Premiere Basic - class 1.

Handout the booklist and the overview of file formats. First, cover the booklist briefly, and then go over some details of fps of NTSC and PAL as it relates to 60 cycle and 50 cycle AC power: the North America and Europe power systems. Secondly, point out the 18 fps of silent film in the 20's and the increase to 24 fps in the 30's for sound quality. In the 1930's the TV and broadcast industry was not a consideration to filmmakers. Lastly take note of NTSC 29.97 fps as an engineering method to allow the color subcarrier to run with the sound subcarrier without interference 1. The National Television Systems Committee of 1953 was concerned only with a broadcast signal that would transmit both the color and the black and white signal in a single carrier. Now that filmmakers use digital editing systems, the joining together of film image capture and video image capture is common, but the awkwardness of reconciling 24 fps and 29.97 fps in the North American system is a headache of various proportions. Often the PAL system is used for video to film because the 25 fps of PAL is closer to the long established 24 fps standard of film projection.

These technical details are an aggravation to encounter, so a very brief description of their existence is worth the effort. Next, playing the 3 minute VHS sample of what will be covered in the first class is decidedly more fun and gets everything off to a good start. Here I project an image of the scan converter which was used to create this sample VHS by recording directly from the computer's RGB signal while playing an MPEG-1 video file at full screen. The color is faithful to the original and the resolution is just short of VHS quality. It is very easy to create this kind of a demo tape using the scan converter and a VCR. Sometimes low resolution formats pay off. The use of lower resolution versions of video is also worthwhile in creating content to be played from a webserver. Part of the message of this class is how to use current technology is a wide variety of ways to reach a wide variety of audience.

All of the introductory issues of class number one have taken about 45 minutes to accomplish and the next stage has arrived: the making of a first project. This begins by importing a folder of previously chosen photography that will combine well in random ways. The focus here is learning the technique of trimming clips in the source monitor (we are using the Single Track Workspace) and then dropping them into the Timeline in the Video 1 track. After two trimmed clips have been placed in the Timeline, a transition is added and the duration of the transition is lengthened. Next, a New Black Video is created and placed at the beginning in the Video 2 track. The Video 2 track is expanded to reveal the red fade line on the black video clip and a 'fade in' is manually created. The clips are organized appropriately by the technique of 'scrubbing the timeline.' Finally, a third clip is trimmed and added to the end of the sequence in the Video 1 track (the track with the two prior clips and their transition), and a second black video is placed at the end, again in the Video 2 track. The last black video creates the 'fade out to black' that ends the project.

This concludes the first class of four in the 'Premiere Beginning' series offered in the Tamalpais High School's Community Education. This class was designed in 2002 by Craig Welch. It is now being taught for the second year in small classes emphasizing individual instruction. We are currently using Premiere version 6.

1 See page 28 of the American Cinematographer Video Manual, 3rd edition.

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