Video Magic on Display at NAB

Bill Roberts shares Adobe’s latest product enhancements and what attendees can expect at the NAB Show.

Over the course of the next week, nearly 100,000 media and entertainment professionals will descend upon Las Vegas to learn about the video industry’s latest advancements and emerging technologies during the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show now through April 16.

Bill Roberts, Senior Director of Product Management for Video, offered his insight into Adobe’s latest product advancements as well as what attendees can expect at the NAB Show. For more about what Adobe introduced at NAB, see the press release.

Q: Why is NAB such an important show for Adobe?

BR: The NAB Show is a huge opportunity to connect with our customers from all over the world. We also use the show to reveal our new product updates that we’re bringing to market later this year.

We take a very active role in the show. The booth is the hub of product information. We have stage presentations as well as an amazing roster of customers showing how they use our solutions on the show floor. We’re speaking on a different range of topics too. We cover the whole gamut–from products to technology to the industry’s sociology.

Q: What can people expect to see as broader trends from the show?

BR: One of the biggest trends we see right now with all of our customers is to use cloud connectivity to empower creativity. Adobe’s marriage of mobile and desktop to form complete solutions have become the perfect fit for many of our customers’ challenges.

Q: What is Adobe announcing at the show?

BR: We have new features across the board for all the digital video and audio solutions.

We introduced a new Color workspace including the new Lumetri Color panel in Premiere Pro CC that makes creative color really accessible within the video editing workflow. We’re also extending this out using the Creative Cloud. We’re previewing a new mobile technology called Project ‘Candy’ that allows you to capture the mood of a scene or image and bring it into your video project as a Look, basically a creative filter that enhances the appearance of your video. It’s another element in our mobile-to-desktop workflow. Color is a huge theme for us at NAB.

We’ve been able to deliver Ultra-HD TV for many years now, at home you’ll now have four times as many pixels on your television. For the first time you’ll have a distribution infrastructure that delivers more color and light to the home. This means the TV set is actually going to be brighter and, in some cases, actually cause a human physical reaction. We feel the next wave of creativity is going to have color correction as part of the creative process. We have new tools in the products today and a technology demonstration with Dolby to show the full potential of technology in this area.

Q: What other Creative Cloud tools and services did Adobe introduce?

BR: For Premiere Pro, we’re delivering a new feature called Morph Cut. Traditionally, video editors have to chop out ‘ums ‘and ‘ahs’. We developed Morph Cut to do an analysis of the entire clip to find frames that can bridge incoming and out coming shots to create fluid transitions. This technology was previewed at MAX, and here at NAB it blows people away.

Bringing the mobile-to-desktop theme to video users, we’re showing Creative Cloud as more than merely a destination, but also an enabling technology. The Premiere Clip app allows people to edit video and share their stories using their smartphones. Then, you use the power of Creative Cloud by opening that composition directly in desktop Premiere Pro.

That’s one of cloud computing’s keys benefits. You’re not thinking about stuff traveling through the cloud, you’re just creating and when you move to a new platform, your stuff is ‘just there’. That’s when technology is at its best–when it’s invisible, and it’s just an enabler for what you want to do.

Q: What’s new for After Effects?

BR: Our Adobe Character Animator is a real-time performance capture solution where … you can immediately do complex animation just by being in front of your computer and saying words or ‘acting’. It’s breaking down barriers in human computer interaction and tackling things that have been done the same way for 20 years.

Q: What are the latest Adobe Primetime and Adobe Anywhere updates?

BR: Adobe Anywhere takes this interconnected world and starts to bring forth real production efficiencies. Everybody is working on a shared replication of the story. We are previewing collaboration hub only, which brings the power of our workflow solution to a much broader audience.

Adobe is the only vendor that has a footprint on creation and distribution. Distribution is the area that’s really changing. We announced the latest version of Adobe Primetime for broadcasters and pay-TV providers to scale video delivery across screens. The platform’s infrastructure now can authenticate 2.25 million viewers per minute. With Primetime, we’re also now supporting all major third-party DRM technologies to address the challenge of content protection in closed playback environments.

Q: How important are these advancements to creative industries?

BR: Driving our products forward is really a balance of three things. There’s evolution where you’re constantly listening to your customers and evolving your products. That’s what’s expected.

The maintenance piece where … you’re always adapting. Those are the things that you do that are predictable.

Then there’s the third part–revolution. We’re absolutely certain our customers are going to love these new technologies. They are going to come away from NAB and think ‘How am I going to use that?’ Then they’re going to go back and re-think their workflow and find ways to be more creative with our technology. When our customers can deliver better, more compelling stories, both Adobe and the customers win.