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Premiere Pro 2.0: Clip Notes, The Editor's Friend

Tutorial Series, Part 1 By Charlie White

One of the most innovative new features in Premiere Pro 2.0 is its Clip Notes review and approval routine. It allows you to export a timeline for approval, where the video is compressed into a PDF file thats easily e-mailed or transported to a client or reviewer. When the reviewer receives the PDF file, all thats required is the ubiquitous Adobe Reader to watch the video and make comments. After entering comments, that file can be imported back into the timeline, resulting in markers placed on the exact frames where the reviewer made the comments. Heres Here's a tutorial showing you how to use it.

First, create a simple project in Adobe Premiere Pro with a shots lined up, maybe with a few cuts and dissolves here in there. It doesnt really matter what sort of segment you create, will just use that as a canvas upon which we will place all of our comments. Once youve done that, highlight the sequence in the project window. Take a look at the top of the interface and select the menu item entitled Sequence, and then click on Export for Clip Notes (see graphic below).

Click Sequence, then Export for Clip Notes

Heres where youll see a dialog box with the heading Export for Clip Notes (see graphic below).

Lets take a look at a couple of possibilities inside of this dialog box. If you open that first drop down list, labeled Format, you can see that youll be able to export the media as either Windows Media or QuickTime. For this exercise well stay with the default Windows Media. Next, in the Range area, you can choose to export either the entire sequence or the work area. In this case go ahead and choose the default, work area. Right under that you have a choice of different encoding presets, and lets use the Low Quality Preset for the purposes of this tutorial, because it will provide the fastest export. 

Underneath that group of lists, youll see settings where you decide how this file will be compressed into a more portable PDF document. There youre offered video options, where the most common choice would be to embed the video into a PDF file and simply email it to someone. Keep in mind, if you have a really long sequence and you want to do a high-quality encode, youll end up with a gigantic file, and it will take you a long time to render that. Another option here is that you can select Stream Video, and then if you switch over to the FTP (file transfer protocol) settings tab you can choose a destination to which youd like to send a particular file via FTP. This way, you can place the file on a server somewhere, and then the e-mail the small PDF file to your user or reviewer. If thats your choice, the PDF will be automatically be generated with a link to that file?so the user can open the PDF file, and the video will be served from the destination to which you pointed. But for this tutorial, just set the video options to Embed Video. Youll see under that a PDF password field where you can enter a password and confirm it, in case youre sending confidential information that youd like password protected. Go ahead and type in a password there, and note that its case sensitive. 

Next, take a look at the instructions field. This is the default text that will appear in a dialogue when the user opens this PDF that youve sent. It greets whoever opens the file on the other side, and analysis that this file uses PDF technology that makes it possible to review a movie and add comments. Customize this however you wish.

Underneath that, you can enter your e-mail address in the Return Comment To field, and thats allows the comments to conveniently be sent to automatically back to you. Lets just leave that blank for now. Click the OK button, and then save this file to the desktop, which will be the easiest place to find it later. Give it a file name that means something to you and then we will move along to the next part. When you click Save youll see that Premiere Pro begins rendering your file into the PDF format. Depending on the size of your project and speed of your computer, it might take a while, about a minute per 15 seconds of video on a fairly fast computer (see graphic below).

Once thats done with its rendering, that render thermometer will disappear. At this point, minimize Premiere Pro, and on your desktop, locate the review PDF that you just generated. Youll need Adobe Reader in order to see this file, so if you dont have that on your system, download it free from the Adobe web site here. Incidentally, when I first tried using Adobe reader to open one of these Clip Notes files, I got a JavaScript error. That can be easily fixed by going to the Help menu in Adobe Reader and selecting Detect and Repair. That quickly fixed the problem. Anyway, when you double-click on that PDF file we created a moment ago, it will first ask you for your password. Fill in the password that you created, and youre in.

Next, youll see that instruction dialogue and once youve clicked through that, just enter the reviewers name of your choice into the window (graphic above). Incidentally, you can import numerous comments from any number of different reviewers into Premiere Pro, so since we would like the editor to know from whom these particular comments are coming, enter your name here.

Now its time to start reviewing the comments. Click the Play button, and whenever you want to enter a comment, click Pause. Youll see that the time code of that particular frame has been entered in the entry field. Next to the blinking cursor, enter your comment. 

After that, when you click Play again, your comment is saved automatically. After youve entered a few comments, drop down the ?Go To box at the bottom of that window and take a look at what youve entered so far.  

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Related Keywords:new features, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, Clip Notes, review and approval, PDF file, Adobe Reader, tutorial, how to

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