Premier Pro is a movie editing program from Adobe Creative Cloud. Ease of use is determined by your previous editing knowledge and the job itself. I’m a graphic designer for 25 years. Let’s look at what you need to know to get started.
Premiere Pro can be learned either online or in class. Specific hardware is required and there is a cost to use the software.
In this article, we’ll look at how to get started, what you will need, and the best places to learn Premiere Pro.
Hardware Required for Premiere Pro
Premiere Pro is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. To run Premiere Pro on your computer you will need a specific setup. It is a big-hitting app that requires a lot of RAM and memory. It also requires enough memory in your GPU to function correctly.
We’ll look at both PC and MAC and what you would need for each.
To run Premiere Pro on a PC you will need at least 8GB of RAM but the recommended is 16-32GB. To be honest I can never understand why they say the lower number. Yes, Premiere Pro will run but you won’t be able to use it to its full capacity with the minimum RAM.
Premiere Pro will run on the 6th Gen Intel processor but works better on the 7th Gen. The OS required is at least Windows 10. It will run on the latest Windows 11 however NVIDIA drivers might be required.
The graphics card needs at least 2GB of memory but again the preference is for 6GB.
Your machine will require in excess of 8GB of spare space to install and further space to save files. You can’t install Premiere Pro on an external drive, it must be on your Hard Drive.
|6th Gen Intel
|7th Gen Intel
|Graphics Card (GPU)
To install Premiere Pro on a Mac you must be running Catalina or later. You also need the 6th Gen Intel processor, 7th Gen is preferable. The RAM required is 8GB but again 32GB is recommended so that is what I would go for.
The graphics card must be 2GB if Intel (again up to 6GB) or 8GB for the Apple Silicon (up to 16GB).
You will require in excess of 8GB of memory to install the app and extra to save files. You can’t install the app on an external drive.
Regardless of PC or MAC, if you are going to purchase a machine specifically to learn Premiere Pro, I would buy the best equipment you can afford with the highest specs possible. Although RAM and graphics cards can be increased on a PC it’s not as easy on a MAC.
|6th Gen Intel
|7th Gen Intel
|Graphics Card (GPU)
|6GB (8GB Apple Silicon)
Software Required for Premiere Pro
Now that we know what hardware is required, how do we get the software sorted out? Premiere Pro is an Adobe app. It is subscription software, meaning there is a cost to use it, paid either annually or monthly. You can purchase Premiere Pro as part of the complete Creative Cloud suite or as an individual app.
There are reductions for students and teachers. Buying the complete suite makes financial sense for most users however you need to consider are you ever going to use any of the other apps? I suggest that you will use them, but not all of them. They are very specific to certain industries but if you are using Premiere Pro then it is a huge advantage to have Photoshop or Illustrator available. To buy the three of them individually is more expensive than to buy the complete suite.
Adobe offers a 7-day trial, which you should definitely sign up for before you pay for anything. This way you can get a feel for each of the apps and which ones you might need for your project.
What Are You Using Premiere Pro for?
Premiere Pro is an editing program, it changes raw footage into a usable movie. It is used by everyone from students to moviemakers. To get started you first need some footage. Nearly all the formats are acceptable with the exception of some Quicktime formats. You can also import stills, again most common formats are accepted – .jpg, .eps, .png, .tiff.
The introduction of stills is the important reason why when choosing your subscription you don’t exclude Photoshop. This will limit your ability to edit stills if you have only selected Premiere Pro.
No matter what editing you are about to dive into, be it the film department in school, the rebrand of your company, or your new YouTube channel you want your production to look amazing. The raw footage is therefore the key. It needs to be sharp. That also goes for any stills you use too, if they’re no good to begin with they won’t improve in your movie.
Ways to Learn Premiere Pro
There are several ways to begin learning Premiere Pro.
- Online tutorials
- Class-based learning
It all depends on what type of student you are and which learning style suits you best.
This is my preferred method of learning. Especially initially. Download the free trial and get stuck in. Don’t download it if you have a very busy week ahead. Give yourself the time to try everything and really absorb the whole app.
Have your raw footage available. But I don’t know what I’m doing, I hear you say. There’s no better way to learn in my opinion than boots on the ground. Set yourself a task and try and complete it. Adobe has lots of how-to’s in their app that will get you going. Here you can find both online and in-app tutorials. They are available in the dropdown help window.
Getting the basics is the hardest part of learning any new skill. You’re not going to damage anything. Just remember to copy your original footage and work on the copy.
When your trial is over and you’re ready to sign up there are unlimited amounts of online tutorials available. Armed with a few basics from your free trial you should now be able to follow along. Many of them are very much hand-holding tutorials and you can always scroll back to listen and watch again.
When looking for online tutorials choose people that have a high volume of followers. Read the comments below before you invest 20-30 minutes of your time. There are lots of ‘Great Pretenders’ out there. Time is precious to us all and there are many people who claim to be the best but in reality are only a couple of months ahead of you in their training.
The other alternative is to sign up for a class-based course. These could be one-to-one or in a Community College. Many people need the discipline of having to go to class at a specific time and place. Do your research and check that what you’re signing up for is going to fill your requirements and needs and that it is level appropriate. It’s also worth checking if they have a progression course.
The positives about this type of learning are the opportunity to ask lots of questions and also that you know the person teaching the class is fully qualified to do so. The negative is finding the time to practice at home if you work full time. But nothing worth learning comes easy. If you’re driven to learn you will succeed.
How Long Will It Take to Learn Premiere Pro?
The million dollar question! Everything completely new is going to take longer to learn than if you already have some editing experience. If you are familiar with Adobe products or other editing programs then you will be ahead of the curve. The reality is it will take up to 3-4 months to get to know your way comfortably around the app but it could take another 4-5 months to become completely proficient. As I say it has a lot to do with how you learn, how much time you can give it and what level you need to achieve.
As a graphic designer for 25 years plus there’s still parts of Adobe products that I’m still learning, purely because Adobe are constantly updating and adding to their apps to keep up with the every expanding technology.
You’re never truly finished learning but you’ll certainly become expert within the year if you’re will to dedicate the time.
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