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Biscardi Creative Media combines experience, storytelling, and heart

Full-service video production firm realizes efficiencies and plans for the future with Adobe Creative Cloud

Walter Biscardi Jr. has worked with nearly every NLE during his long and successful career. He started editing in 1990 at CNN and was one of the network’s first Avid editors. In 1995, he moved to Foxwoods Resort Casino, designed a new production facility around Media 100, and then started his first company back in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998. After working with Final Cut Pro for 11 years, he found his way to Adobe Premiere Pro, an integrated solution that could speed his workflow and evolve with his needs. At Biscardi Creative Media, he now actively works with Adobe Creative Cloud, cutting a new series and planning to launch his own television network with his faithful companion, Molly the Wonder Dog, by his side.

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Walter Biscardi and Kylee Wall

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Molly the Wonder Dog

Adobe: Tell us about some of your best known projects.

Biscardi: I worked on four seasons of Good Eats with Alton Brown doing post-production, editing, animation, and color grading. I’ve also done some long form documentary work. I was co-producer and editor on Foul Water Fiery Serpent, a documentary that aired on PBS about President Carter’s 25-year fight to eradicate guinea worm. Next, I worked on another documentary, Dark Forest Black Fly, which also aired on PBS. Both took four years to cut. Most recently our company has completed four seasons of This American Land, a PBS series about preserving America’s wildlife, waters, and landscape.

Adobe: How has your business evolved?

Biscardi: I’ve gone from working in the bedroom of my house to building a brand new, 6,000 square foot production facility with five edit suites, a 5.1 surround sound mixing theater, a color grading suite, production offices, and 1,400 square feet of studio space. For years we did all post-production work, primarily broadcast episodics, documentaries, and corporate projects. Two or three years ago we started getting serious about full-service, turnkey productions.

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Adobe: What led you to switch to Adobe Premiere Pro?

Biscardi: The launch of Final Cut X drove me back to Avid 6, which I used when I started work on the second season of This American Land. I had never touched Premiere Pro and honestly didn’t think it was useful in a professional workflow. But working with Avid on This American Land was a fiasco and by the third episode into the edit we switched to Premiere Pro and haven’t looked back. Three of the four seasons have been edited with Premiere Pro.

Adobe: What do you think of Adobe Creative Cloud and the integrated video workflow?

Biscardi: There’s nothing on the market that works as cohesively as Adobe Creative Cloud. I also love the subscription concept of Creative Cloud and how Adobe continuously rolls out new features. I’ve used After Effects since it was CoSA. All of the animation for Good Eats was done with After Effects and Photoshop. Three of the animations were well over 2,000 layers; it was so much fun doing those. The integrated video workflow between Premiere Pro and After Effects can’t be beat.

Adobe: Are there features in Premiere Pro that are particularly useful in your work?

Biscardi: The software just works. When you transition from one piece of software to another it isn’t going to work the same. You have to adapt your workflow to the tool. Nothing is perfect, but Premiere Pro is as close to perfect as I’ve seen out there right now. This American Land can have 10 camera formats in the same episode, on the same timeline, and it doesn’t choke, it just plays. It’s great to not have to think about cameras, formats, frame rates, or frame size. We haven’t come across anything we’ve thrown on the timeline it can’t handle.

The multi-cam integration with audio is also simple; as long as you have a good audio reference it’s unbelievable how easy auto sync by waveform works. The pancake timeline, where all raw elements are in the timelines above the master timeline, is easy to use and I recently discovered the new marker window with the marker notes and that is now a big part of our workflow. I love making those types of discoveries.

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Adobe: How has working with Adobe Creative Cloud helped your business?

Biscardi: We’ve cut 300 to 400 projects on Premiere Pro in the past few years and it’s a rock solid tool. We were 12 days behind on This American Land when we switched from Avid to Premiere Pro and we not only caught up but we got ahead. When we cut the first season on Final Cut Pro 7 we had to convert all camera formats to Pro Res and it took 1.2 – 2TB to archive the episodes.

It took three or four episodes cutting in Premiere Pro to trust that it would cut native. We switched to an all native workflow and reduced the backup to 350GB to 500GB, which saved us money on the archive. We were also able to cut the same amount of material in 50% of the time because there was no waiting to transcode. Foul Water Fiery Serpent was all shot on Panasonic P2 and we had 250 hours of footage that we converted to Pro Res before editing, which took a couple of weeks. In Premiere Pro we would have been able to start editing on day one.

Adobe: How did you get started working on Arson Dogs?

Biscardi: Arson Dogs is a new web series for world-renowned dog trainer Victoria Stilwell and her Positively website. The series follows Victoria to southern Maine, where State Farm’s Arson Dog Training Program is conducted to train handlers and working dogs together to sniff out accelerants like gasoline and propane at potential arson sites.

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Victoria and her crew spent five days at the school documenting many hours of raw material on up to five different cameras. We then taught her team how to organize and log the project in Premiere Pro, so when we opened it up it was in bins with notes and we could just get started editing. Our first task was to create a three minute sizzle reel from 3,500 clips in just one week. Without Premiere Pro and the Small Tree Shared Storage, which let us all work with the same media simultaneously, it wouldn’t have happened. I worked collaboratively with our editors R. John Becker and Kylee Wall to meet the deadline.

Since then, we’ve been working on editing the first 8 episodes, and anticipate there will be 6 to 10 more. Kylee has a one sentence overview of each 5- to 10-minute episode and she cuts based on that description. We’re known as storytellers, and Adobe gets all of the technology out of the way so we can just tell a story. The best part is being able to work on the project with my own Molly the Wonder Dog in the edit suite with the team.

Adobe: What’s next for you?

Biscardi: We’re currently seeking investment to launch a new 4k UHD Contemporary Living Network, which will include multiple channels and an all Adobe workflow. We’re looking at producing at least 20 original series in the first season alone, all on lifestyle topics such as food, travel, entertaining, pets, home and garden, and more. It will be our own network, with direct digital delivery.

We recently took delivery of our first Blackmagic 4K Production Camera and Teranex Express. We’ll be shooting the first four episodes of Ice Cream Nation and two episodes of Fork U in 4K UHD using that and the Panasonic GH4 cameras for Contemporary Living Network. Fork U features Simon Majumdar from Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen as one of our hosts.

Adobe: Are there any new Adobe Premiere Pro features that you’re looking forward to incorporating into your workflow?

Biscardi: The new Consolidate and Transcode feature in Premiere Pro CC will come into play very heavily as we launch Contemporary Living Network. It will enable us to create archive versions of the master cut of each and every episode in a single format. That will help us easily re-open the project at a later date to make changes to graphics, re-export into a different format, or whatever else the situation warrants without the need to reopen all of the original media.

We’ll certainly keep all the original native media for future re-use, but having the finished episode in a single format is something we’ve been waiting for. It will come into play across the board at Biscardi Creative Media. So thankful to the Adobe team for getting that feature in there!

Watch the Arson Dogs series

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud

 

Bugs fixed in Premiere Pro 2014.1 Release

Alongside the many new features in the Premiere Pro 2014.1 release, a great deal of known issues and bugs have been addressed. The following is a list of the key issues resolved. Many thanks to Mark Mapes for his hard work creating this list, which is arranged by functional area of the application.

 

Import

  • Import of CinemaDNG clip fails if the file has been renamed.
  • Gamma shift in some re-imported QuickTime IMX clips
  • Some QuickTime Reference files import without timecode.
  • Indexing of XDCAM clips can take an excessively long time, footage shows Media Pending until indexing completes.
  • XAVC-S files import without Timecode
  • Unable to import certain XDCAMHD 422 Long-GOP clips with Pixel Aspect Ratio of 0.7500 MXF
  • Spanned XDCAM HD422 clips not handled correctly if the clip names do not follow the normal convention
  • When a sequence is loaded from Media Browser to the Source Monitor and then inserted to a sequence without explicitly importing, two copies of the sequence are added to project.
  • Scaling values are not properly handled for clips/sequences imported via an XML file written by some shot management and conforming programs
  • If the reported duration of an XDCAM HD MXF clip shorter than the actual length in the file, then frames outside the stated duration can be accessed.
  • Some XAVC and XDCAM-IMX-MXF clips have audio noise introduced on playback
  • Some .mp4 have green frames and ‘static’ garbage when played in Source Monitor
  • Canon XF300 Footage has unacceptable performance for playback
  • .mp4 clips generated by certain transcoding programs exhibit poor playback performance
  • PPro no longer recognizes timecode from a .qtc file, referenced from within a QuickTime reference movie.
  • Some XDCAM422 clips fail to import with generic error
  • Occasional crash on opening Source Settings for DNG footage, with 2nd monitor enabled
  • Overexposed white areas in some CinemaDNG footage display magenta artifacts.
  • When scrubbing C300 clips in Project panel’s Icon view, red frames sometimes show and Event panel reports error decoding frame.
  • If SpeedGrade was installed before Premiere, then double-clicking a prproj file launches SpeedGrade (Mac Only)

