Last week Adobe announced that it’s releasing the CS5 version of its software. For me, this is really exciting news. 100 ACRE FILMS is an all Adobe production house. I find their products to be the most intuitive, best performing for my needs, and just all around fun to work with. I always get very excited when a new version comes out because it usually means that my job will now be able to be done faster or more efficiently due to new features or faster software. And this version is no exception.
As you may know from reading previous posts (both here and on the old blog), or from just knowing me, I’m a Premiere Pro editor – have been since 1996 and version 4.2. With the release of CS5, I can honestly say that this current version is the finest Adobe has ever released. I know many in the editing world look down on Premiere Pro (“it’s too unstable…it doesn’t work as well…it doesn’t have the level of support or users!” people say), but this new version is a game changer. It’s the version that may dispel the thinking and complaints that it’s not stable, not as feature rich, or not “pro” enough.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to use it before the big release announcement, and I can tell you – it is amazing. For starters, let’s talk about playback. New in CS5 is the Mercury Playback Engine. What this new technology allows is nothing short of incredible. With this added, it’s now possible to get better playback without rendering. And if you have one of the approved NVIDIA cards, you get even more power.
Let me relate an example from a recent project. I did a green screen shoot for a client last month that was shot in HD. While on set getting ready, the producer asked me if I could do a quick test shot and make sure the lighting was right for the green screen. I did a quick shot of someone in front of the green screen, pulled the SxS card from the camera, put it into my laptop with CS5 installed, and within 5 minutes I had keyed the footage (using the new Ultra keyer – more on that later), and was playing it back on the timeline with NO rendering…that’s right – I didn’t need to render it for smooth playback.
If you have one of the approved NVIDIA cards, your ability to playback footage with effects added and without rendering has now become even better. It’s possible to playback 7-9 (maybe more) video layers of 4K RED footage, all with effects added to the clips, and all played back in real time – nice and smooth. You read that right – I said 4K footage. I said realtime. What this new GPU accelerated technology provides is going to make editing so much faster. No longer will I have to wait for clips to render to see how things look – I’ll just hit play.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s working with the footage natively? No proxies, no “log and transfer”, no conversions…Premiere Pro works with the native files. Do you shoot with one of the DSLR cameras – no problem. Just drag the native files into your project and start editing. I can’t tell you enough how great that is. I was on set recently shooting a short film. The director asked to see some of the footage over lunch. I pulled the SxS card from the camera, put it in my laptop, and without coping the footage from the card I was able to cut together the first 4 scenes and play them back smoothly in full HD resolution. And it was playing back from the SxS card! That’s something that some other NLE’s can’t do.
There’s so much more to talk about. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting more about Premiere Pro CS5, as well as other programs in the Production Suite. If you want to learn more about them check out Adobe’s site, and if you want to learn more about Premiere Pro and network with other editors, be sure to check out the San Diego Premiere Pro User Group. I’ll be presenting a short demo of CS5 at the NAB Wrap Meeting at this months MCA-I meeting here in San Diego, so if any of this has got you interested don’t miss it.
If you’re a FCP or Avid editor, I’m really curious to hear your thoughts. As an Adobe user, I often find myself in the minority when meeting with other editors. Many editors tend to look down on Premiere Pro, and while some of that sentiment may have some validity based on previous versions, is there anything in this new version that raises your interest? I know that Avid just released a new version of Media Composer, so what are your thoughts about that? And for my FCP friends, what are you looking for from Apple this year? I know there are rumors that they may be releasing something new late in the year.
Until next post….