The cat is out of the bag on the Adobe CS6 Production Premium. It isn’t shipping yet but I’ve been able test out some of the CS6 products for a few weeks now. While there’s big additions and changes in the entire Creative Suite my first and main focus was to see just how Premiere Pro has changed, what new features have been added and what hasn’t been addressed as of yet. Overall, Adobe continues to make Premiere Pro a better product that will let you "edit your way". It isn’t perfect (no NLE is perfect) but it’s a lot better than 5.5 … and 5.5 was pretty good itself. Here’s my top 5 (or so) features in Premiere Pro CS6 and a couple of comments on what is still missing. Please forgive some wonkieness on PVC if you're not seeing certain images as we've been having some server issues recently that they are working to fix. A reload of the page might help.
What’s new in Premiere Pro CS6
There’s a couple of big additions that is going to make working with Premiere Pro much better. Not just things that will make life easier but big product improvements overall. Adobe is looking squarely at its competitors for some of these features. Adobe is also looking to make Premiere Pro the “Photoshop of video.” That’s a very lofty goal but one they now seriously focused on with Premiere Pro CS6. Some might call certain Premiere Pro CS6 features a rip off of its rivals. I think that’s fine as I want to see all the NLEs rip off and expand upon useful features from the others as long as they continue to innovate as well. It makes the editor’s life a bit easier. Oh, and things seemed pretty stable while I've been using it. So that's a plus.
Better broadcast monitoring
See that image above? That is a total revamp of how Premiere Pro CS6 handles broadcast monitoring and third party video hardware support. Gone are the days of having to pick a 3rd party sequence preset to view edits on an external client monitor and gone are the days when playback randomly stops and performance is such that it is unusable. This is now built into a universal preference that works for the application and not for a sequence. I was able to test both Blackmagic and AJA products and performance was quite good with the beta drivers (much better than broadcast monitoring in Final Cut Pro X).
Everyone is going to say that Premiere Pro CS6’s great Hover Scrub feature is just a rip-off of Final Cut Pro X’s skimming. I say it is not. Skimming is more than just a quick (and nice) way to scrub footage, it’s also designed into the new way you edit in an FCPX timeline. Adobe’s Hover Scrub idea has its roots in Avid Media Composer.
Hover Scrub can be toggled on and off in the bin via shift + h.
Avid has long had a little used feature called Edit from Bin as well as the ability to play and JKL scrub media from the thumbnail view in a bin. Adobe has added something similar with Hover Scrub. Set the view to Icon View and turn on Hover Scrub and as you scrub the mouse over thumbnails they will scrub to view what is in the clip. It is my understanding Premiere Pro CS6 isn’t writing lots of tiny thumbnail files but rather you are scrubbing the real media. A fast media drive is always helpful no?
Take that one step further: single click on a thumbnail and a yellow scrubber bar appears at the bottom. You can then drag the little playhead or JKL scrub the clip. There’s also the ability to mark IN and OUT points and edit directly to the thumbnail from the bin. Yes that is FCPX like in operation but Media Composer did this first. Overall I prefer Adobe’s way of doing it if I could have only one.