The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts



Adobe Prelude

At the San Francisco Supermeet Friday 27th January, Adobe’s Al Mooney revealed a sneak peek at a new application for the Creative Suite called Prelude.

Essentially Prelude is an ingest, logging and rough cut tool. It’s designed to make it easy to add log notes (a.k.a. metadata) quickly and easily, then perform a rough first string out to send to a craft (skilled) editor for the real work. Now obviously, any tool that encourages the entry of metadata is good by me!

So far, there’s not page for Prelude I can link to but from what I remember the key features are:

  • Works directly off non-tape media
  • Media can be previewed and selects trimmed before ingest to Prelude
  • Icons can be “skimmed” (I think Adobe has a different term) FCP X style.
  • Will copy media from the card to a specified location
  • Will (optionally) do proxy (or really any specified format) generation in parallel with ingest
  • Has great tools for subclipping and adding log notes easily
  • Can build simple cuts-only timelines
  • Exports direct to Premiere Pro or to Final Cut Pro 7 XML.

That’s about what’s known right now. Given that Al finished off by saying “See you at NAB” I can only guess we’ll learn more then (or perhaps before).

Adobe's Al Mooney previews Prelude. Shown here is the simple timeline assembly tool.

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  • ErikCantu · January 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I hope they add the ability to merge second system sound to video clips. I’ve been hoping for an app like this. I like the idea of going into Premiere with “cleaned and prep’ed” footage.

  • jeremyhughes · January 29, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Good point Eric. I hope there could be some good cineform or DNxHD support for converting to intermediates as well.

    • Author comment by Philip · January 29, 2012 at 9:13 am

      From the view I had from backstage, it seems like you can convert to intermediates in any codec/format installed on the system. I *think*. Erik, didn’t see anything related to second system sound but it was only a quick preview not a full demo. Also it’ll be version 1 so it may not be as fully featured as they plan it to be.

  • Allan White · January 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Real tough to get info on Prelude – looks fascinating. Would you say it could compete against parts of CatDV? The logging part and XML IO seems to indicate that.

    I wonder if it can work with low-res proxies.

    I would not be sorry if someone created a better “pre-editor” than CatDV. Love ’em, but I’m tired of the instability and bugs.

    • Author comment by Philip · January 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

      It’s more like Adobe Bridge for video than CatDV. There’s no library created, just a simple project. Prelude appears to work direct from source and only with source, although it can *generate* proxies to work in Premiere.

      I’d say it’s more adapted to being a simple pre-editor than CatDV because it’s designed specifically for that purpose and only that purpose. With CatDV that’s a side-benefit of a library/cataloging application.

  • Loren · February 4, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I guess we have to remind developers what editing really is:
    selection. arrangement, and pacing. That generally indicates one edit venue. I would not have assistants selecting for me. Ingest and logging is valid, and Prelude may be very useful at that stage, but it’s unlikely I’m going to ask them to string out selects before I view everything– because “you never can tell.”

    That’s just the way it is.

    • Author comment by Philip · February 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Prelude is largely designed for large news or reality organizations, not so much for individual editors where it has no real place in a workflow

      • Matt Davis · February 17, 2012 at 4:17 am

        Looking at this, whilst dealing with the usual 2k/24 hrs of assets destined for 2 main and 12 subsidiary edits in FCPX, got me thinking that this is what might enable the outsourcing of rough assemblies.

        Here’s an ingest tool that unifies and bulk-applies metadata over formats, preps proxies and edit ready masters, ensures every clip has its paws cleaned and shoes shined ready for a ‘Craft’ Edit. Is this the bit we want outsourced?

        Is the next step after Prelude – especially for event videographers – find and mark the nice stuff – the bit we want outsourced?

        I was a little skeptical of the outsourcing of editing, but now… I’m not sure…

  • Jay Versluis · April 21, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I’ve just seen a Prelude demo at NAB – it’s an app that doesn’t immediately make sense until you look at how larger tapeless media workflows are being dealt with. It’s not so much for the 6 hours of footage you want to edit yourself this afternoon, it’s more for the archive for 10.000 hours that come in from multiple sources that somebody needs to prepare for an editor to work with in the morning, usually of footage he’s not seen before.

    Adobe is addressing a job that didn’t exist 3 years ago, one that’s becoming more and more important though: the Media Manager who needs to make sure footage is available, ready to be edited and – very important – meta data tagged correctly.

    I can see this working for live logging situations too where you have loggers document several live events at the same time.

    Thanks for the quick feature breakdown!



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