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View Full Version : Adobe Video Collection: Let's Get Started...

Philip Colmer
03-22-2004, 06:00 PM
<img src="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/images/colmer-avc-cover.jpg" /><br /><br /><b>Product Category:</b> Video production software<br /><b>Manufacturer:</b> <a href="http://www.adobe.com/">Adobe</a><br /><b>Where to Buy:</b> <a href="http://www.adobe.com/store/">Adobe Store</a> or Amazon (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000AJXWS/ref=ase_jasondunn-20">Standard collection</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000DC725/ref=ase_jasondunn-20">Professional collection</a> - affiliate links)<br /><b>Price:</b> Standard - $999, Professional - $1,499<br /><b>System Requirements:</b> Intel Pentium III 800MHz or faster, Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 1, 256MB to run any one application, 2GB free disc space to install all applications, 11GB or larger dedicated large-capacity 7200RPM UDMA 66 IDE or SCSI hard disk or array for ongoing work, 1280x1024 32-bit colour video display adapter, DVD-ROM drive, compatible DVD record for DVD creation, stereo sound card, OHCI-compatible IEEE 1394 interface for DV.<br /><br /><b>Pros:</b><li>A tool for all parts of the video production process;<br /><li>Real manuals included;<br /><li>Value for money when bought as a collection as opposed to separate products.<b>Cons:</b><li>System requirements are quite demanding;<br /><li>Could be expensive as a starting point - beginners might want to start by buying the individual products;<br /><li>Only After Effects is available for Macintosh owners - this should be considered as a Windows-only product.<b>Summary:</b><br />The Adobe Video Collection delivers a comprehensive integrated toolset for Windows based video production and, considering the separate cost of each item, the bundle does represent good value for money. There is certainly a lot to get your teeth into :D <br /><br />Read on for the rest of the review!<!><br /><PAGEBREAK><br /><span><b>Brand New Bag Of Tools</b></span><br />2003 saw Adobe release a completely rewritten version of Premiere, their video editing product and now renamed Premiere Pro, along with an updated version of After Effects, now up to version six. Alongside these well-known tools was added a new product – Adobe Encore DVD – and an acquisition – Adobe Audition, previously Cool Edit Pro from Syntrillium Software.<br /><br />It was not all good news, though, for potential upgraders. The shock news from Adobe was two-fold – one, that the software required Windows XP and two, that there wouldn’t be a Macintosh version of Premiere Pro. Both of these decisions give benefits to Adobe, principally in the area of consolidation of their source code and stability through removal of old versions of Windows. But what about the customers? Time will tell if either of these decisions results in customers starting to go elsewhere …<br /><br />The Adobe Video Collection, as this suite of products is otherwise known, comes in two flavours. The above set of four tools is the Standard version. There is also the Professional edition which sees the bundle delivering After Effects 6.0 Professional instead of Standard, and the inclusion of another refreshed tool – Adobe Photoshop CS.<br /><br /><span><b>So Many Choices…</b></span><br />Your first line of thought might be just to decide between the Adobe Video Collection Standard edition at $999 or the Professional edition at $1,499.<br /><br />Individually, the cost of the separate products breaks down as follows:<li> Adobe Premiere Pro - $699;<br /><li> Adobe After Effects 6.0 Standard - $699;<br /><li> Adobe After Effects 6.0 Professional - $999;<br /><li> Adobe Audition - $299;<br /><li> Adobe Encore DVD - $549;<br /><li> Adobe Photoshop CS - $649.By buying one of the bundles you are saving $1,247 over the cost of the individual Standard components or $1,696 over the cost of the Professional components.<br /><br />But wait! There is more than one way to skin a cat and there is certainly more than one way to buy this software.<br /><br />For a start, if you own a previous version of Adobe Premiere, After Effects or Cool Edit Pro, you can save $200 off the cost of the Standard version of the collection. There are similar upgrade offers for the individual components. Premiere can be bought for $199 or for $399 if you’ve got an LE version. Photoshop CS can be bought for $169 instead of $649. Audition can be bought for $99, or free if you’ve got Cool Edit Pro 2.x. Owners of previous versions of After Effects can upgrade to 6.0 Standard for $199 or 6.0 Professional for $299. It should be noted that upgrading Professional gets you a coupon for $200 off the Zaxwerks 3-D Invigorator plug-in whereas buying the full product, or upgrading Standard to Professional gets you the plug-in included in the bundle.<br /><br />As is usual for After Effects, it is possible to upgrade from Standard to Professional (same version) at a later time, but it will cost you $499 for the privilege. True, they do include the 3-D Invigorator plug-in, worth $495, but you get this when you buy the full Professional version anyway, so it might be kinder to offer the upgrade for the true price difference.<br /><br />The sharp financial gurus amongst you will have noticed that if you are already an Adobe aficionado and you’ve got Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop and Cool Edit Pro, the upgrade offers aren’t that great from the perspective of customer loyalty.<br /><br />Let’s take the Standard collection as an example. If you upgraded Premiere, AE &amp; Cool Edit Pro and bought Encore DVD, this would set you back $1046, $247 more than the current offer price for current owners of the products. There has been much heated debated on the Adobe forums about this, with several people thinking of buying the full collection and reselling their existing copies on an auction Web site. Many existing owners felt that Adobe should have done more for their loyal customer base.<br /><br />Before I finish looking at the cost entirely, let me suggest one other way of legitimately getting your hands on this software – as a bundle with video editing hardware. For example, Matrox sell the RT.X100 Xtreme Pro Suite (including Premiere Pro, Encore DVD and Audition) for $1099 or the RT.X100 Xtreme Pro Collection (including the complete Video Collection Standard) for $1499. Purchasing a bundle like this gets you the full-blown software packages plus add-on hardware to make the editing process smoother and with additional effects and transitions.<br /><br /><span><b>Enough With The Money!</b></span><br />OK – so you’ve totalled the sums, you’ve worked out the best way to buy it … but what you are you getting for your money? Well, the bad news is that I’m not going to tell you … not yet, anyway :lol:<br /><br /><img src="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/images/colmer-avc-contents.jpg" /><br /><i>Figure 1: The box contents.</i><br /><br />Figure 1 does give you a hint, though: full printed manuals for each of the products (a bit of a surprise these days, when most companies just include the manuals on the CDs), the software, sample files for Premiere Pro and the Audition Loopology Collection. The box also includes 90 minutes of training videos on a DVD and a $200 money-off voucher for Zaxwerks 3-D Invigorator plug-in for After Effects.<br /><br />In addition, when you register your purchase, you can download five plug-ins for After Effects and a free plug-in for Premiere Pro.<br /><br />The aim of this particular article is to provide an overview of the bundle itself, and not look at each of the component products in detail. It was felt that to really do these products justice, they are each going to get an in-depth review. In addition, we are going to be looking at associated products that you might want to consider. The full list of reviews will be as follows:<li> Adobe Premiere Pro - <a href="http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/main.html">[product info]</a> <a href="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/articles.php?action=expand,5013">[REVIEW]</a><br /><li> Adobe After Effects 6.0 Standard - <a href="http://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects/main.html">[product info]</a> <a href="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4564">[forum thread]</a><br /><li> Adobe Audition - <a href="http://www.adobe.com/products/audition/main.html">[product info]</a> <a href="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/articles.php?action=expand,5992">[REVIEW]</a><br /><li> Adobe Encore DVD - <a href="http://www.adobe.com/products/encore/main.html">[product info]</a> <a href="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/articles.php?action=expand,5661">[REVIEW]</a><br /><li> SurCode 5.1 for Adobe Premiere Pro - <a href="http://www.surcode.com">[product info]</a> <a href="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4567">[forum thread]</a><br /><li> Total Training for each of the Adobe products - <a href="http://www.totaltraining.com">[product info]</a> <a href="http://www.digitalmediathoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4568">[forum thread]</a>For now, I’ve provided a link above to the relevant product sites. I’ve also posted an article to the relevant forums for each of the reviews so if you’ve got any burning questions you want to see answered in the reviews, post them there and I’ll do my best to tackle them in the review if they fit in (otherwise, I’ll try to answer them in the forum).<br /><br />As I work through the reviews, I’ll come back &amp; edit this article so that the links above get updated to reflect the latest status.<br /><br /><span><b>Review Hardware</b></span><br />Rather than repeating in each of the reviews the configuration of the system being used to evaluate the software, I thought it best to include it once here:<li> Dell Optiplex GX260 with 2.8GHz Pentium 4 and 1GB RAM, 2 x 75GB IDE harddrives, with Windows XP Professional and Service Pack 1;<br /><li> Dell UltraSharp 2000FP (20” LCD display) connected via analogue connection to Matrox Millennium G550;<br /><li> Sony DRU-500A 4-format DVD burner;<br /><li> Creative Audigy 2 Platinum eX with Altec Lansing 5100 (5.1) speaker system.<span><b>Conclusions</b></span><br />There is no doubt that either the Standard or the Professional bundles represent good value for money over the cost of the separate products combined. Whether you need all of the tools or not is a question that only you can answer. What can be said, though, is that Adobe do now have a tool that competes in every stage of the video production process. What needs to be seen is whether those tools compete well or badly. On to the reviews!

03-23-2004, 01:30 AM
Alright Philip! :way to go: You have got a big job in front of you, but SO much fun! I can't wait to see what you have to say about these. So what'r ya wastin time reading this for? Get back to work. :sleeping: :lol: