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Some thoughts on Premiere Pro 4.1

I’m back in the blogosphere!  My absence has been punctuated by visits to the likes of HBO, CNN, FOX and many more. Broadcast is alive and well but my entries have consequently suffered. 

In my absence, Premiere Pro version 4.1 has been released.  It’s a terrific release and I wanted to give some thoughts, miscellaneous tidbits and point people to some resources to learn more.

There are really quite a number of features and improvements that make up Premiere Pro 4.1, but the biggest thing for me is the little fixes that are never talked about. Premiere Pro 4.1 is faster and more responsive and at the end of the day, that’s always a huge plus for myself.

I’m not sure which part of this release is the most important to me personally, so I’ll go with listing a few.

Deeper RED camera workflows – RED camera files are BIG!  Really BIG! And as a result, playback and performance can be quite a challenge.  However, because of the way RED writes the file, Adobe can look at a fraction of the overall image.  In essence, Premiere Pro offers you a proxy workflow with the original .R3D file!  In addition, we now can access the Source settings of of the RED file giving you access to things like exposure, tint, temperature, etc. 

I haven’t seen anyone else offering anything close to the RED functionality that we have with a desktop piece of software.  Premiere Pro will also allow you to browse the media via the Media Browser panel.  This means, that you no longer have to dive into strangely named folders and then load up an R3D file amongst the quicktime proxies.  Now, Premiere Pro automatically detects a folder of RED folders and allows you to browse and view all of the media without the unnecessary Quicktime files.  If you’re at all interested in the RED workflows, be sure to try it with the sample RED files that are on the web.  Oh, by the way, you need to get the RED stuff from them (as a perpetual beta).  Check it out here – RED download for Adobe

Faster load times, bigger projects, more responsive – Who doesn’t like this?  Launching and loading projects has gotten significantly faster with Premiere Pro 4.1 in all aspects.  Projects load faster and timeline playback on challenging codecs like AVCHD have taken a huge step forward. While we’re mentioning AVCHD…

More AVCHD support - Premiere Pro 4.1 adds 1080p and 720p native support.  Premiere Pro remains one of the only non-linear editors to provide native editing.  No transcoding means no waiting which means a more efficient workflow.  You like this, right?

.VOB editing – This one came out of nowhere for me and Dave Helmly has evangelized this feature quite a bit.  In a nutshell, this allows you to edit non-encrypted DVDs right off the DVD.  It is pretty strange when you pop in a DVD into your Mac or PC and then start marking ins and outs inside of Premiere Pro all while you’re having it look directly at the DVD.  This will come in handy when the customer needs you to import or edit from some media that they have on a DVD from a year ago…

Some new presets in Adobe Media Encoder – One of them that we’re pretty excited about is the new YouTube HD preset.  You can now export YouTube compatible HD material, upload it and not have YouTube destroy your video quality!  As a guy who was so frustrated with YouTube quality that I moved over to Blip.tv for small blog video clips, this is fantastic.

There is certainly a bunch more, but at this point, I’ll point you to a couple of videos and resources

Dave Helmly’s TechTable – He’s put up a couple of new videos including a review of Premiere Pro 4.1.  The link will take you to his Premiere Pro overview blog entry

Dave’s video – more of the same in his comfortable and educational style.  30 minutes of Premiere Pro goodness. 

Download the PDF of Premiere Pro 4.1 from the Adobe website: Good read and worth the time – the link is on the bottom left.

Todd Kopriva’s got a great blog on all things After Effects and his two most recent entries focus on RED and the 9.0.2 AE update

If I were to offer another top feature it would be this – Premiere Pro 4.1 also paves the way for our hardware partners to develop better support for their current hardware offerings.  Expect new releases from AJA, Matrox and BMD in the near future.

In conclusion, this is a must have release and the feedback has been very positive.  So, check out Premiere Pro 4.1, After Effects 9.0.2, the links. 

Comments

Ever since I updated my Premiere Pro CS4 to 4.1 I can’t see any video during playback in source monitor or program monitor. Audio works fine. Any solutions?

[DR – Eric, a couple of thoughts for you.

1 – Might you have changed the views to audio only in the source and program views. There is a button in each near the transport controls which allows you to determine what you show (video, audio, scopes).
2 – trash your preferences. In PC it should be under user documents>Adobe>Premiere Pro. In Mac, it should be user folder>Adobe>Premiere Pro… at least that’s what my memory tells me… Hope this helps.]

Hi Dennis, can you tell me if the issues with importing AVCHD into After Effects have been worked out?

I have a trial version of After Effects and although the Adobe website says AE can import AVCHD, I’m assuming that like Premier, the trial version can’t import AVCHD but the purchased version can. Is this correct?

And all the posts I’m finding on the internet have people saying that AVCHD stutters in AE or doesn’t output correctly. Has this been fixed? Do I need to convert AVCHD before importing?

[DR – Hi Nick, there are no real issues with AVCHD into After Effects that I am aware of. You can drag AVCHD footage to the new comp button and start working.

AVCHD is an extremely CPU intensive decode, so performance is one of the issues that any native editing application will deal with in the short term. However, like MPEG2 before it, AVCHD will over time become an easier editing experience. If you find that it’s too difficult for you or your system, one option is to convert the AVCHD footage to P2 with Panasonic’s AVCHD to P2 conversion software

Thanks!

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