My day job is IT; a necessary part of that role is waiting. Wait for a process to finish, wait for somebody to complete a task, wait for equipment to boot up.
I dread to think how much of the last 15 years have been spent waiting.
So while implementing a major production change this week (and encountering some frustrations) I put my “waiting” time to good use by testing out Adobe After Effects CS5.5 and Premiere Pro CS5.5 on my Macbook Air to put together this little video. Shot on an iPhone 4, Warp Stabilizer in After Effects (more on that in another post), and finished up in Premiere Pro. I don’t think it turned out too bad, and the “Air” behaved very well, especially considering it is the lowest, 2Gb RAM, 64Gb HD model.
What’s really great about it is it’s “there when you need it” availability. Small and light is good, but some of the other things really make a difference. Like it’s ability to wake instantly from sleep, whether it’s 5 minutes or 2 weeks since you used it; or it’s long battery life. Sure, I had to go for lunch when rendering out the stabilized footage from AE, and the final footage from Premiere, but the video mostly played back in real-time on Premiere, and if I rendered the time line, I could scrub forwards and backwards without pause.
This was my first time using After Effects, and similar to Premiere Pro, there is a fairly steep learning curve. That said the Warp Stabilizer is simple to use, and very, very effective. It practically looks like I am floating out there! I know that it is one of the key features that Adobe is using to sell the CS5.5 upgrade, and it nearly looks like it might be worth it. Premiere Pro and After Effects are getting a lot of interest of late since the release of Final Cut Pro X from Apple.
A lot of the pro video and film editors are dissatisfied / distraught over the missing interoperability features in FCPX, and videos comparing features, performance, and migration methods abound. I like this one comparing the Stabilizing function in FCPX and the Warp Stabilizer in After Effects:
When all is said and done though, FCPX looks like a very polished offering for the casual / prosumer video editor on the Mac, such as I am. One app (essentially), with all the output options I would typically need, and interesting media management capabilities; I only wish there was a trail version available. I would love to compare the performance of both when editing Canon 7D footage on my Macbook Pro. FCPX seems to offer GPU rendering on all Macs, whereas the magnificent Mercury engine of Premiere Pro is only at it’s best when paired with one of a select group of Nvidia GPUs, none of which are typically offered by Apple. Or are they…?
How come I didn’t find this link sooner? More on this too, later.