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Total Training's Adobe Premiere 6.5

COW Library : Adobe Premiere Pro : Tim Kolb : Total Training's Adobe Premiere 6.5
CreativeCOW presents Total Training's Adobe Premiere 6.5 -- Adobe Premiere Pro Review


Kolb Productions
Appleton Wisconsin USA
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With every passing upgrade of the software tools that power our industry, it gets more and more challenging for users to find time to expand their skills to take advantage of these ever-evolving feature sets. For professionals and enthusiasts alike, it can be difficult to find enough variation in workflow or projects to discover -- much less take advantage of -- all the capabilities we have at our fingertips these days.

That's where tools like Total Training's Adobe Premiere 6.5 video-based training program fit into the picture for users of the latest version of Adobe's venerable video editor. For those of you who may have owned or viewed past versions of the series, you'll notice a new face at the helm: Jacob Rosenberg has been active in the development of Adobe Premiere for several years and is a DV filmmaker and music video director who obviously knows his way around the software.

What most users will find quite consistent about this new offering from Total Training is depth. With almost 15 hours of instruction in the complete set, it's hard to imagine anyone with the determination to view it all coming away disappointed.

The first program, contained on one DVD, will take about three hours to get through, but will acquaint you with almost every menu and button in Premiere's interface. The first program starts from the beginning'' opening the software for the first time. Program setup, presets, workspace and set up preferences are covered in detail in the first 38 minutes of the series, followed by 53 minutes specifically covering the project window. Rosenberg goes on to cover the functionality of each component of the interface very thoroughly in the first DVD, which contains 2 hours and 51 minutes of instruction. The second DVD rounds out set one of the series and covers editing in the timeline, Smartsound Quicktracks, DV capture, stop motion, and DV in/out.

The 2 DVDs that comprise set 2 of the series cover creating titles, motion, and transparency, AV effects, and editing programs from still images. The two DVDs combined contain almost 5 hours of instruction with over an hour and a half devoted to Premiere 6.5s Title Designer alone.

The third and last pair of DVDs in the series contains 251 minutes of instruction on topics from ''Editing Your Picture'' to ''Multi-Cam (Editing)'' and using ''The Adobe MPEG Encoder.''

There is a CD-ROM of material included with set one to give the user the same media to work with as the instructor, and a printed reference guide with chapter headings listed for quick access to material within the series.

Jacob Rosenberg is someone who obviously enjoys this industry and has obviously spent some time formulating his approach to teaching the software. His presentation is casual and friendly and he strives to keep the use of ''jargon'' and unfamiliar technical terms to a minimum. Many aspects of the software are covered more than once in some detail as different exercises can sometimes cover common ground with others and relationships between features seem to be pretty well covered.

Rosenberg works on projects ranging from digital films to music videos and utilizes shots from some of his projects in his exercises.

As a person who demonstrates this software at tradeshows myself, I can tell you that the challenge of covering all the capabilities of Adobe Premiere comprehensively while trying to also portray the use of the toolset in the framework of some sort of workflow, can be daunting. There will almost never be one single project that tests all the capabilities in this software and thus, Rosenberg breaks the actual handling of material into smaller pieces.

The organization of the material is based on what functions reside in a given window or are contained in a given menu. The explanation of the ''traditional'' editing tools like insert, overlay, trimming, ripple, and media management are extensive. I found the coverage of the functions of various effects and motion to be solid, although some of the applications of the effects aren't necessarily plucked from a real-world project (even though many are demonstrated using real project footage) so much as designed to specifically demonstrate the effect.

On the third set, the first DVD focuses on the editing of a dramatic scene utilizing the trim window and video and audio filters and really utilizes much of the function information covered earlier in the series and moves a bit into technique. Syncing a scene and basic sound design are included on this DVD. Rosenberg shows us a scene where we actually hear what his intentions were during shooting, so we can see how that translates into how he handles the footage in post.

The very last DVD includes an exercise on editing music video, multi-camera editing, storyboarding, and segments on exporting to the web, Adobe's MPEG Encoder, and DVDit! LE, conclude the series.

Rosenberg states that he uses After Effects for his effects work, and while I thought his coverage of the functions of the software were very good, I didn't get the feeling he was very excited about some of the effects aspects of Premiere's capabilities. Of course After Effects is still the king of 2D graphics and compositing in Adobes stable and trying to do similar things in Premiere can be challenging. He is very straightforward with the user about where he thinks features aren't particularly useful and he points out a few features he hasn't found a productive method to utilize. This is not to say he criticizes the program overall, he doesn't. He is just very honest about what he sees as the pros and cons of the software, and tries to lay them out so a new user can work past them.

Overall, I have to say I was impressed with the breadth and depth of the information contained in this series. The entire series (6 DVDs and 1 CD-ROM) lists for $249.00 USD. Each of the three, 2-DVD sets is $99.00 separately. While this may seem like a lot of money to pay to ''learn'' a $550.00 USD program to some enthusiasts and even some professionals, you have to ask yourself whether the value of software like Adobe Premiere comes from owning it, or using it effectively...

-Tim Kolb


For more about Total Training or this series, please visit: http://www.totaltraining.com



Want to know more about Tim? Click here for his bio. You can also find Tim as a leader in the following CreativeCOW.net forums: Art and Craft of the Edit, Business Practices & Procedures, Canopus, Cinematography & Video Pros, Corporate Video, JVC DV, and Media 100.




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