Growing File

  • The last frames of some growing file are green. Must relaunch Premiere to correct the problem.
  • Importing a growing file can take an exceedingly long time, with footage showing as Media Pending
  • When a growing file refreshes, it stops voiceover recording
  • The incorrect timecode is shown in the Timecode Panel for growing files.
  • Timeline playback of growing files drops audio for about 1 second each time the growing file refreshes.
  • QuickTime reference files for growing files fail to import.

 

Export

  • When source is 120fps, export fails if Match Sequence Settings enabled
  • The Advanced XDCAM Settings section in Export Settings is blank for imported XDCAM presets
  • In QuickTime encodes, audio exported as uncompressed stereo imports into FCP as dual mono.
  • When you export to 5.1 AAC with the “Import into Project” option enabled, the resulting clip fails to import, throwing
  • “File import failure”
  • Image flicker is introduced in some constant-bitrate MPEG2 encodes
  • When the only variable blocking smart rendering is an adjustment layer, the effect(s) thereon are ignored and the segment is smart rendered.
  • ProRes media encoded by Premiere causes are not compatible with certain video QC programs.
  • AAF export: 88.2kHz and 96kHz audio clips exported to AAF do not appear in some audio production programs.
  • Audio EDL gets wrong source timecode if clip is nested or part of a multicam source sequence
  • EDL does not give correct Source In and Out for clips with speed reversed.
  • EDL does not give correct source in and out on reversed clips.
  • OMF export fails with some multicam sequences, reporting Audio Export Failure.
  • Hang during OMF export when the sequence contains a 5.1 audio track/clip.
  • Smart rendering can introduce black and red frames

 

Playback

  • Playback of IMX 50 clip freezes after 12 seconds.
  • With XDCAMHD and DVCProHD footage, frames are sometimes dropped though the render bar is green.
  • Audio for some mp4 files plays back at double speed
  • When pre-roll is set to 1 frame, timecode and video of XDCAM .mxf files are out of sync
  • Some DNxHD do not decode properly, resulting in frames being played out of order
  • Performance of playback for some QuickTime is poor because they are unnecessarily falling back to QT32
  • Dropped frames when playing R3D clips with RocketX enabled and Playback Resolution at ¼

 

Audio

  • With Maintain Pitch enabled, no audio when playing at slower than real-time
  • Solo buttons in Audio Meters do not work for clips loaded into the Source Monitor
  • Mono and Standard track puck and tray panner routing for Ls, Rs, C and LFE channels do not adhere to ITU-R BR.1384 standard.
  • Occasional crash on switching a clip from mono to stereo via Modify>Audio Channels
  • 1 channels are not properly mapped for some Dolby content.
  • 1 clip changes to a 6 mono channel clip when “Extract Audio” or “Edit in Adobe Audition>Clip” is performed on a project item or track item.
  • Changes to Frame Rate via Interpret Footage are sometimes not applied to saved for all audio streams, causing most audio channels to be out of sync after closing/reloading project.
  • Constant Power audio transitions introduce buzz if either track item has zero channels (generally limited to multicam clips)
  • Crash on applying changes in Modify Audio Channels dialog [Mac Only]

 

Project panel

  • Sorting by Duration is broken if the column has been moved during the current session
  • If the Project panel is filtered via Rapid Find when a bin is created, the edit control for naming the new bin does not become active automatically, and it cannot be activated manually until Rapid Find is cleared.
  • Project items cannot be deleted or renamed if the list view is scrolled to the right.
  • Project panel does not autoscroll to the left when a column is dragged to the right side of the Name column
  • When a timecode value is typed in the Video Out control for a clip in the Project panel, the value gets reduced by 2 frames upon committing the change

 

Subclip

  • When a soft subclip with only an Out Point set is edited into a sequence, the Subclip Start is ignored; the resulting track item extends all the way to Media Start.
  • The Media Start/End and Subclip Start/End times for subclips from a merged clip are incorrect

 

Editing/Timeline

  • 3-Point edit: If the source is a sequence and only an Out Point is set for the source, the wrong segment gets inserted when KEM Roll is set to Insert as Individual Clips
  • Keyboard trim commands do not affect clips on targeted tracks that are outside of visible area of in the Timeline
  • Switching between sequences can turn the render bar red.
  • Frame Hold option doesn’t generate the freeze frame when speed change is in effect
  • In the Timeline, the FX badge gets hidden when the clip is not wide enough to show the full clip name.
  • If the Left/Right Balance control is displayed in Timeline header, the balance will change if the mouse strays over the Header region during click-and-drag operations in the Timeline (such as trimming out)
  • ‘Select In to Out’ selects clips on locked tracks.

