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Collaborate Almost Everywhere with Adobe Anywhere

Okay, so my title’s a little unfair: Adobe’s new “collaborative workflow platform” may not work literally everywhere, but it will work anywhere there’s WiFi or an ethernet hook-up. Whether you’re a long-time Adobe advocate or a latter-day convert to Premiere Pro, Adobe Anywhere could be making your life just that much easier down the line, especially if you’ve ever manually had to manage media over the internet and across several parties. Click through for details.

As our favorite Adobe staff members point out, aside from the accessibility and security of the cloud-based system, there are a few other benefits:

  • Compatibility with Adobe Prelude, Premiere Pro, and After Effects
  • Full-integration means Anywhere mostly just functions in the background, no learning curve required
  • Data is remotely located, so no user is dependent on another, say, to act as a media server
  • All changes users make are universal and automatic once ‘shared,’ so no XMLs or media need be manually transferred back and forth
  • Dedicated servers chew data themselves and perform compositing live, potentially meaning more powerful editing can be done on weaker client machines
  • Something called the Mercury Streaming Engine optimizes quality against available bandwidth to intelligently bring you real-time HD — scrubbing and all — no proxy files necessary
  • And, with a strangely almost-open-source mentality, Adobe points out the ability to “Build teams on talent, not location.”

Apparently Adobe’s hoping to build anticipation for Anywhere early on and gradually increase exposure until its release — which will simply be its inclusion with a future generation of the aforementioned software titles. As such, there’s no definitive release date thus far. I for one think this is a pretty novel idea — not for being ahead of the times, but actually, for being caught up to them. By now many of us are familiar with the power of the cloud, and there’s a good chance you’re already using it in some way commercially or privately. I’d say we’re definitely ready for an industry leader like Adobe (itself being no stranger to the idea) to integrate these concepts into video workflows directly.

As Daniel McKleinfeld mentions in his Anywhere write-up at DigitalTrends, this is exactly the sort of thinking and software the future will require:

We’ll soon be in a world where a photographer can be shooting in Karachi in the morning, an assistant editor in India marks up the footage, a post house in New York cuts it, a reporter in Islamabad watches the cut and writes a voice-over which is immediately recorded by an actor in L.A. and laid onto the timeline by a sound editor in Chicago, and the whole thing is delivered to television before lunch-time.

On paper (so to speak), this workflow utopia certainly sounds great, as does Adobe Anywhere, and I have high hopes for the software and the model it represents.

Do you guys feel the same way? How do you see this software, or one like it, truly affecting your working styles in the future? What sort of problems have you had, doing in the past what Anywhere proposes to do natively? (Horror stories welcome!)


[via StudioDaily & DigitalTrends]


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  • Even within a city working online with collaborators is a huge benefit… and dropbox just doesn’t always cut it…
    would love to see this integrated into the creative cloud (without extra fees)… Adobe needs to offer a lot for prosumers to pay the premium.

  • I like the idea of this, but I don’t know if upload speeds (at least in the US) are yet at a point where this sort of thing is feasible with the ever-increasing file sizes associated with video. Right now, mailing a hard drive is often faster than going the cloud route, at least in my experience.

    • this tech doesn`t require transfer of the actual footage, what it does is: you have premiere/afx etc. on your local computer but the actual machine with the footage is somewhere else, the only thing interchanged between you and that computer is the picture you are seeing on the editing screens.

      • Matthew Reynolds on 10.18.12 @ 9:21AM

        Right, but you still have to upload it at the beginning. If you have a slow or decent connection, this can be hard to set up. Hopefully they can find a way around that too!

        • I think people got this wrong (if I`m not mistaken). what adobe is offering is a server-client version of premiere, you install the server software onto a powerful machine and the client package onto your “weaker” offsite computer. so they don`t seem to offer any server system or whatever at adobe, but if I`m wrong then this concept is still far away from becoming a serious option. A tiny project with an hour of prores material would take a full 24 hours with the fastest consumer upload connection here. Any more ambitious project would take weeks to upload…

          • This is correct, because one way or another one party needs to have a local in-house server to load up the initial gigabytes of video files first. The other “unlikely” idea of uploading all of the initial source video via FTP to a remote or hosted server would take days and chew up a tremendous amount of bandwidth.

  • this is a great idea and i hope more companies open up to this, tho adobe seems to be leading right now for independents

  • Nice idea – but unless I can setup my own server and at the very least keep files in sync with team members – it’s likely going to cost too much for me to use…. I really do like the idea though…

  • Back to the old terminal days! Set up your own PC server with some decent components and use an ultrabook to edit anywhere. Super exciting tech.

    I’m guessing this will be part of the Adobe creative cloud package once it’s released.

    Some more extensive info on Adobe Anywhere:

  • I have read about this a couple of times before and it sounds wonderful… until I realize that the system doing the work is something I need to buy and set up myself… so it quickly becomes too expensive for a lone worker like myself… but if you already have the budget to set up a powerful server-station it’s awesome to be able to use simple light netbooks for the day to day editing.

    Allthough initial upload from photography to server might be a bottleneck that is overlooked.

  • It sounds great but I worry about Murphy’s Law. It seems when you are in a crunch or on a deadline is when stuff goes down hill. Always have a Plan B!

  • This isn’t really cloud based as mentioned in the first sentence after the “click through”. It relies on you having a server somewhere to host the source files and Adobe Anywhere software.

    The problem still remains that you have to get the source files to the server to start the process.

    • Maybe I’m crazy but it says that “heavy file transfers are not required.” In my world, putting files on a server is a heavy file transfer. I’m thinking it could potentially run computer to computer. So, you have all of the files on a hard drive connected to your computer and you get all those files in Premiere and then share them through Adobe Anywhere. I can then access those files in Premiere and all rendering and streaming would then be done through your computer. That probably wouldn’t work flawlessly but would work for those that can’t afford their own server or cloud hosting. But, like I said, I could be crazy.

  • Where I would benefit, is that I often am travelling and have time on the road to work on video projects that I otherwise cannot get to – but I have a hard time keeping powerful enough ‘mobile’ hardware to do it. Being able to leave my workstation with the project intact, not having to move a project back and forth, means I can keep working on it. I do know I’ve tried to use ‘Logmein” to do remote work, but trying to use that for video editing or 3d animation software has always been too problematic.

  • Sounds like an awesome service, but I think it’s going to be out of reach for most of us.

    1. A close read of the fxguide article and some of the other PR material indicates that Adobe Anywhere’s initial target market will be big broadcasters. Given this target it’s likely going to be a fairly pricey bit of tech.

    2. The server software is going to have to run on very powerful software. The central server, that is attached to fast shared storage (in their demo Omneon Media Grid), will render all of the output, in real-time for everybody that is working on the project. If you have 5 people working at once, that’s going to be a pretty intense rendering workload.

    Here is a post that I recently did that has some speculation on pricing, target market, and how it will change the NLE landscape.