The internet (or at least the video editing and creation side of the internet) is in a rush over Adobe’s release of Premiere Rush, their new video creation tool that allows for fast and easy video content creation. It’s an entirely new tool built with content creators in mind in that it’s optimized for speed and simplicity, two of the most important things when you need to get the content you created online fast.
I just used some variation on the word creation five times in that opening paragraph above. Talking about Project Rush on Twitter a few months ago when it was announced, this tweet summed up Rush more than any other:
It's not aimed at the "Editor" it's aimed at creators, there's a reason why they are bringing it out at VidCon for crying out loud,
— John W Rogers (@colourbyrogers) June 20, 2018
There is a definite difference between the “video creator” and the “video editor.”
- The obvious difference is that the “editor” is just cutting the content into a story while the “creator” is shooting their video too.
- The creator wants to get their short-form content out as quickly as possible.
- The editor wants to craft the best story for the intended purpose.
- The creator often has to do their own audio mix, color work, and motion graphics.
- The editor often has dedicated craftsman doing audio, color and graphics work.
Of course, all of these distinctions above are just superficial these days. The video “creator” might have never dreamed their jump-cut, produced-in-one-hour content could be entirely self-created and be seen by millions of people around the world. The video “editor” might have never dreamed they would be editing and then reformatting for short-form vertical video a piece that will be seen by millions around the world.
Welcome to the world (and business) of moving image storytelling in 2018.
Adobe appears to be ready to serve both of these markets with a dual strategy of Premiere Rush and Adobe Premiere Pro. On the surface, it would seem these are very different places to work with video. While that might be true those lines can easily blur. There’s not a video editor out there who wouldn’t take a good paying gig working on high-profile, widely distributed online video. And there’s no content creator out there who wouldn’t jump at the chance to take their successful online video property mainstream to broadcast tv or distribution by one of the major subscription services.
Premiere Rush is a fun little tool. It’s really hard for a professional editor who is well versed in the many tools and features of a full-blown NLE to “review” something like Rush so take any review you read with a grain of salt. And this is not a Rush review. Everything I’ve read is mostly praising or complaining if they are doing anything more than parroting the press release. But there are a few questions easily answered:
- Does Rush easily import media? Yes.
- Can you quickly cut together a bunch of clips to tell a story? You can.
- Are there titles, color presets and some resize tools that are fast and can add some flair? There are.
- Can you squirt that cut out to your favorite video friendly website? Of course.
There really isn’t a reason for me to point out a lot of the flaws in Premiere Rush. If you’ve never edited a day in your life then you’re going to jump in, have fun and get work done with no idea what you’re missing. Simple things like no list view when you load media, no easy way to apply color to many clips at once, no way to cut out the middle of a clip without a minimum of 5 or 6 actions probably won’t matter to Rush’s target audience.
I didn’t get a chance to play with the beta when it was called Project Rush despite requesting access to the beta program. I suspect it was because I am not the target audience and they wanted to keep the discussion focused squarely on that content “creator” side of things. But after playing with it for a while and reading some of the other coverage of Premiere Rush on the internet I’ve got a few thoughts and conclusions.
What might be Rush’s killer feature is the true cross-platform compatibility. In the images above you see the same project across desktop and two iOS devices. It’s going to take some time to explore how media management works and how you might be able to hack it. There are options to store and sync media to your Creative Cloud account as well as store locally. Will Rush be able to be that NLE companion app I’ve always dreamed of? I’ll have to explore that later. I do realize that is a small niche.
What’s really intriguing is you can make changes on one device and after you go back to the Home project browser (there is no Save option) you can open that project on another platform and those changes are there. Could Rush perhaps be used for some simple collaboration? Maybe.
It’s a great time to be a “mobile” video creator
In addition to all the camera apps there is a plethora of video editing app these days on mobile devices. I don’t know how many of these are available on Android but there’s a bunch on iOS.
Some of these are more powerful than others but they will all get the job done.
Project Rush, at least in its current form, could never, ever replace Adobe Premiere Pro
One common thought I’ve seen going around the internet is that Project Rush is an eventual replacement for Premiere Pro, Adobe just isn’t “ripping the BandAid off” as Apple did with the Final Cut Pro X transition.
That’s ludicrous. It’ll take a lot of changes before Rush is ready to take on the feature films, reality shows, documentaries and series television that PPro can and does tackle. A lot of changes. A lot of changes. Did I mention a lot of changes? Unless Adobe is willing to just cede the professional editing market to Avid, Blackmagic and perhaps Apple, Rush will never evolve into a true Premiere replacement. I wouldn’t want to cut even the simplest corporate piece on Rush, it’s missing that much. But then the simplest corporate piece isn’t what Rush is aiming for.
