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Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?

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Christopher Travis
Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:35:54 am

Hello all,

I'm looking at making a switch at the agency where I work. Here's a quick summary of what we do:

We produce short form commercial content for broadcast and the web. So that's anything from a 30sec broadcast ad shot on Arri, down to serial webisodes shot on handycams. Most of our stuff goes through AE at some point for titles and/or GFX of varying complexity. Some projects are done almost entirely in AE. We have 3 towers and 3 iMacs and currently we are editing on FCP legacy. Currently, bigger audio mixing and grading jobs are outsourced to a post house but I'd like to bring as much of this in-house as possible assuming I get the go-ahead to purchase the equipment needed.

I have been following the shit storm that has hit our business over the last year quite closely and have come out in favour of a switch to PP and the Creative Suite as a whole. PP looks like a great replacement for FCP legacy, as far as I can see it's one of the market leaders in terms of native format support and accelerated real time playback.

Interaction with AE looks ideal. Hopefully we can start hiring freelancers who know PP & AE and they can just be roundtripping their projects back and forth saving time and removing the countless itereations that clog up our job folders when having to export renders to be used in FCP.

Now, before I pull the trigger on this switchover I want to hear any and all complaints people have about the Adobe ecosystem. I have very little experience with it and in truth all I've heard is the marketing hype so I want to hear about all the problems people have had with it. I want you to really bash it, get nasty and personal with it and drag it's name through the mud so I can have a bit more of a rounded view of it all.

Thanks,
Chris


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Steve Connor
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:45:33 am

Chris, look around the Adobe forum here and on the Adobe site this will give you a better ideas of any problems people are finding with it. If you do a lot of AE work then it seems a very obvious move for you.

Steve Connor
"FCPX Professional"
Adrenalin Television


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:56:25 am

maybe try contacting Walter Biscardi too - he pretty firmly road tested the beta CS6 suite recently - its going number two in his shop behind Avid for any stuff bar heavy duty long form broadcast I think.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos
http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:01:16 am

There is a lot in Premiere CS5.5 that's driving me up the wall and makes it hardly usable in my workflow. Pointing those things out now seems of not much since virtually all of these things seem adressed in CS6, at least on paper. If it does what is says it does it's golden. So, my suggestion would be to hold out a few more weeks until CS6 is in the open.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Christopher Travis
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:05:12 am

Frank,

Could you tell me what those things are and in what way CS6 is supposed to be addressing them?

Also thanks Steve, just browsing the thread titles in the PP forum is good for getting an idea of peoples problems with it. I'd still appreciate any and all criticisms of the system, things that are definitely not user-error problems but problems with the package itself.


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:47:03 am

Some of the main issues I have with CS5.5, adressed in CS6

- VideoIO is clunky, buggy. CS6 doesn't just fix any bugs, it's a different architecture for IO so you're also not just limited to BM or AJA timelines.
- Audio handling and export was poor; stereo, mono or 5.1 only. No way to export stems or, say, 8-channel audio - all adressed.
- Poor trim-tools - addressed
- Interface make-over badly needed - adressed

I suggest you take a look at this series of videos. It's like a one-by-one checklist of issues and most common wish lists that seem resolved/fulfilled.
http://www.video2brain.com/en/products-321.htm

On a general note, I tip my hat to Adobe. It's a very, very substantial update that should put Premiere firmly on the map for a lot of FC users.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Paul Jay
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:31:15 pm

Indeed,

They addressed exactly the things needed.

Then you have FCP7 continuity, you can use your AJA or Blackmagic card.
True native codec support.

I think the CS6 is great.

But FCPX certainly has a future aswell.


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Erik Lindahl
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:56:45 pm

The only point CS6 hasn't addressed is a common work format. I was hoping for something in the lines of Adobe licensing ProRes or similar but we weren't that lucky.

Hopefully CS6 handles ProRes like FCP7 on similar hardware and we're all good sorting that issue out. CS5.5 handles ProRes and video output like a joke.

All native - really nice feature - but you need a "post production format" also.


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Andy Edwards
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:28:26 pm

How old is your hardware? You definitely want to have newer gear to deal with some of the current Adobe issues. Tons of ram, an NVIDIA gfx card will be a must. If you think bumping an old tower to Lion and stuffing CS5.5 into it will work flawlessly, well your in for some struggles.

If you are running Kona 3 cards in the Mac Pro's, the current drivers are horrible!! Stuttering audio, and stuttering video playback is a real work stopper! Adobe and AJA know this and had to rewrite their entire I/O interface. CS6 hopefully addresses this problem.

If you archive or media manage your projects, be prepared for more drive space or LTO tapes. Adobe's "project manager" is not space friendly. It takes the entire project, not always the "trimmed" version. I think CS6 might have better media managing, but have not read anything about it yet.

Over the past few months of moving 20 Mac Pro systems to CS5.5, the transition has not been easy. There have been days when going back to FCP just to get a project completed for air was needed. These are all growing and transition pains that might work better under CS6, but with today's hardware and current build, it is not all clean and easy like the marketing material you read.

I really want this transition to work, but with the current AJA hardware issues, buggy interactions with Lion, you are in for a rough start. Clone your system drive and definitely load up CS5.5 and test your current workflow. See what works and then compare the changes made in CS6.

Any other specific questions fire away, happy to share what has or hasn't worked.

Andy Edwards


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Alan Okey
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:43:47 pm

You should really check out Autodesk Smoke. A seat of Smoke would be a great tool for any agency to have, especially if you do any fast turnaround jobs. The integrated editing, effects and finishing tools are ideally suited for advertising work where you need to experiment and iterate rapidly, especially with a client present.


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Christopher Travis
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:18:42 pm

I've been reading around the new Smoke release and it certainly does look interesting. I've signed up for the free trial in June so I'll be dipping my toe in then. I'd like to get myself up to speed on it and maybe I'll suggest installing it on one suite later in the year. It might save us from having to send certain jobs down the road to the big post house.


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Christopher Travis
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 1:51:49 pm

All of our 3 towers are less than 2 years old. 1 is on Snow Leopard, the other 2 are on Lion. We don't have any capture/video cards at the moment, currently all mastering and playouts are done outside but if possible I'd like to bring this inside too so it's useful to know there may be hiccups with that.

On a side note, we have about 30hours of DPX files coming our way next week and I'm hoping that one of these towers (12 core, 32Gb Ram) running PP will be able to edit these right away as long as I have a fast enough RAID array (I'm thinking 3x2TB,7200RPM internal, striped RAID 0). Can anyone tell me if I'm likely to be disappointed? I really REALLY don't want to have to transcode that lot to Prores and work in FCP.


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:10:54 pm

Premiere handles DPX just fine, simple import without any rendering also on slower machines. About your internal raid w. 3 drives: 1 stream should be ok, not too sure about more. It's not ideal. I am only using external Raid arrays with more drives.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Christopher Travis
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:15:03 pm

Thanks again Frank,

We should only need one stream, it's a very simple edit we just need to do it as quick as possible and if I can avoid transcoding then this makes this seem like an ideal project to try out on PP.

For the record, if we were doing a more complicated edit need 2 or more streams, I could probably get RT playback by dropping the playback resolution right? Would this be less taxing on the HD?


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Jason J Rodriguez
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:46:59 pm

[Christopher Travis] "I could probably get RT playback by dropping the playback resolution right? Would this be less taxing on the HD?"

No, you still have to decode all the data in each DPX file before it can be subsampled and displayed on the screen at half-resolution. So the hard-drives will be getting hit either way.

I'm not so sure that 3x7200RPM drives will do the trick across the entire drive. Something to consider with DPX files is that the data-access pattern is not the same as it is for an uncompressed QuickTime file. In other words with individual files sequences, especially if you start editing them together, you are emulating more of a random-access pattern rater than sequential access pattern on the disk-drive. In other words, a QuickTime file that is 2GB in size is generally going to take up a 2GB contiguous chunk on a disk unless the file-system was badly fragmented. Thus accessing the file from disk will happen in a contiguous reading fashion. A DPX sequence on the other-hand will not necessarily be laid down in a contiguous fashion on disk. Thus reading one file and then the next file in the sequence may require you to "skip" around the disk, and as a result, the streaming performance of the disk is reduced to someone between the speed of a continuous read and a random read. In general, a random read on a 7200RPM drive will be slow. Even stripping together the drives does not alleviate the latency required to access a different part of the disk. So you may "get away" with a single stream, but I doubt you'll get that performance across the entire disk. I would recommend 10K or 15K drives if you can swing the increased cost of the drives. You'll get much better random-access performance, especially in the reduced amount of latency required to skip from one area of the disk to another.

