Using Adobe Tools on Husky

I used Adobe Premiere to cut Husky for two key reasons:

  • I was doing all my own visual effects, and knew that dynamic link would speed up my production workflow dramatically.
  • FCPX had a few too many glitches and no xml + FCP7 was starting to feel dated in comparison with the mercury playback engine in Premiere.

One of the biggest problems I’ve always had with premiere is that it has always felt slightly clunky: it was like a big powerful lorry but not nimble enough to enjoy the editing process. However CS5 seemed to me to be a lot more fluid, a lot more powerful and ran beautifully.

After each day of filming the clips were renamed using ‘A Better Finder Rename’ and then imported into Premiere. after most of the edit was done i would send clips to After Effects, work on the visual effects, and then they were there waiting for me in Premiere without having to render or export. This to me was the most powerful and used function in my entire editing process. particularly towards the end of the project, as i used AE for colour grading and conforming, so the ability to take advantage of AE’s compositing tools efficiently was great! In fact, it was a bit like using one program; similar to Autodesk smoke, in which you can create compositions in your timeline. However i’d say that Adobe has some significant advantages over Smoke: being able to create new AE projects for different scenes or even singular visual effects, allowed me to send the AE file to my brother who also worked on some of the VFX, without having to send him any timeline stuff or any other AE compositions.

Understandably, after grading the entire film, premiere got bogged down. The finished project takes a good few minutes to load up. this isn’t exactly a problem, but it does force you to make sure you work proceedurly: e.g. edit, vfx, grade… it makes it extremely hard to go back and make small adjustments to the edits.

I’d say dynamic link was the most powerful feature –  allowing to send a work on clips in AE, Photoshop and improve sound in Soundbooth…

For Husky Adobe Production Premium was definitely the best choice.

My last couple of projects i have used the new Final Cut Pro X:

Once your in the Apple way of thinking, its a breeze to edit with; super fast, slick and powerful. Now that it has XML, i can use the third party tool ‘Xto7’ to send my FCPX timeline into premiere and conform in After Effects. This is long winded, and removes the option of using FCPX’s grading features. But it is a valid workflow.

Alternatively, using After Effects to create the visual effects and then export them and import back into FCPX. This doesn’t give you the flexibility of the Adobe workflow, but it all depends on project-by-project basis, and whether one prefers the new FCPX editing system – which i do love, but if i have got a considerable amount of VFX shots then Premiere is the easy victor.

An example of a significant benefit: In previous projects in premiere, I’ve been editing a film with minimal VFX, but then i spot a thing i don’t like. So, i send it to AE and paint that thing out! REALLY QUICKLY! In my old FCP7 workflow, it was like ‘that’s a shame, i’ll have to conform in Adobe then, which adds another extension onto the workflow.

So? Well, i personally love having the choice of editing system on each project. I fear one day in a the near future Apple may throw a curveball with ‘FCPX is now exclusive to the iPad’, so  for me i am always going to be getting Adobe tools, as they are rock solid and have a promising future ahead. FCPX also appears to have a promising future ahead. I like this new way of editing. Its logical. Adobe is like the ‘faster horse’ editing system; power, beauty and solid muscle power. FCPX is like a cheetah: nimble, quick, a new way of doing things, nice to look at, blazingly fast etc. TBH. I think they are both great systems, and as said before, having both at ones disposal definitely helps. Throwing a quick edit together is faster in FCPX; collaboration and VFX integration is superior in Adobe.

My only other point, as that given the consumerisation of Windows and Mac OS X, i would not be tremendously surprised if editing became a ‘linux thing’, in that, both windows and mac have recently been flooded with great new features that tremendously boost the user experience, but at performance costs due to resource hungry fancy-stuff. Is it possible that Ubunto or another strand of Linux reinvents that standard GUI of Desktops, focused on the pro market that seems to have slipped from the focus of Computer companies? Or does the future lay in the tablets? Personally, i think editing on tablets will become more and more popular, but for 3d  and VFX work, i think desktops have the upper hand for the time being, given that so many are driven by keyboard shortcuts (and right clicking)

Anyway, ramble over.

New films in production.

Dan Allen

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