Adobe Community Leaders Summit

PVC by Chris and Trish Meyer

A chance to get inside Adobe’s head.

Last week, Adobe invited a variety of well-known people in the industry to come get a closer look at what they’ve been working on, and to provide feedback on their direction. To Adobe’s credit, this was no “preaching to the choir” session; many of those invited were FCP and Avid editors, and several current users gave Adobe personnel an earful both publicly and privately. It was also made clear to us that no specific product versions or release dates were being discussed, and that we couldn’t repeat anything that had not already been mentioned publicly (reminds us of the old Zen Buddhist saying “Those who know don’t say; those who say don’t know"). However, this event gives us an excuse to aggregate into one place a number of emerging technologies Adobe has already murmured about, for those who haven’t had the chance to keep up…

64-bit OS Will Be Required for Video

As Simon Hayhurst (Senior Director of Product Management, Dynamic Media) said a few months ago, “CS4 will be the last version of Adobe’s leading video applications to support 32 bit operating systems.” That means if you are looking to outfit or upgrade a computer that you plan to use to run whatever will be the next release of After Effects, Premiere Pro, et al will be, you will need to install a 64-bit OS on it (Mac OS 10.5.7 and later work; 10.6.x is better; Windows versions needs to explicitly say “64"). Adobe has additional recommendations on their web site.

Adobe has a white paper on the subject; the benefit that will jump out and excite many After Effects users is no longer being restricted to 2-4 GB of program address space. Let’s hope this will truly be the end of “could not allocate image buffer” and other related out-of-memory issues. (By the way, Adobe also claims CS4 video applications will run better today on 64-bit operating systems.)

Need to Upgrade to 64-bit Plug-Ins

Let’s get the rest of the potentially bad news out of the way: If you’re using third-party effects, as Michael Coleman (After Effects Product Manager) mentioned last month, you will need to upgrade them to 64-bit native versions in order to use them with the next generation of 64-bit native Adobe video applications.

Do not assume this is a trivial matter; assume you will have to pay an upgrade fee. How hard this will be will vary from plug-in to plug-in, and seems to be connected to how “custom” the plug-in is in user interface and system calls. That said, we’ve been surveying After Effects plug-in vendors, and - despite some loud complaints from a select few - we have been very pleasantly surprised with how well prepared most seem to be. Part of this can be attributed to Adobe releasing the SDK (software developer’s kit) much sooner than normal for a new version of software.

Adobe Mercury Playback Engine

The other big video-related technology you may have heard of already is the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine, demonstrated using a “future release” of Premiere Pro. We’ve heard a lot of confusion over what Mercury is or is not; let’s try to unravel some of this. read more...

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