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Posts in Category "Digital Video & Audio"

Changes Ahead for Video and Audio Social Channels—A New Year, A New Name

In the early days of 2015, you’ll notice a fresh take on so​me of Adobe’s Pro Video social channels. In order to deliver the most current, informative posts on a daily basis, we’ll create an integrated feed on Facebook and Twitter featuring news, tutorials and more for ALL of the Adobe video applications. Excited? So are we! No action required on your part at the moment. Stay tuned for more details to come in January.

Don’t miss the latest enhancements to Adobe Pro Video tools, including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Audition CC, Adobe SpeedGrade CC, Adobe Story CC Plus, Adobe Prelude CC, and Adobe Media Encoder CC.

10:31 AM Permalink

Adobe Video Applications Updated

Creative Cloud offers pros performance and compatibility with the latest technologies.

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Adobe released updates today for its pro video applications including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC  , Adobe Media Encoder CC, Adobe SpeedGrade CC, Adobe Audition CC, Adobe Prelude CC, and Adobe Story CC Plus. The 2014.2 release offers feature enhancements and updates, including YouTube and Vimeo uploading via Destination Publishing in Media Encoder CC for an easier, more integrated workflow when sending video content to these destinations.

The Premiere Pro CC 2014.2 update includes a number of feature enhancements for editors, including support for Arri Open Gate media, the ability to set transitions and still image default durations in either seconds or frames, and improved GoPro CineForm export. In addition, QuickTime and GoPro CineForm codecs can now be used as sequence preview file formats on Windows

The 2014.2 update of After Effects CC provides more control over text through scripts and expressions. Additionally, based on customer feedback, the team made visual tweaks to the UI such as making the keyframe icons a bit brighter to stand out better against the background.

Along with Destination Publishing to YouTube and Vimeo, the Media Encoder CC update includes updated Vimeo and GoPro CineForm presets, the option to automatically append preset names to output file names, the ability to export audio channels as separate WAV files, and more. Audition CC, Prelude CC, Story CC Plus, and SpeedGrade CC offer a number improvements as well.

Premiere Pro CC was used to edit David Fincher’s thriller Gone Girl, which has been enjoying considerable success at the box office this fall. “When it came down to it, Premiere Pro CC was faster than anything else in the market, said Jeff Brue of Open Drives who served as post-production engineer on the film. “That speed meant more iterations, more time to work on a shot, and more time to perfect an edit.” Many of the features introduced in Premiere Pro and After Effects CC were born of the collaboration with David Fincher’s post-production team on Gone Girl, including new project management capabilities and usability enhancements.”

“2014 has been exciting for us,” said Bill Roberts, senior director of product management. “We kicked things off with Sundance last January and ended strong with Gone Girl. Along the way we’ve been able to add great new features, like tighter workflows between Premiere Pro and After Effects CC, an integrated editing and grading pipeline, and our all-new Adobe Premiere Clip app for making great videos quickly and easily on your iOS devices. We’re happy to round off the year with these new updates adding more functionality, refinements, and an improved overall user experience.”

Learn more about the 2014.2 updates on the product blogs for Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Media Encoder CC, Audition CC, Prelude CC, Story CC Plus, and SpeedGrade CC.

Join Creative Cloud. Or, try it free for 30 days.

12:01 PM Permalink

Unpack The App!

This December, celebrate the holidays with Adobe Premiere Clip.

Throughout December, the Premiere Clip blog will feature posts that show how to get the most out of the mobile app along with filmmaking tips to help you create videos that look and sound great. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at all of Clip’s features, including Story Guides, audio controls, and guidelines for dialing in your visual storytelling skills.

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All month long, we’ll be shining our spotlight on videos #MadeWithClip that showcase seasonal cheer. Use Clip to create a holiday video card to share with loved ones or compile a “Year-in-Review” video using photos and videos taken throughout 2014. Share your videos with us on @PremiereClip and include #MadeWithClip for a chance to be featured on our blog and the Community Video page in the app!

To kick things off, check out this video greeting card from Adobe:

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Download Adobe Premiere Clip.
Follow @PremiereClip on Twitter.
Watch the Premiere Clip blog for tips, trick & highlights.

2:47 PM Permalink

MTunes, Delivering A Unique Viewing Experience in High Def

India’s music channel standardizes on Adobe Creative Cloud workflow to deliver superior quality HD video content.

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MTunes is India’s first and only high definition (HD) music channel showcasing Bollywood, India’s Hindi-language film industry, music around the clock. A technically superior channel compared to its contemporaries in the music genre, it features the latest blockbuster hits and the most trending tracks of Bollywood in sparkling high definition colors and crystal clear Dolby Digital sound. Launched in 2011, MTunes promises a unique viewing experience and superior audio and video quality.

The channel previously used Final Cut Pro to edit the HD video content received from multiple producers as well as from its in-house shoots. Many of these file formats were incompatible with Final Cut Pro and required conversion to ProRes format. This made the process of video editing and broadcasting tedious and time consuming.

“Besides our in-house shoots, the media we get comes from different external sources and in different formats such as HDCAM 50, P2, or R3D,” says Kalpesh Mehta, head of technical/broadcast operations, MTunes. “We were not able to work natively as Final Cut Pro is incompatible with many of the video output formats.”

In cases when the channel received media files that are incompatible with Final Cut Pro, it either had to ask the sender to resend the file after re-encoding or transcode it before being imported into the editor’s timeline. The loss of visual quality and time was considerable. “We used to spend as much as three hours transcoding the media files and the loss of quality of such transcoded media files was significant,” says Mehta.

With its existing video and audio editing tools, MTunes was facing severe challenges in managing the workflow for large projects. The channel had to use third-party software for multiple tasks such as inserting graphics, processing audio, and exporting the final media files to the HD playout server. It needed a streamlined and efficient workflow for editing the audio and video HD content and for generating the final media files in a format accepted by its HD playout server. “We were looking for an integrated system that would work natively with different file formats to help ensure that a superior quality HD video is broadcasted efficiently,” says Mehta.

Standardizing on an all-Adobe workflow

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After careful deliberations, MTunes decided to replace Final Cut Pro with Adobe Premiere Pro CC software and standardize on an all Adobe workflow. The channel adopted Adobe Creative Cloud for teams including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, and Adobe Audition CC. “We realized that the video apps in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams offer incredible integration, more robust features, enhanced media management, and a greatly advanced, yet familiar user interface in which our editing team can work with higher efficiency,” says Mehta.

For MTunes, Premiere Pro CC is primarily used to import HD media into the system and edit natively without any transcoding with the help of wide range of codecs available. After Effects CC and Photoshop CC link to Premiere Pro CC in a transparent and seamless manner so that graphics can be directly superimposed on the media files. The audio is processed by Audition CC and the final media exported to the playout server.

“When we started really putting Adobe Premiere Pro CC to use, we were pleasantly surprised,” says Mehta. “The Dynamic Link capability between Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC dramatically speeds our workflow as we can insert multiple graphic elements seamlessly into our songs or shows.”

The channel uses multiple features of Premiere Pro CC, from enhanced multicam editing and support for more native camera formats to multi-format exporting and delivery. MTunes can now export media content to various formats suitable for broadcasting to its playout server, hosting on the website, or sending preview quality clips to clients.

Broadening the expertise of the editing team

The migration to a Creative Cloud workflow went smoothly without any work disruption. Intuitive features such as the ability to use Final Cut Pro 7 shortcut keys while working in Premiere Pro CC helped to smooth the transition. Adobe also held multiple training sessions to train the MTunes team on Creative Cloud apps, specifically on Premiere Pro CC and Audition CC.

Now, with simplified access to all of the components in Creative Cloud, the editing and creative teams are always prepared and updated. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives the MTunes team upgrades of the software upon release of new versions, plus exclusive features between releases, enabling them to stay up to date on the video editing tools integral to their daily workflow.

Significant time savings, efficient project execution

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The ability of Premiere Pro CC to ingest almost any raw camera format without transcoding has enabled the channel to migrate media from any DSLR and professional video cameras or hard disks into Premiere Pro CC much more easily. One program, Star Of The Week, was shot on XDCAM HD 422 and could be imported directly into Premiere Pro CC for editing without transcoding, preserving quality and saving time.

The amount of time saved with Creative Cloud applications is considerable. “On an average, we save about three hours per project using the video applications in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams—quite significant considering our stringent timelines,” says Mehta.

Raising productivity while lowering cost of ownership

Adopting Adobe Creative Cloud for teams proved to be an incredibly cost effective measure for MTunes. The large capital expense associated with upgrading software licenses often meant such expense was moved down the budget priority list, resulting in outdated software. Further, uninstalling and reinstalling software to move licenses around to different users was tedious and time-consuming.

The Admin Console has helped MTunes eliminate many manual processes, such as installing packaged software or maintaining version consistency. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams has helped us raise our productivity by simplifying software administration with license management, automatic tracking, and version upgrades,” says Mehta.

For MTunes, membership of Creative Cloud for teams has significantly reduced the total cost of ownership of Adobe solutions by creating a standardized model for purchasing and deploying the most current versions of Creative Cloud applications and services. “We like paying a monthly fee for Adobe Creative Cloud for teams because it’s a much more effective approach to budgeting, especially for small- to medium-size businesses, and it eliminates lump-sum software purchases,” says Mehta. “With access to the latest Adobe applications via Creative Cloud for teams, we can take advantage of new features and support collaboration among users without cost being a barrier.”

Adobe Creative Cloud for teams helps support the channel’s rapid growth and efficiently manage the workflow of large and complex projects. “As the digital world is transitioning from SD to HD and now to 4K Ultra HD formats the need for integrated software with multiple capabilities will continue to expand,” says Mehta. “The video and audio editing tools in Adobe Creative Cloud are perfectly suited for such an environment.”

Read the MTunes case study.

2:14 PM Permalink

Video Production in An Ultra HD World

Adobe Premiere Pro CC and The GoPro CineForm Codec

UltraHD is here to stay as more and more consumers demand content that makes them feel like they are part of an experience. Some analysts think that by the end of 2018, 10% of American households will have 4K capable TVs and by the end of 2024, that number could reach 50%. That means that it’s up to us, as content creators, to start getting comfortable with editing in 4K and 5K—or even 6K—to create Ultra HD content to meet this increasing demand.

The tools we need to shoot, edit and distribute this content are more important than ever. And, because it is not uncommon for a project that just took a few days of shooting to result in one or two terabytes of hard drive space, these big files need powerful software—not to mention bigger hard drives—that can edit the footage without choking.

Compressing Ultra HD with the GoPro CineForm Codec

Although Adobe has been a leader in the ability to edit Ultra HD footage natively within Premiere Pro CC, we realize, when it comes time to working with Ultra HD, that compressing your file format can help your workflow.

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The CineForm codec has been around for a long time and I’ve used it for years. It’s a great finishing codec that provides faster editing without sacrificing image quality. In 2011, GoPro made a camera that supports small formats yet delivers high resolutions. They later acquired CineForm and its codec, known as the GoPro CineForm Codec; with the most recent release of Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, and Adobe Media Encoder CC we’re making it available to you as part of your Creative Cloud subscription.

Learn how the CineForm codec offers Premiere Pro CC users a cross-platform intermediate codec with full support for alpha and large frame sizes of 4K and beyond. We also have an extensive overview on our Premiere Pro CC help website.

On the technical side, the GoPro CineForm codec is a true 12-bit color codec, though it actually has two pixel formats: YUV 4:2:2 at 10 bits per channel, or RGBA 4:4:4:4 at 12 bits per channel. Media Encoder CC will render frames internally at a color depth that may be higher or lower, as appropriate for the incoming source, but it will encode at the true 10-bit or 12-bit color that GoPro CineForm is known for.

It’s interesting to note that the GoPro CineForm Codec has been standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) as the SMPTE ST 2073 VC-5 video compression standard—the new open codec standard for video acquisition and post production.

You can access this codec easily for projects in Premiere Pro CC: From the FILE > EXPORT >MEDIA menu,  select “Quicktime” as the format. We wrap the finished product in a “.mov” wrapper for both Mac and Windows environments, but it still has all the quality and attributes of the GoPro CineForm Codec. Under the VIDEO tab select the codec you want and among the many familiar ones associated with Quicktime, you will find GoPro CineForm Codec listed. You can watch my YouTube video and see exactly how this is done.

It’s important to note that in a Mac environment, the resulting clips have to use Quicktime 7 for playback. In the example I used in my video for a 3-day video shoot, our 1.1 terabyte project was reduced to 43.69 gigabytes! Playback is outstanding and the quality is there.

Also, my colleague, Tim Kurkoski, wrote a blog post for the After Effects blog on GoPro CineFrom code settings.

I hope you enjoy using this excellent codec.

Visit the Creative Cloud video page for more information about all of our post-production products such as Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, and SpeedGrade CC.

10:18 AM Permalink

How The Gone Girl Post-production Team Helped Us Deliver Better Features in Adobe Premiere Pro CC

I’ve been the product manager for Adobe Premiere Pro CC for four years and have never been more excited to work with our product teams and customers than I am now.

Most of you know by now that Premiere Pro CC was used as the exlusive non-linear editing system (NLE) for David Fincher’s Gone Girl—the first Hollywood feature film shot in 6K. While you may already know how Premiere Pro CC helped the Gone Girl team work more efficiently, you likely don’t know how working with the Gone Girl post-production team helped us build a better product.

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At Adobe, we’re committed to making a product that reflects customer feedback and needs, and we love working closely with customers throughout product development cycles. We were offered the opportunity to work with editorial royalty—two-time Academy Award winner Kirk Baxter, ACE, who we knew would push Premiere Pro CC to be an even better NLE. Considering he works with David Fincher, a director notoriously known for pushing technical limits while filmmaking, we felt that getting this right would mean a lot for our product and our users.

So what did we do? We parked our engineers in the same building—just doors away from Kirk, assistant editor Tyler Nelson, and post-production supervisor Peter Mavromates. The engineers lived-and-breathed the movie just like the production team (and I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I was when I saw their names in the credits), working very long days, helping with workflow questions, and fixing issues as they arose.

There were a lot of features that the Gone Girl team helped us create but the top three are Render & Replace, Multi-project Workflows, and Advanced Search in timeline (all of these were recently made public in the October 2014 release of Premiere Pro CC).

Because Gone Girl was super Adobe After Effects CC heavy—a good amount of the timeline was After Effects CC comps—Render & Replace was designed to help the team speed up performance by flattening completed After Effects CC compositions into video clips (in fact the feature was finished too late to be used on the movie, so they used preview renders, but we certainly built it alongside them). Thanks to Dynamic Link, intermediate rendering was eliminated between Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC. The original comps were always accessible if the assistant editor needed to make further changes to a comp, and he could do so while Kirk continued the edit. When the comp was done, it would show up in Kirk’s timeline.

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Multi-project Workflows allowed the Gone Girl team to work concurrently on different parts of the film in different project environments. Kirk Baxter was able to open multiple Media Browser panels for easy access to parts of the project that assistant editors were working on at the same time. The new Source Monitor Timeline—which allows users to open a second timeline for media and sequences from other projects, making it easy to bring existing clips, edits, comps and effects directly into the current project—was suggested by the Gone Girl team and although the feature wasn’t available during the editing of the film, it did make it into the October 2014 release.

We also added the ability to search bins so users can generate dynamic bins based on search criteria. This enabled us to include Advanced Timeline Search capabilities as well. Search bins are updated as new content is added, so users can keep projects organized, even as new footage is still coming in.

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We also added other features such as assignable marker colors and a variety of timeline improvements that helped the team work better and faster. As we built the features for and with the Gone Girl team, we learned more about their incredibly challenging workflow than we ever considered.

All that learning and all those long hours (Thanks guys!) have helped us to build a better product, and we’re so proud of what we achieved with the input from the Gone Girl editorial and post-production team. There were some tough times—we knew there would be—but thanks to the dedicated professionals on their editing team and our engineering team, the project was a huge success, and the first of many more exciting things to come.

Last month, we hosted a panel of the team that worked on Gone Girl. Check out the Behind the Scenes on Gone Girl, which begins with a quick overview of how the tools were used.

10:18 AM Permalink

Really Creative Media: Bringing Events to Life

Media production company, Really Creative Media, uses the integrated software in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to work with top talent and bring stunning high-tech visuals to live events.

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Today’s biggest events and musical acts entertain audiences from all angles, often combining audio and video for exciting spectacles. With backgrounds in theater and video production, Really Creative Media’s co-founders Nick Dew and Jack James are perfectly suited to oversee events that marry live and virtual experiences. The two directors work with teams of expert designers, animators, technicians, and more to bring visual productions to life.

For Really Creative Media, every project is unique with different requirements. “We primarily work with freelancers, so we can combine the best skillsets for each job,” says Dew. “Working with freelancers enables us to work flexibly, but it also means that we need to invest more time and energy to keep everyone on the same page, encourage collaboration, and deliver consistent results—and Creative Cloud does that for us.”

Working as a team

Adobe creative software forms the core of every step of Really Creative Media’s workflow. Whether working on runway shows, touring musical acts, or movie premieres, Really Creative Media relies on Creative Cloud to produce the videos, animations, and intense visual effects that bring shows to life.

Working with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, Really Creative Media provides its freelancers with access to the latest versions of industry-standard Adobe creative software. “With Creative Cloud for teams, everyone works on the same version, so we don’t need to worry about incompatibilities slowing us down,” says James. The company further enhances collaboration by creating sharable settings and templates that help freelancers adhere to the project requirements.

The Admin Console in Creative Cloud for teams enables Really Creative Media to centralize deployment and manage all licenses from a single location. The company gains visibility into who is using what software, making it easy to reclaim licenses when a project ends and to assign seats to new team members for short-term projects. Once licenses are provided, users can download or update any assigned software without assistance—in the office or on the road.

“To produce truly complementary content for an event, we often need to be on location to fine-tune the timing and effects, so we spend quite a bit of time traveling,” says James. “Previously, we would physically remove hard drives from our work computers and fly them to new locations. With Adobe Creative Cloud, we can log in from a remote computer and sync our work so that we’re accessing the same files, software, and settings that we had in London.”

Backing up a legendary rock band

For a recent project, Really Creative Media supported the world tour of Queen + Adam Lambert with large LED light and video projections.

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage

The creative team used Adobe Illustrator CC for drawing and arraying objects before moving assets into Adobe After Effects CC to prototype visuals, while Adobe Photoshop CC was used to open videos and extract stills and batch TIFF sequences with a specific effect. “With the deep integration among Adobe software applications, edits that we make in Photoshop CC are automatically updated in After Effects CC,” says Dew. “We can spend more time pushing ourselves further creatively and less time exporting files.”

The video portions of the show used significant amounts of archival footage, creating the illusion that legendary Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury was on stage with the rest of the band. “We were working on all types of archival footage—film, tape, you name it,” says Dew. “Adobe Premiere Pro CC supports any file format, so we could just drop footage on the timeline without waiting to transcode hours of video at a time.”

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with large LED light and video projections

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with large LED light and video projections

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with video projections

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with video projections

Once finalized, Really Creative Media rendered the footage using Adobe Media Encoder CC. Not only did Media Encoder CC render quickly, but it also worked in the background so that creators were able to continue working on the project and make the most out of their time.

Integration and flexibility

Through deep integration with third-party plug-ins and software, including Trapcode and Cinema 4D, especially Cinema 4D integration with After Effects CC, Creative Cloud for teams provides creators with the flexibility to use any specialty programs within the Adobe workflow. In future projects, Really Creative Media looks forward to leveraging the built-in support for 4K resolution footage in Premiere Pro CC to push their presentations visually and provide a better experience for the audience.

“We work with large stage screens, so the ability to work with high resolutions will enable us to deliver sharper and more detailed images for clients,” says Dew. ” Creative Cloud for teams gives us the tools we need to work effectively and push our limits creatively to provide audiences with unforgettable events.”

