Adobe Prelude is fantastic program for logging and ingesting media with its bit-by-bit checksum. This insures that your footage doesn’t get lost or corrupted upon ingesting. Adobe Prelude also allows users to transcode media upon ingest. Below is a guide on how to set up a project, ingest tapeless media using Prelude, and then send it to Adobe Premiere Pro for editing.

Check out this guide if you’d like to set up Premiere first before ingesting any footage. If you’d like to come back and ingest footage after already setting up Premiere, skip to step 3, “Ingesting Your Media.” If you have media to ingest and no project to ingest it to yet, use the guide below.

1. Preparing the File Structure

  • Create the root folder for your project. Your root folder should have a unique name including the date and project title.
    • Example: A project started on October 9, 2013 called “Prelude Test” should be called “131009-Prelude_Test”
  • In the root folder, create the following folder structure:
    • Adobe_Cache
    • Assets
      • Audio
      • BTS (behind the scenes)
      • Stills
      • Video
    • Documents
    • Exports
    • Prelude_Saves
    • Premiere_Saves

2. Preparing the Cache

Adobe Prelude will store rendered files onto the computer’s hard drive by default. We need to change this so it stores them onto your personal hard drive instead.

  • Open Adobe Prelude CC
  • Navigate to Edit>Preferences>Media
  • Under “Media Cache Files,” click browse and select the “Adobe_Cache” folder in your project folder. Click browse under “Media Cache Database” and select the same folder.
    • When given to option to move or delete the existing media cache database, select delete. 
  • Save, quit and relaunch the project to ensure that the settings take effect.

3. Ingesting Your Media

  • In Prelude, click on the “Ingest” button at the top of the program window.
  • With your media mounted to your computer, navigate to it using the drop down folders on the left. Your media will be in a specific folder depending on the camera you shot on.
    • Sony EX1, EX1R, EX3
      • Just select the root of the card
    • Sony HXR-NX5U (“NXCAM”)
    • Canon T3i
      • DCIM>100CANON
  • Select the footage you would like to ingest and click the check box in the corner. (Press control-a to select all footage)
  • On the right, configure your settings to the following:
    • Check “Transfer Clips to Destination”
    • Click “Browse for Location…”
      • Select the “Video” folder located in your project folder under “Assets”
    • Check “Add Subfolder.” It’s important to make your subfolder a unique name. Here’s an example of what we recommend:
      • PT001131009A001XDCAM_EX
        • Abbreviated project name (In our case, Prelude Test or “PT”)
        • Absolute card number (This is the first card we’re ingesting so “001”. The next card you ingest would be “002”, and so on.)
        • Today’s date (year, month, date)
        • Camera Identifier (Important for multi-camera shoots. If just one camera, label as “A”)
        • Camera card number from that day (This is the first card from camera A today, so “001”. Camera operators should make a habit of labeling cards before handing them over to be ingested.)
        • Footage format (This is keep track of what camera the cards came from.)
          • Sony EX1, EX1R, EX3 > XDCAM_EX
          • Sony HXR-NX5U (“NXCAM”) > AVCHD
          • Canon T3i (or any DSLR) > DSLR
          • Red One or Epic > RED
          • Black Magic Cinema Camera (shooting ProRes) > BMCC_PRORES
          • BMCC RAW cannot be ingested with Prelude at this time (November 2013)
    • Check “Verify”
      • Select “Bit-by-bit comparison”
    • Click “Ingest”
      • You can monitor how your ingesting is doing on the bottom left of Prelude.
    • Once the media is ingested, create a new bin with the same exact name that you gave the subfolder earlier

When they’re done ingesting,  select all the clips in your project window, right click, and select “Move to New Bin.” Give this bin the same name as the subfolder you moved the clips to.

3. Sending Your Clips to Premiere Pro

  • With your Premiere Project open and initialized, right click the bin your created in Prelude and select “Send to Premiere Pro”
  • If you are sending clips to Premiere for the first time, it will create a new project for you. If you are sending more clips to an existing project, be sure to have that project opened in the background before sending to Premiere Pro.