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Adobe CS4 Suite Quick Reviews: After Effects CS4 and Premiere Pro CS4

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/5/2011

Video production professionals turn to the Adobe Creative Suite for new functionality and ingenuity. Do these Adobe CS4 apps still tick for video production professionals?

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    This part covers the two biggies for video professionals who create and edit films. The Production Premium comes with these two as well as the following:

    • Encore CS4: DVD and Blu-ray disc authoring and exporting SWF files to the web.
    • Soundbooth CS4: Audio creation and editing.
    • OnLocation CS4: Capture and publish video on air and online while on location.

    As you can see in Distinguishing Adobe CS4 Packages, Adobe offers many options in their CS4 packages. No matter which package you pick, you save a bundle than if you buy a couple of them as stand-alone products. Since we don't know your needs and what you have, we can't tell you what to buy or not. Instead, we aim to give you the straight dope and hope it helps you decide without feeling overloaded with information.

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    Adobe After Effects CS4

    Create and edit motion graphics and visual effects. We believe After Effects CS4 earns its “major upgrade" tagline. We tested the new feature of importing 3D layers from Photoshop and After Effects passed the test.

    What’s new in Adobe After Effects CS4.

    Pros: Its most significant upgrade supports seamless project management workflow. Supporting features making this possible include searchable timelines and projects, better asset and copyright management and tracking with XMP metadata, improved multi-core rendering, comes with mobile-device authoring tools including previews for multiple devices and includes Mocha.

    Cons: Though adding Mocha is progress, its integration could be better. Multi-core handling still needs work.

    Upgrade: Its strength is the ability to play well with others CS4 apps, so it may not be worth the upgrade if this is all you use.

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    Adobe Premiere CS4

    The ultimate (you know it!) video editing software for pros.

    What’s new in Adobe Premiere CS4 (PDF file)

    Pros: Adds Media Browser panel for previewing and importing videos as well as metadata support for better video library management. Support for tapeless formats including AVCHD and XDCAM. Improved drag-and-drop and three-point editing tools. Efficient batch encoding for different formats. Add Encore CS4 and After Effects CS4 to Premiere CS4 and you have a professional video editing studio in your hands.

    Cons: Adding speech transcription is a good idea and a logical move. However, like most applications, the feature still needs lot of work to do accurate transcriptions. It’s pointless to use this feature when it requires so much editing.

    Upgrade: Not an exciting upgrade from CS3.