Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adobe CS6 Production Premium at the BOSCPUG: Part 1

It was a tough room at this weeks Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting, with over half the room putting up there hands when asked who was still using Final Cut Pro 7. But Adobe sent their headliner, Al Mooney, Adobe Product Manager for Premiere Pro, to explain and demo all the new features:

Ladies and gentlemen, The Comedy Styling’s of Al Mooney.
“It’s really nice to be able to say BOSCPUG and not BOSFCPUG; number 1 because BOSFCPUG is almost impossible to pronounce and number 2, you’ve dropped the F, and let’s face it, there’s no F in NLE.
I thought that was going to work, never mind.”
Al proceeded to go through the Creative Production Suite, first highlighting the new tools in the suite including; Story, Prelude and SpeedGrade.
“We are giving you a suite of tools designed to give you a perfect workflow from your very initial idea, all the way through to your final delivery.”
When he asked who had ever used Adobe Story, only a handful of people put up their hands.
“The people of the world said ‘why on earth would you write a script writing tool?” and that’s actually a very good question, as there are some very, very good tools out there.

We value meta data enormously. In modern tapeless production meta data is both the most important and the most annoying thing that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Anything that can help you fuel the creation of meta data with minimal effort and maximum results is useful.

What better source of meta data than the script?”
He noted that ITV in the UK now use Adobe Story for their script production pipeline for the two biggest - and most depressing according to Al - soap operas in the world, Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

Scripts from Story can be embedded inside your media as metadata. In Premiere Pro you can run speech-to-text and then have a time accurate speech track to which you can edit.
“Who here uses OnLocation? (Two people put up there hands.) I’m sorry for your loss.”
OnLocation he explained was designed for tape-based systems, which no one is using anymore. It's now retired to Florida. He talked only briefly about it’s replacement, Prelude, stressing the importance of meta data:
“I like to say, it puts the ‘ta da!’ in meta data.”
“We also have a brand new version of Encore, which is for DVD and Blu-ray, mastering, because after extensive market research we’ve realized that the future is definitely shinny discs.”
He concluded the overview of the Suite with a bit about the features and pricing of the Creative Cloud. I’m not going to repeat that here.

When Al asked how many people had seen Premiere Pro 6, about a third of the room put up their hands. He then gave a brief run down of the history of Premiere, saying that the most important release of Premiere Pro - up until this one - was Premiere Pro 5 because it was a cross platform Windows and Mac application that was natively 64-bit. He explained that they had completely replaced the engine under “the bonnet.”

For this release, they focused on two key areas: user interface as a whole - reducing Chrome i.e. the great unused areas of gray and buttons, to make it easier to focus on what you are doing – and they also focused on improving the experience - the rhythm - of editing. “Making sure that we don’t slow you down.”

Another thing he stressed was that everything is very customizable; if you liked the way 5.5 was laid out, you can switch back to it:
“This is a recurring theme throughout the presentation, if I forget to point it out, it’s very customizable. If you want to go back to being a bit weird and slow; feel free!”
Explaining that they are “very good at integrating with other applications” he said you can move from Final Cut Pro 7 to Premiere Pro by opening Final Cut Pro 7 and using File > Export> XML, then go to Premiere Pro and use File Import XML. “You don’t have to copy anything.” For Avid users their AAF implementation isn’t as complete as their XML support, but they have a current release in Labs that is better.

A few interesting things:

  • You can hide the Work Area Bar and the Time Ruler Numbers in the Timeline.

  • The Media Browser has been redesigned with a new icon view. He noted that up until CS 5.5, all of the icons defaulted to being 4:3. “We’ve carried out even more extensive market research and we’re fairly confident the future is wide screen.”

  • Hover Scrub has been added to the preview icons, but you can turn it off.

  • You can set the In and Out points in the Preview icons.

  • A quick way to identify that a piece of media has been used is a small icon at the bottom right of the preview icon. If it’s yellow, it’s been used. Hover over it and see the number of times it’s been used, or click and see where it’s been used, and you can select the link and it will take you to it.

  • You can now drag a clip to an empty Sequence and it will ask you if you want to change the settings for the Sequence.

  • Noting that many people don’t use the control buttons under the source and program views, Al pointed out that you can hide the controls, or you can completely customize them.

  • Press the tilde key to go to full screen view for any panel, BUT as Al noted, it’s not really “full screen” for playing back your program. They have added a Cinema mode for full screen playback. He demoed it, but didn’t say how to do it. A search of the internet (and help) suggested that Control-accent, then clicking on the Source or Program window would put you into Cinema mode. I couldn’t get it to work for me.

  • One of the things that CS5.5 – and earlier versions - was really, really good at was stopping playback said Al. “It was one of it’s best features, it was brilliant.” For CS6 they added a new feature they call ‘Don’t stop playback.’

In the second half of the presentation, Al went into more depth on Trimming, and also talked about SpeedGrade, the program that most people go "Ahhhhhhh!" when they launch it. Coming up in part 2.

Don’t forget to tip your waitress.
To be continued.


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