Talking about the new version 2.0

By Charlie White

On the heels of Adobe’s announcement and shipment of the new version 2.0 of Premiere Pro along with the other updated members of the Adobe Production Studio, Digital Media Net’s Charlie White talked with Giles Baker, Product Manager of Premiere Pro . In this wide-ranging exclusive interview, Baker explains some of the thinking that went into the development of Premiere Pro 2.0, and tells us about the inner workings of many of its newfound attributes.

DMN: Talk to the readers and tell us, what’s the top story? What is the big improvement with Premiere Pro 2.0?

Giles Baker, Product Manager, Adobe Premiere ProBaker: We focused on three things in the individual product features for this release. The first thing is extending our historical embrace of the new formats as they come out. So we’ve added native HDVediting to Premiere Pro 2.0 and we’ve also added the ability to do HD editing with native support for the AJA Xena HS encoding card.

DMN: What are the other two things?

Baker: The next thing is focusing on creative control. So we’ve added multicam editing to the new release. I think users are going to find our implementation of multicam the most usable out there. We really focused on making it an interactive editing experience with keyboard control over switched camera angles , and the ability to punch and record again and again as you refine your edits and prepare the overall cut. And then, we combined that with the ability to go in and make very fine adjustments to your multicam edits. We’ve really nailed the multicam feature in this version. We’ve also got other creative features like new lighting effects built in, and other things that we really feel are going to help with the creative experience. The final thing we’ve really focused on was the whole collaboration and output of your content. So we’ve added a brand new, revolutionary feature called Clip Notes. Clip Notes takes the pain out of video review and commenting over short and long distances. We’ve leveraged the Acrobat PDF technology to allow our users to export video directly into a PDF file that they can send to all the people that they collaborate with, get comments in the Acrobat PDF , and retrieve them directly onto the editing timeline.

DMN: Does that require any special software on the part of the receiver? All they need is just the Adobe Reader, correct?

Baker: That’s right. The great thing about the way Clip Notes works is that you don’t need any special version of Acrobat to work with a Clip Notes PDF . If an editor sends you a Clip Notes PDF , all you need is Adobe Reader to be able to open the content, play the video, add comments, and then send them directly back to the editor who can then see those comments frame-accurately in the timeline within Premiere Pro 2.0.

DMN: I see. So there are markers that can be imported right into the timeline, and then the editor can see, for example, what the boss had to say about a particular cut?

Baker: Exactly. And actually, there’s no messing around with importing markers. You just import the single comments file and you’ll see all the comments show up as markers in that timeline. The great thing about this is that it eliminates all the ambiguity that you may get when you’re getting comments back from people who are reviewing your content. Those comments come in on exactly the frame that they were added, and there’s no confusion about whether someone meant this shot or another shot.

DMN: What about on the output stage?

Baker: When you’re finished with your content, we’ve added integrated DVD authoring to Premiere Pro 2.0. So you can export directly from your timeline to a DVD . You can add chapter points directly in the timeline of Premiere Pro 2.0, and we included a large variety of professionally-designed templates that you can use to spice up the content. You can also design your own menu templates and include those as well.

DMN: Now this is a departure from what you had for version 1.5 for DVD authoring . I think in that release there was just the ability to create a DVDthat starts playing automatically, right?

Baker: Yes, that’s right. It was more akin to exporting a VHS tape. There was no interactivity, and you had a few options for adding chapters. In this new version, we’ve really tried to address the need for people to output something a little more interactive and polished directly from the timeline.

DMN: I understand there is accelerated rendering with Premiere Pro 2.0. Is this application using the GPU more than its predecessor? How much faster do you think it will be, Giles?

Baker: It is faster. It accelerates playback of some of the most common effects using the GPU. So motion, and opacity especially, are accelerated through the GPU. Depending on your system and the GPU card, you’re going to see an improvement of anything up to 2x in frame rate. So what this really means is that users who have a system that’s maybe two years old, that meets the minimum system minimum requirement for working with Premiere , can upgrade just the GPU card and see a significant increase in performance.

DMN: Since we’re talking about rendering, can you tell me a little more about the native HDV implementation here? This is also brand new, with version 2.0. Before, you had to use the CineForm codec, and now we have Adobe’s own version of HDV editing. How does that work, and how “native” is it?

Baker: The capture from HDV tape is essentially a file copy. We’re grabbing the content and bringing it to disk. Premiere Pro will then analyze that content so that it can work with it very quickly on the timeline, and essentially, if you do just cuts, then there’s really no re-encoding of the content, apart from at the cut points, in order to keep the HDV stream legal. So it’s different from working with the Premiere Pro 1.5.1 approach where the content was immediately transcoded into an intermediate wavelet codec. For users who are doing heavy effects work, we still work with the CineForm solution, so you have both choices. And, 1.5.1 projects will open in Premiere Pro 2.0—they will be converted on import to the native approach.