I’ve cut a lot of material from apparent first-time users of single-handed gimbals like the DJI Ronin-S. If the camera operator isn’t walking properly, the footage has a real bounce to it. And because the camera moves vertically and changes perspective, it can be almost impossible to stabilize it without distorting the footage. The Tiffen Steadicam Steadimate-S attaches to the gimbal to minimize this problem.Okay, now on to editing.
Since the new MacPro is still a mystery, if you’re a Mac user, adding performance to your workstation has been pretty limited. At this year’s NAB, Adobe and Sonnet announced support of external GPUs (graphic processing units) via Thunderbolt on the Mac.
Sonnet showed the eGFX Breakaway Box for desktop use. It comes in different models depending on the power requirements of the GPU you install. There’s also the eGFX Breakaway Puck for portable situations. The Breakaway Puck comes in two different models with the GPU already installed.
The demo I saw showed a MacBook Pro exporting an h.264 file from a Premiere Pro sequence with 4K footage and multiple effects. Normally the export took 48 minutes; with the eGPU it was 14 minutes. It was impressive.
Speaking of Premiere Pro, Adobe announced several improvements to their Creative Cloud applications. For After Effects, they showcased their Content-Aware Fill. Like a similar feature introduced in Photoshop years ago, this new feature allows you to replace unwanted elements—like signs or people—in a shot.
In Premier Pro, they showed off a new style of project bin that they call the Free Form project panel. This work area allows you to rearrange clips into a storyboard, change individual clip sizes to indicate key shots and mark in and out points. Then, you can drag that storyboard into a sequence and start editing.
Trying to figure out new ways of working with clips seemed to be a theme, as Blackmagic Design also showed a new Cut Page in their DaVinci Resolve 16 software—now in beta. The Cut Page allows you to quickly import shots and create a first cut. The interface is pared down, giving you just the tools you need, yet still allowing you to switch to the regular edit interface.
One Cut Page feature that was impressive for me was the dual timeline. It gives you access to the entire length of a timeline while being zoomed in and trimming shots. A real time saver. It also gives you the ability to move shots quickly to another time even if it is far away from the section of the show you’re working on.
And then there was the DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard pictured at the top of this article. It brings a jog/shuttle knob back to editing. I tried it a little on the show floor but not enough to see how it will affect a full day of editing. I hope to try it soon (available in August).
When I was at the Blackmagic Design press conference at the start of NAB, I saw a sign on the booth about an edit keyboard. It must have been created well before the show because as I recall it mentioned softkeys and a trackball(s).
If you couple a color grading trackball and ring with programmable softkeys and a motorized fader or two (to add audio automation while playing your sequence) that would be something. Maybe NAB 2020?