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Sharing Assets: Adobe CS Production Premium’s Unique Workflow

A case where the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.

By Jeff Sengstack | October 22, 2011

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When you look at Adobe CS Production Premium's video production tools - Premiere Pro, After Effects, Encore, Audition, and Photoshop - many if not all could be considered industry leaders in their own right. But it's how they share assets that makes the suite such a powerful performer.

Applications in Adobe CS Production Premium share assets in several ways. The goal? To save you time, reduce your work load, and ensure your assets retain their original quality throughout the video production process.

Linking assets and projects dynamically



Adobe Dynamic Link is a feature of Adobe Production Premium and Master Collection (it is not available in applications purchased separately). You use it to create links between projects, sequences and assets in Premiere Pro, After Effects and Encore. Creating dynamic links means you don't have to render and import when moving assets between applications.

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Choose Import After Effects Composition to link to an After Effects comp from within Premiere Pro.


imageFor example, instead of rendering an After Effects comp and then importing it into Premiere Pro, you can link to the After Effects comp from within Premiere Pro by choosing File > Adobe Dynamic Link > Import After Effects Composition (above). The linked comp shows up as an asset in the Project panel (right). You can add it to a sequence, trim it and apply effects to it. If you scrub through it or play it, it will play just as it would in After Effects.

If you want to change that linked After Effects comp, you can go back to After Effects and edit it or, from within Premiere Pro, right-click on the clip in a sequence or the Project panel and choose Edit Original. Any changes you make in After Effects will show up immediately in Premiere Pro (below). Because no rendering is needed, you save time and retain the asset's original quality.

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Any changes made to a linked After Effects comp, including animated text like this, show up in Premiere Pro.


The workflow can go in the opposite direction. Frequently when working in Premiere Pro, you need to tap into extra features available in After Effects. For example: fix shaky footage, track motion, animate text, or apply effects not available in Premiere Pro. To do that, select any number of clips within a Premiere Pro sequence, right-click and choose Replace With After Effects Composition. That replaces the clips with a single clip (see below) and opens After Effects with the selected clips on separate layers in a new comp. Any edits you make to the comp show up in the Premiere Pro sequence. Later, if you want to make additional edits in After Effects, right click on the linked clip in a Premiere Pro sequence and choose Edit Original.

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Selecting multiple clips and choosing Replace With After Effects Composition replaces those clips with a single clip linked to the new After Effects comp.


Finally, whether you work with a suite or purchased Premiere Pro separately, you can dynamically link Premiere Pro sequences to Encore. Select a sequence and choose File > Adobe Dynamic Link > Send to Encore. Or, from within Encore, choose File > Adobe Dynamic Link > Import Premiere Pro Sequence - or - Import After Effects Composition. You can then use the linked sequence or comp as a timeline or an animated background for a menu.

Once again, there is no need for intermediate rendering. Sequences show up in Encore in their original, pristine condition. If you want to make any changes, simply return to Premiere Pro or After Effects, perform any needed edits, and click Save. The changes show up instantly in Encore. Only when you burn a DVD or Blu-ray disc or create a "Flash DVD", will Encore render your Premiere Pro sequences or After Effects comps.

A Dynamic Link misconception



One advantage Premiere Pro has over other non-linear editors is that it keeps all video files in their native format. There is no need to transcode to enable editing. In particular this is true for AVCHD. Most AVCHD clips are Blu-ray "legal," meaning they can be burned directly to recordable Blu-ray discs and will play back smoothly on Blu-ray drives. So, some might logically conclude that by dynamically linking a Premiere Pro AVCHD sequence to Encore, that sequence could be burned to a Blu-ray with no additional transcoding needed. That is not the case. There are some technical issues that preclude that.

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You can place Blu-ray "legal" AVCHD clips on a timeline in Encore and burn a Blu-ray with no need to transcode those assets.


What you can do is import AVCHD files directly into Encore, create a single timeline, and add and arrange those files on that timeline (above). In that case, those AVCHD files will not need to be transcoded (below) as long as they meet Blu-ray specs (see Encore Help). This is a great way to quickly and easily distribute "dailes" via Blu-ray discs.

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Blu-ray legal AVCHD clips show up in the Encore project panel with notations that no transcoding is needed if you are creating a Blu-ray disc.


next page: editing audio in Audition, plus using Photoshop with Encore, After Effects, and Premiere Pro

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Comments

Tom Daigon: | October, 24, 2011

“Because no rendering is needed, you save time and retain the asset’s original quality.”

This is very misleading. All the work I have ever done in a dynamic link from Premiere Pro 5.5 to AE 5 will NOT playback unless I render it in Premiere Pro. This applies to P2, Prores, XDCAM Ex., h.264 and Red. Creating this expectation is a good way to disappoint customers when they use the software.

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