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
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
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...
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.