Todd's initial creation details why/how Premiere Rush is a game-changing application particularly well suited for education, a brief list of the advantages include:

  • Premiere Rush is “platform agnostic,” so it operates essentially the same in both Mac and Windows operating systems, so that instructors and staff only need to introduce, teach, and support one video editing application.
  • Premiere Rush is “device agnostic,” so it operates essentially the same on desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices. Students can capture, edit, and share their videos using their smart-phones, wherever they might be.
  • Premiere Rush has a very flat learning curve, although it is still powerful and flexible. It is much easier to learn than Adobe Premiere Pro and it is much more capable than Adobe Spark Video.
  • Premiere Rush is part of the industry standard Adobe Creative Cloud ecosystem, which makes it easy for your students to move their work into even more powerful and professional applications, such as Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc.

The Ten Essential Moves include the following:

  1. File Management
  2. Creating a New Project
  3. Navigating the Workspace
  4. Arranging Sequences (horizontally & vertically)
  5. Two Ways to Trim a Clip
  6. Basic Transitions Between Clips
  7. Adding Texts, Titles, & Captions
  8. Adding & Editing Audio
  9. Visual Editing - Bridges & Transitions
  10. Saving and Sharing

Instructors and students are granted permission without specific, additional written consent to provide/share/distribute this document for use in accredited, non-commercial, educational settings. This material may not be reproduced, duplicated, or copied for commercial purposes.

STEP 1: File Management

Many of the problems that novice and intermediate filmmakers often run into after they begin to edit their projects can be avoided by carefully managing media assets at the beginning of the project. A media asset can be any media object, such as a film clip from a smart phone or a video camera, an mp3 music soundtrack file, photograph, or a graphic. Such media assets can come from a variety of sources and be scattered all over the place, such as a mobile device, in the cloud, on your computer’s desktop, or your computer’s document folder. To help minimize frustrations down the road, before creating a new project in Premiere Rush:

  1. put all of you media assets in a specific, named, designated folder (Green Arrow), and
  2. name your media asset files in ways that make them easy to be found and organized (Red Arrow).
Steps 1.1 & 1.2 - Create a Folder & Add Media Assets

Step 2: Creating a New Project

It’s important to define two key terms used in Premiere Rush: Project and Sequence. A Project is an edited collection of media assets and Sequences: a Project is like a collection of ingredients (e.g., eggs, flour, sugar) all gathered on the countertop ready for baking a cake. A Sequence is a specific arrangement of media assets within a Project that will eventually be shared or exported as an individual film clip: a Sequence is like a mixing bowl where you add, modify, and mix ingredients to form your cake batter. The only real catch is that in Premiere Rush, when you create a new Project, you actually begin by adding ingredients right into the mixing bowl: i.e., you select a collection of media assets (such as film clips, music, and photographs) that get automatically placed in a Sequence (arranged on a timeline) when you create a new project.

1. Open Creative Cloud Application (Green Arrow), Select Video Category (Purple Arrow), and Click Open on Premiere Rush Application (Red Arrow)

Step 2.1 - Launching Adobe Rush

2. Select "Create a New Project" (Green Arrow) and then find/select the project folder you created in Step 1 (Purple and Red Arrows).

2.2 Creating a New Project & Finding Assets

3. Select your assets, ideally in the order you want them to appear in your Sequence (Green Arrows). Name your Project (Purple Arrow) and click Create (Red Arrow). It will take Premiere Rush a few seconds to prepare the Project and create a new Sequence in that Project.

2.3 Selecting Assets, Naming Project, and Creating a Sequence

Step 3: Navigating the Workspace

In Premiere Rush, you can hover the cursor/mouse over each icon (but do not click) to reveal its name and function.

Step 3 Navigating the Workspace

Step 4: Arranging Sequences (horizontally & vertically)

If you glance at the Workspace illustration above (in Step 3), you will notice on the timeline that there are a number of clips in a sequence from left-to-right, and the second clip is selected, as indicated by the orange border. This shows how Sequences are edited and built from left-to-right, horizontally, across a timeline. Notice how the timeline is also stacked vertically, with different layers, or tracks, on top of each other. The steps below describe the basic ways to build horizontally and vertically and to understand how the different layers and tracks work. Premiere Rush enables as many as four visual tracks, and it displays the top channel as the top layer, which typically conceals the visual tracks underneath. You can have as many as three audio tracks, and you will hear all audio tracks equally, unless you mute or adjust a particular audio track.

