January 15, 2007
Ask Me About My Monkey
It was a busy week at Macworld. Lots of gawking/worshipping of the iPhone encased in glass. Lots of iPod accessories. Premiere Pro and Photoshop CS3 won "Best of Show" Awards. I didn't know the right people to get invited to any of the cool parties, but I did enjoy good food, ambience, and company at Farmer Browns, Bong Su, South Park Cafe, and Chez Papa.
As far as other exhibitors go, here are three that caught my attention:
KB Covers had a cool keyboard cover with AE shortcuts on it.
Ex-Cinder was showing Morph Age the most interesting morphing software I've seen since Elastic Reality. They also have a tracking product called Magnet but it wasn't clear to me what it offered that wasn't already available in After Effects and other compositing apps.
Other than that it was a light show for pro video related software and hardware.
January 4, 2007
An Active Day for Mac Users
It's been an active day in terms of discussion, analysis, and commentary about our announcement to bring the Adobe Production Studio to the Mac. Over on MacRumors.com the score as of this writing is 85 positive and 25 negative ratings. Many folks would characterize this as a good reception to the announcement, and I would tend to agree that overall the response has been extremely positive. But I have perfectionist tendencies (a strength and a weakness. TIP: perfectionism is a great answer to job interview questions probing into weaknesses, certainly better than saying, "I'm unorganized and have trouble prioritizing my work"). As a result I am not satisfied with anything less than stellar results.
So despite the overall strong positive reaction, I find myself focused on understanding the reactions that fall into the negative camp. After scouring the Web reading as many media and user comments as I could find, the naysayers seem to fall into 3 main categories:
1) there are those who seem to be down on Adobe in general or maybe just like to "stir the pot" and will be negative no matter what we do. Thankfully this is a relatively small number, as it is hard for me to have a productive dialog with these types of individuals.
2) There are those who still have a less than great memories from their experience with the old Premiere 5.0a/b/c (sorry we deleted your files), and 6.x. To these people all I can say is "Premiere Pro is not the Premiere your father knew" (it is a completely new code base from the old Premiere, not just the old Premiere with 'Pro' added) and hopefully you'll be willing to re-evaluate it. If you don't, I can understand it; I still flinch anytime someone mentions Jack Daniels to me (hopefully that analogy makes sense).
3) There are those who use Final Cut Pro (or Avid) and don't foresee a reason to switch based on their investment and/or satisfaction with their current NLE. Fair enough. A comment I received on my "Back to Mac" blog entry characterizes this sentiment well; "I would have been one of those 4 years ago to ask for PP on the Mac. The problem is a little program called Final Cut Pro that we switched to. While still interested in seeing what the PP team turns out, you are going to have to make something VERY special to convince us to switch back. Bummer when you turn your back on your customers once."
If you fall into category number 1, I'm not sure there is anything we can say or do that would change your perspective, but for those who fall into categories 2 or 3, we have our work cut out for ourselves to earn your business and we will do our best to do that.
That said, while I personally feel Premiere can stand toe-to-toe with other NLEs, I believe that the Production Studio is today for Windows users and will be later this year for Mac users an attractive offering no matter what NLE you feel best meets your needs. After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator are all mainstays in most post production environments and assuming it makes economic sense, Production Studio will be a good investment. And if you place sufficient value on the integration/workflow between those apps with your NLE, DVD Authoring and tools (plus Soundbooth as well), then Premiere Pro, and Encore deserve an evaluation because if you use AE on a regular basis, then overall Premiere Pro and Encore work better with AE than any other NLE or DVE authoring app.
For those of you who expressed support for this announcement, thank you. We appreciate it. For those Mac users not familiar with the Production Studio and happen to be within traveling distance of San Francisco, I encourage you to stop by and see a demo and talk to us at MacWorld (booth S901). If MacWorld isn't an option we'll also be showing the Mac Production Studio at Video Forum in Feb. in London. Alternatively, here are several OnDemand seminars of the Windows version of the products that you can watch at your leisure: Overview of Production Studio hosted by our own worldwide evangelista extraordinaire, Jason Levine, Commercial/Motion Picture Production and DynamicLink, hosted by Rob Legato and Adam Gerstel, or High Definition for Independent Filmmakers, hosted by Jacob Rosenberg. Last but not least check out more info about the Mac Production Studio on our web site which includes a FAQ and will hopefully very shortly have a form to sign up to be kept up to-date on news regarding the next release of Production Studio and other live events where it will be shown.
January 3, 2007
Back to the Mac
It's been kinda lonely at Adobe with After Effects being the only digital video/audio app on the Mac. Well I won't have to go alone any longer on press briefings to the Mac publications now that we've announced that the next version of the Adobe Production Studio will be cross-platform.
It was a very difficult business decision to go Windows only when we decided to start with a clean sheet of paper to develop Premiere Pro 1.0. We also believed that if we were successful in developing a strong integrated workflow around After Effects, Premiere, Encore, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more recently Flash, that customers on both Mac & Win no matter which NLE they chose to use would hopefully see the value in the Adobe post production solution and we could make a strong business decision to return to being cross-platform.
For me the defining moment was the launch event for the current version of the Adobe Production Studio at MGLA last year. I remember 3 or 4 years ago when we presented Premiere 6.5 (or maybe it was Premiere Pro 1.0) and After Effects at MGLA it was strongly suggested we demo AE after Premiere in order to ensure people wouldn't skip out on Premiere and leave after the AE demo. The next time, we showed Premiere Pro 1.5 and we actually had a handful of customers ask for a Mac version. Good sign...
Fast Forward to Jan of last year and with the maturity of Premiere Pro 2.0 and Encore 2.0 combined with Adobe DynamicLink, I was pleasantly surprised when roughly half of the audience raised their hands to indicate they wanted to see Production Studio be cross-platform. Very good sign...
With the upcoming new release of Production Studio later this year, our goal is to continue to set the standard in terms of delivering the strongest integrated post production workflow. I'll get off my soapbox now, I'm just so glad to be able to share this news and happy to welcome my brethren products to the Mac. I'm also hoping that this will put to rest once and for all the conspiracy theories that AE was going to abandon the Mac as well! Now what about Linux...
Before and After
Invisible effects are almost by definition under appreciated. How can you admire something you can't see. An email from Grant Lovering at RESIN reminded me why I like to watch "Before & After" shots. RESIN just posted a very nice reel of Before/After shots. If you have a reel of Before and After shots you'd like to share, please post a comment with a link.
Also, while your visiting the RESIN web site check out a great 3D from 2D example created in After Effects.