Logging magic with Adobe Prelude

During my time at Adobe I worked as the Product Manager on Prelude for about 18 months. I traveled the world talking with customers who used or needed to use Prelude as an ingest and logging tool. Prelude is used a lot in large broadcast environments where assistants, producers or journalists are preparing material for an editor. However in my own editing, I didn’t have much reason to use it. Like many one-man-band editors I usually find myself jumping into the cutting before I do too much logging. And Prelude really wants to be used before using Premiere Pro, so if I’m logging and organizing as I’m editing then it usually makes sense to just stay in Premiere Pro.

I recently worked on a project featuring some doctors talking to camera about the facility where they work and the patients they treat. I wanted the ability to easily find different answers as well as different version of the answers given. This meant I really needed to log this material, and this was a perfect chance to employ Prelude. I used Prelude to log this project because because of the powerful way it creates subclips and comment markers. I was able to invest some time in Prelude that paid off nicely in Premiere Pro.

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You can enter text into the description field while Prelude is playing. If you would like to pause (K) or jump the cursor back (H) you can use the transport controls from the keyboard by adding the Option/Alt key.

With each clip I watched and listened creating comment markers that started with when the subject started answering and ended with the thought. Prelude makes it much easier to create markers with durations than it is in Premiere Pro. While playing, I was able to type quickly and summarize the answer provided by the interviewee, this text went into the comment marker’s description field.

Prelude also makes it easy to adjust the beginning and end of the comment in case that was important to me.

Next came a special step that helped me a great deal in Premiere, and this step can only be done in Prelude. I moved the CTI to the start of the first marker then selected all the markers and copied them to my clipboard.

Next, in the Marker Inspector I changed the selected markers’ type from Comment to Subclip.

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Check it out: all of the Comment markers are turned into Subclips!

Then, back in the Timeline panel, I pasted the comment markers.

Now you can see in Prelude I have two sets of markers, comment and subclip markers. This may seem weird, but you’ll see in Premiere Pro why this was useful to me.

Next, send the clips from Prelude to Premiere Pro. You can also simply import the media files into Premiere Pro, and since Prelude stores the marker metadata inside the media files, Premiere Pro will read the clips and markers during import.

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If your Premiere Pro bin isn’t showing the Description bin column, change your bin’s Metadata Display settings to show this field.

This makes it easy to find clips based on the content of the answer by looking at the notes I entered in Prelude. I can also use Premiere Pro’s search field to help me locate clips about a certain topic. This is cool, but there’s even more I like about working this way.

When I work with the sub clips, and even the master clip representing the media file, I get to see the comment markers in the source viewer and in the timeline as well. This helps me see even in the context of the timeline which clip is being used and what they’re talking about. And with Overlays enabled in the Program Monitor I can even see the source clips’ marker text front and center.

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I found this method of working very helpful on this project. It pays to get organized at the start of your project and Prelude’s powerful marker editing features were key to my workflow.

5 Comments

  1. Ramos says:

    While I appreciate your enthusiasm for a product that you worked on for 18 months, I can only tell you that this workflow is a “work around” at best. The truth is that Adobe Premiere Pro while being a fantastic hub for all the other video applications in the suite, a real swiss army knife, it has a gaping hole when it comes to organizing and locating media which is the very core of editorial. The whole concept of “sub-clipping” is so out dated that its hard to imagine that is still being offered up by Adobe. While I am a huge fan if Adobe Premiere and use it daily, Final Cut X tool set for organizing and locating your assets is so far ahead its hard to believe. Collections, smart collections, keywords, ranged selections, etc etc.

    At this point of where Adobe Prelude is in its integration and life-cycle, my recommendation would be to stop development of Prelude and end of life the product. It has no future.

    Thanks

  2. Alan Langdon says:

    Thank you very much for your tips!
    But I am not able to get the Prelude descriptions to appear in the Description column in Premiere… I am using CS6. I would like to describe clips (entire clips, initially, no need for even describing sections) and have those description appear in Premiere when I send the clips over. What am I doing wrong?

  3. claude says:

    hey wes i know you dont work for adobe anymore but i have one quick question
    is there any way to create a rough cut out of markers in one shot
    what is happening is that i create markers turn them into sublip for every clip then i send it into a rough cut, but if i could selected the files i ve already logged and extract all the markers from them into a roughcut it would save me a good amount of time
    is there any way to do that