Practical Guide: Video Logging & Rough Cutting with Prelude
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Introduction to Prelude
  2. How to set up a project in Prelude
  3. How to log footage in Prelude
  4. How to create rough cuts in Prelude
  5. How to export rough cuts from Prelude
  6. Tips for efficient video logging and rough cutting
  7. Troubleshooting common issues in Prelude
  8. Additional resources for Prelude users

Diving into the world of video editing can be daunting. But don't worry, we're here to help you navigate through the process with ease. In this blog, we'll explore Adobe Prelude, a tool that simplifies the process of video logging and rough cut editing. So, whether you're new to this or looking to refine your skills, you'll find this guide useful.

Introduction to Prelude

Adobe Prelude is a video editing software that's part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. It's designed to streamline the process of video logging, which is the process of reviewing your footage and identifying key points. It's also built to facilitate rough cut editing, which is the initial phase of editing where you compile your clips and arrange them into a sequence.

Now, why should you care about Adobe Prelude? Well, for starters, it's a time-saver. You can use Prelude to organize and manage your video files, add metadata, and create rough cuts — all before you even start your main editing work. This upfront organization can save you hours of editing time. And we all know, time is money in the video production world.

Here's a quick rundown of what you can do with Adobe Prelude:

  • Video Logging: You can review your footage, identify key points, and add markers or comments. This makes it easier for you to find specific moments or scenes when you start editing.
  • Rough Cut Creation: Adobe Prelude allows you to create a rough cut of your video by arranging your clips in a timeline. You can trim and arrange your clips, add transitions, and even include rough audio to set the pace for your video.
  • Metadata Addition: Metadata might sound like a complex term, but it's just data about your video files, like the date of filming, the location, or the people in the video. Adding metadata helps you organize your files and make them searchable.
  • File Management: Adobe Prelude helps you manage your video files by allowing you to ingest (or import) your files, create a file structure, and rename your files in a batch.

So, if you're all set, let's delve into adobe prelude video logging and rough cut editing!

How to Set Up a Project in Prelude

Alright, let's jump in and get our hands dirty. Setting up a project in Adobe Prelude is straightforward. Follow these steps and you'll have your project ready in no time.

  1. Create a New Project: Open Adobe Prelude. Click on 'File' in the top menu and select 'New Project'. A new dialogue box will open.
  2. Name Your Project: In the dialogue box, you'll see a field for 'Name'. This is where you type in the name of your project. Make it relevant to your video for easy reference.
  3. Set Your Project Location: Below the 'Name' field, you'll see 'Location'. Click 'Browse' to select where you want to save your project. Remember, choose a location with ample storage space because video files can be quite large.
  4. Set Your Scratch Disks: What are scratch disks, you ask? These are the hard drives that Adobe Prelude uses for temporary storage. These can be set under 'Project Settings'.
  5. Create Your Project: Once you've filled in all the details, click 'OK'. Congratulations, you've just created your Adobe Prelude project!

There you go! You've now set up your project in Adobe Prelude, ready for some serious video logging and rough cut editing work. But remember, the journey has just begun. The real fun begins when you start importing and logging your footage, so let's get to it!

How to Log Footage in Prelude

Now that you've set up your project, let's talk about how to log footage in Adobe Prelude. Logging footage may sound like a chore, but trust me, it's a key step in video editing that can save you heaps of time later on. So, let's get started.

  1. Import Your Footage: Go to 'File' in the top menu, then 'Import', and 'Import Files'. Navigate to where your footage is stored and select the files you want to import.
  2. Open the Footage: Double-click on the footage in your project panel. This will open it in the Source Monitor.
  3. Mark In and Out Points: As you play your footage, you'll want to mark the 'In' and 'Out' points. These are the start and end points of the sections you want to keep. To do this, press 'I' on your keyboard to mark the In point, and 'O' to mark the Out point.
  4. Add Metadata: Metadata is, simply put, data about your data. Adding metadata to your clips can help you find them more easily later on. To do this, select a clip, go to the Metadata panel, and add your information.
  5. Create Subclips: Subclips are smaller clips created from a longer video clip. To create a subclip, right-click on the footage in the Source Monitor and select 'Make Subclip'.

And voila! You've logged your footage in Adobe Prelude. By logging your footage, you've paved the way for an efficient rough cut editing process. Remember, the devil is in the details, so take your time and be thorough. Your future self will thank you!

How to Create Rough Cuts in Prelude

Alright, you've logged your footage. Great job! Now, let's move onto the next step — creating rough cuts in Adobe Prelude. Creating rough cuts is like making a first draft of your video project. It's the step where you start to see your project take shape. So, let's dive right in.

  1. Create a New Rough Cut: Go to 'File', select 'New', and then 'Rough Cut'. A new tab will open in your workspace. This is where you'll create your rough cut.
  2. Add Clips to the Rough Cut: Simply drag and drop the clips you want to include from your Project panel into the Rough Cut tab.
  3. Arrange Your Clips: In the Rough Cut tab, you can click and drag your clips to rearrange them. Remember, this is a rough cut, so it doesn't need to be perfect — yet.
  4. Edit Clip In and Out Points: Want to adjust a clip's In or Out point? No problem. Just click on the clip in the Rough Cut tab, and drag the In or Out point to your desired location.
  5. Add Transitions: While Adobe Prelude isn't the place for detailed editing, you can add simple transitions between your clips. To do this, right-click between two clips, select 'Add Transition', and choose your desired transition.

