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Software Review – Adobe Master Collection – Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 From Adobe Systems

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This is the Second of a series of reviews that will cover what is contained in the Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3) Master Collection. When Adobe released CS3 earlier this year, they not only released single version products, but also six separate suites of products. They are Design Premium, Design Standard, Web Premium, Standard, Production Premium, and Master Collection. You can go online to compare what is contained in each version. The goal of this series it to define what each product does and provide information of what the new version brings to the table.

What do you need to run Adobe Premiere Pro CS3?  On Windows you need an Intel® Pentium® 4 1.4 GHz of DV, 3.8GHz for HDV, Intel Centrino®, Intel Xeon® dual 2.6GHz for HD, or Intel Core™ Duo (or compatible) processor, Windows XP SP2 or Vista, on Mac, PowerPC® G4 or G5 or multicore Intel processor, Mac OS X v10.4.8 – 10.5 (Leopard), 1GB RAM for DV, 2GB for HDV or HD, 64 MB Video RAM, 1,024×768 monitor resolution with 16-bit video card, 10GB hard drive space and DVD-ROM Drive.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 is a real-time, timeline based video editing software application. It has gained acceptance within the film and video industry and has been used in part in such films as Dust to Glory by Dana Brown and Superman Returns for the video capture process and so, as the name implies, it is a professional level editing package.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 attempts to reduce the complex process that is video production. It does this by including copies of the products Adobe OnLocation CS3 and Adobe Encore CS3 to try to make each step of the video production more efficient and giving you more time to work your story.

So what is new with Adobe Premiere Pro CS3

• Adobe Encore CS3 – now allows you to build Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and Flash projects for film, business, training, and events. It provides easy to use authoring, design and mastering tools that integrate with Adobe Premiere Pro and other Adobe products. In fact, you create it once and deliver it to many formats. It provides the ability to create your disks using a visual flow chart instead of manual scripting. Encore will automatically convert source files into high-quality MPEG-2 or H.264 video and Dolby Digital or DTS audio or set compression parameters yourself.

• Publish Encore Projects to the Web – by exporting Encore Blu-ray Disc or DVD projects as finished Flash content ready for distribution to the web.

• Adobe OnLocation CS3 – allows you to make location shoots more productive by enabling direct-to-disk recording and providing on-set monitoring tools; See image to the left (Note: OnLocation requires Windows and Boot Camp to run on the Mac platform). You can record DV and HDV content directly from a FireWire equipped camera to a computer hard drive. You can even run Adobe OnLocation independently of Premiere Pro on a Windows Laptop with minimum requirements.

• Adobe Bridge CS3 – provides efficient access to all of your video, audio, graphic, FLV and SWF files. It will allow you to find, browse, and preview assets quickly. Search by, or edit XMP metadata using things such as keywords, language, and format. You can even drag and drop a file, or group of files from Bridge into your Adobe Premiere Pro project window or timeline.

• Multiple Project Panels – let you edit more quickly and efficiently. You can switch between the Source, Program, Timeline, Effects, and other panels with keyboard shortcuts. You can replace one clip in the timeline with another without loosing your edits. This is a great feature since it gives you a great way to experiment with alternate shots.

• High-quality Slow Motion – allows you to create variable rate slow motion, freeze frames, backward playback, and other timing effects right in the timeline. Slow down all or part of a clip for heightened drama, or change a clip's duration and pace to fit a sequence.

• Adobe Integration – allows you to use assets created with other Adobe products such as Photoshop, After Effects, and Flash to drag and drop into Adobe Premiere Pro and vice versa. You can import layered Photoshop files into Premiere Pro and any changes done in Photoshop, will appear in Premiere Pro.

• Color Correction tools – allow you to fix problems with mismatched shots, exposure problems, or shots done with different cameras. The Three-Way Color Corrector gives you the control over color and luminance of a clip's highlights, midtones, or shadows. RGB Curves lets you do curve adjustments like you can in Photoshop or After Effects. Fast-Color corrector provides quick and easy adjustments for day to day problems.

• Adobe Clip Notes – provide an interactive method for those involved with the video production process to provide feed back on works in progress. By exporting a video sequence from Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 as a PDF file with embedded or streamed video, you can then send the PDF you your client, or other reviewer who can play it with the standard Adobe Reader. They can then enter time-code specific remarks, exports and emails you a small comments file. When you open the file in Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 the comments appear at the appropriate time lines.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 is the first release in a year and a half and since the release Premiere Pro 2.0 and brings with it a lot of great new features. This is the first version for the Mac since Premiere 6.5. Obviously, keeping up with the new technology is a must and adding Encore DVD authoring is a nice addition. The Export to Encore feature is also a handy feature as is the ability to create and open multiple asset bins of video, stills, audio, and other necessities.

I like the way that when you capture video from tape, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 can detect camera cuts so you can cue to those points, or even capture each shot as a separate subclip. I also like the fact that OnLocation is bundled in as well. This makes for wonderful direct to disk capability. The time remapping is also a great new feature as well.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 has the core features for producing professional video editing. It also has the integration of all of the other programs in the Production Premium Suite. If you are looking for professional quality video editing software with some muscle you want Adobe Premiere Pro CS3.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
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