We’re packing our gear for the Education, Interactive and Film Festivals at SXSW 2014. Next week, web designers, developers, filmmakers, educators and social marketers will descend on Austin, Texas—and, this year, Adobe has something for everyone.
We’re sponsoring the Razorfish, #UseMeLeaveMe Digital Campground (March 7–March 11) at 1206 E 4th Street in downtown Austin. Stop by our daily afternoon Happy Hours, grab something to eat, listen to live bands, make a videogram postcard in our decked-out Airstream trailer, and get your hands on some innovative technologies.
If video’s your thing
Jason Levine, Adobe’s worldwide evangelist for video apps/Creative Cloud, is leading a start-to-finish workflow session titled “Capture, Cut, Color, Deliver.” Or, sit in with Adobe marketing manager, Meagan Keane when she moderates “Content Creation with Soul” with Soul Pancake CEO and executive producer, Shabnam Mogharabi and her team. And, finally, don’t forget to come by the Adobe booth; during the Film Festival we’ll be in Exhibit Hall 4 of the Austin Convention Center with live demos, presentations and Creative Cloud workflow experts discussing our innovative apps.
Designing developing for the web?
Friday March 7 in the Riverside Ballroom at the Radisson Town Lake we’ll be holding our annual All-Day Creative Camp for web designers and developers. In addition to the Typekit pop-up library we’ll have five sessions all with topics focusing on shaping the modern web and, since making it through SXSW requires constant refueling, we’ll also have food (sliders, petit BLTs, gourmet popcorn) and a Happy Hour during our final session of the day.
Educating the next generation
Attending the SXSWedu Festival? Check out “Creativity in Education: A Call for Transformation,” Adobe’s panel on fostering and inspiring creativity in a new generation. Also, don’t miss our Creativity in Education Meet Up to network and learn about the proposed creative changes in education.
Keep tabs on Adobe during SXSW
Out desktop/mobile guide to everything Adobe at SXSW 2014
See you there!
Commercial television editor delivers stunning spots using an Adobe Creative Cloud workflow
Our friend Adam Pertofsky at Rock Paper Scissors has been busy these last few months. Since we last spoke with him, he’s completed the third part of the Captain Morgan series of commercials and cut three additional spots, one of which aired during the Super Bowl. We took a few minutes to catch up with him on his recent projects and use of Adobe Creative Cloud:
Adobe: Tell us about the Super Bowl commercial you worked on.
Pertofsky: It is the 60-second “Going All The Way” Coca-Cola spot that aired during the second half of the game. We worked on it with Wieden+Kennedy. I did all of the editing in Premiere Pro CC, as well as some color correction for the client presentation. It is a really sweet, classic spot that a lot of people will be moved by and enjoy.
Adobe: What other projects have you worked on?
Pertofsky: I cut a simple, funny commercial for Chevy that will air during the Winter Games. It was an easy process of working in Premiere Pro to do cuts and throw in some graphics using the Luma Key. I also used the title tool in Premiere Pro to set up a string of options for the creative director to look at and it was amazing and super simple.
Adobe: Did you use any other Adobe tools on this project?
Pertofsky: I’ve been using a lot of Adobe Media Encoder, which I find really fast and terrific. Recently, I was at my daughter’s volleyball practice and I needed to do some unexpected cut downs for the Chevy spot. I jumped into the back of my car, set up the project, did the cut downs, threw them into Media Encoder and was able to upload them using my phone.
Adobe: What’s the biggest project you’ve worked on recently?
Pertofsky: I cut a four-and-a-half minute commercial for Samsung with R/GA San Francisco. In the spot, aliens take over the earth and challenge the world to a game of football (soccer). It is a massive spot with a lot of variations and the version I worked on ties everything together. I used a lot of tools within Premiere Pro and a lot of After Effects CC, which was terrific. Reframing things and putting them in the right position before sending everything to the post house for final finishing was so easy and fast in Premiere Pro.
Adobe: How do you feel about the Captain Morgan series you completed?
Pertofsky: The last Captain Morgan spot came out great and I’m really proud of it. The project involved heavy use of After Effects and Premiere Pro. I love knowing that when I have a big effects gig going I have powerful programs that I can work with to make the offline presentation look good. For the Captain Morgan spot I used After Effects to create a garbage matte around an object that let me move things around easily and quickly, which was a huge help. Moving elements around and reframing is much easier and faster thanks to Dynamic Link; I can line everything up in Premiere Pro, quickly jump into After Effects, and then easily go back and open the project in Premiere Pro again with all of the moves applied.
Adobe: Now that you’ve been working with Adobe Premiere Pro CC for a while, have you made any new discoveries?