And there you have it! You've created a rough cut in Adobe Prelude. Remember, this is your first draft. It's a starting point for your video project that sets the foundation for more detailed editing later on. So, don't stress if it's not perfect. The important thing is that you've made a start. Keep going, you're doing great!

How to Export Rough Cuts from Prelude

With your rough cut in place, you're now ready to export it. But how do you do that in Adobe Prelude? Well, let's walk through the process together. It's straightforward, and you'll be done in no time.

  1. Select the Rough Cut: Choose the rough cut you want to export. You can find it in your Project panel. Just give it a click, and you're set to go.
  2. Export the Rough Cut: Head over to the 'File' menu, select 'Export', and then 'Rough Cut'. This prompts Adobe Prelude to prepare your rough cut for the export process.
  3. Choose Export Settings: A new window will pop up with various settings. Here, you can set the format, name, location, and other parameters for your export. Don't worry too much about the details — the default settings often work just fine.
  4. Start Exporting: Once you're happy with your settings, hit the 'Export' button. Adobe Prelude will then start exporting your rough cut.

And voila! You've successfully exported a rough cut from Adobe Prelude. That wasn't too hard, was it? Now you can take your rough cut and continue with the next steps of your video project. Keep up the good work!

Tips for Efficient Video Logging and Rough Cutting

Now that you've got a handle on Adobe Prelude and its video logging and rough cut editing features, let's look at some ways you can make your workflow even more efficient. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time and efforts:

  1. Organize Your Footage: Before you start logging or creating rough cuts, make sure your footage is well-organized. Naming your clips and keeping them in properly labeled folders can save you a lot of time in the long run.
  2. Use Keyboard Shortcuts: Adobe Prelude, like all Adobe software, comes packed with a whole host of keyboard shortcuts. These can drastically speed up your workflow. For instance, the shortcut for creating a new rough cut is Ctrl + N (or Command + N for Mac users).
  3. Use Subclips and Markers: These are powerful tools in Adobe Prelude that can make your video logging and rough cut editing process more efficient. Subclips let you isolate important sections of your footage for easy access, and markers allow you to note specific points in your video that need attention later.
  4. Export Regularly: Don't wait until the end of your project to export your rough cuts. Regular exporting allows you to check your work in other applications, get feedback, and catch potential issues early.
  5. Stay Consistent: Try to maintain a consistent workflow. This can help you avoid confusion and make your process smoother and more efficient.

Remember, the goal is to work smarter, not harder. With these tips in mind, you're well on your way to mastering Adobe Prelude video logging and rough cut editing. Happy editing!

Troubleshooting Common Issues in Prelude

As with any software, you might run into a few bumps on your journey with Adobe Prelude video logging and rough cut editing. Don't worry, though—most issues are common and have simple solutions. Here's how you can tackle some of the most common problems:

  1. Problem with Importing Files: If you're having trouble importing files into Prelude, check the file format. Prelude supports most video formats, but not all. If your file type isn't supported, consider converting it to a compatible format.
  2. Application Crashes or Freezes: If Prelude crashes or freezes, try restarting the application. If the problem persists, restarting your computer might help. Still no luck? Reinstalling the application is a good last resort.
  3. Issues with Audio Sync: If your audio and video aren't syncing correctly, you might need to adjust the frame rate during the logging process. Check the original frame rate of your footage and ensure Prelude is set to match it.
  4. Exporting Issues: If you're having trouble exporting your rough cuts, check your export settings. The issue may simply be a wrong setting or a format that doesn't match your video project.
  5. Playback Lag: If you're experiencing lag during playback, your system might be struggling with the size or format of the video. Try reducing the playback resolution or converting your footage to a more manageable format.

There you have it—a quick and easy guide to troubleshoot common issues in Adobe Prelude. Remember, every video editor faces problems now and then. When you do, stay patient, stay cool, and you'll find a way through. And remember, the Adobe support community is always there to help!

Additional Resources for Prelude Users

Adobe Prelude is a powerful tool for video logging and rough cut editing. But, like any tool, it becomes even more powerful when you know how to use it effectively. Let's take a closer look at some resources that can help you get the most out of Prelude.

  1. Adobe Help Center: Adobe's own Help Center is a treasure trove of information. From basic functions to advanced features, it's all covered here. It's like having a digital tutor at your fingertips.
  2. User Forums: Adobe user forums are a great place to connect with other Prelude users. You can ask questions, share tips, and learn from the experiences of others. Remember, in a creative community like this, everyone learns from everyone else.
  3. Video Tutorials: If you're a visual learner, video tutorials can be a great resource. Websites like YouTube have hundreds of tutorials for Adobe Prelude video logging and rough cut editing. Why read about it when you can watch it?
  4. Online Courses: Want to take your skills to the next level? Consider signing up for an online course. Websites like Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer in-depth courses on using Adobe Prelude.
  5. Books: Sometimes, you just can't beat a good book. Titles like "A Guide to Adobe Prelude" or "Mastering Video Logging with Prelude" can provide you with detailed insights and techniques.

So, there you have it—some excellent resources to help you master Adobe Prelude. Remember, the key to becoming a pro at video logging and rough cut editing is practice. So, dive in, start exploring, and before you know it, you'll be creating fantastic video content with ease.

If you enjoyed our practical guide on video logging and rough cutting with Prelude, you'll definitely want to check out the workshop 'Getting Started With After Effects' by Jarrett Lampley. This workshop will help you further enhance your video editing skills and introduce you to the powerful capabilities of Adobe After Effects.