Adobe Systems Incorporated

Creative Cloud: A New Era of Mobile Creativity

Just over three months after the major 2014 release of Creative Cloud, we’re delivering another milestone Creative Cloud release at Adobe MAX 2014. A quick run-down of the new and updated Creative Cloud apps, features and services that are available today.

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Your Creative Profile connects you to your work

Think you can’t do “real” creative work on your iPhone or iPad? That’s about to change. With this release, our Creative Cloud team is setting out to transform the way you work across desktops and devices.

It all starts with a Creative Profile—your creative identity within Creative Cloud—the heart of this Creative Cloud release. Your Creative Profile connects you to your work, to the assets you create with, and to the communities you care about—wherever you are. Your files, photos, colors, brushes, shapes, fonts, text styles, graphics, and assets from Creative Cloud Market will be at your fingertips because your Creative Profile moves with you. It works across apps and across devices, giving you access to what you need, when you need it, and in the right context.

Meet the mobile app families

In June we brought the power of Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC to devices with a complementary set of imaging and illustration mobile apps. Not only do these apps break down the silos between desktop and mobile, but they’re fun and easy to use, and provide countless new ways to express your creativity. Today we’re proudly debuting more new apps, as well as updates to all of the apps we introduced in June:

The Illustrator family of apps extends the power of Illustrator CC to mobile devices:

MAX_1_DrawAdobe Illustrator Draw—An all-new app that reinvents the best of Adobe Ideas, letting you work with familiar tools and features in a modern, streamlined interface. Better syncing makes it easier to send drawings to Illustrator CC for refinement.

MAX_2_LineAdobe Illustrator Line—A major update to the app we first shipped in June; Line sketches can now be sent to Illustrator CC, enabling you to edit original vector paths, and more.

 

The Photoshop family of apps brings the power of Adobe digital imaging to mobile devices with the full compatibility of Photoshop and Lightroom:

MAX_3_MixAdobe Photoshop Mix—Now available for both iPhone and iPad, it includes amazing new technology with a cut-out option that automatically creates a selection for the primary element in an image.

 

MAX_4_SketchAdobe Photoshop Sketch—Draw with new expressive brushes as well as custom brushes, and send sketch artwork to Photoshop as a PSD file, opening the door to deeper integration between Sketch and Photoshop CC.

MAX_5_LRLightroom mobile—Builds on the amazing image management and editing capabilities… view comments and favorites in Lightroom mobile that clients, friends, or family leave on the photos you’ve shared online in Lightroom on the web.

 

The Premiere family now has a mobile app for video editing on the go:

MAX_6_ClipAdobe Premiere Clip—Our first video-editing app brings the power of Adobe Premiere Pro CC to mobile. It works on iPhone and iPad and integrates with Premiere Pro CC on the desktop for professional editing and finishing.

 

We’re also really excited about a new family of mobile apps for capturing inspiration on the go and dropping them directly into your creative workflow:

MAX_7_ColorAdobe Color CC (formerly Adobe Kuler)—Create color themes on your iPhone from the photos that inspired them.

 

MAX_8_BrushAdobe Brush CC—Transform images on your iPhone and iPad into unique brushes for Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC or Photoshop Sketch.

 

MAX_9_ShapeAdobe Shape CC—Turn shapes and objects from high-contrast photos on your iPhone into editable vectors for use in Illustrator CC and Illustrator Draw.

 

Updated desktop apps & services make it all easier

MAX_10_PhotoshopPhotoshop CCNew 3D printing features, enhanced Mercury Graphics Engine performance, and improved support for Touch on Windows 8

 

MAX_11_IllustratorIllustrator CC—A new Curvature tool, and new Touch support for Windows 8 devices like Microsoft Surface Pro

 

MAX_12_InDesignInDesign CC—Interactive EPUB support and a new Color Theme tool

 

MAX_13_MuseAdobe Muse CC—SVG support and Synchronized Text

 

MAX_14_PremierePremiere Pro CC—Search Bins and GPU-optimized playback

 

MAX_15_AfterEffectsAfter Effects CC—An enhanced 3D pipeline and HiDPI support

 

MAX_16_DreamweaverDreamweaver CC—Expanded Live View and Creative Cloud Extract (read on for details)

