Big promises from Premiere Clip, but does it deliver?

As many of you know Adobe Max is happening on Oct 6th, and with it is plenty of new features and updates to Adobe’s line of video applications. While updates are always great in terms of making products work better and fix bugs there’s a couple of brand new offerings available that extend into the world of mobile where the first time I fee like I’m one step closer to editing while on the beach in Cancun.

I’m going to start with what sounds like the best part (for me as a video guy) and  talk about Adobe premiere Clip.
Premiere Clip

What is Adobe Premiere Clip?

Premiere Clip is one of the new apps announced today during Max for mobile devices (I believe just iPad at the time of this writing) among others that tries to streamline the process of creating any time at any place. Imagine being able to edit a rough cut on your iPad and then taking what you created and picking up where you left off directly in Premiere Pro.
Pretty bold claims but thats exactly what’s promised from Adobe. Basically imagine editing a rough comp and being able to adjust audio etc on your device, and publishing from there.

Who is it for?

While being to edit on my device is great, this will NOT replace your editing station anytime soon. Premiere clip is really what it sounds like and lets you assemble some clips into a timeline.

Welcome screen
Welcome screen

When first opening Premiere Clip, you are greeted with a short tutorial explaining how everything works in it and how to get up and running.

You basically create a new Clip project and from there you can import from the camera roll, from your Creative cloud folder, directly record from the camera, and create a title.  Being I run out of room on my iPad often I chose to import from Dropbox which let me to my first issue.

Except (for me at least) there is no dropbox support. I imagine this is due to the fact that Adobe suggests you use Creative Cloud for syncing.  However even when saving some clips from dropbox into Creative cloud I was unable to sync the files due to filenames with dashes and quotes etc. So after renaming the files and uploading to Creative Cloud, I had to wait to access the files.  Again Im sure this is really made for accessing the files already ON my device, but what’s the fun in not putting this program through its paces?

I am a water bird.
I am a water bird.

My second frustration is one items were uploaded to the creative cloud they then needed to be re-downloaded into clip so i could use the properly.  Additionally during the import process I was unable to select a portion of the clip to import meaning if i wanted to merely use part of a 10 minute scene, I would need to import the entire scene first, then only select part of that scene to use during my project.  If I’m short on bandwidth or have a poor connection this isn’t something that I can count on.

Again I assume that if I am using my camera roll things would be working more quickly but from what I’d want to do as a professional it left me feeling more frustrated than if I just used a full editing suite.

Premiere Clip titles

What I DID like in this process was being able to create simple titles in Clip that I could put together in a timeline for instructions or things called Story Cards.  Story cards lets you take a picture of something that can be later replaced with footage in clip or premiere with instructions so you can use Premiere Clip to put together a small animatic or a dummy timeline to pick up in Premiere Pro.

So who is this for? Well if you are brand new to editing, or need to put something quickly together to show a client or friend than maybe this is for you.  If you are doing some very basic Pre res work, then this might be for you as well. If you have been waiting for anything to edit video via phone and just want to get something on screen than this is for you.

If you are a professional who needs to be able to put together fine tuned animations and want the control and freedom from a more robust editing platform than you may find Premiere Clip to be just a little to fresh to replace your existing solution.

Other Hi-lights.

Premiere Clip Audio

Audio Features:
In Premiere Clip, you can alter the volume of clips, fade in and fade out audio at the beginning and end of a clip, and use something called Auto Mix, which lowers the background volume when there is audio in the clip playing.  Perfect for Voiceovers and narration.


A few songs are included with Premiere Clip so you can music right out the gate. With the ability to import your own music from your mobile device I’m wondering how adobe will respond to copyright concerns down the road.

Adjust exposure and Speed:

premiere Clip Adjust

premiere Clip looks

In Premiere Clip, you can adjust the Exposure Shadows and Highlights per clip in case you need to brighten or darken anything.  Additionally you can change the speed of certain clips which I’m sure will work great with the high frame rate possibilities of new devices.  lastly you can apply an overall “look” to your project from a selection of several of them.

Unfortunately I could not find a way to create my OWN look, but perhaps in a future update.

Working and exporting to Premiere Pro

The most exciting promise this app makes is the fact you can pick up where you left off in Premiere Pro so you can continue your work. And while that works well in theory there were some serious hiccups I ran into along the way.

Wheres the "Save to Device"?
Wheres the “Save to Device”?

Once you complete your project you can opt to share it online right away or send to Premiere.  Where that “share online” goes? I dont really know, and without really knowing, I don’t want to putting anything online and agreeing to whom-evers terms. I have my choices of Public and Unlisted, which leaves me wondering why I cant just save the completed work back onto my device?

My second tabbed option is Edit in Premiere and in doing so creates an Xml file that can be imported into premiere and all my clips.

But this is where I ran into a second problem.

Obviously any clips that you have in your timeline need to be accessible by that timeline. The solution for Clip? To create NEW copies of all the media you uploaded and used in your composition  back into you’re Creative Cloud account and then you will be able to edit with them.  Now my problem with this is the space and bandwidth thats required to edit clips in 1080p.  Even though these may be short clips the total package of clips and assets is over 127mb with of content. Meaning if I am in the field and upload some assets, it will take quite a while to be able to access and edit in Premiere.  Additionally, if I am to work with other people collaboratively, there is no way I know of to share these assets.
lastly as I mentioned earlier, there are now 2 copies of every clip in my Creative cloud meaning realistically I’ll have to only store Half my total allotment in files so I have room for all the duplicates if I work with files imported with Creative Cloud.

Not my idea of a back up plan….

Other Thoughts:

So heres the thing. If you can give me a mobile editing station like Lightroom mobile does, and give me proxy files to work with on my mobile station I would love that. However using Premiere Clip at this point has too many things counting against it.  i cannot import an mp3 file from Creative Cloud, I cannot easily and quickly work on projects in a professional manner and even when using Premiere pro with it, I cant easily see what has been changed from the original file or not.

Clip with Premiere Pro Even some of the things I did put together didn’t seem to work right.  I created a title with Clip with black text and a white background that didnt make it over, I was unable to see any color exposure or changes that were Made to any of the clips I used in Premiere Clip, and overall it would have been easier and faster just to use dropbox and premiere Pro to work with collaborators.

I’m left feeling confused about why this product exists with the Premiere name attached to it.  Sure it may be convenient to edit together a couple pieces from you iPhone or iPad on the go, but if you are wanting to really make it pop, you are doing far more that merely assembling clips.  This product feels like it was merely made to have something for the Mobile environment without a whole lot more going on.  Simple features like being able to see a timeline or tracks make me wonder why I wouldn’t just use iMovie instead of Premiere Clip.

Also heres what I was able to put together in Premier Clip.

3 thoughts on “Big promises from Premiere Clip, but does it deliver?

  1. Really excited about the idea of beginging an edit on my phone – doing a brainstorm random edit and then finishing the final tweak in Premiere. As an expedition / travel videographer I use my phone to manage my media in the wilderness. I tried Adobe clip but the syncing process is just painful –for me it takes DAYS. I wish there was a way to upload lo res proxies / session structure to the cloud // Transfer the full res files via usb or card reader and re-sync / replace with full res media in premiere desktop. This would be a game changer.


    1. I kinda do this but just with Dropbox and my laptop. I set my raw to autotranscode to super low Rez proxies and edit on the road then just relink the originals when I’m back home.
      Premiere clip is just rushed, unfinished and I think dead in the water. Haven’t seen a lot of updates.


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