1 2 Previous Next 48 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2009 10:01 AM by Jim_Simon

    First Impressions

    Jim_Simon Level 8
      A couple of folks called me out to get with the program and install CS4 already. The disks came today, so here we go...

      Windows XP w/SP3
      Pentium 4 3.6 GHz
      Asus P5AD2W-Premium mobo
      1 GB DDR2-800
      MSI X1650Pro video card
      Onboard audio

      The installation itself did have one hiccough. It just stopped during Encore CS4 and hung. I tried to Cancel out of it, but even that didn't work, so I had to End Task.

      Since some of the software did actually install, I thought I'd give it a go. I tried On Location, but that hung my system to the point that I had to hit the hard Reset switch to get out of it.

      After the reboot, I tried Bridge. No issues with cursory use. I then tried the full installation again. I don't know if the reboot did something, or if it was because I was using a different DVD drive, but the full suite installed without issue on the second go.

      Now that things are installed, here's what I've found...
        • 1. Re: First Impressions
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          Positive

          MY SHORTCUTS ARE BACK!!! This alone is already my favorite thing about CS4. With just a minor tweak to the keyboard preferences, the Home and End keys finally work correctly once again.

          Home/End will go to the start or end of a clip if one is selected, or the sequence if no clip is selected. Why Adobe ever mucked with this perfect behavior still ticks me off, but at least now it's back.
          • 2. Re: First Impressions
            Jim_Simon Level 8
            Neutral

            I have no issues with the new Track Targeting system. It works as I would expect (coming from Avid training many years ago), and does not change in any way the way I work.

            One slight positive about the new system is that when you want to take just video or just audio, I find it quicker now that there are separate buttons for each task, rather than having to cycle though the old way.
            • 3. Re: First Impressions
              Jim_Simon Level 8
              Positive

              I get better performance with redraw than I normally experience with 2.0. Often in the older version, the audio waveform will disappear. For example when I scroll or resize the timeline while the sequence is playing. Normally I'd have to stop playback for the waveform to redraw, but with CS4 things seem to keep up no matter what I do in the sequence. There is a very slight flicker in the sequence timecode display, but this is much less than what I saw with CS3, which had a more pronounced flicker in all timecode displays as well as the audio meters.
              • 4. Re: First Impressions
                Jim_Simon Level 8
                Negative

                CS4 definitely takes a good deal longer to load on my system than does 2.0. Also, there is a 3 to 4 second delay when loading a clip into the Source Monitor, whereas with 2.0 it's pretty much instantaneous. I haven't seen any playback delays as others have, though. Things start and stop pretty quickly whether I use the keyboard or mouse, whether in the Sequence, Source or Program monitors.
                • 5. Re: First Impressions
                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                  Positive

                  I had no problems opening up a fairly simple 2.0 DV project in CS4. I got the "convert" screen as might be expected, and everything opened up as I left it. The only exception were some Magic Bullet Colorista effects that I did not install for CS4 yet. However, the program did tell me this upon opening, and each effect was still attached to the clip, but reported as 'offline'.
                  • 6. Re: First Impressions
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    Negative

                    I'm not particularly happy about the new Scratch disk setup with CS4. Seems I have no choice of where to put Encoded files, and the Media Cache files no longer go into a folder matching the project name, they just go into the root location specified. This means I'll have to change that location for every project, something I'm not too happy about since both 2.0 and CS3 created new folders for each project and put the Media Cache files into that, rather than the root folder.
                    • 7. Re: First Impressions
                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                      Strange

                      This one might rightly be called a Negative, but since I can't think of any logical reason for why Adobe made such a change...

                      Playing back DV media in a DV project without effects takes up around 15% of my CPU cycles in 2.0. That same situation took up about 30% of my CPU in CS3. In CS4, my CPU cycles for simple DV playback jump to around 60%. What the hell is going on under the hood with CS4 to use so many CPU cycles with DV playback!?
                      • 8. Re: First Impressions
                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                        Positive

                        I can't test any sort of MPEG exports with the trial (and I just plain never use Quicktime - in fact, I don't even have any version of it installed), but a DV export from DV source worked fine. No problems opening up, changing settings, and exporting with AME (though it does take much longer to load up now that it's a separate app). Worked fine both via Premiere and opened separately.
                        • 9. Re: First Impressions
                          Jim_Simon Level 8
                          Posineutive

                          The addition of a way to add both video and audio default transitions is a mixed bag for me. That it can be done at all is a nice new feature (Positive). That the clips you do it to need to be selected seems a weird way to implement it. (Neutral) I'd have expected you could just put the CTI at the cut and hit one button (as we cold with Avid over a decade ago) and get both transitions.

