As we have mentioned, we’ll be doing an ongoing series of reviews and articles about Adobe Creative Suite (CS). Among other improvements in the recently upgraded software package–now in version 5.5–are Adobe Audition with its slick audio-for-video editing on both Mac OS and Windows platforms and the snappy speed improvements of the Mercury Playback Engine when compositing and editing, especially when paired with Nvidia Quadro cards.
If you ever speak with hands-on creative David Dessel, you’ll soon realize that he enjoys learning the latest hardware gear and software apps as much as he does using them to create his productions. Working out of his Manhattan-based boutique Metaphor Pictures, he produces commercials, Webisodes, music videos, and corporate videos with a client roster that includes Dell, Chevrolet, IBM, and The History Channel.
Besides directing, Dessel will often grab a camera to shoot; an early RED user, he’s also relied on DV cams, Betacams, various Panasonic gear and now DSLRs.
Like many small company owners, Dessel doesn’t only shoot but also posts much of his own work, which includes creating After Effects compositions. Until recently, he regularly used Final Cut Pro (FCP) as his NLE of choice.
He first used the CS4 version of Adobe Premiere Pro as it was one of the few NLEs to enable the mastering of Blu-ray discs. He became more impressed when he found the app could also edit RED footage natively. While intrigued, Dessel still went back to FCP, which he considered easier to work with for his day-to-day editing.
But by the time he saw a demo of CS 5, Dessel was ready to make big changes to his daily workflow. Already an accomplished Adobe After Effects user for over a decade, he appreciated the reworked interface in Premiere Pro CS 5 and its tight integration with AE.
“I’ve used After Effects and Final Cut together for quite some time,” says Dessel. “But this meant sending out (tracks from the FCP timeline) to After Effects to render out and then importing the file back in to Final Cut’s render bin to complete. If I had revisions to do I might end up spending 50-percent of my time just to handle input, output and rendering.”
Over the past half year, Dessel has shifted all of this editing and compositing to CS 5.5. “I didn’t plan on that, it just happened,” says Dessel. “But I now feel that I’ve probably doubled my productivity since I’m doing much less file management. It’s just more fun to do the creative work and lose the grunt work.”
Other aspects of the new software suite appeal to him. “Working with audio is very painless,” says Dessel. Depending upon a client’s budget, he will also mix audio on projects.
The overall processing speed improvements are key to keeping client’s happy. “Clients are happy things are happening really fast,” says Dessel. “I recently edited eight shots for a Google ad that I shot with a Canon 5D. I completed the whole edit within two hours. With everything running in real time, I had no render outs, nothing to slow me down, and that’s important with a client sitting next to me.”
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years. Being able to work without all the usual file management duties just makes it fun again.”
You can visit David Dessel’s site here.
Adobe’s page on Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium.