Adobe Production Premium CS6

In the studio we have been working exclusively with Adobe Premiere for a year now, and haven’t looked back. The ability to natively edit video formats and dynamically link between different applications has made our workflow much smoother as we shoot a variety of different formats, from the H.264 to R3D codec. Last week, Adobe announced CS6. We have been fortunate enough to play with betas of Premiere and After Effects for CS6 for the past couple months, and in the above video – Jon Carr outlines some of our favorite features of  the new Premiere Pro and After Effects. CS6 Production Premium applications also includes After Effects, Audition, Bridge, Encore, Flash Professional, Illustrator, Media Encoder, Photoshop Professional, and two new applications: Prelude and Speedgrade.

Premiere Pro has some cool new features – the most noticeable of which is the new default "two up" workspace, which places the source monitor and program monitor side by side at the top of the screen.  Both monitors have also been given a sleek, new look, with panel bars that can easily be reconfigured. You will also notice that the Audio Mixer has undergone a redesign – acquiring some features from Adobe Audition. It is also now easier to browse and reorganize your media with resizable 16:9 thumbnails in the project window. Users will also notice notice an improvement to the shortcut keys and the customizable shortcut sets.

Sequences have also seen some improvements. You can edit blazingly fast in 5K (which was possible in CS5.5, but the feature has improved speed here) due to native support for RED’s .R3D files. There is also native support for ARRIRAW and Canon XF MPEG-2. You can also now use CS5.5’s Warp Stabilizer plugin directly within your Premiere timeline.  This is a fantastic tool and it is now easier to access without having to roundtrip your project through After Effects to stabilize footage. Warp Stabilizer, as you may know, also allows you to smooth out shaky shots. Users will find that a new sequence now updates to match clip settings, and effects are easier to apply with adjustment layers.

For a full breakdown of the PRemiere CS6 features – check out the Press Release.

After Effects also has some amazing new features. They include a global RAM cache and a persistent disk cache, which basically means that you will have less render time when previewing your clips in AE. This is because you won’t have to wait for previously created/rendered frame to re-render when experimenting with new ideas. It also means that you will be able to open up earlier projects with the rendered cache still in tact and ready for immediate playback. CS6 also makes better use of your computers video card and OpenGL for overall faster and smoother operation.
 
AE includes a new 3D camera tracker that analyzes a 2D clip for motion and orientation to create a new 3D camera within the After Effects composition. It also creates camera tracking points on your 2D image, which makes it easier than ever to incorporate various elements into the scene. You can now also create ray traced 3D extrudes from text and shapes. There is also added capability to bend footage and compositions for more interesting lighting effects, new environment mapping for realistic reflections, and light refraction to mimic translucent and semi-translucent materials.
 
If you are interested in reading more about the new AFter Effects features – check out the press release here
 
There is also the brand new SpeedGrade, which Jon details in the above video.  This program is natively 64-bit and supports RAW, HDR, and many other formats, including professional interchange formats such as DPX.  WIthin SpeedGrade, color corrections, masks, and filters are applied as layers, which can be rearranged and the effects of which can be influenced by an opacity slider.  Aside from its color corrections tools, Speedgrade also comes with professionally designed Looks and effects. 
 
I personally am really looking forward to Adobe Prelude – which is included in the CS6 Production Premium.  This application serves as the portal into your post production, as it allows you to manage all of your footage before it ever gets into Premiere – similar to what Lightroom does for Photoshop.  You have the option of fully or partially ingesting your footage, so that only those clips which you want/need end up in your project file.  Essentially you are media managing the project on the front end of the editing process. Additionally, you can transcode to your desired format while you ingest.  Once footage is ingested, you can also do some further organizing – footage can be marked, and sub clipped, which is added to the file as metadata and transported with it throughout your entire workflow.  You can also assemble a rough edit of selects, or a rough scene by dragging selects into a timeline and then exporting that sequence directly to Adobe Premiere.  This application is an incredible tool for so many in today’s faster shooting environment, allowing you to begin your workflow on set by assembling dailies and sending all your notes through to the editor in a streamlined process. 
 
CS6 will be on display at Adobe’s booth at NAB, be sure to check it out.