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Adobe Ships Premiere Pro 1.5, AE 6.5

Interview with Adobe's Senior Director, Digital Video Group By Charlie White

Dave Trescot, Senior Director, Digital Video Group, Adobe Systems In this exclusive interview with Digital Media Net, Dave Trescot, Senior Director of the Digital Video Group at Adobe Systems talks about today's (5/24/04) shipment of the newest versions of Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition and Encore. Trescot also offers his comments on Adobe's HD editing and compositing roadmap, the improved interaction within Adobe's suite of content creation software, and candidly gives his assessment of Apple's new Motion 1.0 compositing software and its competitive implications for After Effects on the Mac.

DMN: So, big release coming up?

Trescot: Yes. At NAB, we launched the new versions of Premiere Pro [1.5], After Effects [6.5], Audition [1.5] and Encore [1.5], and in fact we're now about to ship everything. One of the things we were showing was Premiere Pro in HD. So one of the 50-some-odd features that we're showing amongst the products is the ability to do HD editing with Premiere Pro. It's exciting. Because we're not a hardware manufacturer, we actually have other hardware manufacturers supporting us. I believe there are about half a dozen HD hardware developers who are showing solutions built around Premiere Pro.

DMN: Like BOXX, CineForm, Matrox, Canopus?

Trescot: BOXX, CineForm, Matrox, Bluefish, Canopus and Black Magic were all showing systems. Those were all the ones that were on the floor. There were also several companies showing things in whisper suites.

DMN: And which companies were those?

Trescot: I can't talk about them.

DMN: I guess that why they're called "whisper suites."

Trescot: Yes, they're whispering. So basically it's people who have developed high-end hardware and who are looking for a front end that they can depend upon, and that is an inexpensive but professional solution. That's why they turn to Premiere Pro. It's an open API, and there are lots of people out there who have done work with it and are comfortable with it and know how to write the drivers for it. As opposed to trying to write your own software, its much easier to write the drivers to do that. What's interesting about that is that because Premiere Pro is a front end, Premiere Pro itself is not really limited in what people can do with it. In fact, you're going to see film-rez uncompressed editing with Premiere Pro, because people can.

DMN: Are there new features in Premiere Pro 1.5 that specifically facilitate HD production?

Trescot: There were things that we put into the core to enable people to actually hook in their hardware correctly. We actually had some people shipping and showing Premiere Pro HD with the 1.0 version, but with 1.5 what we've done is added the features that make it really work for HD. So the ability, for example, to do EDL import and EDL export. When you're dealing with HD, you deal with an immense amount of data, and so adding project management tools that allow you to, for example, trim your projects down to collect and consolidate projects to make projects off line, to re-batch digitize at higher resolutions -- all of these things are really part of the pieces that go into making a complete HD solution.

DMN: Another thing you did with Premiere Pro 1.0 was you switched over from the YUV/RGB model to all-YUV processing. That must be a big help with responsiveness when you're editing HD, right?

Trescot: It's a big performance boost. Now, what happens is that when people are working in HD, each HD card typically uses its own format for HD. So for example, the CineForm system is using a wavelet codec. The Matrox system is using an MPEG2 codec. The Bluefish is using an RGB codec. So each one is using a different type of codec and format. Essentially the YUV/RGB issue was for Premiere Pro handling native DV footage. But as soon as you move into HD, we move back and forth between the formats, depending on what the hardware is designed to do. People forget that Premiere is the front end and the data handler, and it is the underlying hardware that can define what format is actually being manipulated. And so that's why Premiere is independent, and that's why you can have so many different variations, so many different types of solutions. And what's great about that, we think,  is that you get multiple solutions at multiple price points. You want uncompressed? Here. You want MPEG2, because you want to have a consistent capture/edit/export workflow? Fine. You want to have higher variable compression? Go to wavelet. All these variations are available to you at a variety of different price points.

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Related Keywords:Dave Trescot, Senior Director of the Digital Video Group, Adobe Systems, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Encore, version 1.5, HD editing, compositing, roadmap, improved interaction, content creation software, Apple, Motion 1.0, Mac

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