April 6th, 2013

Adobe Premier PRO CS6 Review

Finding the right editing software can be difficult. Depending on what you need and how you edit, getting the right tools feels impossible. With this Adobe Premier Pro CS6 Review, we hope we can shed some light on a great editing software!

When I switched to Final Cut Pro in 2008 from Adobe Premier Pro CS3, life was easy. It stayed that way through Final Cut Pro 6 and 7, but then “X” was released to mixed reviews (to put it nicely) in June of 2011. To this day, I still haven’t met anyone that’s had anything positive to say about FCPX. Rather than sitting around another year hoping the fine folks at Apple decide to release Final Cut Pro 8, I’ve decided to check in on an old flame, Adobe Premier Pro CS6 via the free 30 day trial on Adobe’s site.

Using some basic footage of my daughter’s first trip to the zoo that I shot on my T3I, I was able to test out allot of Adobe Premier Pro CS6’s new features. Here are a few of the highlights!

To view video click here!

1. Title Tool

Right away I noticed the brilliant title tool in APPCS6. It’s been brilliant since version 1, but coming from a half decade of FCP’s ridiculous attempt at a titler, it was a godsend. I’ve actually been told that FCP hasn’t updated it’s title tool since version 1. I’d like to hope that’s not true, but anyone that’s used a title within FCP wouldn’t be surprised. I was able to quickly whip up that faux Lion King title in minutes using only ONE layer! In FCP7, that same title would have required at least 2 different text layers plus a cropped matte to act as the white line.

2. DSLR Footage

When it was first announced that PPCS could edit DSLR footage without transcoding to another format, it seemed too good to be true. If this feature worked, it could save allot of space if you’re storing raw and converted footage like we do here at Frozen Fire, which would also save users money. One of the complaints about editing DSLR footage natively was that it couldn’t handle aggressive color correction. As you can see from my edit above this is true. I went pretty heavy on the curves on purpose to see how far I could go. Some of the black areas got particularly dirty. I’m sure some of that has to do with the camera itself, but this is the first time I’ve seen the issue I had above. I also tried to mix as many random formats into my sequence as possible. In addition to the H.264 clips from the T3I, I also used a .MP4 video clip I pulled from youtube. If I pulled this same stunt in FCP7, I’m pretty sure my computer would have a heart (cpu?) attack. PPCS6 was able to work with these different formats without any issue.

3. Adjustment Layers

One of the new features in PPCS6 is the addition of Adjustment Layers. They have been in After Effects for a while now and I love them. My first thought was to use an Adjustment Layer over the entire edit for color correction. This works out pretty well, but obviously no edit is consistent enough throughout to apply a single layer for color correction. Ultimately, it took a couple layers, but having the ability to quickly change my effect settings on a single layer and have it affect multiple layers underneath is incredibly powerful. It also eliminates room for error. In the past, we would have to make a change to a single clip then copy/paste attributes to the rest of your layers. Ever missed one? I have. It will be much, much harder to make that mistake now.

A funny thing happened when I went to add a vignette to my edit. PPCS6 doesn’t have a vignette preset! No idea how that happened in 2013. Regardless, I was able to create a vignette using the new adjustment layer! I simply opened Adobe’s incredibly powerful title tool, added a radial gradient to it and set the starting point to 0% opacity. I then put the title tool in the timeline, right clicked it, set it as a “Adjustment Layer”, added curves to it and I had a nice looking vignette. It was at this moment I saw just how powerful this new feature could be.

Adobe Premier Pro CS6 Review

To say I’m happy in this Adobe Premier Pro CS6 review would be an understatement. When I look at some of the features coming down the pipeline like Adobe Anywhere, I can’t help but get excited about the future.



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