If you are just starting out your video production career one of your first questions is ‘What software do I use?’ There are dozens of editing softwares, some are more robust than others, but there is always one that I recommend over everything else and it is what I personally use and that software is the Adobe Creative Cloud.
The reason that I recommend the entire suite, as opposed to just Adobe Premiere Pro, is because many of the apps have integration with other apps in the suite. For instance when you are done editing in Premiere Pro and you can send your timeline over to SpeedGrade for color correction and curves.
Hollywood is also leaning towards the Adobe Creative Cloud. Some notable movies that have been edited with the Adobe Suite are Gone Girl, The Social Network, Act of Valor, Avatar, Deadpool, and Hail, Caesar.
Most, if not all of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps can be put in one of four categories: web design, mobile apps, photography, and videography. Since this is a film-making website we are going to focus mostly on the videography and touch a little on the photography as well.
For starters the apps that are video production related are Premiere Pro, After Effects, Media Encoder, Prelude, SpeedGrade, Story, Animate, and Audition.
The crown jewel of the Adobe Creative Cloud; If you have to choose only one app to buy for video production, this is the one. While it is greatly improved with the help from the other apps in the Adobe Suite, it is still a great stand alone application.
This program is comparable to Sony Vegas, Avid, or Final Cut Pro.
Some of the benefits of Premiere Pro over all the other NLE’s (non-linear editors) out there are that it can handle any file type that you throw at it without conversion, it is very customizable and easy to pick up.
My progression of editing software was 2 years of Sony Vegas, 1 year of Premiere Pro CS3, a year of Final Cut, and then finally Premiere Pro CC for the last few years. In my personal experience Premiere Pro CC is the most complete and all around top video editing program.
If you are interested in buying only the Premiere Pro application it can be bought for 20$ a month.
After Effects is what you go to when you want to do intensive visual effects. There really is no comparison to another visual effects application because no matter which NLE a person uses, if they have visual effect they most likely did it in After Effects.
After Effects has amazing motion tracking and a 3D camera tracker to reproduce camera movements on your target as well as adding layers that follow the correct movement patterns.
In addition to the normal integration of almost all of the other apps in the Adobe Suite it has a built in compatibility with Cinema 4D so if you are doing 3D modeling of an object you can just hop back and forth between the pair seamlessly.
If you are interested in buying only the After Effects application it can be bought for 20$ a month.
If you’ve ever had a ton of footage and nine files called 00001.mov from nine different shooting days then you need to use Prelude. You use Prelude as a part of footage ingestion to help tag what the footage is and update its metadata.
Another great feature of Prelude is that you can rough cut the in and out points of the footage that you import. What this means is that even though you had the camera rolling for a minute before you called action you can trim it down to just the sound sync or right after action was called.
Prelude helps organize and manage all of your raw footage and bridges the gap between filming and post production.
You can purchase Adobe Prelude as well as the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud here.
People use SpeedGrade as an add on to Premiere for a more robust color correction and color grading application.
SpeedGrade has many presets if you do not want to mess around complex settings, however it still does give you the option to refine your look.
SpeedGrade will add the extra oomph to your videos, taking them from good to great.
You can purchase Adobe SpeedGrade as well as the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud here.
Adobe Story is a multi-platform (Web-based, Windows, and Mac) application that you can use to help all pre-production elements.
In Adobe Story you can create shooting scripts, import and export scripts, create edit and review scripts, character biographies, and synopses.
Adobe Story is also a very adept scheduling client to keep track of shooting days and shot lists.
You can purchase Adobe Story as well as the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud here.
Although I’m not much of an animator I can still appreciate how useful Adobe Animate is. It is a great vector based animating system that is surprisingly powerful for how simple it is.
Vector based applications are essential for any animating system since it means that even after you place your layer or brushstroke you can readjust it without loosing any quality.
If you are interested in buying only the Animate application it can be bought for 20$ a month.
Adobe Audition is a two in one audio recording and editing solution that replaces the need for Audacity.
Audition allows you to do all the heavy lifting of audio editing in a very simple program. It allows you to do multi-track editing so you can get as complicated or as simple as you want.
If you are interested in buying only the Audition application it can be bought for 20$ a month.
So now let’s talk pricing.
The Adobe Creative Cloud is available for fifty dollars a month, however they offer a discounted version of twenty dollars a month for the first year and thirty dollars a month thereafter for students and teachers.
Most apps are available for purchase for twenty dollars a month, and Photoshop and Lightroom are available for ten dollars a month.
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