The world is completely different than it was in the 1990s, VM! Premiere is a distant, distant cousin of today's Premiere Elements and Premiere Pro.
First, why not start with my free 8-part Basic Training tutorial series at Premiere Elements support site Muvipix.com?
Then, if you really want to learn the program, step by step, check out my books, available at Amazon at the Muvipix store.
It appears that your Source Files are MPEG, but that is only a wrapper, and a lot can be inside that wrapper. With MPEG, it's not quite as much "stuff," as with an AVI wrapper (normally, but not always), and any number of those things can cause issues. This ARTICLE will give you background, plus link to some useful utilities to help you "peek inside" the MPEG wrapper. If you can post the details of the files, as reported by G-Spot, or MediaInfo, that will get us started.
As for the Project, when you launched the program, you were asked to Open an existing Project, or create a New Project. Obviously, at that point, New Project was the only viable choice, and you were then presented with a dialog screen, where you could choose the Preset for that New Project. It is the choices that you made, that we need, say an NTSC DV Widescreen 16:9 Project, etc.
Adobe Technical Support is available over the phone, but there is a charge, and I would question how much use it would be, at this point. I think that with a little reading, and some input form the forum members, we can get you to editing. Steve has started you on the learning path, and this ARTICLE will give you a few more resources, plus mentions his suggestions, which I strongly recommend.
For a general start, here are the starting steps:
- Identify your Source Files. This might be by remembering the settings on the camera used to create the files, or tape, or as in your case, looking at the MPEG files in a utility, like G-Spot or MediaInfo.
- With those specs. in mind, start a New Project that matches. Say that you shot footage on a miniDV tape camera in Widescreen 16:9 Mode, you will then Capture that footage from the tape, and will want an NTSC (if in the US), or PAL (if almost anywhere else) DV Widescreen 16:9 Project.
- If you shot on miniDV tape, you will Capture the footage, but if you shot anything else, you will need to Copy the files to the computer, and then Import those files into the PrE Project. When you Import a file, that has an Audio Stream, be sure to give the program time to Conform the Audio. There is a small progress bar at the lower-right of the GUI.
- Once Imported, or Captured, open the Project Panel, and I would make sure that your Timeline is in Timeline View Mode, and not Sceneline View Mode. It is much easier that way, and will probably look more like that older Premiere, that you used in school.
- Drag the first Clip from the Project Panel to the Timeline. There you can cut it up, Trim either end, or just take it, as it is. Continue this process, until you have all of the Clips onto the Timeline.
That is the starting drill, and Steve's Basic Training, goes into much more detail.
I created a more precise list of what I wish to combine to make one new video program:
Transformers_S2.mpg (0:00 - 0:33) (All)
Transformers_S2.mpg (0:00 - 0:08)
Transformers_S2.mpg (0:31 - 0:33)
Rodimus.mpg (0:00- 0:08) (Note: Should start after grey jet passes by on top of screen (less than a second in), and stop after blue robot tramples over the other two robots, cutting off the part where he's shot at from the sky, and all that afterward.)
(1:34 - 1:38) (Note: Should start as soon as video beings, and end when the four side robots are shooting their laser guns, and the one in the middle shoots his shoulder-cannons, cutting off the part with the bridge and missiles, and everything else afterward.)
trypt.mpg (0:15 - 0:16) (Note: Only shows the brief second or two where the five robots quickly transform to one big robot.)
(5:22 - 5:25) (Note: Should start with all 5 robots appearing onscreen, and end with them, in a combined robot, firing at the screen, cutting off the white laser-shooting base/battle-station and everything else afterward.)
Transformers_S2.mpg (0:23 - 0:33) (Note: Should start with lava-flowing ending, and lined-walkway appears, and goes to the end.)
Not sure if I can get all of these videos in, in the 33 second time limit. I'm willing to cut either the trypt.mpg clip, and/or the youtube link-clip below it.
I have a youtube downloader program, so no worries there. Also need to know how to cut video so I can make these clips that are from youtube and tfarchive.
I also want the video to contain the same quality as shown from each file here, and all fit the size of the largest file (the youtube one, I think it is).
Please LMK how to do this, and if any of this is unclear. Things like this are all I really want to use APE9 for, so I won't be asking much else here.
Have you worked through the Basic Training tutorials I suggested above? That will help you with the basics of how to use the program.
Your biggest issue is going to be creating video with any kind of quality. If your video is coming from YouTube, it's already been compromised to a certain degree (no matter how good it looks online). This is the nature of any video posted online.
Then, if you're using a YouTube downloader, the video is being compromised again because it is being converted to an MPEG or MP4.
Then, when you load the video into Premiere Elements, the program is not going to be able to work with it in the format you downloaded from YouTube, so the program will convert it to fit its workflow -- which will compromise it again.
In short, YouTube is probably not the best source for video. But I'm sure you know that.
Beyond that, you're just asking for help with some basic video editing. And that's what my basic training tutorials are all about!