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.
Creative Cloud delivers the complete filmmaker’s toolkit at NAB 2014
Editing and video content creation workflows are about to get easier and more exciting, with major updates coming soon to Creative Cloud, bringing more Adobe magic, expanded support for cutting edge technologies, and an even more connected creative experience. At NAB 2014 Adobe will preview the next wave of innovation in pro video, including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Prelude CC, Adobe Audition CC, Adobe SpeedGrade CC, Adobe Story CC Plus, Adobe Media Encoder CC and Adobe Anywhere for video. (See what we have planned for NAB 2014.)
A more powerful NLE
The Adobe pro video applications already set the standard for integration, and the next wave adds even more interoperability. Two major new features in Premiere Pro leverage After Effects technologies to enable editors to do even more within their NLE. With Live Text templates, users can modify text in After Effects compositions without leaving Premiere Pro. Powerful new Masking and Tracking in Premiere Pro make it easy to add feathered masks that follow a subject through a shot which makes it a breeze to add an effect to a moving object, or to blur out faces or logos for the duration of a shot. Both features include support for Dynamic Link so clips with Live Text templates or Masking and Tracking data can be opened in After Effects for additional fine-tuning or additional animation.
With the new Master Clip effect feature, changes that are applied to a Master Clip ripple down to every part of that clip in a sequence—so there’s no need to copy and paste effects to each clip individually. The Premiere Pro update also offers a faster editing workflow with improved handling of large projects and accelerated sorting and searching in the Project panel, as well as enhanced graphics performance with support for a wider range of GPUs, including GPU debayering for RED media.
“Premiere Pro offers industry-leading support for the latest file formats and hardware, so that today’s editors can handle almost anything you can throw at them, whether it’s 4K RAW material, or footage from one of the new cameras, like the ALEXA AMIRA,” said Al Mooney, senior product manager. “And with all the new integrations between Premiere Pro and other Creative Cloud tools and services, editors have never had more creative power at their fingertips.’ (Watch this preview of the Premiere Pro update.)
A more connected After Effects
Along with the new Live Text Template and Masking and Tracking integration with Premiere Pro, After Effects artists will love the new keying effects for getting better results from compressed or poorly-shot blue- or green-screen footage with the new Key Cleaner effect, especially in conjunction with the new Spill Suppressor effect for controlling color spills.
The After Effects update also includes Kuler integration, so users can capture colors on an iPhone or in a browser and save them as color swatch themes, to use in motion graphics compositions, or as references for VFX work. In addition, Adobe Typekit integration provides access to over 700 fonts in the Typekit library, and the improved Media Browser makes it easy to navigate, including complex media types, such as P2 and XDCAM material.
“From high profile projects, like the The Walking Dead, to repairing shots in independent features, we’re seeing fantastic visual effects work being done in After Effects,” said Steve Forde, principal product manager. “Features like the new keying tools bring a little more of that Adobe magic into the workflow and allow artists to move through shots that much more easily.” (See the After Effects update preview video.)
The complete filmmaker’s toolkit
The new updates also offer a more flexible Direct Link color pipeline between Premiere Pro and SpeedGrade, the powerful grading application included with Creative Cloud. The Direct Link integration now includes the ability to toggle the Lumetri effect on and off inside SpeedGrade and hide or show tracks or adjustment layers for an easier overview of complex timelines. The new Master Clip effect in Premiere Pro also works in SpeedGrade so grading adjustments applied to one part of a master clip automatically affect all the other parts of that clip on the timeline. With new broadcast standard scopes, including a new YUV Vectorscope, and more refined grading tools it’s never been easier to bring cinematic brilliance to video projects. (See what’s coming to SpeedGrade in this short video.)