 

Multicam

  • If a multicam sequence’s audio is 5.1 or adaptive, then flattening deletes the audio.
  • If time-remapping is used on a Multicam Source Sequence, the Program Monitor’s multicam view continues to play at 100%; if source sequence was slowed, the Composite view goes black after the original end point.
  • When a multicam source sequence has been slowed down via speed change or time remapping, the extended of the clip goes black—no video
  • If the audio in a multicam sequence is selected when it is flattened, the audio is sometimes deleted.
  • Disabled multicam source clips are sometimes rendered to the composite output
  • Flattening multicam can remove some audio clips from the sequence.
  • Flattening a multicam sequence with reverse speed applied results in incorrect frames being used
  • The camera can be changed for a multicam clip on a locked track.
  • The overlay displays timecode in audio time units for part of a multicam sequence if the source clips are stereo and the MC sequence is mapped to mono
  • If a nested multicam sequence’s duration has been increased via Time Remapping, then upon reaching the original end point during an editing pass, the composite view restarts from beginning
  • Crash on flattening multicam clip with keyframed scale when using a camera angle that does not start at time zero.

 

Effects

  • AE Text Template] When text fields are active for editing, they’re not being visually highlighted
  • Adding mask points very close to each can result in the ordering of the points being incorrect
  • Incorrect scaling of 1920×1080 adjustment layers in 720 sequences
  • Unexpected behavior with Cross Dissolves between Adjustments Layers.
  • Applying both Echo & Levels effects to an adjustment layer causes video playback to freeze
  • Crash on rendering previews for a Lumetri filter in Software-Only mode.
  • Crash on deleting a clip from a sequence after pasting an effect mask to the clip.
  • JPG frame sequence gets scaled down if an adjustment layers is in effect above it [OpenCL only]
  • Rename GoPro lens distortion presets to include the camera name
  • Clip name effect doesn’t work correctly if Source Track is set to a different track.
  • Crash on using Clip effect or Timecode effect on a transparent video.
  • Crash on loading or applying VST Effects (Mac only)
  • Intermittent Crash with Warp Stabilizer applied (AEVideoFilter)
  • The Clip Name effect does not work when applied to a transparent video track item, with Source Track set to a video clip.
  • Crash on applying audio transition to clips with overlapping timecode
  • Previewing fails when an adjustment layer has an animated mask applied to Opacity and any other video effect.
  • In Software-Only mode, rendering previews of the new Cross Dissolve is slower than the old one.

Effects, Masking and Tracking

  • Shift-dragging a control point for an effect mask sometimes yields unexpected results
  • If a clip has an effect with a mask applied, moving the clip in the Timeline cause rendered preview files to be lost.
  • Previews rendered to a P2 codec are incorrect for the first 10-30 frames of an Opacity effect with mask applied
  • If a mask is applied to a GPU accelerated effect on an adjustment layer, the Program Monitor shows a cropped frame with Playback Resolution at Half and goes completely black at Quarter.
  • Opacity effect on Adjustment Layers fails to render within the mask with tracking.
  • After rendering an adjustment layer with multiple effects with masks applied, some of the effects are no longer confined within the mask [Mac only]
  • Crash on opening some projects with masking and tracking applied to effects
  • Direct Manipulation control fails to switch between multiple masks that are applied to the Opacity intrinsic effect.