Pertofsky: One of the tools that works great in Premiere Pro is mixing on the fly. I can set it up, mix the spot, and it leaves keyframes behind that I can manipulate further later. A lot of times as I’m showing a rough cut to a client I’m actually mixing it in Premiere Pro at the same time. Then when they ask to watch it again, I’m just fixing the mix and it speeds up the whole process. This is also useful because clients don’t have the appetite to look at rough cuts, they want to see it as close to finished as possible without paying for it to be finished. We have to do as much as possible in the cutting room to make it look good. All of the LUTs that are in Premiere Pro are terrific for doing quick color changes.
Adobe: Are there any other tools that help speed your workflow?
Pertofsky: I have an NVIDIA Quadro K5000 and it makes me completely forget about rendering. With everything going in and out of After Effects and adding effects in Premiere Pro, it never slows me down.
A remote team uses laptops equipped with Adobe Premiere Pro CC to edit and package athlete stories
Since the beginning of the Winter Games, Hearst Television has been on site in Sochi delivering general coverage, as well as profiles of individual Team USA athletes. Hearst relies on a tapeless workflow and reporters in the newsroom and out in the field use Premiere Pro, part of Adobe Creative Cloud, to assemble and edit their stories.
The broadcaster moved its news operations to a file-based pipeline four years ago. As part of the transition, it partnered with Adobe for its editing platform combined with a Bitcentral production system.
“We brought people from the stations into the transition process very early, so it worked out well and they were really pleased with it,” says Joe Addalia, director of technology projects for Hearst Television. “In our creative services group the team immediately wrapped their arms around the Adobe workflow; when the creative people start saying how much they love Adobe tools the news people hear them and start becoming champions too.”
Today, 19 of the 25 Hearst stations that produce news use Premiere Pro for day-to-day cutting of news stories. In the field crews are equipped with HP or Dell laptops running Premiere Pro and sometimes Prelude.
This month, the remote workflow is being put to the test: A team of eight people, including a mix of photojournalists, reporters, producers, and a technical lead are working on-site in Sochi putting together human interest stories about athletes who live in the communities where Hearst broadcasts. The team is covering U.S. athletes in their local markets, with additional material delivered to Hearst’s ten NBC affiliates.
“It’s my job to make sure everyone’s laptop does what it is supposed to do in a foreign environment,” says Larry Vancini, Hearst’s technical lead on the project. “Once the crews and teams acquire the news and create a package, I get the finished packages back to the stations and handle any necessary embargoing. If something is shot only for NBC, and only for Louisville, the correct metadata must be present when that package is uploaded.”
Vancini uses Media Encoder to output the proper file formats, including presets he has created for standard definition and high definition H.264. Of the nineteen stations that have Premiere Pro, seventeen of them also use Bitcentral as their production system. Metadata is entered within Bitcentral whenever content is uploaded. Once the material is ready, the network of Bitcentral stations are alerted that the content is available and the remaining stations have access to it via a web browser.
In order to handle the amount of content it’s tasked with creating in Sochi, the Hearst team pre-writes most stories—which helps the team organize their time and gives them the ability to jump on stories that develop in the moment. Reporters may use previously shot content of local athletes and combine it with fresh Sochi footage. Producers laying out the plans have a seven hour time difference in their favor so they can work a day ahead and get direct feedback from the stations, when necessary.
While reporters don’t have the luxury of working a story right until the moment it goes to air, in Sochi only one news package each day is date- and time-sensitive, all other stories can be completed and uploaded a day ahead of time, so the stations have plenty of time to bring them to air. Despite distance and bandwidth constraints, the team is excited to be working on site at The Games and delivering high-quality content back to local stations hungry for coverage.
“We’ve dabbled with the system since the election and also used it for localized coverage of the Zimmerman trial,” says Vancini. “In that case we were in the same time zone and all content was edited locally with Premiere Pro and encoded using Media Encoder. We pushed the files back on a high speed pipe and it worked flawlessly. We’ve taken this model and applied it to our Sochi workflow and it’s going well.”
Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud
Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud
Broadcaster uses Adobe Creative Cloud workflow to create opener promoting the winter games
The Winter Games are a chance for us to witness magic moments of incredible artistry and athleticism performed by the amazing athletes competing there. But in order for us to do so, broadcasters around the world spent months preparing for that short period of intense coverage. For Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), a publicly funded broadcaster serving the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the preparations included creating a stunning opener that builds excitement for audiences tuning-in to the games. Patrick Arnecke, head of design and promotion, leads the creative team responsible for design and production of the on air campaign.
Adobe: Tell us about the Swiss Radio and Television.
Arnecke: The SRF is a publicly funded broadcaster that serves the German-speaking part of Switzerland. We maintain two full-blown 24/7 TV channels, a TV repeat channel for news programs, seven radio channels, and an extensive online portal.
Adobe: What teams do you work with at the SRF and what do they produce?
Arnecke: I’m the head of the design and promotion team. The design team consists of 25 designers who do all corporate design, motion graphics and interaction design for SRF. Creatively they are responsible for channel branding, campaigns, image clips and labels as well as show packaging. We also do all of the 2D and 3D animation used for our TV magazines and news shows. The promotion team has eleven editors and promo producers who work on traditional on-air trailers as well as cross media campaigns.
Adobe: Tell us about the work you’ve done for the Winter Games?
Arnecke: Last year during the summer we started to rethink our overall sports design. We have various sports programs on air and wanted to repackage the whole set of shows for SRF zwei, our main entertainment and sports channel. We regularly cover huge events like the Winter Games for the Swiss audience, and we needed to come up with a solution for those events as well, and tie that into the overall design.
We decided to center our redesign around the core idea of the “magic moment”—those rare moments when extraordinary athletic performance seems almost supernatural. We then spent five days shooting all the necessary plates using RED Epic and Phantom Flex cameras, special camera rigs with a high speed camera carousel, and a huge 15m x 9m x 7.5m green screen area. Among other things, we staged ice hockey, alpine skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, ski jumping, and cross country skiing. Everything was conceptualized, directed, and pre- and post-produced by four in-house designers. From that footage we produced a 28-second opener for our Sochi coverage along with the show packaging, and the promo teasers that we used to ramp up the campaign in January.
Adobe: What products are you using to produce your content?
Arnecke: Right now we have a mix of Adobe Creative Cloud and Creative Suite 6 software. On the design team we use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Our main tool for 2D animation is After Effects, and we rely on Cinema 4D as our main 3D package. The closer relationship between Adobe and Maxon and the strong connection between Cinema 4D and After Effects comes in very handy for our pipeline.
At the beginning of 2013 we started using Edge Animate to create small, interactive HTML5 elements to give our online news articles more depth and interactivity. For our video content, we started to work with SpeedGrade to give content from different sources a uniform look. During the last months we switched to Premiere Pro as our main editing tool, which replaces Final Cut Pro.
Adobe: What was the workflow for creating the Sochi opener?
Arnecke: In pre-production the responsible designers Martin Bernhard (director) and Simon Renfer (co-director) used Photoshop, with Wacom tablets and screens, to create the storyboards. On set and after the shoot was completed, we used SpeedGrade to convert the Phantom material and then edited the content in Premiere Pro. Lead 3D Artists Jürg Dummermuth and Simone Nucci did all of the 3D CGI with Cinema 4D. In addition to using After Effects for previsualization and animatics, it was also used for 2D animation, keying, rotoscoping, retouching, compositing, and grading. We’ve done a lot of smaller projects such as show openers and image trailers using Premiere Pro, but the Sochi opener is one of the biggest projects we’ve done to date with the new workflow.
Adobe: Why did you make the switch to Premiere Pro?
Arnecke: After Apple didn’t continue Final Cut Pro, we were looking for alternatives. The pipeline efficiencies that let us easily switch between Premiere Pro and After Effects are important to us. Premiere Pro is especially useful if we shoot on RED cameras because thanks to the Mercury Playback Engine we don’t have to convert and we can edit right away. We usually like to edit on set to see if what we’ve shot is exactly what we need.
Adobe: Tell us how you’re using Adobe Edge Animate CC?
Arnecke: We have a small team of designers who work on infographics for our daily news shows. We use graphical content created for on-air programming, add interactivity and repackage that content for our news articles online. For example, for the election of Pope Franziskus or the 50th anniversary of the President Kennedy assassination we created interactive explanatory pieces with Edge Animate. These interactives give more depth to our news articles online and typically take us one to three days to produce—last year we did more than 150 of these.
See examples of the infographics here
Adobe: What’s next for your team?
Arnecke: We’re planning a seven day shoot that will take place in March for our summer sports. With the success of the winter sports workflow, we’ll be using a similar setup.
Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud
Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud
We were on pins and needles during Interaction14 in Amsterdam, where we were presented with the award:
Which, by the way, looks like this:
Thank you IxDA jury. We’re honored. And thrilled.
That was the short story; here’s the long(er) version:
Because inspiration doesn’t always hit when we’re in front of our computers, and the colors of the world are not always right outside our windows, Gabriel Campbell (lead designer), David Ericksen (product manager), and the rest of the Adobe XD team created a way for people to take some of the functionality of the desktop version of Adobe Kuler into the world:
It’s called the Adobe Kuler iPhone App.
With it, users can sample colors and create color themes. On the go. With an iPhone. It’s functional, it’s fun and, when the Kuler app is combined with an Adobe ID and synced with Creative Cloud, the color themes are available in Illustrator CC, Flash Pro CC and Edge Code CC in the Kuler Panel (with no need to save them as Adobe Swatch Exchange files).