 

MAX_17_FlashFlash Pro CC—Improved WebGL support and custom brushes

 

  • Creative Cloud Market—A collection of high-quality, curated content that’s free to Creative Cloud members. Access thousands of patterns, icons, brushes and vector shapes to add to your own projects.*
  • Creative Cloud Libraries—A powerful asset management service, connected to your Creative Profile, that facilitates a seamless workflow between our desktop and mobile apps. Save favorite colors, brushes, text styles, graphics, vector images, and content from Creative Cloud Market into one of your Libraries, and those creative assets will be available to you as you work across Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and our mobile apps.
  • Creative Cloud Extract—Simplifies the comp-to-code workflow by making it a snap to extract design information (like CSS, colors, gradients, measurements, and fonts) from a PSD file. Extract works right inside of Photoshop CC and Dreamweaver CC, or can be accessed in Creative Cloud Assets where your files are stored.

The power of community

The Behance community has grown by leaps and bounds since joining the Adobe family, and now has over 4 million members with more than 20,000 new portfolio projects and “works in progress” published every day. The new Creative Talent Search from Behance connects creatives across the globe with job opportunities from top companies and major brands. Just one more great reason to join Behance if you haven’t yet.

A big investment in training

The pace of innovation in Creative Cloud tools and services is growing fast. So the Creative Cloud Learn team has stepped up its game to keep you on top of your game. Hone your skills with hundreds of tutorials that cater to every experience level. The how-tos are viewable in your browser, on your iPad, and some are available inside your Creative Cloud desktop apps.

 

There are some amazing new things in this release. And you can see it all, just as it unfolded, from center stage in the Adobe MAX 2014 Day 1 launch keynote, now available on demand. Watch the new mobile apps in action and see how they connect with the desktop apps and services through your Creative Profile—your creative identity within Creative Cloud.

Get your hands on the newest Creative Cloud apps, features and services available today. If you’re already a member, it’s time to update Photoshop and your other apps. And if you’re not a member yet, join us for the journey.

*You must be a paid member to access Creative Cloud Market assets; Creative Cloud Assets are not included with Creative Cloud photography plans.

9:49 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

Adobe Premiere Pro CC and The Evolution of The NLE

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An interview with Premiere Pro CC product manager Al Mooney.

Al Mooney, senior product manager for Premiere Pro CC, has a long history in digital video editing and has played his part in the evolution of the NLE. Mooney grew up in the Southwest of England and studied music and sound recording at the University of Surrey. Starting out as a broadcast engineer, he went on to work for Digidesign (part of Avid Technology) and then Apple in the UK in sales and business development work. Mooney has been product manager of Premiere Pro since 2010.

With the launch of the 2014 versions of the Creative Cloud applications, I sat down with Al to talk about video editing and the past, present, and future of Premiere Pro CC.

How did you get into the world of film and broadcast production?
The original plan was to be an audio engineer in music. I studied audio engineering and, as part of my degree, worked a year for a German broadcaster as a sound designer. While there, it became pretty obvious that working in recording studios wasn’t for me—in part because I quite like things like daylight and eating. So when I finished my studies I went to work as a music product specialist at Digidesign. My interests evolved from there: I first got excited about audio for pictures, and then pictures themselves.

You’ve been the Premiere Pro product manager since CS 5.5. What were your objectives for the application when you were overseeing that release?
It was pretty clear to me—and I don’t think I was alone in this—that we had a great engine but a pretty ugly car. I wanted to make driving Premiere Pro delightful; I wanted to make people swoon when they looked at it.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC product manager Al Mooney takes to the stage at 2013 NAB Supermeet. (Photo courtesy PF Bentley.)

Adobe Premiere Pro CC product manager Al Mooney takes to the stage at 2013 NAB Supermeet. (Photo courtesy PF Bentley.)

Where are we today in the evolution of the NLE?
In terms of professionals, there are a number of big themes we’re seeing. More and more editors need to work with higher-resolution footage, most notably 4K but sometimes higher than that. Editors expect to be able to sit in front of their NLE and cut 4K, or even 5K, just like they do with SD or HD. And they should be able to do that! Making it work should be our problem, not theirs. Whenever an editor has to think about the technology, rather than the creative task, I think we’ve failed.

Another interesting theme is color, which has become such an important part of the entire workflow, and no longer something that people just think about at the end. Editors expect to be able to work creatively with color from the very beginning of the process.

Aside from the needs of established professionals, there’s also a whole new group of people becoming creative with video who aren’t necessarily using NLE software to do it. I think the way people express themselves with software like Vine and Instagram is fascinating. So while I think there will always be a place for high-end, deep video editing apps, we’re seeing exciting changes in the way people use video in general.

Where do you see the 2014 release of Premiere Pro CC in terms of that bigger picture?
We’ve been focusing on higher resolution workflows for a very long time, and we make improvements every release. Alongside new format support, we’re always working on providing our customers with the best performance possible. Like I said, editors expect to be able to cut 4K just like they can HD, and the addition of the GPU debayer for RED media enables editors to cut RED incredibly fluidly.

In terms of color, we also made big improvements to Direct Link, which allows editors to dip into a powerful grading application at any point during the edit, without relinking or exporting anything. You can just open the project in SpeedGrade CC and work with it. I’m really proud of what we did with that workflow.

Al presenting Adobe SpeedGrade CC at the 2013 NAB Supermeet.

Al presenting Adobe SpeedGrade CC at the 2013 NAB Supermeet.

There’s been a lot of talk about the tighter integration with After Effects CC with new features like Live Text templates and Masking and Tracking. Why was this important?
We care a great deal about listening to and engaging with editors, and we heard loud and clear that there are certain effects-related tasks that editors often need to do many times a day. The Dynamic Link workflow between After Effects CC and Premiere Pro CC is extremely powerful but for things you need to do often and quickly it can be too much effort to go back and forth between applications. It wastes time and takes you out of the “editing mindset.” Also not every editor knows their way around After Effects CC. Editing text in AE comps is something many editors wanted to be able to do in the NLE. And it’s the same with masking and tracking—we heard that blurring of faces and license plates was hugely important, so that’s what we focused on.

I’m hugely proud of the way our engineers built Masking and Tracking into Premiere Pro CC. While we knew that blurring was crucial, our teams put the new functionality at the core of our effects engine so that the feature is capable of so much more than just blurring things out.

Masking and Tracking, powered by After Effects CC, was introduced in the 2014 release of Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Masking and Tracking, powered by After Effects CC, was introduced in the 2014 release of Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Are there any other features in the 2014 release that you are excited about?
I think the ability to have multiple Media Browser panels might be one of the best sleeper features. You can have as many as you need, browsing to your media directories, or, perhaps even more usefully, browsing to different projects. It’s a bit like having the Project Panel of another project open in a Media Browser, and as such you start to see a pretty powerful multiple project workflow. We also added Favorites to the Media Browser which I think a lot of people will find very helpful.

What are some of the other highlights for you in the most recent release of the Adobe video applications?
I mentioned improved Direct Link and I think that’s a huge feature for editors. I want them to be really comfortable in SpeedGrade CC and it’s really getting to a stage where SpeedGrade feels like an extension of Premiere Pro. Also I’d be crazy not to point out the spill suppressor technology in After Effects CC, which has caused many jaws to hit the floor during demos.

From a product development point of view, what do you think of Creative Cloud so far?
It’s so much fun, to be honest! This is really about the evolution of software itself. Changes come so fast these days and Creative Cloud gives us a framework to continually develop the tools, rather than being limited to a rigid twelve- or eighteen-month schedule. Now we can release features when they’re ready—and when our users need them.

How do you feel the Creative Cloud model has worked for users?
Professional users need tools that keep up with their world. In a fast moving industry, the Creative Cloud model has been an ideal fit for Premiere Pro—well all our video apps, really. Creative Cloud brings us much closer to our customers and product development is closely tied to user feedback. It’s much more of a partnership now with a lot more ongoing contact than we used to have.

Overall Creative Cloud membership is growing faster than we expected. Video pros in particular have been upgrading to Creative Cloud at an incredible rate. I’m really proud of that.

