MP 7,1 The frustration of using After Effects on the new Mac Pro.

H. Flower

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Jul 23, 2008
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Using Premiere and After Effects on the new Mac Pro has been a real wake up call for me, as neither one has seen any real major advantages over my 2017 MacBook Pro, which is sort of insane.

Premiere has been a problem ever since Al Mooney left a few years ago. Between 2011 and 2016, right after the collapse of FCP, Al whipped Premiere into an extremely viable alternative. Updates were bold and aggressive, with each new release seeing powerful features that we NEEDED, in order to capture the market that FCP had sway over. But since he left, Premiere has mostly stagnated, especially in performance.

Now what other company right now is boldly progressing its NLE each year? What other company is hungry for growth? Black Magic. I and every other editor I know is eyeing Resolve. Resolve takes the best of both worlds: the slick interface of FCPX, combined with the open architecture of Premiere/FCP7. Moreover, Da Vinci Resolve isn't some new kid on the block; it has been used to grade video for decades, and thus has a very solid, stable foundation for efficiency. Add to that the absolute best color grader in the world, and the switch is a no-brainer.

Yes, FCPX is insanely stable and reliable on a Mac, but for me, it still doesn't cut it. For instance, I recently imported an MTS file that looked great in Premiere and Resolve into FCPX, and it looked terrible: washed out and desaturated. I played around with the CC and the controls were pretty bad. Why would I use this rather than Resolve, which is going to get it right the first time, and if it doesn't, will give me much finer control in doing so? I also still dislike the closed architecture and to this day I hear nightmares about how badly it collaborates, particularly in audio.

I feel like this NAB is going to be HUGE for the direction of many editors. If Resolve 17 is a knockout, and Premiere is business-as-usual, expect much migration.

As for Photoshop and Illustrator, I feel like there's viable alternatives on the market, but the question is can they be used while working with other companies?

As for After Effects, we're screwed. There's really no other good options. Render Garden helps, but the situation is ridiculous.

Thus, I feel Adobe is safe is some regards, in danger in others. The major problem with their subscription model is it forces them to release two major updates a year, and often these updates are worthless, buggy and laggy. I would MUCH rather have less frequency with more meaningful and stable updates, as I'm sure most people would. But does the corporate business model allow for it? Can they even do a much needed re haul of these programs under it?
 
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blackadde

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Dec 11, 2019
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I mostly use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Some light AE for animation jobs.

I’m less viscerally upset than many of the people on this board seem to be regarding Adobe, but I second your sentiment entirely. I wish they would adopt a tick-tock model of features and then performance/stability updates instead of gunning full throttle for user acquisition through headline-generating features.

Illustrator is one of the oldest products in their catalogue and it’s still missing basic functions like snapping to tangents or color adjustment via curves - I have to get yet another subscription to a third party plugin supplier for that. Barf.
 
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OkiRun

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I just had to pay those 600$ and it was really really painful, given the state of their apps, but there's just not an alternative if you work in today's advertisement industry in collab with other people..
The scene - a girl kicks a guy in the face. Use a Rampart Blood Spirt Effect - 20 seconds and done - or film from the back side of the guy, fill his mouth with corn syrup and dye, he gets kicked, turns his head, and spews it out. Yup. Looked great. Tell the crew to mop it up. Scene - commercial - wedding cut. Wanted snow. Huh?? It's on an island. Use After Effects? No. Use Pixel Film Studios ProSnow. 60 seconds and done. The workarounds in FCPX can be sketchy but oooooh so much fun :cool:
 

Zdigital2015

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I knew what I was getting in to and how poorly Adobe's software is optimized.
Still, just wanted to share this chart of my CPU/GPU usage during a regular workday with After Effects doing some light-medium hefty motion graphics. This is on a 16core with 192gb ram and a Vega II. You can see when I started rendering and how poorly the CPU is being taxed even then.
Interestingly, at least the VRAM is being utilized. Also my general ram shows 130 gb occupied, and the software does feel snappier overall than on my old trashcan. But still, this is just a shame on Adobe's end, once again.
This screenshot was taken during a 10 minute export to prores process.

View attachment 890485

Oh and to round it off, here, a few minutes later when everything is put together in Premiere and rendered out to h264. Why exactly did I get a 16 core again?View attachment 890486
Based on Puget Systems benchmarks of Adobe’s various apps, anything more than an 8-core CPU is a waste, especially for After Effects - https://www.pugetsystems.com/pic_disp.php?id=58435
1580002235979.png
 
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chfilm

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Based on Puget Systems benchmarks of Adobe’s various apps, anything more than an 8-core CPU is a waste, especially for After Effects - https://www.pugetsystems.com/pic_disp.php?id=58435View attachment 890596
Not with rendergarden though 🤓
- - Post merged: - -

Using Premiere and After Effects on the new Mac Pro has been a real wake up call for me, as neither one has seen any real major advantages over my 2017 MacBook Pro, which is sort of insane.

