How to Create a New Sequence in Premiere Pro

It is likely the most easy way  to create a sequence by either dragging a clip to a Timeline panel or by right clicking a clip choosing "New Sequence from Clip". This is super handy and easy. However, moving forward with the post production work you find yourself adjusting your clips or other settings to match the sequence, don't you?

One of my favorite ways is to go to File -> New -> Sequence and choose a preset that most closely matches the majority of my footage I work with. Let me go through this a little more in details.

Sequence is a video timeline. Sequence is where you do your editing. This is where you put your video clips, music, audio, sound effects, graphics, etc together.

In Premiere Pro you can have several sequences in a project. Especially if you are editing something on a similar subject using the same graphics, music, etc. it makes sense to edit in one project.

Also it's a good idea to create a new sequence when you work with various versions of your film. As you make changes, you create a copy/duplicate the sequence and rename as version 2.

Sometimes it may help you to edit each scene as it's own sequence. Like this you can stay more organized and navigate your sequence easier.

You can copy and paste a sequence, insert a sequence into a sequence (nested sequence). You can delete, rename, and search for a sequence the same way as for the rest of your files. Make sure you set up your sequence setting right the first time, as you cannot change sequence's preset, you will need to copy paste all the clips into a correct sequence and it takes some time.

Here a few basic things I apply to choose a preset for my sequence:

  • Format type
  • Resolution
  • Frame rate
  • Target output
  • Project size

If you are not sure where to find this information, you can check it on your camera (some of it), or go to the Project panel and open the Preview Area when a clip is selected.

premiere pro create new sequence file info

Now, let me show you how I create the presets. There are two ways to create a new sequence:

1. You can click the New Item button in the bottom of the Project panel and select Sequence.

premiere pro create new sequence

2. Or you can go to File -> New -> Sequence. Choose a preset, review the details displayed in the Preset Description field, name your sequence and click OK.

premiere pro new sequence how to create

Once the sequence is created you can start dragging your footage to a Sequence timeline. If the clip does not match the sequence's settings, are will a warning box will appear. For this you might want to make sure that your footage matches the sequence's settings. I generally use the following preset:

premiere pro create new sequence preset

Now, let's talk about the frame rate conversion options. It always sounds very confusing what settings should the sequence have and how to play a clip in a sequence that does not match the frame rate of the clip. Before going into how to, here a few rules about frame rates and sequences:

  • Your sequence can only have one frame rate, even though it can contain clips that use different frame rates.
  • It is is much easier to convert from a faster frame rate to a slower one (slow motion, i.e. 60fps -> 30fps)
  • The duration of a frame is one frame. There are no partial frames, i.e. if a sequence is 30fps, then the shortest duration you can display is 1/30th of a second.
  • The frame rate of your sequence takes precedence over the frame rate of any media in your project panel.

When you have, let's say, a 24fps (23,976 if to be precise)  sequence, you want to make sure that your footage has the same settings. If you shot for slow motion, then you will need to modify the frame rate for your footage. You can do it directly on your timeline after you added a clip to your sequence. Or, you can do a batch footage interpretation in a Project Panel. You can select video clips, right click, select Modify -> Interpret Footage and type the required frame rate. Hit OK.

premiere pro create sequence interpret footage modify frame rate

Now, what happens if we add a 1080 footage to a 4k timeline, or 720 footage to a 1080 timilene, it is much smaller resolution. Or we have a footage that is shot at 29,97 and we want to add it to a 23,976 timeline. What do you think can happen?

In Premiere, you are able to add multiple file types, frame rates, and aspect ratios all in the same sequence. It will ask if you want to change the settings to match the clip, but you’ll want to select “Keep Existing Settings” if you want to keep the sequence the same and adjust the new clip around it.

premiere pro new sequence

Now, let’s determine the frame rate for your sequence. So far we generally shoot using these frame rates: 23.976, 24, 25 (PAL), 29.97, 30, 50 (PAL), 60, and 120 or even 240. In editing, however, you hardly see anything over 60 fps. Most broadcasting films are 24 fps and most web videos are 30 fps. So, you have to determine the frame rate for your film and after importing your footage, anything that is different from your sequence you will adjusted during your edit. It is OK to have a bunch of clips that are 29.97 fps and a few that are 60 fps. As long as you’re aware that it may look different when you export, or if that’s a certain look you’re going for, then you’re fine just leaving as is.

Choosing an aspect ratio is another parameter to think about. As an example, imagine you want to print an image you created, there are so many frame sizes, which one would you choose? It is absolutely up to your personal taste and vision what aspect ratio you choose. Wes Anderson is famous for his 2.35:1 aspect ratios. Most of the time footage is shot and delivered in 16:9, that is a “standard”.

How to adjust our footage to a sequence settings? In terms of aspect ratio, you will need to scale or move your clips position to fit the frame. You can do it by going into your Effect Controls panel and adjusting “scale” or clicking twice on a video clip in your program and moving the clip itself. Keep in mind that anytime you bring in a different aspect ratio than that of your current sequence, pixels outside of your sequence frame are going to be cropped.

When you are working with different resolutions, scaling your video clips down is not a big issue, there is nothing to worry about with losing video quality, all you need to do is to scale your clip frame to fit. But a 1080 clip in a 4k sequence has much smaller resolution. Trying to scale this type of clips up will have some impact on a video quality. So, you can embrace it or convert your footage using 3rd party programs.

At the exporting stage you will have another chance to make final adjustments to your settings. For example if your entire sequence is edited in 4K, you should not worry much about exporting as a 1080 video. Just make sure it all looks good on your screen.