Effects, 3rd Party

  • Certain audio filters cannot be applied to a clip in a sequence that is imported via XML
  • PPro reports audio filter missing when opening a saved project with certain audio filters applied to the clips in a sequence that was imported via XML
  • Artifacts are introduced when using certain 3rd party transitions.
  • Certain 3rd party stabilizer plug-in are not working

 

Markers

  • On mouse-up after adjusting the Out point of a marker with duration, the playhead jumps to the marker’s In point.
  • Video in Program Monitor strobes when dragging the In or Out point of a sequence marker

 

GPU

  • With GPU acceleration enabled, Gamma is being applied to some RAW media when it shouldn’t be.
  • Basic 3D effect can result in Program Monitor’s video overlay to become corrupted on some GPUs

Performance (Note: Most of these fixes are also listed under a product area)

  • Locking all Audio Tracks can significantly impair performance.
  • Performance of playback for some QuickTime is poor because they are unnecessarily falling back to QT32
  • Dropped frames when playing R3D clips with RocketX enabled and Playback Resolution at ¼
  • Navigating through projects in multiple Media Browser panels impairs performance and can culminate in a crash
  • In Software-Only mode, rendering previews of the new Cross Dissolve is slower than the old one.
  • Canon XF300 Footage has unacceptable performance for playback
  • .mp4 clips generated by certain transcoding programs exhibit poor playback performance

 

Interop

  • Crash on selecting Edit>Edit in Adobe Audition>Sequence…
  • When a 5.1 clip is sent to Audition via Edit Clip In Adobe Audition, the first channel is used for all channels.
  • Exporting from Audition to Premiere Pro opens Premiere, but the file fails to import
  • After grading a sequence in SpeedGrade, Premiere regenerates index & pek files

 

Miscellaneous

  • With some capture card hardware, captured uncompressed clips have the wrong field order
  • In the Overlay Settings dialog, the Track control is not properly constrained by the Property control.
  • A single preference flag is used for the “Import into Project” setting in the Export Settings dialog and the Export Frame dialog; they should be managed independently.
  • Custom scratch disk location for Video and Audio Preview folders get’s reset to default, “Same as Project File”
  • Changes to the label color cannot be undone.
  • In the Usage lists, all instance are ordered by track item start time; should sort by Sequence Name first, then by track item start
  • Automatic relinking fails in certain cases when the name of a folder in the relative paths are too similar. [Mac only]
  • With OpenCL GPU acceleration and Transmit enabled with some 3rd party I/O cards, the video on the output monitor is corrupted
  • Newly created projects sometimes have multiple Project Panels open.

 

 

Premiere Pro CC 2014.1 Release

Today we’re thrilled to announce the release of all-new versions of Adobe’s creative products, including the video and audio applications, which we previewed last month at IBC. You can find these releases in your Creative Cloud application later today (and if you don’t see them, just try quitting and re-launching).

 

The Premiere Pro CC 2014.1 release contains multiple new features and enhancements, including Search Bins, Timeline Search, Multiple Project Workflows, a new Source Monitor timeline view, and Consolidate and Transcode. It also sports improvements for Masking and Tracking and Master Clip Effects, and improved audio workflows such as more robust AAF export. For details on these features check out the blog post from last month, or the quick overview video.

 

This release also includes many other features designed to further streamline your editing workflow and let you work faster and more productively. A complete list of features not listed in the original blog post appears below.

 

  • 4 font size choices for the Project Panel list view
  • A new metadata column has been added to the Project panel for Field info
  • Preference for label colors and clip names to update all instances and stay in sync
  • Sequence timecode can be displayed in the Program Monitor overlay
  • Audio timecode can be shown in the overlay for multicam clips
  • 1 audio channel layouts adhere to ITU-R BR.1384
  • Preference to display the end of sequence indicator
  • Preference to write markers to the project file or media files
  • ‘Discrete’ multichannel QuickTime exports
  • “Send To Audition” rendered files are now stored next to the originals
  • Alignment options were added to the Clip Name effect
  • Scaling beyond 600% is supported
  • The Timeline In/Out range now uses shading to indicate track targeting
  • 16-channel AS11 outputs are supported
  • Keyboard shortcut to join all through-edits in a sequence
  • Marker colors are now assignable
  • iXML is supported from audio location recorders
  • Source Settings are available for Blackmagic CinemaDNG media
  • The Timecode effect now displays all source clip timecodes in Multicam Source Sequences
  • Improved OMF export
  • The Effect Control Panel remembers which parameters were expanded on subsequent use
  • Exposed “Copy to Clipboard” in Keyboard Shortcuts dialog
  • Export Frame default file name now includes the frame number of the original clip it came from
  • Multiple sequence markers can be selected and moved together
  • XMP metadata is now supported for all media file types
  • Multiple mask control point selection
  • Bezier pen tool for drawing irregular mask shapes
  • Direct manipulation control on mask outlines for feathered edges

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adobe Media Encoder CC update (2014.1) available today

The Adobe Media Encoder CC (2014.1) update will be released today. This update includes new features, enhancements, and a number of fixes. The new features are detailed in an earlier IBC 2014 preview post you can read here http://adobe.ly/1qtT2BU . Two new feature, XAVC presets and AS-11 DPP have been added since IBC. See below for a list of all the new features and fixes.