Jason Rodriguez
Virginia Beach, VA


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:52:36 pm

Dropping the resolution doesn't really help because the streams still need to be pulled unaltered from the drives. Dropping the resolution only helps if your CPU/GPU is taxed. You'd get dropped frames and stuttering if your drives can't keep up but, frankly, I don't know when this will happen with a three-drive setup and that's something you'd have to consider with any workflow involving DPX, regardless of PP.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:00:20 pm

Have you tried FCPX yet? Only asking because your workflow actually sounds ideal for FCPX. You could even ad a Smoke finishing station when it ships and not have to upgrade any hardware as they're re-designed it from the ground up to run on every Mac from iMac to MacBook Pro.

If you haven't already - I'd download the 30 day trial of Premiere and see if you even like it before pulling the trigger.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Frank Gothmann
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:06:33 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "Have you tried FCPX yet? Only asking because your workflow actually sounds ideal for FCPX. You could even ad a Smoke finishing station when it ships and not have to upgrade any hardware as they're re-designed it from the ground up to run on every Mac from iMac to MacBook Pro."

Since he wrote that most of his stuff goes through AE at a certain point, some projects almost entirely done there, I don't see how FCPX or Smoke would be ideal. Premiere would be the perfect companion NLE in such a scenario.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:14:24 pm

Depends - the main purpose of the new Smoke is to completely eliminate the need for "Editors" to round trip. I've only spent about 15 min on the new version but I already like it more than Premiere/AE workflow, which I have used off and on since Premiere Pro 1.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Frank Gothmann
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:22:17 pm

I agree that it's nice to stay inside one app but there are many other factors that come into play. Since they already use AE and presumably Photoshop (who doesn't) I assume he has licenses so upgrading several seats will be much cheaper despite the clearly very competetive and great pricing for Smoke. Also, finding freelancers for AE is easy - no matter where you are and what your budget is. Finding someone for Smoke it a different story, also budget wise
AE is a powerhouse and Smoke, as great as it may be, doesn't deminish that. And, last but not least, there are people who just don't fancy the prospect of working on an iMac or a Laptop in the future; with with Adobe your have options.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Christopher Travis
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:31:39 pm

Simply put we need to get ourselves off FCP legacy as quickly as possible. I want more RT, less rendering, and more native editing, but I want to do this in the least disruptive way possible. PP works a lot like FCP which is good for me as that's where my background is. We use a lot of freelancers and I don't want to throw them all out and start from scratch building up a whole new address book of FCPX and smoke users. That is going to make an already tense transition a complete nightmare.

FCPX and the new smoke look fascinating but I can wait a year or two to see how they work for other people before I entrust my workflow to them. I don't think we will be less competitive compared to shops that use them by switching to PP.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:42:11 pm

Sounds like you've already answered your own original post. Obviously Adobe is available now and Smoke won't be here for months. I would think a year from now, with an affordable high-end product like Smoke, the trained freelancer pool will start to change and we'll all see if there are real advantages over other workflows...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Daniel Frome
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 7:28:45 pm

From what you describe, Premiere Pro already has you covered. It's weaknesses are:
1) instability on larger projects (20+ hours of footage), especially if you load up on cpu heavy codecs like DSLRs, etc
2) poor trim tools, making fine adjustments annoying and more time consuming

Both of those issues have apparently been solved in CS6, but you could easily operate on 5.5 from what you describe. The beautiful AE round tripping is what's going to save you the most time though.


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David Cherniack
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 8:16:00 pm

[Daniel Frome] "From what you describe, Premiere Pro already has you covered. It's weaknesses are:
1) instability on larger projects (20+ hours of footage), especially if you load up on cpu heavy codecs like DSLRs, etc"


Hey Daniel, I regularly work on large projects - 200 plus hours including lots of DSLR and 5k still sequences. Even in CS5.5 the software is extremely stable.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Daniel Frome
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 8:20:30 pm

I'm glad you've had that experience. I haven't been so lucky.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 12:00:31 am

Is there any stability differences between the Mac & WIN versions. If people are having issues or not can they indicate which OS & hardware they are using please.


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David Cherniack
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 12:12:33 am

My Mac friends don't have stability issues with 5.5.

If there's hardware at play that's problematic it's usually caused by third party drivers. AJA and Matrox seem to have had problems with their drivers for 5.5 on the Mac. Thtat's now changing with Premiere Pro 6.0's Transmit architecture where display monitoring is handled through SDK calls. Also, on the Mac, not having a CUDA card affects performance and may affect stability as well. I really don't know for sure. But 6.0's OpenCL support should make the performance issues on the Mac go away.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Daniel Frome
Re: Why SHOULDN'T I switch to Premiere Pro?
on Apr 17, 2012 at 12:46:45 am

I've had great performance and stability on small and mid range project. I've had bad stability on large DSLR projects.

If history follows, the mac version is probably a tad more unstable.


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