RedShark review: Pond5's latest plugin lets users access its vast library from within the Adobe Premiere Pro interface, all of which makes it an extremely useful addition to the NLE.
One of the best features of Adobe Premiere Pro CC is its ability to integrate other services within it. For example, if you use Wipster or Frame.io for client reviews and approvals, you can use plugins for these services to make requested changes and comments directly viewable on the Premiere timeline. You can then render out and upload new versions of the video ready for review. All without leaving the NLE.
Such functionality is one of the major advantages of Premiere over the more closed approach of Final Cut Pro, for instance. And a new plugin from Pond5 is set to give the software even more functionality.
The new plugin allows stock footage, music, SFX, and even public domain footage from the site to be directly purchased and integrated into your logging bins and timeline without leaving Premiere. It is quite straightforward in its approach. Loading up the plugin effectively presents you with most of the features and functionality of the main Pond5 website.
Keywords can easily be searched to bring up relevant footage, and those searches can then be refined by all the detailed criteria that are available on the main Pond5 website. Hovering the mouse pointer over a clip brings up an automatic preview of the shot in question. A simple click on the clip downloads a low-resolution preview into Premiere, ready to be dragged into your timeline.
Being a low-resolution version of the file, this will likely show at the wrong size within your timeline sequence window, but since you will only be using them as placeholders to see if the clip works, this is fine. You could scale it if you really wanted to.
Once you are satisfied with the clip or clips that you are using, it is then a simple case of opening the plugin again and purchasing the full resolution clip. When this is done you will be able to choose the version you would like to download (eg ProRes, MP4 etc). When the clip is downloaded, you can then select to replace the low-resolution previews with the full resolution clips automatically. All very straightforward and streamlined to do.
Within the plugin, you can create collections. So, for example, if you are working on a documentary, you could create a collection for that documentary and then when you find clips you like or are testing out, you can add them to it for easy finding later on. Alternatively, the plugin also lists all clips that you have downloaded previews for so that you do not have to search again later on when you are ready to purchase.
Another nice touch is that, once you have purchased and downloaded a full resolution file, you can go to the downloads section of the plugin and simply click to download a different version, for example, a ProRes encoding instead of an MP4 you may have obtained earlier. This might be useful if you were editing somewhere and downloaded an MP4 on a slower connection but wanted to replace it with a less compressed version once back in a place with faster internet.
All in all, the Pond5 Premiere Pro plugin is a worthy addition to the NLE’s capabilities. The beauty of it lies in its simplicity, and it works very well and straightforward. I particularly liked the easy listing of historical, free, public domain footage. Which makes getting hold of clips ranging from famous politicians arriving at NATO, through to vintage onboard footage from a B52 bomber easy to get hold of. Highly useful for certain types of documentary.
The Pond5 plugin is free, easy to install and very useful to have available in the quiver.