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Apple to drop Pro apps

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Guest Sao_Bento
I wouldn't know what to say, Sao. Just that I don't agree with Steve's view is shared by many people: "Stop doing anything but improve performance or fix bugs". There are a number of features I want very badly, and I would actually prefer those over just turning it into a racing engine.

 

You know, in the specific case of Photoshop they have kind of a team inside the team working on nothing but performance. So, hopefully, they don't have to stop developing interesting things to improve performance. It's not necessarily one or the other.

A member of that team has a blog at Adobe (one of those "all blogs" that are not listed by default). It's very interesting.

I imagine most teams are starting to have such groups. In the case of AE, the foundations in CS3 (in multiprocessing and media decode) show that performance definitely is on the radar. Not as much on the radar as Steve wants, because many of us wouldn't want that.

 

I believe performance it's just one aspect of time savings. The existence of shape layers, 3D text or smart objects save me way more time than a 10 per cent decrease in processing times. But that's just me...

All the "Stop adding junk and make it faster" stuff came from the "web era" when they switched up the default color spaces and started adding a lot of web-oriented stuff because it was trendy at the time. I think that's the real problem- most people don't really see the value in many of the new features. They are often perceived as redundant, dumbed down tools rather than tools that extend Photoshop's abilities. How many more selection tools that don't really work do we need? How many more tools that would be 10x as useful if they weren't implemented as plug-ins?

 

For the record, I do use "Refine Edge" from time to time.

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All the "Stop adding junk and make it faster" stuff came from the "web era" when they switched up the default color spaces and started adding a lot of web-oriented stuff because it was trendy at the time.

 

In the case of PS, it may be a valid point.

 

But you know? You visit a Premiere forum, someone says "stop adding bloat and make it faster". You visit a FCP forum, someone says "stop adding bloat and make it faster". And the list keeps going. It's interesting to note that the input libraries in FCP and Premiere Pro (shared by other products in their families) are actually state of the art pieces of software optimization. Decoding DVCPRO HD so that you get 10 streams of real time playback is not something that a small developer will have.

 

For me, it's part of "computer esoterism". I don't know there, but here people say that Doberman dogs loose the ability to smell and attack their owners. People say that as if it was a scientific fact. They also say that if you eat watermelon and drink wine you die, period.

In the same way, you have those guys who say you don't check emails or surf the web in a production machine, or even connect it to the internet, as if it was $100,000 proprietary station. I have to deal with that mentality at institutions I teach, which means that updating the OS or software is a nightmare.

 

They are often perceived as redundant, dumbed down tools rather than tools that extend Photoshop's abilities. How many more selection tools that don't really work do we need? How many more tools that would be 10x as useful if they weren't implemented as plug-ins?

 

For the record, I do use "Refine Edge" from time to time.

 

 

Wow. Don't you find the Quick Select tool amazing beyond words? For me, it pretty much sends most other selection tool to a condo in Miami :)

I think it should be called the "really, really magic wand".

It gets me 95 per cent there in no time, and then you just have to refine it.

 

Refine edges is nice, but doesn't have the magic feeling for me.

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Scott:

MediaCore, the high performance media handling layer in Adobe apps, is Intel-only (please note that some new media formats supported recently by Final Cut Studio are also Intel-only).

 

On PowerPC, things that were historically handled by Quicktime still are.

It's also for a range of media formats supported by MediaCore (2vuy uncompressed as Apple and BMD, all DV/50/100 flavors, all MPEG flavors, etc). Things like QT Animation or PSD sequences won't decode any faster.

 

In any case, you shouldn't have to benchmark anything. On an Intel Mac or Win, open a video file (DV25/50/100, uncompressed, HDV a few more) and just play the space bar. Most will play in RT or near RT, others will simply show a higher frame rate in the info panel. Audio preview is always RT, which wasn't the case before CS3.

 

Thanks for clearing that up; I figured as much regarding Intel/ Power PC.

 

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating abandoning new feature development, but I've seen new versions of software run slower and less reliably than the versions they replace enough times to know where performance lies on the priority scale many times. I remember a couple years ago reading a quote from someone on the Illustrator team saying that they were looking to get "Illustrator 8" level performance out of Illustrator CS2, which pretty much illustrates (heh) what I'm talking about.

