If you read the Internet you’ll no doubt be aware that Adobe just announced updates to Creative Cloud’s video applications that they will be previewing at IBC. I had the privilege of previewing these updates a little while ago, and I have to say I’m impressed. I’m particularly impressed with Prelude LiveLogger, which gets its own blog post.
Other people will no doubt write in depth reviews of the new features, but I wanted to highlight a couple that particularly took my attention in the demonstration. However, it’s clear that Adobe are delivering on their Creative Cloud promise of more regular feature updates.
Adobe’s “private cloud” solution for remote editing adds After Effects to the Anywhere family, joining Prelude and Premiere. Assuming the workgroup can support the infrastructure requirements (not exactly cheap) then the efficiencies of having Premiere and After Effects users working a collaborative environment are enormous.
Anywhere also gains a review app (iOS only) with some amazing capabilities, support for growing files (where an editor might start work editing before the file is even completely saved, such as in a sports event), network voice over support and data redundancy.
Of serious interest to developers will be the extensions to the Anywhere API, allowing other vendors to tap into the Creative Cloud apps and extend their functionality. The provision of APIs was a recurring theme during the morning’s presentations and something Adobe are clearly proud of.
The feature that will garner the most attention is the live link to Speedgrade. Since acquiring Speedgrade Adobe have built the Lumetri™ Deep Color Engine into Premiere Pro CC, and now they’ve essentially taken the Premiere Pro timeline engine and built it into Speedgrade. Bottom line, render free round tripping between Premiere Pro and Speedgrade.
Most of Premiere Pro’s other new features are in the “improved” category: improved workflows, improved 4K, Ultra HD and RAW support, improved multicam workflows, improved closed captioning, improved Link & Locate, and improved exchange with Smoke. These are probably the new features that users will appreciate most even though they don’t take “headline” status in a press release.
When I started out I lived in After Effects. The ability to do really high grade motion graphics combined perfectly with my Media 100 20 years ago to launch my first digital video company: Charisma Digital back in Newcastle Australia.
Well, my career went into a different direction and After Effects continued improving without me. These days I barely recognized the effects powerhouse that After Effects has become. After Effects gets a slew of new features in the upcoming release, but two really stand out.
Mask Tracker – as it suggests – tracks a mask around the object you’re masking, as it moves in the scene. The track continues even where the shape varies due to perspective distortion. Adobe have invested a lot of effort into improved (and automated) masking over recent releases freeing artists from some seriously boring and tedious work.
Equally tedious is when a client brings in a low resolution graphic to fill the screen in their new HD production. The new Upscale effect is nothing short of totally amazing. You’ve got to see it work, otherwise you will not believe it. Naturally, we need this in Premiere Pro. Although Dynamic Link is awesome, it’s overkill for applying one effect to one clip in an editing timeline.
When asked if the Upscale Effect would come to Premiere Pro, we were reminded that Sarbanes Oxley still prevents Adobe talking about features ahead of their being ready to ship. We were also reminded, with a metaphoric wink, that technologies have regularly featured first in After Effects before migrating to Premiere Pro, such as the Warp Stabilizer.
The Warp Stabilizer and the 3D Camera tracker have been sped up and there are GPU optimizations to the ray-traced 3D renderer. Property links, improved media format support in the media browser, improved snapping, HiDPI support and the aforementioned Adobe Anywhere support round out the updates to After Effects.
There are other feature updates to Prelude and Speedgrade but I think this is enough to show that Adobe remain serious about meeting the needs of more traditionally focused editors and those that work with them.
But the best news for me is definitely Prelude LiveLogger.