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Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium [Mac][OLD VERSION]
Price:$1,199.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium Package has nearly everything you need for high quality, professional-level post-production work as an independent filmmaker. For students who can get it at an educational discount, it's a no-brainer, but even while the retail price may sound expensive it's astonishing what you can get for the price and what you can do with it. (It's easy to justify shelling out thousands for the latest prosumer camcorder, but equally important are the tools for turning your raw footage into something that can be shared with an audience; as far as I can tell, this is the best comprehensive package of tools available for the motion graphics creator). If you have a computer that can run 64-bit applications, this package will basically turn your computer into a sophisticated post-production studio with the ability to create nearly anything you can imagine with images, photos, and video. All you need to add is a bit of creative talent, and a lot of willingness to learn, because these are sophisticated programs with a lot of features, that take experience and practice to use well. You can create animation (even interactive animation) with Flash and Flash Catalyst; you can create drawings and paintings with Illustrator; you can take photos and enhance them or even transform them into something completely new with Photoshop Extended (which also has some fairly sophisticated video and 3-d capabilities), you can edit footage together into a coherent narrative with Premiere Pro, and you can add realistic and fantastic effects and titles with After Effects, and you can fine tune the music and sound mix with Soundbooth, and can create dynamic dvds to distribute your work in Encore. All of the programs play very nice with each other (and have similar features so that once you've learned one you're on your way to learning another), and some allow you to import projects from other programs without rendering them, and also to go back into the original program and edit the project and have the changes appear automatically in the new program.

While I've had a chance to play around with all of these programs in the couple of months since their release, the ones I've spent the most time with are Photoshop Extended, Premiere Pro, and After Effects, which I consider to be the core programs of this package, the ones that really show what you can do with it. Some of the highlights of the new release are: (1) obviously, the Content Aware fill and enhanced selection tools in Photoshop, that give you a greater degree of control than ever before, and allow you to get rid of distracting elements or apply effects selectively, without destroying the realistic tone of a photograph; (2) in Premiere Pro what excites me most is the ease with which it allows you to work with a wide range of formats, without converting them first; the ability to work directly with the AVCHD files produced by my Canon VIXIA HFS10 has been a decisive factor for me in moving all of my new editing projects over to Premiere Pro from Final Cut; along with this, Premiere Pro has its new Mercury Playback engine that really helps to streamline the editing process, and allows me to preview adjustments automatically, without constantly having to stop and render things before I can see what I've done; (3) one very cool new feature in the CS5 package is that you can open up Final Cut Pro XML files in Premiere Pro, and from there you can open them up in After Effects, as I understand it always used to be much more difficult to get Final Cut Pro project files into After Effects, which was one of the reasons I never really jumped on After Effects until now; (4) After Effects enables you to achieve some very sophisticated and professional results, and its performance is better than ever; but the real standout in the newest version is the Roto Brush, that is basically a sophisticated video selection device, that allows you to isolate moving elements (such as a person) from a video clip so that you can apply selective effects to those elements, or place them in a new background entirely. It's not totally automatic, and requires some finessing (basically you have to make your selection and then it makes a series of very good frame by frame guesses as to what is happening to your selected element over time, and when it makes a mistake you have to fix it and keep going from there).

All of these programs demand some learning, but from what I've seen so far the results are worth it. I'm still effectively a beginner with these programs but I've a lot of fun learning them, and am very excited with what I've been able to accomplish in a short time. After Effects, especially, is an amazing and delightful piece of software, and I love the way it integrates so easily with the other programs in the Production Suite. While I'd used Photoshop and Premiere somewhat before the latest release, and only had a chance to spend a little time with early versions of After Effects, I find this latest version to be a massive upgrade and the most important new features seem to be focused on the needs of the independent media producer, whether it's a photographer who is beginning to work with video or a videographer who is becoming dissatisfied with the limits of doing most of their post-production work on a non-linear editor with limited ability to create sophisticated effects. A quick search on the internet shows that lots of young people already know the power of these tools for creating effects work that is comparable to that seen in big budget professional productions. Highly recommended.

