Production Premium CS5.5 storms onto the scene.

Bill Roberts, Director of Product Management at Adobe, blogs about the breadth and depth supported by the performance and openness in new Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium

Welcome to the new reality of 2011 – this industry is changing fast. Our customers are adapting to the new multi-screen world we live in and learning to thrive and prosper in a world where never before has so much content been created and consumed. Change happens fast in this world and that is why Adobe is delighted to be at NAB 2011 to introduce a new release of Production Premium-version CS5.5-only 12 months after our landmark CS5 release.

While our users’ goal of telling compelling stories doesn’t change, the reality of making content today is very different than a few years back-the world of tape compared with our file based reality today couldn’t be more different. Adobe has added the concept of file-based workflows across the entire content creation cycle-from the first moment an idea comes into your head till the last glowing pixel fades on the device the consumer watches it on-Adobe is there.

We call this “Plan to Playback” and our goal is to provide the essential tools you need across that spectrum (breadth), the specialized tools in specific areas you need to be more productive and creative (depth) and ensure that everything you do goes at full speed and can connect to any other tool you need to (Performance and Openness).

I’m proud to be part of the team that is bringing such a broad set of innovation to market – CS5.5 is a release in synch with the day. There’s a lot going into this release so I’ll just comment on some of the major innovations:
• Adobe Story, our cloud collaboration scriptwriting application which has been in beta since the launch of CS5, now becomes a full release totally integrated into the suite. Whether you’re working from dramatic scripts or factual transcripts you can now connect that metadata in Story directly to your footage in Premiere Pro, making your content infinitely more searchable.
• Premiere Pro itself continues to accelerate. With CS5, Adobe introduced the Mercury engine – a combination of CPU and GPU processing all running at 64 bits so that all of the memory in the host can be used to empower a fluid experience. In CS5.5 we not only extend the range of GPUs supported, but provide more Mercury-powered FX and marry up this amazing engine with new I/O technologies like Thunderbolt (one of the few places you can see true Thunderbolt Storage working with the new MacBook Pros is on the Adobe booth – stop by and check it out). Not only is the power of Premiere enhanced, but ease of use takes a big leap forward with dozens of changes in user interaction driven by our customer’s feedback. We’ve also introduced new tools targeted specifically at the workflow challenges presented by working with DSLR cameras – which has been an area where a lot of our users have been taking advantage of the native access file format workflows we have in Premiere. If you want to know more about these you should check the NAB Keynote Session where Adobe Senior VP John Loiacono will be talking with Jacob Rosenberg, director & CTO Bandito Brothers who is a pioneer in post for DSLR along with acclaimed director Gareth Edwards, “Monsters” and Tyler Nelson, assistant editor, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Social Network.”
• After Effects has a killer release in 5.5 – One of the amazing features is also targeted at the use footage from DSLR and other smaller format hand held cameras is the ‘Warp Stabilizer’- not only does it track stabilize and scale automatically, but can also compensate for rolling shutter artifacts which often look worse after stabilization. Depending on your footage it can also ‘heal’ the edges of the stabilized shot to minimize scaling – and it does all of this in the background, automatically. There are changes all throughout the software – from advances in light fall off, new lens tools all the way down to basics such as timecode, this is a massive release for After Effects.
• Audition is on the Mac! As part of our commitment to provide the same interoperable tools on both the PC and Mac platforms we’re delighted to release Audition for the Mac. After an incredibly successful public beta on Adobe Labs (over 36,000 downloads!) Audition is ready for prime time. Yes, Soundbooth does go away, but I’m sure once you try the new audio engine of Audition you’ll see why we are choosing to focus our audio innovation on this amazingly fast platform. It’s highly responsive and allows you to have a dedicated purpose built interface for audio editing, restoration and sweetening that fully interoperates with Premiere Pro.

Those are just some of the highlights for the products, but the workflow is also so much better. Working with new RED Epic footage? No problem-as Ted Schilowitz of RED said, “If anybody completely understands RAW workflows, it’s Adobe. So it makes perfect sense that they’ve fully integrated EPIC support into their toolset right out of the gate.”

If you’ve finished your project and have to output to range of different broadcast and streaming format formats from iPad to MPEG? No problem. Adobe Media Encoder has undergone a major upgrade with a new UI that allows you to quickly and simple set up multiple outputs from a single watch folder.

Finally – remember that this suite is built around the concept of workflow, moving between applications is simple and lossless allowing you to stay focused on the story you’re trying to express.

I could go on and on about the changes, but if you’re at NAB you should swing by the booth and have a look. If you’re not here, our website will have a mountain of new content for you to look at. However you do it, I hope you have a chance to look at what we’ve been working on. The industry is in a time of change and responding to that change requires us to step up the tempo of our releases. We’re delighted to announce a release here at NAB 2011 that both show clear innovation, but also that we’re listening to our customers and giving them the tools that they need to get the job done.

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