Premiere has been a problem ever since Al Mooney left a few years ago. Between 2011 and 2016, right after the collapse of FCP, Al whipped Premiere into an extremely viable alternative. Updates were bold and aggressive, with each new release seeing powerful features that we NEEDED, in order to capture the market that FCP had sway over. But since he left, Premiere has mostly stagnated, especially in performance.

Now what other company right now is boldly progressing its NLE each year? What other company is hungry for growth? Black Magic. I and every other editor I know is eyeing Resolve. Resolve takes the best of both worlds: the slick interface of FCPX, combined with the open architecture of Premiere/FCP7. Moreover, Da Vinci Resolve isn't some new kid on the block; it has been used to grade video for decades, and thus has a very solid, stable foundation for efficiency. Add to that the absolute best color grader in the world, and the switch is a no-brainer.

Yes, FCPX is insanely stable and reliable on a Mac, but for me, it still doesn't cut it. For instance, I recently imported an MTS file that looked great in Premiere and Resolve into FCPX, and it looked terrible: washed out and desaturated. I played around with the CC and the controls were pretty bad. Why would I use this rather than Resolve, which is going to get it right the first time, and if it doesn't, will give me much finer control in doing so? I also still dislike the closed architecture and to this day I hear nightmares about how badly it collaborates, particularly in audio.

I feel like this NAB is going to be HUGE for the direction of many editors. If Resolve 17 is a knockout, and Premiere is business-as-usual, expect much migration.

As for Photoshop and Illustrator, I feel like there's viable alternatives on the market, but the question is can they be used while working with other companies?

As for After Effects, we're screwed. There's really no other good options. Render Garden helps, but the situation is ridiculous.

Thus, I feel Adobe is safe is some regards, in danger in others. The major problem with their subscription model is it forces them to release two major updates a year, and often these updates are worthless, buggy and laggy. I would MUCH rather have less frequency with more meaningful and stable updates, as I'm sure most people would. But does the corporate business model allow for it? Can they even do a much needed re haul of these programs under it?
Man I really hope you are right and that the industry starts moving towards resolve. I agree with you that a lot of folks are talking about it and are getting excited and whisper about preparing for it and so on. But then the reality is still Adobe, Adobe, Adobe.
And oftentimes it even makes sense, simply because of the hilarious after effects Integration. I just wish there was any way we could pressure adobe a bit more into caring about the performance.
 

jasonmvp

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Jun 15, 2015
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I just wish there was any way we could pressure adobe a bit more into caring about the performance.
Realistically, the only way Abode will listen is if there's a mass loss in subscription income. IOW: people drop CC en masse. But good luck trying to get that to happen.
 

Adult80HD

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Nov 19, 2019
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Based on Puget Systems benchmarks of Adobe’s various apps, anything more than an 8-core CPU is a waste, especially for After Effects - https://www.pugetsystems.com/pic_disp.php?id=58435View attachment 890596
This is one of the reasons I stuck with a 16-core MP 7,1. I use Lightroom and Photoshop and both barely use more than 6 cores, except for a few tasks. That said, if you're doing other work or using plugins then more cores are always useful. One of my Lightroom plugins will happily peg out all 16 cores. Still, a pathetic showing by Adobe.
 
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Zdigital2015

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Not with rendergarden though 🤓
I read briefly about it. I guess it would more useful to get a lower core count Mac Pro and farm things out Mac mini’s in a farm, perhaps?

Or would it be possible to create a VM instance, give that instance whatever you have left after 8 cores go to the Mac Pro, and job out to the VM as a render node with Rendergarden?
 

bsbeamer

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Sep 19, 2012
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Know many offices who render farm with Mini’s and older machines locally. Also know many who have their creatives work on Macs and basically send the projects off to PC-based workstations for huge renders. High core count MP7,1 barely makes sense for many of those use scenarios unless you’re planning on running instances in parallel.

There is and has been talk about cloud-based render offerings directly through Adobe, but would not make sense with large source files for many workflows.
 

Zdigital2015

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Know many offices who render farm with Mini’s and older machines locally. Also know many who have their creatives work on Macs and basically send the projects off to PC-based workstations for huge renders. High core count MP7,1 barely makes sense for many of those use scenarios unless you’re planning on running instances in parallel.

