LAS VEGAS — Adobe has upgraded its professional video production
products, adding a host of features to Premiere Pro, After Effects, and other
applications. The company demonstrated the products in front of enthusiastic
crowds at the National Association of Broadcasters convention here this
Highlights of the refreshed line include a new, powerful
project-management tool in Premiere Pro, new animation presets and a cloning
tool for After Effects, and more efficient workflow and integration with other
related products in the whole
Each part of the Video Collection suite, now in version 2.5, is
upgraded. The suite’s four core components are Premiere Pro 1.5, a video
editing package ($699, upgrade $99); After Effects 6.5, motion graphics and
effects software (standard edition $699, pro edition $999, upgrade $99);
Audition 1.5, an audio editing, mixing, and mastering program ($299, upgrade
$69); and Encore DVD 1.5, a DVD authoring program ($549, upgrade $99).
The standard version of the suite will sell for $999, while the pro
version will cost $1499 and include Photoshop CS. (Photoshop CS is also part of
Suite for design and desktop publishing aficionados.) Users of previous
standard or pro versions of the suite can upgrade to the corresponding new
package for $249; users of the standard version can upgrade to the new pro
version for $799. The suite and each of its new components are scheduled to
become available this spring.
Pro‘s new Project Manager is designed to make organizing a project
easier. You can collect all files in a given project from their places on
different hard drives and copy them to a new location, making it simpler to
transfer and share that project. The original files are not deleted, just
copied (you can delete them in a separate process).
More important, you can edit the project at lower resolutions to speed
things up, save the new project without the unused clips, and then recapture at
a higher resolution. Though it may not be sexy, a feature like this is critical
for day-to-day work, says Richard Townhill, group product manager for Adobe
Premiere Pro 1.5 can also import and export Advanced Authoring Format
(AAF) and Edit Decision List (EDL) files, so shops with multiple editing
platforms can share work more effectively.
Effects have also gotten a boost. With new Bezier keyframe controls,
editors can create smoother, more natural motion in animations. Effects
Favorites lets you save any effect parameters as a preset option for quick
reuse. And True 3D effects take advantage of the processing power in high-end
graphics cards to preserve 3D effects even when the image gets moved around or
The upgraded package also lets you cut and paste between Premiere Pro
and After Effects, preserving essential object qualities. Additionally, you get
four one-touch color adjustments, similar to Photoshop CS.
Thanks to new features and plug-ins, working with After Effects 6.5 will
be faster. It features a new disk-caching system that speeds up real-time
playback and previews.
plug-in for After Effects 6.5 Professional will also help you complete
your work faster. The plug-in turns a small network into a shared computing
environment so that the processing power of multiple connected systems works
together to speed up rendering and previewing. It also leaves you power for
The basic version, for use with two computers, is
available for free.
X-Factor Plus costs $99 per CPU, and X-Factor Unlimited costs $1995.
The new Effects & Presets palette makes your work more efficient, as
well. It allows you to store effects, transformations, masks, expressions, and
text as an animation preset for reuse. The program offers 60 new effects, such
as Light Burst (ray-of-light transition), and Particle World (for smoke or
sparks), and 250 text Animation Presets.
The Advanced Cloning Tool includes a visual overlay of the source over
the intended target so you can better see what you’re about to do. You can
access and save five new clone presets from the Paint palette. New, too, are a
number of color correction and grain management tools, though the grain
management is available only in the pro version.
The upgrade also improves After Effects’ OpenGL support.
Like Premiere Pro, the new After Effects is more tightly integrated with
other Adobe products, so you can fully edit text from Photoshop CS files. You
can also preserve the layers in files between the two programs to a much
greater degree. The new version lets you import
DVD menus and use After Effects to change groups of layers into buttons
or a video background. Likewise, menus you create in After Effects preserve
their attributes in Encore.
The improved interoperability within the Adobe product family is
apparent when you’re creating a DVD with Encore DVD 1.5. Markers in Premiere or
After Effects AVI or MPEG-2 files will be made into chapter points
automatically, among other benefits.
You also get better design via a Library palette that lets you organize
items such as menus, buttons, and backgrounds. The new Styles Palette lets you
store Photoshop CS layer effects like shadows and glows to change menu
elements. This version adds support for the QuickTime format.
Users of Audition 1.5 get new editing and effects tools as well. With
the Frequency Space editing feature, you can isolate any sound within a
specific frequency range–say, a buzzing plane in the background–and edit it
out or add effects to it. Also new are a Pitch Correction tool and a Click/Pop
Eliminator that lets you clean up audio, among other improvements.
Apple Computer also unveiled a number of
own new or upgraded pro video and multimedia products at NAB.