Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 review

On the timeline, the improvements continue: double-clicking the edge of a clip launches a split-screen view for adjusting the timing of a cut using keyboard shortcuts, or applying dissolve transitions. It isn’t quite as effortless as Vegas Pro’s ability to add a transition simply by overlapping clips, but it’s pretty close, and there are lots of other smart time-savers for adjusting the in and out points of one or more clips.

For us, though, the biggest single improvement is that playback can continue while edits are being made. In CS5, any attempt to edit caused playback to stop – a major nuisance, and a stark contrast to Vegas Pro, which can even switch the project framerate without missing a beat. This version isn’t quite that determinedly unstoppable, though.

Adjustment layers will be a familiar concept to Photoshop and After Effects users, allowing effects to be applied to all the tracks sat below them on the timeline – and they’re now introduced to Premiere Pro. These are extremely useful, not only for applying effects to a stack of layered clips, but also to sequences of clips on the same track. Adjustment layers worked flawlessly for colour, distortion and temporal effects, and exactly as expected when combined with nested sequences.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

There are lots of smaller interface improvements, too. Preview resolution now gets a dedicated button; double-clicking an effect applies it to the selected clip; media can be dragged from Windows directly onto the timeline instead of only via the Project panel. And it’s now possible to zoom in and out of the timeline using handles on the edges of the scrollbar, which feels more natural than the separate zoom control.

Holding down the Alt key and spinning the mouse wheel still zooms the timeline in and out, but oddly the orientation has been reversed. Otherwise, though, there’s a sensible balance between improved usability and maintaining the status quo. Adobe hasn’t got carried away and stripped out important controls for the sake of visual tidiness.

Smooth operator

There are two new effects. Warp Stabilizer first appeared in After Effects CS5.5 and is equally welcome here. Analysis of clips is slow but it happens in the background, and the results are incredibly smooth. It’s far more controllable than Vegas Pro’s Stabilize effect, but default settings were overzealous in their determination to smooth out more violent shakes, leaving us with some work to do to avoid an excessively cropped frame or black bars appearing around the sides. It incorporates rolling shutter correction to remove the skewed appearance of fast-moving scenes captured with CMOS sensors – a common problem for DSLR and CSC footage. This is also available on its own as the Rolling Shutter Repair effect.

Details

Software subcategory Video editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? no
Operating system Windows XP supported? no
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? yes

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