By the way, one final thing I should mention is that Adobe has a very talented team of professionals who create the help files for each of the programs and who are active in the support forums, and available to give artistic and technical support. Nearly any problem you might face has been asked about and answered on the Adobe Forums, and any question that is posted gets a quick response, and the design teams seem to be paying attention to concerns and attempt to take them into account with each new upgrade. Plus, as suggested above, there are hosts of amateur and professional users who have posted advice and video tutorials for free all over the web. Just like when you buy a car you should take a look at the dealership, when you buy a piece of software you have to consider the support network behind it to help you get the most of it, and so far I've been very happy with the level of enthusiasm and support that Adobe seems to put behind their products, especially on the technical and creative side.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2010
First, I'm a big fan of Final Cut Studio, and have been using it ever since Adobe shelved Premiere for Macintosh. When Adobe announced that they were bringing it back, my first reaction was "so what."

Then I got the most recent version of FCS, and was underwhelmed.

Then I got a camera that saved files in AVCHD, and dealt with log and capture, and FCP's constant choking on that format.

So I got the Suite. It makes me happy, and my work looks great.

What's good:
-Premiere and Encore handle Photoshop files much more easily than FCS. Need to edit that PSD file? One click and you are there.
-It makes Blu-ray discs. FCS doesn't
-The Interface is not so different from FCP and DVD Studio Pro. The keyboard commands are different, but you can edit most to your liking.
-It takes just about any media you throw at it with no problems, and often with no render time.
-It's 64-bit to take advantage of multi-processor systems
-Encore is easier to use than DVD Studio pro-really.

What's not:
-Doesn't take advantage of the video processor on some cards, which can lead to some slowness
-I do miss the COLOR application from FCS-but I've read that it can be used in Adobe, I just haven't figured it out yet.
-If there is a way to use other computers as render farms (like FCS) I haven't figured it out yet.
-The online help system is cumbersome - fortunately I didn't need it much.

If you've been doing nonlinear editing for a while, and understand DVD authoring - you'll jump right into this suite with no problems.
Take the time to read up on it if you can...it might save you some time (I overlooked a few good features)

If you're tired of waiting for Apple to get up to speed with FCS (and they may this year) AND you have a multi-core Mac Pro stuffed with RAM - this is the program suite to buy now. I don't regret it. I'm more productive, and the work looks good. I'll take a look at the next FCS, but unless it truly blows me away, I'll stick with Adobe.
---
Several projects later -
I'm liking it better all the time. I just finished a project that often had up to 15 tracks of video, including AE, Photoshop, and AI files. Plus there were some native files from Apple's (now discontinued) LiveType. The project took a solid month, with many 15-18 hr days. Only one crash the whole time (I think it was caused by having MS Word open, but I can't be sure). I've done similar projects in FCP and had LOTS more problems.

I really like how easy it is to incorporate Layered PSD files into projects - much easier than FCP.

The next version of FCP is supposed to come out in June - Version 5.5 of the Suite comes out at the end of May. I'll be taking a good hard look at both of them, but based on what I've seen so far, it looks like Adobe is going to come out on top, at least for now.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2011
Verified Purchase
There was a little hiccup with this item. However, they answered my concern IMMEDIATELY and rectified the situation IMMEDIATELY. I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending this seller to you, indeed I would advise you to use them. Their level of professionalism and courtesy was refreshing and gratefully received. As far as the product itself is concerned, it was perfectly packaged and received without incident. The package arrived flawless. Oh, and it works completely as advertised.

I rated this seller 5 stars for a reason. They acted and reacted professionally and completely to my satisfaction. I have every reason to trust their level of customer care and satisfaction goes way beyond what is expected these days. I will undoubtedly be buying from them in the future.

billy wilson
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2010
Perfect for any video major. It's got it all, Premiere CS5 is a lot like Final Cut Pro but more reasonably priced and it's got a lot of features Final Cut does NOT have and this was just the free trial I used. After Effects is great,, especially if you're going to be using green screen. Who could ask for more out of this? This package has it all, Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Soundtrack! Yes, folks, it's got it all! I did not get it on this site though i got it on a student discount site. However, this is THE package for you, especially if you're a film major! I can't say anything more!
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