Phil Keairns



            So you have dreamed about being the next Steven Spielberg have you? Adobe Premiere 6.0 just might be the avenue to help you achieve your rise into stardom. In case you have heard, since this review was started Adobe has released Adobe Premiere 6.5. Even though this review will only be concerned with version 6.0 I will mention some of the changes implemented in the newest version, since that will most likely be the version available for purchase.

            This reviewer has had some formal training in traditional video tape production and editing, using traditional AB Roll editing techniques. This background provided knowledge of many of the principles and techniques used in Adobe Premiere 6.0, but I believe that a new user will be able to master these techniques and principles with just a little extra work.

            During the course of this review process I took advantage of several of the excellent training books available for Adobe Premiere 6.0. Including, the User Guide that comes with the package, the excellent Adobe Premiere 6.0 Classroom in a Book, from Adobe Press, Teach Yourself Visually, Adobe Premiere 6.0 from MaranGraphics and Wiley Press and Adobe Premiere 6.0 Bible from Hungry Minds. Another source that proved to be valuable is the Total Training CD which also came with the Adobe Premiere 6.0 package. Another wealth of information and training tutorials are on the WEB, a search using Google resulted in over 26,000 Adobe Premier Hits. As you can see there is no scarcity of help and information to assist you aspiring directors in learning about and how toís on using Adobe Premiere 6.0. Adobe also provides a trial version of Adobe Premiere 6.5; this can be downloaded from the Adobe web site

            First, what equipment do you need to use Adobe Premiere 6.0; the following are the requirements as outlined by Adobe:


            Pentium II 300 MHz or faster

            OS System Win 98, Win 98SE, Win ME, Win 2000, Win NT 4.0 with Service Pack 6

                        not included by Adobe but works just fine Win XP

            64 MB Ram (128 MB recommended)

            85 MB available hard disk space required for installation (40 MB for application)

            256 color video display adaptor

            Large capacity hard disk

            CD Rom Drive                        


Additional requirements for Digital Video:


            Pentium III 500 MHz (700 MHz or faster recommended)

            OS System Win 98SE, Win ME, Win 2000, and again not listed Win XP

            128 MB Ram (256 MB Ram recommended or more)

            Dedicated large capacity 7200 RPM UDMA 66 IDE or SCSI hard disk or disk array

            Microsoft Certified IEEE 1394 interface

            Microsoft Certified Direct X Compatible video display adaptor

            Adobe Premier Certified capture card


            This review was conducted on an HP Pavilion xt395 laptop, System specifications includes:  Intel Pentium 4, 2.2 GHz processor, 1 GB Ram, an ATI Mobility 6 video adaptor, 40 GB hard drive, IEEE 1394 interface, using Win XP Home Edition.


            Installation of Adobe Premiere 6.0 was a breeze, insert the CD-ROM click on setup and stand back. Adobe gives you options for installation, from the simple choice where everything gets installed to custom installations, where you pick and choose what components you want.


            Now, letís look at the inner workings, the nuts and bolts, of Adobe Premiere 6.0. What is Premiere 6.0? and what will it do for the budding Director. Adobe Premiere 6.0 is a non-linear editing program that allows you to assemble various production elements and output them to a variety of sources. The following are some of the Production Taskís that Premiere allows you to accomplish:


            Edit video clips into complete video projects.

            Capture video elements.

            Capture audio elements.                                                           

            Load stock video, audio, and digital effects into your projects.

            Creation of Titles and animation of title effects.

Integration of files from various sources, digital video, digital audio, graphics from Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, JPEG and TIFF files.

            Creation of special effects, like blurring and distortions.

            Creation of Motion effects for titles and logos.

            Creation of transparency effects.

            Editing sound.

            Creation of transitions, over 75 customizable transitions included.

            Output files in a variety of digital formats:

                        QuickTime for Windows.

                        Video for Windows files.

                        WEB specific file formats (animated GIF).

                        Real Video format for export to the WEB.

                        Output to video tape.

Output Edit Decision Lists to be sent to Professional Production Houseís to re-create your digital production to tape.


            The workspace screen is where most of your work gets accomplished; there are several options on how your workspace looks and what you can accomplish there.



This window shows a typical single track editing workspace. There are several work areas present, the Project panel, the Monitor panel, the Timeline panel, the Effects Control panel, the Info panel, the Navigator, History and Command Panels, and the Transitions, Video and Audio panels.          




This window shows the typical A/B editing workspace. The primary difference is evident in the Monitor panel and less obvious in the Timeline panel.




            The Effects workspace brings the Transitions, Video and Audio panels into more prominent positions.





            The Audio workspace adds the Audio Mixer panel to the workspace                                                                                       


            Testing Adobe Premiere 6.0, does it match up to all the hype and advertising? You bet it does. I found Premiere a real pleasure to use, from importing video clips, still images to audio, each task performed as the documentation indicated. One of the first things that you notice when you start to learn Premiere 6.0 is the customization and flexibility available to you. Each of the workspace windows allows you to customize the layout, each pane can be resized, reshaped and moved to suite your style of working. You can also save your new customized and stylized workspace window as a preset, allowing you to access it from a drop down menu.

            Almost every command and function has a multitude of ways to implement, ranging from drop down menus, mouse clicks or keystroke combinations. Whatever manner of computer user you are, Premiere most likely has the ability to accommodate your style.

            With over 75 included Transitions and Effects, and with almost all of these customizable, you have an excellent chance of finding just what you are looking for. The ability to control key features, such as duration and when the effect appears, using Keyframes makes using these special effects easy and the results can be very commanding.

            The only real issue I had with Premiere 6.0 was using the Preview feature. If you have used and transitions, effects or multiple layers on any of your clips, prior to previewing you must render the project. On small clips this can go very quickly, but on large, complex clips containing several layers, or clips with multiple transitions, can take a considerable amount of time to render. The capabilities of your computer can also have a great impact on the amount of time required to render your project.


Whatís new in Adobe Premiere 6.5? One of the first new features in the next generation of Premier concerns the preview ability of the program. You are no longer required to render your project to preview it; real time preview is the modus operandi. It looks like Adobe was listening to their users on this one. Some of the Effects have been enhanced; the Title feature has been improved, audio capabilities have been upgraded, as well as DVD exporting capabilities.


I had a very positive experience using Adobe Premiere 6.0. While it may not make you the next Steven Spielberg, it puts into your hands the tools to produce video productions that will make you the envy of all your co-workers and friends. If producing videos on the job or for making those home video productions, and making them works of art, Premiere 6.0 will not let you down. With a street price of $400.00 to $600.00 dollars, Premiere is not for the casual user, but if you are serious about creating professional quality videos, you should give Adobe Premiere 6.0 or 6.5 some well deserved attention.


Any comments or questions about this review please contact me.


Phil Keairns