What is the Project Manager?

The Project Manager is a native tool in Premiere Pro for project copy, consolidation and transcoding.
Project Copy consists in gathering all your project assets into a single location for archiving or transfer purpose.
Consolidation and Transcoding, which means convert into a given format, has diverse interest:
  • Standardize all your videos into the same format.
  • Free some disk space by keeping only used part of your media.

How to use Project Manager

First thing to know is where to find the Project Manager!
You can access it from
File > Project Manager
.
Open Project Manager Premiere Pro Autokroma
This will open a new window dedicated to the Project Manager:
Premiere Pro Project Manager Interface Autokroma

Resulting Project section

The first section you should fill is the
Resulting Project
section. Here you will define for what main purpose you want to use the Project Manager but in both cases source files won't be modified or moved.
You have two main choices:
  • Collect Files and Copy to New Location
    . This option will gather all the media used in the selected sequences and copy them to a new designated location. Copying the entire clip prevents image degradation which might be caused by transcoding a part of it.
Premiere Pro Project Manager Collect Files
  • Consolidate and Transcode
    . This option will gather and then transcode all the media used in the selected sequences into a single format. All transcoded files will be placed into a single new location with the Premiere Pro project. Transcoding into an Intermediate File Formats can be a better choice for editing than using the camera native file.
Premiere Pro Project Manager Consolidate And Transcode Autokroma
When should you use one choice instead of the other? Here is a list of scenarios and the option you should choose in each of them:
  • If you are looking to transform all your files into a
    single format
    for diverse purpose:
    Standardize your files
    , use a codec adapted to the editing process.
    Then you should definitely use the
    Consolidate and Transcode
    option.
  • If you want to
    remove unused parts
    of your files to
    save disk space
    and improve your editing experience you should choose the
    Consolidate and Transcode
    option.
  • If you want to keep your original codec and quality, then transcoding is not the right solution for you. You should use
    Collect Files and Copy to New Location
    .
  • If you want to
    transfer
    to a colorist or VFX artist only the used part of your media and you don't care to keep the exact same quality and codec you should use
    Consolidate and Transcode
    .
  • If you want to
    archive your project
    and be able to re-edit it later with the
    same freedom
    then
    Collect Files and Copy to New Location
    is what you need.
  • If you want to
    archive your project
    but you want to
    optimize the size
    of it and still want to keep some freedom to re-edit your project later then you should use
    Consolidate and Transcode
    and add Handles (this will be more detailed )

Sequences selection

Next step, you need to select the sequences you want to keep into the consolidated project.
Premiere Pro Project Manager Sequences Selection Autokroma
If you want to copy the whole project then check all sequences displayed.
Be aware that nested sequences are not really well supported
by the Project Manager: only one level of nested sequence will be taken into account if you select a sequence with nested sequences inside.
If you have a complex project with many nested sequences and especially
nested sequences inside nested sequences
then you have two possibilities:
  • Keep every sequences without distinction by filling every sequence checkbox.
  • Walk through your sequences starting from all main sequences you want to keep and
    note the name of each nested sequences
    inside recursively then check each of these sequences to be sure you won't loose anything in the process.

Options explanation

Then you can choose your options according to your needs.
For
Collect and Copy Files
and
Consolidate and Transcode
the options you can fill are not the same.

Common options

The common options are:
Exclude Unused Clips

Check this option if you just want to
keep media used in the selected sequences
. All other media won't be copied or transcoded into the destination folder.
This option can be used when you have already finished your clip selection and you want to
free some space from unused media
.
If you don't check this option then
all the media
in the Project Panel
will be copied
, however
be careful
unchecked sequence won't be kept inside the Project Panel. If you have not completely determined your clip selection yet then this is the best option.
Rename Media Files to Match Clip Names

Check this option if you want your copied or transcoded media to be
renamed using the name
you have put into Premiere Pro
Project Panel
.
Uncheck if you want to
preserve the source files names
unchanged.

Collect Files and Copy Options

Premiere Pro Project Manager Collect And Copy Files Options
Include Audio Conform Files

Audio files are conformed when you import them for the first time or when Premiere detects additional changed to the media. This step can be time consuming when you have a lot of media.
So
including Audio Conform Files
will ensure that you will keep your audio conformed in the new project.
If you uncheck this option you will gain some disk space but next time you want to edit your project you will need to re-conform the files all over again.
Include preview files

When checked
Render files
from the original project
will be copied to the new project
. Including them means you won't need to render again if you reopen the new project later.
When unchecked you will save some disk but Premiere will render them again next time you open the consolidated project.

Consolidate and Transcode Options

Premiere Pro Project Manager Consolidate And Transcode Autokroma
When you have selected
Consolidate and Transcode
, you can specify in which format you want the clips to be converted.
You have three things to fill:
Source
Source will define
from what source
the Project Manager will use the
frame rate
,
frame size
,
field type
and
pixel ratio
.
  • Sequence
    will use settings of the selected sequence(s). If your sequence settings match your final delivery settings then you can use this option.
  • Individual clips
    will use clips individual settings to transcode them. You should choose this setting if you want to avoid changing too much your source file specificities.
  • Preset
    will use the settings of the given preset for the transcoding. If you want to standardize the best your files then this option can work for you.
Format and Preset
Here you can choose the codec you want your file to be re-encoded with.
Premiere Pro Project Manager Consolidate And Transcode Options
There are specific options for
Consolidate and Transcode
:
Include handles

This option allows you to add extra frames to the used part of your media in case you want to be able to re-edit your clip in the future. For instance if you choose 50 frames as Handles value the transcoded files will begin 50 frames before the In point in Premiere Pro sequence and end 50 frames after the Out point.
Convert Image Sequences to Clips

If you have used Image Sequence clips into one of the selected sequence, you can choose to convert this image sequence into a video file using the chosen output format. This will remove the unused frames of your image sequence.
Convert After Effects Comps

This option will export your After Effects Comps into a video file. This will improve playback in Premiere Pro.
Preserve alpha

If you want to preserve alpha channel of your video then you should check this option.

Project Manager Bugs and Limitations

The Project Manager has some annoying limitations that can make your work harder.
The Project Manager does take into account
only one level of nested sequence
, if you have a nested sequence inside a nested sequence, it won't be kept inside the output project. To be sure to take every single sequences you need, you will have to check one by one each sequence
Other annoying problem with the Project Manager is that
the output folder data structure is flat
, everything is put inside one folder.
Neither Premiere Pro project bin structure nor the folder structure on hard drive is used for the output folder.
There are also some bugs left inside the Project Manager for some times:
If there are multiple Project Items for one media, this media will be
duplicated
the same number of times in your final project.
For instance if you have imported twice a file, or you have created a subclip or a merged clip out of it, in the output folder you will have your file twice.
Project Items' Markers can be shifted if you use the transcoding option.
Unfortunately the Project Manager is known to have regularly
"Unknown error"
happening.
Premiere Pro Project Manager Unknown Error
If you are facing this issue here is a list of things you can try to solve the problem:
  • Uncheck "Include Audio Conform Files"
  • Uncheck "Include Preview Files"
  • Delete all your proxies
  • Check if you have special characters in your video/photo/work files naming like "+", "#", "$", ...
  • Delete Adobe Premiere Pro Cache
  • Uncheck "Exclude Unused Clips"

PlumePack VS Project Manager

We are developing a plugin called PlumePack to propose an alternative to the native solution with
less bugs
,
more client support
and also with a
lossless trim
option.
If you want to understand the difference between PlumePack and the Project Manager here is comparison between both solutions.
If you want to learn more about the Project Manager here is the official documentation.

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