Live From #NAB2014 – Adobe Updates The Creative Cloud With New Features And Tighter Integration. Also, We Talk To Adobe After Effects Guru Steve Forde!
There was quite the brouhaha inside the indie filmmaking community when Adobe announced the Creative Cloud back in 2011. “So I pay $50 a month and I don’t even own the suite? So if I stop paying for the monthly subscription, Adobe keeps my files? Is this editing in the cloud?” These were some of the early misconceptions about the Creative Cloud. If you weren’t aware of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, it works like this. CC works on a software as a service model, a monthly/annual subscription service based on the cloud. Membership plans are $49.99 for new members, $74.99/month for existing members, $19.99 for a single full desktop app, $9.99/month for Photoshop CC. You can also purchase a pre-paid year for $599.
In reality, CC works very similarly to buying the box version of Production Premium. You can pick and choose which Adobe applications (including ones you’ll probably never use) and then download them to your computer. Your files will always be yours and you will receive updates to your CC apps far more frequently than waiting once a year for box updates.
CC has been a huge success for Adobe with more than 1.8 million Creative Cloud Members. Its success has changed the industry’s business model with companies like Autodesk, Avid, and even Red Giant following suit in offering subscription-based access to their software.
According to a report by Frost & Sullivan, Premiere Pro CC is the number one market leader since 2012 and it’s the fifth year of double-digit growth. Adobe has added over 200 partners to its ecosystem and have received over 80 broadcast awards. The big news at NAB2014 was that David Fincher’s Gone Girl, coming to theaters this year, is being finished entirely within CC. Although Fincher, his editor, Angus Wall, and assistant editor, Tyler Nelson, have been using After Effects for years, Gone Girl is the first movie the team will be cutting on Premiere Pro CC. (They’ve worked previously on Final Cut Pro 7.)
For the past few years, Adobe has been creating a tighter integration with all of its apps so editors can work more efficiently between programs. Since box releases no longer apply, it’s more about announcing big features and updates to the Creative Cloud and at NAB2014, Adobe did not disappoint.
So have a look-see at the updates to CC.
Premiere Pro CC
— Live Text templates let you import After Effects compositions into Premiere Pro with editable text, allowing you to include high production value motion graphics into your sequences without having to go back and forth to After Effects whenever you need to change your text content.
— New Masking and Tracking tools to add feathered masks that follow people or objects through a shot (e.g., blurring out faces, license plates, or logos). Both Masking and Tracking shots and Live Text templates can be sent back to After Effects via Dynamic Link for more detailed refinements, giving you a more integrated workflow and easier collaboration between editors and vfx artists.
— A new Master Clip effect feature that lets you apply any effect to a Master Clip, which will then ripple down to every part of that clip in a sequence. Rather than adding to each clip individually, you can work faster and try things out more easily.
— A faster editing workflow with improved handling of large projects and accelerated sorting and searching in the Project panel, as well as enhanced graphics performance, with support for a wider range of GPUs, including GPU debayering for RED media.
— Improved Direct Link offers a more flexible and robust roundtrip color grading workflow with SpeedGrade CC. Output to virtually any format, now including DCP and AS-11 content packages via Adobe Media Encoder CC. New high-fidelity interchange provides greater accuracy and a smoother experience when importing or exporting Avid or Final Cut Pro projects. Expanded native format support now also includes ARRI Amira, Sony STtP, and compressed lossless Cinema DNG from the Blackmagic Pocket Camera.
— Typekit support makes the Adobe type library available within Premiere Pro, giving you more to work with when creating titling.
After Effects CC
— New keying effects that give you better results from compressed or poor blue or green screen work. Tweak elements with detail-preserving precision and remove color spill cleanly with advanced spill suppressor controls.
— New Kuler integration lets you capture colors anywhere with your iPhone or browser, and then save them as color swatch themes in After Effects for use in your compositions. Typekit integration gives you access within After Effects to over 700 fonts in the Adobe Typekit library. Add a second reference monitor for fullscreen previews of your compositions as you work, thanks to new Mercury Transmit support. Manage and import content more easily with the improved Media Browser. Navigate your media locally or across the network via Adobe Anywhere, including complex media types, such as P2 and XDCAM material.
— With new support for Panel Integration, partners can now develop panels that can opened inside After Effects making it easy to access and install plug-ins, extensions, training media, or other content.
— Use new Live Text templates to create compositions with text that can be modified directly within Adobe Premiere Pro. With Dynamic Link, you can make any additional adjustments back in After Effects.
— With flexible masking options and Premiere Pro interchange, you can now add masks and effects without requiring additional adjustment layers or track matte layers. Each effect can be blended individually into the original layer. Import masks from Premiere Pro via Dynamic Link to refine tracking or apply other adjustments with the full power of After Effects.
— Improved Direct Link to SpeedGrade, including the ability to toggle the Lumetri effect on and off and hide or show tracks for an easier overview of complex timelines. Use the new Master Clip effect to apply Looks to multiple clips and work faster with refined grading tools, like easy primary sliders and a simplified Effects menu.
— SpeedGrade is more intuitive. Enhanced broadcast standard scopes use fixed scales to present image information in a more familiar way and the new YUV Vectorscope includes color targets so you can visualize the color distribution easier. For easier playback, SpeedGrade now shares the same keyboard transport controls as Premiere Pro.
— New SpeedLooks, giving you more options for creative look design. Use them alongside the SpeedLooks camera patches for added precision with a broad range of today’s digital cinema cameras.
— Work more easily with Dolby 5.1 audio content and deliver projects for broadcast, thanks to Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus support. With new custom channelization, you can create audio for any setting, including 7.1 content for broadcast, or custom surround sound for dedicated installations with. Users can now define how many channels to give a project and add labels for each.
— Enhanced multitrack features mean you can move more quickly through projects with improved visibility of clip content and selected tracks, lock tracks at minimum heights to reduce distractions, smartly manage the timeline work area, and use new track color features to easily group and organize your content.
— Speed up shot logging by using the new Tag panel to create customized tags you can add with a single click as you review your footage. Enrich your media with metadata without typing—or typos. Save Tag templates for sharing between machines and users or or re-use on new projects.
— A streamlined rough-cut workflow lets you generate assembly edits with drag and drop ease, and new trimming with mouse and keyboard shortcuts automatically apply ripple trims directly in the Prelude timeline for basic editing.
— Ingest panel enhancements give you more control when copying your media. Set custom values for auto increment renaming on ingest, and preview the transcoding duration and resulting file size of any shots you select for transfering and copying. New sorting options make it easier to stay on top of large projects.
— Fine-tune scripts with new custom formatting options such as modifying headers and footers to include date, location name, and program number.
— With support for Live Entertainment workflows, you can customize scripts for programs with music-driven scripting and camera movements. Generate camera cards with music notation cues.
— Capture AS-11 compliant metadata and export to XML that is recognized by the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) application so you can prepare for broadcast-ready content for distribution in the UK.
Media Encoder CC
— Render out your projects more quickly and efficiently with the GPU-accelerated Mercury Playback Engine and integration with Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop. Apply watermarks, time codes or LUTs with automatic image processing. Along with a wide range of encoding options, you can now also generate industry-standard DCP or AS-11 content packages. Work confidently with fault-tolerant rendering which tracks issues and heals red frame and black frame issues without holding up your render queue.
We interviewed Adobe After Effects guru Steve Forde on Adobe’s vision for the future of post, as well as the new updates to the CC. Sorry for the Godfather-like lighting in this dark press room. We’ll definitely go to +18dB next time!
For more information on Adobe’s Creative Cloud, please visit www.adobe.com.