At one minute past midnight EST, Adobe published details about their new version of Premiere Pro CS6. We had the pleasure of a sneak peek a few weeks ago.
Why should an FCP based website look at a rival NLE? It is clear that FCPX isn't to everybody's liking and there are customers who have hundreds of FCP7 projects that need updating and won't survive the current transfer tools available. Adobe are clearly going after the editors and post houses that don't want to make the transition to X.
First of all, you cannot download a trial version of the new Premiere today, Adobe have published the information so that it can be showcased at NAB next week. We were lucky to be invited to a presentation of the new version and Adobe seem to have done a good job in tidying up what was a pretty messy GUI. The new dark design is the most striking change, you can give it a light grey skin if you've been used to working with the previous versions.
The GUI layout will look very familiar to FCP7 editors, they've stuck with the traditional two up window design although you can now preview footage with 'Hoverscrub' by moving the cursor over clip icons with shift held down. A very similar feature to skimming. One of the design briefs was to declutter the GUI but keep it flexible enough so that editors can customise the layout. There is a new button editor, the facility to show or hide controls and the addition of proper full screen playback. The new version will also support gestural controls from a trackpad, so pinching will zoom and you get proper ballistics when scrubbing with two fingers.
Multicam has been improved by offering 'as many angles as you want to try,' it can also handle different frame rates. Warp Stabilizer is built in to fix shaky footage and there is also a rolling shutter repair filter. The three way colour corrector does have a very familiar look to it and we welcome the addition of adjustment layers which have been designed to work in the same way as Photoshop. There has been little change to the plugin architecture so existing plugins should work. Audio control gets improved too, Adobe have utilised the same mixer controls from Audition.
Premiere benefits from using the Mercury Playback Engine, but what if your Mac's graphic card won't support it? Adobe have tweaked Premiere for use on certain MacBook Pros as they understand a lot of editors work on laptops. To get the extra performance the MBP must have the Radeon HD 6750M or Radeon HD 6770M with 1 Gig of video RAM, it also needs to be running Lion.
So overall we were pretty impressed, we think a lot of editors will think this is the FCP8 that they really wanted Apple to release. But has the whole industry changed and are Adobe skating to where the puck 'has been' with this update? No doubt it's going to have a lot of fans, Adobe have listened to customers and produced an NLE that for the meantime will work well for a lot of editors. Whether it will have the capacity to expand in the future to handle whatever new technologies comes along, we'll have to see.
Rather than post a list of new features, we thought we would link to some good Adobe webpages & publications:
Premiere Pro CS6: what’s new and changed A good quick list of features.
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 Edit your way A 16 page PDF with much more detail and screengrabs.
What's new in CS6 Production Premium? A webpage with videos for the whole Production Premium package.