There is and has been talk about cloud-based render offerings directly through Adobe, but would not make sense with large source files for many workflows.
And the revelation of Rendergarden was news to me, I learn something new every day...and based on what I’m reading on their website, I would guess that Rendergarden is a worthwhile buy for heavy users of After Effects.

Personally, my preference is to work on a Mac and send out to render nodes locally, but I could care less if they are Macs or Windows. The Core i7 Mac mini with 10GbE should work well enough, and the form factor is icing on the cake, but I wouldn’t have an issue with using an Intel NUC or something similar or even a miniITX box should it be sufficiently powerful to be useful.

Should I ever really need a Mac Pro in the future, I would not purchase the 8-core (I have a 9900K iMac already), but I would either go 12- or 16-core (most likely) CPU and leave the 24- and 28-core to those who can truly make use of it, on premises or on set makes more sense, and on the wheels, for sure.

Regardless, Adobe needs to get their sh*t together...this isn’t 1999 any more.
- - Post merged: - -

Man I really hope you are right and that the industry starts moving towards resolve. I agree with you that a lot of folks are talking about it and are getting excited and whisper about preparing for it and so on. But then the reality is still Adobe, Adobe, Adobe.
And oftentimes it even makes sense, simply because of the hilarious after effects Integration. I just wish there was any way we could pressure adobe a bit more into caring about the performance.
Adobe Premiere is entrenched in small/medium size business where smaller productions can be farmed out or by hiring contractors to come in to the office and those businesses want creatives who “Live in the Adobe Cloud” because that is the lowest common denominator that the business understands. Finding a freelancer using DaVinci Resolve and then finding another creative with DaVinci Resolve skills is not enough of a sure bet yet and companies who have no one who can figure out video stuff internally are too nervous to go beyond the base skill set. Adobe CC is like MS Office now...yaaaayyy😑
 
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daveedjackson

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Aug 6, 2009
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What I’m hoping is that there will be support coming. Hopefully adobe will act. They have pledged to be doing something. As they were “excited by the Mac Pro” in the press release.
 

chfilm

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Adobe Premiere is entrenched in small/medium size business where smaller productions can be farmed out or by hiring contractors to come in to the office and those businesses want creatives who “Live in the Adobe Cloud” because that is the lowest common denominator that the business understands. Finding a freelancer using DaVinci Resolve and then finding another creative with DaVinci Resolve skills is not enough of a sure bet yet and companies who have no one who can figure out video stuff internally are too nervous to go beyond the base skill set. Adobe CC is like MS Office now...yaaaayyy😑
THIS!!
You summed it up perfectly. The real shame is that those. “Small and medium sized companies” now totally seem to dominate the Market except for high end TVCs maybe. Though even here, I recently witnessed the online process of a huge campaign for a major cellular network provider, shot on 35mm film and then they edited on old Mac mini’s and did the online process with beauty retouching on after effects On old trashcan Mac pros.

The only professional step in that post chain was the grading which was done by a real post house in resolve.
I was banging my head against the wall when I saw the ad agency folks discussing colors on uncalibrated 300€ dell displays and commenting on the sound design on 15 € speakers attached to the trashcan...

This is the reality now. And it‘s like you said, they won‘t dare to step up the game because Adobe CC is like Office now, everyone uses it and therefore handover off project files is super easy.


Personally though, I spend the whole weekend migrating my keyboard settings from Premiere to Resolve and to practice a bit more to edit, and it works so well, I‘m im love. I really think I could personally ditch Premiere and move on to resolve, but then I‘d run into those clients again. Argh!
 
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chfilm

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Do not hold your breath...history does not bode well. Adobe stopped innovating or doing much of anything exciting after they bought Macromedia.
I think we can expect support for the Afterburner eventually, and overall more and more integration of metal to speed certain tasks up, but they will never fix the sloppy UI and slow render times or poor utilization of cores with the current architecture.
I‘m really wondering how their long term roadmap looks like, because it feels like they totally maneuvered themselves into a dead end with all their software, which can only be broken by complete rewrites As they did with Lightroom CC. That‘s the only piece of demanding software from them that runs acceptable on my new Mac Pro. But it lacks so many features that I really dont wanna give up My LR classic for it.

I‘m afraid that one day They‘ll be like „ok guys, here‘s Premiere RUSH, the new standard for video editing, and the old premiere „classic“ will slowly be discontinued. Though that would probably be a good thing cause then people might flock to Resolve in masses.
 
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Zdigital2015

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THIS!!
You summed it up perfectly. The real shame is that those. “Small and medium sized companies” now totally seem to dominate the Market except for high end TVCs maybe. Though even here, I recently witnessed the online process of a huge campaign for a major cellular network provider, shot on 35mm film and then they edited on old Mac mini’s and did the online process with beauty retouching on after effects On old trashcan Mac pros.

