In the month since Adobe released the 2014 updates to all of their Creative Cloud video applications, we've covered many of the significant new features in Premiere, After Effects, SpeedGrade, and Audition. However, we still have not covered one of the most significant time-saving features that was included in Premiere Pro 2014. I'm talking of course about "Masking and Tracking," something which used to require timely round-trips between Premiere and After Effects. For all of your effects-based tracking, that round-tripping is no longer necessary, as it can all be accomplished directly inside of Premiere Pro. Here's Larry Jordan to show you just how simple it is.
This particular video is an excerpt from one of Jordan's recent webinars entitled New Features in Premiere and Audition. In the video, he shows us how to use the new masking and tracking features in Premiere to accomplish the task of blurring out a face or a license plate.
For me, this is an absolute powerhouse of a new feature because it not only makes oft-used processes like blurring out a face extremely simple, but because these masks can be applied to any effect that you apply to a clip (with the exception of Warp Stabilizer). This means that Premiere's already-deep palette of effects is now infinitely more powerful. I can see masking and tracking being especially useful for not only blurs, like what was done in the video, but also for color-correcting individual elements within a frame. Unfortunately, as Jordan mentioned in the video, since masking and tracking can only be done on clip effects, you cannot use these features to apply tracking data to text or a graphic layer of some sort. Those processes still require a trip to After Effects.
With all of that said, as someone who has never been entirely proficient or comfortable inside of After Effects, the masking and tracking features now included directly inside of Premiere are a godsend. Considering that most editors don't necessarily require the high-end compositing features inside of After Effects for their day-to-day work, this feature will allow them to spend more time in Premiere and less time having to worry about round-tripping in order to complete simple tracking tasks.