Review: Adobe Premiere Rush at RMIT

Video at RMIT

With the push online, video is becoming an increasing part of teaching and learning.  While Canvas Studio and Collaborate Ultra are great online tools for creating simple video, there’s a real gap when it comes to RMIT staff combining and editing videos, files, images and media.  Previously, this was awkwardly filled by Apple’s iMovie and Window’s Photos for video.  Adobe Premiere Rush uniquely fills that gap right across Mac, Windows, iOS and Android devices.

The following video was created on an RMIT laptop using (a) Canvas Studio to record the video, (b) a screen-grab and PowerPoint graphic and (c) Premiere Rush to edit, exactly in the same way that you, as a RMIT staff member, can:

In a minute: what is Premiere Rush?

Premiere Rush is Adobe's equivalent of Mac's iMovie or Windows Photos for video.

Hello, I'm Tom Cotton and welcome to Premiere Rush In-a-minute.

It's a tool for quickly editing video and is quick to learn.  It does not require a huge level of technical expertise like it's big brother, Premiere Pro.

It nicely fills that gap after you have captured a Collaborate Ultra video or a screen recording. It's available on all devices supported by RMIT and able to do all the essential video editing tasks teaching staff need:

  • trim the start and end of video
  • cropping a video
  • adding images, video and audio
  • basic titles and call-outs
  • record voice-overs
  • reduce audio noise
  • on a tablet, it can record video too.

If you need to work with video, check it out!

 

Evaluating Using Premiere Rush

The evaluation focused on the most common tasks – they have been recorded as a demo:

Arranging video, images and audio on the video tracks was simultaneously the best and most frustrating feature.  It automatically closes gaps and snaps the alignment between tracks.  However sometimes you want to separate aligned items from each other but they remain locked together instead.  The solution was to move one item onto the main video track and then rearrange everything. Another timeline issue was if you play with the track speed, you may unintentionally ‘trim’ other video clips which can cause a nasty surprise.

Of the easiest functions, trimming video, transitions, adding title and graphics were most intuitive. Equally easy is the reducing noise in voice over sound tracks which will be a commonly used and welcome feature.

A really pleasant surprise was scaling video and cropping the edges of video to produce a picture-in-picture (PiP) video effect.  This supports building that important ‘presence’ in online courses.  Tip: don’t continuously flicking the PiP effect on and off.

The most difficult feature to discover was recording audio was not – it took a couple of steps to active the recording feature.

 

Video Editing for teaching and learning

From a teaching and learning perspective, video is a very flexible medium.  You can make the invisible visible, the complex simple, the static, dynamic.  Beyond content, you can make assessment feel more authentic with video from industry or lab as a stimulus for quiz questions.  Less is more when it comes to video editing for teaching and learning:

  1. Chunk the learning: Premiere Rush editing is very stable, and allows you to reduce the ‘chunk-size’ of your materials from that big 2 hour lecture down to 5-20 minutes chunks.  This allows the student more time to reflect on each topic, rewinding and replaying as they wrestle with topics – and makes revision so much easier.
  2. Don’t over edit: your authentic self is more important than creating TV broadcast quality video.  Don’t worry about splicing out that “um”; don’t edit that goof – instead laugh at it and keep it in.  The passion in your voice is a very important signal to student for what’s important in a topic. Keep the over the top effects, transitions and multi-angle video shots to those who want to work in Hollywood. Here we want to focus on learning.
  3. Learn the tool: video is a great way of being ‘present’ in an online course, so it’s worthwhile getting proficient editing video.  For example a weekly learning summary video might be really enhanced with a cut from a lecture to highlight a really key point.

Premiere Rush allows you to keep video editing relatively video simple, enhancing your video with a “less is more” approach – and saving you time.

 

Summary

Currently at version 1.5, updates are released approximately quarterly so it will only get better.  Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly:

The Good

    • It’s simple yet competent video editor so you focus on finishing rather than fiddling with video
    • A lot of small annoying video tasks are radically simplified:
      • the timeline editing is simple and intuitive like iMovie / unlike Premiere Pro
      • ‘saving’ edits is no more: it’s more like editing a Google Doc
      • video compression options are sensibly simplified.
    • Cloud based – you can edit the same video on any device
    • Very consistent interfaces across all mobile, mac and windows devices.

The Bad

    • The simplification of timeline editing has many but not all the assumptions right, unnecessarily wasting time
    • Limited audio controls e.g. no fade in and out, and you need to manually editing sound levels between different clips
    • Title customisation is limited in the app
    • Can’t reverse video clips.

The Ugly

    • Canvas Studio’s video (webm) requires conversion to MP4 first
    • Call-outs are hard to find and extremely limited – especially in comparison to Camtasia or Canvas Studio
    • RMIT license does not include Adobe Stock by default – this limits number of titles, call-outs and transitions.

 

Getting Started with Premiere Rush

 

Conclusion

  1. Video features are limited to the basics and that will save you time
  2. Neatly fills a gap in RMIT’s video solutions
  3. It’s timely: with the shift to online, use if video will increase for greater variety of purposes
  4. It’s worth learning & using – RMIT is supporting it and works on all recent computers and tablets.