A Loaded Suite

Adobe’s SpeedGrade, purchased last year from IRIDAS, is a native 64-bit app that offers GPU-accelerated performance and format support, including RAW, HDR and stereoscopic content.

Another new feature is the 3D Camera Tracker, which analyzes the motion in 2D, computes the position, orientation and field of view of the camera that shot the scene, and then creates a new 3D image in After Effects to match. The new 3D layers have the same movement and perspective as the original footage, and you can slot these objects into existing scenes.

The negative effects of rolling shutter from CMOS sensors in cameras are a major problem for most shooters, especially DSLR filmmakers. These typically occur while shooting or panning on a moving subject (wobble and skew can cause distortions, such as a leaning building or an elongated car driving by). After Effects CS6 now has an advanced Rolling Shutter Repair drag-and-drop effect that contains two algorithms to help straighten out this problematic footage. Like the Warp Stabilizer, it obviously won’t entirely do a 100% fix, but it can help straighten out a shot of an inexperienced shooter.

SPEEDGRADE

Last year, Adobe made big news by purchasing SpeedGrade from IRIDAS. SpeedGrade is a professional color-grading and -finishing software, which previously sold for $20,000. The software is now included in CS6 and is a native 64-bit app that offers GPU-accelerated performance and format support, including RAW, HDR and stereoscopic content. In terms of camera formats, you can work natively with the ALEXA, RED and Phantom, as well as QuickTime, DPX and Open EXR. With SpeedGrade’s new GPU-accelerated Lumetri Deep Color Engine, you can create a look for every scene with 32-bit floating-point accuracy with primary and secondary color adjustments, cinema-style filters and effects. You also can de-Bayer RAW footage in real time, work with HDR footage and switch between log and linear color spaces.

Professional colorists also can conform EDLs or receive a sequence from Premiere Pro. When your edit is finished in Premiere Pro, you can easily send to SpeedGrade, which sets the sequence up as a 10-bit DPX sequence, creates a SpeedGrade .ircp file that includes a timeline and then opens the project in SpeedGrade. If SpeedGrade is too advanced for you or if you just want to do minor color correction, Premiere Pro adds a more user-friendly three-way color corrector so you won’t have to leave the program.

PRELUDE

The line between production and post is becoming increasingly more transparent due to the emergence of file-based workflows. On a shoot, someone is usually charged with getting the files off the camera, logging the footage and delivering to post (typically, a camera assistant, or on a bigger budget, a DIT). Prelude, the newest program in CS6, provides a smart workflow interface for ingest and logging. Prelude simplifies this process by allowing you to ingest footage quicker, including the ability to duplicate, transcode and verify formats. With intuitive keyboard-driven logging, you also can create metadata and subclips while you’re still viewing your clips. And you can create rough cuts by combining clips and subclips with markers and comments and then send them to Premiere Pro CS6 for editing. If you’re working with an editor with whom you haven’t worked before, you also can add comments in a clip to tell him or her what’s important in the shot and what to emphasize. Prelude definitely will save you valuable time in post and is a great new addition.

All in all, Adobe CS6 Production Premium is one loaded suite. While it can’t compete with Apple’s $299 price point, you get a world-class color-correction system, an industry-standard visual-effects program and photo editor (Photoshop itself runs $699), plus a sound-effects editor and one of the best media encoders around. The $1,899 retail price is a monster deal.

Learn more about CS6 Production Premium at www.adobe.com.

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