UPDATE: Monday afternoon (4/8) our podcast, Digital Production Buzz, will interview Bill Roberts, Director of Video Product Management for Adobe. You can hear this interview LIVE at 2:00pm Pacific Time. Learn more at NABShowBuZZ.com
This evening, Adobe revealed the next generation of its video software, announcing new versions of Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Prelude, SpeedGrade, Story, and Media Encoder. (If your favorite product was not on this list, don’t worry, it didn’t die, it just wasn’t part of this announcement.)
KEY NEW FEATURES
In this announcement, Adobe did not announce release dates, pricing, or even final names. With the 2013 NAB Show coming up, Adobe wanted to showcase their new software, while still taking some time to wrap up development and get final versions ready to release.
Let’s take a look at some of the new goodies.
Adobe announced Adobe Anywhere last January. What this provides is a collaborative environment where all media resides on a server, while editorial groups can access this same media and projects via the network.
What makes this new technology especially attractive is that editors don’t have be in the same facility. In fact, Adobe stresses that this system doesn’t even require proxies, while the master files remain on the server. This allows collaboration without regard to geographic boundaries. Media can be shared between different applications, run by different people, in different geographic areas; without relinking media, without transferring files and with complete version control.
For one-man-bands, this is no big deal. For workgroups, this provides a whole new definition of collaboration. Best of all, it integrated into the next version of Premiere Pro, Prelude, or After Effects. In other words, once you upgrade to the new versions of each of these, you can edit stand-alone, or with Adobe Anywhere using the same software.
The initial release of Adobe Anywhere is targeted at the Enterprise (read, large workgroups) and a PDF listing of recommended hardware can be found here.
NOTE: The only downside to Adobe Anywhere that I’ve seen so far is that it requires a Windows server in order to work. I am sure there will be minimum network bandwidth considerations as well.
AODBE PREMIERE PRO
I spend about a third of my time editing in Premiere, the rest is split between Final Cut Pro X and Final Cut Pro 7.
What impresses me most about this new version is speed. Adobe Anywhere is fully integrated. The Mercury playback engine is faster, and supports more GPUs. There is also improved support for importing Avid and Final Cut projects using AAF and XML.
Adobe has continued streamlining the user interface, with more customization is available.
Relinking missing media is faster and more intelligent. Audio control is improved, and Adobe added the Lumetri Deep Color Engine which allows adding LUTs and other color looks quickly and easily to your projects while still inside Premiere.
Audition, which has become my daily go-to audio application has seen a lot of improvement.
The entire app is now 64-bit, allowing for much larger and much faster audio projects. They’ve improved the interface, making is faster, easier to customize (and it was already really customizable), with more keyboard shortcuts. Favorites were beefed up with improved automation and an enhanced Favorites panel.
Two new features are amazing: Sound Remover (which reminds me of Sony Creative Software’s Spectral Layers) can remove unwanted sounds from a clip, such as a siren, without removing other sounds, such as dialog. This is very, very close to magic.
The other really hot new feature is Preview Editor, which allows you to see a before and after on the same waveform, before you actually make a change. This prevents that “duh!” feeling that occurs right after you’ve done something stupid.
NOTE: Audition will not, initially, support Adobe Anywhere.
The big news here is a Live 3D Pipeline integration with Cinema 4D. Create a shape in Cinema 4D, bring it into After Effects for lighting, positioning, and compositing into the final effect.
On the list of improved effects is the Refine Edge tool for rotoscoping, Warp Stabilizer VFX lets you choose which object in a shot you want to stabilize (which is just WAY cool!), improved camera tracking, and a new Pixel Motion Blur.
Support for Adobe Anywhere will be added to After Effects later this year.
The big news with SpeedGrade is an improved user interface, the ability to load SpeedGrade looks into Premiere, and the ability to automatically match shots and check color continuity between scenes.
The big news with Story is integration with Prelude. You can now write your script, shoot your script, then import your script into Prelude to make finding shots using text searches a whole lot faster.
You can now assign permissions to shared scripts so that your collaborators only see, or correct, what you want them to see or correct.
Shooting scripts can be automatically generated, script syncing is faster, reports are dynamic (meaning they are adjusted on the fly as new information becomes available),
Like I said, the Adobe theme of speed is everywhere – and Story is a huge beneficiary of this.
I’ve already mentioned the improved integration between Story and Prelude. By combining the script text from Story with the speech recognition that Adobe migrated from Premiere, you can quickly match text to transcript to find exactly the clips you want using text searches.
Files can now be renamed on ingest. Gone are the days when you need to figure out what “Clip 054” actually is. Improved tagging and customized templates means less typing, but more essential clip information captured easily.
The application is now 64-bit, ingests faster with less setup, and allows you to specify where you want ingested files stored.
One of the features I like most about Prelude is that it allows you to create a rough-cut that can be instantly sent to Premiere for editing. This allows a production assistant to create a quick selects reel, allowing the editor can concentrate on shaping those selects into a story.
NOTE: When used with Adobe Anywhere, Prelude can be used as an ingest tool to get files into the Anywhere production pipeline. You use also use it as a logging and organizational tool. However, when used with Adobe Anywhere, the initial release of Prelude won’t support creating rough cuts.
Media Encoder has been updated to support the new features in these applications, but hasn’t changed much from the current version.
Adobe did not mention anything about Adobe Encore in their announcements this evening. However, do not assume from this that the application is dead.
WHAT ADOBE DIDN’T ANNOUNCE
Adobe did not announce pricing, a release date, a version number, or when we can order the product. Tonight was a “reveal” so that Adobe can show off these products next week at the NAB Show.
They also didn’t announce anything else about any other software.
All in all, these new announcements from Adobe show that they are working VERY hard to improve the applications that most of us use every day.
I am already in the process of revising all our Adobe training and will have new training available on, or shortly after, these new applications ship.
If you are going to the 2013 NAB Show, or the Supermeet, you can see these new applications in action.
I’m looking forward to the release of the final versions. What was already good, just got a whole lot better.
As always, I look forward to your comments.
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