31 Replies Latest reply on Oct 31, 2012 11:09 AM by Ed.Macke

    What The Heck Is A Sequence?

    Ed.Macke Level 3

      I've recently graduated from Premiere Elements to Premiere Pro. Congratulations to me!!

       

      To get up to speed, I've been watching quite a few videos and reading books, and one thing that keeps popping up is the concept of "sequences". But everybody just seems to assume you know what a sequence is.

       

      I don't. From what I can gather, a sequence just seems to be a bunch of clips grouped together? But I'm not even sure about that concept.

       

      What I'm really not sure of is what they are useful for. For example, when would I use a sequence versus just a regular old clip? If I put a sequence on the timeline, and then change the sequence, is that change automatically reflected on the timeline? Does everybody just usually use clips, or do sequences offer some advantages?

       

      Also, I'm not sure if this is a related question or not, but Pro also appears to have multiple timelines. Elements only has one, so I'm not sure how multiple timelines would be used and if that has something to do with sequences.

       

      Sorry if this are newbie questions!

        • 1. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
          Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          You're right - a sequence is a bunch of clips, on one or more layers, with optional effects, transitions, etc.

           

          Premiere doesn't work with 'clips' in isolation. Even if you only want to import and render one clip it has to be put onto a sequence.

          • 2. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            Let me try with an analogy:  You have a book (movie). It consists of many chapters (sequences) and each chapter consists of many paragraphs (clips).  Of course you can change individual paragraphs (clips), but sometimes it is better to just change the font (appearance) of a chapter by modifying the page layout (say color correction) for the whole chapter (sequence) in one go, instead of applying that to each individual paragraph (clip) in the chapter (sequence).  That is about the simplest way I can come up with to explain sequences. Hope it helps.

            • 3. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
              Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              A sequence is a timeline.

               

              A sequence within a sequence is a nested sequence.

               

              Here are some links to start reading:

              http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1090211

              • 4. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                Ed.Macke Level 3

                So I can't just import a clip and drag it to the timeline, ala Elements?? You can only drag a sequence to the timeline?

                • 5. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                  Ed.Macke Level 3

                  Here are some links to start reading:

                  http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1090211

                   

                  The link just points back to this topic!

                   

                  So if I import a clip (and presumably make it a sequence), is that conceptually like a mini-timeline sitting in my media bin?

                  • 6. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                    cfg_2451 Level 2

                    Ed.Macke wrote:

                     

                    So I can't just import a clip and drag it to the timeline, ala Elements?? You can only drag a sequence to the timeline?

                    You can indeed drag a clip to the timeline.

                     

                    Many people will instead drag the clip to the source monitor. In the source monitor, they'll select an in point and an out point for part of the clip that they want to keep. Then they'll drag from the source monitor to the timeline -- only the part of the clip between the in and out points will show up on the time line. Then they can return to the source monitor, move the in and out points, and repeat.

                     

                    If you do it this way as opposed to, say, putting the entire clip on the timeline and using the razor tool (not generally recommended), PPro keeps "heads" and "tails" (a bit of footage beyond the in and out points ) for you to use in transitions between these sub-clips. You can learn more about this by investigating the Trim functions.

                     

                    In PPro there are generally many ways to accomplish a given task. The above example is just one way.

                    • 7. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                      Ed.Macke Level 3

                      @cfg_2451

                       

                      The way I'm used to working in Elements sounds much like your Scenario #2 ("putting the entire clip on the timeline..."). Part of that is because Elements insists on opening a modal dialog for its in/out preview which is annoying and slow, so the timeline approach is just quicker (especially for getting down to the frame-by-frame detail).

                       

                      Now, I have to say, with the PrPro interface (especially the scrubby zoom... that is COOL! ETA: oops, "scrubby zoom" is a Photoshop thing, I meant scrubbing by just moving your mouse across the clip) I will probably change my workflow to your Scenario #1.

                       

                      But I'm still having a little bit of a hard time wrapping my mind around what the difference is between importing a clip and dragging it the timeline, and treating a clip (clips) as a sequence and dragging that to the timeline.

                      • 9. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                        Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        But I'm still having a little bit of a hard time wrapping my mind around what the difference is between importing a clip

                         

                        It's the same as Premiere Elements - you're puting it in the Media Panel

                         

                        and dragging it the timeline, and treating a clip (clips) as a sequence and dragging that to the timeline.

                         

                        You drag it from the Media Panel to a timeline.  Dragging a sequence to a timeline is dragging one timeline into another timeline.

                         

                        Remember - a sequence is a timeline. A clip is a piece of media within a timeline (sequence).

                        • 10. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                          Ed.Macke Level 3

                          Remember - a sequence is a timeline.


                          So if I had a bunch of clips, transistions, effects, etc. on the timeline, could I save that as a sequence and use it in another project?

                          • 12. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                            Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                            A sequence is something that exists within a project, it's a "timeline with layers" - the same as you'd have in Flash.

                             

                            Think of it this way, let's suppose you're creating a series of TV ads for a client. They want five ads, each with variations on the content.

                             

                            • The whole thing would go in one project, purely so you can keep track of things.
                            • All your footage, titles, graphical overlays etc are items in the project bin.
                            • You'd create five sequences in the project, one per ad. The settings for a sequence decide the final output, so it's the sequence that decides things like the frame dimensions and frame rate. Whatever you put on the sequence is transcoded to fit those settings, so if your sequence is set to 24fps and you drop on some 60fps video, it'll be resampled to 24. The only thing that isn't dome automatically is resizing.
                            • On each sequence you'd assemble sections of your raw footage - these sections are 'clips' as in the old days of film you were clipping out a section of film from a larger reel. In Premiere you select the clip from the footage item by opening it in the source monitor and setting in/out points, or by dropping the entire thing onto the timeline and trimming it.
                            • Sequences by default have one video track, but you can add more - that's how you layer things on top of each other, such as putting a lower third graphic over your video. If there's a gap in a layer, whatever's below it shows through (if there's nothing on any layer you'll render black).
                            • If you had a series of clips which were common to every ad (such as the final message) you can create that as a separate sequence and place the sequence inside the others. Premiere is happy to treat a sequence the same as a regular chunk of video, so you can cut out sections and reuse them. This is called 'nesting' and when the master sequence is edited, all the reused copies reflect that change.
                            • You would then export each sequence  to make the final collection of videos.

                             

                            You can import a copy of a sequence from one project into another by running the import command on your new project and selecting the old the project file (.prproj) - Premiere will list everything in the file and you can pick what to import. The source clips will import automatically when you import a sequence. Remember that nothing is embedded in the project file, all the source footage is read from the original media - so copying a sequence doesn't copy the video itself.

                            • 13. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                              Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              So if I had a bunch of clips, transistions, effects, etc. on the timeline, could I save that as a sequence and use it in another project?

                               

                              That's one of the biggest advantages of Pro over Elements.

                              You can make an intro for your videos and use it on each project if you wish.

                              • 14. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                Ed.Macke Level 3

                                Ah, I think I might be getting it... So let me see if I understand...

                                 

                                Elements has one timeline that can have many clips, transistions, effects, audio tracks, etc.

                                 

                                But Pro can have multiple timelines. Like Elements, each timeline can have many clips, transistions, effects, audio tracks, etc.

                                 

                                But unlike Elements, a Pro's timeline can also contain "sequences", which is basically a timeline with many clips, transistion, effects, audio tracks, etc. encapsulated into one self-contained unit?

                                • 15. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                  Ed.Macke Level 3

                                  So let's say I've created a sequence in "Project A". I've put it on a timeline, also in "Project A".

                                   

                                  If I edit the sequence itself, say to add a sound effect, that new effect would just automatically show up when I played my timeline, right?

                                   

                                  Now, what would happen if I also included that sequence from "Project A" in "Project B". If I changed that sequence while working on "Project A", when I opened "Project B", would my new sound effect be there, as well?

                                  • 16. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                    Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                    Every assemblage of clips in Premiere is a sequence. The word "timeline" refers to something else - the panel on the lower right of the screen that you use to work with your sequences. Without a sequence open there is no timeline panel.

                                     

                                    Premiere Elements projects can only have one sequence so you never notice it. Premiere Pro can have multiple sequences so they appear on the project bin, and you can have as many open at the same time as you want.

                                    • 17. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                      jstrawn Adobe Employee

                                      Good analogies, Harm... and by the same logic...