  1. Toggle Track Controls so as to see all visual and audio tracks (Green Arrow).
  2. Preview the initial Sequence by hitting "Play button" (Red Arrow)
Step 4.1 & 4.2 Toggle Controls and Play Button

3. Rearrange the Sequence horizontally: Click + drag a clip on Visual Track 1 left or right on the visual track.

Step 4.3 Moving Clips Horizontally

4. Rearrange a Sequence Vertically: Click + drag a clip on Visual Track 1 onto Visual Track 2 (or 3).

Step 4.4 Moving Clips Vertically

After rearranging clips: Horizontal Editing (Red Arrows) | Vertical Editing (Green Arrow)

Overview of rearranging clips

Step 5: Two Ways to Trim a Clip

Original/Raw video clips are rarely trimmed or edited exactly the way we want them to look in the finished product. There are two basic ways to trim them in Premiere Rush: dragging the edges and splitting the clip.

It’s important to know that when you trim/edit a clip in Premiere Rush you are doing so non-destructively, which means that you can always get back to the original clip. The changes you make are not permanent. So, you can click+hold+drag the beginning (front) and ending (back) edges back again to restore pieces that you trimmed off earlier.

  1. Dragging the Edges: Select the clip you want to trim (once selected it should be identified by the orange frame around the clip). To trim off the end of a clip: hover over the edge of the clip until the bracket appears and then click and drag (see blue arrow).
  2. Splitting the Clip: Locate the playhead at the play where you want to split the clip (Green Arrow). Click the Scissors icon (Red Arrow). This will split the clip at the playhead line, creating two small clips. You can further edit/trim these smaller clips, rearrange them, or even delete them (First select the clip to be deleted, making sure it is bounded by the orange frame; then click the "trashcan icon" or press the "delete" key on your keyboard.
Step 5 Trimming/Splitting Clips

Step 6: Basic Transitions Between Clips

Novice video editors probably don’t initially pay much attention to the way one clip transitions to another. This is because the basic “jump cut” transition is so common that we don’t tend to notice it. A jump cut is the simplest transition, and it means that one visual clip stops and the next one starts without any stylized effects between the two clips. But, experienced video editors know that transitions between clips can have a powerful effect on the feel or tone of a project, even though the audience might not perceive the use of transitions. In Premiere Rush, the default transition between two clips is a jump cut, but, if you want a different transition, follow the steps below.

1. To add a transition to both ends of a clip: select the clip (identified by orange frame), select the Effects menu (Green Arrow), and then choose the desired transition effect (Red Arrow). The transition should be visibly apparent in the timeline (Purple Arrows).

Step 6 Adding Transitions

Of note: to add a transition effect to just one end of a clip, click and drag the desired transition to the desired end of the clip in the timeline.

Step 7: Adding Titles, Texts, and Captions

The two most common types of text that appear in videos are titles and credits, and Premiere Rush makes it incredibly easy to add gorgeous titles and text using preset style templates, which include some especially cool animated graphics. The title of your project typically appears at the beginning of the video, and the credits are often at the end. When making and completing an academic video assignment, you need to think very carefully to identify the sources you used, including not just the things you read but also people you interviewed. You also need to consider making your video accessible to people who might not be able to hear your audio or understand the language used in the film, in which case you might want to provide captions, or at least captions or text for key components or ideas. Some video streaming services like YouTube and Kaltura provide closed-caption functions, which attempt to translate your audio track into textual captions.

  1. Adding a Title: Place the playhead where you want the text/title to appear. Click the Graphics button (Green Arrow) and then Add Graphic button (Red Arrow). In graphics menu (on the left), select title template (Purple arrow) and then click Add (Pink Arrow).
Step 7.1 Adding a Title graphic element

2. Editing a Title: Once added to the sequence, the title graphic should appear on the sequence timeline (Purple Arrow). To edit the Title text, select the title clip (if not already selected) and then click on the Title text on the monitor. To adjust the font and color, select the text in the Title and then make adjustments in the Graphics Title submenu (Green Arrow). The same can be done for the Subtitle (Red Arrow) or any other graphic elements (depending on the Title graphic originally selected).

Step 7.2 Editing Title graphics

Step 8: Adding & Editing Audio

If you have a bunch of different clips in your project from a bunch of different situations, chances are they are not going to match perfectly in terms of the way the clips look or sound. One of the more basic ways to help match the clips is to have a continuous voiceover or musical track to connect all of the pieces. Premiere Rush does a good job of automatically anticipating and adjusting the volume of your various audio tracks, but you might need to adjust the volume of some of your audio manually. Be aware that a video clip with embedded audio will locate the audio for that clip in the visual track (such as the talking-head video on Visual Track 1 in the examples above). Additional audio without synchronized video, such as music or VoiceOver narration, will be placed on separate audio tracks (such as A1, A2, or A3). Premiere Rush enables up to three additional audio tracks and I suggest that you reserve audio track A1 for voice-over, A2 for background music, and A3 for “other” sounds.

