I’ve been a professional editor for over seven years now and I have had the chance to do both linear and non linear editing. I remember the days of getting footage off tape, dealing with decks on livecast shoots, and more. However, I used the NLEs of the A-Team players (Avid, Adobe, Apple) and they have all come a long way. These days, I lean more towards being a Premiere Pro editor with a good understanding of Final Cut Pro X. I’m extremely impressed with the progress Premiere has made over the last five years, and I can’t wait to see more. I do, however, have some features I would like to see in future releases of Premiere Pro.
Title Tool Revamp
I have used the title tool in Avid Media Composer as well as the one in Final Cut Pro legacy. Both title tools provide less than optimal conditions for simple edits. Final Cut Pro X has the title tool advantage these days because everything is now a Motion Template. Premiere Pro’s title tool is slightly better than Media Composer and FCP Legacy, in my opinion. When you use the title tool in Premiere Pro, it opens up in a separate window. It allows you to create a title from scratch, utilizing the tools available, along with layer styles and a variety of templates.
My problem with the Premiere title tool is that it is not as intuitive as I would like it to be. You have limited options for creating titles, which are relegated to static looks or roll/crawling text. For some users, it can be difficult to create more complex titles because of the lack of a layer system. This is why some people resort to using Photoshop and/or After Effects to take care of their title needs, such as lower thirds, bugs, or end credits. I’m all for using the accompanying programs in the Creative Cloud, but I believe an NLE should have strong title tools. Users should only reach for Photoshop or After Effects when your title needs exceed the capabilities of the program. Here is how I would like title tool to function in future releases of Premiere. I would take a few cues from NewBlueFX Titler Pro 3. The video below showcases the ability to create a title or lower third graphic template and quickly modify it across your video. Ideally, I would like it to have a layer based system similar to Photoshop. This way, I would know when I am modifying an element, as well as have it appear as a multi-layered item in the project panel. It would be nice if they could find a way to have text animation presets similar to After Effects. I could minimize my need to go to After Effects for something that mundane. Overall, a Title Tool revamp would definitely help alleviate some of the frustrations users have when using title tool.
Dynamic Link Proxy/Live Text Evolution
I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with Dynamic Link in Premiere. It could have been my computer specs or something else, but I’ve always found that it slowed me down as opposed to just rendering what I needed from After Effects, and making updates through re-rendering. One thing I would like to see that would help users who may not have high end computers, would be a dynamic link proxy to final render option. This would work by bringing an AE composition into Premiere, changing the option to be in full resolution or proxy format, and when the changes are locked in, give the user the option to render via Media Encoder into a format of their choice. Now, I understand that would take quite a bit of code to pull off, but under the new cloud format, it definitely gives both Premiere and AE teams something to work towards. The new Live Text Templates introduced in Premiere CC 2014 definitely show the level of innovation and cohesion users can expect with After Effects and Premiere Pro. I hope the next few versions of this feature will get to the level where it can compete with Motion templates. Knowing how much professionals rely on AE templates to complete projects, Premiere will be a force to be reckoned with if it gets to this level.
Effects Panel Additions
One of the things I love about Premiere over FCP legacy is that I don’t have to double click a clip to adjust things like scale, position, rotation, or blend mode. Click it once and it shows up. I especially like what they did for the 2014 addition of Premiere Pro with Master Clip Effects. However, there are some items I would like to be added. I can only assume the Premiere Pro team is working towards the ability to move between keyframes with a keyboard shortcut. I would like the ability to have either Track Matte Key, Set Matte, or Image Matte Key as a part of the Effect Controls panel so I can easily do compositing from track to track. The benefit of this would be not solely relying on those filters, and I could more easily manage my compositing efforts when I move clips with those filters enabled. If anything, I would place it in the same category as the opacity parameter. Another thing I would like is for the motion parameter to have similar abilities to Media Composer’s 3D Warp filter, with a hybrid allowing you to turn layers 3D in After Effects, as seen in the video below.
This would eliminate the need for the Basic 3D and flip filters, as well as allow users to do simple perspective rotation in a “3D” space. Right now, the Basic 3D filter isn’t as strong as its third party counterparts available from BorisFX, FxFactory, or GenArts. Along with the added Matte Key functionality, giving the motion parameter a hybrid of the abilities from After Effects and Media Composer would take Premiere’s animating and compositing capabilities up a notch.
More Tools in the Toolbar
I like the current tools that Premiere Pro CC 2014 has now. I can select items forward and backward with two track selection tools. I can add keyframes with the Pen Tool. I can zoom in on my timeline with the Zoom Tool. I wouldn’t mind some tools for manipulating images. A pan behind tool would allow users to move the anchor point of their image without having to use slider values. A crop tool would eliminate the crop filter altogether, and would give users the crop abilities similar to FCP 7. Overall, an addition of a few more tools would greatly help the editing process and would reduce the need for editors to make painstaking adjustments.
These are just a few features I hope to see, and with the way the various Adobe teams have been responding to their customers, it isn’t too far of stretch that this may happen in the near future. Right now, I rely on Premiere to make a living, and I have high hopes for what’s to come.