9 Replies Latest reply on Sep 1, 2009 9:16 PM by Jim_Simon

    Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse

    dixmatthew Level 1

      I upgraded from Premiere Pro 1.5 to CS4 Production bundle, which I am now running on Vista64, i7Quad core, 9GB ram, with a 2 TB RAID.


      I am simply appalled by how resource hungry, unstable, and badly designed the PPro, AME, Encore combination is. When I review the Adobe marketing material (all that guff about 227% speed increase) I think it borders on the.. well I won't say.


      1) Encore crashes all the time. The best you can do is a highly "defensive" workflow where you set each clip to transcode separately, save after each successful clip transcode (because a crash will make it forget it has transcoded the asset). Long clips (anything bigger than a couple of GB or longer than 10min) will likely crash it. And make sure you create an ISO, because its treatment of a disc in a drive is also highly unstable (all the other DVD burning programs I have installed seem to manage it!).


      2) Premiere Pro is slower and less responsive (and I'm a fairly high end hardware spec, although only one processor) than any previous version I have used or run.


      a.          My project files typically consist of  one 10-15min timeline (I love to be able to edit an entire feature in a single project file like you can on Final Cut Pro, but even previous versions of PPro couldn't do that), and quite a large clip library. Even after the project is supposedly open, the importer insists on loading all the clips in the background, even unused ones, which takes several minutes for a big project). Previous versions coped fine.


      b.         The open process silently fails and crashes if a video clip is incompatible or corrupt, regardless of whether that clip is used in any sequence timeline.


      c.          You have to open the media encoder to export a SINGLE FRAME!! This in itself is crazy, but notice that the premiereproheadless process opens an entire duplicate copy of the project you're exporting. This effectively halves the maximum size / complexity of the project that is workable for any given hardware. (Because you have two copies of PPro running with identical projects, one without the GUI).


      Finally, render times are incredibly slow. Much slower than previous versions for equivalent hardware. Across the board.


      I have to conclude that Adobe is a marketing led company, big on hype, but not that interested in making their products usable in the real world. I have no doubt that the "independent" white paper on the Premiere site produced the results it claimed, but the tests performed cannot have been remotely comparable to a genuine real world workflow. I have little confidence that this opinion will go anywhere close to where it should go, but my message to Adobe would be WAKE UP!


      And I will be much more wary about believing any Adobe marketing in future.




      PS - the one good point in the bundle is AE CS4 - seems robust, stable, and more capable than previous versions I've used.

        • 1. Re: Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse
          Eric Addison User Group Manager

          Have you downoaded all the current updates? Try that and then give it all a try.I don't have a system quite as new as yours, but I've CS4 running great.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse
            dixmatthew Level 1

            Yes, all updates installed.


            I'm encouraged to hear you have it working well :-)



            • 3. Re: Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse
              Curt Wrigley Level 4

              dixmatthew wrote:


              Yes, all updates installed.


              I'm encouraged to hear you have it working well :-)



              The 4.1 update does nto require ame to export a single frame.  So, Im dubious you are on 4.1 update.   The 4.1 update also improved project load time exponentially.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse
                Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                Our office has been using CS4 on a daily basis since it was made available for sale. Here are a few observations that may be of value:


                1.) Best not to open old CS3 and earlier projects for re-edit in CS4. Several things seem to get screwed up pretty bad for us when we do that.  Best to keep a system around with CS3 for revisiting older projects.


                2.) On all of our systems, If we have multiple clips on the timeline that need to be exported as separate segments, lets say as flv's/f4v's etc., we have found that Media Encoder takes as long as 7-15 minutes before it even starts working on the transcode. It just sits there calculating something. As a work-around I save the project "As" and get rid of all unnecessary clips and sequences and use this new project specifically as a Media Endoder export project. Smaller projects with clips to be exported at the head of the timeline seem to allow Media Encoder to get the job done within a more reasonable time frame.


                3.) Encore can be pretty sucky at times. When a project has multiple clips, often we get a cryptic error message during the DVD creation process. In all cases for us, it's a matter of Encore not "liking" an AVI file that was exported from Premiere for some unknown reason. What we do is, manually transcode the files using the "transcode now" feature in Encore to ferret out the "bad" clip. When we find the "bad" clip that's holding up the whole process, we go back in Premiere and export as MP2 DVD files directly from Premiere. In every case for us the Premiere exported/transcoded file allows Encore to complete the DVD.

                • 5. Re: Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse
                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                  I've got the whole suite working beautifully on an i7 920 with 3GB RAM under Windows 7 RC 32 bit.  Damn software is fast and responsive as hell.  My productivity has soared.  And for the first time ever, Premiere can now keep up with me.  Usually I can work faster than the program, but now it just zips along.


                  I do use I-frame only media, of course.

                  • 6. Re: Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse
                    dixmatthew Level 1

                    Great - the updater is reporting no available updates, but I will recheck - and I will recheck the frame export option within premiere, which I must admit I had not realised was one of the  changes in 4.1. Jim, I am encouraged to hear that it is possible, so will persevere.


                    The advice from Charles McIntyre is very useful too - I have also been using the workaround of transcoding each clip individually in Encore, but I will try the others you suggest - and I will now be much more wary about using projects from old versions. Perhaps I can import the crucial timelines using the EDL formats or something. Thanks.

                    But: it shouldn't be this way! These are serious deficiencies, surely.


                    Could I ask also, what is the effective upper limit on realistically usable project sizes in your experience(s)? ..be that in terms of project size in MB, number or aggregate size of clips in the bins, length in minutes of the main sequence?

                    Thanks for the suggestions,



                    • 7. Re: Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse
                      Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                      As frustrating as some of the CS4 issues can be, I think the suite is definitely several steps in the right direction. Some of the issues related to opening older projects in Premiere CS4 may be related to some changes in video aspect ratio. Evidently Adobe made the video aspect ratio according to an established and accepted "standard' for CS4. I have only experienced/noticed this with standard widescreen 16x9. For instance, if you bring a widescreen avi that was exported from Premiere CS3 into a CS3 project that was opened with CS4, you will see the video clip "jump" to the different aspect ratio when overlaid as a "straight cut" on the CS4 timeline over the same original clip. The first CS3 project we opened with CS4 had many bizarre issues such as jittery blur effects and evil misbehaving transitions.


                      Ground up CS4 projects have been extremely stable for us. Premiere might crash once a week during constant use for us, but things are definitely moving in the right direction for us editors. As you may or may not know, Adobe works with Intel in the development of their processors. New instruction sets are trickling in that speed up video rendering etc. and Windows 7 64 bit Release candidate is far better than Vista even in this early phase.


                      BTW you US based editors check out the Fry's ad today. 6GB Corsair DDR3 1600 Ram (3x2) for $84.


                      On a different subject:

                      We have a very talented and motivated intern working for us that is working on his college degee in film production. He told me a couple of days ago that he has learned more in following the video tutorials at Video Copilot than he has attending his classes in After Effects which his family has paid a good amount of money for.

                      • 8. Re: Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse

                        I'd like to echo McIntyre's sentiments on using Encore. Any version for that matter in my experience with Encore has had a hard time with AVI files. Sometimes I couldn't burn a disc, but could create iso instead, but almost always a crash of some sort was inevitable. Anyway, the fix I found was using MP2's in the Encore project. Encode MP2's (for DVD project) and import those into Encore, keeping Encore free from any unnecessary mingling with those beastly AVI's.

                        • 9. Re: Premiere Pro CS4: J'accuse
                          Jim_Simon Level 8

                          I used DV AVIs for 4 years without issue before I started using .m2v files.  I find Encore handled both with equal aplomb.