                          Once that hopefully gets changed, the feature needs a way to deal with situations where both video and audio transitions are added, but only the video has an adjoining clip, such as a fade to/from black at the ends of a sequence. In such a case, the feature needs to extend that audio clip the required amount to that the audio fade ends up lined up with the video transition. Currently, the audio effect doesn't get applied at all if there's no adjoining clip. (Negative)
                          • 10. Re: First Impressions
                            joshtownsend Level 2
                            Any final thoughts would you buy it? 3-4 sec to load into the source window? That outrageous. When opening source media from the timeline or project mine is near instantaneous. If it's loading clips from the media browser it takes 2-3 seconds for me. I think it might because the one gig of ram. Check your system processes and you'll see CS4 has a few other programs it runs that eat up ram, thus the beefier minimum system specs than earlier versions.

                            What do you think about media browser?

                            Good posts Jim.
                            • 11. Re: First Impressions
                              Level 1
                              >Negative...I'm not particularly happy about the new Scratch disk setup with CS4. Seems I have no choice of where to put Encoded files, and the Media Cache files no longer go into a folder matching the project name, they just go into the root location specified. This means I'll have to change that location for every project, something I'm not too happy about since both 2.0 and CS3 created new folders for each project and put the Media Cache files into that, rather than the root folder.

                              I agree 100%
                              • 12. Re: First Impressions
                                joshtownsend Level 2
                                Actually I'm guilty I forget to change the scratch disk about half time.
                                • 13. Re: First Impressions
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9
                                  Jim,

                                  Thank you for "taking one for the team." My "jury" is still out, and I'll probably not spring, until I am ready to get a new workstation. Still, I greatly appreciate your reporting.

                                  Since I only started with PP2 and never used FCP, or the "real" AVID, I probably do not know what I am missing.

                                  I appreciate your taking the time to test and to post. We'll all just see what the next update brings.

                                  Hunt
                                  • 14. Re: First Impressions
                                    Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                    I have one central location for media cache files that don't have another place to go. That's the default setting for the project, which carries over from one new project to the next. Right now, the only cache files that end up there are the freshly-generated files from when I load or import a CS3 project into Pr CS4, or from Soundbooth or AE. It works for me that all of the non-Premiere suite apps have a central repository for cache files.

                                    I have set the option to put the cache files in-place next to the source media when possible. I have set up my file manager (Directory Opus) with a one-click filter to hide/show the cache files on command.

                                    I have my rendered preview files in the same location as my project file, which is on the opposite disk array from the source media disk array.

                                    It's actually worked out quite well so far.
                                    • 15. Re: First Impressions
                                      Andy Urtu Level 1
                                      Jim, nice post.

                                      One thing, you need to upgrade your memory. Adobe recommends 2Gig.

                                      I moved to Vista x64 with 8gigs of memory. WOW! Much, much faster.
                                      • 16. Re: First Impressions
                                        creig bryan-mUOxt4 Level 1
                                        Funny, I considered the 1 gig spec a typo...

                                        Keep Smiling
                                        • 17. Re: First Impressions
                                          Jim_Simon Level 8
                                          >Any final thoughts would you buy it?

                                          Definitely. Despite some minor annoyances, I find it an overall positive improvement from 2.0 and CS3.

                                          >What do you think about media browser?

                                          Eh. Doesn't help me much. Doesn't hurt me either.

                                          >I have one central location for media cache files that don't have another place to go.

                                          The reason I liked the 2.0 and CS3 implementation better is that it's then very easy to delete the appropriate Media Cache files once a project is completed. I need that separate folder. For Premiere to now put them all in a single location is just asinine, in my view. This is one feature that wasn't broke, yet got 'fixed' anyway, like the Home/End shortcuts. I just hope this situation doesn't require another 2 full version before it also get's 'unfixed'.
                                          • 18. Re: First Impressions
                                            Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                            >The reason I liked the 2.0 and CS3 implementation better is that it's then very easy to delete the appropriate Media Cache files once a project is completed.

                                            Is there a reason that having them alongside the media won't accomplish the same thing?

                                            The reason (I suspect) that it was done this way in CS4 is to allow easier portability of projects from computer to computer or across a network. No more endless re-conforming, indexing or peak-file generating just because the user or the computer changes. Can you find the source media? Great - the cache files are there, too.
                                            • 19. Re: First Impressions
                                              Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                              > the Media Cache files no longer go into a folder matching the project name, they just go into the root location specified. This means I'll have to change that location for every project,

                                              Why do you want to do this?

                                              In CS4 there is a new option to clear the media cache database. I just take that option every couple projects. I think the idea is to keep all the backend stuff away from the user data. Works well for me.

