The 150+ new features in Adobe Premiere® Pro CC, After Effects® CC, SpeedGrade® CC, Prelude™ CC, Adobe Media Encoder CC, and Adobe Story CC Plus that were announced at IBC last month are available effective immediately via Adobe Creative Cloud. Today we are also delivering a new iPad app, Prelude Live Logger, which adds another tool to your arsenal for faster, more efficient production workflows.
Highlight features in this release include Direct Link integration between Adobe Premiere Pro CC and SpeedGrade CC, expanded support for 4K and higher resolutions and RAW formats, new mask tools, a host of editing efficiency enhancements, including new monitor overlays, and a cool new detail-preserving upscale tool in After Effects.
“We’re really pleased about these updates, especially coming so soon after a huge spring release and other updates in the summer,” said Bill Roberts, director of product management for Creative Cloud for video. “As the industry moves towards 4K Ultra HD content, we’re delivering not just great apps, but complete workflows. Creative Cloud brings the industry’s leading tools and services together at an affordable price – and it keeps getting better with each new release.”
Performance enhancements in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects mean you can work faster with powerful tools like the Warp Stabilizer and 3D Camera Tracker. New SpeedLooks and the SpeedLooks camera patches are now included with SpeedGrade providing a new way to match different cameras for a faster color grading workflow. Adobe Media Encoder now offers GPU processing for speedier rendering. Prelude CC has added the ability to export marker lists and printouts to keep the whole crew on the same page, and Adobe Story CC Plus can now import and export lists, such as set lists or character lists, for easier production planning.
If you are already one of the 1+ million Creative Cloud members, you can download these updates for free via the Creative Cloud desktop application. Then, check out the new training videos in Creative Cloud Learn to help you get started – also included with your membership at no additional cost.
Not yet a Creative Cloud member? Sign up for a free membership and get access to 30-day trials of every Adobe creative desktop app, including the video apps and these feature updates. Free members also now have access to the new training videos in Creative Cloud Learn to help you get started.
You may also download the new Prelude Live Logger app from the Apple App Store https://itunes.apple.com/app/adobe-prelude-live-logger/id705688267?mt=8
Reactor 88 is an independent production company based near Chicago with a unique focus on creating films based on role-playing game narratives. The company’s first production, InSpectres was released in September 2013 and the team is hard at work on their second film, Dead News Report. We spoke with Darren Orange, CEO of Reactor 88, about their films, their inspiration, and their tools.
What drew you into filmmaking?
It was a complete accident. I wanted to make video games originally, but when I made a short film to illustrate the concept for a video game idea, I got hooked on the filmmaking part. I dropped my game aspirations and start making movies. I made a lot of short films at first and it grew from there. I will never forget my first project. The weather was extremely cold and we were all in shorts and t-shirts but I had such a blast working with my team. It brought home to me how collaborative filmmaking is. I realized I would never have experiences like this in video game work – fun though that must be, too.
What is it about role-playing games that provides great content for films?
Role-playing games at their core have always been more about telling stories than about creating worlds. And for me personally, as a filmmaker it makes sense to me to focus on telling great stories. There are a lot of other creative people in the role-playing game world who are passionate about creating the worlds. I am comfortable relying on their talents and putting my efforts into the characters and how the narrative unfolds from their personalities. This is another example of the collaborative aspect of filmmaking that I love.
How long have you been using Adobe Premiere Pro?
I’ve used Adobe Premiere since 1999. I started on version 5.1 or 5.0. I originally learned how to use the software to create anime music videos. Only after that did I realize I could make any kind of film this way. Learning to edit was amazingly liberating: I realized what kind of power this put into my hands. Later on I drifted over to Final Cut, but I’m back with Premiere Pro now.
What made you switch back to Premiere Pro?
