Intro to PremierePro and P2 support

by David Helmly


October 9, 2007



Premiere Pro and P2 support

for Intel Mac OSX and Windows XP/Vista

 (version 3.1)

What’s New?

With the new Premiere Pro CS3 and the 3.1 update, you can now natively Ingest, Edit, and Export the Panasonic P2 format. All you need to do is to shoot your video and simply drag ,drop , and edit – it’s that easy. There is no need to transcode your video with an intermediate codec in order to use them on the timeline, and there are no AVI or Quicktime wrappers – just native P2 format.

Premiere Pro CS3 will actually allow you to edit directly on the P2 card. This means you can shoot your video and start making a quick rough cut on your laptop while going to your next shoot. Once you get back to your desktop Premiere Pro workstation, you can copy the P2 clips onto your desktop workstation and continue editing. For those of you with a Matrox Axio, you’ve been asking for a laptop based solution to use with your Axio and it’s finally here.

If you use or plan to buy any of the AJA or BlackMagic products, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with their support for Premiere Pro CS3 (v3.1) as well. More on that later….

Watch This:

I have created a quick Intro to Premiere Pro CS3 and P2 video. This video shows you our P2 support in action.

TO LEARN MORE … Continue reading


Watch This:

I have created a quick Intro to Premiere Pro CS3 and P2 video. This video shows you our P2 support in action.

Click Here to CHECK IT OUT:

 Quick Facts:

Here’ s a quick recap of Using Adobe Premiere Pro  CS3 with Panasonic P2 Content.

  1. TRUE Native P2 Editing
  2. Direct editing from P2 media
  3. All frame rates and resolutions are supported
  4. Mixed media on the timeline (different Codecs and sizes) for example, HDV & P2
  5. Metadata-rich workflow
  6. Export to P2

Here are a few more tips when working with PremierePro and P2 clips.

  1. Make sure to choose the correct P2 Preset in Premiere Pro’s welcome screen. These presets support all of the P2 formats ranging from SD to HD and various frame rates including Varicam. You can make additional P2 presets under the custom tab.


2.   Viewing Metadata of a P2 clip is done by right clicking the clip in the Project Bin and selecting    Properties.


3.   Video and Audio P2 folders: When you import clips into Premiere Pro, you just need to show Premiere where the Video folder is located in the CONTENTS folder. Premiere will automatically find the audio and match it to the video.


4.    Clip Naming: Premiere Pro will assign the P2 User Clip name from the P2 media card as the name for the item in the Project Panel. This name is different from the MXF file name that you see on the media. As always, you can rename a clip in the Project Bin without changing its file name. Premiere will keep track of this “virtual” name for you.  For example, if you were shooting scenes in different cities (like Annapolis) you could change the User Clip name for each city you shot for your video. This is different from the actual P2 file name. Rather than use the file name , as its first choice, Premiere looks to see if there is a User Clip name. BEWARE – there is a user mode (1) on the camera that will name every clip the same, so when you import the clips, they will all have the same name (I’m not sure why this is a feature on the camera, but it’s there). If this happens to you, you can rename the clips in the project panel in Premiere or you can use the P2 Viewer application to change them. Take the time to read your camera manual – at least read about User modes- It’s a great feature. BTW: You can always look at the Creation Date Column in the Project Panel to help sort your clips if they were named the same.


5.    Icon View: Remember to change your view to Icon View in the Project Bin. This is fairly quick and allows you to scrub each clip and re-assign the thumbnail. It’s acts like a mini P2 browser. Also remember that you can quickly clean up the icons by selecting the fly out menu (small arrow on the upper right corner of Panel)  and choosing Clean up. I find myself using this a lot with P2 media.


6.      Multi Formats: Mixed media work great but remember to pay attention to frame size and scaling. I use DV footage (720×480) all the time with HD resolutions. But, I mainly use it for PiPs (picture in picture) I’m not  big fan of scaling DV to HD. It usually ends up looking like VHS. I know there are several hardware boards which scale and they all support PremierePro’s Scale to Fit command, but it still looks like DV to me.

7.     Spanning: Clips that span multiple cards ( must be imported and joined manually ) You can use the timecode or the Creation Date column in the Project bin to sort clips to the correct order

8.     Audio Only: You can import just the audio from a clip if needed. If you import any clip from the AUDIO folder, Premiere will import it as a single mono clip.

9.    CONTENT Folder: When using the Export to P2 option, remember that Premiere Pro will recreate a new CONTENT folder with all of the expected P2 subfolders. This will allow for you to take your rendered timeline to another P2 editor like Avid or FCP. It makes no difference whether it was created on a mac or pc.



101 Facts:


The P2 card is a high speed PCMCIA card and requires the P2 driver for your Mac or PC. It will appear on your Desktop or My Computer as Flash memory card. The file system is FAT 32 which has a 4GB max file size. The camera will automatically start a new clip after 4GB have been reached. The cards currently range in size from 4GB-32GB. You can use up to 5 PCMCIA cards in one device depending on the number of slots available (typically 2). There are also hard drive storage options available for P2 cameras as well. The FireStore and Shining Technology are a well-known options for both HDV and P2 cameras. I haven’t used either one for P2 yet.

CONTENTS Folder:  has a very specific folder structure of sub folders. It’s best not to rename them but rather create a TOP folder for example “Annapolis Day” and drop the CONTENTS folder into the TOP folder.

VIDEO Folder: contains video MXF files

AUDIO folder: contains upto 16 independent mono audio MXF files for each clip, using the clips file name with the channel number appended ( 0, 1, 2, 3 for 4 channels)

CLIP folder: contains clip metadata, stored as “[filename]”.xml

ICON folder: contains a thumbnail icon or poster frame stored as a BMP.

PROXY folder: contains proxy files, stored as .mp4files and containing quarter resolution MPEG-4 video at around 200kbit/sec and one mono AAC audio track, along with a BIN file. Adobe Premiere Pro does not support this function.

VOICE folder: contains voice annotations added after capture in .wav format.


  • By Kevan - 2:03 PM on October 9, 2007  

    Dave,great to see this out there and somewhere I will refer people too while out on the road.thank you for putting in the time and effort.

  • By Leo - 8:13 PM on October 9, 2007  

    Hello Dave,When will the 3.1 update be available? I only see 3.01 on the Adobe website…Thanks————————Reply from David K HelmlyLeo,We are looking to release it this month (sooner rather than later 😉 It’s just going through its final tests now.DKH

  • By Dan Wolfe - 1:03 AM on October 11, 2007  

    How about multiple frame rates? I shoot in 720 60p/30p/24p and always edit in a 60p timeline. Does Premiere handle this with no problem? Also, is it possible to display custon columns of specific metadata in the project window? (instead of right clicking to get properties?). And finally, when using P2CMS to create a database, do you need to do the typical export back to one contents folder for premiere to import or can it import all folders in the database without export?——————Response from DKHDan,Yes, you can have multiple frame rates in the same project. Keep in mind that you need to be careful what project preset you choose when mixing media and frame rates. The project settings determine the playback and rendering process of the timeline.For metadata, the Premiere Team did add a Creation Date column; and the usual in/out/duration/framerate columns apply as usual.This is key if the User Clip Name was set to name every clip the same name (yes, I’ve already seen this, why the shooter would do this,I’m not sure) Being able to sort by Creation Date really helps in this case. You can always rename the clip in project panel or in P2 viewer. If you rename a clip in the Project Panel,it’s only a virtual name.It does not change the file name. Which in the case of P2/MXF, is a good thing.At this early point, there is not any handling of the newer metadata tags, ie shooter / site location and so on . For that additional metadata, you will currently need to refer to the properties panel, which is a straight dump of the xml metadata associated with the clip. Yes, we need better handling of metadata ….stay tuned. It’s only the first release of our P2 support. More is coming ;)For the P2CMS software, If the clips are ingested to their capture drive via P2CMS, they can simply import them directly from the location that the P2CMS software ingested them to.As we continue to develop this video suite, workflow will be the key direction.

  • By John G. - 10:00 AM on October 11, 2007  

    So there is no support right away for direct timeline import from Premiere into After Effects? If not when do you think this will happen?Thanks.—————–Response from DKHJohn,the AE team has announced at IBC that P2 workflow will be supported in a future AE update. This means we can look forward to a complete workflow solution between AECS3 and PremiereProCS3. The AE Team considers P2/MXF an important workflow so stay tuned.

  • By Mazen - 11:50 AM on October 12, 2007  

    Does it support 720 24PN?—————–Reply from DKHMazen,Yes, we support 720p @ 24PNDetails:For editing MFX material recorded in 720p/24pn modes with a 60Hz Panasonic P2 camcorder. Material recorded using Variable Frames Rates will be treated as 23.976 fps. Progressive Rendering.

  • By JAY WILSON - FILMMAKER - 12:04 PM on October 15, 2007  

    Hi,I just shot a Movie Presentation using P2 card format. I am editing in Adobe Premiere Pro and I need assistance on converting my files and viewing them immediately.Help Please!I sure would appreciate an email on what to do next!dallasgoldmedia@yahoo.comThanks!——————Response from DKHJay,We are expecting to release 3.1 late this week. Everything looks to be on schedule.thanks,Dave——-

  • By Andreas U. Hellebust - 7:45 AM on October 16, 2007  

    Hi!And thank you for a most desired update to an already good product :)Wonder if Adobe will provide us with a “flip/flop” function? To explain: many users nowadays are shooting video on 35mm adapters that makes the video depth of field look like film.However, adding an additional 35mm lens in front of the camera, twists the picture 180 degrees, so it will be upside down.Since Panasonic didn’t include a flip/flop function in-camera, it would seriously help if Adobe could provide us with that (and I believe it is a somewhat quick way to do this)If so: I’ll be VEEERY happy. This has been such a hassle now for 18 months since I first bought the HVX and 35mm adapter. I really long for an integrated solution for this.Anyhow: thanks for your time!————-Andreas,Great workflow question. I’ll send an email to the PremierePro team and see what they think. We do have a quick fix in the Effects Panel where you can apply Horizontal Flip and Vertical Flip – then right click on the clip and select copy.Next, select all of the other clips on the timeline and right click and paste attributes. This will apply the 2 flip effects to all of the selected clips. It will also preview in realtime if you have a fast harddrive and faster Core2 processorNot a perfect answer, but a quick work around until we come up with a better solution.The hard thing to do is figure out where to put this feature in the program, maybe File>Interpret would make sense.DKH

  • By Mark LaCroix - 1:43 PM on October 16, 2007  

    Hello,I recently shot a film on P2 and was waiting for the 3.1 update to edit it.But… I got impatient 🙂 and started using DVfilm’s Raylight software to convert my files to avi for editing (for some reason I couldn’t get native support to work, don’t ask).My question is, since I am not finished with the edit, is there an easy way to “batch replace” the avi files with the original MXF files once the update comes late this week, or do I have to “unlink” and then “relink” each file?Also, Raylight gives me a single stereo track instead of 4 mono tracks (2 are discarded), so what kind of headache am I in for there when I try to replace the footage?(I really like AE’s “replace file” feature, btw, and hope to see it implemented in future PP updates)I knowingly got myself into this mess, and I suspect that I’m better off just leaving well enough alone and finishing my edit as a mix of Raylight and native files, but I was wondering if you had any advice on how to proceed.BTW, I appreciate the updates in this blog, thank you. :-)——————Mark,I agree that we need to offer a similar function to AfterEffects Replace File, this would save time. I know this feature request is on the wishlist already.One possible work around might be to use a new AE feature in PremiereProCS3 where you can replace a clip directly on the timeline by holding the [Alt/Option] key.The workflow migh took something like this: (1)Start a new PremPro project using one of the new DVCPro presets.(2) Import the Raylight project and open your sequence with the placed Raylight clips.(3) Import all of the orginal MXF P2 files into the new P2 project.(4) Select an original MXF clip in the Project Panel and press and hold [Alt] then drag the clip on top of the same Raylight clip in the Sequence that it matches. This will replace the clip in the sequence with the orginal MXF clip.It will also add the 4 audio tracks from the orginal MXF. Yes, you need to do this for each clip. I totally agree that we need to be able to do it from the Project Panel.DKH

  • By Peter Jonsson - 11:10 AM on October 19, 2007  

    Are you still gonna release the update this week. I have some footage to cut before the end of next week. And i really dont have time to use raylight or any other third part app.—————Response from DKHPeter, just tried to email you and it bounced back.Yes, we released the update yesterday via the Help>Updates in PremPro. It will be available for download on the Adobe Support page next week. Most people seem to be able to get the update OK. Both Mac and Win.I also wrote a quick update in the blog on After Effects P2 support coming before the end of the year. Here’s a link

  • By Jorge Suria - 12:03 AM on October 25, 2007  

    Hello:I assume tha having the P2 import/edit ability is basically installing the DVCPRO Codecs on the PC, once you have this why would you want to edit in P2 vs a DVCPROHD file/timeline. In my book its more files to loose/corrupt ect. I appreciate the P2 workflow but personally I’d rather go to quicktime DVCPRO HD as soon as I get to the computer. Why do you prefer to stay P2 after shooting? What is the ultimate benefit? Do you actually loose some resolution when wrapping to quicktime? I look forward to your collective insight.————–Response from DKHJorge,First , installing the P2 Utility does not install the Codec for Premiere or any other app. The Codec must be licensed from Panasonic (and it’s not cheap). The P2 util is not really necessary for editing but comes in handy when you need more than basic viewing of the files. Their Utilty does quite a bit and P2 users should get to know it. Many P2 users will tell you that they really count on the metadata feature of Panasonics P2 workflow. With our solution, all of that stays intact.The biggest problem I see when you wrap the Codec in Quicktime or anything else, you make it harder or impossible to move around to other apps. If you ingest a P2 file into your FCP system and work with it, and then need to give the file to another user, they need to have FCP on their machine. The Quicktime codecs that come with FCP are locked to the system via FCP. If you have seen the short video on the blog which shows FCP and PremierePro OSX/AfterEffects (Dynamic Link) working together, then you’ll see what I mean. This workflow is only possible if you have the new FCP Studio installed. FCP makes the codec available to PremierePro for rendering and working on the timeline (not ingest). You can’t simply copy the codecs and move them to a different system. FCP Studio is basically a “dongle” at that point. I should mention that this workflow is widely used now. Both Apple and Adobe have an incredible set of tools and if you have the budget for both suites then you have the best of both worlds. I have received a ton of email from FCP users telling me that after they used the new PremierePro MXF workflow, they understand its value and have a better feeling towards PremierePro in general(we’ve come a long way). It doesn’t mean that they will stop using FCP for P2 editing, it simply means they now have a better appreciation for native MXF P2 editing after working with it. Remember that a lot of FCP users now have both PremierePro and FCP because they bought the new Adobe video suite. More than likely, most never even launched PremierePro until now.Having the ability to keep files in a standard format keeps the creative engine alive. By following the Panasonic P2 spec as closely as possible, makes it easier for other applications that also follow the spec to work together.If all you do is edit on the timeline and don’t need to interact with other applications or other platforms, then any P2 workflow would work OK.You question on loosing quality is a good one. You don’t really loose quality if you just ingest P2 and work with it on the timeline within your NLE in a standard DVCPro preset. You start to loose quality whenever you render out as a different codec in order to move it another app or platform.For example, I haven’t found a way to bring a FCP P2 project from FCP to a Windows PC for 3D work by a 3D artist (many 3D people prefer PCs or Linux) Again, in order to move the FCP file to a non FCP system, you need to render out a different codec.Most people will render out as Quicktime Animation+ which is basically an uncompressed format and creates huge files which then need to be re-rendered into another codec for output. In this case you are loosing quality. You also need to consider the time it takes to convert. For most people, it’s not the slight quality loss, it’s the time/hassle to convert to another format.When you see AfterEffects working with P2 footage (I’ve been testing it for 2 weeks now) you will see the simplicity of the Native P2 format. AE just looks at the as if it were any other video file, just import the Premiere Pro timeline into AfterEffects and start working. Or just point AfterEffects to the CONTENTS>VIDEO folder and import the MXF file. No PremierePro needed.Nice and Simple.

  • By Tyler Stevens - 7:47 AM on November 18, 2007  

    I shot some P2 footage on DVCPROHD 720p at 25fps. Thanks to the cool update it works okay to import it into Premiere Pro at 720p 24fps, but it was to rerender and lose a frame every second, so it’s less than ideal for stuff I’ve already shot at 25fps. Is there a 25fps update on the way any time soon?———————–Reply from DKHTyler,it would be easy for you to create a custom preset and change the FPS to 25 from 24. This will keep you from losing your frame each second.All you need to do is start with the preset that best matches your footage and then click on the Custom tab and make whatever changes you need – In your case, change the frame rate to 25.DKH

  • By danang pepe - 2:35 AM on March 23, 2009  

    dear dave, i have trouble with my project. we use panasonic hvx 202 p2 cam & premiere pro cs3. i’ve your tutorial for p2 with premiere cs3. i see you just drag n drop video mxf format. but in my premiere pro cs3, i cant do that. what is the problem? can you help me.. thxs—————-Response from DKHFor CS3 users, make sure you are using the Premiere 3.2 update (most recent). You will need to navigate to the P2 Contents>Video folder to get to your P2 clips. In CS4 you can drag from the new Media Broswer which will find the P2 clips for you (just tell it which folder)