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Adobe CS6 review: Premiere Pro

We bring you an in-depth preview of Adobe's new Premiere Pro CS6

Premiere Pro CS6 has a new interface that gives over the top part of the screen to the Source and Program monitors. The amount of buttons has been reduced drastically - though you can add back some or all of them. The Project panel has 16:9 scrubbable thumbnails, to which you can add trim marks.

The improved Mercury Playback Engine delivers even more performance from multi-core processors, according to Adobe. While still largely tied to Nvidia's CUDA engine - where it now supports Tesla add-in boards for even greater performance - Open CL acceleration has been added to allow AMD graphics chips in the latest Apple MacBook Pros to be tapped as well. Other AMD cards won't deliver the same performance benefits.

For input there's ingesting and logging through Adobe Prelude as well as augmented hardware I/O support, including that for multicam editing. Previously this was limited to four cams, but now it's limited only the speed of your computer. There's new native support for direct editing of RED EPIC, RED SCARLET-X and Canon formats, so Premiere can deal with footage from all major high-end cameras at resolutions up to 5K.

There's also tighter integration with other Adobe packages - projects can be sent to After Effects and SpeedGrade directly. This extends to output as well with the Dynamic Link Send to Encore CS6, allowing easy creation of Blu-ray, DVD and web video from the same project.

When it comes to editing, there are new trimming tools that support the three trim modes: regular, which cuts edges and edit points of clips without affecting anything else; roll trim, which edits the end of one clip and automatically moves the start of the next; and ripple trim, which moves everything up and down the timeline. Other new features include the Warp Stabilizer, which evens out wobbly handheld footage; adjustment layers that can be applied to any footage track; the enhanced 64-bit Mercury Playback engine (GPU-accelerated with a supported video card, and with more cards supported in this release).

There are new colour workflow options, too. The highlight is the improved Three-Way Color Corrector. It now allows for visual colour correction across the board for shadows, midtones and highlights, and you can switch workspaces to maximise the amount of space available to it.

Audio is another area that has been updated, with a redesigned Audio Mixer panel and an enhanced Meters panel. The Mixer layout has been improved to go with the colour visual indication of the peaks and troughs: double clicking on a fader resets it to zero while there options to show dynamic peak indicators that update regularly, or static peaks. Individual audio tracks can contain clips that have an unlimited number of audio channels.

Premiere Pro CS6 gains two new - well, new to Adobe anyway - companion products: Prelude and SpeedGrade.

Prelude CS6 doesn't ship with Premiere Pro CS6, but you do get it with Creative Suite 6 Production Premium or a Creative Cloud subscription. It's a standalone ingest and logging application for working with file-based media. Large groups of captured media can be quickly brought in and catalogued, and then only the clips you need sent to Premiere Pro.

SpeedGrade CS6 is also only available as part of Creative Suite 6 Production Premium or a Creative Cloud. Bought as part of Adobe's acquisition of Iridas last year, it's a professional-level colour grading tool similar to Apple's Color that it used to ship alongside Final Cut Pro in Final Cut Studio. This looks to be essentially the same tool as Iridas's - it doesn't follow the same interface conventions as the rest of CS6, though considering its focussed approach, this could be a good thing.

SpeedGrade CS6 has been integrated with Premiere Pro CS6 to some degree though, as the editors gains a Send to SpeedGrade command.

Premiere Pro CS6, Prelude CS6 and SpeedGrade CS6 are part of CS6 Production Premium and the Master Collection - plus Creative Cloud.

CS6 Production Premium costs £1,509, or from £298 as an upgrade. CS6 Master Collection costs £2,223, or from £397 as an upgrade.

Creative Cloud costs £38.11 per month with an annual contract. Current owners of CS3 or later suites or products can get this for £22.23 per month. On a month-by-month basis, Creative Cloud costs 57.17.

All prices exclude VAT. Adobe says CS6 will be out before May 22.

Follow our step-by-step Macworld Masterclass on Premiere Pro Cs6's new Three-Way Color Corrector tool


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