British network transforms production with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise
For more than 50 years, ITV has delivered beloved and successful programming to households throughout the United Kingdom. Today, ITV is probably best known for its flagship serial dramas, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, both of which have been on the air for thousands of episodes and found popularity with audiences around the world. Decades of experience with the fast turnaround of these dramas has underlined the importance of efficient production and streamlined workflows. In his upcoming talk at IBC, Martyn Suker, head of production innovation for ITV, will share some of his secrets to establishing superior production workflows.
Adobe: Tell us about what you do at ITV.
Suker: My main focus is to set and continuously review the digital production strategies across ITV Studios. I also support and advise teams for all our productions. Sometimes that means helping a show find the right facilities, developing a new workflow, or helping them maximize the creative opportunities of emerging technologies or techniques, at other times it can mean advising on standard camera policies.
Adobe: What is the production modernization program?
Suker: We’re always looking for ways to improve processes and the way that we work. Right now, our main focus is on how we can simplify our production workflows. It’s not just about swapping out a few pieces of software or hardware here and there. It’s an overarching change program looking at roles and responsibilities, best practices, and the entire production culture. Ultimately, we’re looking to save time and money during production so that we can shift more value on screen.
Adobe: What were you looking for in a solution?
Suker: We were definitely looking for an end-to-end solution. Having said that, when most people speak of an end-to-end approach, they are usually just referring to the post-production process. We look at the entire production process, starting from the early stages of commissioning and ending at the final delivery and archival. Importantly we want to track production information throughout the production lifecycle and wherever possible, automate mundane tasks. It’s about providing a better experience for users all round.
Adobe: How does Adobe Creative Cloud fit in to the production workflow?
Suker: We’ve been using Adobe Story CC Plus on Coronation Street and Emmerdale for quite some time. It’s a big operation; both shows have three or four crews working simultaneously everyday for 50 weeks a year. With such a fast turnaround they need to shoot out of order, so Story plays an incredibly important role in helping us keep track of schedules and scripts.
Designers have also been using Adobe After Effects and Photoshop for quite some time, but the two most recent additions to our workflow have been Adobe Prelude CC and Adobe Premiere Pro CC. By adopting an all Adobe workflow it’s possible to take advantage of the built-in integrations, allowing us to work more quickly and effectively.
Adobe: How does MioEverywhere support the production workflow?
Suker: MioEverywhere from Nativ.tv is a highly configurable production information and workflow management system that’s helped us take our workflow to a new level. We used it to build panels in Prelude and Premiere Pro that help simplify data and media management within that part of the process. One of the key advantages of Creative Cloud is the ability to do that type of integration, quickly and simply.
Adobe: How did you decide that the Adobe workflow was right for ITV?
Suker: We want productions to have the ability to choose the right tool for the job. We ran a pilot using Creative Cloud and MioEverywhere to produce a recent drama documentary. It was about ensuring we had the right approach, functionality and capabilities. There are always issues when you introduce something new, but you only discover those issues when you put it into a real environment—an actual production that’s got to meet deadlines and provide quality.
Adobe Prelude worked very smoothly by enabling the production team to log and ingest footage quickly and efficiently. The editor, like most of our editors at ITV, had never worked with Premiere Pro before and it was a complicated edit involving drama reconstructions mixed with archive footage. We proved there were no more issues than you would normally expect with such a complex piece of editing, indeed some things were better.
Adobe: What were the results of the pilot?
Suker: Prelude was particularly effective in providing huge time savings during ingest. Overall the benefits were significant and as a result we were able to move investment to on-screen talent. Having a recognizable high-profile leading actor may convince the network to give us a better slot in the schedule, pulling in a bigger audience and in turn, driving more revenue.
Moreover, it proved Adobe does not prevent us from working with other tools. For the pilot program, the producer wanted to work with a particular colorist and dubbing mixer. We just exported the masters, handed them over to the post-production house, re-imported the grade and dub and then finished the program in Premiere Pro. Even though it’s possible to handle everything within the Adobe workflow, we proved it’s also flexible enough to give production teams those options.
Adobe: Why did you get an enterprise term license agreement for Adobe Creative Cloud?
Suker: We can see opportunities to use Creative Cloud across the company, both in production and with our development teams. We want choice and to encourage staff to experiment with different software within Creative Cloud to provide further benefit. For example, one of our production labels is using Creative Cloud to create content for all its YouTube channels. Using the full range of toolsets within the suite is saving a lot of time and indirectly of course, money.
Adobe: What are the next steps for ITV?
Suker: We got approval for funding based on the success of the pilot, so now we’re ironing out all the details in terms of the best configurations, implementing our learning from the pilot and procuring the right infrastructure to support initial roll-out across the company.
We’re also working closely with production, development teams and editors to get them used to working with Prelude and Premiere Pro. We’re really excited about its possibilities and the opportunities that for example, Adobe Anywhere might also offer in future.
Martyn Suker, Head of Production Innovation at ITV Studios, will be presenting in the Adobe stand at IBC 2014 on Saturday, Sept. 13th at 5:00pm, Sunday, Sept. 14th at 5:00pm, and Monday, Sept. 15th at 5:00pm.
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Announcing the next release of Adobe Prelude CC 2014
Since the release of Creative Cloud it’s been non-stop innovation across Adobe – and the story is no different for the Prelude team. We are proud to be announcing great new features across the Adobe Pro Video software family including market leading Premiere Pro, After Effects, SpeedGrade, Audition, and Adobe Media Encoder. For an overview of all the top features coming with the newest release of Creative Cloud for Pro Video visit the Creative Cloud blog and for more details check out our data sheet.
The fall release of Adobe Prelude CC 2014 is a continued reflection of customer feedback on the features that will make a Prelude an even more powerful Ingest, Logging , and Rough Cut tool in their Adobe toolset. The biggest emphasis for this release was improving the capabilities of the rough cut functionality to meet the needs of producers, journalists, and field teams that need a simple but robust assemble tool for fast turnaround edits. That said, we did not forget about Ingest and Logging, and we made sure to continue our commitment to add value to all of the key functionalities of Prelude.
Prelude rough cuts are now even more suitable for quick turnaround to air when there is no time for craft editing. In and Out Point Support for clips in the Project panel thumbnail view offers a faster way to assemble to a rough cut. Once the rough cut is assembled, quickly add one of the basic Video Transitions and Audio Transitions across clips with the new Add Transitions button. Then use the Additional Audio Tracks feature to add background sounds, voice over, music, and any other audio files that enhance the finished feel of the rough cut. In addition to these track enhancements, Prelude now allows the user to set the Start Timecode for the rough cut timeline. This value can be based on a custom timecode value or the start timecode of the first clip in the timeline. Prelude is there for you when you need a workhorse rough cutter for quick, easy, and basic assembly.
Make your media easier to manage without the pain of long transcodes. Prelude has worked with the Adobe Media Encoder (AME) team to enable Rewrap to OP1A MXF. Media and clips can now ingest and export faster by avoiding transcoding and/or rendering whenever possible. Using the Match Source preset under the transcode option in the Ingest dialog, AME will extract media from folder based formats, like XDCAM HD, XDCAM EX, AVC-Intra, XAVC, and DNX HD, into one simple MXF file. Using the Match Source preset when exporting a rough cut sequence will rewrap any matching clip rather than rendering or transcoding. Our goal is to save you time, while making your asset management easier.
For this next release the Prelude team also wanted to improve the workflows around the new Tag Templates introduced in the June release. Start by assigningKeyboard shortcuts for Tagging in tag templates for faster and more efficient keyboard driven logging. Then, more easily identify tagged markers on the Timeline because they are now the same color as the Tag button used to create them.
In addition, all of the Adobe video and audio applications feature a refined user interface, with new support for HiDPI displays on the Windows platform, accompanying the existing support for Apple retina displays.
The film, video and broadcast industries are evolving at a rapid pace and Adobe continues to develop the tools you need to stay creative while keeping up with the latest industry trends. The Adobe Pro Video team has been working hard to bring you a powerful toolset for all your production and post production needs. We’re very excited for what’s to come – and we hope you are too. Stay tuned for more information!
Hi! Michael Lewis here, Product Manager for Pre-Production workflows at Adobe. A couple of weekends ago, I had the amazing opportunity to experience first hand the innovative workflow that Jason Pattan has implemented at MTV for red carpet and award show coverage.
Jason is the director of content production and technology management for MTV Music Group, and there is a great and detailed blog post about the specifics of his workflow here. Let me give a quick recap of the workflow before going on.
- 4-6 live camera feeds being captured as growing files to shared storage
- 4 Prelude stations to ingest the growing files and create sub-clips
- Send Sub-clips from Prelude to Adobe Media Encoder for transcode and transfer to a MediaSilo watch folder.
- Post to MediaSilo for distribution to affiliates
Wow! What an amazing spectacle this award show is in person! And the first challenge that Jason and his team have is to capture all of the moments and feelings of the event. From the musical artists walking the carpet, posing for photos, and giving interviews, to the response and energy of the crowds of screaming fans, they are constantly reviewing the clips in Prelude for the best moments. Their next challenge is to get clips up to the MediaSlo repository in as close to real time as possible for affiliates and their own MTV channel. Keep in mind, there are only 3-4 people working on creating clips at a time. This year they were even a bit daring – I think it helped their confidence to have two Adobe people on hand – and tried a new workflow where two Prelude stations worked on the same clip at the same time. Their daring paid off. For the first time, they were able to finish creating and uploading clips from the red carpet to the MediaSilo repository before the main VMA show began. A fast and efficient workflow powered by Adobe Prelude CC 2014. Nice! I love this stuff! J
Aside from the thrill of seeing Prelude meet the needs of this innovative production crew, I was also pretty psyched to be right in the middle of the area for post awards acceptance interviews and press photos.
We were stationed below the stage in the Press Room area, which meant that all of the most popular music artist walked right past us after receiving their music video award.
I am usually pretty impervious to “fame”, but I’ll admit I was a little excited about seeing Beyoncé up close and personal. The show was a success, and the workflow that Jason and his team implemented captured each and every thrilling moment the red carpet, the live performances, the award ceremony, and the behind the scenes action. I don’t know if I will be able to make the case for attending again next year, but I will certainly try.
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Multi-platform media company produces premium sports, culture, and lifestyle content with help from Creative Cloud
From its start selling energy drinks, Red Bull has expanded into an international brand with streaming video through Red Bull TV, the Red Bull Records independent music label, and sponsorship of dozens of athletes, teams, and events. For the past seven years, Red Bull Media House, a subsidiary of Red Bull, has overseen all of the company’s communications and media, taking Red Bull to the next level as a full-fledged lifestyle brand. Andreas Gall, the chief technology officer at Red Bull Media House, gives wings to emotional content that connects people with the international Red Bull brand.
Adobe: What does Red Bull Media House do?
Gall: We handle all of the communications for the entire Red Bull family of companies. That includes especially coverage of Red Bull’s events, from sports to music and more. We’re much more than just TV commercials and magazine ads. We produce exciting short and feature-length films, engaging video magazines, and even deliver live coverage of international events through Red Bull TV. If you look at the Red Bull Content Pool, we have a massive online archive of more than 120,000 assets produced by Red Bull Media House—and we’re adding new content every day.
Much of our content covers high-action sports, which has been the core of the Red Bull DNA for years. We’re always looking for new ways to find really emotional content and bring our audiences closer to the athletes’ experiences.
Adobe: Why did you make the switch to Adobe Creative Cloud?
Gall: If there’s anything we know at Red Bull, it’s the importance of pushing the limits. We have a lot of great ideas that we’d love to see—like enhanced visualizations and biometrics—that don’t have a solid technological answer yet. That’s why it was much less important for us to find a system that worked for where we are now, and more important to find a motivated partner who was willing to work with us to change the media world.
I really like how open Adobe is to exploring with us. Adobe comes from a very creative background, so the product development teams are very interested in ideas and concepts that will lead to new creative expressions. We’ve had meetings with Adobe about working with Premiere Pro and XMP, and we’re starting to paint a picture of how we want to evolve together.
Adobe: What Adobe applications are you using?
Gall: We’ve had people working with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects for years, but the biggest change has been our switch to Adobe Premiere Pro CC. It’s going to be central to the architecture that we’re planning with fast edits and fast production. Once we’re fully switched over, we’ll standardize on Adobe Prelude CC to streamline production even further. With everything going through Prelude, we’ll reduce ingest and make edits considerably faster.
We’re starting to dive into the rest of the applications available in Creative Cloud as well. There’s been a lot of interest in Adobe Story CC and Adobe Anywhere to encourage creative collaboration around the globe.
Adobe: What is the future for Red Bull Media House?
Gall: We’ve got some ideas for how we want to move forward. For example, we think it would be fantastic if we could really connect athletes with fans by giving athletes the ability to create and upload their own media. This is just one of many ideas we’re exploring, and Adobe is with us every step of the way.
Andreas (Andi) Gall, CTO of Red Bull Media House, will be presenting at the Adobe stand at IBC on Friday, September 12th at 2:00 PM and Saturday, September 13th at 10:30 AM.
Welcome to the new Adobe Prelude Blog! When starting off a new blog the challenge is always in how to begin. The second challenge is usually an immediate sense of ‘How do we keep this informative and entertaining?’ After all, we’d hate to lose you all on the first day on the job.
