Adobe updates Premiere, pushing video to the web

Premiere 6.0 supports Web video in multiple formats, and improves video capture as well as editing tools like a storyboard window. Also new is an audio mixer with real-time editing. The new release is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2001 priced at $1459 (or $440 as an upgrade from an earlier version).

With its high price tag and professional feature set, Premiere 6.0 is more than many consumers need, but its focus on digital video and Web publishing make it a useful tool across skill sets.

Digital in, Web out

Broadcasting is coming to the masses courtesy of the Web, along with popular digital video camcorders and editing software such as Apple iMovie and Microsoft Windows MovieMaker, Adobe observes. So Premiere 6.0 sports tools for digital video capture and publishing to the Net.

You can save video files for use online in multiple streaming video formats, including QuickTime, RealVideo, Windows Media, and MPEG.

"You can output files in several formats by simply exporting the Timeline directly into a customised version of Terran Interactive's Media Cleaner software," says Matthew J. Douglas, product manager for Adobe Premiere.

Also, getting your video into Premiere is much easier with a new capture window, Douglas says. "It has a logging palette, a settings palette, and built-in DV support," he says.

Premiere 6.0 works with all the new digital video camcorders, Douglas says. Simply select the device brand and model to have instant control over your clips, he adds.

New to the logging-in palette is a batch capture option that lets you log sequences of clips. This a great addition for people who like to shoot reams of footage thanks to inexpensive digital videotape.

One drawback is Premiere 6.0 still does not support scene detection. A common feature in consumer video editing tools like iMovie, scene detection automatically divides video footage into editable parts based on scene changes. Adobe considers desktop implementations of the function are still inadequate, Douglas says.

Premiere 6.0 offers a nice preview feature that lets you view footage from the project window either on the desktop or on the camera itself.

More tools for pros

Professional video editors will also find plenty of tricks in Premiere 6.0 to more easily produce sophisticated projects. Among those functions are a storyboard window, audio mixer, and an automate-to-timeline tool.

As in iMovie, the storyboard window lets you drag and drop your clips in the order you want them to play.

"And Automate to Timeline fits your storyboard into the timeline for you," Douglas says. "You can set the clips to change at different music beats. If the clip is too short, Premiere either leaves the extra section blank for you to fill or it fits the clip to fill the space."

Premiere's new audio mixer adds long-requested audio controls that are particularly useful for music videos or other sound-driven projects.

Premiere 6.0 is also better integrated with Adobe After Effects and Photoshop than previous versions. Premiere provides 25 After Effects filters that you can apply to video clips.

"You can drag and drop a Photoshop file into the project window, turn on transparency and create an instant composite you can play in the camera," Douglas says.

And because different projects require different tools, Premiere 6.0 lets you customise and save workspace settings.

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