Friday, July 27, 2012

Adobe CS6 Production Premium at the BOSCPUG: Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s Part 1, here’s the rest of the notes from this week’s Adobe Presentation by Adobe's Al Mooney at the Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting.

Al explained that they had been told that trimming wasn’t very good, so they completely redesigned it.

You can now select an edit point and trim using the keyboard; previously you could only select clips and then trim in the Trim Monitor. Edits can be done by keyboard, or by mouse and you can even select and edit multiple trim points at the same time.

There's a check box in Preferences under Trim that you want to turn on: "Allow Selection tool to choose Roll and Ripple trims without modifier key." This allows you to choose multiple edit points, and it will also make Premiere choose between modes as you move the cursor left and right over the edit point, "it’s clever, it says 'I think that needs to be a ripple in, that needs to be a roll, that needs to be a ripple out.'"
Turn this parameter on...

Selecting (and adjusting) multiple edit points

Even with Snap enabled, when you scrub around a Timeline, Premiere doesn’t snap to the edit points. Al thinks that’s good, but then added that if you hold down the shift key, it will jump to those points.

He also demoed customizing the transport controls; he added the Loop Playback and Play Around edit buttons. With loop enabled, and pressing Play Around, Premiere constantly plays a range of frames starting just before, and ending just after, the current edit point. The amount it loops is set be preference. And while it’s playing, he used the cursor keys to nudge the edit point. He called this a dynamic timeline trim.

Customizing the transport controls

According to Al, Multcam is very, very, very important:
“I mean, seriously, who in their right mind would release a professional video application without multi-cam?”
The Multi Camera editor in previous versions had two limitations; it supported up to FOUR camera angles and it was difficult to use. They have completely rewritten it and it now supports as many camera angles as you want to try. That being said, don’t try to edit 200 angles…

The Multi-Camera Monitor

Choose the clips, then choose Create Multicam. It will then prompt you to choose the sync method. It will synch based on start points or timecode, but there's no audio  audio waveform synch. If you want to do that, he recommended Pluralize, which sits inside CS6 as a panel.

A MultiCam edited clip

Once the clip has been created, add it to a Timeline, and then choose the Multi-Camera Monitor from the Window menu. You can play and click between the different angles, and the results are saved into the timeline.

Other features:
The Warp Stabilizer is now a native effect in Premiere Pro. It’s not a two-dimensional stabilizer, but works in 3D space, and understands how things are moving in 3D space. It also has Rolling Shutter Repair

Audio: In previous versions, you could not mix audio tracks of different types (mono an stereo) in the same track. They now have a new default audio track called a standard audio track that allows you to freely combine different types. Multi-channel support lets you route audio within the mixer; you can changer the number of output channels to - up to 16 - and then choose which input channels go to which output channels

There’s also a new frame drop indicator.

A small workflow enhancement: to apply an effect to a clip, just select the clip in the timeline and then double-click the effect. You can turn anything that has an alpha channel into an adjustment layer and put a color corrector on it.

Adobe Media Encoder Tip: hide the preview as it takes up some cycles.

Adjustment layers
Adjustment layers can be used to apply an effect to multiple clips displayed in the same frame. As Al said this, there was a rumble of thunder; “wow, even God’s impressed” he quipped.

To add an Adjustment Layer, click on the New Item button at the bottom of the Project panel and choose Adjustment Layer. Add it to the timeline - it will default to the sequence characteristic - and then apply the effect to the Adjustment Layer.

GPU Support and Memory
According to Al, "poor suffering MacBook Pro users" were annoyed because these models had AMD GPU’s that do not run CUDA, "so wouldn’t it be nice if I could leverage the power of the GPU. Wouldn’t that be nice?" He then went on to explain that they did it for this particular confuigration: you need to hhave a 5750/5770 with a minimum gig of RAM.

Al talked about Dynamic Linking between Premiere and After Effects. "Think of Dynamic link as being a tunnel underneath the applications, and all we do is pass video frames between the applications. No import or export or media mangling."

Global Performance Cache: the applications are more intelligent about using memory and sharing what's available. You can see information about this in Premiere's preferences. After Effects even tells you how much memory is being used by each application.

Al then offered to demo either Prelude, or SpeedGrade, and the audience chose SpeedGrade.
“So now you get to see a Premiere Pro Product Manager, not knowing SpeedGrade very well.”
He described SpeedGrade as “a fairly complicated high-end color grading application,” and went on to demo most people’s experience of SpeedGrade: they launch the app, scream “Ugh!” and quit!

Noting that it has lots of support for high-end cameras, like Red etc., he added that some formats that Premiere understands, SpeedGrade does not support natively. This means that you have two workflow choices: If you’re editing something that SpeedGrade understands natively you can do an EDL export. If you’re not, you must use the Export to SpeedGrade option from Premiere. This export to a 10bit file, so you get full color fidelity and all the edit points, but you are exporting to new media.
“It would be wonderful If SpeedGrade supported all the same media that Premiere Pro supports, and that might be a very good idea for the future, but I’m not sure. And even if I was, I wouldn’t be allowed to talk about it.”
The Timeline in SpeedGrade is simple, but has one interesting feature; you can have multiple playheads, “which totally blew my mind at first because I couldn’t figure out why; actually it’s pretty obvious; it’s really useful for matching clips.”

The UI is still a little different from Adobe’s other products, and has a bit of a non-OS feel to it. They also intentionally designed the UI of SpeedGrade to not “pop-out” at you. Color grading options that haven't been used are dimmed until you apply them. It is layer based, and you can change the amount of impact that a layer has using the Opacity slider.

You can save corrections as a Look in a Looks directory, and they can be exported and used in other applications, including After Effects and Photoshop.
“So already you’re starting to see the sort of cross-suite integration and that what we are doing goes deeper. We aren’t there yet, and nobody is going to pretend that we are, but we’re definitely getting there.”
“Here’s a tip, this is designed for very subtle color manipulation, that’s what its designed to do. So you might get annoyed when you take a slider up and it really doesn’t go far at all. If you want to do really quick stuff to get a feel for how it works, hold down the shift key, that then puts you in “idiot mode” as the Product Manager likes to call it, and the changes are no longer subtle.”

Q & A

  • Will they support the new MacBook? Saying they can't confirm anything Al agreed it was a nice computer and they'd even just got a couple of them last week...
  • What if you see a red frame in a sequence? If you see a green or red frame that generally means there was an MPEG corruption, though that’s not always the case.
  • If you cancel a render, do you lose everything? Yes. They haven’t fixed that.
  • Do they have a preferred codec? No, "we love them all."
  • Why is Story not in the Suite? That was a business decision.
  • Why are only some MacBooks supported for the Mercury Playback Engine?: For Open CL they only supported certain MacBooks purely from because of testing bandwidth. But, Al stressed that hey worked really hard on the CL architecture. He added thatt "If you look on the internet you might find some bad people who have found a criminal way to get it running on an iMac."

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