                                      Letters = Frames

                                      Sentences = Subclips (if applicable)

                                      Pragraphs = Clips

                                      Chapters = Sequences

                                      Book = Project

                                       

                                      Of course, these are not hard and fast divisions. The user may not have any sort of subclip division, or they could choose to work with one sequence for the whole project, and so on...

                                       

                                      I had the pleasure of heping to "invent" and develop PrEl for a few years (versions 1 and 2). Back then, we were very similar to Premiere. We had sequences and timeline editing which were very close to the way it still works in PrPro. The shift to slpit/shorten-clip and storyboard-style editng outside of a conventional timeline came later because users were having a hard time grasping sequences and timelines. So, you're not alone. The only reason assumptions have been made that you would know what  sequence is is because that is a long-standing convention that nearly all experienced/pro users would be familiar with. But Elemenets users wouldn't be familiar with them, unless you've been using Elements for AT LEAST 5 years.

                                      • 18. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                                        Ed,

                                         

                                        Welcome to PrPro.

                                         

                                        You have gotten some good explanations on Sequences, but let me try a slightly different analogy.

                                         

                                        As you are coming from PrElements, you understand Projects in PrE. A Sequence is just a "mini-Project," inside of a larger Project, which will contain at least one Sequence (mini-Project), but can contain a lot more. A Sequence behaves almost exactly like a Project in PrE, but there are some differences. Those differences also contribute a lot of additional power, with features such as Nested Sequences. One can also Copy/Paste freely between Sequences in PrPro, unlike trying to do that with Projects in PrE. PrPro is just like PrE, in that one can ONLY have one Project open at a time, BUT, as a PrPro Project can have any number of Sequences, it is sort of like having many Projects (using the concept from PrE) open at the same time.

                                         

                                        I edit, most often, in a form, where each Sequence is a "chapter," or "scene" in my Project, and that works great for what I do. Others use the structure of the Sequence for other operations, such as the Nested Sequences, allowing for them to do things to what amounts to a "group of Sequences."

                                         

                                        In PrPro, the Project is really just a "root folder" for many Sequences. Unlike PrE, most of the necessary settings are at the Sequence level, where in PrE, the Project is both the highest level, but also the lowest level, that one is working with, and it is in the Project, that the intitial settings are made.

                                         

                                        Just another way of looking at what others have said, but with PrE as a reference.

                                         

                                        Good luck, and hope that it helps.

                                         

                                        Hunt

                                        • 19. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                          Ed.Macke Level 3

                                          I think I started with PrEl version 4. I upgraded to v7, and have remained there since. I'm very comfortable editing on the timeline (I used the storyboard mode exactly once!), and thanks to the many responses here, I think I'm starting to get sequences.

                                           

                                          Hunt, I like the analogy of a sequence to a PrEl project. I think I'm really starting to get it now.

                                           

                                          As you probably know, most of the time my PrEl workflow is essentially Steve G.'s recommended approach: Each PrEl project is very small - mine are typically 5 minutes or less - and I export the project to an file, then have one large project at the end that glues together the small projects into one large project, and I create my DVD from there. But that approach is largely a defense against PrEl crashing and corrupting my project, hence how large each project is is in direct correlation to how much work I could stand losing. Some projects might only be 1 minute long, if there's tons of work I've put into it, while other projects might be 10 minutes long if it's simple plop-plopping of clips on the timeline.

                                           

                                          I'll be curious to see how my new workflow changes with the concept of sequences (and hopefully improved stability of PrPro!).

                                          • 20. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                            shooternz Level 6

                                            Nothing much wrong with your workflow and your reasons for doing so....but you could add a regular Project "save as" routine into it ( your workflow) for a bit of insurance.

                                             

                                            Dont make too big an issue of "sequences" (timelines) per se ...but nesting them is a very powerful and useful function.

                                            • 21. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                              Ed.Macke Level 3

                                              .but you could add a regular Project "save as" routine into it

                                               

                                              With PrEl, I had my auto-save set to 5 minutes and kept like 99 versions around. Disk space is cheap, my time is not I intend on doing the same with Pro.

                                               

                                              but nesting them is a very powerful and useful function.

                                              I'm beginning to see that. Now that I have a little better understanding of what they are and what they do, I'm looking forward to exploiting them as much as possible!