The only professional step in that post chain was the grading which was done by a real post house in resolve.
I was banging my head against the wall when I saw the ad agency folks discussing colors on uncalibrated 300€ dell displays and commenting on the sound design on 15 € speakers attached to the trashcan...

This is the reality now. And it‘s like you said, they won‘t dare to step up the game because Adobe CC is like Office now, everyone uses it and therefore handover off project files is super easy.


Personally though, I spend the whole weekend migrating my keyboard settings from Premiere to Resolve and to practice a bit more to edit, and it works so well, I‘m im love. I really think I could personally ditch Premiere and move on to resolve, but then I‘d run into those clients again. Argh!
What you have going for you is that you have Premiere experience already, which gives you a bit more flexibility. Of course, bouncing back and forth may become tiring and/or frustrating if Resolve can accomplish the same task quicker and better, or the end result ends up being better. Then the madness begins!🤪
 
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deconstruct60

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I think we can expect support for the Afterburner eventually, and overall more and more integration of metal to speed certain tasks up, but they will never fix the sloppy UI and slow render times or poor utilization of cores with the current architecture.
Afterburner for H.264 encodings? Don't hold your breath. Apple is highly unlikely to put much effort at all into a now 'old' , superseded encoding.
Adobe using more native ProRes file handling, but that really isn't an Afterburner change. Afterburner would come as a side-effect but Adobe is going to map out a cross platform solution which means that "eventually" may be much longer than you think (depending upon how good/bad their ProRes handling abstraction is. ) .
Adopting Metal. There may not be much of a choice there in another 2-4 macOS iterations ( and 1-3 iOS iterations).



I‘m afraid that one day They‘ll be like „ok guys, here‘s Premiere RUSH, the new standard for video editing, and the old premiere „classic“ will slowly be discontinued. Though that would probably be a good thing cause then people might flock to Resolve in masses.
After rounding up all of the highly conservative "internals" (max plug in compatibility) and adverse UI changes folks from Final Cut Pro that is a pretty unlikely move.

If you are trying to compare Lightroom Classic to current Lightroom then the latter is a more downscale version. The above "Premiere RUSH" sounds more like a wish for a new more upscale standard for video editing. Adobe hasn't made many "upscale" ( smaller market ) moves with their "Classic"/"New' development forks.
 

chfilm

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Afterburner for H.264 encodings? Don't hold your breath. Apple is highly unlikely to put much effort at all into a now 'old' , superseded encoding.
Adobe using more native ProRes file handling, but that really isn't an Afterburner change. Afterburner would come as a side-effect but Adobe is going to map out a cross platform solution which means that "eventually" may be much longer than you think (depending upon how good/bad their ProRes handling abstraction is. ) .
Adopting Metal. There may not be much of a choice there in another 2-4 macOS iterations ( and 1-3 iOS iterations).





After rounding up all of the highly conservative "internals" (max plug in compatibility) and adverse UI changes folks from Final Cut Pro that is a pretty unlikely move.

If you are trying to compare Lightroom Classic to current Lightroom then the latter is a more downscale version. The above "Premiere RUSH" sounds more like a wish for a new more upscale standard for video editing. Adobe hasn't made many "upscale" ( smaller market ) moves with their "Classic"/"New' development forks.
I wasn't implying AB for h264 encoding, just general support for prores playback.
 

vinegarshots

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Some of the replies seem to suggest that this is partially a Mac vs PC optimization problem on Adobe's end, but it's not. Premiere and AE both have Metal support, and it runs with the same performance (poor) as with Nvidia CUDA on a PC in my tests. There is no amount of optimizing for Metal that's going to drastically improve performance, as the problem lies in their ancient codebase that needs to be rewritten for modern technologies. Right now it's just lipstick on a pig...
 

stringerhye

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Some of the replies seem to suggest that this is partially a Mac vs PC optimization problem on Adobe's end, but it's not. Premiere and AE both have Metal support, and it runs with the same performance (poor) as with Nvidia CUDA on a PC in my tests. There is no amount of optimizing for Metal that's going to drastically improve performance, as the problem lies in their ancient codebase that needs to be rewritten for modern technologies. Right now it's just lipstick on a pig...
Yep. This is why when FCP X was rewritten from the ground up that it felt like such a disaster at first, but now it's in such a better position performance wise.
 