Adobe Audition, the Creative Cloud audio editing application, introduces support for Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus, making it easier to create deliverables for broadcast, along with enhance multitrack and custom channelization, so users can create audio with as many channels as required. The new update to Adobe Prelude, the ingest and logging app, introduces a Tag Panel, an innovation that dramatically speeds up shot logging by allowing users to create color-coded tags that can be added to footage with a single click. Building rough cuts in Prelude gets a lot simpler, too, with drag-and-drop assembly, ripple trimming, and new keyboard shortcuts. (Watch the Audition overview video.)
Adobe Story CC Plus, the scriptwriting and project planning app, now offers support for Live Entertainment workflows, allowing broadcasters to customize scripts for programs with music-driven scripting and camera movements. Along with support for a huge range of formats, the new Adobe Media Encoder update can create DCPs for playback on Digital Cinema systems, and AS-11 content packages for creating broadcast deliverables. New fault-tolerant rendering auto-heals red and black frame issues without holding up your render queue. (Check out this Media Encoder preview video.)
Open to working Anywhere
Adobe Anywhere for video is a collaborative workflow platform that empowers Premiere Pro, After Effects and Prelude users to work together using centralized media and assets across standard networks. Adobe Anywhere is a separate offering from Creative Cloud, but support for connecting to Adobe Anywhere is already built in for every seat of Premiere Pro and Prelude—as well as early access integration for After Effects. New features for the next Anywhere update include Hot Backup, providing real-time back up of the Collaboration Hub; Rough Cut Support, making it easier to start editing rough cuts in Prelude and finish sequences in Premiere Pro; and improved integration with After Effects which allows you to use Dynamic Link in Anywhere productions to place After Effects compositions in Premiere Pro sequences.
“We live in an incredible time with industries moving away from narrowly-defined roles to a much more dynamic, more connected creative process,” said Bill Roberts, senior director or product management. It’s no exaggeration to say that to make a film today, all you need is a camera, a laptop, and Creative Cloud.”
Creative Cloud for everyone
There is a Creative Cloud plan for everyone, including monthly or annual individual memberships, Creative Cloud for teams (ideal for small businesses because it makes it easy to add or remove seats depending on how many staff are involved with a project), enterprise and education.
To learn more about the next wave of innovation in Creative Cloud for video, register for our special online webinar Thursday, April 10, 2014.
Download our NAB 2014 What’s New PDF.
For news, highlights and interviews from NAB 2014, follow #TeamAdobe on Facebook and Twitter.
Sign up now for Creative Cloud membership and take advantage of special introductory pricing for Creative Suite owners.
Today we released over 150 new features for Adobe pro video tools, including major updates to Adobe Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, SpeedGrade CC, Prelude CC, Adobe Media Encoder CC, and Adobe Story Plus CC.
For details about the updates, check out this Creative Layer blog post.
Brilliant Visuals | Fluid Workflows: Over 150 new pro video features coming to Creative Cloud in October
This week at IBC, we’ll be showing off many awesome new features coming in the October 2013 releases of Creative Cloud pro video tools. Instead of the usual 12 or 18-month wait, we’re proud to be offering the major updates just four months after the original CC products were launched. Over 150 new features will help you deliver brilliant visuals with a richer toolset and even more integrated workflows. Along with significant updates to Adobe Premiere® Pro CC, After Effects® CC, SpeedGrade® CC, Prelude™ CC, Adobe Media Encoder CC, and Adobe Story CC Plus, we will also preview a cool new iPad app, Prelude Live Logger. In this post we want to share some of the highlights with you.
Direct Link integrated color pipeline
Now you can really take your creative vision to the next level with the new color pipeline between Adobe Premiere Pro CC and SpeedGrade CC. Open Adobe Premiere Pro projects inside SpeedGrade CC for color grading, and send them back to Adobe Premiere Pro CC where you can continue editing with color corrections and looks applied. Use the new SpeedLooks in SpeedGrade CC to add instant cinematic vibrance to your productions. Move easily back and forth between the applications as you fine-tune your edits and grades in one integrated workflow.
Brilliant visuals at 4K and beyond
New cameras and formats keep on appearing. With Adobe Premiere Pro CC you can work fluidly and efficiently with 4K and higher resolution, Ultra HD, and RAW footage, including the latest digital file- and camera formats, such as CinemaDNG , RED Dragon, Sony F65, AVC Long GOP/XAVC Long GOP, AVC Ultra, and others. There’s really no need to waste time transcoding and rewrapping footage—with Adobe Premiere Pro CC you get right to work on your content.
New mask tools for faster workflows
Quickly create masks and apply effects that automatically travel frame by frame throughout your compositions. Mask Tracker in After Effects CC eliminates the need for repeated manual adjustments to your masks and saves you from repetitive rotoscoping. SpeedGrade CC now offers support for multiple grading masks: add masks to individual layers within a grade, so you can save and copy all of them in a single action—and move through your projects more efficiently.
A more streamlined editing environment
Editors, like all artists, need to stay in the creative flow: the mechanics of the tools shouldn’t interfere with the artistic process of crafting the story. Among a host of workflow enhancements big and small, Adobe Premiere Pro CC now offers a new monitor overlay showing key data, such as time codes and camera angles, during playback. Enhanced multicam support makes it easy to turn individual camera angles on or off or rearrange angles as you edit. Adobe Premiere Pro CC also adds support for captions in MXF media and encoding to CEA-708 standards, as well as audio monitoring to automatically mix down multi-channel audio for stereo playback.
Greater efficiency on set
Prelude CC adds new features, such as support for GoPro footage and metadata, and the ability to export clips and subclips, as well as rough cuts from the Project panel. Print out your marker list so you can easily review your content on set with your production team.
And then there’s Prelude Live Logger, a new iPad app in final development. With Live Logger, you can begin recording notes on your iPad while your crew shoots. After ingesting your footage, combine your Live Logger comments and tags with the rest of your metadata in Prelude CC so that all your information is available for editing and postproduction.
Powerful image upscaling
Resolutions are going up, up, up. Now you can preserve detail and sharpness in After Effects CC as you upscale footage for new higher resolution delivery formats. Transform SD material to HD or 2K to 4K—the new up-scaling effect retains edge detail and reduces noise and artifacts.
Smoother production planning
Efficient scheduling and smart use of resources, crew, and talent is the key to controlling production costs. Adobe Story CC delivers with new import and export support, including set lists, character lists, and tag lists, along with other refinements.
Analyze your footage dramatically faster with new multithreaded parallel processing for the Warp Stabilizer VFX and the 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects CC, as well as improved Warp Stabilizer performance in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. GPU optimizations in After Effects CC, including enhancements to the ray-traced 3D renderer, provide improved performance with extruded text and shapes. Also, all current Intel HD Graphics GPUs can now be used for OpenGL acceleration. And here’s something for Adobe Media Encoder fans: AME CC now offers GPU rendering for faster performance.
Better media management
Find and load video assets with the new Media Browser in After Effects CC. Link and Locate has been improved in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, for example with proxy file workflows when linking back to source content. Adobe Media Encoder CC now provides automated image processing for customized media output, including watermarks, time codes, and image processing, such as “baking in” Look Up Tables (LUTs).
To join Creative Cloud, visit http://adobe.ly/15vvGxk
As we take some time to focus on video production, we wanted to spotlight individuals who are masters of all things animation, our Creative Cloud logo redesign artists Dvein.
Based out of Barcelona, Dvein is not your run of the mill production and design firm. They are a collective of three directors who love animation, design, and all things creative. Fernando Dominquez, Creative Director for Dvein, defined it best when he said, “It’s a factory of all the things that you can imagine.”
Creative Cloud assists the creative minds at Dvein in each and every step in their creative process. Beginning with initial sketches, they utilize Photoshop to take their ideas to a whole new level. Then, they use the power of Premier Pro or After Effects when they are ready to turn creations into animations.
The icing on the cake; Behance integration in Creative Cloud enables Dvein to better expose themselves to the design community and connect with international clients.
Dvein:The Vein ‘Magma’
Dvein on the web: