5 Hidden Gems: Adobe Bridge and Prelude
The Adobe software package comes with several essential programs we use everyday: Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and Premiere. Then… there is the rest of the suite. Adobe Bridge? Prelude? Does anyone actually use these? For years, I got along quite nicely without ever opening Bridge, and Prelude upon first glance, seems like a waste of some poor Adobe employee’s time. Recently, however, I changed my tune. Though these pieces of software don’t get opened everyday, I have found some incredible features that I want to share. Here are 5 hidden gems in Adobe Bridge and Prelude.
1. BRIDGE – BATCH live trace
Last month, I was working on a black & white motion GFX piece with some live action footage over green screen. I blew up the footage and was getting some nasty pixelation. I decided to live trace all 50 frames of the sequence. After getting through 10 frames in 20 minutes with Illustrator, I realized this was a colossal waste of time. After a quick Google search, I found out you can automate this in Bridge. In 5 minutes, I had my result. Here’s a before and after GIF (click to animate).
2. Bridge – Batch Rename Image Sequences
This is pretty self explanatory. If you work with image sequences and aren’t that handy with scripting, this is a life-saver.
3. Bridge – Browsing Hard-To-Preview Filetypes
Finder (on mac) and Explorer (on PC) aren’t full fledged media browsers. Previewing vector files (.ai + .eps) or RAW images from cameras is painful and slow. Bridge on the other hand was made for files like this. If you need to preview large directories of these files, do it in Bridge.
4. Prelude – Copy Media With Confidence
Transferring important data on Finder or Explorer is another area where Adobe falls short. For non-essential files it works fine, but what it you have a day’s shoot on a media card that needs to get transferred then erased for use in tomorrows shoot? That’s an expensive mistake if the data isn’t copied accurately. Enter Prelude. Upon footage ingest, Prelude allows you to verify (see image) that every bit and byte of every video file made it from the media card to your hard drives.
5. Prelude – Batch Add Metadata
Metadata is important to some software and if your video files don’t have it, it’s a pain to add it to hundreds of them. Our color corrector requires reel names (or tape names) for it to ingest footage properly. With tapeless workflows, this data doesn’t always make it into the file during the logging process. We turn to Prelude to get this done in just a couple of clicks.
Adobe Bridge and Prelude will never be at the top of my dance card, but they have their places. Do you have other uses for this software? Share it in the comments!
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