Read the Really Creative Media case study.

9:53 AM Permalink

New Features, and A Mobile App, for Creative Cloud’s Pro Video Tools

Updated desktop features, born from a collaboration with David Fincher’s Gone Girl team, and Adobe Premiere Clip, a new mobile app.

On Monday, at Adobe MAX 2014, the world’s leading creativity conference, Adobe announced the availability of new and updated free mobile apps, like the all-new Adobe Premiere Clip for iOS, and 2014.1 updates to Creative Cloud applications, including all of the video tools:

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Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Adobe After Effects CC
Adobe SpeedGrade CC
Adobe Prelude CC
Adobe Audition CC
Adobe Media Encoder CC
Adobe Story CC Plus
Adobe Anywhere

Adobe previewed the new video features at IBC 2014 last month. Key themes for the updates include: new project and media management capabilities, such as Search bins and Destination Publishing; support for cutting-edge technologies, like HiDPI Windows 8.1 displays and devices and read/write support for the GoPro CineForm intermediate codec; and more streamlined workflows, including Curves adjustments and a refined new Look workflow in SpeedGrade CC.

Introducing Adobe Premiere Clip

The MAX announcements also included the release of Adobe Premiere Clip, a brand new iOS app that makes it easy to turn footage on an iPhone or iPad into great-looking videos. The app allows users to edit and enhance video with professional looks, effects, and audio. Premiere Clip uses Creative Cloud to automatically sync projects between devices, so that users can shoot whenever they have an opportunity—and edit later when they have time. Users can also move Clip projects into Premiere Pro CC via their Creative Profile, which provides access to their rich desktop toolset.

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“With Premiere Clip we’re making editing a function that is always in your hands. Our goal is to bring the tools to the media,” explained Bill Roberts, senior director of product management. “This allows people to ‘just do it’ and start making their own beautiful videos, completely on device, or to use it as a kind of sketchbook for video pros who want to rough out ideas to bring into Premiere Pro.”

Adobe Premiere Clip for iPhone and iPad is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store.

The Influence of Gone Girl

Coinciding with the recent theatrical release of Gone Girl—directed by David Fincher and edited on Premiere Pro CC by Kirk Baxter, ACE—the new updates include a number of features developed in collaboration with Team Fincher. These include larger features, like Multi-project workflows and Advanced Timeline search, workflow enhancements like EDL improvements and Render & Replace, and important details of the UI and workspace refinements, such as ripple label colors and definable marker colors, the way in- and out ranges are displayed.

In Gone Girl Rosamund Pike portrays Amy Dunne, whose mysterious disappearance turns her husband into a possible murder suspect.

“I believe this was the first major Hollywood film shot at 6K so the scope of the project was huge.” said Al Mooney, senior product manager. “We were working with an artistically-driven and incredibly technical team at the top of their game. It was an inspiring experience for us and we’re immensely proud to have been part of it.”

Fully 80 percent of Gone Girl ended up as some form of After Effects CC composition on the final Premiere Pro Timeline for the project. This gave rise to the request for the Render & Replace feature from Team Fincher. Render & Replace ensures fast playback of projects with lots of visual effects by substituting comps with rendered clips—without losing Dynamic Link integration between Premiere Pro and After Effects. “It’s exciting for us to be releasing features for all of our users that have evolved out of a collaboration with one of the best filmmakers in the business,” added Mooney.

 

Along with a significant update to Premiere Pro CC, all of the video tools received enhancements and new features with the 2014.1 release. For more information watch this overview video by Al Mooney.

To learn more about Adobe’s collaboration with David Fincher and his team on Gone Girl, read Gone Girl Marks Yet Another Milestone for Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Learn more about Adobe Premiere Clip and the rest of Adobe’s new and updated mobile apps.

Watch the Adobe MAX 2014 launch keynote and learn more about all of the great new fall releases.

Pricing and availability

Today’s updates to Creative Cloud are available to Creative Cloud members as part of their membership at no additional cost. To join Creative Cloud, special promotional pricing is available to customers who own Adobe Creative Suite 3 or later and membership plans are available for individuals, students, photographers, teams, educational institutions, government agencies and enterprises.

10:36 AM Permalink

Gone Girl Marks Yet Another Milestone for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

David Fincher crafts a thriller with a talented team of artists and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

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If the first film review in Variety is any indication, Director David Fincher’s film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel Gone Girl will be well worth the price of admission. Many filmgoers will see the movie because they like the actors, the genre, or because they’ve read the book. Many others will go because they love Fincher’s vigorous storytelling, his impeccable pacing, and his striking visual style.

Whether the audience is conscious of it or not, it is Fincher’s careful structuring of narrative and imagery that makes his films so powerful. Gone Girl is the first Hollywood feature-length film cut entirely in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Fincher is a director known for pushing technology to the edge. To help realize his ambitious vision for Gone Girl, he shot the film with a RED Dragon camera in 6K and assembled a top-notch post-production team. Two-time Academy Award winner Kirk Baxter, ACE, edited the film with help from an editorial department that included Tyler Nelson, his long-time assistant editor. Peter Mavromates worked as post-production supervisor, while Jeff Brue of Open Drives was the post-production engineer. Fincher had worked with the group before, but the decision to use an integrated Adobe workflow with Adobe Premiere Pro CC at the hub, was a first for the tech-savvy director.

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After successfully cutting a Calvin Klein commercial with Premiere Pro CC, the team set out to determine what it would take to support the demands of a two-and-a-half hour feature film using the same Adobe workflow. Brue was tasked with designing the storage system that would enable Premiere Pro  to work smoothly within a demanding 6K production pipeline.

“Our goal was to get as many iterations as possible of the opticals and visual effects in a given period of time to make the story as strong as we could,” explains Brue. “The ask was for nothing less than perfection, which pushed us to do better. When it came down to it, Adobe Premiere Pro CC was faster than anything else in the market. That speed meant more iterations, more time to work on a shot, and more time to perfect an edit.”


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Having worked on previous Fincher projects, Mavromates comfortably assumed the role of managing the pipeline, helping determine the post-production goals, and guiding the visual effects work. With a plan in place, Baxter got started on the edit, working closely with Fincher and relying on Nelson and others on the editorial team to navigate the technicalities of working on such a cutting-edge pipeline.

“Working with the Adobe engineers was probably the best development experience I’ve ever had,” says Nelson. “Everybody was in tune with what was going on and we always had this amazingly collaborative environment. It wasn’t just about making our movie the best movie it could be, we wanted to make every movie cut on Premiere Pro in the future the best movie it could be.”

Fincher shot in 6K with multiple takes, giving the team plenty of material to work with. With a gift for bringing out the best in everyone on a project, it would be easy to assume that the film is comprised of only “perfect takes.” In fact, 80% of the shots were enhanced in some way, from reframing and stabilization to split-screening to remove an extra breath.

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The result, after a lot of meticulous detail work, is a film where every shot seems flawless. As the Variety review says, “…editor Kirk Baxter cuts the picture to within an inch of its life while still allowing individual scenes and the overall structure to breathe…”

“On every film we face the challenge of reducing the screen time without losing content,” says Baxter. “If we don’t have to cut out lines, but instead remove time from a scene by making invisible edits, that’s a win. The way David overshoots the frame in his films allows me to edit within the shot, then I throw it to the guys to sew together in After Effects, make it spotless, and stabilize the shot. That way David can judge the shots by the performance and delivery, rather than making comments on the technical aspects.”

Much of the visual effects work was done in-house, which allowed the team to work iteratively, in parallel with the editing. For example, Baxter could edit in Premiere Pro while others worked on shots in After Effects. The saved compositions would automatically update in Baxter’s timeline thanks to Adobe Dynamic Link. This integrated and interactive workflow kept shots looking cleaner and eliminated distracting back-and-forth discussions so the entire team could focus on the story as it took shape in the edit bay. This streamlined workflow was one of the main advantages for “Team Fincher.”

