Here are three quick and easy ways to import your footage and other media files into Premiere Pro.
Each method has a different reason why you may choose to import in this way.
Let's walk through each method so you can decide what makes the most sense for your video project.
You may also be having trouble importing certain types of files into Premiere Pro. If that's the case, scroll on down to discover some common reasons for import failure in Premiere Pro.
If you're new to Premiere Pro, be sure to check out more beginner Premiere Pro tips & tutorials on the blog.
Why Use This Method: It's the quickest and easiest (imo).
1 | Once you've opened up Premiere Pro, navigate over to your Project Window.
2 | Simply double click anywhere in this box and a window will open, allowing you to find the footage or files you'd like to import.
3 | Select one or multiple clips and hit 'import'.
4 | You can also right-click anywhere within your Project Window and select 'Import' to open the same import menu.
Why Use This Method: It's the easiest to remember for beginners or if you get lost.
1 | Navigate to the top menu bar of Premiere and select 'File'
2 | Select 'Import' and a browser window will open up allowing you to choose which files you'd like to import into Premiere Pro.
3 | Select the files you'd like to import and click 'Import' to add them to your project.
Why to Use This Method: You can leave it open while continuing to work on your project for continued access. It also works best for more complicated file imports from certain video codecs (RED camera footage, for example).
Note: If your footage is buried in a confusing list of folders with unrecognizable file types, you likely need to use media browser. This will ensure that the correct file types are imported, along with the correct meta data attached to each file.
The Media Browser gives you quick access to all your assets while you edit making it easy to browse to files. Unlike the Import dialog box, the Media Browser can be left open and docked, like any other panel.
1 | Navigate to the top menu and select 'Window > Media Browser'
2 | The Media Browser panel opens. On the left, there is a list of folders. On the right, the contents are displayed. You can toggle between list view and thumbnail view.
In the list of hard drives and folders in the Media Browser, click the triangles next to folder names to open them.
3 | To view only files of certain types, click the Files types displayed icon, and select a file type. To select an extra type, open the menu again and make another selection. Repeat until all desired types have been selected.
4 | Select one or more files from the list of files.
5 | To preview the clip in the Media Browser, move the cursor over the thumbnail. Alternatively, double click the clip to open it in the Source Monitor. You can also right-click the file in the Media Browser and select Open In Source Monitor.
6 | To import your chosen clips, right-click the file in the Media Browser and select Import.
You can drag the file from the Media Browser into the Project panel, or drag the file from the Media Browser into a Timeline.
7 | The Media Browser will now import the file into the Project panel.
Why Use This Method: Personal preference or if you want to directly import from another location on your computer.
1 | Navigate to the files you wish to import within a finder window on your computer.
2 | Select the files you want to import and drag them into your project panel in Premiere Pro.
Note: you'll see a little green plus icon if the file is compatible in Premiere Pro.
That covers the three primary ways to import your footage and other files into Premiere Pro.
But what if you've encountered an issue when trying to import your files?
Here are some common problems you may encounter while importing files into Premiere Pro and how to fix them.
Here are all of the many types of files that can be easily imported into Premiere Pro:
|AI, EPS||Adobe Illustrator|
|BMP, DIB, RLE||Bitmap|
|GIF||Graphics Interchange Format|
|ICO||Icon File (Windows only)|
|JPEG||JPE, JPG, JFIF|
|PNG||Portable Network Graphics|
|PTL, PRTL||Adobe Premiere title|
|TGA, ICB, VDA, VST||Targa|
|TIFF||Tagged Interchange Format|
As long as your still image or graphic file falls under one of these types of extensions, you can simply import it in any of the three easy ways to import we covered at the beginning of this article.
Here are some more detailed notes to keep in mind for best practices when importing still photos into Premiere Pro.
The maximum frame size that can be imported for still images and movies is 256 megapixels, with a maximum dimension of 32,768 pixels in either direction.
Before you import a still image into Premiere Pro, you should consider doing the following in order to reduce rendering time within Premiere Pro.
You can import files from Adobe Photoshop 3.0 or later, or from Adobe Illustrator. You can control how layered files are imported.
Empty (transparent) areas of nonflattened files are transparent when imported into Premiere Pro, because the transparency is stored as an alpha channel. This lets you import graphics and superimpose them over clips in other tracks with no extra effort.
