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Using a Tapeless Workflow in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4

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Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 simplifies the process of working with video from a tapeless camera. The Adobe Creative Team discusses how the Adobe Premiere Pro workflow varies for the P2, XDCAM, and AVCHD tapeless formats.
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A tapeless workflow (also known as a file-based workflow) is simply the process of importing video from a tapeless camera, editing it, and exporting it. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 makes this process especially easy because, unlike many competing nonlinear editing systems, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 doesn't require the media from these tapeless formats to be converted. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 can edit P2, XDCAM, and AVCHD footage natively with no conversions.

Though P2, XDCAM, and AVCHD are all tapeless formats, they do have their differences. Let's review the basics of each format.

Panasonic P2

P2 is the video format recorded onto a P2 card by Panasonic P2 cameras. A P2 card is a PCMCIA flash memory card that's inserted in the camera for recording or into a PCMCIA slot in a workstation. Although Adobe Premiere Pro can read and edit directly from the P2 card, it's recommended that you copy the contents of the card to your local hard drive for best performance.

P2 cameras also have USB ports that allow the video to be transferred to an editing workstation via USB.

Notice that whether you move the files via the P2 card or transfer them via USB, the video doesn't need to be captured serially. It's transferred to the editing workstation at the speed allowed by the transfer I/O.

Several variants of the P2 format specify different frame sizes and frame rates. Adobe Premiere Pro supports all the standard P2 variants.

A typical workflow for P2 media is as follows:

  1. Shoot onto the P2 card in the camera.
  2. Move the P2 card to your workstation, and copy the files to your local hard drive.
  3. Edit the files natively in Adobe Premiere Pro.
  4. Export the project to Blu-ray disc, to DVD, to the Web, or even back to the P2 native format.
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