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“On Gone Girl we managed to do a huge number of effects shots, probably more than 200, in house thanks to the tight integration between Premiere Pro and After Effects,” says Mavromates. “I don’t think the average viewer will think of Gone Girl as a visual effects movie. However, when you look closely at David’s movies he is playing little visual tricks and we are doing brass polishing on a significant number of shots.”

This talented group of self-described perfectionists, supported by a gifted and driven post-production team, put the Adobe video workflow through its most rigorous use case to date with great success. Now, with the hard work behind them, they can sit back and watch their months of work unfold for theater audiences around the world.

Check the Adobe Premiere Pro blog next week for in-depth interviews with Kirk Baxter, Tyler Nelson, Peter Mavromates, and Jeff Brue about their work on Gone Girl.

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud.

11:09 AM Permalink

The Technological Artistry of Obscura Digital

This creative technology studio designs high-impact displays and improves software management with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.

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Investing in multidimensional experiences

Combining innovative technology with unique creative expression, Obscura Digital designs and develops immersive and interactive experiences for events worldwide. Unlike traditional digital agencies that focus on works for print or screen, Obscura specializes in interactive installations, engaging stage shows, and mapping video that turns nearly any surface—from an outdoor sculpture to an entire building—into a video screen.

“We focus on nontraditional mediums and work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds: musicians, artists, and technicians,” says Barry Threw, director of software at Obscura Digital.

For the grand re-opening of the San Francisco Exploratorium, a unique museum dedicated to science, art, and human perception, Obscura manufactured a series of miniature replicas of the building’s façade to capture unique video, including fluid dynamics, microorganisms, and living systems in high-definition, time-lapse video. At the opening, Obscura seamlessly mapped the video onto the front of the building.

The grand re-opening event for San Francisco's Exploratorium.

The grand re-opening event for San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

“When we work with such large canvases, we need to start with ultra-high resolution images,” notes Threw. “Adobe creative software is not only an industry standard, it efficiently handles high-resolution outputs when other software can’t.”

Obscura used Adobe Premiere Pro to create and quickly edit proxy footage, and switched to Adobe After Effects for color correction, transitional moments, speed ramping, and master outputs. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop were used for template creation and image cleanup, while Adobe Bridge assisted with overall file management and metadata annotation.

Delivering agility

Obscura, part of the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) and an Adobe agency partner, recently purchased Creative Cloud for teams through Adobe.com. “We’ll often bring someone in on short notice to create or revise assets as client specifications shift,” says Threw. “With access to the full collection of creative apps, Adobe Creative Cloud for teams supports greater scalability and enables us to change creative direction or take work wherever it needs to go—something we couldn’t do as easily before and respond to client needs almost instantly, right in the field.”

Obscura Digital's mapped architectural projection stage set for the Beats Antique “A Thousand Faces."

Obscura Digital’s mapped architectural projection is part of a stage set for the Beats Antique “A Thousand Faces” tour.

Centralizing license management simplifies administration, making it easy for Obscura to redistribute licenses as they are needed for various projects. “With Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, we can manage licenses very easily through the Admin Console,” says Vlad Spears, a technologist at Obscura Digital. “We always know who has what software, so we can adjust assignments as needed across project teams and contractors.”

Creative Cloud for teams also puts users in charge of software updates and installations, further reducing the workload for IT. Since teams often work in the field to help bring exhibit installations to life, this easy-to-manage self-service model enables users to add secondary installations of the Creative Cloud apps to home computers or laptops.

Obscura Digital's elaborate projections illuminate the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Obscura Digital’s elaborate projections illuminate the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

“If someone is working on the road and suddenly realizes that they need another application, they can use their existing Creative Cloud membership to install the applications themselves without IT scrambling to provide them additional installers or serial numbers,” says Spears. “The flexibility we have in managing licenses now with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams is light years better than what we were doing before.” Obscura plans to expand use of Creative Cloud for teams with more licenses purchased through Adobe.com.

“Our purchase of Adobe Creative Cloud for teams via Adobe.com was extremely smooth,” says Spears. “And, by working with our annual membership on a monthly basis, our finance group has a much easier time forecasting costs and building budgets. We are thrilled to be on this new path with Adobe.”

Read the Obscura Digital case study.

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