 

Downloading Media Encoder CC (2014.1)

 

The 2014.1 update is expected to be available to Creative Cloud members by the end of the day. Download Media Encoder CC (2014.1) via Creative Cloud for desktop, or online through your Creative Cloud account.

 

Please note that as of the 2014 release, Media Encoder CC now has its own installer. That said, installing updates to Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2014 and later) will trigger the Media Encoder CC installation.

 

Adobe MAX 2014 announcements

This update is part of a series of new releases across all of the Creative Cloud desktop applications, as well as new and updated mobile apps, including Adobe Premiere Clip, a brand new iOS app which makes it easy to turn footage on an iPhone or iPad into great-looking videos. Details of the wider release will be presented today at Adobe MAX 2014, the world’s leading creativity conference.

 

 

Media Encoder CC (2014.1) New Features

 

Refined user interface with HiDPI support

Updated color scheme with flatter icons and support for HiDPI displays, including Mac Retina and Windows 8.1 systems.

 

Destination Publishing

Render and deliver content to FTP sites or local Creative Cloud folder. Send to multiple locations and track rendering and upload in the same panel.

 

Watch folder support for projects
Watch folders now support rendering for Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Final Cut XML project files.

 

Extended Match Source support

Match Source support has been extended to QuickTime and MXF OP1a formats, including those using DNxHD codecs, which are in an MXF wrapper.

 

Rewrap functionality for MXF OP1a formats

MXF OP1a formats, including those using DNxHD codecs, now include encoding presets.

Multiplexing during encoding
MUX video and audio into a single MPEG2 file while encoding (instead of after the encode is complete.

Extended DCP support

Output 25 fps content in Digital Cinema Packages.

 

Extended Sony XAVC support

XAVC support now includes both VBR and CBG bitrate support for 2k and higher resolutions

 

GoPro CineForm intermediate codec support

Encode and decode movies using the GoPro CineForm codecs on both Mac OS and Windows.

 

16-channel AS-11 export

Export AS-11 content with 16 channels of audio.

 

AS-11 DPP – added since IBC Preview

Read and write AS-11 DDP compliant content packages

 

XAVC Presets – added since IBC Preview

While Media Encoder has supported XAVC for some time now, there had not been any presets available within the application. AME now includes presets for some of the more popular XAVC settings.

 

 

 

Media Encoder CC (2014.1) Bug Fixes

 

  • Fixed: Dolby exports were not able to run in parallel.
  • Fixed: When projects were imported natively, there was no progress status during the conforming process.
  • Fixed: YouTube HD presets had a level that was too low for high framerate sources.
  • Fixed: The “Use Previews” option wasn’t available when creating presets in the Preset Browser.
  • Fixed: Timecode in timecode overlay would drift slightly when using OpenCl.
  • Fixed: Advanced XDCAM settings in the Export Settings dialog were missing.
  • Fixed: Smart rendering some sources would result in black or red frames.
  • Captions options were unavailable even though a source file had valid captions.
  • Fixed: Issues where smart rendering spanned CanonXF media would fail.
  • Fixed: Captions options were unavailable even though a source file had valid captions
  • Fixed a number of issues where effects were not being consistently applied to exports

 

Notes on pricing and availability

Today’s updates to Creative Cloud are expected to be available to Creative Cloud members by the end of the day as part of their membership at no additional cost. The new and updated mobile apps are free to everyone. More information will be available later today at: http://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/catalog/mobile.html.

 

To join Creative Cloud, special promotional pricing is available to customers who own Adobe Creative Suite 3 or later. Membership plans are available for individuals, students, photographers, teams, educational institutions, government agencies and enterprises. For pricing details, visit: https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud.html#buy.

“Gone Girl” marks yet another milestone for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

David Fincher crafts thriller with talented team of artists and Adobe Premiere Pro CC

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.

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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.

Stay tuned for in-depth series of interviews with Kirk Baxter, Tyler Nelson, Peter Mavromates, and Jeff Brue about their work on Gone Girl.

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