Adobe Premiere CS5 – Some useful tidbits

I’ve had about a week to play with Adobe Premiere CS5, and I’m already greatly impressed by it’s speed and efficiency.  I replaced my old Windows XP system with a new computer built by a friend to the optimized specs to which allows the Adobe video softwares to run the best.  For those interested, the specs for my new system is as follows:

* Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
* Liquid-cooled Intel i7 2.8GHz quad-core
* 2 terabyte internal hardrive
* NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 Graphics Card (1gb RAM)
* DVD burner with lightscribe
* 500w 7.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound
* Adobe CS5 Master Suite
* Magic Bullet Looks color grading software, updated for CS5
* Signature IV CD/DVD/BluRay Color Printer
* Dual 26” Monitors and additional 42” HDTV

The folks at Adobe created CS5 with something called the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine, which basically performs some ridiculous graphics acceleration when used with a compatible NVIDIA graphics card like the GeForce that I use.  You can scrub/play full resolution NATIVE HD footage and even 4k RED footage with multiple layers and effects without so much as a hiccup or stutter.  Additionally, you can export out this footage in REAL TIME.  Meaning if the film you’re editing is 2 hours long, it takes approximately 2 hours to render out.


Let me first say that in comparison to Cs4 and even Final Cut Pro, Premiere Cs5 is a very streamlined and in many cases more efficient NLE to use.  But with these benefits come a couple little glitches that I found (and are well known to other users on the Adobe forums) that will hopefully get fixed in the next update.

1) Render Time – The 2 Exporting Options

You have 2 choices when it comes time to export your project.  You can opt to export the video file using Adobe Premiere, or you can choose to “queue” the export to Adobe Media Encoder.  Exporting directly from Adobe Premiere is ideal for exporting an effect or small clip to re-import back into the project as it doesn’t open Media Encoder and all that to compete the export.  Queuing the export in Adobe Media Encoder allows for the export/render to proceed while freeing up Adobe Premiere to work on other projects or just close down.

THE PROBLEM:  When you export directly from Adobe Premiere, the rendering process apparently does not use the accelerated graphics, thereby forcing the render to take about 3-4 times longer.

THE WORKAROUND:  Always export the video using Adobe Media Encoder.  You can either “queue” the file from Premiere to AME or alternatively you can close Premiere, open AME, and import the Premiere project and continue the process.

2) Render Time – “Render Quality”

You have the option to select “use maximum render quality” when exporting.

THE PROBLEM:  The render time is increase by as much as 4 times the necessary rendering time.

THE WORKAROUND:  Don’t check it!  Exporting at maximum render quality is only necessary when NOT using the CUDA accelerated graphics, and if your exporting video using a 10-bit 4:2:2 colorspace.

3)  Proper Encoding of H264

If you want to export the video for uploading to Vimeo or Youtube, many people (including myself) export to H264.  If you have a Sony Playstation, you should change the multiplexing to “PSP.”

THE PROBLEM:  If you choose PSP you will notice that the resulting video is black video with no sound or just won’t play at all.

THE WORKAROUND:  Change the multiplexing setting to “Standard.”  You will need to find another way to convert this file if you want to play it on your PSP.

Adobe has come a long way since CS4 wit

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