It’s the idea of a creator vs and editor. I don’t know if this kid below is a creator or an editor but he was able to go through the built-in Rush tutorial and put together a little video he created without too much help. That hasn’t been possible on any other of the desktop tools I’ve plopped in front of him.
The video creator usually takes a small amount of footage, strings together some sound bites with jump cuts and a fancy title or two and they are done. There’s no organization and logging of hundreds of hours of footage, multiple revisions and multiple versions, intricate frankenbiting and interfacing with other parts of post-production. Those are all things that video editors have to do all the time and have to have a tool that is designed for those tasks. Final Cut Pro X didn’t have a lot of tools to make that easy when it first came along and it took years to bring it up to a level to handle those major post-production jobs.
The comparison between Rush and Final Cut Pro X is inevitable but warranted
Those who live in the one NLE vs. another NLE world will compare FCPX and Rush and conclude that Rush is just a rip-off of FCPX. There are many similarities.
A magnetic/fluid/ripple-enabled timeline
The Inspector-like thing to control lotsa things
Video and audio in the same container
Expanded audio as an option
All of that is very FCPX-like. While that comparison is fair, Final Cut Pro X is a way deeper and a much more advanced NLE. Is Rush even an NLE? Is iMovie? Even upon the launch of FCPX version 1.0 it was way more advanced. But that was okay and to be expected because out of the gate FCPX was claiming to do more, trying to do more and actually doing more than Premiere Rush can and will do. And Adobe has the big brother Premiere Pro. Apple did not. They had iMovie to FCPX. Adobe has a different aim and is shooting at a different market.
Precision editing isn’t Rush’s thing
Have you ever actually tried to do any precision editing on an iPad app? I’ve used almost all of the major iPad NLEs and it’s terribly imprecise once you get beyond just the chunking in of footage. You’re constantly flicking and scrolling around different parts of the touch interface, pinching in and pinching out to get what you want. But that’s the nature of the device and depending on what you’re wanting to do it may be perfectly fine … or an exercise in frustration.
With a clip selected in the Rush timeline, there is no way to surgically edit the IN or OUT point of a clip without zooming way in. Even with the audio expanded you just can’t see the head or tail of the clip without zooming in a good bit. This isn’t unique to Rush but rather how many of the iOS / touch NLEs operate.
Rush doesn’t use IN and OUT points so if you want to cut out the middle of a clip to make a YouTuber’s favorite jump cut you have to engage in multiple auctions. Move playhead, touch/click the scissors (there is a keyboard shortcut on the desktop), move playhead, scissors, select clip and/or hit trashcan/delete. Way more actions than IN, OUT, delete.
To be fair this how most of the other touch-screen editors work. But in an effort to make these touch editing tools touch friendly they are foregoing some simple functionality. Is it that confusing to teach a newbie how to mark an IN to OUT point?
Take a look at a few minutes of this video. Just click to somewhere in the middle and behold the
best worst of the YouTube jump cut phenomena.
Let just skip over the fact this creator can’t be bothered to smooth out the terrible audio cuts with a tiny dissolve and just look at the sheer amount of jump cuts. Imagine how difficult that edit would be without a Mark IN > Mark OUT > Ripple delete of some kind. I have no idea how this was edited but as I watched my son watch it I got to thinking how terrible time consuming that would be to do the Premiere Rush way.
All told though, it is amazing what you can do with some time and effort on a touch screen device these days. You can most certainly be a creator.
Rush isn’t all that different from the old Adobe Premiere Clip, just better
Remember Adobe’s first attempt at mobile editing Premiere Clip? While a side by side comparison will reveal seemingly different apps they are similar in functionality with a lot of the same controls located in different places. Rush is definitely more full featured as there are a lot of tools that have been added that Premiere Clip didn’t have. I actually like Clip’s timeline a bit better on a mobile app as it isn’t trying to shoehorn a desktop paradigm into mobile but there’s no denying that Rush’s timeline can lead to much more complex editing.
The question of Rush vs Clip is in the underlying architecture of the apps. I’ve seen it suggested that Rush is the Adobe Premiere Pro engine just scaled way down with special care taken to adapt it to iOS (with Android coming). Unlike Clip, there is both a mobile and desktop version that is very, very similar. Nearly identical. If you choose to store your media in the cloud moving an edit between iOS and the desktop is seamless.
Both Clip and Rush have a mechanism to send a project to the full version of Premiere Pro. Rush will perhaps be the entry-level drug for many a video creator. While it’ll be possible to do a lot very fast with Rush an editor might quickly hit the ceiling of what Rush can do and be ready to move into Adobe Premiere Pro.
Rush can be free or cost you money
Have a Creative Cloud subscription?
There are also other options.
The free option is a great way to get people involved in video creation. If you choose a single app plan with Adobe Creative Cloud and choose Premiere, Rush is included.
Where will Rush go as it is updated over the next few years? Time will only tell.