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no offense Chris, all due respect, but thats ridiculous. if FCP is prosumer than why is the AVID market ever shrinking like their stock? I agree w/ you about motion, soundtrack clearly can't compete with pro tools in a pure audio enviorment thats clear. I got an 8 core macPro w/ a kona 3 running FCP and have had no issues what so ever, can even do a couple of things AVID can't do. IMO FCP handles XD P2, & progressive media much better than an AVID. I'm not going to stack my system up against a DS, but to say that a system that doesn't range in the 6 figures isn't professional is a bit off.

 

Avid is probably shrinking because they are pricks who price their equipment too high. FCP, like I mentioned in my post is Pro for a edit ONLY. Which I believe is what most people use it for. Outside of that it's titling, color corrector, etc is useless crap. And the fact that it can take in a bunch of prosumer media like P2, doesn't make it any more 'pro' to me.

 

I've used FCP since 1.0. And used it exclusively before buying a DS couple of years ago. But even back then to do a full pipeline from start to finish with the ol' "Client over your shoulder' situation, I had to cut in FCP, Autoduck to AE, and save out QT's to Shake for more involved composites and it was SLooooow and unruly. Do I think 160k for a DS is too much? Hell yes. Do I think it was worth paying that not having to deal with FCP's lack of true Pro workflow? Yes.

 

For example, I just had to take on a 4:4:4 job. I COULD have got a 4:4:4 capable card for FCP for fairly cheap. But instead I decided to get raped by Avid and add a 15k upgrade to the DS to make it 4:4:4. Because once you use it, you cannot stand to touch FCP for anything but quick things like cutting directors reels or casting tapes.

 

 

If I ONLY needed to cut things, meaning all I ever did was be an editor who turned in an EDL. I would put FCP on a laptop and consider it Pro and be done with it. Beyond that I feel it is still worth paying the overpriced scam artists (Avid) for their system.

 

But I also want to be clear that I'm talking about a DS which SoftImage designed and was bought by Avid. I've never used Media Composer or Symphony in my life.

 

In conclusion:

FCP to Edit only = Pro (but lacking in finesse)

FCP/Motion/Soundtrack as a full pipeline solution? Not even close to Pro.

 

Edit:

But really this is a semantics argument. One man's pro is another man's not-pro. It of course it is all completely relative to your expectations out of your equipment. For me I need to be able to make heavy compositing node trees on every clip in an edit, and to have all this in RT for many things. And be able to roto, track, paint, etc all in a moment's notice and be extremely fast about it. Then have archiving functions that group all media and settings for edit, composite, audio, etc all in one package.

 

No waiting, no moving files to other apps that aren't that great on their own (Motion) to do a roto or title, etc. But I could go on and on the differences that make it worth the cost and the "pro" title.

 

But at the end of the day I can take on many more jobs with utmost confidence with the Avid that I would never take on with FCP Studio bundle. And to me that's where I draw the line of what is pro and what isn't.

Edited by C.Smith

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Guest Sao_Bento
In the case of PS, it may be a valid point.

Wow. Don't you find the Quick Select tool amazing beyond words? For me, it pretty much sends most other selection tool to a condo in Miami :)

I think it should be called the "really, really magic wand".

I guess I'm more of a "channel chops" kind of guy. I either create alphas from channel ops or use a combination of channel ops and the path tool when there is not enough contrast to separate. Prior to "Refine Edge", I did the same things using channels, blurs, and levels. In that case, Refine Edge combined what was normally a 3 or 4 step linear process into a single step, which was truly an improvement.

 

On the "make it faster" stuff, I think it's just mindlessly repeated everywhere as an expression of frustration. Despite it not being very specific feedback, it should still be a message to the marketing dept. about the way people are perceiving their relationship with the software manufacturers. If they apps are faster, why does everyone think they are slower? What is really causing the frustration? It may not be an engineering problem, but it's a business problem.

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On the "make it faster" stuff, I think it's just mindlessly repeated everywhere as an expression of frustration. Despite it not being very specific feedback, it should still be a message to the marketing dept. about the way people are perceiving their relationship with the software manufacturers. If they apps are faster, why does everyone think they are slower? What is really causing the frustration? It may not be an engineering problem, but it's a business problem.

