Using Premiere Pro CS5

Excuse me for the long break in blogging, it’s been a busy time.

I just came off of an interesting project. I used Adobe Premiere CS5 on a spoof of Scott Pilgrim. I had not used Adobe Premiere since learning it in my high school tv/video class. Keep this in mind throughout the read please; I learned Premiere first, Final Cut Pro second and Avid third. I think that makes me different than most people who take the side of Avid in the argument between the three.

While I don’t look to face that argument through this read, I think it needs to be addressed that some tools are better for some things than others.

I wasn’t looking forward to learning another program while making the same rate I would on another project because there would be a learning curve time in there. However, the project was being shot all on the 7D and on the Red. So, in theory, I should have the time used to convert all the footage using Final Cut Pro to have the learning curve or the time it would take to go back and forth with our Visual Effects artist between Avid and After Effects would be learning curve time.

First of all, my keyboard settings are not the default FCP or Avid settings. You can read about mine here. They are a hybrid of the two when I use FCP and my Avid settings are just a tad different. So I set some time aside to change my keyboard. This is where I met my first “CS5 Fail.” There seriously isn’t a search option in the keyboard customization field. Seriously. You have to scroll up and down and look for what you want. So this led to my first issue because I wasn’t able to make my overwrite command like Avid’s or even like the “Overwrite with Sequence Content” to take footage from my KEM roll or selects in the viewer down to the sequence.

The footage played back very well actually. This surprised me. I’d say it seemed to play back better than Avid’s playback of AMA files, however this was not the case when the mixed formats hit the timeline together. I had to render everything out to really watch it. So still I wouldn’t say that there was an advantage over using CS5 over Media Composer when referring to the playback engine. Keep in mind I am just using a 17” model of the i5 MacBook Pro. I do not have any Matrox hardware that makes my Avid play back better.

With my basic knowledge of After Effects I was able to take my timeline and select a few shots, right click and put it right into After Effects. My changes in After Effects would effect the timeline in Premiere. This is something that is just plain awesome. Loved it. I don’t use Motion and I don’t know more than one handful of people that use it. I know you can do the same with FCP and Motion, but come on, it’s After Effects!

However, the score is still in favor of FCP or Avid. If you look up a few of my previous entries, you will see the error I kept facing. I thought it was a corrupt timeline, I made a new sequence. I did everything I found in the forums online. Everything seemed to work, but just temporarily. Then I got the response I hate getting, “You should really convert/transcode the footage.” Well, duh, but then what’s the point of using the fancy Red/H.264 editing program if you think I should transcode it? I might as well stick with my normal tools. So I know some of you suggested this, but I think that’s a bandaid to using a program that is proud to show off a new, grand feature.

So as this error kept popping up back and forth and automatically shutting my timeline down, kicking me out of the program, I decided to take it into FCP via Export XML. However, then I have the transcode my media. D’oh! But wait, there is an AAF export option too! Yeah, but then you’re taking it into Avid and it wants to import the footage, not import AMA files. (Maybe that could be improved with a little bit of effort on my part, but I wasn’t sure if they would reconnect in the end because I would have to export another AAF to bring it into AE and you can’t export AMA with an AAF) (there are a lot of A’s in that last sentence of abbreviations). I gave up. I decided to jerk it out in Premiere.

Then I figured out what I wish I would have tried the first time I got the error. Don’t click on it. Drag it to the side and let it be. Perfect. Problem, er, solved, I guess. It never bothered me again.

I finished the project, handed it completely over to VFX and they finished it. Overall I’m proud of how it turned out. It’s a bit nerdy, but hey, it’s fun to watch, especially if you are a fan of Scott Pilgrim.