So maybe we just start with the basics about what Prelude is and who the contributors to this blog are. If we don’t put you to sleep with these first opening paragraphs congratulations! There’s more great content down the page and we promise to reward you with lots of great articles further down the road.
First, who are we?
Michael Lewis: I have been with Adobe since 2001. I began my career at Adobe as a Quality Engineer for Adobe Photoshop, and then in 2005 I moved to the Adobe Premiere Pro in the same position. Over the years I have worked closely with engineering, customers, and partners to help develop Adobe’s video tools into an integral part of many production workflows. That work, eventually, led to my current position as a Product Manager for Adobe Prelude and Adobe Story. I look forward to contributing to this blog, and bringing you, the reader, along on the journey to making Prelude the best product it can be.
Michael Goshey: I’ve been with Adobe since August 2000. During that time I’ve been either writing code or managing products and teams. I’ve been fortunate to be part of the Premiere Pro team, the Adobe Media Encoder and MediaCore teams, the Broadcast Engineering Team, the Speedgrade Team and the Prelude & LiveLogger teams. Currently I’m a Senior Engineering Manager and Product Owner for Prelude and Speedgrade. I’ve been with the Prelude effort since it’s beginning over 4 years ago. I’m happy to see how it has matured and yet still excited about all the potential and plans for the future. Many of those plans and concepts we will explore here in our blog.
The two of us travel quite extensively to interact with customers. We learn a great deal by visiting customers and hearing about the ways in which they’d like to leverage Prelude within their production and post production environments. We hope to bring some of those stories and case studies to this blog in the near future as well as have some guest appearances by customers around the world.
Next up: What is Adobe Prelude and why was it created?
Adobe Prelude was originally created by Adobe with input from our partners CNN and the BBC. File-based capture and media was just starting to take off and we realized early there was going to be a need for better file management solutions to keep track of what was about to be a huge influx of new media. We wanted Prelude to be that solution.
Adobe Prelude stands on three (3) main workflow pillars: Ingest and Organization, Logging and Rough Cutting.
Ingest and Organization
Before you can organize your media you first need to get it off your camera and memory cards – or “ingest” it. So one of the first elements of Prelude was our Ingest workflow. Unlike some of the other file-based ingest tools already in the market at the time that only supported one or two video formats, we wanted Prelude to support all the popular video formats natively. A great deal of time was spent to ensure we could do just that. Over time we added additional capabilities such as transcoding on ingest, stitching, smart rendering, custom dynamic metadata, and batch file renaming. And we have plans for more exciting features in the future.
Logging media was also an early cornerstone of the product. Temporal metadata workflows (markers) had not been given the first class usability treatment in most NLE’s at this time. Prelude wanted to create a simple and intuitive interface to allow non-craft editors the ability to participate effectively in the digital video workflow. Along with the switch to file-based media, came the real need of having to sort through all that material to find the best cuts. Prelude needed to provide a fast and simple solution to fill that need. Our keyboard driven marker logging workflow proved to fit the bill. Yet we wanted to make logging even easier and faster for our customers. In our Prelude CC 2014 release earlier this year we added a significant new logging feature – the Tag Panel. The Tag Panel is driven by customer generated Tagging Templates that place markers with tags on media in the Timeline with a single button click. These templates can be published into your creative cloud account and shared with others. Thus creating a common, shared metadata template across the production team. The best part about all of the metadata added by Prelude is that it seamlessly flows into Premiere Pro to assist and enhance the post production process.
Rough cutting has been one of the pillars of Prelude since the beginning. However, it was probably the one area where we invested the least amount of time and effort… until recently. Over the past year we’ve added a number of cool features to our rough cutter and have several more planned for an upcoming release. In 2013 we introduced the ability to export a rough cut directly from Prelude using Adobe Media Encoder. Prior to this feature you had to first send the rough cut to Premiere Pro and then export from there. In our June 2014 release we introduced trimming and relinking. The positive feedback we received from the addition of these two features was great! And along with the feedback came additional requests and suggestions. The team is now working on another set of improvements and enhancements for our rough cut workflow we know you’ll love. It’s a little early to announce it, but stay tuned.
It’s been a fun ride getting the first three (3) major releases of Prelude out the door. We feel we’ve established a solid platform and capabilities in the product, and now that most of the foundation work has been completed we’re able to innovate at an even faster pace. We look forward to sharing with you the new concepts and solutions we have planned for upcoming releases.
Of course, we are always interested in hearing from you what you think we should do next!
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