So, not only does the Kuler app capture colors, it organizes them in a way that makes them useful and usable. It’s why, after launching the app in May 2013, the proud Adobe XD team submitted it to the 2014 IxD Awards. And, well, the rest of that story is… We won!
As if that weren’t enough, jurors Aaron Siegel (Fabrica) and Anab Jain (Superflux) discussed the category and why the Adobe Kuler app stood out among the nominees. Our favorite bits from their three-minute video: Aaron’s comment, “We selected this primarily because the range of creative outlets for this particular application is unforeseeably unlimited,” and Anab’s acknowledgement that she finds the app as useful as we do, “In a sense it becomes an enabler for people to start doing things they would not do otherwise.”
But, really, don’t just take our word for it (or, for that matter, the word of the jury), the Adobe Kuler iPhone App is free in the iTunes store. Download it. See for yourself why we, and the 2014 IxDA jury, love it so much.
Thanks to a certain viral video, we all know what sound a fox makes.
But what does your pet sound like? We’d love to see your creativity with Edge Animate and its new audio capabilities. With new native audio support in Edge Animate CC, you can show us. Show us your pet, real or imagined, photographed or animated, with sound.
You can go the route of Paul Trani and create your own animation (Hello, Pet Alien Space-Man). Here’s how Paul added pet sounds:
Or, you can use your own pet photos.
However you’d like to do it, give it a shot and share it with us. Whether on Twitter, Facebook or Behance, tag it with “#EdgeAnimate” and “#PetSounds” and we’ll contact you and send you some special Adobe schwag!
Editors note: Cinematographer and colorist Will Read is presenting a one hour Ask a Video Pro online seminar this week: Crafting the perfect image: from camera to color grading is on Thursday, February 6 at 10:00am PST.
London-based filmmaker Will Read is part of the new generation of digital artists, and works as a director, cinematographer, editor, and especially, as a colorist. He has completed commercial, broadcast, and long-form content in conventional and 3D formats for a long list of clients, including Saatchi & Saatchi, Bloomberg Television, ITV, Team Angelica, Adidas, Canon, and numerous others.
We spoke with Will about his work, his vision, and his tools.
What made you decide you wanted to be a filmmaker?
As an art student in high-school, I was fascinated with photography, writing and theatre, but it took me a while to connect the dots and put everything together. When I was watching the DVD extras of Sophia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation,” it hit me. I saw the director and director of photography, Lance Accord, working together and it struck me as the coolest form of art where story, writing, photography, music, theatre and so on, all gelled together.
With the breadth of digital tools available in Creative Cloud, our members have access to applications they’ve never used before… or never even thought to try. Maybe you’re a web designer interested in learning to use our pro video tools; maybe you’re an illustrator who finally wants to learn to use our digital imaging software; or maybe you just want to get the most out of Behance and Typekit.
No matter what you want to learn, or why you want to learn it, now’s the time to try the Adobe tools you’ve never tried before:
The 30- to 90-minute courses will be available from 3:00pm to 6:00pm PST (6:00pm to 9:00pm EST and 11:00pm to 2:00am GMT). The courses are free to the general public for three hours and available on-demand to KelbyOne members.
So block off your weekday evenings in February. Then decide whether you’d like to learn more about Typekit, Illustrator CC and InDesign CC; Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC; or Behance, Muse CC and Camera Raw. And, finally, remember to head over to KelbyOne on Mondays to check on the courses for the week.
Monday February 3
Photoshop CC Basics for Photographers with Matt Kloskowski
Tuesday February 4
Illustrator CC Basics with Pete Collins
Wednesday February 5
Premiere Pro CC Basics with Brandon Ford
Thursday February 6
InDesign CC Basics with Terry White
Friday February 7
Adobe Typekit with Corey Barker
Monday February 10
Getting Started with Acrobat CC with RC Concepcion
Tuesday February 11
Adobe After Effects CC Basics with Corey Barker
Wednesday February 12
Getting Started with Bridge CC with Mia McCormick
Thursday February 13
Illustrator CC: Beyond the Basics with Corey Barker
Friday February 14
Lightroom 5 Basics for Photographers with Matt Kloskowski
Monday February 17
Premiere Pro CC for Photographers with Terry White
Tuesday February 18
The Essentials of Typography with Scott Kelby
Wednesday February 19
Getting Started with Audition CC with RC Concepcion
Thursday February 20
On Using Behance with Pete Collins
Friday February 21
Premiere Pro CC Beyond the Basics with Brandon Ford
Monday February 24
Muse CC for Photographers with Terry White
Tuesday February 25
Camera Raw Basics with Scott Kelby
Wednesday February 26
Getting Started with Kuler with Pete Collins
Thursday February 27
Getting Started with Prelude CC with RC Concepcion
Friday February 28
Photoshop CC for Designers with Corey Barker