CS4: it's about time at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite
All about the world of Adobe Premiere and its associated plug-ins.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 12th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Estes Park, CO USA
Posts: 426
CS4: it's about time

... saving time, that is. As a video professional, that's more important to me than just "bells and whistles". Clearly CS4 delivers quite a bit of both, but I'll focus on the saving time category, and those upgrades and enhancements that I'm finding the most useful (so far).

I got the big email from Adobe on October 15th that CS4 Production Premium was shipping (two weeks ahead of schedule), or in my case, download-able, and I went and bought it that night. 8GBs later (love those cable modem DL speeds), it was ready to go. I waited another week until I finished a project before taking the plunge. I mirrored my C: drive in case anything got wonky, and then started un-packing the downloads. Boy were they compressed! It took way longer to unpack than to install. And since it loaded from the HDD instead of optical media, installation went very fast.

I've been editing steadily on PPro CS4 now for the last few weeks. It's been rock-steady, no glitches. Once I wrapped my head around the new targeting tracks implementation (watching a little Adobe TV on CS4), it was smooth sailing. I really like how highlighting tracks focuses the keyboard shortcuts (Pg Up/Down, Home/End) only to those tracks you want impacted by the shortcuts. Same with adding transitions. I'm certain there's some other niceties to discover in the day-to-day keyboard-pounding.

The biggest changes for me, are HUGE, though. Bigger than any other release so far:

1) Adobe Media Encoder is standalone now, and has a queue. Let me repeat, it has a queue. And it's awesome. Not only does AME take rendered files, but it accepts comps and sequences from PPro and AE. I can set up a dozen comps or sequences, set my desired output (or multiple outputs: HD, DVD, and Flash), hit the go button and then go home and go to bed... and awaken to rendered files for an entire project. Theoretically, I could even render while I was working on something else in PPro or AE, but let's get real... my render would never finish and playback would slow to a crawl. There's only so many CPU cycles to go around.

2) Encore is render-less, as well. Dynamic Link drills right into Encore, transparently sending PPro sequences to the app. to be rendered without intermediates. Amazing.

3) Dynamic Link works both ways. In case you missed that, Dynamic Link works both ways. I can cut in PPro and finish in AE... and render the comp in AME. Or do something cool in AE, bring it into PPro (which I could do with CS3, to be fair), and go from there. Or more to the point, cut greenscreen in PPro, key it out in AE's Keylight effect via "replace with a new AE comp", and then finish it in another session of PPro... a real round-trip (wisely, the D.L. server won't allow two-way linking to avoid circular references, hence "another session" in PPro).

4) Finally, PPro is sequence resolution and format agnostic... allowing multiple sequence frame sizes and framerates in the same project. I noticed that I can't change a sequence framerate or rez. like I can in AE (or Vegas, gasp!), but it's a minor niggle to make a new sequence with the desired settings and drag the timeline clips over (or nest it). HD and SD can now input/output readily from the same project. No more importing PPro projects to try new settings, and being frustrated with the results. A loooong overdue feature.

5) Blend modes in PPro for clips, footage, and PSD files. Yeah, buddy. Almost as huge as the PS layer styles added to AE CS3. I don't do a lot of compositing in PPro, since the world's finest 2.5D compositor is just a D.L. away, but there are times that call for spicing-up video-only footage with blends, and viewing it in near-realtime is cool indeed.

6) Two-pass encoding for FLV Flash content. The Flash encoder is much more robust... basically it's a free version of the On2 Flix encoder. FLV and F4V (H264 Flash) is supported. I haven't fully investigated all of the features, but two-pass CBR and VBR encoding gives much fewer artifacts at lower bandwidths

Those are the biggies for me. It will save hours over the course of any given project. And so far, it's been bulletproof (except for the time I tried to break PPro, and succeeded, by changing a Dynamic Link comp size in AE... except this time, a message window popped up so I could send comments and my dump file to Adobe for their R&D guys to check out. Nice! I told 'em I was trying to break it.)

A funny "feature", and possible potential future feature (say that three times fast) is the meta Speech Search function. You basically give PPro a video file and it chews on it awhile and eventually scripts out (an oftentime hilarious interpretation) of your dialogue in a meta track so you can later jump to specific words or phrases (which would be amazing... if it worked). I tried it, and let's just say it needs lots (and lots and lots) of work. I think the Dragon Naturally Speaking folks learned over a decade ago that successful speech-to-text software needed several rounds of training to provide any acceptable accuracy. C'mon, Adobe. Duh! It's great for some comic relief, but I don't think that's what the Adobe folks were hoping for. I'd wager that the various forums could hold a contest for actual Speech Search results and get some wonderful doozies. I've since been told by other CS4 users that they've experienced much better results with Speech Search, so I'm going to give it another shot on my next interview segment footage.

And I know there's lots more to explore in CS4 from here (like OnLocation, Flash, Photoshop and a now-multi-track SoundBooth), but to say that I'm a happy monkey about CS4 is an understatement.

Rah, rah, Adobe,
Brian Brown
BrownCow Productions
Longmont, CO USA
BrownCow Productions - Affordable Full-Service Video Production
Brian Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mount Pleasant, MI
Posts: 177
Thanks for the review. Sounds like a significant upgrade.
Devin Termini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Estes Park, CO USA
Posts: 426
Yup, it was sure worth it for me. I think the price was even lower to go from CS4 from CS3 than it was to go from CS2 to CS3. I think Adobe mentioned that the price would go up at some point.

