How to use Adobe Premiere Pro if you’re a Final Cut Pro user

How to use Adobe Premiere Pro if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Editing with Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS5
if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
This reference guide was created specifically to help users of Final Cut Pro get up to speed
quickly on how to edit with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. If you’re a longtime Final Cut Pro
user, you’ll find that there are many similarities between the two applications; however,
there are some differences as well.
Part 1: Adobe Premiere Pro user interface
What’s included:
• Adobe Premiere Pro CS5
• Adobe OnLocation CS5
• Adobe Encore CS5
• Adobe Bridge CS5
• Adobe Media Encoder CS5
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 is also
available as a component of
Adobe Creative Suite® 5 Production
Premium and Adobe Creative Suite
5 Master Collection software.
The Adobe Premiere Pro workspace is similar to Final Cut Pro in many ways. In Adobe Premiere Pro,
each workspace item appears in its own panel and multiple panels can be docked where you’d like. If
you’re familiar with other Adobe products such as After Effects, Photoshop, or Illustrator, your experience
with Adobe Premiere Pro will be even better. Adobe Creative Suite applications share common
commands, panels, and keyboard shortcuts, so if you’re familiar with one program, learning the others is
Workspace Layout
Project Panel
Source Monitor Effect Controls
Audio Mixer
Program Monitor
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production
Premium combines:
• Adobe Premiere Pro CS5
• Adobe After Effects® CS5
• Adobe Photoshop® CS5 Extended
• Adobe Illustrator® CS5
• Adobe Flash® Catalyst™ CS5
• Adobe Flash Professional CS5
• Adobe Soundbooth® CS5
• Adobe OnLocation CS5
• Adobe Encore CS5
Additional components:
• Adobe Dynamic Link
• Adobe Bridge CS5
• Adobe Device Central
Integrates with new
Adobe CS Live online services*
Media Browser Effects Panel
Info Panel
History Panel Tracks
Audio Meter
Timeline panel
Light gray highlight indicates patching
Toggle waveform display
Show keyframes
Track keyframe controls
Toggle track output Toggle sync lock Toggle track lock
Audio master meters
Editing tools
Timeline: The timeline is where you’ll do most of your editing using sequences. A single
Timeline panel appears in a frame in the lower central portion of the screen when you first
launch Adobe Premiere Pro, open any of its default workspaces, or create a project. You can
remove all sequences from a Timeline panel, or add multiple sequences to it, each appearing
as a tab within that Timeline panel. You can also open multiple Timeline panels, each within
its own frame, with each containing any number of sequences.
Tracks: A sequence may contain several video and audio tracks. When you add a clip to a
sequence, you need to specify which track or tracks it should occupy. You can target one or
more tracks of both the audio and video varieties. The way you specify target tracks depends
on the editing method you use.
Source monitor
Tabbed panels
Clip name
Step back
Go to previous marker
Play/stop toggle
Step forward
Go to next marker
Set unnumbered marker
Set Out point
Set In point
Current timecode
In-to-Out duration
or clip duration
Safe margins
Go to In point
Go to Out point
Play In to Out
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Program monitor
Most controls
are the same
as those in the
Source monitor, with
these exceptions:
Trim monitor
Monitors: Within the user interface, the Source Monitor is on the left. You use the Source
Monitor to view and trim the raw clips you want to add to a sequence. To place a clip in the
Source Monitor, double-click it in the Project panel. The Program Monitor is to the right of the
Source Monitor and plays back the sequence of clips that you are assembling.
Project panel: This is where you retain your links to your project’s video clips, audio files,
graphics, images, and sequences. You can use bins/folders to organize your assets.
Media Browser: The Media Browser gives you quick access to all your assets while you edit.
Use the Media Browser to import clips copied from video storage media such as P2 cards, SxS
cards, XDCAM disks, and DVDs. When you import an asset, Adobe Premiere Pro leaves it in its
current location, and creates a clip in the Project panel that points to it. By default, Adobe
Premiere Pro writes XMP files to the directory where the media files are located, but you can
turn off this behavior in Preferences.
Effects panel: Standard effects are listed in the Effects panel and are organized into two main
bins: Video Effects and Audio Effects. Within each bin, Adobe Premiere Pro lists effects by
type in nested bins. Effects are organized as Presets, Audio Effects, Audio Transitions, Video
Effects, and Video Transitions.
Audio Mixer: The Audio Mixer tab allows you to adjust settings while listening to audio tracks
and viewing video tracks. Each Audio Mixer track corresponds to a track in the timeline of the
active sequence and displays the timeline audio tracks in an audio console layout. Each track
is labeled near the top of the Audio Mixer, and you can rename a track by double‑clicking its
name. You can also use the Audio Mixer to record audio directly into a sequence’s tracks.
Effect Controls panel: You can use the Effect Controls panel to change settings for a transition
you placed in a sequence. Settings vary from transition to transition. Click the Effect Controls
tab, and then click any clip in the Timeline to display that clip’s effect parameters in the Effect
Controls panel.
Tool panel and keyboard shortcuts
Selection tool (V)
Ripple Edit tool (B)
Razor tool (C)
Pen tool (P)
Track Select tool (A)
Rolling Edit tool (N)
Rate Stretch tool (X)
Slip tool (Y)
Slide tool (U)
Zoom tool (Z)
Hand tool (H)
Tools panel: The Tools panel contains a number of tools for editing sequences in a Timeline
panel. When you select a tool, the pointer changes shape according to the selection.
Info panel: The Info panel displays several data about a selected item, and timecode information for clips under the current-time indicator in the Timeline.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
History panel: The History panel tracks up to 32 steps you take in your production and lets
you back up to different states of your editing process. When you back up to a previous
condition, all steps that came after that point are also undone.
Part 2: Creating a project and customizing your workspace
It’s easy to get a project started in Adobe Premiere Pro.
1. Launch Adobe Premiere Pro. A Welcome screen allows you to create a new project, browse to
a previous project, or select from a list of recent projects.