                                              • 22. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                shooternz Level 6

                                                "Save as" is diferent to "auto save"

                                                 

                                                My advice...use "save as" ( as well as auto save) and back  up the save as's to a different drive regulalrly (eg on shut down)

                                                • 23. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                  Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  Auto save is not the same as Save as.

                                                  Auto save gets overwriten after so many times (in your case 99), a Save as does not (if it saved in the correct way)

                                                  So after say 16 hours of editing the first 99 projects are gone.

                                                  The Save as still resides on the hard disk in its original state.

                                                  • 24. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                    Ed.Macke Level 3

                                                    So after say 16 hours of editing the first 99 projects are gone.


                                                    Oh, egad. I've never come close to spending 16 hours on a single project (although I think 5 minute auto-save only gives me 8 hours of editing - but I don't know if I've ever approached that, either).

                                                     

                                                    Of course, that was with PrEl where each project was only a couple of minutes long.... things may change with PrPro.

                                                     

                                                    But if they do, I have a pretty sophisticated back-up scheme set up and I could incorporate periodic project "snapshots" into that (I do something similar with iTunes and Lightroom catalogs, etc.)

                                                     

                                                    But definitely thanks for the advice - got me to thinking, which is always a good thing!

                                                    • 25. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                      Ed,

                                                       

                                                      For some background, plus the differences between the various Saves, this article might be useful: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3392837#3392837

                                                       

                                                      Good luck,

                                                       

                                                      Hunt

                                                      • 26. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                        Ed,

                                                         

                                                        After a bit of time in PrPro, I think that you will soon be creating larger single Projects, with the necessary Sequences, than you did in PrE. With the power of Nesting (mentioned by ShooterNZ), you'll soon be expanding what is contained within a PrPro Project.

                                                         

                                                        Good luck,

                                                         

                                                        Hunt

                                                        • 27. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                          Ed.Macke Level 3

                                                          After a bit of time in PrPro, I think that you will soon be creating larger single Projects, with the necessary Sequences, than you did in PrE.

                                                           

                                                          That would actually be a welcome change!

                                                           

                                                          After many years in PrE, the "smaller project" approach just became second nature workflow. But the whole reason for doing it that way in the first place was because of the instability of PrE and its tendency to sometimes corrupt the project files. It only took one or two times of getting burned before I finally heeded Mr. Grisetti's advice to "divide and conquer" . Maybe PrE's issues were fixed in later versions; I don't know since I'm still on v7.

                                                           

                                                          But working in a single project would actually be a simpler approach on many levels, so I'm looking forward to this new workflow!

                                                           


                                                          • 28. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                            Ed,

                                                             

                                                            I completely agree with you. The structure of PrPro is much easier to use, IMHO, and is a much more natural, and linear approach, at least for me. Give it some time, and I believe that you will love PrPro.

                                                             

                                                            I picked up PrE to basically do some Importing, and rough editing, that PrPro did not handle well, back when. I still use it for such purposes, doing the bulk of my editing in PrPro, as it fits my "style" much better. I force myself to use PrE to basically explore users' problems with that program, and still rely on PrPro for 95% of all of my video-editing.

                                                             

                                                            Good luck, and I suspect that you will soon be singing the praises of PrPro.

                                                             

                                                            Hunt

                                                            • 29. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                              Ed.Macke Level 3

                                                              Oh, I'm already loving PrPro! I'm slapping my forehead for not upgrading sooner!

                                                               

                                                              Why, that one feature where you can move your mouse across the thumbnail in the media bin and it scrubs.... are you kidding me with how cool that is?!?! You know how much time that would have saved me over the years?

                                                               

                                                              I'm also very interested in the Prelude tool - I don't really see that mentioned very much on the interwebs, but that looks like it would be a huge time-saver for me, too. A topic for another thread, though.

                                                              • 30. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                                Ed,

                                                                 

                                                                Not sure if you have found the Prelude Forum, but if not, take a look: http://forums.adobe.com/community/prelude

                                                                 

                                                                Good luck,

                                                                 

                                                                Hunt

                                                                • 31. Re: What The Heck Is A Sequence?
                                                                  Ed.Macke Level 3

                                                                  Not sure if you have found the Prelude Forum

                                                                   

                                                                  I have now!