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Adobe Premiere 6

Richard Price
March 2001

Adobe’s Premiere 6, the latest upgrade to this video-editing program, trumpets Adobe’s new war cry of "DV in, Web out". Having played around with Adobe’s Premiere 6 for some time, I am convinced Adobe are counting on home video to kill off Flash and the ubiquitous "skip intro" screens by making it easier than ever to put streaming video onto the web!

I found the program easy enough to install and the support for DV devices is outstanding. On a computer equipped with FireWire or iLink ports there is no need for a video capture card.

I used a Maxtor IEEE1394 (FireWire) card and had no difficulty hooking up a camcorder. Admittedly, I was running Windows ME. However Windows 98 Second Edition should still do the job.

After plugging in the DV camcorder, I was able to capture and edit video clips immediately.

I particularly like the new Storyboard window and Automate to Timeline feature. It is now possible to put together a rough cut of the family holiday without too much fuss. Just drag and drop the clips into the order you want and specify the overlaps and transitions. The Automate to Timeline command magically ensures that overlaps and transitions appear.

Of course, no matter how well Aunt Ethel’s wedding has been edited, it is going to be pretty boring without a sound track. While listening to the chosen music, a series of markers can be dropped onto the timeline to highlight the ethereal qualities of the soundtrack. The Automate to Timeline feature choreographs the clips and their transitions to the music.

More adventurous users will appreciate the new Audio Mixing window. This is a professional-level tool for blending multiple audio tracks. Users can make adjustments while playing the audio and watching the video. The Audio Mixing controls resemble those of a studio mixing console. If the sliders prove to awkward to use, precise values can just be typed in.

Web Markers are another new feature that I liked. Using the Timeline it is possible to include links to HTML pages. This makes it possible to develop streaming video that automatically launches web pages during the playback. This content can be assigned to a specific frame target.

It is very clever and means that while viewers see Aunt Ethel walking down the aisle details about the design of her wedding dress, or the manufacturer’s web site could be displayed in another frame.

Anyone familiar with any of the Adobe range of products should be quite at home with Premiere 6.It uses the same standard Adobe interface. It is also now easier to edit content created in other Adobe applications. So a Photoshop image in a Premiere 6 clip can be edited in Photoshop, with the Premiere file being updated automatically.

Users who have never edited video are well catered for. Premiere 6 has over 25 filters from Adobe After Effects, although I wouldn’t suggest using too many of them all at once.

Premiere 6 offers one-step Web output for the leading Web video formats. Files can be output to Quicktime, RealMedia, Windows Media and MPEG. Advanced export options for Windows Media and RealMedia give precise control and flexibility when generating high quality, high bandwidth video for streaming or download and playback

While Premiere 6 is easy enough for a beginner it is definitely not just aimed at the home user. It is a comprehensive package that should appeal to professional users as well.

Adobe has put a lot of effort into this upgrade. Interface refinements and customisation features ensure that the power of Adobe Premiere 6 is easily accessible regardless of level of expertise. If video is your thing, it’s worth upgrading!

Adobe Premiere 6 is available for Mac and Windows users. While a Pentium 300MHz with 128MB RAM should be adequate if a touch slow, bear in mind video editing chews up hard disk space. While burning the finished product to CD may be an option, a large capacity hard disk running at 5MB/sec is an absolute necessity.

Price AU$1459, upgrade AU$440




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