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Old April 16th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #1
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Reactions to the CS5 announcement

I know that a lot of people are excited about the new mercury feature. Just wondering how you view the suite as a whole? Is it worth the price for you?

Personally, I always upgrade to the latest version when I have the chance, but now for the first time economics are going to be holding me back from being able to do so. Strangely, I don't feel like I'm going to be missing much though. For me the driving force that will eventually force me to upgrade to CS5 won't be any of it's new features, it'll be the lack of support of Cineform for CS4 (mac).

The 64 bit stuff is obviously the biggest news. It might mean that Dynamic link finally becomes usable for more than a few seconds of footage. (Having 10gb ram in my mac pro with cs4 never really made dynamic link any more stable than the 2gb of ram in my winXP cs3 workstation at work.)

I was hoping that with this version of the suite we'd get at least some of the following:

1. Seamless integration between Soundbooth and PPro.

2. Improvements to markers. Ie, The ability to move markers applied in Premiere to other software such as audition, soundbooth with the audio files. The ability to color code video clips in sequences to help the editor thematically group clips. The ability annotate clip markers.

3. The ability to one-click revert from a soundbooth rendered file on the PPro timeline to the original audio inside the video clip. Likewise, the ability to revert a dynamically linked AE comp back to the original series of clips on the PPro timeline if you want to re-edit them.

4. Ability to fade a video clip out just like you can with the audio clips in Soundbooth (sticky intelligent keyframes at the head/tail of the clip which eases in/out)

5. Ability to save/edit xmp data for mts files that have been taken out of the original video camera folder structure. (ie. save xmp sidecar files for individual mts files)

Maybe these specific features are not features that people have been screaming out for, but they are the kind of features that Adobe is usually so good at putting in to each new release.

It seems that CS5 is more of a "plumbing" type upgrade where you are paying for stability, and that the smaller workflow enhancements all came in CS4. It's just a shame that it costs so much. I think that Adobe's marketing team needs to work on some kind of single-seat based subscription system, and update the software in smaller increments more frequently. Seems that the hysteria over CS5 was a bit overblown considering they didn't blow us away with any real surprises.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 09:32 AM   #2
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I haven't seen any "hysteria," but that's not surprising considering that this is DV Info Net.

We don't do screaming, either. Can we tone the hyperbole down, please? Thanks in advance,

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Old April 16th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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By hysteria I meant the way that Mercury was previewed in advance with a kind of "this is just a taster. just wait until we show you the release" kind of air to it. I found the actual announcement somewhat anti-climatic for the lack of the myriad little improvements that are usually present in a new release. That is what I was trying to say above.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #4
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That's called Marketing. The only power it has is that which you give it yourself.

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Old April 16th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #5
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Brian, just to get you started on learning about what's new in CS5, read here is a link to my First Look article. Unfortunately, time limitations made that fairly cursory, but more will follow in due course:

A First Look At Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 at

Not sure about all of your wish list but at least some of them either are existing features or will be represented in CS5:

- Soundbooth supports Dynamic Link in both directions (Edit Original...). Not sure if that qualifies as seamless to you, but is simple to use.

- Sequence/Composition, Chapter, and Clip Markers/Cue Points function across PPro, AE, Encore, and Flash (sometimes needing to be converted by the receiving application).

- Video fade in/out has been around a while. Make "Fade to Black" your default transition

We need to see the release version in the hands of end users before we can make a definitive pronouncement about how great this release will be, but IMO it is not reasonable to consider this only a "plumbing type upgrade." Throughout the CS5 Suite, there are huge enhancements like AE's Rotobrush, PhotoShop's Content Aware, Ultra Keyer and GPU accelerated Blend Modes in PPro. That's all besides 64 bit and Mercury (which even without GPU acceleration is still much more efficient than the old software playback engine, eg CS4).

There's no doubt that the new features need a beefy system. If an editor is doing everything he/she needs to do fast enough in CS4, there is no compelling reason to upgrade. However, if you have a fairly fast system, especially with one of the cards that is supported for GPU acceleration, the new features will really allow you to do more complex projects much faster. You'll try things you other wise wouldn't, because it is now quick to experiment instead of tedious.

Like Chris said, that's about as close to hysteria as we get around here. We find out what facts we can, and we report them.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 11:34 AM   #6
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Rotobrush and the new Vibrance feature in AE caught my attention. Some very nice tools there not to mention everything else they're doing with CS5.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #7
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Hi Peter,

Interesting points. I guess that the improvements 64bit will bring can't be understated, even without factoring in the gpu acceleration.

With Soundbooth, I meant a smoother way to work a bunch of clips from a premiere timeline to the Soundbooth one. Dynamic link of PPro's video layer would be more useful if you could also copy/paste markers across to get you started in syncing up some of your sound clips. Being able to batch "render for soundbooth" all clips in a sequence would also be a massive timesaver.

I didn't know about fade to black transition actually. That is good news. I've been using an opacity keyframes animation preset, but it's not sticky; if you change the end point of a clip you also have to move the keyframes.

Rotobrush does look exciting. I hope that it is easy to customize the auto selection to add or subtract the parts that it gets wrong.

