We’ve been hard at work the last two years to address four key areas of the Creative Cloud you told us to focus on: performance boosts, workflow efficiencies, support for new hardware and standards, and of course innovative features, which we call the Adobe “magic.” If you’ve been hanging on to your old CS disks, waiting for the right time to join the Creative Cloud community, that moment is here. The latest version—available today—is packed with new, truly inventive features that will make it easier to do your work from anywhere, help you do it faster, and let you bring all of those great creative ideas in your imagination, to life.
Read on for the highlights list of what’s new in Creative Cloud, and click through to the product blogs and videos to get a deep dive directly from the teams.
Major updates across our desktop apps
- Photoshop CC now has Blur Gallery motion effects for creating a sense of motion, and the recently introduced Perspective Warp for fluidly adjusting the perspective of a specific part of an image without affecting the surrounding area. Focus Mask (did you see the sneak?) makes portrait shots with shallow depth of field stand out, and new Content-Aware capabilities make one of the most popular features even better. We’ve also added more camera support to Lightroom (version 5.5) as well as a new Lightroom mobile app for iPhone. The Photoshop and Lightroom blogs have the full scoop.
- The Adobe Illustrator blog has the rundown on what’s new in Illustrator CC, such as Live Shapes to quickly and non-destructively transform rectangles into complex forms and then return to the original rectangle with just a few clicks.
- With InDesign CC layout artists can now move rows and columns around in tables by simply selecting, dragging and dropping, which will be a big time saver. The new EPUB Fixed Layout means you can create digital books effortlessly.
- The team is rebuilding Adobe Muse CC as a native 64-bit application and it now includes HiDPI display support for sharper-looking images, objects, and text.
- Originally previewed at the NAB show in April, new features in our video apps include Live Text Templates, Masking and Tracking plus new integrations that leverage the power of Adobe After Effects CC inside Adobe Premiere Pro CC. It’s better, faster, stronger. Read more on our Pro Video blog.
- Dreamweaver CC lets you see your work come to life. You can now view your markup in an interactive tree using the new Element Quick View, to quickly navigate, and modify the HTML structure of pages. The Dreamweaver CC blog has all the details.
And there’s so much more so check out all of the new features over on Adobe.com.
Creative Cloud connected mobile apps and new hardware—because our world is mobile.
An entirely new family of connected mobile apps and the hardware (yes, Adobe is releasing hardware) could be the things we all look back on in two years and say, “OK that really changed how I do my work.” These are incredibly powerful apps that start to bring the functionality you get from desktop apps, to mobile. Pros will want to use them, but they’re easy enough that anyone can use them. Get these apps now—they are all free:
- Adobe Sketch, a social sketching iPad app for free-form drawing.
- Adobe Line, the world’s first iPad app for precision drawing and drafting.
- Adobe Photoshop Mix brings the powerful creative imaging tools only found in Photoshop right to the iPad, for the first time. The focus of this release is to be task oriented, so we started with the two most-used features: precise compositing and masking. PS Mix also includes Upright, Content Aware Fill and Camera Shake Reduction—and integrates back to Photoshop CC on the desktop.
- Adobe Lightroom mobile for iPhone, extending Lightroom right to your iPhone.
The Creative Cloud connected mobile apps complement and enhance the new creative hardware that’s also available now. Adobe Ink (formerly Project Mighty) is a new digital pen that connects to the Creative Cloud, giving users access to their creative assets—drawings, photos, colors and more—all at the tip of the pen. And Adobe Slide (formerly Project Napoleon) is a new digital ruler to create precise sketches and lines. As we talked about previously, these new pieces of hardware “make digital creativity both more accessible and more natural by combining the accuracy, expressiveness and immediacy of pen and paper with all the advantages of our digital products and the Creative Cloud.” Adobe Ink and Slide demonstrate how mobile is now a true partner in the creative workflow.
Creative Cloud services tie it all together so you can work wherever you are.
We all work on multiple devices. We move between desktop or laptop to phone and tablet. Now Creative Cloud is connected to iOS devices, so you can take it wherever you go; your creative identity isn’t just tied to your desk. All of the latest desktop apps, mobile apps and creative hardware are tightly integrated through Creative Cloud services. Simply put, you can now access and manage everything that makes up your creative profile—files, photos, colors, community and so much more—from wherever you are. Get the new Creative Cloud app for iPhone and iPad for full access on your mobile devices.
New offers for photographers, enterprises and education
- For all photographers—hobbyist, prosumer and professional—we’re introducing a new Creative Cloud Photography plan at just $9.99 per month.
- For our Education customers, we now have a device-based licensing plan for classrooms and labs so more than one person can access Creative Cloud on a single machine. The special student/teacher edition pricing also got a little sweeter, as the full Creative Cloud is now available to them at just $19.99/month for the first year.
- For our Enterprise customers, we’ve added file storage and collaboration to Creative Cloud, along with expanded options for deployment (named user vs. anonymous) and a new dashboard for managing users and entitlements.
There is so much that’s new in the 2014 release of Creative Cloud that you have to take a few minutes to click around, read about the new apps, and watch videos of the new features. Are you a paid member? All of it is available now for you. Have you been considering the move to Creative Cloud? The new versions of the desktop apps you use most have added hundreds of new features since CS6. There really is no better time to join the community.
This Ask a Video Pro was recorded February 6, 2014
What used to be done with chemicals and film in a lab can now be done digitally on a laptop. Today’s filmmakers need tools and techniques that allow them to shape their images with artistry and precision. Will Read’s first film project was spoiled by bad telecine work and even worse color grading. He vowed then and there to never again let someone else ruin his images. Today he’s in high demand as a can-do filmmaker with a reputation for delivering stunning image quality.
This presentation covers:
- Moving beyond online/offline to simplify your pipeline
- Best practices for organizing a video project
- Using Direct Link in an integrated editing/grading workflow
- An introduction to the SpeedGrade CC color tools
Watch the recorded session.
About the presenter
William H.W. Read is a filmmaker and colorist based in London, England, and works in commercials, TV and film. His work can be seen at www.whwread.com.
This Ask a Video Pro was recorded February 27, 2014
If you’re building or upgrading a system for editing or motion graphics work with Adobe After Effects CC and Premiere Pro CC, this online seminar will help you understand your options, and get the best performance out of your software.
The session covers:
- How CPU, GPU, and RAM affect performance
- The types of graphics cards you should you be looking at
- The platform-specific considerations you should be aware of
- Running these Adobe applications on the new Mac Pro
About the presenters
Todd Kopriva is a quality engineer on the After Effects CC team and Steve Hoeg is the engineering manager on the Premiere Pro CC team.
Leah Earle and Phanta Media deliver brilliant work with Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
Leah Earle loves her job. As a video editor for Phanta Media in Toronto, she looks forward to going to work. Founded by Mark Drager in 2006, Phanta Media is a rising star in the corporate video universe, known for delivering great work on real-world timelines. Earle describes the ten-person company as cozy but rapidly growing, with a staff comprising business development representatives, producers, motion graphics, and video editors. Earle often works late and sometimes on weekends—and can’t get enough of it.
Adobe: What makes Phanta Media unique compared to other corporate video production companies?
Earle: We’re extremely passionate, even if we’re working on what some might consider a mundane corporate training video. We work hard and collaborate as a team. No one here is interested in being second best. This can lead to frustration, because I may get criticism from eight other people on my one great idea for an edit. But in the end it gives the client the best possible product. We’re a small company, and every client has a personal and highly creative experience with us. We “bring it,” every time to create beautiful projects on tight deadlines.
Adobe: What’s it like working with Mark Drager?
Earle: Mark is the reason I took this job and also the reason I’m still here. He’s 31-years-old and started this company when he was only 23. He had the confidence to know that he could make better videos than the next guy, and his enthusiasm is infectious; it motivates us to push ourselves. He promises clients that we will blow them away with our skills—and we always do.
Adobe: How did you get into this line of work?
Earle: I always wanted to do something technical, but I went to school for English literature because I was uncertain about what path to take. A few people guided me toward journalism. That led me to a video journalism postgraduate program at Conestoga College. I really liked shooting, and I didn’t mind being on camera or reading a teleprompter, but what I loved right away was editing.
Adobe: When did you start using Adobe Premiere Pro CC?
Earle: I had never used Premiere Pro before I came to Phanta Media. Previously, Phanta Media was a Final Cut Pro shop, but like many in the industry, the company started looking for other options as soon as Final Cut Pro X came out. Premiere Pro is very “editor-friendly,” and that’s been a huge plus in growing my career.
Adobe: How would you compare Premiere Pro CC to other editing software?
Earle: For starters, you don’t have to log and capture footage. The scrubbing and playback in Premiere Pro is much faster than Final Cut, and not having to render something just to to watch it is a dream. I find the program makes it really easy to adjust my shortcuts and organize my workspace and projects. I like being able to save things such as title templates to use throughout projects, because I do a lot of subtitle work. Even the addition of the tiny window at the top left where you can preview your clip when you click once is helpful. I need to sort through mountains of footage fast. I like being able to export using Media Encoder CC as I work, because no one wants to have to stop and wait to export.
Adobe: What else do you use in your pipeline?
Earle: I use Photoshop CC and After Effects CC for most graphics. I can bring graphics files straight into the Premiere Pro CC timeline, without having to export them every time I change the file, which is so great. I can click on something and edit it on the spot, rather than having to look for the file and open it in another program. This saves so much time on projects, especially those with hundreds of After Effects files that you’d normally have to re-time.
I sometimes edit in Adobe Audition CC when I am facing a complex audio problem or when I’m tasked with voiceovers. When I first started I was in charge of setting up new DVD templates and Adobe Encore was so easy to learn and use to burn DVDs. Now, I use Adobe Media Encoder a lot to create files for various media: the Internet, PCs, or DVDs—whatever clients want.
Adobe: What was your experience moving to Adobe Creative Cloud?
Earle: My favorite thing about the switch to Adobe Creative Cloud, was the new finding and re-linking function in Premiere Pro. It’s crucial, because a few of us may be working on the same project and files often reside in different places and get moved around a lot.
All in all, the interfaces, shortcuts, and other commands among Adobe’s creative software apps are so uniform that I grow more familiar with the tools and the workflows every day. This makes me increasingly more efficient and gets rid of that frustrating gap between what the technology can do and what you think it should be able to do. With Creative Cloud, I can take greater advantage of each program’s full potential to realize any creative ideas we dream up.
Mark Drager and Kyle Wilson of Phanta Media recently presented the Ask a Video Pro session How to Build a Successful Corporate Video Business.
Video playback and graphics team uses Adobe Creative Cloud and plugins from FxFactory to create period-specific news content.
To make the set of GNN, the 24-hour news channel featured in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, as realistic as possible required one essential element: content. It was the job of the video playback and graphics team to fill the dozens of screens throughout the fictional studio with realistic, period-specific news.
Rather than filling the screens in post production and using archived news reports, the team produced nearly all original content and fed it to the screens in real time. News reports were shot and composited with stock footage using an Adobe Creative Cloud video workflow and plugins from FxFactory, which offers a broad range of VFX tools for editors and compositors.
Playback Supervisor, Todd Marks, worked closely with his hand-picked team, designers Perry Freeze and Jeb Johenning to create the functioning 1980s GNN studio and news-office that helps set the stage for the blockbuster comedy. Todd and Jeb have worked together on many projects over the last twelve years; Perry was added to the team when they worked on The Internship in 2012.
Adobe: What were your roles on Anchorman 2?
Marks: I was the playback supervisor, responsible for overseeing all of the content creation and playback. In this case, my team put together and ran the functioning GNN studios, and we created all of the content, some which was story-specific and some was just background imagery to add to the reality of the time period and the set. We call it “bg” (background) footage and we created a lot of it.
Freeze: I worked as a designer on the film and also helped coordinate the data asset management, which involved keeping track of all of the moving pieces and approvals. On this movie we had a fairly short development cycle. We had to get up-and-running with a graphics package for the studio, and within the studio we wanted to have up to ten channels on air featuring news from around the world.
Johenning: I was also a designer, working with Perry on the content. When we initially looked at the breadth of content it was enormous. We had in excess of 100 different videos and one or more ways to create them, without actually knowing how they would be used.
Adobe: How does it all start?
Marks: We get a script and have to breakdown what’s written, which involves meetings with the production designer, set decorator, director, and even the props and construction people. We make recommendations and try to push beyond what most people think can be done. With the story-specific content, we needed to help tell the story in a short amount of time in a visually accurate, period-specific manner. Each film has different needs. For this movie, we needed to recreate a news studio look (we referenced CNN’s style during its launch in 1980). GNN starts with a simple graphics package at launch, as they are on the air longer, we had the look mature by increasing the complexity of the font and graphics package.
Adobe: How did you go about creating the content?
Freeze: We couldn’t possibly get clearance from actual archived material or we would have had to stick to a very narrow, stock footage type of content. So very early on we decided to make all of the content.
Johenning: In the GNN studio office, there is a big wall with fifteen different monitors that show everything happening around the world. Every piece of footage had to look local to its environment. We hired actors to be our period reporters and then filmed “man-on-the-street” interviews. I’m a videographer, so Perry and I worked with our video team and shot most of the unique footage for this project. The wardrobe people put the actors in period costumes and we filmed them against a green screen in both interior and exterior locations.
Later, we composited them into different locations, such as in front of the Pyramids in Egypt, the slums in Kenya, or farmland in Iowa. Each one had a different graphic look and feel. We created fake names for the people and used different fonts that would be local to each region. The backgrounds were sourced from stock footage or public domain sources. We also went around Atlanta, Georgia and filmed b-roll elements that we later used as content in our news reports, in addition to the composited green screen shots.
Adobe: Was it easy to integrate the new and old footage?
Johenning: All of the new footage was shot on a Sony F3, so it was beautiful HD quality. The stock footage backgrounds were 10-, 15-, even 20-years-old, standard-definition video and film, so the look of the two formats was completely different. We had to dumb down the foreground shots to make them look believable with the background stuff. We used an array of Adobe tools, including Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop, to make everything look authentic.
Marks: The PHYX products from FxFactory were used extensively. We used PHYX KEYER tools, PHYX CLEANER, and PHYX DEFOCUS to create composites, match the look of different footage, and add depth to the shots to make them look realistic. Using the PHYX filters with After Effects and Premiere Pro really helped to streamline our workflow.
Johenning: In some cases, we could stay entirely in Premiere Pro, and in other cases we would take footage into After Effects for more specialized compositing. We would ultimately always end up in Premiere Pro, where we would up-res the SD to HD so we could have the cleanest keys, edges, and color correction. The last step was to down-res and use the link to Media Encoder to output a piece of SD footage for playback on an SD monitor.
Adobe: Did you use any other plugins from FxFactory?