 

Here's my take on things:

 

Things like MediaCore and DynamicLink may be an engineering feat, but do average users really care what's going on under the hood? Even more so, if those supposedly powerful functions don't work half the time? Wanna use MediaCore? Oh wait! No sorry, wrong graphics card.... *yikes*. It's exactly that kind of stuff that makes users perceive apps as being buggy, slow and bloated. Technically they may be genius, but as soon as your new 500 bucks graphics card goes unnoticed and programs don't take advantage of it, people get frustrated. Nobody really understands why they are doing that and then when you go searching for help, all you find is nerdy and not very helpful knowledge base articles. In the end that's why people like Adolfo, Andrew, Aharon and I keep working our asses off on forums...

 

In addition, you always have to figure in the frame of reference for every specific user. When one person sees a feature in app A that he thinks could be useful in app B that he's currently using, a feeling of missing something keeps looming even though nothing is really wrong. The same could be applied in reverse: Some users never use other programs and thus do not see what could possibly be improved in their tools which ultimately only results in useless features being added and the program becoming uncompetitive in areas just like e.g. the kind of users that tell you C4D's Advanced Render could compete with Mental Ray when they never really have used MR even the tiniest bit.

 

It's this evil combination of some parts of a program not working (but the rest does) and users not understanding what it is supposed to do/ can do/ was designed for that results in all this screaming for "make it faster", "make it crash less" and so on. I don't really think it's too much of a business problem - after all, can you evade using Photoshop or After Effects and sending Adobe your money if you are a mographer? - but more of a reputation problem. If the relations were more personal, people would be willing to overlook some shortcomings. Instead nobody really knows who's responsible for what and considering the resources those big companies have, sometimes it is simply not understandable how they procrastinate and refuse to resolve longstanding issues. It's that old gag of "maybe in the next version" and then it never comes....

 

Mylenium

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There's lots of sensible things being said here. It seems we might be glossing over the fact that despite users' occasional unfounded complaints, a lot of this stuff is not an illusion. Adobe Illustrator did actually get progressively slower for a few versions; some basic functions in AE7 were pokier than they were in AE 6.5, etc. Everyone wants new features for sure, but nobody wants to trade lesser performance in the features they already have to get them.

 

This conversation reminds me of a news story I read a while back about Ford motor company (for me if you can't make an automotive analogy about something it's probably not worth talking about. ;)

 

Ford had just brought on Alan Mulally from Boeing as the new CEO to turn the company around. Ford had a legendary bureaucracy and it was hoped that an outsider to the auto industry could break them out of their insular way of thinking, which was killing the company. They had just released the new Ford Edge, and Consumer Reports had given it surprisingly low marks for such a promising new vehicle. Mulally took the unprecedented step of setting up a meeting between his design and engineering teams and the Consumer Reports ratings staff, so that they could see first hand what they could improve on the vehicle (they had a couple of Edges on hand for the meeting.) As the Consumer Reports staff showed the things they didn't like about the vehicle, they were met with heavy resistance from the Ford people. Members of the Ford Edge team were defending their choices right and left with statements like "our research shows our customers don't mind that" or "that type of change would make the vehicle too costly." etc. Mulally eventually stopped the meeting and told his people to each get out a pen and notepad. He then said "We're going spend the rest of this meeting listening."

 

Anyway, it gets back to Sao's point that if the customer perceives a problem with a product, it's a problem for the manufacturer no matter what, even if it's not an engineering issue.

 

Please realize that this point is not meant as a criticism of the people participating here that are inside the development circles of these applications; your input here is greatly appreciated of course.

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Please realize that this point is not meant as a criticism of the people participating here that are inside the development circles of these applications; your input here is greatly appreciated of course.

 

All good points, Scott.

While I am not one those people, there are some of them who visit this forum regularly.

They are extremely open to criticism, they even demand it. Don't worry about it. You wouldn't believe the things that "friendly users" say to them regularly :)

 

One of them once told me: you don't function long in commercial software if you have a thin skin. Imagine databases with thousands of records devoted to things you did wrong and you'll start to get the idea.

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Anyway, it gets back to Sao's point that if the customer perceives a problem with a product, it's a problem for the manufacturer no matter what, even if it's not an engineering issue.