2. Click New Project to open the New Project dialog box. Note that the General tab in the New
Project dialog box is similar to the Audio/Video preferences window or Easy Setup dialog box
in Final Cut Pro.
3. Leave Title Safe Area, Action Safe Area, and Video and Audio Display Format as the default
settings. In the Capture Format pull-down menu, select a format to capture if you’re capturing
from tape. If not capturing from tape, choose your desired compression type (DV/DVCPRO,
XDCAM or Apple ProRes among many others), audio sample size, rate, and source.
5. Name your project at the bottom of the dialog box, and then browse to a folder where you
want your project information saved. Don’t click OK yet.
6. Select the Scratch Disks tab. This tab will be familiar to Final Cut Pro users; however, Adobe
Premiere Pro gives you more control over the actual placement of your files. Instead of having
multiple projects with multiple folders inside a Scratch Disks folder, Adobe Premiere Pro allows
you to create your own folder structure, which makes it easier to move and archive media.
7. Using each of the four Browse buttons, browse to the folders where you want to store the
captured media and previews, click Choose, and then click OK.
8. The New Sequence dialog box appears. This behavior is a bit different than that of Final Cut Pro
because you are asked to start a new sequence before going to the editing interface. If you
prefer, you can simply click Cancel in this dialog box and get started as you would in Final Cut
If you choose not to create a new sequence at this stage, you can work on other aspects of the
project such as importing, capturing, and organizing the footage, and then create a new sequence
when you’re ready to start editing. Adobe Premiere Pro can mix formats in sequences and can
usually play these sequences back without rendering. However, these mixed-format sequences will
need to be rendered before output, so it is best to designate the format that matches whichever
format has the most footage.
To start a new sequence:
1. Choose File > New > Sequence (Command+N). This brings up the same dialog box that
followed the New Project dialog box.
2. Select a video format from the Available Presets list on the left, just as you would select a
Sequence Preset from the Audio/Video Settings in Final Cut Pro. Each preset has a full description displayed to the right. Revise the settings shown in the description using the General tab,
which is similar to the General tab in the Sequence Settings dialog box of Final Cut Pro.
3. Adobe Premiere Pro allows you to preset the number of audio and video tracks that you start
with and whether the audio will be mastered as mono, stereo, or 5.1. (You can revise the
number of tracks and mastering options later if you wish.)
4. Click Save Preset to save this as a custom preset for one-touch recall on later projects. Name
your preset and click OK.
5. Name your sequence and click OK.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
How to customize and save sequence settings
Adobe Premiere Pro has many different native editing sequence presets, including presets for DSLR
and RED cameras.. Each time you click the New Sequence button, you typically pick from the list of
available options. But, what if, for example, you want to edit natively in a different resolution, frame
rate, or compression format? You can create your own custom sequence preset to match exactly
what you need.
In this example, we’re going to create a preset for Apple ProRes422. This will enable native editing
of Apple ProRes files, and creation of ProRes previews. This is specific to the Mac platform, and
requires FCP installed on the same system.
To do this, simply:
1. Choose File>New>Sequence
2. Go to the General Tab at the top of the new Sequence box.
3. Change the Editing mode from a specific editing mode to “Desktop.”
4. Change the TimeBase to match the frame rate you wish to edit in
5. Change the Video and Audio settings to also match the settings required for your project.
6. Under Video Previews, change the Preview File Format to QuickTime (Desktop)
7. Change the Codec to Apple ProRes 422.
8. Click the Save Preset button, and name your new preset. This preset will now be available in
future projects.
Customizing your workspace
As you know from Final Cut Pro, customizing your workspace to fit your personal style and
workflow can really increase productivity. The default workspace in Adobe Premiere Pro contains
groups of panels (such as Project, Metadata, and Timeline) and you can customize a workspace by
arranging panels in the layout that best suits your working style. As you rearrange panels, the other
panels resize automatically to fit the window.
More information about
custom workspaces is available in
the online Help for Adobe Premiere
Pro. Choose Help > Adobe Premiere
Pro Help and search for Dock, Group,
or Float Panels.
You can create and save several custom workspaces for different tasks—for example, one for
editing and one for previewing. When creating workspaces, Adobe Premiere Pro offers more
configuration options than Final Cut Pro. It also enables you to take any window or panel to
full-screen size simply by pressing the tilde key.
Audio, Color Correction, Editing, Effects, and Metalogging workspaces are already defined when
you first launch Adobe Premiere Pro. However, you can customize these named workspaces to
best fit your work habits—or create new workspaces for other tasks. (The ability to group panels
within a frame means that you can create customized workspaces that are even more flexible than
those in Final Cut Pro.)
To customize your workspace:
Select your desired workspace from the Window > Workspace submenu at any time. You can also
choose Premiere Pro > Preferences and edit other settings in the Preferences dialog box that
appears. This is similar to User Preferences in Final Cut Pro. There are 14 tabs of information that
you can customize.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Part 3: Capturing and importing
There are a variety of ways to import footage into Adobe Premiere Pro. A third-party capture card
is required for all but firewire-based decks/cameras. Adobe Premiere Pro supports many of the
same capture cards and boxes as Final Cut Pro so you likely will not need to invest in new hardware
to use Adobe Premiere Pro.
Capturing from tape
The Capture panel in Adobe Premiere Pro is very similar to the Capture window in Final Cut Pro.
To capture from tape:
1. Choose File > Capture, or press F5.
2. Select the Settings tab. In the Device Control section of the tab, select a brand and type of
machine or camera that you want to control from the Options menu. This provides the best
quality control over your FireWire camera or deck. Common cameras and decks are often
recognized over the FireWire connection and will automatically be selected.
3. (optional) Revise the settings for your capture locations using the Settings tab.
The Adobe Premiere Pro user interface for capturing is similar to that in Final Cut Pro. The Capture
window includes a primary area for display of the content being captured. Logging and Settings
controls are offered in tabs to the right of that display.
There are several possible methods for capturing footage:
• To capture on-the-fly, click the record button near the bottom of the Capture window, or
press G. You can name and describe the clip just as you would in Final Cut Pro. To stop
capture, click Stop, or press S or the Escape key as you would in Final Cut Pro.