Marks: In addition to the PHYX filters, we used FxFactory Bad TV filters to add static hits and signal degradation, just as you would see with a normal satellite feed. Using these plugins adds a sense of reality and gives us the opportunity to do cuts that aren’t perceived by the audience. We used about ten different FxFactory plugins throughout the film. For news elements, there are specific plugins that add realism to the feel and look.
Adobe: What was the most challenging part of the data asset management?
Freeze: Films don’t shoot chronologically, so it’s important to keep track of what media needs to be on air and how it needs to look at that point in the movie. We used Adobe Bridge to keep track of revisions, star approved artwork, and manage all folders. Bridge is universally tied into Photoshop and Illustrator, making it easy to create contact sheets of all of our work, print them out and post them, or show the top ten revisions on an iPad to the director while on location, for quick approval.
Marks: The studio had about 150 CRT monitors, and we were able to route from 14 different feeds to each monitor at any time. It requires keeping track of what’s on each monitor in what scene, which involves lots of logistics in addition to the technical aspects. Some of first scenes we did in the studio were in Linda Jackson’s office, where there were three monitors on a far wall. We thought they would just be in the background, but the actors were placed right in front of them. You never know whether something you work on for days or weeks will be shown for just seconds or be featured prominently in a scene. This makes it even more important to keep track of shots so you don’t see the same footage in more than one scene.
Adobe: Have you started using Adobe Creative Cloud?
Johenning: I was already using Adobe Master Collection CS6, but when Creative Cloud came out I jumped on the bandwagon. An added benefit of CC included Adobe Muse. I was a user of Muse for my own business website and having that part of the Adobe CC collection was a real bonus! I had switched to Premiere Pro after Apple introduced Final Cut Pro X, and it’s the only editing program I use right now.
Freeze: I’m using Creative Cloud as well. The thing about using Creative Cloud is that when we’re working with teams everyone is on the same current, updated release. We used to deal with people not installing updates, or being on a different version all together, which created problems in our pipeline.
Adobe: What was the process like when you were on set?
Freeze: As prepared as we were, it was very much like a live news broadcast. We were using an AJA IO system to connect After Effects and Premiere Pro directly into our video switcher that was going out to the studio floor. It wasn’t what you would typically do in a TV production situation. We were creating content for the movie on the fly by tying directly into a switcher that was taking live camera feeds of Will Ferrell’s character, and then using After Effects to quickly apply lower thirds and over the shoulder graphics.
Marks: Because we were using standard definition CRTs, to make them look like they came from the right period, the set dressing department created plastic bezels that made the screen sizes even smaller than typical CRTs. This made the normal safety area even smaller, couple that with each old TV monitor’s slightly different scaling, and often I would actually have to be on the studio floor talking the control room through the proper positioning of the graphics on a featured screen.
Freeze: We would run around on the floor with cameras and take pictures of our work on the older TVs, go back to Photoshop or Illustrator and create a matte, and save it as a new title or action safe that could then be applied in After Effects or Premiere Pro when we were working so we knew how something would look when we put it on the period monitors. When you’re on a movie set and you have an entire crew, including all of the actors, waiting for you to finish something or change something it’s a lot of pressure.
Adobe: How is it different than the visual effects in other films?
Johenning: None of what we do is done in post production. A lot of visual effects in movies involve after-the-fact effects. I’m not diminishing the importance of that approach to moviemaking, but in our case rather than filling a monitor with a solid green image and creating, tracking, and coloring the content after a scene is shot, we have to do it as if it’s live TV and make it look real and believable.
Adobe: Why was this approach useful in the Anchorman 2 production?
Freeze: We ultimately helped make a better movie because the content was live. The actors could see themselves on the monitors and ad lib, and we made changes to things like titles on the fly.
Marks: We surprised the crew with our capabilities, and it freed the post production people up a lot. There was one scene where we were able to use Photoshop to quickly build a full map of the United States, with temperatures throughout the country, and then overlay satellite imagery using Premiere Pro. Because they were able to use the map in the scene instead of just having a green screen, Steve Carrell was able to see himself on the monitor and play off of what was happening. The director was also able to give him direction based on what he saw evolving. It was some of the most hysterical stuff we shot and it wouldn’t have happened if it was done in post production.
Adobe: Can you give an example of how After Effects was used?
Marks: One of the scenes in the movie shows the characters covering a car chase. Production was quite concerned about the cost of staging the chase, but the stock footage we had wasn’t long enough. Through some creative editing, Perry made it happen.
Freeze: We had chase footage of two cars, one grey convertible with a closed black canvas top on the freeway and one larger grey car primarily going through neighborhoods. We used the Roto Brush in After Effects to track the roof of the larger car and then darken the roof to match the other vehicle. By using tools in Premiere Pro to flip the footage and slow down and speed up shots, we were able to edit together a longer scene, with four different segments for playback.
Adobe: Were there any other benefits to working with Adobe video tools?