You’ve had plenty of personal experience with competing NLEs. Why should users consider switching to Premiere Pro CC now?
There are so many reasons! Our industry-leading native format support. Our amazing integration with other Adobe apps like Photoshop CC, After Effects CC, SpeedGrade CC. Our rich, diverse third-party ecosystem. Our speed of innovation. My cat. The list goes on!

Al often jokes about his beloved cat Cloud (yes, that’s her real name) and is famous for wearing cat T-shirts during presentations.

Al often jokes about his beloved cat Cloud (yes, that’s his real name) and is famous for wearing cat T-shirts during presentations.

What do you love most about your work now?
I love how engaged we are with the community. I adore speaking at user group events, showing off what we’ve been working on and gathering feedback from editors. I also have to call out the amazing team I work with—the amount of skill and knowledge in the Premiere Pro team is mind boggling. I’m so lucky to be part of this group of people.

Where do you hope to take Premiere Pro CC in the future?
To infinity and beyond! I want this product to be synonymous with video production. I’m jealous that Photoshop has become a verb—I want people to say, “I Premiere Pro’d it!”

Get a free trial of Premiere Pro CC


11:51 AM Permalink

Making a Splash with Adobe Creative Cloud 2014

As users update their Adobe Creative Cloud apps with the 2014 release they’ll be greeted with more than just new features… the splash screens for their favorite apps are also new and feature inspiring artwork from some talented designers. For anyone who hasn’t updated yet (or even for those who have) here’s a preview of a few of the new screens, along with the the inside scoop from the artists who created them:

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Kylli Sparre—Adobe Photoshop CC
A self-taught designer, Kylli Sparre was attracted to Adobe Photoshop because of the endless options it gave her. According to Sparre, who describes her style as dreamlike, symbolic, and sometimes surreal, the limitlessness of image-making helped to open up her creativity. The image featured on the Adobe Photoshop CC splash screen is one of Sparre’s personal projects. She knew she wanted to combine the photo of the woman with the location shot, but none of the things she tried worked until she noticed an interesting connection between the two images. After adjusting the angle she was able to emphasize the connection with extraordinary results.

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Geso/Pablo IAAdobe After Effects CC
With a style that straddles art and design, Pablo Iglesias enjoys exploring all kinds of visual disciplines, most recently focusing on more live and video art that combines a range of creative disciplines. For the Adobe After Effects CC  splash screen, he first created some graphic elements in Photoshopa kind of digital illustration recreating a transparent prism with iridescent colors. Next, he generated some video loops with the image in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, using different movements and mirror effects. He then played the loops in a program he uses for live video performance, applied effects such as zoom, RGB delays, and 3D deformations, and captured it all with Syphon. The last step was to make the final edit and composition in Adobe Premiere Pro. The After Effects CC splash screen is one of the frames he captured from the final video.

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Črtomir JustAdobe Muse CC
The design for the Adobe Muse CC splash screen was the result of an experiment. Artist Črtomir Just typically begins all projects by sketching, but moves quickly into the digital realm, working with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign CC. For this project, he was trying out some new things on his own time, working with abstract 3D shapes that started to remind him of real-world animals. He developed the idea into a series of abstract yet realistic forms.

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Nick TaylorAdobe Flash Professional CC
Nick Taylor’s generative projects tend to follow a similar pattern. He starts by creating several short snippets of code, and when the code produces an output he likes, he’ll flesh it out into a larger program. He often imports vectors from Illustrator or raster images from Photoshop and manipulates them with code. He’ll tweak parameters to adjust color, scale, and composition, save unique PDF files, and take those he likes back into Illustrator or Photoshop for additional adjustments.

The Adobe Flash Professional CC splash screen is one of a number of images spawned from a single program. The program began as a very basic experiment involving a pair of individually-rotating vectors, with the second vector attached to the end of the first. It was inspired by the motion of a double pendulum. Taylor connected a number of these vector-pairs and introduced mouse tracking, allowing him to “draw” unique compositions onto the canvas. He finished the piece in Photoshop with texture overlays and color correction.

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Holger LippmanAdobe Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Audition CC
German artist Holger Lippman’s likes to incorporate rhythm, repetition, and iteration into his projects and says that his artwork is heavily influenced by electronic music. His work process starts with simple code that grows over weeks, and months, even years. The piece of art that appears on the Adobe Audition CC splash screen was based on the simple Peter De Jong map equations: x’ = sin(a * y) – cos(b * x) and y’ = sin(c * x) – cos(d * y)

The artwork chosen for the Adobe Premiere Pro CC splash screen was created using Adobe Flash Professional and programming. Lippman used an iteration algorithm consisting of a three-sided pseudo cube within an X Y matrix. The algorithm is divided down by two on six to eight layers, with randomness in number, size, color, and on/off state. Each repetition of the process results in one iteration, which is used as the starting point for the next iteration. He also coded a slight force to cluster the cubes to create little cloud gatherings.

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Patrick SeymourAdobe Illustrator CC
When Patrick Seymour was four-years-old, his mother predicted that he would be an illustrator. Today, with a degree in graphic design, he primarily works on personal projects and likes drawing the same thing many times using different styles. He typically begins with a picture or hand drawing and traces his lines over it. The illustration selected for the Adobe Illustrator CC splash screen was created using this line style. Seymour drew five or six gorillas and three or four lions. The illustration Adobe selected came from experimenting with different colors rather than using his typical black and white style.

The Creative Cloud Splash Screen collection on Behance.


1:03 PM Permalink

After Effects for Editors

AskAPro_AE_1This Ask a Video Pro was recorded June 19, 2014

The big Creative Cloud launch on June 18 (previewed at NAB 2014) introduced several After Effects CC-powered features in Premiere Pro CC that have reignited interest in Adobe’s motion graphics and visual effects powerhouse.

To many video editors, After Effects CC seems complex and, perhaps, somewhat intimidating: They’d like to add it to their skillset, but don’t know where to begin. That’s why Ask a Video Pro presented “After Effects for Editors” with master trainer Rich Harrington.

In the session, Rich gave a lot of great examples of how After Effects CC can aid editors in their work. Most importantly, he explained that the application is like a Swiss army knife…that editors don’t need to use every part of it in order to add a lot of power to their workflow.

The new Masking and Tracking feature in Premiere Pro is fantastically helpful to editors because it makes it easy to blur out faces, license plates, or product logos as they move through a shot. Rich demonstrated how to expand on that feature in After Effects CC, adding multiple blurs that move in and out behind objects (this alone is worth the price of admission; just kidding, Ask A Pro sessions are free). Then, in addition to how to animate type—handy for creating Live Text templates for use in Premiere Pro CC, Rich also introduced a number of other features:

  • Dynamic Link between Premiere Pro and After Effects
  • Animating still images
  • Keying to remove image elements from their backgrounds
  • Speed ramping
  • Camera tracking

Watch the recorded session.

About the presenter
Rich Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, DC. A graphic design and new media expert, Rich has written several books, including An Editor’s Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro and is a popular trainer and presenter at digital media events across the US and around the world.

11:41 AM Permalink

Optimizing your system for peak performance

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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

Download our performance white paper for more information on system optimization.
Watch the recorded session.

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.

11:56 AM Permalink

Recreating Reality with Visual Effects

Seamless visual effects for The Wolf of Wall Street created with help from Adobe After Effects CC and Adobe Photoshop CC.

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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.

See the best of Crazy Horse Effects
Learn more about the video apps and services in Adobe Creative Cloud
Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud

10:23 AM Permalink

Expert Filmmaker Builds Online Community

Pioneering filmmaker Ryan Connolly shares his passion for Adobe’s pro video software.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Watch Adobe & The Frog, Ryan’s recent video produced in conjunction with Adobe.
Learn more about the video apps and services in Adobe Creative Cloud.
Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud.

8:28 AM Permalink

Revealing The Next Wave of Innovation in Pro Video Apps

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.)

Creative Cloud delivers the tools you need to build the right pipeline for every project. Move content smoothly between applications and between users as you craft the final result.

Creative Cloud delivers the tools you need to build the right pipeline for every project. Move content smoothly between applications and between users as you craft the final result.

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.

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“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.NAB3_KeyCleaner

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.)

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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.)

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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.

8:25 PM Permalink

Updates available for Premiere, After Effects and more

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.

12:08 PM Permalink