To capture clips “In to Out,” set Ins and Outs with the Set In and Set Out buttons, or press I to
mark an inpoint and O to mark an outpoint. Then capture the clip by clicking In/Out in the
Capture section of the Logging tab.
To capture an entire tape, rewind the tape using the on-camera controls or the rewind button
in Adobe Premiere Pro, and then click Tape in the Capture section of the Logging tab. If you
select the Scene Detect checkbox before you begin capturing an entire tape, it will subclip the
tape based on camera breaks.
Adobe Premiere Pro has a huge advantage over Final Cut Pro when it comes to footage that was
captured on-the-fly in the Capture panel. Adobe Premiere Pro can name these clips after they’ve
been captured. In Final Cut Pro, renaming clips requires forcing the media file to match the new
Importing footage from tapeless (file-based) cameras
In Adobe Premiere Pro, you can import and edit clips from nearly any file-based media directly
including P2, AVCHD, XDCAM, AVCCAM, DPX, and AVC-Intra as well as DSLR and RED cameras
without transcoding or rewrapping. You can begin viewing and editing straight from the cards, but
it is more efficient to copy their contents to a hard disk before importing. This also improves
playback performance, and, the importing of clips doesn’t actually move or copy them. If the files
aren’t moved from the card or optical media to a hard drive, they will go offline if the card or
optical media are removed from the system.
Locate and open footage easily
with the Media Browser panel,
which lets you drag and drop
files to the Project panel,
preview them in the Source
Monitor, or add them to a
sequence in the Timeline. Notice
how P2 clips can be viewed as
video clips or as a group of file
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
There are three main ways to import files into Adobe Premiere Pro. Two of the methods—using the
File > Import command and drag and drop from the Finder—are identical to those in Final Cut Pro.
The others method is via the Media Browser panel which is the most effective way to find tapeless
media in Adobe Premiere Pro because it can actually see the camera clips without having to import
them into your system. The Media Browser is part of the editing interface and allows you to see all
the media on the drives and cards connected to your computer.
To import media from these cameras:
1. Choose Window > Media Browser or press Shift+8.
2. Select the type of media you want to see in the View pull-down menu. The media browser will
see and play the media files themselves instead of wading through a convoluted file and
directory structure.
For details on how to work with a specific camera and its format, check out the video production
workflow guides available online:
Using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 with Canon Digital Video Cameras
Using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 with tapeless Sony XDCAM content
Using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 with RED Digital Cinema content
CS5 Production Premium end-to-end editing workflows with Panasonic AVCCAM cameras
CS5 Production Premium end-to-end workflows for Panasonic P2 and P2HD cameras
Importing from Adobe OnLocation CS5
Another powerful way to ingest media is to use Adobe OnLocation CS5 software (included with
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, as well as with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium and Master
Collection). Adobe OnLocation allows you to live capture DV, HDV, or DVCPRO footage directly
from the camera to your computer hard drive through Firewire. It also allows you to get all the
benefits of real-time, on-set logging when working with tapeless cameras too.
Audio level meters help you keep track of your audio
signal so it doesn’t distort, and pop alerts identify when
sudden surges occur that are too short to register on
The Waveform Monitor operates in
YUV or RGB color spaces, so you can
evaluate brightness (luminance) and
saturation levels.
The Vectorscope displays the amount
of color in the video signal for either the
full frame or for a single horizontal line
within a frame.
The Field Monitor displays DV, HDV,
and DVCPRO natively, so unlike your
camera’s viewfinder or LCD screen, the
Field Monitor displays video
exactly as it is recorded.
Comment markers are displayed in
the Field Monitor timeline.
The new Timestamp button tells
OnLocation when the selected shot
is being recorded, whether or not the
camera is connected to OnLocation.
When tapeless media is imported,
OnLocation automatically matches the
information to the recorded clips.
The Shot List in the Project panel lets you keep track of
locations, In and Out point timecode, and other vital
information, comment on clips, describe and catalog each
shot, indicate camera moves, and automatically capture
information coming from the camera.
The Media Browser panel displays the contents of your
computer drives. The Media Browser understands the
standard Panasonic P2 and Sony XDCAM directory structure,
so when you browse to a P2 directory, the Media Browser
displays only the importable shots/takes.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Adobe OnLocation provides a host of monitoring tools, such as waveform monitors, vectorscopes,
VU meters, and high-quality display options. These monitoring options help to ensure that you
footage is captured at the highest possible quality by allowing the camera operator or director of
photography to achieve proper audio and video levels. Footage captured with Adobe OnLocation
stores camera’s metadata, as well as metadata you add while you shoot the footage. These clips
are immediately available for editing in Adobe Premiere Pro without the need to re-capture from
OnLocation can even be used as a pre-production tool. Pre-load it with information about shots
you plan to record and link that metadata to the actual shots as they are captured during the shoot.
All of the pre-production metadata is stored with the recorded clip and is passed on throughout
the post-production process.
Adobe OnLocation supports both AVI and QuickTime® recording file formats on a Windows
platform. It supports only the QuickTime format on a Mac OS.
OnLocation can immediately play back footage you record to your hard drive. This eliminates the
need to rewind your camera’s tape to check footage and the possibility of damaging or recording
over footage. After recording to the hard drive, you can mark your best takes in the field—when
the performances and judgements are fresh. The marked footage exports as metadata and flows
directly to the editor when imported into Adobe Premiere Pro.
Footage recorded in OnLocation can be assigned to a specific folder on your drive. It is wise to
create a location that will be easy to find and is on a hard-drive of sufficient speed to record and
analyzing tapeless footage in Adobe OnLocation.
Analyzing tapeless camera footage in Adobe OnLocation
In addition to using the powerful logging tools in Adobe OnLocation with tapeless cameras, you
can use the comprehensive software waveform monitor and vectorscope as well as the audio VU
Meters to identify image and audio problems during live recording to hard disk. And you can use
that same alert system to analyze imported files by quickly scanning your footage for audio pops,
clipping, and video overbrights.
