REVIEW: Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium

Studio Daily by Barry Braverman

We know from the way the world works that they ought to come in predictable waves. Every eighteen months we eagerly await them. Invariably powerful and potentially game changing, we're not talking about the Tibetan monsoons or the latest White House scandal. We’re referring to milestone releases from Adobe: Version 4, Version 5, version 6—uh, oh wait. I mean version 5.5. Hey! What's with the new incremental release?

Given the pace of today’s advances and new capabilities and trends, the usual eighteen-month release cycle is no longer adequate to address the clamoring demands of the umpteen After Effects, Photoshop and Creative Suite users around the world. A case in point: Adobe now supports HTML5 inside Creative Suite 5.5. For some time the lack of Flash support on Apple devices has been a thorn in the side of CS users, fifty percent of whom it is said utilize Mac OS almost exclusively. Luckily for us, Adobe, presiding over some of the most widely used software on the planet, is platform-agnostic, a breath of fresh air given the Mac vs. PC discourse that at times can verge on religious zealotry.

After Effects After All

As a cinematographer I admit my bias for evaluating products from a camera imaging perspective. So naturally, I'm very excited that AE 5.5 now features a Warp Stabilizer that can smooth out a shaky camera move and impart the elegant look of having used a crane or jib arm. Most stabilizing software like Apple’s SmoothCam require considerable enlarging of the frame to apply the required compensation. AE’s Warp Stabilizer is much more respectful of the original frame boundaries, and while not as sophisticated as proDad Mercalli’s v2 Stabilizer the WS feature in AE5.5 can nevertheless handle quite admirably the tilting and churning of the camera bumping along the z-axis. read more...

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