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Adobe Premiere Pro CS6: An Essential Upgrade

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Also new to the suite, and not bundled with the standalone version of Premiere, is Adobe Prelude, a Lightroom-inspired tool for ingesting file-based footage and transcoding to an intermediate format if desired. Once in Prelude, you can add metadata to the footage, mark in and out points, and assemble a rough cut for exporting into Premiere Pro, which is shown in Figure 4. I’ll withhold judgement on Prelude until I get to spend some time with the program; Since Premiere Pro can perform lots of the same functionality, and supports most formats natively, I’m not quite sold on why I need it. But maybe I’m just bitter about OnLocation.

Adobe Prelude

Figure 4. Adobe Prelude helps you ingest and log file-based footage. This footage is from the launch of the HP Z1.

Again, OnLocation is now gone from the suite. While Prelude is actually a much better solution for the file-based formats many shooters are moving to these days, tape-based shooters lose their waveform monitor and DVR. For this functionality alone, OnLo will definitely be missed by those that don’t have a legacy copy on their computer.

Moving on to happier thoughts, Adobe converted Encore to full 64-bit operation. Beyond this, Adobe added support for imported DTS multiple channel audio, and beefed up their Flash-based web-DVD authoring functionality to incorporate Blu-ray like features such as multiple page and pop-up menus. Beyond producing the DVD for my project, I did no testing on Encore so have no performance numbers to report.

Finally, regarding Adobe Media Encoder (and saving the best for last), Adobe added parallel encoding to CS6, which now produces multiple targets from a single job simultaneously. You can see this in Figure 5, where I’m encoding nine iterations of Preacher Sam simultaneously, which brought CPU utilization on my 8-core Mac Pro up to 97%, heights previously unseen by Adobe Media Encoder.

Parallel encodes in Adobe Media Encoder CS6

Figure 5. Adobe Media Encoder now does parallel encoding, producing nine simultaneous iterations of this video clip.

Parallel encoding doesn’t automatically produce extensive performance gains; Adobe Media Encoder has traditionally been a very fast encoder, particularly when producing H.264. But it sure is a great start and I look forward to seeing how it does in my benchmark testing. You can also see the new preset browser on the right, with lots and lots of new presets.

So there it is, Premiere Pro CS6 in a nutshell. There are several critical enhancements, like unlimited multicam in Premiere Pro and parallel encoding in Adobe Media Encoder, which if not unique or groundbreaking, will be sufficient to make the upgrade essential for many users. Otherwise there are lots of other new features, not only in the Premiere Pro bundle, but in the suite as well.

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