To be honest it’s kind of hard to say why I ever left Premiere Pro. I think maybe it was just peer pressure. I came back because Premiere started to support so many different native formats, including H.264, which we used to shoot InSpectres. It was so much easier to work in Premiere Pro than it was in the other software. I’m glad to say that I’m staying with Premiere Pro now for good: it’s just the best editing platform out there, no question. Adobe has done a fantastic job at pushing development and making the Creative Cloud video tools into the most capable, the most dynamic, and the most complete workflow solution there is.
You used Adobe Audition extensively on InSpectres.
Yes we used Audition for pretty much all the sound for InSpectres, from sweetening the audio recorded on location to adding sound effects to the final mix and 5.1 surround sound for our DCP for our theatrical release. We worked in Audition over an eight-month period and it was a great experience. We pushed the limits of our hardware, but the software could just keep on going. The most impressive thing for me was the noise reduction, which allowed us to retain over 90% of our location sound: it was a massive time and cost saver. But it also matters to me as a director to be able to use as much of our original audio as possible.
Was it hard for you as a video editor to get used to Audition?
Audition was easy for me to pick up and learn. It felt like I was editing video so I found the transition was very easy. My co-producer Sean Czaja has lots of experience doing sound work and he was also able to get up to speed in Audition very quickly.
Sean also did all of our visual effects shots for InSpectres in After Effects.
In your next film you are moving to an all Creative Cloud workflow. What led to that decision?
I don’t want to have to worry about which applications will work with which, or whether they will support industry standard formats and cameras. And I need support I can count on, no question. Simply put: Adobe rocks when it comes to working with everything out there on the market and the community around Adobe is like none other. Another thing that matters to me, which many filmmakers seem to forget about, is that, at some point, you are going to have to archive your work. Do you want to archive your work across all kinds of different software and be unsure of future support? Again, Adobe is the clear choice for me.
Tell us about your next project.
Dead News Report is a post-apocalyptic story about a group of survivors trying to reach a news station which they discover is still broadcasting. This film has been a long time coming. The original concept was created by my mentor Bill Allan back in 2002. Since then, a lot of things have changed: it’s no longer a kind of newsroom drama, but much more of an epic story. While there are zombies in the picture, the film focuses on the characters. The story is all about people finding their purpose in life and how that purpose can affect others.
Is it hard to move from comedy to such intense drama?
Not really. I generally lean towards more serious work anyway. That being said Dead News Report is going to be challenging for the actors in terms of where they need to go emotionally. I try to learn everything I can about everything involved with the film. This includes researching real-world examples of the emotions that the characters experience. I think as a director not only do you need to be technically excellent and really connect with the actors, but you really need to feel what the actors are going though. It’s a kind of empathy, getting that connection with the performance and helping the actors get there by understanding how the things that they are experiencing would affect people in real life.
Where do you hope to go with Reactor 88?
We have a whole slate of films that we would like to produce. We have a very pragmatic strategy. We want to keep our focus on turning games into movies. The feature after Dead News Report gets back to that and we already have the first draft for that script. Going forward I hope we will evolve into a preeminent intellectual property production company.
What would you advise someone who is considering moving to the Creative Cloud production tools?
What are you waiting for? Take everything you’re doing now and just plug it in. The system is designed to support your workflow at any stage. Take any scripts or concepts and get them into Adobe Story and go from there. It’s so nice having every part of pre-production to postproduction all in one place and knowing that all the pieces will work seamlessly with each other. It runs on OSX or PC and there is even a free version of Story. Get started now, there’s no excuse!
Darren Orange has been a Creative Cloud member since July 2013. He is the founder of Reactor 88 and has been at the head of its production development since 2003.
To learn more about Reactor 88 visit www.r88s.com
Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud
Los Angeles-based writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez premiered his second feature film—C.O.G., based on a David Sedaris short story—in competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Starring Jonathan Groff, Denis O’Hare and Corey Stoll, it will be released this fall through Focus Features and Screen Media.
Kyle graduated cum laude from the University of Miami in 2005 with degrees in motion picture production and English literature and made his writing/directorial debut in 2010 with Easier with Practice. The film won him the “Someone to Watch” award at the Independent Spirit Awards and was nominated for a “Best First Feature” Spirit Award.
Speaking tomorrow at Adobe’s Los Angeles Create Now event, Kyle speaks here about his editing pseudonym, the value of Video On Demand and how, in recent years, his choice of reading materials has narrowed.
Now that you’ve had a film screened at Sundance, what’s next on your bucket list? I’m working on a new film that we’re in the process of casting and hope to shoot early next year. I can’t talk much about it yet, but I’ve been involved with it for a while and it’s much more ambitious and challenging than anything I’ve ever done.
What would you say is the potential value of Creative Cloud for filmmakers (not just for post-production but for creating collateral materials)? I think the breadth of software is what can really help filmmakers. At its core is Premiere Pro CC, an excellent non-linear editor, but with the subscription cost of that you’re also getting access to an insane amount of software that can help build materials for a movie’s premier.
Creative pursuits tend to be all-consuming and hard to shut off; what do you do when you need to take a break from thinking about a project? I never take breaks. I guess when I do, it’s to watch another movie or play a video game, but if I’m in the thick of production or post-production I don’t want to do anything but work on the movie—it’s all-consuming but in the best way possible.
As a filmmaker, how hard is it to read “for enjoyment” without constantly visualizing what you’re reading as a film? It’s funny because I was a literature major in college, but since graduating I really only read to find material to adapt. It’s taken away some of the enjoyment of reading, for sure, and I have a much more narrow field of books I read (i.e., they need to be un-optioned and possible to make on a small budget). When I do read something that fits the bill, that I respond to, it’s an incredible feeling; not only am I enjoying the book but there’s the added excitement that it could become part of my creative future.
You’ll be speaking at our Create Now event in Los Angeles tomorrow, what’s one thing you hope that people take away from your session? I think the most important thing to me is to dispel myths. There’s a lot of disinformation out there both for independent filmmakers and for Adobe users. For me it’s mostly a matter of showing just how great Adobe’s new pricing models are and how they can really help independent filmmakers improve workflow, and the on-set creative process.
What do you think of Vine and Instagram Video? They’re microforms that seem best-suited to physical comedy (and some comedians are doing great things with them) but I don’t personally have much creative interest in them.
Tell us a bit about Fernando Collins? Fernando Collins is me. I use a pseudonym because I really only edit to save the production time and money. I use the fake name because if I didn’t, people might assume it’s a part of my identity as a filmmaker. I would love to work with an editor one day, once I have a film budget that will allow another hire.
How has streaming video changed the audience for independent films? And how has it changed the projects you take on and the subjects you choose to develop? Really Video On Demand (VOD) has introduced a new model to the marketplace for independent filmmakers; it’s going to take some more time to build and grow, but it’s quickly become a viable platform for independent films to gain a lot of exposure. My movie opened in the top fifteen on iTunes. That would never have happened in theaters. So although as a filmmaker I always want people to see my films on big screens, I’ve learned that embracing VOD can bring so many more eyes to them, which is ultimately the priority.
What was the subject of the first film you ever made (that wasn’t for a class assignment)? I made a short in college (outside of classes) about a blind man lost in the apocalypse, but honestly my first feature Easier with Practice (a true story about a guy who has a long term phone sex relationship with a woman he’s never met), really feels like my first film that stayed true to my point of view.
As film-making tools have gotten increasingly sophisticated, have they made the storytelling part of your job easier or harder? Why? Absolutely easier. Desktop non-linear editing and access to low budget shooting has changed independent filmmaking forever. It’s given filmmakers tools that are easier and cheaper to use that yield more professional looking products. No one who wants to be a filmmaker has an excuse to not make movies.
If you had a choice of any actor/actress (living or not) to be in one of your films, who would it be? Oh, I could write a whole book about this. As a filmmaker, actors are what motivate me more than anything else; I love character actors, people who really fall into roles. It was truly an honor to work with Denis O’Hare on C.O.G.; he’s one of the great character actors of his generation. To answer the question, I’m rarely interested in “big name” actors, but who hasn’t dreamt of working with Jimmy Stewart?
We heard that you completed C.O.G. in eighteen days… Did the tools in Creative Cloud support your post-production objectives? For sure. I had never even touched Premiere Pro before starting work on C.O.G.; that it was so easy for me to switch over and deliver the film so quickly is a testament to the quality of the software and its ease of use. That it also gave me immediate access to so much other software that I ended up using was just icing on the cake.
Recently we launched a new campaign called “The New Creatives” which represents multi-skilled and diverse creative people who aren’t afraid to explore new mediums and go wherever their ideas take them. Over the past several weeks on our social channels, we’ve been featuring talented artists who identify as New Creatives.
In celebration of all the New Creatives out there, we commissioned artists from around the world to generate creative self-portraits and the results blew us away. Check out their works of art below.
ARITST/ILLUSTRATOR/MAKER OF STUFF
ILLUSTRATOR / CHARACTER DESIGNER / ANIMATOR
ILLUSTRATOR / ANIMATOR / EMOTIVE
DESIGNER / COORDINATOR / PRINT AFICIONADO
ART DIRECTOR / DESIGNER / TYPOGRAPHER
Thanks to all of our contributing New Creatives!
The spectacular popularity of mobile devices means interactive designers need to extend their skills beyond the desktop to embrace the universe of HTML5. Among mobile devices, including tablet computers, smartphones, and interactive books and magazines, HTML5 is the common denominator.
Now I know there are a lot of people who don’t think HTML animation is very robust. They imagine type and div boxes animating and fading in and out, which I agree is less than optimal. But when you start combining that functionality with CSS3 and some of the styling and imagery, it starts to get compelling— you’re only limited by the browsers. Android and iOS devices have latest CSS3 capabilities that support features such as blurring, so it’s possible to offer a more sophisticated animation experience on these devices.
Animated illustrations in HTML5
Recently I created a course for the annual conference of the Association of Medical Illustrators that covered how to simulate illustrations in HTML for use in iBooks and digital magazines or for viewing on websites or mobile devices. While the subject matter experts were all medical illustrators, the session itself focused on making content today—easily digestible to readers—something that spans across industries. How do you capture your consumers’ attention with animation, and across various devices?
For the class, I created an animated interactive graphic that compares a healthy eye to an eye with glaucoma. The illustration shows how an eye with glaucoma can’t properly drain fluid, and includes a vision simulator that displays the effect of this condition on a person’s vision. The animated droplets are actually a series of nested animated symbols that create the constant, flowing effect. Edge Animate is able to replace a time and labor intensive coding process with one that is both easy and affordable.
One of the keys to easily creating interactive components in Edge Animate is how the symbols talk to each other via targeting. You can associate an interactive element, such as a click, with a symbol. In the glaucoma example, the user clicks the words Affected by Glaucoma, which then tells another symbol (in this case, the sunset photograph) to change its state. It is this ability to combine the functions and the order of symbols—each with their own timelines—that enables us to create these engaging animations. In the relatively short two hour class with 20 participants, it was exciting to see how quickly attendees were able to create their own animation projects using Edge Animate.
Animation is fun again
A few years ago, the web was full of animations and cool interactions, but those faded away as more attention turned to offering content that behaved consistently across devices and platforms. But people are starting to get excited again about adding it back into projects, and with Edge Animate we can combine styling and imagery with cascading style sheets and simple animation to once again create content that is exciting, engaging, and fun.
Watch a Demo
This 10-minute video demonstrates the power of nesting symbols in Edge Animate, and shows how I achieved the fluid, seamless, animation in this medical illustration. Learn more about this project in the December Issue of Adobe Inspire Magazine, titled Creating interactive illustrations with Adobe Edge Animate.
Learn the essentials of Edge Animate