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purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre

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James Carrocciopurchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 4, 2010 at 11:16:18 pm

Im slowly putting together an independent production company.

would like my products to have wonderful visuals and a competitive edge.

i know very little of visual effects ie compositing. i dabble with apple motion.

Should i purchase adobe creative suite 4 production premium? is it user friendly?

does it work well with p2?

thank you in advance for any insight.

Camera Operator

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Todd KoprivaRe: purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:36:12 am

I have an obvious bias, but I'll answer anyway.

> Should i purchase adobe creative suite 4 production premium?

Yes. ;-)
OK. You knew I was going to say that.

>is it user friendly?

Yes. Even better, the parts that are harder to learn are well supported by a great community and a comprehensive set of learning resources. For example, there are lots of good, free resource for getting started with After Effects.

> does it work well with p2?

Yes. See this page for instructions for importing P2 assets.

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.

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Andy BlondinRe: purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:43:40 am

You may want to wait a couple months, CS5 is slated for April. Probably with NAB. Hope that helps.

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James CarroccioRe: purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:05:12 pm

It does, thank you.

Camera Operator

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Dave LaRondeRe: purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 3:37:55 am

Todd might be biased, but he has a point. It does seem like Adobe's getting ready to make a run at Final Cut Pro with an improved NLE. Well, much faster, anyway.

Check out this page:

The Mercury gizmo described seems darned cool. If it lives up to the hype, it sure beats the pants off FCP's real time playback capabilities. I don't know about Premiere's media management capabilities, but just about anything is better than what you get with FCP.

Now, they don't say exactly WHEN this thing'll hit, but hey: how long do you think they'd sit on it?

If you read carefully, you'll note Adobe NEVER says anything about this Mercury gizmo working with After Effects. So if you're expecting amazingly short render times, the ability to render interframe-compressed footage, or dare I say it -- use compressed audio -- it appears to be same-old, same-old.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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James CarroccioRe: purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:04:22 pm

thx Todd for the advice. =)

Camera Operator

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Joe MoyaRe: purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:26:47 am

A couple of things...

First, what exactly are you going to edit or composite (or both)... and by that I mean, who is your intended customer?

If you plan on working with large format cinema (or, maybe in simplistic way... are you going to be working with Hollywood studios and/or independent movie studios)... then...

... I would recommend AVID... it tends to be the most common editing NLE that is best suited for complex and movie studio like projects. It is stable when working with HD or higher (2k+) media source (can't say the same for Adobe Prem Pro). Also, since it is a commonly used NLE by studios, you will most likely find many students who have experience with AVID... in more recent time, same can be said for Adobe and FCP.

Knowing your source material you are going to create or take from you clients is very good information to know when developing a studio. Also, know your final output requirements is equally import. For example, are you going to do more local productions for TV or Weddings, etc.?If so, then Adobe should work fine... but, so would Vega or Edias for that matter.

A good editing software that has come a long way is Final Cut Pro and seems to straddle the capabilites of AVID and all other NLE's in many ways.

IF you plan on doing primarilly compositing work... then, After Effects and CS4 productions suite will work nicely (...can't put Prem Pro in that category of recommended because it tends to be problematic with certain common-ish HD file formats). A good second choice that is similar to AE (i.e., layer/time line based) is Combustion... more choices...but expensive... would be Fusion and/or Nuke which are Node based and popular among Hollywood studios.

Also, what is the final format requirements... DVD?... Film?... Internet?... etc.? Adobe is pretty flexible in most final format capabilities... but, you will find FCP Vega Edius have good capacities as well.

All that being said, for the money and in terms of stability... I have yet to see anything come close to the lesser known Avid Liquid capabilities. Unfortunately, it is an End Of Line software and is expected to be replaced by AVID... of course, they promised that would happen by the end of 09... as you can tell, that hasn't happened.

If there is one thing I find very annoying with AE is that it is VERY RAM intensive... which (as of CS4) is very restrictive when dealing with HD video source. So... from a hardware and OS standpoint, go ahead and build a 64bit system using Windows (...assuming you plan on using Windows instead of Mac).

Now... you mentioned cutting edge... to be cutting edge you are going to need to specialize your style. To do that successfully, you probably want to find specialized software that can do things that most productions companies can not do... and, there is a reason. It typically takes very specialized software that is typically very expensive (2x6 times the cost of Adobe Production Premium)... so, you might consider how these specialized software fits into your idea of "cutting edge production".

Finally, there is one BIG issue you should consider... CS5 will be 64 bity only.... which means... NO third-party 32bit plug-in will work with CS5. So... a lot depends upon how the third party plug-ins treat the new 64bit requirement for CS5. They may charge... it may be may be discounted... don't know. So... if you do buy CS4... you need to find out what the policy will be for third party plug-ins that are not 64 bit compatible (...and, I know of no third pary plug-in that is currently 32 bit compatible). Buying CS4 now and purchasing numberous third-party plug-ins today could be an expensive mistake if the third-party plug-in doesn't accomodate (without cost) a 64 bit version that works with CS5.
On the flip side, 64 bit system might actually make AE more stable and capable of handling complex and longer compositing projects.

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David JohnsonRe: purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:58:32 pm

Since you asked about the Adobe Suite, not just After Effects, I'll also add a couple things to consider ...

The Adobe Suite includes a lot of programs (Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Encore, Flash, etc.) ... all of which are primarily intended for professional users and that are usually used together to accomplish the desired end results. So, it depends on how you define "user-friendly" ... they're generally not the kind of programs you can master in a few hours by just clicking around on a few controls and it's usually not as though you just need to learn one of the programs. However, I'm not at all suggesting the Adobe Suite isn't a good choice ... the same things apply to any pro software package and Adobe has been among the best for a very long time.

As the above relates specifically to After Effects, there are two things important to consider: [1] AE is a very deep program that does a lot of different things so how long it'll take to learn what you need to do depends on what you plan to use it for and, [2] Motion is, by design, simpler to use than AE so you may not want to base your approach to AE on having only dabbled in Motion.

The fact that your acquisition format is P2 is generally a non-issue since most pro software nowadays works well with all of the common formats including P2, although various people obviously have varying personal preferences.

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Walter SoykaRe: purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 1:50:08 pm

Why not try it out? Adobe offers 30-day trials for each program in the suite.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events

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Michael SzalapskiRe: purchasing adobe creative suite 4 production pre
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 2:28:05 pm

I agree, for the most part, with all previous posters.

Whether or not the Adobe Suite is user-friendly depends on what you mean by that term.
Is it easy to pick up? Heck no. No powerful program is. The easier it is to learn, the less you can do with it. However, I've been using the Adobe Suite for nearly a decade and I absolutely love it. The ability to create layered graphics in Photoshop and Illustrator, edit a video in Premiere and import all of it into After Effects with layer styles from the PS file intact, vector information from Illustrator fully useable and all your Premiere edits in place is practically priceless (although Adobe has clearly set a price on it...)

If you seriously want to get into this stuff there are tons of resources available to learn it. Total Training's DVD set is, in my opinion, the best way to truly learn After Effects from the ground up. (It's probably the same for Adobe's other software, but I haven't tried it.) I'm also a big fan of the books by Chris and Trish Meyer.

However, there are also a lot of free places you can learn too. Todd's post here links to a ton of online resources including the excellent
And, of course, Adobe's own help files are spectacular. The online version is constantly being updated and improved and includes many links to tutorials all around the web.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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