With your project full of media, you have a few choices in how to view the contents of your project. Former versions of Premiere offered three views: List, Icon, and Thumbnail. For Premiere Pro, List and Thumbnail were unified into the new List view and Icon view was added for storyboard elements. The two icons in the lower-left corner of the Project window toggle between List view (the left icon) and Icon view (the right icon).
List view not only accommodates smaller icon sizes, it also uses a number of columns from which you can organize and order your project. In List view, the project name is always on the left. To the right of the name column are the columns you can reorganize and customize. When displaying items and bins in List view, Premiere Pro follows the standard Windows Folder view functionality. Twirling down a bin to open it reveals its contents within the window, and double-clicking on a bin causes the bin's contents to fill the entire Project window view. To navigate back up one level, you must click the Up Folder button (Figures 3.15).
Figure 3.15 When you double-click on a bin, it assumes the full display of the Project panel. When you are inside of a bin and want to go up one level of bins or back out to the root project bin view, click the Up Folder button. Here you can see that the Italy_MapDV bin is currently active in the Project panel. Pressing the Up Folder button, you would be at the root level of the project and could see the other items in the project
List View Columns
You can customize and sort the information columns in List view and use them for a number of different tasks. If you don't care for the default listing of columns, change their order by clicking and dragging on the column headings to move them around. You can also increase or decrease their size to a set amount by dragging from either of a heading's edges (Figures 3.16a and b).
Figures 3.16a and b You can easily resize the width of a column (a) or drag and drop a column to change its horizontal position (b). Notice the thin blue vertical line on the left edge of the Label column; that is the position into which the Media Type column will be moved
Certain columns can yield information that can be adjusted. By using the hot text interface, you can change the In point of clip within the Project panel by scrubbing for the listed in the Video In Point column. You can do the same with the Video Out Point and Video Duration columns (Figures 3.17).
Figure 3.17 You can adjust any of the blue hot text fields by clicking and scrubbing on the numbers
You can create custom columns and turn on or off specific columns by choosing Edit Columns from the wing menu. In the Edit Columns dialog, choose the check boxes for the columns you want listed. You can change the order by selecting an item and moving it up or down within the dialog's list.
Most importantly, in this dialog you can create your own custom columns. Clicking the Add button creates a new column. You can create two types of columns:
- Text columns. These have fields to which text can be written. If you need additional space to make notes for your media in your Project panel, you can create a custom column called My Notes. In that column, you will be able to click and write any text information. You can sort the information by highlighting (clicking on) the My Notes column heading and then clicking again to sort based on an ascending or descending order. This is helpful if you have an alternative order in which you want your files to be edited. I will make a custom column and then enter number values, such as 01, 05, 07, and a comment after. If I want to edit based on this order, I just select the column and choose my sort order.
- Boolean columns. These are check box columns. Use these to create a custom column in which you can easily identify an attribute with a check. When I edit photo montages, I usually want to know whether the picture is a portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal). I create a new Boolean column and name it Portrait, then click in the check box for every image that is a portrait. If I want to list all my portraits together, I click on the Portrait column name to sort based on that criteria, either ascending or descending.
In addition to a flexible column structure, List view has multiple display modes.
List Display Modes
In List view you can decide how you want to view listed items by clicking on the wing menu (Figures 3.18). Choose View > List or View > Icon to toggle the view from List to Icon, and choose the Thumbnails submenu to change the size of the icons in the Thumbnail Preview area or turn it off entirely. If you do not want to see an icon for your video clip, but instead want to see a thumbnail displaying the poster frame, you can uncheck the Off item and then select the size that you want the thumbnails to be. The bigger the size, the fewer items you will see within your viewing area of the Project panel. I always use the small size and toggle thumbnails on or off. The thumbnails settings are global, so there is no way to turn off thumbnails for one folder in your project and leave them on for another.
Figure 3.18 The Project panel wing menu offers a bunch of quick access features. By having items in this menu, you can assign them as unique keyboard shortcut items
Personally, I prefer to use List view with thumbnails off. This is always the fastest (because it does not have to display the thumbnails) and offers the most space (vertically) to display your project files.
I am a bit critical of Icon view (shown in Figure 3.1a), because I don't think it is a very intuitive or completely developed view mode. The Storyboard window in older versions of Premiere, which does not exist in Premiere Pro, was a pretty straightforward window with a sequential grid to which all of the items would snap. The grid was only as wide as your window size, and if you made the window larger, the grid would fill the space and still keep the sequential order of the items in the window. The Icon view in Premiere Pro follows a similar grid format, but it does not have a defined size. Additionally, if you resize your window or move items, they do not snap to a set sequential order.
I find the Icon view helpful when working with still images, because you can create an order of items that is not as easy to create in List view. Because List view (shown in Figure 3.1b) presents your items based on an ascending or descending order, you can't just drag your items into a different order within List view. With Icon view, you can drag them anywhere you want and the respected order will be left to right, top to bottom. Icon view is best used in conjunction with the Automate to Timeline function (bottom button bar), which allows you to automatically edit a sequence of clips using their listed or sorted order in a Project panel.