Choosing production tools

Choosing a Premiere Pro Preset; HD Vs. SD

Compare.pngI shoot pretty much exclusively in HD now, but often render to SD DVDs. When it comes to choosing a sequence preset for Premiere Pro, I have two options, native HDV, which is the format that I typically shoot in, or 720x480 widescreen to match my DVD output. Which is better? Well, the quality difference isn't significant, but it is noticeable, and using a 720x480 sequence and shrinking the HDV video to match produces better quality.

One Click Rich Media Websites from Adobe Encore

Encore flash output-s.jpgIf you're producing DVDs or Blu-ray discs with Adobe Encore, you probably know that you can easily convert the authored DVD to a Flash project that you can upload to a web site. If you don't know, or if you don't work with Adobe Encore, read on - you might find a very useful technique for getting client approvals or supplementing the DVD experience with an online one.  

A Quick Shout Out to the Apple Genius Bar

So there I was, the start of a four day training gig at a major government facility in the midwest. It's a big job, with sessions on Final Cut Pro, Compressor, H.264, streaming media, the whole works. Day 1 setting up, the attendees are in the room, ...

What Makes a Workstation a Workstation - My visit to HP

hp logo.pngHP invited a bunch of journalists, myself included, out to visit their facility in Fort Collins, CO, the headquarters for workstation design, support and marketing. Beyond the desire to meet and greet friends old and new, I had one goal – to learn what makes a computer a workstation.

If you click over the the main story, you'll see that I learned a whole lot more.

The Moving Picture: Apple Final Cut Studio vs. Adobe CS5 Production Premium

The launch of Adobe CS5 brings to bear the obvious comparison with Final Cut Studio (FCS). Since life has been far too quiet lately, I decided to tackle this subject, but from the perspective of the totally new user, not the experienced user who would rather fight than switch. In other words, what would you say if a total newbie asked, "Which should I use, FCS 3 or Adobe CS5?"

Click to the main article to read the rest of the story. 

HP Z800 Workstation With Intel Westmere Dual Six-Core Processor Review

z8w1.jpgIn 2009, Intel launched its Nehalem line of workstations, which started with three models: the low-end Z400, the mid-range Z600, and the high-end Z800; later it was supplemented by the entry-level Z200. I had a look at the Z400, a single CPU quad-core, and the Z800, a dual-processor, quad-core system. Now HP is updating its workstation line to incorporate Intel's new Westmere processor, which uses 32nm manufacturing technology to enable six cores on each CPU. HP sent me one of the first dual-processor six-core Z800 systems off the line, and I had about 2 days to run it through its paces for various digital video-processing tasks. 

My test system shipped with two 3.33GHz X5680 Xeon processors, with 24GB of RAM running the 64-bit version of Windows 7, which I like heaps better than Vista. The graphics card was an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 with 1.5GB of dedicated memory and access to 3.5GB more system memory. With a 15K 150GB system drive and 1TB video drive, the total system price was a little more than $12,000, though Z800 prices start at $1,799.

Review of Premiere Pro CS5

I reviewed Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 for in a review you can find here. What did I find? Here's a snippet. So what’s the overall verdict on Adobe Production Premium CS5? If you have the computing horsepower, the Mercury Engine and CUDA a...

New Performance Features in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

Here's a screencam-based tutorial detailing and demonstrating the new performance related enhancements to Premiere Pro CS5 and identifying the relevant hardware requirements. Click the link to view the main article and the video.

Reclaim disc space from Premiere Pro

I do a lot of production work and testing on my HP Z800 workstation. Though it's got a 250 GB C:\ drive, with a 1 TB video drive where I store all projects and associated video, I started getting messages that I was running out of space on my C:\ dri...

Better buy 64-bit systems from here on out

I got an interesting e-mail from Adobe today, which I've pasted in its entirety below. The key message is this:

"Adobe today confirmed that ... Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 and Adobe After Effects CS4 are the last versions to support 32-bit operating systems. Future versions will be native 64-bit applications which will run only on 64-bit operating systems."

This has some interesting implications about future hardware investments and provides a preview of what CS5 will bring. You can read the full release (and my short analysis) in the complete article.