You can import layered Photoshop files either with selected layers imported as individual clips into a bin, with selected layers imported as individual clips into a bin and sequence, or with selected layers merged into a single video clip.
Also, you can import Photoshop files that contain video or animations if they are saved from Photoshop in timeline animation mode.
You can import an Adobe Illustrator still-image file directly into a Premiere Pro project. Premiere Pro converts path-based Illustrator art into the pixel-based image format used by Premiere Pro, a process known as rasterization.
Premiere Pro automatically anti-aliases, or smooths, edges of the Illustrator art. Premiere Pro also converts all empty areas into an alpha channel, so that empty areas become transparent.
Even though the layers in Illustrator are merged in Premiere Pro you can edit the layers by selecting the clip and choosing Edit > Edit Original.
There are a handful of unique video codecs that Premiere Pro simply won't recognize.
You may see the following error message: Codec missing or unavailable.
If this happens, you simply need to convert your incompatible files into files that Premiere Pro understands.
For a list of compatible video codec formats in Premiere Pro, check out this list on Premiere Pro's site. It's lengthy and constantly being updated, so I wanted to link you straight to the source.
These are both free programs that will convert your files into a more compatible format that Premiere Pro will recognize.
1 | Download your font
2 | Double click on the .zip file for your download
3 | If your file is a .otf or a .ttf file, simply double click and your computer should automatically load the font window.
4 | Click 'install'.
5 | Restart Premiere Pro if you already have it open.
6 | Your newly downloaded font should now appear in Premiere Pro when using the Essential Graphics panel.
You can import Premiere Pro projects into your project panel in exactly the same way as other footage.
If you'd like a more thorough explanation of how to download, install, and import MOGRT files into Premiere Pro, check out this in-depth tutorial I made all about it.
Typically YouTube videos are downloaded in the MKV file format. These types of files are not directly recognizable in Premiere Pro, so you'll need to covert them to a file format that Premiere Pro recognizes.
Here are a few common problems that may arise when trying to import your media files into Premiere Pro and how to fix them.
Before anything else, make sure that both your video and audio source patching is enabled.
This is a common issue if you find that only the video or audio portion of your clip is importing.
Source patching simply tells Premiere Pro that you'd like to edit both the video and audio portion of your clip in the timeline.
1 | With your clip selected in the Project Panel, you should see V1 and A1 highlighted in blue on the left most side of the timeline.
2 | If you only see one or the other, simply click within that area to turn source-patching on.
If you are getting the following error: 'File Import Failure. The importer reported a generic error.' Then read on.
There are a handful of reasons that you may be getting this error, but the most common reason why you may receive this error is because of a corrupt file or file type.
Here's how we can fix the File Import Failure Error in Premiere Pro.
1 | Make sure that you've updated your current version of Premiere Pro to the latest version.
2 | Restart both your computer system as well as relaunch Premiere Pro.
3 | Try to import your files once again.
4 | If you still receive the same message, more than likely you need to convert these files.
6 | If that solves the issue, then you can choose a different type of file type to convert to if you wish.
7 | If you are STILL getting the error message, it's time to clear your cache files.
Navigate to 'Preferences' -> 'Media Cache'
Select the button that says 'Delete Unused' and hit 'OK'.
If none of those solutions work, then the problem could be on the software end, meaning you'll likely need to contact Adobe Customer Support for more specific help.
Method 1: The easiest fix for this problem is to simply rename the file extension on your .mkv file.
Method 2: Convert the .mkv file into a more compatible format.
When you import your video file and drag it into your timeline, only the audio portion of your clip appears.
Make sure sourcepatching is turned on for both video and audio tracks on your timeline (see above for more detail).
This problem is caused because only the audio codec is being recognized and not the video.
Here's how to fix it.
Reimport your newly converted file into Premiere Pro and that should fix the problem.
Note: if you have multiple files in need of converting, you can complete the same process by dragging them all into the VLC window at the same time.
Believe me, I know just how frustrating it can be to run into a technical problem like this in Premiere Pro.
If you have an issue that isn't easily solved by any of these solutions, leave a comment below and let us know exactly what the problem is and how you've tried to fix it.
I'd be happy to help you explore more solutions.
Thanks for reading!