The Source and Program monitor windows are very
similar in style to Xpress and FCP. Even the icons are similar.
Premiere Pro also shares the ability to export directly from the
timeline to DVD. In fact, much of what you come to expect in Avid
and Apple's programs - including methodology - can be found in
Adobe Premiere Pro. I believe that's a huge asset because that
methodology works, making an editor's transition to Pro easy and
the program easier to learn for beginners. Prior to this, I was
a Premiere detractor, but with Pro, I've changed my tune.
Instead of burning raw straight from the timeline to DVD, drag
that project or demo reel into Encore DVD, Adobe's DVD authoring
software. Encore's graphic interface is, once again, much like
the other Adobe programs' style. Encore will automatically compress
Premiere Pro's (or other softwares) AVI file into MPEG-2, and the
transcoding settings are user-definable.
In creating menus and buttons, chosen images and icons need only
be imported into the Library palette. Buttons can be created directly
in Photoshop CS. I made some simple ones and dragged them into
Encore with the mouse. Linking buttons to video can be tricky in
some programs, but with Encore, it is simple drag and drop. Any
button created can become a motion menu through animation, or it
can play video within that button.
In building chapter points within the project I had dragged over,
I didn't see Encore automatically assign chapters based upon my
edit points that I could then adjust. Some other DVD authoring
programs offer this capability. Nevertheless, in Encore, you create
a timeline and drop your movie into it. Adding chapter points is
then as easy as selecting a specific time code and clicking Add
For output, compression is fully controllable. Even though my
project was short, I practiced as though I needed to get the highest
video quality possible - say for a cinematography demo reel. I
reduced my audio to a mono track, which freed up disc space to
dedicate to video. I was also able to assign a region (I chose
All Region) and turned on copy protection. I couldn't bring myself
to select the Macrovision feature, however. The next step after
building the DVD was simple: click Burn.
I really did not get into After Effects 6.0 Professional. This
was just an upgrade from my 5.5 version. 6.0 Professional versus
Standard adds motion tracking and stabilization, advanced keying
and warping tools, more than 30 additional visual effects, a particle
system, render automation and network rendering, 16-bit-per-channel
color, 3-D channel effects, and additional audio effects. Since
I stuck mostly with the visual aspect of the Video Collection,
I also did not dabble in Audition, which allows you to record and
mix soundtracks in a variety of formats, including 5.1 surround.
The new Photoshop CS, or "Creative Suite," is actually
version 8.0, but Adobe has dropped the numerical identifier. A
couple of key improvements include shadow and highlight correction
for improving contrast in over- and underexposed areas of an image,
and integrated digital-camera raw-file support for the highest
quality of output using complete raw-data files.
One point I'd like to bring up regards the printed manuals for
each program. Though I do avoid having to reference them as much
as possible, I inevitably had to thumb through them for one reason
or another and found them to be much clearer than previous versions.
Of course, it helps that the programs, Premiere in particular,
are vastly improved. Another point is the ease at which these programs
interoperate. I brought my project into After Effects and made
a small color adjustment to a short clip. That modification stayed
with the project when I checked it in Audition and back in Premiere.
No more having to re-import and re-export. In summary, the Adobe
Video Collection is impressive and offers huge bang for very few
For more information regarding the Adobe Video Collection, visit www.adobe.com/products/dvcoll/main.html.