To analyze imported footage for audio pops, clipping, and video overbrights:
1. In the Project panel, double-click on a clip and load it into the Field Monitor.
2. Choose Project > Generate Alerts And Audio Peaks For Selected Clips. The thumbnail and text
for selected clip changes to indicate it is being analyzed.
3. When the analysis is complete, the thumbnail returns to normal. Click the Play button in the
Field Monitor panel or press the spacebar to play the clip.
Notice that audio plays back as you play, scrub, or step through clips. The results of the analysis are
displayed along with the audio waveform in the Field Monitor. In the image below, the dark area on
the left indicates the portion of the clip defined by In and Out points set in the Field Monitor.
The yellow tick marks that appear above and below the centerline of the audio waveform display
are audio popping alerts. They identify sudden surges in sound that aren’t loud enough to cause
audio clipping, but are likely to create unpleasant and possibly unusable audio. A plosive sound at
the beginning or end of a word is a common source of such pops.
When video brightness exceeds a specified level, area, and duration, video alerts appear as broad
white bands in the waveform. Similarly, when sound exceeds the amplitude range of the current
audio bit depth, audio clipping alerts appear as red tick marks above and below the centerline of
the audio waveform. Brief audio clipping may not be audible on location, but it produces distortion
that can cause problems when editing. The audio alerts above the centerline are for the left
channel; alerts below are for the right.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Importing/exporting images, graphics and special effects
Many of the special effects and graphics you will be importing in Adobe Premiere Pro will have
been created with other Adobe software such as Photoshop, Illustrator or After Effects. There is an
advantage to using Adobe Premiere Pro when working with multiple Adobe applications because
of its flexibility. For example, when you wish to import specific layers from a Photoshop file, Adobe
Premiere Pro gives you a variety of ways to do so and retains Photoshop blending modes.
To import a layered Photoshop file into Adobe Premiere Pro:
Control how Photoshop files look
when imported into Adobe Premiere
Pro. Preview all layers, choose which
layers to import, and then choose
how to import the layers—as
individual layers, merged, or as a
Choose File > Import.
Browse to a multi-layered Photoshop file.
Select a file and then click Import, or double-click the file. This opens the Import Layered File dialog box. The Import As menu gives you four options:
Merge All Layers: Creates a single flattened file from all layer
Merge Layers: Flattens only the layers that you select in the Import As dialog box
Individual Layers: Imports only the specific layers you select in a bin, with each layer as its own source.
Sequence: Imports selected layers as a separate clip, but creates a sequence with the layers stacked into a sequence that you can then cut in to your master sequence.
4. Choose an option, and then click OK to import the chosen layers.
You can also import native Adobe Illustrator files directly into Adobe Premiere Pro. Vector art will
be rasterized in Adobe Premiere Pro, and empty areas will be converted into an alpha channel.
Importing/exporting via Adobe Dynamic Link
There are numerous timesaving editing benefits when editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, but one of
the greatest advantages over Final Cut Pro is its tight integration with the other production
components of Creative Suite 5 Production Premium.
Using Dynamic Link in Adobe Premiere Pro, you can send sequences to Encore CS5 to create
Blu-ray Discs and searchable web pages that contain rich media content without intermediate
rendering. When you install Adobe Premiere Pro as a component of Production Premium, Dynamic
Link is expanded to include After Effects as well.
With Dynamic Link, eliminate
intermediate rendering when making
changes to assets — whether editing
a sequence of clips in Adobe Premiere
Pro, changing a composition in After
Effects, or refining a project in Encore.
Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects integration saves you time with the ability to drag and drop
or copy and paste clips from one application to another. When you export an Adobe Premiere Pro
project to After Effects, bins, edits, markers, keyframed effects, nested sequences, transitions, and
more are preserved. Dynamic Link lets you use sequences from Adobe Premiere Pro as layers in
After Effects compositions without rendering. Any changes you make to the sequence in Adobe
Premiere Pro are automatically reflected in your After Effects comps. You can also use Dynamic
Link to send After Effects compositions to an Adobe Premiere Pro project, where the comps look
and act just like any other clip. However, when you make changes in After Effects, they’re
automatically reflected in the Adobe Premiere Pro sequence. Similarly, you can dynamically link
After Effects compositions to Encore projects.
To build an effect in After Effects based on a segment in the timeline:
1. Select the segment and choose File > Dynamic Link > Replace With After Effects Composition.
This will launch After Effects and create a composition with the segment’s video as the base
layer of the composition.
2. Add any effects and additional media to the segment in After Effects. When you’re done, save
the effect and return to Adobe Premiere Pro. It is not necessary to render the effect in After
Effects. The composition will appear in Adobe Premiere Pro with no further linking, exporting,
or importing. Eventually, the effect will need to be rendered before export, but you can play
and scrub through most effects done with Dynamic Link without rendering.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Part 4: Transferring Final Cut Pro projects into Adobe Premiere Pro
Moving media and sequences between tools made by different companies in complex production
pipelines often requires format conversion, specialized plug-ins, tedious workarounds, or a lot of
manual work to recreate elements that don’t survive the transfer process. Interoperability between
Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, as well as between Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid NLEs such
as Media Composer, means you can share files and timelines without conversion or rendering,
preserving commonly used effects and transitions, saving valuable production time. In addition to
importing projects from Final Cut Pro, in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 you can export a project as a
Final Cut Pro XML file (File > Export > Final Cut XML) as well as an AAF file for Avid NLEs.
To import a Final Cut Pro sequence into Adobe Premiere Pro:
1. In Final Cut Pro, select a sequence and click File > Export XML.
2. In the Export XML dialog box, select Apple XML Interchange format version 5. (Version 4 will
also work for older versions of Final Cut Pro.) Then click OK.
3. Name your exported sequence, browse to a location to save it, and then click Save.
4. In Adobe Premiere Pro, create a new project from the Welcome screen by clicking the New
Project button, or choose File > New > Project (Option+Command+N).
