How to Detect Duplicate Footage and Clips in Premiere Pro

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When working on a large video project with multiple assets, it can get tricky trying to keep everything straight. Being meticulous in tagging, ordering, and importing footage can help significantly, but sometimes duplicate footage can still slip into your assets panel and your timeline without your realizing it. Luckily, Adobe has included a simple and effective tool for detecting identical content on a frame-by-frame basis, and in this post we’re going to show you how it works.

This tutorial is adapted from Chapter 5 of our comprehensive 19-hour Premiere Pro CC training video course, authored by Jeff Sengstack. We’ve also included the video at the bottom of the post if you’d like to see the process onscreen.

First load a project with multiple small clips. In our example within the course, you’re actually provided with a sample project, but since we’re just showing off this tool’s adaptive functionality, there is no reason you can’t use your own. Place the clips along your timeline, and go ahead and place one or two of them twice, mixing up the order.

Now simply go to your Timeline Display Settings button (indicated by the Wrench icon), and select Show Duplicate Frame Markers from the menu as shown below.

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Instantly, all duplicate content within your timeline will be indicated by colored bars at the bottom of any identical clips within the timeline. If only part of a clip is identical to another piece of your project, only the affected portion of the clip will be highlighted.

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The tool analyzes each clip frame by frame, and only matches exact duplicates, so you don’t have to worry about false alarms. Sometimes, of course, there are valid reasons to use a clip or a full-screen image more than once within a video, and in those cases, this tool can be used to make sure you’re only repeating footage exactly where you want to.

As a word of warning, the number of colored bars is limited to ten, and in the rare case you have more duplicates than that, the colored indicators are recycled. While you may not ever encounter the full spectrum, it is nice to look at!

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To watch Jeff demonstrate the tool in real time, here’s the lesson from our course. To explore this and other courses, you can sign up for our Learning Library go to the Video Editing tutorials section of our main site.

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