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Deleting Preview Files in Adobe Premiere.

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by Makaveli96, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Makaveli96

    Makaveli96
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    Hi. I tried to search this topic but couldn't find exactly what I wanted. Also I'm new to this. I have a finished project in Adobe Premiere and I have a preview files folder that is over 6 GB. If I delete the preview files will this in any way damage the project? If I ever decided to go back and edit my project again will it matter if the preview files are deleted? I don't know the difference between the preview files and the actualy captured video. I have the original video that was captured from my camcorder and I'm not sure why Premiere has to make these preview files. They take up a whole lot of space, way more than the original captured video. So I guess I'm asking a couple things. 1) Can I delete my preview files, and if so, will I be able to still edit my project later on? and 2) What is the purpose of the preview files? Thanks.
     
  2. Roy Mallard

    Roy Mallard
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    Preview files (aka render files depending on the application you use) basically take any deviation from the orginal source footage and store it for quick and easy recall by the computer.

    It's worth understanding 2 things about editing on your computer (correctly called NON LINEAR EDITING):

    1: your timeline is purely a viewer, it is like co-ordinates on a map, dead basic info which is useless without a map to refer to. Your edit decisions are the co-ordinates, your source footage is the map.

    2: non-linear editing is non destructive; i.e. your source files are always intact, if you decide to change soemthing at a late stage in the edit you can quicly recall your original footage and start afresh.

    Whenever you add a caption, change a sound level, add a transition or do anything more advance you are altering your footage.
    So that you don't erase your source footage the computer makes up a copy of this footage as affected by your commands.

    When you playback on the timeline the computer knows to recall these ammended files for that part of the timeline rather than the source footage.

    If you were to 'render' these ammendments live on playback it would slow the machine right down, making real time playback impossible, so your machine makes up an ammended file in a format it likes (AVI - audio video interleave) and can playback easily.

    This is why fast (7200rpm) big (xxxgb) hard drives are useful, especially running off of a seperate bus from your your system drive.

    For every five minutes you shoot it's 1gb, for every five minutes on your timeline that has had some ammendment made that's an extra gb!

    If you erase your preview files ('render' files in Final Cut) you don't lose the commands or the original footage, but you will have to re-render your ammendments, and yes, it will require the same space back to store them.

    Professionals have two ways of working with this:

    1: Buy an external drive for each new project and keep everything on there.
    If in the future you want to redit, just plug your external drive back in.
    Expensive

    2: use manual timecodes (only a handful of prosumers and most professional cameras have this function) when recording your footage so that each scene accross all your tapes has a unique numerical identity and export an 'Edit decision list'.
    More time consuming, more relaible, cheaper.

    Long winded, but it's worth knowing a bit about the mechanics of what you are doing. Beleive me, for all this, it's a lot easier than LINEAR editing.
    When I think of the years I lost to A/B roll edits....
     
  3. Makaveli96

    Makaveli96
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    Thanks a lot for that info!
     
  4. vegbike

    vegbike
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    I just read Roy's reply and found it to be very helpfull in answering a similar question I was contemplating.... thank you chaps - by the way I am editing a project on my lap top which means I dont have much onboard memory - i am using a 160gb external drive that cost arround 90 quid and its a fast and very practical solution....
     

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