Marks: With Adobe tools being so portable we were able to take the same laptop we used on stage back to our hotel room and still have the same powerful workflow. It was especially useful when we were working late on graphics that were needed for the next day of shooting. Doing our job would be nearly impossible without Adobe’s powerful software.
Production company creates immersive experience for well-known DJ artist at art and music festival using Adobe Creative Cloud.
Plastic Reality is a production company known for branding and other video work for big corporate clients such as BP and Unilever. But unlike most corporate video companies, it has a wild side, called The Happiness Labs, focused on producing experiential content and graphics for live events and installations.
In creating new realities and immersive experiences, The Happiness Labs raised the bar for British DJ, musician, rapper, and record producer Fatboy Slim at the 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Tim Fleming, executive producer of The Happiness Labs, shares how Fatboy Slim’s otherworldly stage experience came together.
Adobe: What makes you excited about working with bands?
Fleming: I worked at an advertising company at the beginning of my career, but then I had the chance to work with big-name artists and tour with various art collectives. I was excited to be working with people who were very receptive to new creative ideas. Layering visuals and lighting was becoming a big part of these shows and I started to think about how video content could further enhance the experience.
Today, bands think about shows as a whole experience with intricate props and designs from the moment they kick them off, but it wasn’t always that way. Seeing how these shows were being constructed as an experience, especially in the electronic music space, and being a bit of a party boy I thought it looked like a lot of fun.
Adobe: How did you get connected with Fatboy Slim?
Fleming: I’ve had a longstanding relationship with Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook. He is a superstar DJ and lovely bloke all at the same time. When I started with him around 2000 or 2001, he was already famous for his videos. His record label had seen the work we’d done with some artists, and asked us to submit a treatment for his upcoming video, “Star 69.”
A while later, Norman was approached to do a show on Brighton Beach. It was one of the first large outdoor shows with a DJ and his team knew they would need some content for the show. They liked what we’d done for “Star 69,” so they asked us to work on the show. The first Brighton Beach Boutique show had 60,000 attendees, and the second one had 250,000. From then on I was on the bus and the next stop was a show in Brazil for about 350,000 people.
Adobe: How would you describe the Coachella show?
Fleming: Coachella in 2014 has a big focus on electronic acts and electronic dance music. The performance there was an evolution of everything we’ve been doing over the last several years to turn watching a DJ into a magical experience that transports audiences into another realm with incredible lighting, imagery, effects, video, and graphics. The heart of his show is focused on his hit track “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”
Adobe: Tell us more about “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”
Fleming: Well there’s an interesting story around where the actual lyric for “Eat, Sleep, Rave Repeat” came from. In between shows I was editing some shots for Norman and he sent me a mail at around midnight when I was still working, asking how it was going. I sent him a one line reply saying, “Eat, Sleep, Edit, Rave, Repeat.”
Next thing I knew he sent me a demo titled “Your Tune.” Then he got RivaStarr and Beardyman involved and the whole thing grew into a monster to the point where, a few months after this email conversation, we’re getting photos sent in from people who have tattoos saying “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”
Adobe: How did the idea translate to Coachella?
Fleming: Coachella originally approached us asking if we would like to do a show based around the four seasons. A set at Coachella is 60 minutes long, so the festival organizers were looking to split it into four parts and use a bunch of physical effects, such as fire, snow, and rain, to accentuate the different seasons. We had a think about this and obviously loved the idea of the different physical effects but thought the four seasons might be a bit like doing opera.
We got Team Fatboy together over a good lunch as we usually do and started throwing some ideas around. We realized we could re-work “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” into “Heat, Sleet, Rain, Repeat” and… job done! We got to keep the physical effects but incorporate them into Norm’s global smash hit.
Adobe: What special elements are included in the Coachella show?
Fleming: As well as building a boom box that has ice, fire, and rain built into it we used a 3D model of Norman’s head that was shot at Pinewood Studios. We inserted it in with other graphics and 3D elements around the head. It appears every couple of bars in the song. All of the mapping was done and put together in Adobe After Effects CC, along with the textures and finishing.
We also put Norman in the middle of the screen in a 9×9 matrix and created accompanying video content and original graphics, including a fun fruit machine. All of the video content was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. It was great to be able to throw multiple codecs and file types right onto the timeline in Premiere Pro CC and have it work seamlessly.
Adobe: How do you pull off these surreal experiences?
Fleming: We combined a well-researched history of being the last one on the dance floor with other techniques, some involving big rig or prop installations and others requiring software. We’ve always been big After Effects users. CINEMA 4D and After Effects are at the heart of everything we do and their widespread adoption throughout the creative industry is a reflection of the quality results that can be achieved. Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC are also key to our workflow and we appreciate having all of the tools available to us in Creative Cloud.
Adobe: What do you think of the closer integration between Adobe After Effects CC and CINEMA 4D?
Fleming: The forthcoming era of deeper integration between CINEMA 4D and After Effects CC is very exciting and we are really looking forward to seeing how it enhances our workflow. We really just find them a joy to play with and encourage all younger artists who are working with us to learn this combination. We’re also excited about the option of rendering in the cloud so we don’t tie up local resources.
Adobe: The shows you put together have an entirely new look. What is it you’re trying to accomplish?
Fleming: EDM shows tend to look very polished, high-def, and fast moving. We wanted to do something a little different to set us apart. That’s why we shot some original content for Coachella in black-and-white and slow-motion and edited it in Premiere Pro CC. In one shot, we have people jumping around that we filmed with a slow-motion camera. So the look is a bit different than your classic EDM footage. We also slapped Norman in the face with a fish and filmed that in slow-mo!
Adobe: What are the benefits of moving to Creative Cloud?
Fleming: We work with small teams plus many freelancers. Our Adobe Creative Cloud for teams membership helps us move seats around so artists working in different locations are all on the same version and have the software they need when they need it. We’re also looking at trying new tools like Adobe Prelude CC for ingest, at no extra charge. That’s a big bonus.
Adobe: What’s in the future for you?
Fleming: Fatboy Slim has the World Cup coming up in June in Brazil, followed by the 2014 Glastonbury Festival. Norman is trying to go for the world record for the most consecutive Glastonbury Festival’s played, so he can’t miss it! There are other festivals planned during the summer months as well, so we’ll be busy.
Our work has become so diversified that we’re going to continue to use Plastic Reality for our corporate work. But now we’re developing The Happiness Labs for the fun, experiential work we’re doing for bands and brands. We’re looking to develop content for immersive, virtual reality technologies such as Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, and Thalmic Labs MYO. There’s a big shift in the way content and storytelling is being developed, and we intend to be at the convergence of the amazing new wave of tech and tools and the never-ending desire for a good story that we humans have.
Tim would like to thank long-time collaborators Chris Cousins, Joe Plant, and Bob Jaroc, as well as Mike Sansom at BrightFire Pyrotechnics for working on this year’s content.
An ambitious content delivery goal will be met with a workflow featuring Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
Pulling off the broadcast of the largest sports show on earth, spanning nearly a month’s worth of content, is no small task. HBS, the dedicated host broadcaster for one of the largest sporting events in the world, has contracted EVS and MoovIT. EVS will provide for the central Media Asset Exchange Server located at the International Broadcast Center (IBC) and all editing workstation will be supplied by MoovIT. Central to the editing workflow is Premiere Pro CC, which will help editors quickly turn around content for distribution to multilateral production facilities and Media Rights Licensees (known as MRLs).
The central media server is the hub for the production operation during the competition. All material generated by HBS will be uploaded and logged onto the server and users connected to the system will be able to search and browse via dedicated browsing stations and transfer content into their system for unilateral programming requirements. All multilateral editing workstations required for post-production and multimedia will also be connected with the large SAN storage as part of the central server based on EVS technology.
MoovIT was brought on board to provide the 54 workstations with Premiere Pro CC for editing live content and creating features, promos, and all other components required for multimedia production. This new workflow will enable editors to turn content around more quickly than ever before. The central media server, acting as a shared storage, integrates with Premiere Pro CC by using the EVS IPLink interface.
Editors using Premiere Pro CC and the IPLink interface will be able to directly connect to the server, making it easy to create final edits of updates, promos, and multimedia packages. In addition, external media from various sources will come in from the ENG crews and be combined on the workstations without any transcoding to quickly produce the content.
For multimedia clients a wide selection of Video on Demand (VOD) clips will be provided by the host broadcaster. These clips need to be provided quickly so they can be immediately featured on websites, through mobile subscription sites, or by sponsors and broadcasters. After an event happens, such as a goal or a red card, a clip should be available online within minutes and available in various languages.
MoovIT and EVS will both help HBS to meet this enterprising goal so that fans in multiple countries will be able to experience the action in near real-time. With a customized workflow that includes Premiere Pro CC, HBS, through this service, will keep fans around the world on the edge of their seats as they follow the action and relive key moments from their favorite teams and players.
Seamless visual effects for The Wolf of Wall Street created with help from Adobe After Effects CC and Adobe Photoshop CC.
Paul and Christina Graff of Crazy Horse Effects (CHE) are visual effects aficionados, with projects to their credit such as There Will Be Blood and Life of Pi. They also work with some of the best matte painters and designers in the visual effects industry, and are recognized for their award-winning compositing. Most recently they created the seamless visual effects for The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese, with Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Rob Legato overseeing the shots.
Adobe: How did you become involved with The Wolf of Wall Street?
Paul: I actually met Rob at a panel presenting outstanding work in VFX done in After Effects. We went to have a drink afterwards and he asked me about our new office in New York. We had worked on The Aviator and Shutter Island with him and he thought we could help with some of the shots in The Wolf of Wall Street. We were stoked to reunite with Rob, and excited to work on the project—although we joined the team late in the game when most of the effects were already well underway.
Adobe: What type of work did he send your way?
Christina: We didn’t do any of the normal set extension work we usually do. Instead, we focused on a lot of last minute fixes and designed several sequences. We worked on a lot of quirky shots! We contributed to several corporate identity “videos,” a few driving scenes, and a longer sequence with the real Jordan Belford at the end of the movie. Our work is really scattered throughout the movie.
Adobe: What sequences stand out ?
Christina: We had a great scene to work on where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character is dizzy on Quaaludes and stumbles down a staircase at his country club. The actual set had only four steps, but from Leonardo’s Quaalude-induced point of view the staircase appeared much longer. Rob had a version of the same staircase built that was much longer surrounded by green screens. This set was a bit bouncy and needed attention. Our job was to connect the extension stairs with the original set environment and make the staircase appear sturdier by rebuilding them digitally and blending everything together. We rebuilt the scene using a 2.5D set up in After Effects CC. We also extended the country club in the establishing shot that looks up to the top of the stairs. In the end, it looked believable, as if it really happened. On other projects, we’re also using a lot of the 3D capabilities of CINEMA 4D—its integration with After Effects CC is allowing us to do 3D work with much greater speed and ease.
Adobe: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced?
Paul: There is a corporate identity video playing at the beginning of the film and we had to recreate all of the stock exchange footage in that scene from scratch. We had some NTSC material that was very low quality and we basically needed to recreate the shots avoiding any copyright issues. Rob shot extras on green screen and we did our own mini VFX shoot in our New York office and used Adobe Photoshop CC to create matte paintings for the background. We only had about two days to do it and it was very challenging… but creating environments is one of our strengths.
Adobe: Were any particular features of After Effects CC helpful?
Paul: For one shot on a yacht, we had to recreate the floor and the reflections on the floor, including replacing a diamond-shaped logo. The shots we had to work with were created using a Steadicam stabilizer, but they weren’t quite steady enough. Based on Rob’s suggestion, we used the Warp Stabilizer in After Effects CC, and were impressed with the results. We’ve since started using Warp Stabilizer on more shots.
Also, the dwarf toss scene was shot spherical on Alexa, so we had to match it to the rest of the sequence that was shot on film with anamorphic lenses. It was quite tricky to get the texture of the files to look close to identical; we didn’t use plugins, we just relied on curves, blurs, and displacement maps in After Effects CC to achieve the desired look.
Adobe: What was it like coming in so late on a project? How did you succeed?
Paul: We came in late, but all of our work was high quality with a fast turnaround so Rob kept giving us bigger and bigger pieces of the pie. The Wolf of Wall Street included some content that was considered inappropriate by the Motion Picture Association of America. In the last phase of post production, Rob asked us to go on site at Deluxe Labs in New York, where the final DI color corrections were being done, to help them with some fixes to make the film more commercially appropriate. I went to Rob’s office at Deluxe and set up an iMac with After Effects on it and started working. In one day we did sixteen retiming shots and one scene where we placed a chair in a scene to block some of the content. For me, it’s all about the finishing. You really show your colors at the end of a movie, and anything that came up last minute we knocked out.
Adobe: What was the benefit of working with Creative Cloud?
Christina: Creative Cloud lets us be super mobile. We can do what we do from anywhere—in the field, on site, or in the office.
Adobe: What was it like working with Rob Legato again?
Christina: He’s a genius, one of those people who has creative vision but also knows technology. He has fantastic concepts and vivid mental images, but also gives his VFX artists the freedom to devise their own ways of doing things.
Pioneering filmmaker Ryan Connolly shares his passion for Adobe’s pro video software.
After graduating from film school, Ryan Connolly started out in a fairly typical fashion: creating music videos and commercials for local clients. He then went on to run the video studio at PC game company Alienware. But rather than continue following the path of most aspiring filmmakers, Connolly came up with the idea to create Film Riot, an online show that would let him share how-to filmmaking tips, get feedback on his work, and ultimately build an audience and a community. His renegade style has earned him a loyal online following and his company Triune Films continues to produce weekly online video content as well as short films and other film projects.
Adobe: What makes you an industry rule breaker?
Connolly: My success with Film Riot lets me be my own boss and do less client work. Not that client work is bad, but at Triune Films we want to be a group of friends having fun, doing what we want to do. We’ve been fortunate enough to achieve that. We don’t have a typical day or week; it really depends on what we’re working on at the time. If things get too normal I get completely disinterested. That’s why Film Riot isn’t the same thing each time.
Adobe: Your name is associated with Triune Film and Film Riot. Can you tell us how they’re related?
Connolly: Triune Films is the parent company that produces Film Riot, along with our other programs and projects. Film Riot is an online training ground for how to make great effects, learn best practices for editing, and we also do video challenges and give out prizes to winners. For me, the big thing with Film Riot is that we’ve built an amazing community; it’s not mandatory, but it has become part of our DNA to be kind, helpful, and supportive of each other in our creative efforts—versus critical. We’ve also built a loyal following on social networks: Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
Adobe: Are there other aspects to the business?
Connolly: Yes, we’ve built a brand that caters to indie filmmakers, who are a passionate bunch. We sell T-shirts, color preset packs for Adobe After Effects, sound effects packs—all kinds of things that our audience wants. We’ve also started a weekly YouTube show called Variant that focuses entirely on comics.