As I said at the beginning, I usually relish these announcements as I can instantly feel how they are going to help me simplify my working processes. However this time, even after reading the "take a deeper look" section for each product I didn't see that many interface related new features. Usually about now I'd be working with the current version of the software thinking "if I had CSx I'd be able to do X task this way" and eventually that niggling feeling would have me running to the adobe store like an excited little schoolboy with my credit card. :)
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Old April 16th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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My own experience with the CS series for HD editing is that it had become increasingly feature rich, but speed, stability, and preview quality were recurring issues.
My take on CS5 is that with 64 bit, MPE, more effective use of multicore processor & GPU, Adobe has made a great leap forward in precisely the areas that video editors will appreciate very much.
As referenced by Pete, there are also some eye popping new features as well.
It also looks like the Cineform software v. 5 will be very tightly integrated with Premiere CS5.
I am much more looking forward to this upgrade than I was to CS4.
We'll see in a few weeks if CS5 really delivers on the promises.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #9
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Peter, did you get to try embedding more than one dynamic link AE comp in PPro?

I found with CS4 that when opening a PPro project which contained multiple AE DL comps it would import the first one and then just replace all the other ones with first one. This occurred to me several times on different projects. I had to stop using DL because of it, or just use one DL comp in PPro.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 02:23 AM   #10
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I notice that Serious Magic's Ultra II software is back - it was MIA in CS4
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Old April 17th, 2010, 05:22 AM   #11
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Look here: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 * What's new

This is a major release, not a "plumbing" release. And IMO it will be the best release ever.

Stability, speed, 64-bit, MPE, enhanced import/export options, Ultra, memory management, those are the key words. And I probably have forgotten a lot of new features, like single click export of stills.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 07:22 AM   #12
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I think we all have to wait and see what it does in "real" life, the teaser video adobe released about the ease of handling multiple highly compressed formats was done on a pc that could operate a spaceship, I would be very interested in how it performs on a entry system with a basic gtx285 gaming card (or whatever new "lowlevel" card will be supported later)

Speed and features are one thing but stability is on top of my list anyway, still working with CS3 and never been that impressed with it's stability when handling HDV, especially with larger projects.

Hopefully they finally got that sorted now, I"ll let the early adopters do the testing :)
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:20 AM   #13
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There is an awful lot of Premiere Pro's reputation for instability that can be laid at the feet of some pretty under-configured workstations. Adobe has typically quoted minimum system specs for editing DV...and I suppose it said that somewhere in the fine print, but it was clear that a 64 bit OS and 8-16GB of RAM was making a significant difference in speed and stability as far back as CS3.

FCP quotes 1 GB of RAM for minimum system spec and somehow no FCP users would ever seriously consider trying to run the app on a system that small, but there were lots of PPro users trying to use 2GB of RAM (minimum quoted system spec) in a system that needs to edit HDV and up...

The Mercury Playback story is not smoke and mirrors, but of course most demos are designed to really leverage the situation where you have the feature giving you the most impressive advantage.

Adobe's typical demo shows lots of layers of AVCHD/P2 DVCProHD, which is great, but the decode of video is done on the CPUs and these demos are being done on machines with 8 physical/16 virtual CPU cores. The handoff to the GPU comes when you add effects. Adding an approved CUDA display card to an older system will help in the effects previewing department, but decode will still be dependent on your processor, and therefore the GPU can only preview effects on the frames it's being handed.

960x720 24 DVCPHD at 40 Mbit/s is not too difficult to run frankly...with a sub-raster I-frame decode, it's probably easier than running 25 Mbit/s HDV Long GOP by a considerable margin. I think people do have to understand that you cannot model this behavior with RED 4K footage that you want to at least view at 2K res (part of post is being able to tell whether or not the shot is in focus). Decoding that footage is a more demanding task and you will see very good performance, but you won't duplicate P2's simply not possible.

I/O card manufacturers will now have to address the Mercury story as well... I use a Kona-PC card and when I edit, I keep the outputs live to view the program output on an external monitor...and/or external scopes. The performance of a system like this, where the video frames are larger data rates, and aren't simply sent through the GPU, out the DVI port, and out into the ether (they have to come back so they can go out the HDSDI port), will also not duplicate what I see in the Adobe demos from my experience.

Now...did I say that Mercury will not benefit you if you use an HDSDI card, or have a system smaller than a Nehalem processor?


Mercury is a restructuring of the whole playback engine and it has implications in every implementation... PPro CS5 will benefit from Mercury in every workflow, RED, Kona or otherwise, it simply won't run the same way it does in those demos with every format and every frame rate/size.

There are lots of advantages to the new CS5 software, you just have to be sober and discerning when you're looking at the new features, and understand what kind of a machine is running underneath it.

My .02 anyway.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #14
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Its been my observation that Adobe's instability comes mostly from third party integrations. If I was just editing DV with no output to a monitor Premiere would be fine BUT if I used say a Black Magic card I would start having issues OR in the HD world I could use the BM card o.k. if I was editing native HDV but if I tried to use BMs CODEC or Cineform it would get unstable. So I think this in itself is promising because with the new 64 bit speed I can edit AVCHD native so hopefully there are less things to go wrong.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 08:32 PM   #15
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Mainly I'm concerned about After Effects. I was hoping for 3D object capability and folder layers. I'll wait and see how the 64-bit business pans out. Could be painful at first. I skipped CS4, I might skip CS5 if 64-bit doesn't radically improve performance on my machine.
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