Adobe Prelude CS6 (review)

Adobe Prelude CS6 isn’t a mainstream application. It’s used only by users who need to prepare video shots and takes before they get ingested into Premiere Pro. In short, Prelude is targeted at workgroups and broadcast environments where placing In/Out points and other markers can be done by someone else than the editor who does the final cut in Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro 7.

Prelude allows video editors or those who prepare video for editing in Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro 7 to create rough cuts. It’s a software that will appeal especially to those in the broadcast industry, and to people who create and process multiple movies for Internet usage on a daily basis.

Prelude CS6 has a simple workflow with three panels. There’s a viewer, a clip list and a timeline. The Prelude user can mark the clip on the timeline with In/Out points, chapter markers and even link (URL) markers for interaction with external media.

After adding the markers, you can create a Rough Cut in which you place the marked clips in order of appearance one after the other. The In/Out points are then already taken into consideration.

Rough Cuts can be exported directly to Adobe’s own NLE, Premiere Pro, but via XML also to Final Cut Pro 7.

I tried out the app with Premiere Pro and it worked like a charm. Markers are especially easy and simple to apply. They are easier to apply than in other programs probably because Prelude is really meant to do this one thing very well. Integration with Premiere Pro is of course a no-brainer. The FCP7 integration via XML was beyond my testing ability as I no longer have a system running this version of Final Cut.

Prelude is great to have. It’s part of the Master Creative Suite collection so even if you’re going it all alone, I can see use for this program. For example, if you want to prepare your video for final cut, but you don’t have all shots yet. Instead of doing this in the “heavier” environment of Premiere Pro or any version of Final Cut Pro, Prelude CS6 offers you a lightweight and simple interface to do just that.