 

I'm not sure if I agree to this. People have been known to use programs that seemed completely buggy and terrible to outsiders, but made complete sense to the one using them... As long as certain features in an application outweigh the shortcomings and users are halfway satisfied, it's not really a problem. The trick is really to make a majority of users happy, not just a few. and then it also becomes a matter of who actually voices his opinion. A few mographers are not the core audience for After Effects and no matter how much we may discuss problems here, the other 90% of users that never say a word and are ahppy campers may probably constitute a much bigger share in terms of driving Adobe's business. Thus it is no problem. I would think that you could make the same analogies for other tools as well.

 

Mylenium

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I'm not sure if I agree to this. People have been known to use programs that seemed completely buggy and terrible to outsiders, but made complete sense to the one using them... As long as certain features in an application outweigh the shortcomings and users are halfway satisfied, it's not really a problem. The trick is really to make a majority of users happy, not just a few. and then it also becomes a matter of who actually voices his opinion. A few mographers are not the core audience for After Effects and no matter how much we may discuss problems here, the other 90% of users that never say a word and are ahppy campers may probably constitute a much bigger share in terms of driving Adobe's business. Thus it is no problem. I would think that you could make the same analogies for other tools as well.

 

Mylenium

 

I see your point. I suppose it depends how you define "problem." In the case of After Effects it certainly doesn't represent a situation where users are going to migrate to another tool (whatever that would be) en masse, but it may represent an opportunity to improve the product, make more users happy/ happier, and potentially increase sales. I would imagine if 90% of users were truly happy campers then it would get progressively harder for Adobe to sell AE upgrades, but perhaps even content users still like to have the latest thing even if the tool the currently have is flawless in their eyes.

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In the end that's why people like Adolfo, Andrew, Aharon and I keep working our asses off on forums...

Mylenium

 

just wanted to say thanks too, your guys explanations are always very thorough and i've learned a lot of the mechanics of AE from reading your post..so cheers to you

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I would imagine if 90% of users were truly happy campers then it would get progressively harder for Adobe to sell AE upgrades, but perhaps even content users still like to have the latest thing even if the tool the currently have is flawless in their eyes.

 

I don't know... Defining features and then selling them to users are two different pairs of shoes. You can only be happy as long as you don't know about "the next big thing", but it's absolutely up to the marketing people to really plant that idea in your head and make you unhappy, in a manner of speaking. Just like you can be a completely ignorant editor working on 5 year old Avid MC systems without ever getting the feeling that you miss something, you could be a completely happy AE 5.5 user if all you ever do is wedding videography and basic titling jobs. You would only become nervous, if for some reason you suddenly need a feature that is not in your program or a bug drives you nuts. These are both external influences that are not driven or controled by the software itself nor the vendor/ maker of said software. However, once that line is crossed and the user takes a pro-active position in going on the hunt for something new, selling an upgrade becomes all the more easy...

 

Mylenium

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Guest Sao_Bento
I'm not sure if I agree to this. People have been known to use programs that seemed completely buggy and terrible to outsiders, but made complete sense to the one using them... As long as certain features in an application outweigh the shortcomings and users are halfway satisfied, it's not really a problem. The trick is really to make a majority of users happy, not just a few. and then it also becomes a matter of who actually voices his opinion. A few mographers are not the core audience for After Effects and no matter how much we may discuss problems here, the other 90% of users that never say a word and are ahppy campers may probably constitute a much bigger share in terms of driving Adobe's business. Thus it is no problem. I would think that you could make the same analogies for other tools as well.

 

Mylenium

;)

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Guest Sao_Bento
This dude's theories are worse than your average conspiracy wacko.

He's pretty much been 100% wrong, so that doesn't help. I do give the guy credit for being able to write such far-out things in a way that makes them seem almost credible though (or maybe that's just PBS rubbing off on him). One obvious mistake is to suggest that companies like Sony would buy the Pro Apps. I think they are as interested in owning and or developing software for mac os as they are in getting into the instant oatmeal biz.

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I think they are as interested in owning and or developing software for mac os as they are in getting into the instant oatmeal biz.

 

But think about how small and portable SONY could make Instant oatmeal.

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