                                              Curt
                                              • 20. Re: First Impressions
                                                joshtownsend Level 2
                                                Jeff, Awesome, never thought of it that way. I thought there must be a reason they gave that option but it never went past that. I was worried about having to delete all the files eventually but your right, there are good reasons to save them next to the media.

                                                Doesn't that mean that when you use the media for a different projects it wont have to recreate the files?

                                                What about AE, are the peak files found by AE automatically or does it need to build new ones?

                                                Still your right that feature would be great for transferring projects.
                                                • 21. Re: First Impressions
                                                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                                  >Doesn't that mean that when you use the media for a different projects it wont have to recreate the files?

                                                  Theoretically, that's how it's supposed to work. I have yet to do a new CS4 project that reuses media from a previous CS4 project, however.
                                                  • 22. Re: First Impressions
                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                    >Is there a reason that having them alongside the media won't accomplish the same thing?

                                                    Actually no, and I will probably end up doing that. But I normally keep the two on separate drives, so I still prefer the old method of creating a new folder for each project when this new "alongside" option isn't used. I see no reason we can't have both.

                                                    >In CS4 there is a new option to clear the media cache database.

                                                    It's not new. I have that option even in 2.0. The database and the cache are two different things, though. Databse files are very, very small. Even after several years of editing, I never had an issue with the database needing to be cleared. The Media Cache files, on the other hand, are significantly larger, and should be deleted at the completion of a project.
                                                    • 23. Re: First Impressions
                                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                      Negative

                                                      I am experiencing some issues with Gaussian Blur as reported by others. The whole frame actually shifts as the effect is applied. This makes it unusable. Fortunately, both the Camera Blur and the Fast Blur will accomplish what I need, and seem to work correctly.
                                                      • 24. Re: First Impressions
                                                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                        Negative

                                                        Regarding the multicamera monitor, I'm disappointed that the Preview Monitor still comes on by default whenever the window is opened. I don't like that big thing in there. I want the room for my four sources, so I turn it off. But it sucks that I have to turn it off every damn time I open the multicamera monitor window. Premiere should remember this setting, even across projects.

                                                        I do also have the same issue another user reported that going over an already edited piece doesn't actually overwrite the previous edits. It's just parrots them back as they occur.
                                                        • 25. Re: First Impressions
                                                          shooternz Level 6
                                                          uh oh ....oooh....double negative Jim.

                                                          Keen to read your views in a week (once you have "plied the wench")
                                                          • 26. Re: First Impressions
                                                            the_wine_snob Level 9
                                                            I need a little clarification, or hand-holding, to get my head around the new Media Cache file location. I know it would be much easier, if I had CS4, rather than have to follow along from home. What I need is a bit of distillation here.

                                                            Normally, I place a copy of my media files into the Project folder hierarchy, in a sub-folder, Video. This means that I am working solely for the copy and the originals, Captures, or client supplied, are elsewhere on the system.

                                                            If I follow Jeffs comments correctly, I could direct PP to place the Media Cache files with my media files. Is that correct?

                                                            When I start a new Project, I would have the same basic setup with my Video sub-folder in THAT Projects folder hierarchy. Would PP then place these Media Cache files there, with that Projects media, or would it go to the previous Projects media files, or to some other location?

                                                            Sorry to be so daft, but Im attempting to see how this feature might impact how I set up my Projects, come CS4 time. Normally, I do pretty much as Jim does, and have had no problems, of which I am aware.

                                                            Thanks guys n gals, this makes for interesting reading.

                                                            Hunt

                                                            PS sorry about Gaussian Blur. Gosh, I use that Effect all the time for animated Titles. Guess Id have to explore others, and hope for a fix.
                                                            • 27. Re: First Impressions
                                                              Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                                              Hunt,

                                                              I keep the source media for my current projects (captured and stock) on one drive (D:), and my projects and renders on another drive (E:).

                                                              Both are 1 TB RAID-0s and each drive has top-level project folders.

                                                              Each project folder on the D: drive has sub-folders for video, audio and still images.

                                                              Each matching project folder on the E: drive has subfolders for project files and rendered previews, and sub-folders for rendered output (intermediate and final).

                                                              With CS4, all of the media cache files stay on the D: drive, right next to the source media. All of the rendered previews live next door to their project files on the E: drive.

                                                              Stock footage, audio and stills are kept on my data drive (F:), ready to be copied over to the D: drive when needed for a project.

                                                              Finished projects that have been delivered get moved off of both the D: and E: drives onto external drives for long-term storage (6 months to a year). I've stopped using Project Manager and instead just move everything offline to external storage.

                                                              ShadowProtect takes incremental backups of my D:, E: and F: drives every few hours, and full backups twice a week, all written to a RAID-5.

                                                              Both of my RAID-0s could die right now, and I wouldn't lose more than an hour or two of work. If that. And not only is my data drive F: backed up on the RAID-5, but at least once a week it gets mirrored on to my editing laptop.

                                                              Does that help?

                                                              -Jeff
                                                              • 28. Re: First Impressions
                                                                Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                                                >But it sucks that I have to turn it off every damn time I open the multicamera monitor window. Premiere should remember this setting, even across projects.

                                                                If you want Premiere to remember make a workspace.
                                                                • 29. Re: First Impressions
                                                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                  Positive

                                                                  I copied my Magic Bullet folders to the CS4 plug-ins folder. They showed up without issue. Nice.

                                                                  Colorista did not work at all. No matter what settings I changed, the video remained unaltered. And if I clicked on the effect itself in the Effects Control Panel, the video got all kinds of screwed up. It returned to normal when I deselected the effect. I do know Red Giant is near to a CS4 update to Colorista, so I'll try again later.

                                                                  Looks and Misfire worked fine (using 1.1) in CS4, even though there is now a CS4 approved 1.2 version. Since the effects work, I did not try updating. (Why fix what ain't broke? [You reading this forum admins?])

                                                                  The positive about this one for me is that mt first attempt at a long Looks export finally worked without error. Using 2.0, I can only export a 10 to 20 minute segment with a Looks effect applied before the export locks up and I have to End Task on Premiere. This means my typical 90 minute wedding video has to be exported in several smaller segments. Today, I exported a full hour's worth of Looks effected media with nary an issue. Yeah!

                                                                  The export was to Lags. I'm curious if my luck would still hold exporting a full 90 minute program to MPEG. Unfortunately, I can't test that just yet. (Trial version.)
                                                                  • 30. Re: First Impressions
                                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                    Negative

                                                                    The delay noted earlier when loading a clip into the Source Monitor also shows up when opening, or even switching to, another sequence. In 2.0 and CS3, the action is fairly instantaneous. In CS4, there's a 3 to 6 second lag before the new sequence is visible and can be worked in.

                                                                    This applies to Match Frame as well, which is not surprising since that action is loading a clip into the Source Monitor.
                                                                    • 31. Re: First Impressions
                                                                      Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                                                      I dont see those delays when switching. Note that you are running on a min speced machine. I know you dont see the delay it in earlier versions, but CS4 expects a faster machine.
                                                                      • 32. Re: First Impressions
                                                                        shooternz Level 6
                                                                        Hey Jim

                                                                        Can you try something for me when you have time please.

                                                                        Check the audio video (lip) synch when you play out to your external monitor.

                                                                        Will you test it in Space Bar playback as well as scrub playback.

                                                                        Iw ill assume your media will be DV but if you had a P2 file with "lip synch video/audio, that would be great as well.
                                                                        • 33. Re: First Impressions
                                                                          Gary Andrew Level 1
                                                                          Im not Jim butI have recently completed a very large DV project and had zero audio/video synch issues (playing or scrubbing) when playing the project out to my external monitor through the firewire connection. Of course there has ALWAYS been a synch issue with every version of PPro if I set the video to play out to the monitor and have the audio set to play through the computer speakers (I would consider that configuration operator error) - but if I send both the video and audio out to the monitor or if I set both to play on the computer there is never a synch problem.
                                                                          • 34. Re: First Impressions
                                                                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                            >Note that you are running on a min speced machine.

                                                                            The CPU is over spec for DV. The memory is below spec, but the recommendation for more memory seems more concerned with multiple apps of the suite running at the same time. However, even with a complex DV project open, along with Bridge and Photoshop, only about 70% of my physical RAM is being used. Nothing seems to be getting swapped out as I switch windows.

                                                                            Still, I may get the additional RAM, just to see what happens.
                                                                            • 35. Re: First Impressions
                                                                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                              Positive

                                                                              The Adobe Updater successfully downloaded and updated all the apps in the suite without issue (even though it's a trial version). Nothing I do in Premiere was broken after the update.
                                                                              • 36. Re: First Impressions
                                                                                Level 1
                                                                                >even though there is now a CS4 approved 1.2 version. Since the effects work, I did not try updating. (Why fix what ain't broke? [You reading this forum admins?])

                                                                                The update might make things work faster with CS4.
                                                                                • 37. Re: First Impressions
                                                                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                                  Looks caused no issues at all. Performance remained the same before and after I copied the plug-in into the CS4 folder.
                                                                                  • 38. Re: First Impressions
                                                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                                    >Check the audio video (lip) synch when you play out to your external monitor.

                                                                                    No significant delays with either playback or scrubbing. Only the slight 1/4 second or so delay common when using external video and computer audio.
                                                                                    • 39. Re: First Impressions
                                                                                      shooternz Level 6
                                                                                      1/4 second is 6 frames. Thats out of synch by my standards!
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