Finding Jan Ozer’s Adobe Premiere Pro CC book on the shelf was a big sigh of relief for me! When scouting out books on Adobe products I’m not yet familiar with, I’ve come to learn that the ultimate first stop is a Visual Quickstart Guide—and Jan Ozer’s book was not just a perfect introduction, but also a complete learning package in one book. Although I had some background with Avid Express Pro editing, I’d highly recommend anyone new to Premiere (regardless of editing experience) to not hesitate in buying Jan Ozer’s book!
Jan’s book starts with a delightful introduction into the workspace, moves on to an outline of how to set up projects, and then crescendos to the editing process for making the video sequences all the way through to the exporting of the media for outlets such as YouTube, Vimeo, Brightcove, Ooyala, and Kaltwa (p. 434). As for other Adobe products that integrate seamlessly, Jan has light to intensive discussion on products such as Adobe Media Encoder, Adobe Audition (for audio), and Adobe After Effects (especially useful for compositing with Photoshop and Illustrator and for making unparalleled text effects).
Jan’s book provides beautifully labeled screenshots of the various Premiere interfaces that are relevant, such as the main interface, the toolbar, the timeline, the various panels, and the monitors with full and detailed descriptions of how to use each feature in your project.
Also very much appreciated, the book goes into detail on not just shortcuts for performing operations, such as overwrites, lifts, inserts, and extracts edits (p. 189), but takes you through various ways of performing the procedures without having to rely on shortcuts (which other books such as Adobe in a Classroom tend unfortunately not to do).
One of the most outstanding highlights of the book for me included the section on compositing with greenscreening, which outlined detail on both the alpha channel and garbage mattes for helping to remove unwanted detail from the image (compositing, in case you weren’t aware, is the layering of multiple disparate images together, usually with the uppermost image having some transparency to reveal the image(s) below as a background).
Another highlight was the discussion on the effects panel and effects control panel, complete with keyframes for animating the various effects, such as opacity (for doing things such as making text gradually appear on the screen or for making a logo scale from a small to large size).
Still another highlight was the audio section that shows you how to pan, mix, and equalize the audio; add effects such as chorus; and add keyframes for animating even the audio for even greater control.
Yet another delightful feature of the book was the section on text control, which allows you to add appealing visual effects to text such as drop shadows and inner strokes. Perhaps most importantly, the text chapter shows you how to implement rolling credits that you often see at the end of movies in addition to crawling text that you see going left to right at the bottom of the screen as breaking news items on news channels.
Jan even recommends settings for outlets such as youtube that you can directly influence in Premiere’s export options, such as setting the file format to H.264 (which has overcome MPEG as the latest standard), setting the recommended data rate to around 25 mbps, and even setting the frame resolution and frame rate (as in an example screen shot he provides) to 1920 X 1080 with a 29.97 frame rate (p. 417, p. 434).
Jan’s book is packed with so much breadth in what Premiere can do that I cannot begin to articulate even a partial scope in just one review. (Multi-camera editing , for instance, is also covered in the book in great depth.)
To add to the learning curve, I subscribed to Lynda.com and watched the video tutorials on Premiere CC in tandem while reading the book. No other learning tool could possibly exceed these two working together, and oftentimes I’d find myself having to read ahead in the book just to be able to follow along with the Lynda.com tutorials.
After reading Jan’s book, I plan on reading the Adobe Premiere Classroom in A Book (which is not as lucid and friendly as Jan’s book, I've discovered, but offers some different angles) followed by a read of Adobe After Effects Classroom in a book, then followed by Adobe advanced compositing (for greenscreening purposes) in After Effects.
Jan Ozer’s book is an absolute must for getting the gist of Premiere in the fewest steps possible. I urge anyone new to Premiere to start with Jan’s comprehensive book as it entails everything you need to edit with confidence and flare.