5. Click OK. The New Sequence Dialog box will appear.
6. Click Cancel. (This cancels the creation of a new blank sequence.)
7. In Adobe Premiere Pro, choose File > Import. In the dialog box, browse to the XML file generated by Final Cut Pro, and click Import. Adobe Premiere Pro will import the sequence and all
necessary source media. An Import progress bar appears, but it may take a minute or longer
before you will see evidence that anything is
happening. During this apparent pause, Adobe
Premiere Pro is creating a translation report.
When the report is complete, another dialog
box advises you to check the report for
possible conversion issues.
Select any of the clips in the timeline by clicking on them. Press Shift+5 to put focus on the Effects
Controls panel where information about the effects and transitions applied to each clip is
displayed. The Translation Report provides details, such as when effects such as color correction
had to be approximated.
I f Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are running on the same system, all media should link up
automatically. If, however, you are moving from one computer to another, Adobe Premiere Pro will
prompt you for the location of the source media. If moving from a Mac to a PC, be aware that
certain QuickTime codecs have not been released for the PC, and the source media in those
formats will not play on the PC. This includes, for example, QuickTime files that use ProRes. If you
experience problems with QuickTime media in Adobe Premiere Pro, check to see if the source
media will play correctly in QuickTime Player on the PC first before troubleshooting in Adobe
Premiere Pro.
Part 5: Finding media
The Adobe Premiere Pro Project panel is similar to the one in Final Cut Pro. You can right-click to
add new bins inside the panel, as well as drag and drop clips into the bins to organize them. Bins
can be kept in the Project panel or be double-clicked to become separate floating windows, just as
in Final Cut Pro. You can also nest bins.
The Find feature is always available in the Project panel. The results of your search are updated in
real time as you type, and Adobe Premiere Pro allows you to search all metadata—not just the clip
name. For more detailed sorting and sifting of footage, use one of these methods:
Type in the Find text box at the top of the Project panel. Note that results are updated in the
Project panel as you type.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Click the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the Project panel or press Command+F. The
Find dialog box that appears allows you to do high-level Boolean searches and sifts. The
resulting clip or clips are highlighted in the Project panel. This is similar to the behavior of the
Find command in Final Cut Pro.
Part 6: Basic editing using the timeline
Because there are so many ways to edit in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro, this section
examines three different editing methods: editing with the source and program monitor (Viewer
and Canvas in Final Cut Pro), editing with keystrokes, and editing in the timeline.
Source and program monitor editing
Fundamentally, editing in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro is very similar. Mostly it’s a matter
of becoming accustomed to the different icons they use. One easy way to do this is to use the tool
tips that are available by hovering over an icon or a button that you are unsure of.
Almost every button and menu in Final Cut Pro Viewer or the Canvas window has a corresponding
button or function in the Source and Program panels in Adobe Premiere Pro. For an annotated
illustration of these icons, see “Part 2: Adobe Premiere Pro user interface.”
Basic editing begins with opening a clip in the Source monitor. To do so, simply double-click it in a
bin, or drag it to the monitor, just as you would in Final Cut Pro. Jogging, shuttling, or playing
through a clip is also the same as in Final Cut Pro. You can use the I and O keys to set Ins and Outs,
or use the <> and <> icons.
If you are accustomed to editing with the Overlay buttons in the Final Cut Pro Canvas monitor, you
can do something similar in Adobe Premiere Pro. For an overwrite edit, simply drag the clip from
the Source panel to the Program panel and then release. For an insert edit, hold down the
Command key while dragging.
Keyboard editing
Every power user knows that one of the best ways to work efficiently in a program is to know the
keyboard and mouse shortcuts. Since you already know the Final Cut Pro keyboard, you can simply
assign Final Cut Pro’s shortcuts in Adobe Premiere Pro.
To assign Final Cut Pro shortcuts in Adobe Premiere Pro:
1. Choose Edit > Keyboard Customization.
2. From the Set pop‑up menu in the Keyboard Customization dialog box, choose Shortcuts For
Final Cut Pro 4.0.
The five most important keyboard shortcuts in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are identical:
J, K, L, I, and O. Other identical keyboard shortcuts between the two systems include those for the
Pen tool (P), the Hand tool (H), the Zoom tool (Z), the Razor Blade tool (B), Insert (F9), and
Overwrite (F10). However, note that Adobe Premiere Pro lets you edit any keyboard shortcut or
assign a shortcut to any of the several hundred features that don’t have a default shortcut.
To customize your keyboard to add additional
1. Choose Edit > Keyboard Customization.
2. In the Keyboard Customization dialog box, spin
down the categories of commands (File, Edit,
Project, and so on), click the shortcut for a function
on the right side of the list, and then press your
desired key or key combination.
3. Click Save As.
4. In the Name Keyset dialog box, name your new
keyboard setting and then click Save.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
If you would like to learn Adobe Premiere Pro’s shortcuts, here are the most useful ones:
Final Cut Pro
Premiere Pro
Final Cut Pro
Premiere Pro
Zoom tool
Roll edit
Mark clip
Mark in
I or /
Razor blade
Mark out
O or num*
Pen tool
Trim back
[ or ,
Trim forward
] or .
Arrow tool
Slip slide
Clear in
Trim in and out point
Clear out
Hand tool
Clear in and out
~ or M
Timeline zoom in
Previous edit
Page up
Timeline zoom out
Page down
Zoom to sequence/
zoom in or out
Next edit
Timeline editing
Many Final Cut Pro editors prefer to edit using the intuitive timeline method. Adobe Premiere Pro
is also well suited to this approach. Patching tracks for editing is done in much the same way in
both Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. Although timeline icons are different in the two
applications, they have identical functionality.
Dragging clips around in a timeline to rearrange them is similar in Final Cut Pro and Adobe
Premiere Pro, with a few differences. Just as in Final Cut Pro, dragging a clip from one spot in the
timeline to another in Adobe Premiere Pro lifts it (leaving a gap) from its original location and
overwrites it to the new location. Command-dragging a clip in Adobe Premiere Pro extracts the
clip (rippling the gap) from its original location and inserts it, sliding all clips to the right of that
point to later in the edit. This is similar to the Option-drag behavior in Final Cut Pro.
Deleting a clip in the timeline and rippling the sequence works a bit differently in Final Cut Pro and
Adobe Premiere Pro. Both allow you to select a segment in the timeline and press the Delete key,
leaving a gap in your sequence. In Final Cut Pro, you can eliminate the gap and ripple the rest of the
sequence by selecting the segment and pressing Shift+Delete. To do this in Adobe Premiere Pro,
delete the segment with the Delete key, and then right-click or Control-click on the gap and choose
Ripple Delete.
Trimming in the timeline is also a similar procedure in both applications. Hover over a transition,
and then when the cursor changes to a red bracket icon, you can drag to trim either side of the
transition. This will leave a gap between the clips equal to the amount you dragged. If you want to
ripple the trim in Adobe Premiere Pro (closing the gap automatically), simply Command-drag. This
is similar to using the Ripple tool (rr) in Final Cut Pro.
In addition to trimming shots in the timeline described previously, you can use the Trim window in
Final Cut Pro and the Trim panel in Adobe Premiere Pro. This allows you to see the changes in the
outgoing and incoming frames on either side of the transition. In Final Cut Pro, the Trim window is
accessed by right-clicking or Control-clicking the transition and choosing Trim. In Adobe Premiere
Pro, the Trim panel is accessed by pressing T. Once you are in this panel, the behavior of Adobe
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Premiere Pro will be the same as that of Final Cut Pro. Just use the keyboard shortcut table to
determine the proper shortcuts for the specific trim tool you want to use.
Other tools for trimming, including the ripple, roll, slip, and slide tools, work similarly. Use the
keyboard shortcut table to choose the right tool from the keyboard. The functions of each tool
operate the same in both applications—only the keystrokes to access them are different.
Again, here the similarities between Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are greater than the
differences. Even the keyboard shortcut to open the Audio mixer is the same in both applications:
Option+6. In the mixer, the icons are fairly self-explanatory and similar to those in Final Cut Pro.
One small difference is that if you want to record automatic keyframes and adjustments, instead of
using the small Record Audio Keyframes button as in Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro allows you
to enable recording on specific tracks in specific ways. These are accessed from the Automation
Mode pull-down menus below the track names for each fader. There are several choices:
Read (default): Adjusts a track option (such as volume) affecting the entire track uniformly.
Write: Writes automation as soon as playback starts without waiting for a setting to change.
Latch: Identical to Write, except that automation doesn’t start until you begin adjusting a
property. The initial property settings are from the previous adjustment.
Touch: Identical to Latch, except that when you stop adjusting a property, its option settings
return to their state before the current automated changes were recorded.
Off: Ignores the track’s stored settings during playback. This choice allows temporary changes
in levels, but each time you replay, the settings are returned to the default levels.
Many Final Cut Pro users prefer to adjust levels by rubber banding in the timeline. It’s basically the
same in Adobe Premiere Pro, with a few differences:
1. Expand an audio track’s view by clicking the triangle next to the audio track name.
2. Adjust the overall level of the track by dragging the yellow line in the audio track of the clip up
or down.
3. To add keyframes, click on the small diamond icon in the audio track’s header (track patching
info area), and then select one of the following options from the pull-down menu.
• Show Clip Keyframes: Animates audio parameters for a clip, including volume level.
• Show Clip Volume: Changes only a clip’s volume level.
• Show Track Keyframes: Animates audio track parameters, including volume, mute, and
• Show Track Volume: Changes only a track’s volume level.
Instead of Option-clicking to add a keyframe, Adobe Premiere Pro uses Command-click. To adjust
the volume, drag up and down. To change the timing of a keyframe, Option-drag left or right.
One of the major differences between Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro is the Title tool. The
Title tool in Adobe Premiere Pro delivers WYSYWIG placement of complex titles over video. The
interface is very intuitive and offers a lot of power.
To add a title in Adobe Premiere Pro:
1. Choose Title Menu > New Title.
2. Select from the options in the pull-down menu: Default still, Default Roll, Default crawl, or
Based on Current Title. You can choose to create a title from a template. Adobe Premiere Pro
comes with a wide range of beautifully designed templates from which to choose. You can also
customize and save templates of your own.
3. The New Title dialog box appears. Set the formatting options. Name the title. Click OK.
Designing titles from scratch is fairly easy. The Title Main panel in the Title tool allows you to see
your title as you design it. Most of the tools are to the left, in the Title Tools panel. Various prebuilt
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
font styles are below the Title main panel, and to the right is the Title Properties panel, providing
information about and parameters for selected fonts or graphics. You can change colors, gradients,
opacity; add textures, borders, shadows; and more.
The Adobe Premiere Pro
Title tool provides
intuitive WYSIWYG
titling directly over
video. You can even
import and include
logos and other graphics
in your title designs.
You can also add logos to your title designs:
1. Choose Title Menu > Logos > Insert Logo.
2. Scrub through the background video to see what the title will look like against a different part
of the same shot or even a different clip in the sequence. Drag over the yellow timecode
numbers in the upper right corner of the Title window. Just above the numbers is another icon
where you can toggle off the video display to see the title with the standard “checkerboard”
alpha channel background.
3. Save the title by closing the Title window with the Close Window button in the upper left. Saved
titles are added to the Project panel.
4. To apply a title, drag it from the Project panel to the timeline. If it is dragged to a video track or a
space above a video track in the timeline, it will be keyed over that video using the alpha
channel information in the title.
Part 7: Faster editing with the Mercury Playback Engine
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 sets a new standard in high-performance, responsive editing by allowing
you to work dramatically faster thanks to the new, completely redesigned playback engine that is
native 64-bit, multicore, and GPU-accelerated. The Mercury Playback Engine provides rock-solid
performance and stability so you can work smoothly all the way up to 4K and higher resolutions
while experiencing dramatic improvements in performance and stability. Open projects faster,
scrub through HD and higher resolution projects fluidly, and handle long-form content and
effects-heavy sequences reliably. Play through common transitions and effects without rendering
and render for final output much faster.
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 requires a 64-bit operating system and works hand-in-hand with NVIDIA®
CUDA™ technology. The Mercury Playback Engine uses NVIDIA GPU cards to provide a GPUaccelerated 32-bit color pipeline, and most popular effects have been rewritten to run on it — for
example, effects like color correction, the Ultra keyer, and motion control all run in real time.
The Mercury Playback Engine has two real-time modes: The software-only mode which utilizes all
CPU cores in your computer, and the hardware-assist mode which leverages the CPU in your
computer and the GPU of your graphics card* for even greater productivity. The software-only
mode provides excellent playback on a MacBook Pro laptop while the hardware-assist mode gives
Final Cut users equipped with a supported NVIDIA® card an additional performance boost.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
* Mercury brings performance gains
on all of the GPUs supported today
in CS5. If you’re upgrading your
system today and want to get the
most out of your configuration, the
following NVIDIA graphics cards
offer significant additional
acceleration by the Mercury
Playback Engine:
• Quadro CX (Windows)
• Quadro FX 3800 (Windows)
• Quadro FX 4800 (Windows
and Mac)
• Quadro FX 5800 (Windows)
• GeForce GTX 285 (Windows
and Mac)
Adobe is planning to support
additional cards in the future,
including some of the new NVIDIA
solutions based on the upcoming
Fermi parallel computing
Please see
for system requirements
and compatibility.
The list of graphics cards compatible
with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 is
updated on a regular basis. For an
up-to-date list of supported cards,
please see
How to enable GPU acceleration* for real-time effects:
1. Choose Project > Settings > General.
2. In the Video Rendering section, choose CUDA Accelerated Renderer from the Renderer menu.
With GPU-accelerated effects enabled, a yellow render bar appears when effects are applied to
clips in a sequence with matching footage settings. Note: This function is available only when a
supported GPU-accelerated graphics card is installed.
If you’re working on a computer or laptop editing challenging footage such as high resolution 4K
RED files or sequences with a large number of effects, the Mercury Playback Engine gives you the
ability to adjust the playback resolution of your video in the Source Monitor or Program Monitor.
Separate Playback and Pause resolutions give you more control over monitoring. With highresolution footage, you can set playback resolution to ½ for smooth viewing. Setting Pause
resolution to Full allows you to quickly check the quality of focus or edge details when playback is
paused—useful for when you don’t have the luxury of an on-set HD monitor. When working with
higher resolutions, such as RED 4K footage, you can set playback resolution to ½, ¼, ⅛, or 1/16 for
smooth viewing.
To adjust the Playback and Pause resolution in the Source Monitor or Program Monitor
1. Click the panel menu icon in the upper right
corner of either the Source Monitor or
Program Monitor panel in Adobe Premiere
2. In the pull-down menu, choose Playback
3. Choose ½ resolution.
4. Repeat step 1, and then set Paused Resolution to Full.
5. Play and then pause the sequence.
When playback is paused, you can easily check
the quality of focus and examine edge details by
dragging the scroll bars in the Program Monitor
to the view areas of interest.
Keying with Ultra
Ultra is a powerful high-performance keyer in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. It lets you achieve fast,
accurate keying on even the most challenging DV and HD footage­—footage shot under real-world
conditions typically found in production that include uneven lighting, wrinkled backgrounds, and
frizzy hair. Ultra preserves shadows and can achieve complex keys on smoke, liquids, and
transparent objects. The GPU-accelerated Mercury Playback Engine dramatically increases
rendering speeds, usually resulting in real-time HD keying.
To use the Ultra Keyer:
1. Use the eyedropper control to choose the green or blue background color. Find an area of the
background that best represents the overall background color and not, for example, the middle
of a lighting hot spot or shadow.
2. For getting the best possible key, you may want to use the different Output viewing modes for
the Ultra keyer. In particular, the Alpha Channel output is useful for detecting unwanted
3. There are 3 presets available - Default, Relaxed, and Aggressive. Try these first before playing
with the sliders - many times one of these presets are enough to pull a clean key.
4. If you need to tweak further, there are 4 main sets of sliders within the Ultra Keyer effect:
• Matte Generation: The Matte Generation slider should be used first to get the best possible
results. All of these sliders are how the color is being analyzed and removed. If shadows are
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
present, use the Shadows slider to keep or remove the shadows. Use the Tolerance and
Pedestal sliders to adjust the curve of the keyer.
• Matte Cleanup: Use the Matte Cleanup sliders to clean up the key further. These apply a
universal adjustment to the edges of the key, so use them sparingly.
• Spill Suppression: The Spill Suppression sliders help remove unwanted color spill from the
blue or green screen background. This works by adding in the opposite color from the
background. So, in the case of green spill, a magenta color will be added into the image. The
trick is to add the color only into the areas that need it, and only enough to cancel out the
green. If this is proving tricky, try boosting the Spill slider to 100%, then play with the Range
slider until you see Magenta in the areas that previously had green spill. Then, dial back the
Spill slider until the magenta fades.
• Color Correction: The final set of sliders are the Color Correction sliders. These perform a
uniform layer of color correction, post-key. They are sometimes useful for matching the
subject into the background. Keep in mind that more color correction can be added simply
by stacking one of the many color correction effects below the Ultra Keyer effect in the Effect
Controls panel.
5. To get started using the Ultra keyer, you may want to also use a Crop or Garbage Matte effect to
remove any non-blue or non-green parts of the image. The Ultra keyer effect stacks just like
any other effect in Adobe Premiere Pro—effects listed above Ultra keyer take place before the
key is applied, and any effects below Ultra keyer will be applied after the key.
In production, you could continue to refine the key by using the intuitive controls in Ultra—setting
the Program Monitor zoom to 100%, the Pause resolution to Full, and dragging the scroll bars lets
you better view the details around the edges of the image and examine areas of interest. This
allows you to, for example, see fine details around the actor’s hair.
Part 8: Export options and metadata controls in Adobe Media Encoder
Adobe Media Encoder is a separate, 64-bit software application that lets you output your video
project in all of the major video formats using a flexible batch list. Batch encoding takes place in the
background, freeing you to focus on creative work. Its user interface provides more visual feedback
to help you work faster and has the ability to start the encoding process immediately from within
Adobe Premiere Pro.
When batch encoding, you can use any combination of sequences and clips as sources, and encode
to a wide variety of video formats, including FLV, F4V, QuickTime, and other popular codecs such
as MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and H.264.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
To export media directly from Adobe Premiere Pro without adding it to the Adobe Media
Encoder queue:
1. In Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, open one of the sequences in the Timeline panel.
2. Choose File > Export > Media.
3. In the Adobe Media Encoder dialog box, choose the desired output settings, or select the new
Match To Sequence Settings option.
4. Click Export.
Notice that you can still add clips to the
Adobe Media Encoder queue by clicking
Queue in the Export Settings dialog box.
The progress bar at the bottom of the
Adobe Media Encoder interface lets you
see at a glance the elapsed and the
remaining time for the encoding process.
In addition, source and encoding
information are displayed, and the video
that’s being encoded plays in the corner.
When outputting footage to FLV, F4V,
H.264 Blu-ray Disc, and MPEG-2 Blu-ray
Disc formats, another Adobe Media
Encoder feature lets you set the bit rate based on frame dimensions.
To set bit rate based on frame dimensions:
1. In either the Adobe Premiere Pro Timeline panel or
Project panel, click a single media clip to select it.
2. Choose File > Export > Media.
3. In the Export Settings dialog box, choose Export
Settings > Format, and use the pull-down menu to
choose H.264 Blu-ray as the encoding format.
4. Use the pull-down menu to choose an output preset.
Notice that using the two Match Source Attributes presets automatically bases the TV Standard,
Frame Rate, Field Order, and PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio) settings of the source, further streamlining
the encoding process.
Embedded F4V or FLV cue points
New metadata output options give you added control over the data contained in F4V or FLV source
files. For example, a preference setting controls whether cue points in source files are embedded in
the data stream of exported F4V files. Adobe Media Encoder stores cue point information in the
exported file and can be used to generate callbacks—programming functions that can
automatically trigger various actions, such as loading a video, in custom Flash video players.
Part 9: Creating DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and web DVDs in Encore
Adobe Encore is a versatile, interactive authoring tool that allows you to deliver your projects on
DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and web DVDs—interactive SWF files that can be viewed in Adobe Flash Player.
Web DVDs replicate the behavior of their DVD or Blu-ray Disc counterparts, complete with
interactive menus and subtitles, as well as pop-up menus and high-resolution video for those
based on Blu-ray Disc projects. With Encore, you can easily turn your DVD and Blu-ray Disc projects
into web DVDs that include a search interface.
When your project is complete and you’re ready to deliver them on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, or as a
web DVD, Dynamic Link lets you open the Adobe Premiere Pro sequences directly in Encore
without rendering.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
To use Dynamic Link to drag and drop an Adobe Premiere Pro sequence into Encore:
1. Position the Adobe Premiere Pro workspace so the Encore Project panel is visible beneath it.
2. Drag and drop the sequence from the Project panel in Adobe Premiere Pro to the Project panel
in Encore.
To test and build Encore projects
1. Click the Build tab.
2. Click Check Project.
3. Click Start in the dialog box.
4. A number of issues are reported that in production you would need to address before outputting your project—for example, linking media to the different language buttons in the pop-up
5. Close the Check Project window.
6. Back in the Build panel, notice that you can choose among formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc,
and Flash.
7. Experiment by choosing each of the three formats, and notice how the Build panel changes
according to each.
Take some time to explore the rest of the Build panel. Notice that there is a wide variety of preset
screen sizes to choose from, and that when you output your projects for viewing using Adobe Flash
technology, you can choose Keep With Flash SWF to deliver your project as a progressive
download or set up your export for streaming with Flash Media Server 3.5 using the Upload To
Server button.
To export your project as a web DVD (SWF file)
1. In the Build panel, choose Format > Flash. This
automatically sets Output to Flash (SWF).
2. Set the destination for the output files to your
3. Under Settings, name the output.
4. Select the 1280x720 High Quality preset.
Normally, you would click Build in the upper right to
encode the project­—Encore builds supporting files, and
creates a customizable playback interface that operates
similarly to a Blu-ray Disc remote.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
Part 10: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 resources
Adobe Premiere Pro has an extensive community of service providers you can tap into for
support, including trainers, plug-in developers, systems integrators, and others.
More information and help:
• Adobe’s website: ( includes a wealth of information about Adobe Premiere Pro. You’ll find links to product information, customer stories,
reviews, awards, events, seminars, and related downloads, as well as several
support- and training-related links.
Adobe Community Help: ( ) is an online service
for instruction, inspiration, and support that enables you to find answers to your Adobe
Premiere Pro questions.
The Adobe Premiere Pro Help and Support page on Adobe’s website (http://www.adobe.
com/support/premiere/ ) includes links to top support issues, tutorials, support-related
announcements, and user forums.
The Adobe Support User to User Forums home page (
includes links to user forums for all Adobe products, including Adobe Premiere Pro and
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium.
Follow Adobe Premiere Pro on Facebook:
Training and tutorials:
• Check out Adobe TV ( ), a free online video
resource with expert instruction and inspiration for Adobe Premiere Pro and other Creative
Suite products.
The Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Classroom in a Book® contains a series of self-paced, projectbased lessons. For information, visit the Adobe Press website (
Total Training ( provides comprehensive Adobe Premiere Pro CS5
training videos so you can get up to speed quickly and easily.
• ( offers several Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 training videos as part of
its online training library.
The Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Training Resources page (
training/products/premiere.html) offers a variety of training resources.
Third-party plug-ins for Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 (
premiere/) add even more capability to your software.
Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 if you’re a Final Cut Pro user
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