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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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:
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.
Geso/Pablo IA—Adobe 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 Photoshop—a 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.
Črtomir Just—Adobe 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.
Nick Taylor—Adobe 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.
Holger Lippman—Adobe 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.
Patrick Seymour—Adobe 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Delivering on the Creative Cloud Promise of Continued Innovation – NEW Premiere Pro features available NOW
One of the best things about Creative Cloud is that the product teams are able to develop and release features in cadence with the demands of the rapidly growing and evolving creative industries. The Premiere Pro CC July 2013 update, available now, is the first example of that, and the Premiere Pro team is thrilled to be able to give the video community multiple new editing features so soon after the first CC release – less than a month after we shipped CC. These features are focused in the areas of timeline editing, viewing, navigation and media management, and are direct responses to customer feedback we’ve been closely listening to. The release also includes a number of bug fixes, including a documented critical bug with multicam workflows, and is recommended for all users.
For all the details on the July 10th release of Premiere Pro CC visit: http://adobe.ly/13Kqfyr