In 2012, Adobe unveiled the future of their software distribution strategy. Despite some initial hiccups in public perception, Creative Cloud has since taken the video post production world by storm. In addition to the monthly fee structure, Creative Cloud offered another major benefit over the Creative Suite -- the ability for Adobe to push out major software updates and new features with a previously unheard of regularity. Now that NAB (filmmaker Christmas) is finally rolling around for another year, Adobe is releasing their next round of major features for their video-centric software, and let's just say that the future is bright.
First, here's a quick slide from Adobe's presentation that gives you a quick look at all of the major new features in their video applications.
Now let's take an individual look all of the major new features in each piece of software.
Premiere might just be the most vastly updated piece of software in this release, as it includes some really kick-ass new features. Here's a brief video overview of the best new features:
Over on the Adobe press release for the new version of Premiere, Al Mooney describes in detail all of the new features in the release. Other than the major new features described in the video above, Premiere is continuously being upgraded under the hood in order to accommodate the newest emerging production formats, frame rates, resolutions, etc. Here's what Mooney had to say:
Premiere Pro’s rich support for workflows in 5K and beyond is further enhanced, with new native support for CanonRAW and Sony SStP media. Enhanced CinemaDNG support (including Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, Convergent Design Odyssey7Q, and CinemaDNG source settings), and a powerful new workflow for the ARRI AMIRA camera, where appropriate LUTs are applied on ingest at the master clip level are also available. Editors working with RED media will benefit greatly from the ability to debayer on a supported GPU, providing amazing playback performance up to full-resolution real-time playback on a workstation-class system.
For me, the two most exciting new features in this release are ones that I will literally use all of the time once the features are officially released -- master clip effects and native masking and tracking. The master clip effects will be an absolute godsend for documentary editors who are using multiple pieces of a single original clip throughout a timeline. In the past, effects would have to be applied to each clip directly, which is a complete waste of time. Now, however, an effect (say color correction of some sort) can be applied to the original clip, and it will be applied to all of the varied instances of that clip in your timeline.
Beyond that, the new masking and tracking features that are now built directly into Premiere will save many, many editors from having to round trip with After Effects. Many of the most common tasks for trackers, such as creating a quick blur on someone's face or license plate, can now be done directly inside the NLE with the same simple processes found inside of After Effects.
Here's the quick video rundown of the new features in the next release of After Effects CC
Clearly one of the biggest stories in this release is the way that Adobe has rethought the relationship between Premiere and After Effects. Not only have a few of AE features been brought into Premiere, but effects like masks created inside of Premiere now are directly transferable into the After Effects workflow.
Another pair of huge additions are the Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor effects, which look to dramatically improve badly shot green screen footage, something which previously either required much more expensive software or reshoots to fix.
For a comprehensive list of the new features in After Effects, head on over to this excellent blog post.
In this update, SpeedGrade is continuing to become a more integrated tool in the Adobe post production process. Here's the video rundown.
Overall, the biggest addition, if you want to call it that, is a dramatically improved "Direct Link" between Premiere and SpeedGrade that allows for simple timeline adjustments such as turning tracks and adjustment layers on and off, which is more of a time saver than it sounds. Add to that a set of completely redesigned scopes alongside some usability improvements such as luminance sliders next to the color wheels, and the software is becoming a veritable color correction tool with a far more intuitive interface.
To read more about the changes that were made in the upcoming version of SpeedGrade, head on over to this in-depth blog post.
Unfortunately, there's no video for Prelude as of yet, but the new features can be summed up nicely by the following quote:
The new update to Adobe Prelude, the ingest and logging app, introduces a Tag Panel, an innovation that dramatically speeds up shot logging by allowing users to create color-coded tags that can be added to footage with a single click. Building rough cuts in Prelude gets a lot simpler, too, with drag-and-drop assembly, ripple trimming, and new keyboard shortcuts.
This update of Prelude essentially makes the process of tagging and adding metadata to your downloaded footage much easier with a unique visual interface (as seen above). Adobe is also incorporating more dynamic rough cutting features into Prelude such as the standard drag and drop. They're also finally allowing for basic ripple trims when creating a rough cut, which is key.
For the full rundown of what's new in Prelude, head on over to this blog post.
Here's the video rundown for Adobe's audio post production powerhouse, Audition.
The changes in Audition are largely aesthetic ones, as the team in charge of its design has begun to heavily stress color as an organizational tool within the program. That ethos is even more heavily present in this next release. These changes, despite the fact that they are aesthetic, are geared towards post production mixers who need to keep tracks upon tracks upon tracks of audio well organized.
In addition to the plethora of lovely aesthetic changes, Audition is now capable of both import and export of Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus audio formats, which are the standard encodings for many delivery and broadcast systems. In many other audio post production softwares, conversion of this type requires expensive plugins or licensing, but in the next version of Audition, Dolby Digital is native.
For a full list of new features in Audition, check this blog post.
Last but not least we have Adobe Media Encoder. Here's the video which highlights the new features in the program.
This one is big, folks. Adobe Media Encoder will now encode a proper DCP (Digital Cinema Package) natively, without any need for the convoluted processes of yesteryear. For indie filmmakers without the budget or know-how to produce a DCP via traditional means, this improvement is a godsend. Beyond the DCP capabilities, Media Encoder now also has the ability to encode AS-11 content packages for broadcast standard deliverables.
Be sure to check out all of the new features in Media Encoder in the blog post.
So that about does it. Adobe is also rolling out some incredibly new functionality for collaborative video production through Adobe Anywhere, but that warrants a post of its own (coming soon). It's not clear when all of these updates will be released, but they will definitely be on display at NAB, so go check out the next versions of the Adobe applications while you're enjoying all of the exciting new toys.
What do you guys think of the new features in Adobe's line of filmmaking software? What kinds of features would you like to see in future updates? Let us know down in the comments!
- Revealing the Next Wave of Innovation in Pro Video Apps
- Revealing the Next Major Premiere Pro CC Update
- What's New and Changed in the Next Major Update to After Effects CC
- What's Coming Next in Prelude CC
- What's Coming Next in SpeedGrade CC
- Sneak Peek: Upcoming New Features in Audition CC
- What's Coming Next in Adobe Media Encoder CC