Adobe Production Premium CS5 Mac Includes After Effects CS5, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, Flash CS5 Professional , illustrator CS5, Soundbooth CS5 , Adobe OnLocation CS5, Encore CS5,Plus: Adobe Bridge CS5, Adobe Device Central CS5 and Adobe Dynamic Link. CS5 boxed products do NOT include full printed user guides. These Doc Sets are orderable thru the License Desk or thru adobe.com.
The Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium Package has nearly everything you need for high quality, professional-level post-production work as an independent filmmaker. For students who can get it at an educational discount, it’s a no-brainer, but even while the retail price may sound expensive it’s astonishing what you can get for the price and what you can do with it. (It’s easy to justify shelling out thousands for the latest prosumer camcorder, but equally important are the tools for turning your raw footage into something that can be shared with an audience; as far as I can tell, this is the best comprehensive package of tools available for the motion graphics creator).
If you have a computer that can run 64-bit applications, this package will basically turn your computer into a sophisticated post-production studio with the ability to create nearly anything you can imagine with images, photos, and video. All you need to add is a bit of creative talent, and a lot of willingness to learn, because these are sophisticated programs with a lot of features, that take experience and practice to use well. You can create animation (even interactive animation) with Flash and Flash Catalyst; you can create drawings and paintings with Illustrator; you can take photos and enhance them or even transform them into something completely new with Photoshop Extended (which also has some fairly sophisticated video and 3-d capabilities), you can edit footage together into a coherent narrative with Premiere Pro, and you can add realistic and fantastic effects and titles with After Effects, and you can fine tune the music and sound mix with Soundbooth, and can create dynamic dvds to distribute your work in Encore. All of the programs play very nice with each other (and have similar features so that once you’ve learned one you’re on your way to learning another), and some allow you to import projects from other programs without rendering them, and also to go back into the original program and edit the project and have the changes appear automatically in the new program.
While I’ve had a chance to play around with all of these programs in the couple of months since their release, the ones I’ve spent the most time with are Photoshop Extended, Premiere Pro, and After Effects, which I consider to be the core programs of this package, the ones that really show what you can do with it. Some of the highlights of the new release are: (1) obviously, the Content Aware fill and enhanced selection tools in Photoshop, that give you a greater degree of control than ever before, and allow you to get rid of distracting elements or apply effects selectively, without destroying the realistic tone of a photograph; (2) in Premiere Pro what excites me most is the ease with which it allows you to work with a wide range of formats, without converting them first; the ability to work directly with the AVCHD files produced by my Canon VIXIA HFS10 has been a decisive factor for me in moving all of my new editing projects over to Premiere Pro from Final Cut; along with this, Premiere Pro has its new Mercury Playback engine that really helps to streamline the editing process, and allows me to preview adjustments automatically, without constantly having to stop and render things before I can see what I’ve done; (3) one very cool new feature in the CS5 package is that you can open up Final Cut Pro XML files in Premiere Pro, and from there you can open them up in After Effects, as I understand it always used to be much more difficult to get Final Cut Pro project files into After Effects, which was one of the reasons I never really jumped on After Effects until now; (4) After Effects enables you to achieve some very sophisticated and professional results, and its performance is better than ever; but the real standout in the newest version is the Roto Brush, that is basically a sophisticated video selection device, that allows you to isolate moving elements (such as a person) from a video clip so that you can apply selective effects to those elements, or place them in a new background entirely. It’s not totally automatic, and requires some finessing (basically you have to make your selection and then it makes a series of very good frame by frame guesses as to what is happening to your selected element over time, and when it makes a mistake you have to fix it and keep going from there).
All of these programs demand some learning, but from what I’ve seen so far the results are worth it. I’m still effectively a beginner with these programs but I’ve a lot of fun learning them, and am very excited with what I’ve been able to accomplish in a short time. After Effects, especially, is an amazing and delightful piece of software, and I love the way it integrates so easily with the other programs in the Production Suite. While I’d used Photoshop and Premiere somewhat before the latest release, and only had a chance to spend a little time with early versions of After Effects, I find this latest version to be a massive upgrade and the most important new features seem to be focused on the needs of the independent media producer, whether it’s a photographer who is beginning to work with video or a videographer who is becoming dissatisfied with the limits of doing most of their post-production work on a non-linear editor with limited ability to create sophisticated effects. A quick search on the internet shows that lots of young people already know the power of these tools for creating effects work that is comparable to that seen in big budget professional productions. Highly recommended.
By the way, one final thing I should mention is that Adobe has a very talented team of professionals who create the help files for each of the programs and who are active in the support forums, and available to give artistic and technical support. Nearly any problem you might face has been asked about and answered on the Adobe Forums, and any question that is posted gets a quick response, and the design teams seem to be paying attention to concerns and attempt to take them into account with each new upgrade. Plus, as suggested above, there are hosts of amateur and professional users who have posted advice and video tutorials for free all over the web. Just like when you buy a car you should take a look at the dealership, when you buy a piece of software you have to consider the support network behind it to help you get the most of it, and so far I’ve been very happy with the level of enthusiasm and support that Adobe seems to put behind their products, especially on the technical and creative side.