With NAB 2013 just around the corner it should come as no surprise that Adobe has let their cat out of the bag by letting the world get a sneak peek at what’s coming in the next version quite a few of the Creative Suite applications that many video pros depend on. Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Prelude and Speed Grade will all see updates. You’ll have to look around for some other posts about what’s new in the majority of those tools we I’m going to concentrate on the next Premiere Pro.
I’ve had just enough time to dig into this next version of Adobe Premiere Pro and check out some of the feature improves, both new and upgraded. Overall it’s going to be another solid release that continues Adobe’s vision of Premiere Pro being a top notch editor that can stand toe-to-toe with both Avid Media Composer and either version of Final Cut Pro. Does this release address every issue that FCP7 editors have been complaining about since many of them moved over? No. Does this release add a whole lot of feature improvements and additions that make the NLE better? Yes. Is there ever going to be a perfect NLE that editors won’t complain about? Well of course not. What fun would that be?
The Big Feature Additions to this next version of Adobe Premiere Pro
Media Management and a much improved Link Media option with Link and Locate
We have all complained that one of Premiere Pro’s main weaknesses was in the area of media management. It’s always been very FCP like in that it seems to be just a file name and file path that PPro has used for media management. The next version of PPro will come with something called Link and Locate.
This image shows something dramatically different from the old PPro dialog box for relinking media:
If you remember Link Media before you remember a generic Mac (or PC) dialog box that really didn’t help you very much at all. It’s now actually useful.
There’s a lot of things to dig into here so it’ll take some time working with this new version to discover all the new features in Link and Locate and what they mean. The first thing that I took note of was the new Match File Properties option. It’s also nice that the Link Media box will automatically pop-up if files go offline while working, which hopefully will never happen.
The addition of these parameters when relinking media means PPro isn’t looking just for a file path and a clip name. This is a good thing.
It still seems pretty dependent on file names, at least on the non-timecoded and tape named DSLR media I was testing with, but my bet is the more metadata you have the better the relinking experience … as it should be. Yet another reason to properly prep DSLR media before edit. But darn of PPro Next didn’t go a good job of relinking native 7D media right off the CF card.
A few bullet points that I noted while trying out this new Link and Locate feature.
• You’ll want to use the Media Browser to locate the files as that gives you Hover Scrub capabilities as you’re searching out the lost media. • If you don’t want to relink all the clips that are offline hit the Offline All button after finding your clip to leave the others offline. • If the Relink other automatically box was turned off after the last Link Media operation PPro automatically relinked the offline media when that box was checked back on during the next Link Media operation. • PPro tells you the Last Path where the clip you’re searching for was available and that’s going to be very helpful. • I’m not going to swear to it until doing further testing but Link and Locate seemed to have good success relinking some DSLR media where the name had been changed. • PPro still seemed to be going nuts on the audio .pek peak file generation as I was playing around with this new relinking as there ended up being like 5 or 6 .pek files for each of the clips I was testing.
I think it’s safe to say that this next version of Adobe Premiere Pro will be superior to all previous version when it comes to media management and relinking of media files so we can check probably check that one off the list.
Nudge clips up and down in the timeline
Oh what a glorious feature this is that we’ve had in Final Cut Pro since early in time. If you don’t quite get that heading of nudge vs move it means you can use just a keystroke move clips up or down a track at a time in the timeline. What a simple but fantastic feature this is that every NLE should have (ahem, Media Composer).
You’ll have to head to the Keyboard Shortcuts menu (which unfortunately didn’t get a redesign) to search out the Nudge Up and Down keys. They are there and a welcome addition.
It works on both audio and video, with single clips or multiple clips selected. If you attempt to move both audio and video and you hit the top or bottom of the timeline you’ll get a “media limit” error. This nudging of clips up or down will also create new video or audio tracks as you move them past the current amount of tracks.
Yep, that’s an Audio CLIP Mixer
One common PPro gripe has often been in the audio mixing choice the developers made … meaning that it is a track based mixing app and the audio mixer works on the overall track and not on a per clip basis. For clip mixing you had to use the rubber bands in the timeline. It was a different paradigm than most editors were used to. With this new version comes the Audio Clip Mixer
Check this common complaint off the list too as the next PPro will let us mix on a clip by clip level with something other than rubber bands … or Audition.
There’s not much to explain other than we now have a dedicated mixer for adjusting clip levels. The simple mixer has mute, solo and keyframe buttons as well as the expected pan knobs, level sliders and level meters for each track. Turn on the keyframe button and PPro will record those fader changes live in the timeline as you play back.
There’s even a Latch and Touch option for the new Audio Clip Mixer.
The Pros: it’s a clip based audio mixer which editors have wanted and needed for a long time. The Cons: It’s yet another window to take up space and integrate into your existing layouts. The Takeaway: No matter how it’s implemented clip-based audio mixing is a most welcome feature addition. I just don’t understand why it couldn’t be integrated into the existing Track mixer. You’re move Final Cut Pro X.
Lumetri (and an updated Speedgrade)
One big update to the entire Adobe video suite is happening with Speedgrade as it gets a new interface and general usability improvements. Over in PPro a new effect category appears called Lumetri. This new category of effects are looks designed to be dropped right on a clip or placed into an Adjustment Layer changing many clips at once.
That's not Justin Bieber but a ton of pre-installed Lumetri looks will come in PPro Next.
While exact details are scarce as I write this the Lumetri effect appears to be PPro’s connection with the updated Speedgrade as Speedgrade can create these .look files that are the basis of the new Lumetri effect. It looks like a very intriguing connection between the two applications. Here's a look at a panel of the new SpeedGrade:
This isn’t an article about the new Speedgrade but my bet is this update might get a lot more users trying it out. The interface looks a lot more approachable for the new user … in fact it looked a lot like PPro when I saw some screenshots. Unfortunately I don’t think they’ve added curves.
A real, functional Paste Attributes
We all know how a good Paste Attributes function should work so there’s no need discussing that other than to show the updated function: