I’ve been using PP CS6 for almost a year now. I’m running version 6.0.2 on a new Mac Mini with 16 GB of ram, OS 10.8.3. I also run CS6 on a year-old MacBook Pro 17” with 16 GB of ram...often at the same time.
My situation seems a bit out of the ordinary in that everything I shoot is aerial (AVCHD 1080p 60fps), and needs to be stabilized. Everything. This is why I often run PP simultaneously on two computers. As you might imagine, I’ve become intimately familiar with the Warp Stabilizer’s capabilities!
Before I can use a clip in a production, it needs a fair amount of post-production work-up to look its best, starting with the WS, but also including Unsharp Masking, Luma Curve, and Fast Color Corrector. In other words, I must prepare a “master file” of a given shot before it can be used.
Typically, I have a project with a single sequence, where the timeline is comprised of a series of excerpts drawn from a single long camera recording. An example would be three clips in the timeline, each one to six minutes long. The source file may have been 20 minutes or longer; I extract the “good stuff” and put it in the timeline for processing.
I’ve learned to keep my projects short (20 minutes or less), so as not to bog down PP when I want to work on just one series of related clips.
Obviously no clip this long would be used in a production, but I’m supplying source footage for editors who may be interested in parts of the shots that I cannot predict ahead of time. It seems easiest to give them the long clips and let them pull out exactly what they’re interested in.
I export ProRes 422HQ or DNxHD for them as the intermediate codec--as the case may be--and they’re pleased.
But now I want to use some of my own footage to create a short film of my own.
My question for PP experts is, what is the best workflow when my finished production may be 15 minutes long, but is comprised completely of short excerpts of longer clips that were previously worked up as "master files" (i.e., stabilized and enhanced) in other projects? Obviously, I could import just the parts of the raw clips that I want to use in my production and give them my usual treatment, but that seems hopelessly redundant when I’ve previously done all that work on those same clips. Is there such a thing as an intermediate codec for working within Premiere Pro?
I have never tried using ProRes or DNxHD for editing in Premiere Pro. Does it work?
If not, you may want to consider an intermediate codec from Cineform. I used it for many years and just stopped when I started shooting with my new camera which doesn't require it.
Cineform is good for cross platform use, and the way it works, using wavelets instead of Macroblocks, is superior to anything else I have seen.
Your last statement makes me feel confused about what you actually want to know...
There is no such thing as an intermediate codec for PrPro. PrPro works with source footages from the majority of cameras natively. PrPro also supports all intermediate codecs generally used in production. Some of them like DNxHD require separate installation into your OS.
That means you can easily import those ProRes and/or DNxHD intermediates you supply your editors with into PrPro and cut your own project out of them. Or you can import your PrPro projects within which you stabilised your source footages or particular sequences from those projects into your master PrPro project, cut your movie out of those sequences, delete what's unnecessary so that your master project doesn't blow and rerun Warp Stabilizer (personally I'm not a huge fan of which)...
I use Mercalli to stabilise my wildlife clips where I was unable to use a tripod, and to keep things simple, export the stabilised and colour-corrected clip as a "lossless" intermediate file using the free download Avid DNxHD codec. This produces a high quality .mov file. I then import these stabilised clips to my Premiere project and replace the originals with them, saving with a new project name.
On the Avid site, there is a useful guide to using intermediate files in this way to avoid projects becoming over complex - or in the case of the Warp stabiliser seriously overweight!
I use a PC, but this workflow should be fine for a MAC. Some people may suggest using UT or Lagarith as intermediate file codecs, but these are PC only as far as I am aware.