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Adobe Review of:
Adobe Premiere


Albert Flores is an old-time, long-time member of Alamo PC Organization but over the past couple of years found himself too busy with his KENS-5 weathercasts to do much beyond read the magazine. Albert represented APCO by being the MC during the Microsoft rollout of Windows 95 at Trinity University's Laurie Auditorium in 1995.

From the November, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

When I decided to build a non-linear video editing station for myself, I took some time to study what was out there that I could afford. I found there were several levels of video editing, from the low end consumer software that had very little in the way of bells and whistles, to the high end software that with the help of an accompanying video card, could keep up with many of the “professional editing systems” that production companies and television stations spend tens of thousands of dollars for.

In what is known as the “prosumer” level of editing software I found Adobe Premiere 6.0. My first decision in the construction of this editing station was to purchase a Matrox video capture/compression package. After having read a great deal on the plus and minuses of each editing package, the Matrox system seemed to fit both my budget and editing requirements. With that Matrox package came the Adobe Premiere software. Since I have been using Adobe Photoshop for several years now, I had the basic understanding of the way Adobe handled their menus. Outside of that, it was starting from scratch. 

I was an old film editor back in 1972. I began working at KENS-TV in the day when all news stories were shot on film. If we wanted to create dissolves between two shots, we had to create an “A-B” roll. In Premiere you can create the same type of editing timeline. You put your first video shot on line “A” and your second video shot on line “B” at the end of the shot on line “A”. You would then pick a transition for the machine to take you from one to the other. You could use a simple fade to a very complicated fractal transition that would literally take the video apart by the pixel and fly it in a million directions. Those types of transitions required the power of the Matrox card to assist the software in creating the complicated mathematical calculations it would take to make it happen. As long as you kept it to two lines of video and transitions, you could produce your video in record time without the need for the computer to “render” or create each and every frame of your production. 

Premiere has the option to add as many as 95 layers of video and 95 layers of audio. As many videos as I have produced in the last year and a half, I have only used eight layers of video and five layers of audio at one time. Believe me when you have that much going on at one time, it’s difficult to keep everything straight. On top of that, it requires that the editor/computer render each and every frame. 

Depending on what you are asking the editor to do, you might be spending a great deal of time waiting for the editor to render your production. I recently waited eight hours for the Matrox editor to render ten minutes of finished video. The more layers you add into the production, the more the editor is going to have to deal with. 

Premiere has more options than I could ever list in this review, but you are able to choose from close to a hundred transitions, and an equal number of video effects like, 3D manipulation of your video to include edge beveling, drop shadows, color correction, motion control, depth perception and much more. 

Imputing video via fire wire is as easy as opening a window and selecting movie or audio capture. The editing software then allows you to select your clips down to the frame and import them in a variety of formats. Once you have them imported into Premiere, you see a set of thumbnails that allow you to select the clip you want to simply drag and drop into the time-line. Once on that time-line you can trim your clips by using a razor to cut unnecessary segments, expand and slow down the clips to create slow motion or still frames by using your “clip options”. 

Viewing more or less of your time-line is as easy as hitting the plus or minus keys on your keyboard. You can see as little as a few frames at a time, or your entire project. The ability to size or move any and all windows in this editing software makes it very user friendly. I have a 21-inch monitor, and I find it difficult at times to see everything I need to during an editing session. With the ability to move and size windows, as I need, I am able to get the job done without much hassle. I would not recommend trying to edit on any NLE software without either a large monitor or two 19-inch monitors. There is so much to look at on the screen that space is precious and hard to come by. 

I am sure I only use about 50% of what Premiere 6.0 can do, but even with that capability, I am able to turn out some impressive results. I know there are videos and books that are available for purchase, but I am a bit stubborn and usually like to learn by doing. Premiere has a massive learning curve, and works best with a very powerful system, say at least a 1.4 gig processor, 512 megs of ram and a set of fast hard drives. Anything less and you are going to be frustrated at how long you have to wait to see your final product rendered.

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