Premiere Pro and After Effects Just Got Better and Work Better Together

If you work in video production, you probably have an assortment of
software you’ve hobbled together. In a perfect world, your programs
would have a similar interface and operate the same way for similar
tasks. In the real world, you choose whichever program you can find for
whatever you need to do and assume everything will somehow work
together. It’s a practical approach based on the realization that
"integrated" and "streamlined" software rarely makes the job any easier.
Against that jaded mindset, Adobe has introduced a new integrated bundle: Adobe Production Studio Premium ($1,699). It
includes Adobe After Effects 7.0 Professional, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0,
Adobe Photoshop CS2, Adobe Audition 2.0, Adobe Encore DVD 2.0, Adobe
Illustrator CS2, Adobe Dynamic Link and Adobe Bridge. A typical
installation consumes a whopping 21 gigabytes of space on your hard
drive. If that’s more production muscle than you need, you can opt for
Adobe Production Studio Standard ($1,199). It leaves out Illustrator, Encore and Audition, and also substitutes a less powerful
After Effects version: Adobe After Effects 7.0 Standard.
This is a major upgrade for Adobe- and not only because After Effects,
Premiere Pro, Encore and Audition are significant upgrades on their
own. Adobe is attempting to integrate its applications to a degree
that’s unusual for any category of software, especially of this
complexity. Potential buyers can look at the bundles two ways. If you
use two or three of the applications already, and are interested in
upgrading what you have, the price break for the bundle may make it a
bargain, even without the integration. What Adobe is hoping for, and
has largely succeeded in achieving, is a considerable value from the
integration itself. They’ve also stacked the deck by including Adobe
Dynamic Link and Adobe Bridge to showcase the benefits of the
Edit More, Render Less
If you currently
spend much of your working day shuttling back and forth between After
Effects and Premiere Pro, Dynamic Link could noticeably boost your
productivity. It lets you use your After Effects compositions in
Premiere Pro and Encore without having to render the compositions. Any
changes you make in After Effects are automatically reflected in
Premiere Pro and Encore, and you don’t have to save the file first in
After Effects. You’ll be able to experiment more freely and see the
results in the complete project in real time. And you’re not limited to
a single After Effects composition. You can have multiple compositions
linked simultaneously within your Premiere Pro or Encore project. It’s
a really cool feature that could help minimize repetitive tasks within
Production Studio.
Adobe Bridge isn’t nearly as powerful as Dynamic Link. It is useful if
you need a comprehensive content manager. It lets you search your media
assets based on specific criteria. For example, you could call up any
video files that were created on a specific date or that were created
by a particular artist or composer. Using tags and keywords, you could
set up a searchable index that instantly sorts and retrieves the media
assets you need- though you’ll have to put some thought and effort into
it in order to receive the full benefit.
You’ve Been Framed
The other major advantage to Adobe Production Studio as a whole is the
new streamlined interface. After Effects, Premiere Pro, Audition and
Encore now share a common interface that consists almost entirely of
panels arranged in frames. By default, there are no floating palettes.
Here the benefits are two-fold. The interface is more consistent across
the applications. And the new interface makes the workspace less
cluttered than before and much easier to rearrange.
On the whole, the interface is more intuitive for newcomers. It may,
however, be confusing for those already familiar with the applications.
For example, each panel has its own built-in set of resizing rules.
Panels that wouldn’t benefit from becoming larger now stay the same
size when you resize the window. Panels that would benefit from being
resized are now more scalable.
The new interface also lets you define workspaces for specific
applications or projects. It’s simple to create or modify a workspace
using the new Workspace submenu. Any changes you make to the layout of
the panels are automatically saved to the workspace and reappear the
next time you choose that workspace.
Extras in Premiere Pro and AE
While I’ve concentrated on the global features of Adobe Production
Studio, it’s worth pointing out that many of the individual programs
have important new features, and you do have the option to upgrade the
applications individually. Premiere Pro and After Effects can now
export to Flash Video files, and HD video is supported in all the
popular resolutions and frame rates. After Effects Professional
supports 32-bit HDR (High Definition Range) color, Premiere Pro
supports 10-bit YUV color and 32-bit audio is supported throughout the
Premiere Pro has a host of new and improved features that will do
wonders for your workflow and your deadlines, including native HDV
editing, support for 2K and 4K resolutions for feature film editing and
3:2 pulldown conversions. Effects rendering is GPU-accelerated, too,
which means even basic things like motion get revved up. There’s also a
welcome new multi-cam editing mode that lets you edit in real time the
saved clips from as many as four cameras. In fact, Premiere looks and
acts a lot more like After Effects than it ever did before, and the
integration between the two really is seamless. For example, you can
drop an AE timeline into Premiere Pro, change keyframes in your AE comp
and Premiere Pro will update automatically.
If you listen only to the software developers, you would think every
upgrade is a monumental event. In truth, some upgrades are more hefty
than others. In this case, the new Adobe Production Studio really could
save you time and effort if you use it daily. The new interface is a
big plus if you’re willing to relearn some of your work routines. For
those new to video production, either the Premium or Standard bundle
would be an excellent opportunity to learn the trade from the ground up
(especially since you can go way up to 4K resolution in this version).
Everyone, in fact, can benefit from the advantages that derive from
uniquely powerful tools in an intelligently integrated environment.
Close Up
No Render Zone: Use your After Effects compositions
in Premiere Pro or Encore DVD without having to render. They’ll be
dynamically available in real time. You don’t even have to save them
first in After Effects.
Pre-Defined Workspaces: Create different workspaces
for specific tasks within an application, or create workspaces that fit
a particular project. The new interface is designed to accommodate a
wide range of layouts.
Native HD Support: Work in all the popular HD
resolutions and frame rates, all the way up to 2K and 4K. Premiere Pro
supports logging, batch capture, trimming and editing of HDV, so
there’s no conversion or quality loss.
Multi-Cam Editing: The new quad-view shows as many
as four synchronized source tracks. Switch among the tracks in real
time to create an edited sequence.
32-bit Audio: Keep your sound in a pristine 32-bit
format throughout the entire production process. This will allow you to
apply digital effects to your audio without adding distortion artifacts.
Bridge Both Worlds: Choose a time reference system
that suits your content. You can select a traditional SMPTE video
timecode, or opt for a Feet + Frames display to match footage that
originated or will be delivered on film.