The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Apr/15

8

Adobe’s NAB Preview is pretty Awesome

While my personal NLE preference is for FCP X, I cannot live without my (paid) Creative Cloud subscription. Very early in my career I pretty much made a living off Adobe After Effects (v2 through 4) and Media 100 as the de-facto “motion graphics” house in my home town. I’m a constant user of Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and now Muse.

Adobe have done an excellent job of creating a great set of creative tools, and they’re ramping up this NAB with some cool technology. I’m only going to touch on the things that excited me in the preview briefing, but there will be a lot more previewed at NAB and probably more in the release than they discuss.

Real time After Effects

No surprise, but great to see that Adobe have put in the work to rebuild the foundations of this venerable app and bring it into the modern era. It was a side note to another part of the preview, but waiting for render RAM is over. Well, will be when it’s released.

Adobe Anywhere (now near here)

From the moment I heard of Anywhere I thought the logical extension was an ‘in-facility’ version built on a classic SAN configuration, but with the added layer of Adobe’s metadata-mediated workflow, and that’s what is being previewed next week. It goes a very long way to extending the sort of shared workflows that have has been Avid’s domain, to Premiere Pro users.

Morph Cut

Say goodbye to the art of the cutaway. Morph Cut makes jump-cuts, smooth media. Seamless. Easily. It will even pick up a frame from elsewhere in the media file to fill in. I fear that newcomers will never know the pleasure of searching for hours to find one last piece of b-roll to cover a jump cut. Well, now it’s a smooth edit and you get to go home to your family.

Time Tuner

Smooth, seamless speed up or slow down of content. OK, it’s primary application is going to be broadcasters who want to speed up content to fit in one, or two, more commercials, but Time Tuner has way more application than that. And it may end up being a little controversial. I frequently see tweets from editor friends who are working long hours trimming out a little bit of the cut to bring it to time. If Time Tuner would let the cut stand, and still fit time…

Earlier this week I was having my regular singing lesson and had this conversation (I did say I’d make a singing reference):

Singing teacher: “Weren’t you going to speed up that karaoke video?”
Me: “I tried but then I had to pitch it back down and my ear isn’t good enough to get know if it matches”
Teacher: “Pity you can’t speed it up without affecting the pitch”
Me:  “Well, there are a couple of very expensive, high end…  “ (I go quiet)
Teacher: “you look like you’ve been hit by a bolt of lightening”
Me: “I think I know of a solution, but I can’t talk about it yet.”

I know exactly how I’ll be using Time Tuner. Appropriate given the name. Perhaps I can look forward to the Philip Tuner in the Fall release!

There’s a bunch more amazing technology in this preview. Adobe Character Animator just has to be seen to be believed. It’s going to ramp up creating animated content to new levels. Real-time facial tracking, pre-rigged characters, easy rigging of your own bitmap or vector artwork. Makes me want to get in and animate something! (Animated training characters interacting with the software – go for it folks! Your welcome.)

Project Candy – which probably won’t be the release name no matter how cute it is – is yet another addition to Adobe’s iOS apps. Project Candy makes it amazingly easy to grab a color palette or lighting scheme from one image, and apply it to another image or video. Share through Creative Cloud between your own apps or with your team. It just looks like a lot of fun to play with. In the demo, Project Candy palettes were dragged from the Library and applied to looping video in real time.

Lumetri Color Panel in Premiere Pro essentially moves Speedgrade’s Lumetri engine into Premiere for a very powerful color grading tools without leaving Premiere Pro’s interface. This is consistent with what Adobe have been saying for some time now: Premiere Pro, being the editing tool, is the hub. Bringing the most used tools from Speedgrade and After Effects into Premiere Pro will improve editor productivity.

Face Tracker in After Effects is just what it says. The tracking data can be applied in many places, including for facial animation in Character Animator, or for a thousand other purposes.

Adobe will also be previewing some more high profile customers, and new advances with Adobe Primetime, Adobe’s monetization platform.

Other than Anywhere and Primetime, everything else is part of your Creative Cloud subscription.

 

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5 comments

  • Robin S. Kurz · April 9, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Without having used or seen it (other than the absolutely HORRIBLE promo videos on YouTube where they appear to have left the voice over for a speech robot), I have to wonder what is so terribly different to “Time Tuner” compared to a simple retime via e.g. FCP X? By default the sound is NOT repitched in FCP X either, so I don’t understand why you couldn’t have done the retiming of your karaoke example with it.

    • Author comment by Philip · April 9, 2015 at 9:09 am

      Time Tuner will work across a timeline, not just a single clip. Automatic pitch correction as well. The sound is repotted in FCP X in my experience, especially the example I noted with my karaoke track.

      • Robin S. Kurz · April 9, 2015 at 11:28 am

        But then you could retime a compound clip of the entire timeline also.

        • Author comment by Philip · April 9, 2015 at 11:30 am

          There are always ways to work around a limitation. There is a tutorial that creates a Morph transition, but it’s nowhere near as elegant as what Adobe’s doing.

          BTW, I went back to my karaoke video and sped it up in a project and I swear I hear a pitch difference between the original and sped up version, but I don’t claim perfect pitch. 🙂

  • Steve · April 13, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Character Animator: What fun!

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