Price: 525 . 69 . 169 . 915
Pros: Fills gaps in Premiere Pro’s toolset such as bézier keyframe control. Photoshop-style filters offer efficient and quick results.
Cons: 24P support largely irrelevant in the UK. Colour correction guide in black-&-white.
Version 1.5 of Premiere Pro 1.5 isn’t as fully featured an upgrade as After Effects 6.5, but there are some great new creative effects and some efficient workflow enhancements.
The feature that received the most attention when Premiere Pro 1.5 was announced at the NAB show in Las Vegas was the addition of support for the wunderkind format 24P. This sounds great, but here in old Blighty it’s about as relevant as if Premiere Pro could play The Star Spangled Banner on cue. 24P is the 24fps progressive format used by DV camcorders – such as Panasonic’s DVX100 – to create a more filmic look, which matters as NTSC runs at 30fps. As our PAL runs at 25fps, 24P is irrelevant to us, with the PAL DVX100 dropping 24P for the easier-to-use 25P.
Where this becomes interesting is as part of the new technology that enables HD solutions, such as Matrox’s forthcoming Matrox HD, to be built around Premiere. The addition of AAF and EDL import/export support is an integral part of this, too.
The only other gripe is with the apparently expanded colour correction documentation. We can put up with Adobe not updating the Premiere Pro manuals and just providing a separate version 1.5 supplement – this is quite usual for minor updates. What’s farcical is that, like the rest of the booklet, the colour correction section is in black-&-white. Why did they bother?
All of the other updates are welcome within the long-serving video-editor. Some appear small but are incredibly useful if you’re not used to them in other packages. A case in point here is the introduction of bézier keyframe interpolation, enabling precise control over effects over time or within space.
The same is true for many of the filters. Shadows/Highlights, Auto Color, Auto Contrast and Auto Levels have been pilfered from Photoshop, but prove to be just as useful for quick clean-ups under tight deadlines – especially with well-thought out options such as scene detection to avoid colour leakage between scenes. Shadows/Highlights runs slowly though, even on a dual Xeon 2.8GHz/2GB RAM workstation.
There are new graphics card-accelerated effects, such as ripple, refraction and page curl. These offer many options, work quickly under a modern graphics card, and deliver decent results – but they’re nothing groundbreaking. The eight- and 16-point garbage mattes are just more finely tuned versions of the previously available four-point matte.
The other effects updates are single-side transitions for fade effects, and you don’t have to copy After Effects plug-in files manually to get them to work in Premiere Pro – it works automatically. It’s a bit cheeky for Adobe to call this a new feature, though, because it’s really just a fixed bug. The ability to copy-&-paste directly between Premiere Pro and After Effects is more useful.
There’s nothing great or particularly innovative about this update to Premiere Pro, but for £70 there’s no reason to say no. However, it does fill some gaps that would otherwise lead users to covet other editing packages, and keeps Premiere Pro among the best editors available.