Adobe: Which software have you chosen to use over the years?
Connolly: After Effects has always been our go-to for visual effects. For editing, I started using Adobe Premiere Pro right off, and then switched to Final Cut Pro when I went to film school. When Apple introduced Final Cut Pro X that was the end of that.
I’m now back on Premiere Pro CC and its integration with all the Adobe software is amazing. It saves me hours every week because I’m not spending time rendering out sequences and trying to put them back in the timeline and fuss with them. The first time I saw Dynamic Link, I was amazed. If an edit to an effect is required, I just Dynamic Link the change from After Effects CC and have it flow to Premiere Pro CC automatically. The integration among all the Adobe software programs just seems to get better and better.
Adobe: Now that you have Adobe Creative Cloud, which applications do you use most?
Connolly: My main four are Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Audition CC, and Photoshop CC. Every now and again I use SpeedGrade CC for color correction and I’ve also started using Story Plus CC for collaborative scriptwriting, which I first tried because it was available to me through Creative Cloud; it’s the best collaborative scriptwriting software on the market, in my opinion. My designers also use Illustrator CC for title designs and so forth. I have to say, once I got Creative Cloud, I downloaded all kinds of software and kept thinking, “Wow, I can have this, too?” The choices were exciting.
Adobe: How big is your team and what volumes of content do you produce?
Connolly: Today, we have four full-time and two part-time employees. Two of us are editors and we have one VFX expert. The others are focused more on logistics such as shipping, customer service, and social networking. I’m the only all-around filmmaker. I focus on writing, producing, and editing—tossing the heavier visual effects stuff to our VFX artist. In terms of volume, we produce a lot of content between our weekly shows and other projects. We’re doing about three online episodes per week in addition to short films and miniseries-type work. We recently created a short film called Proximity. There’s always a ton going on.
Adobe: How can your team keep up?
Connolly: A lot of it has to do with Creative Cloud. It’s so important to have everyone on the same software versions and be able to bounce everything back and forth on Macs or PCs. There are fewer kinks and version control issues in the workflow and that makes it easier for our small team to stay incredibly productive.
Adobe: How has your audience grown?
Connolly: We’re always looking at our Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube numbers. When the numbers get stagnant, we know we need to switch gears and amp things up. We experienced gradual growth for many years, but over the past year-and-a-half our growth has accelerated. During that time we doubled what initially took us three or four years to grow. We now have 441,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 66 million views of our Film Riot videos.
Adobe: What’s next for you?
Connolly: We plan to get into more new media and online shows as well as publishing comic books. We’ll continue to create short films, but we really want to move into creating full-length feature films. For now, one of the things I find most exciting is to have the opportunity to be somewhat of an online presence. It has been exciting to build a community that is friendly, collaborative, and constructive for creative indie filmmakers.
Today the Adobe Pro Video team kicks of our presence at the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas. NAB is the biggest North American tradeshow of the year for us and we’ve been looking forward to it for months.
The product teams have been working tirelessly on all the new features that were revealed last week and we can’t wait to show them to you. If you’re attending NAB, be sure to stop by the Adobe booth and say hello (SL3910 in the Lower South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center), check out all the new updates in the demo pods, and ask questions. We have a packed schedule on our main stage too including presentations on what’s coming next to Creative Cloud for video as well as some of the fantastic things other filmmakers, post houses, and broadcasters are doing with the Creative Cloud tools. (Hint: If you want to see zombies from AMC’s The Walking Dead, come by to see Sam Nicholson from Stargate Studios.)
Speaking of customers, I was lucky enough to moderate a really engaging keynote panel “Breaking the Rules: The Next-Gen Content Creator” at Post|Production World last weekend where customers Ryan Connolly (Film Riot/Triune Films), Kanen Flowers (That Post Show/That Studio) and Peter Salvia (YouTube Nation) talked about the next generation of media creation and bypassing traditional broadcast outlets. For more on the keynote, check our highlight video.
In addition to Adobe’s booth at NAB—where attendees can see all the goodness coming soon to Adobe Creative Cloud for video—they can also find Adobe Creative Cloud (and specifically Adobe Premiere Pro) being demoed in over 130 partner booths across the NAB show floor. The partner ecosystem is integral to bringing the fastest, most powerful and streamlined workflows to Premiere Pro customers so its an incredibly big focus for the Adobe Pro Video team. And there’s so much more to come: The one-and-only Al Mooney will be presenting at the Las Vegas Supermeet later this week and we’ll be interviewing product team members and customers.
If you’re not in Vegas, we’ll bring Vegas to you—all week long: Stay tuned to the NAB 2014 Channel on Adobe TV for a front row seat to the latest from the show; and make sure to catch our special NAB Ask a Video Pro session on Thursday, April 10 at 10:00 am PT. Jason Levine will be demoing the latest innovations coming to the Creative Cloud video apps like Premiere Pro and After Effects during “What’s coming next in Creative Cloud for video” a one-hour overview and Q&A. Join us. Register free.