Adobe Premiere 6.0 review: Adobe Premiere 6.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good New DV drivers let you import footage without a specialized video card; Web Markers embed basic Web commands in your movie; comprehensive CD-ROM tutorial.

The Bad Makes you render your video in order to see edits.

The Bottom Line Premiere 6.0 is easily the best, all-around midrange editing program for Windows. For complex Mac projects, however, choose Apple Final Cut Pro 2.0 instead.

CNET Editors' Choice Apr '01

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Many years ago, Adobe Premiere was a simple program designed to edit small QuickTime movies. Now, it's a superior sub-$1,000 video editor. Version 6.0's highly customizable interface makes its precise timeline editor and stunning special effects tools even easier to use. We're still not thrilled that Premiere's video preview process forces you to render previews before you can view them. Nonetheless, Premiere is easy and customizable, and its many extras, including a great CD-ROM tutorial, more than make up for the wait. For midrange editing in Windows, Premiere is your best choice.Many years ago, Adobe Premiere was a simple program designed to edit small QuickTime movies. Now, it's a superior sub-$1,000 video editor. Version 6.0's highly customizable interface makes its precise timeline editor and stunning special effects tools even easier to use. We're still not thrilled that Premiere's video preview process forces you to render previews before you can view them. Nonetheless, Premiere is easy and customizable, and its many extras, including a great CD-ROM tutorial, more than make up for the wait. For midrange editing in Windows, Premiere is your best choice.

Get set and go
Premiere's installation process is quick and painless; just pop in the CD-ROM and watch the program load everything you need. You can either do a simple installation (for the whole kit and caboodle) or do a custom installation and select whether to install the tutorial files, sample movies, or QuickTime. Premiere's Total Training CD-ROM steps you through the setup process; for example, it helps you pick a program template that defines how the program treats your video. Total Training might just save you hours of mistakes. If you pick the wrong program template (say the DV wide-screen setting instead of the DV 48KHz setting), your video won't work properly. In this example, your footage would come into the program stretched into a wide-screen format. Need additional help? Adobe's tech support is available via the Web or by phone Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, or you can contact Adobe anytime on the Web. During peak times, you'll have to wait a bit before you can talk to a human being.

Refined look
If you've used Premiere, you'll notice a few interface enhancements right off the bat. Version 6.0 not only lets you move, reshape, and resize its windows, it now saves your customized interface as a preset, so you can call it up from the Windows pull-down menu every time you load the program.

Quick capture
It's easy to capture DV footage in Premiere 6.0; just choose a DV input template from the dialog box (which defines the video file's size and format), plug the camcorder into your PC's 1394 FireWire port, and you're off and running. Once you've captured the video, store and organize your footage in folders in the Project window. This will come in extremely handy if you have to deal with, say, 100 different files. To add a video clip to your project, simply drag it from the Bin into the Monitor window or onto a track on the timeline. Ready to edit your footage? All the tools you need to move or replace clips reside in the upper part of the Premiere timeline.

Cool effects
When it comes to fancy effects, Premiere really goes that extra mile. It ships with a variety of effects and transitions (such as blur, wipe, and dissolve), and its new keyframes feature--a visual marker that records and displays the state of a particular effect (say, amount of blur)--gives you even greater control over the appearance and duration of said effects. Put two keyframes on your timeline several frames apart--the second with more blur, perhaps, than the first--and Premiere interpolates between those two values and shows you how much blur appears on each frame over the course of the effect. Most midrange editors include keyframes, but only Premiere shows you how effects change your video frame by frame.

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