Last edited by Brian Brown; November 12th, 2008 at 04:56 PM. Reason: typo
Brian Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2008, 01:29 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 502
Can you extract audio from the project clips direct to edit in Audition (as you could in Pro 2), or do you have to buy the (inferior) Soundbooth for this?

I know that you can export the audio, but the link accessed by simply R clicking on the file in the Project window is far more convenient.
Alan Craven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Estes Park, CO USA
Posts: 426
Alan, since I bought the CS4 Suite and it came with SB, I'm not certain if you could alter a standalone copy of PPro to use Audition as a default sound editor in lieu of SB.

I too was sorely disappointed in SB 1.0, and felt "ripped-off" by getting SB with CS3 instead of Audition... but the second version adds some better tools and functionality, like multi-track and some nice filters. Here's a list of the new stuff: audio editing software | Adobe Soundbooth CS4: features

Looking at my menus in PPro CS4, it does reference SoundBooth in a few different places. "Inquiring minds" would like to know whether those links would be there in a standalone copy.

Hmm...
Brian
Brian Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Brown View Post
I think Adobe mentioned that the price would go up at some point.
I thought I saw the production premium package go for 1699 dollar in the US, based on the current exchange rates we in Europe pay 2900 dollar.

I guess that says enough what one of the reasons is why I bought the limited premiere/encore combo CS3, even a upgrade to cs4 will cost me 450 dollar. For that amount I almost can buy Vegas 8.

After having major problems with the first versions of CS3 I'm currently running the latest patch problem free (knock on wood) and premiere/encore cs3 has served me very well since for my dv/hdv projects. Unfortunately I won't be upgrading to CS4. that would be a waist of money and for premiere/encore only the advantages are not that big to justify a upgrade.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 502
Thank you for that, Brian.

I suspect that it is too much to hope that Adobe would allow this cross transfer between generations.

I am still on Version 2 of Premiere Pro, Encore and Audition. I might just get away with Soundbooth CS4 now that it has multi-track, but Audition 2 does all that I need, and I am reluctant to shell out for the newer software, particularly as their does not seem to be any upgrade available in the UK.
Alan Craven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2008, 12:19 PM   #8
Sponsor: Electronic Mailbox
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Glen Cove, NY
Posts: 751
Brian - great review. Would it be OK for me to post it on the Videoguys Blog?
I would give you full credit as the author and link back to your website.

Gary
__________________
Check out http://www.videoguys.com 800 323-2325 We are the video editing and live video production experts! DV InfoNet members save 5%! Use Coupon Code DVINFO5OFF
Gary Bettan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2008, 08:25 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 1,745
Brian... Thanks for that great review. Although I still want to play with a trial before I upgrade from CS3 (which is working just fine, thank you very much), I'm more inclined to "pay the man".

Also, I appreciate someone who can still work the word "wonky" seamlessly into a narrative.
Tripp Woelfel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Estes Park, CO USA
Posts: 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Bettan View Post
Brian - great review. Would it be OK for me to post it on the Videoguys Blog?
I would give you full credit as the author and link back to your website.
Gary
Hi Gary, sure you can use my review. No problem.

FWIW, I did buy my CS3 upgrade from you guys... but went with Adobe for the CS4 one because I could do the download thing. You Videoguys are great.

Thanks,
Brian
Brian Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 13th, 2008, 11:31 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 1,666
I read somewhere last week that "Edit in Audition" will make a reappearence in a forthcoming CS4 update. I really hope that's true and not just wishful thinking!
Graham Hickling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14th, 2008, 01:41 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Hickling View Post
I read somewhere last week that "Edit in Audition" will make a reappearence in a forthcoming CS4 update. I really hope that's true and not just wishful thinking!
Me too! It would solve a major dilemma for me, as much of my (wildlife) audio needs extensive editing to get rid of the local Louder Spotted Mobile Phone User, the RAF/USAF on NATO training exercises, etc. Soundbooth just does not have the facilities I am used to.
Alan Craven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14th, 2008, 06:30 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 1,666
Alan, I've found this workaround useful: use the "Edit Original" command in Premiere to launch Audition, provided Audition is registered in Windows as the default application for the audio file type you're editing.
Graham Hickling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 230
I'd like to know how you get a whole timeline full of audio out of premiere and into soundbooth. Is it the same as cs3, where you have to render and replace each clip one by one, or is there a nicer way of doing it? (ie, can you select multiple files in the project bin and then render replace them all in one go?)
Brian Parker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Estes Park, CO USA
Posts: 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Parker View Post
I'd like to know how you get a whole timeline full of audio out of premiere and into soundbooth. Is it the same as cs3, where you have to render and replace each clip one by one, or is there a nicer way of doing it? (ie, can you select multiple files in the project bin and then render replace them all in one go?)
Brian, a quick way to do what you want to do is make a master sequence and nest your "working" timeline in it. You'll then have one single timeline of audio you can effect and add other master tracks to. I'll almost always do this at the "scoring" stage of production. I have one track of multiple interviews (what I usually shoot) and run some compression on it to even out the levels and compress the dynamic range a bit with just a single track to worry about. And then I can run a SoundBooth score or royalty-free track under the piece, adjusting the gain as needed.

HTH,
Brian Brown
Brian Brown is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Adobe Creative Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:19 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network