  1. To Add audio (or other media): Click the Plus button (Red Arrow) and then either select an audio file from "Your Media" or choose one of the available audio elements in Premiere Rush's "Audio" assets.
Step 8.1 Adding Media

2a. If you chose, "Your Media" in the Add Media submenu, select the audio file (Green Arrow) and then click Add (Pink arrow).

Step 8.2a Adding Audio from "Your Media"

2b. While users can cut/trim audio clips in the same ways as video clips, to manipulate the overall audio settings for a clip (from changing the preset audio type to adjusting volume levels), click on the Audio menu (Green Arrow) and then adjust Basic audio elements (Pink Arrow) or work in the Advanced settings and change Audio type (Orange Arrow).

Step 8.2b Editing Audio

3. Adding Voiceover: Move playhead to where the VoiceOver should start. Click plus button (see step 8.1) and select VoiceOver. This will add a round record button (Green Arrow) on the visual track. Click the record button to record. It will add the audio recording to the track as it is recorded (see Blue Arrow). Click record button (Green Arrow) again to stop recording.

Step 8.3 Adding Voiceover

Step 9: Visual Editing - Bridges & Transformations (Scale/Position/Color)

The visual tracks in Premiere Rush can contain videos clips, still images, or title clips; and you can easily edit those visual elements according to size, position, and color. I recommend that in Premiere Rush you first edit the bottom visual track (called V1) to sound as close to perfect as possible. Then use the second visual track (V2) for layering additional visual-transition images placed on top of and across gaps like I do in these examples. I recommend that you use the third visual track (V3) for titles, captions, and graphics. The bottom visual track thus becomes your foundation (V1), which filmmakers sometimes call the “Hero Track” or “A-roll.” The second visual track (V2) is sometimes called “B-roll.” And it’s the interplay and dynamic relationships between these layered visual and audio tracks that makes video storytelling so potentially powerful – it’s how movie magic is made.

  1. Building a Bridge (B-roll over A-roll): Place the Playhead to the left of the cut over which you wish to create bridge (Green Arrow). Locate the clip you want to use as a bridge (either add to project or find already in the sequence on the timeline). Reposition the clip onto V2 over the cut (Orange Arrow). Trim as needed.
Step 9.1: Building a Bridge

2a. Adjusting Scale: Select clip to scale (selected clip will be bounded by orange frame). Select the Crop & Rotate (Transform) tool (Green Arrow) and adjust scale (Red Arrow)

2b. Adjusting Position: Select clip to change position (selected clip will be bounded by orange frame). Select the Crop & Rotate tool (Green Arrow) and adjust position using Horizontal and Vertical Position sliders (Pink Arrow).

Step 9.2a & 9.2b: Scale & Position

3. Adjusting Color: Select clip to change position (selected clip will be bounded by orange frame). Select the Color tool (Green Arrow) and select among presets (Red Arrow) or refine the color via the Edit submenu (Pink Arrow).

Step 9.3 Adjusting Color

Step 10: Saving & Sharing

Step 2 used the analogy of a baking a cake to explain Projects, Sequences, and the Workspace in Premiere Rush. To that end, so far all you have is really nice cake batter. We need to take the final step and actually bake the cake. Once you have finished editing a Sequence, then you need to “Share” or Export it for others to see. Novice video editors sometimes don’t understand that the Sequence that appears on the Premiere Rush workspace timeline is not the same thing as the exported file that might be viewed on YouTube or using Quicktime. Thus, they frequently try to send their friends cake batter rather than cake. But we are going to complete the steps and export the sequence as a separate video file shareable with others.

  1. Saving in Premiere Rush:Projects and sequences are constantly auto-saving in Premiere Rush; so you never have to worry about preserving the latest changes you made.
  2. Exporting a Sequence as a Video: Click the "Share" menu (Green Arrow) to open the Share Settings interface. Select "Local" (Pink Arrow) to save it on your machine. Give it a unique project name ( Red Arrow) and tell it specifically where to store the exported file (Purple Arrow). Once these are all set, click Export (Orange Arrow), and Premiere Rush will countdown the time it takes to prepare and render the new clip for sharing and exporting.
Step 10 Exporting a Sequence
Created By
Justin Hodgson