Adobe Video Collection

 

 

Motivation: Demonstration of Adobe Video Collection
Features: Adobe has a complete professional video editing system.

Adobe is taking a reverse position in the video editing market - and doing very well by it. One normally expects an Adobe product to run in Mac and Windows - the suite that is Adobe Video Collection runs primarily in Windows. Adobe software like Photoshop and Illustrator are not often thought of as the low cost leader with premium feature set. But that exactly fits the mold for Video Collection. This is a suite which packs price performance in all of its parts and is bargain priced at $999 for the Standard edition and $1499 for the Professional set. And this edition puts vendors such as Avid, Discreet, and Ulead on notice that Adobe has changed its tune on video software - it is a player.

And not just a player in video but also sophisticated web animation, film, and output to DVD. Just look at what is in the Adobe Video Collection lineup:
Premiere Pro 1.5 Windows only - realtime video and audio editing with powerful controls
After Effect 6.5 SE Mac and Windows - top effects, color corrections and motion graphics
Audition 1.5 Windows only - advanced audio editing, mixing and effects control
Encore DVD 1.5 Windows only - advanced menuing, subtitling, tracks and multi-languages
The Professional Edition adds:
After Effect 6.5 Professional Mac and Windows - adds keylighting, particles, & tracking effects
Adobe Photshop CS - the top of the line 2D graphics editor.
And Adobe is committed to HDTV support with in box plugins for compressed and uncompressed formats along with packaged deals with Boxx and others.

Video Collection is not for everybody - even the Standard edition has a lot of high end features which have substantial learning curves. Video hobbyists and neophytes may find such systems as Adobe Premier Elements, Apple Final Cut and Ulead Video Studio less imposing while providing the training and experience necessary to make the transition to the more sophisticated Video Collection. As in Photoshop Elements, Adobe Premier Elements provides good training wheels for Premiere Pro 1.5. look for an upcoming review.

The LineUp

Premiere Pro is where users do most of their film editing , splicing and integration with audio. Premiere Pro has sophisticated clip shrinking/expanding as well as cut and insert capabilities. In addition Photoshop CS users will be pleased to see familiar and powerful color correction features such as Auto Levels, Auto Colors, and Shadow & Highlights - so quick color edits can be done in Premiere without having to transition between After Effects. Look for an upcoming review of Premiere Elements.

But the latter task has been made easier with cut and paste between Premiere and After Effects considerably simplified - though some edits do not carry through, so best to save final Premiere edits for after any Audition or After Effects edits. However, a key advantage to the new Premiere is the sophisticated real-time preview capabilities with smart RAM and/or disk caching - this considerably speeds up testing of edits. As well users can embed multiple and nestable timelines for various objects within a Premiere frame. The list of Premiere only audio and video edits is impressive.

Adobe Audition allows video users to do very simple to the most sophisticated of audio mixes and fixes. For example, video tracks with audio can be edited with sophisticated pitch corrections, dubbing and mixes. Hisses, coughs and other spurious sounds can be isolated and removed. Sophisticated vocal or musical extraction can be done amazingly quickly and accurately. And add in new tracks is aided by a large collection of copyright free samples. Finally Audition 1.5 integrates well with Premiere Pro.

Adobe After Effects is the other star of the collection and has a well deserved reputation for being one of the premier video and animation editors. think of After Effects as Photoshop being applied to frames of a film or video with masking, layering and all sorts of effects allowed. In fact the set of new text preset text effects in After Effects are worth at least half the price of admission. But of course there is more with Cycore Final Effects and Grain Surgery (Pro edition only) being two of the more popular filters. The Pro Edition also has sophisticated motion tracking support for camera pans and zooms effects and corrections. Both editions add very powerful color editing with the Color Finesse control filter. And integration simplifies moving cuts to and from Premiere Pro.

Encore DVD

Encore is for post production to DVD. Encore allows users to create sophisticated to specific track menus, splash screens with titling and transition effects. In addition Encore has very helpful project and resource management features. But most important, Encore produces out output in all DVD recording formats including MPEG-2 video and Dolby® Digital audio.

Cautions

Some cautions are in order in working in advanced film and video. First, as noted above the learning curve and the rate of change in the industry is still high. Second, during demos and my own use of trial components, the video Collection tools crashed about 1 times per hour - so the usual save often rules apply; particularly when doing complicated effects. Third, although Adobe does support the AAF-Advanced Authoring Format standard, there is still not a lot of cross platform interoperability in the high-end graphics space - usually you have to buy conversions tools. So again if you are new to video and/or film editing do consider some of the
medium price $100-400 tools from Adobe, Sony, and Ulead, they will help you up the learning curve at lower cost.

Summary

Video, audio, and even Flash animation professionals have to take the Adobe Video Collection seriously. The price performance of any two tools in the collection is hard to match. As multi-media converges the disciplines of still-graphics, video and animation are fast converging. Ditto for audio and video engineering. The Adobe Video Collection gives a price performance leading window into this world.




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