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chfilm

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Yep. This is why when FCP X was rewritten from the ground up that it felt like such a disaster at first, but now it's in such a better position performance wise.
I guess this poses quite the dilemma for the folks at Adobe- they can't risk stepping into the same trap as FCPX did, but also they can't continue painting their pig with lipstick forever.

Best case scenario would be they would rewrite Premiere from the ground up without changing the functionality or layout at all, just maybe make it look a bit more modern but not as simplified as FCPX was.
 

jasonmvp

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As a somewhat related aside, I just cut the same 12 minute video on all three platforms: Premiere Pro, Resolve Studio, and FCPX. I did it just to see what the differences were in usability and what kind of speed differences there are. For reference, all of my source material is 4K/59.94 h.264, at 75Mbit/sec.

Right now, Premiere Pro is struggling with long-GOP files. The bigger the files, the longer it takes Premiere to import them. There's an open bug internally w/Adobe, that has my name all over it. They've reproduced it internally, know about it, and lots and lots of other people are bitching about it. It was introduced during an early 2019 update, and Premiere has just been challenging to deal with ever since. That said, once imported, Premiere's UI is still pretty clunky but familiar. I just know how to do everything I want to do in Premiere because I've been using it for so long. It's set up the way an NLE "should be", IMHO. But it's clunky and slow.

FCPX is a chore for me to use because I don't quite grok the UI as much as I do Premiere's. It seems to handle the long-GOP files just fine but most of the time I was struggling with the UI. I really don't like their ideas of "usability", but that again is just my opinion. I'm sure if I sat down and force-fed myself some user guides or tutorials or whatnot, things would go a lot more smoothly.

Resolve? It's a joy to use. It happily hands as much as it possibly can to the GPU for importing/decode, and exporting/encoding. The UI is a lot closer to a traditional NLE, so it's a snap to start editing with it. Keyboard shortcuts are slightly different, so some more learning is needed. But ultimately, I had far fewer challenges with Resolve than I did the other two. And it exported the resulting video a bit faster, too.

We. Has. Cookies.
 

chfilm

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As a somewhat related aside, I just cut the same 12 minute video on all three platforms: Premiere Pro, Resolve Studio, and FCPX. I did it just to see what the differences were in usability and what kind of speed differences there are. For reference, all of my source material is 4K/59.94 h.264, at 75Mbit/sec.

Right now, Premiere Pro is struggling with long-GOP files. The bigger the files, the longer it takes Premiere to import them. There's an open bug internally w/Adobe, that has my name all over it. They've reproduced it internally, know about it, and lots and lots of other people are bitching about it. It was introduced during an early 2019 update, and Premiere has just been challenging to deal with ever since. That said, once imported, Premiere's UI is still pretty clunky but familiar. I just know how to do everything I want to do in Premiere because I've been using it for so long. It's set up the way an NLE "should be", IMHO. But it's clunky and slow.

FCPX is a chore for me to use because I don't quite grok the UI as much as I do Premiere's. It seems to handle the long-GOP files just fine but most of the time I was struggling with the UI. I really don't like their ideas of "usability", but that again is just my opinion. I'm sure if I sat down and force-fed myself some user guides or tutorials or whatnot, things would go a lot more smoothly.

Resolve? It's a joy to use. It happily hands as much as it possibly can to the GPU for importing/decode, and exporting/encoding. The UI is a lot closer to a traditional NLE, so it's a snap to start editing with it. Keyboard shortcuts are slightly different, so some more learning is needed. But ultimately, I had far fewer challenges with Resolve than I did the other two. And it exported the resulting video a bit faster, too.

We. Has. Cookies.
Resolve is the clear winner, I spent the whole weekend with Resolve, setting up the keyboard shortcuts to work similarly as I have them set in Premiere, and while at first I thought it wasn't possible, it absolutely is! It's just amazing now! I'm gonna actively ask clients for permission to edit longer projects on resolve now, wish me luck ;)
 
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jasonmvp

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Jun 15, 2015
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Resolve is the clear winner, I spent the whole weekend with Resolve, setting up the keyboard shortcuts to work similarly as I have them set in Premiere, and while at first I thought it wasn't possible, it absolutely is! It's just amazing now!
CMD-scroll for zooming, and CMD-middle for scrolling around on the time line definitely speeds things up a bit.

I'm gonna actively ask clients for permission to edit longer projects on resolve now, wish me luck
G'luck, and may the farce be with you.
 

vel0city

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Dec 23, 2017
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I resent every single penny of my CC sub each year. Performance decreases, new bugs get introduced, old bugs remain unfixed, and the new features are usually just marketing hype or half-baked junk like the new AI driven selection tools which usually give worse results than using the old magic wand. The entire suite feels dated, clunky and in desperate need of tuning.