Adobe Upgrades Creative Cloud Pro Video Tools at IBC

Adobe has given all the applications in its Creative Cloud suite of software a spectrum of new features from Touch editing even in HDR, to new codec capabilities. The new Remix feature of Audition CC can custom tailor an audio track to fit video content durations, and Adobe Primetime will be smoothing the transition to OTT.

On August 8th, just before IBC 2015 opened its doors, Adobe Systems, Inc. announced major upgrades to its whole Creative Cloud family of applications. “We always talk about ‘change’ but I don’t think we’ve ever had as much concurrent change as we are experiencing today,” said Bill Roberts, director of video product management at Adobe, during an embargoed Webinar on September 1st. “From the platforms on which we watch television, to the devices on which we create content…and the home experience where we watch it there is a revolution not only in resolution but in overall quality of experience. It can be a little scary…but it is our job as a manufacturer of creative tools to take some of the fear out and really harness the creative potential that all this change can bring.”

Highlights of Adobe’s IBC announcements include:

Touch control has been added to Premiere Pro CC, and After Effects CC and Character Animator have been optimized for Microsoft Surface Pro, Windows 8 tablets or Apple track pad devices.

Premiere Pro CC--Touch Edit

Premiere Pro CC--Touch Edit

“These include two-finger scrub or scroll and pinch-to-zoom,” said All Mooney,product manager, Premiere Pro at Adobe, “We’ve utilized a Mac trackpad before but this is the first time Touch technology has been moved directly into the application itself.”

For Premiere Pro CC, the Touch functionality is for basic editing functions, storyboarding, clip sequencing and assembly.

“When you approach something with Touch it should be really obvious what it will accomplish, “Mooney said, “and that’s what we’ve tried to put into these software applications.”

Premiere Pro CC now also has an initial ability to handle images from High Dynamic Range (HDR) cameras including the Dolby Vision mezzanine codec with much higher brightness ranges than before, even up to 10,000 IRE.

Premiere Pro CC--HDR image showing peak whites

Premiere Pro CC--HDR image showing peak whites

Premiere Pro CC now has native support for UltraHD 8K footage and enhanced support for ARRI RAW, Rec. 2020, HEVC (H.265), and OpenEXR. E and other Ultra HD and HDR formats

Mooney went on to describe the clamor for posting videos to social media sites, especially Facebook, and that’s why they added “Destination Publishing” feature to Adobe Media Encoder. Now a single action rendering solution lets you deliver UltraHD content encoded to the latest 4K formats including HEVC (H.265), DNxHR, and XAVC Long GOP.

Todd Kopriva, product manager, visual effects and motion at Adobe, described the newly upgraded support for Creative Cloud Libraries across CC desktop video tools, made possible by Adobe CreativeSync. Now assets, including images from Adobe Stock, instantly appear in After Effects and Premiere Pro, to bring creative visions to life.

“The coming version of After Effects now has the same HDR specular controls we saw in Premiere Pro CC,” Kopriva said. “We know you will probably do most of your color grading work in Premiere Pro, but we want you to be able to bring those files over to After Effects for further work and still have the Lumetri Color effects preserved.”

After Effects-Lumetri Color effects controls

After Effects-Lumetri Color effects controls

Adobe is also adding some Color Profiles in After Effects CC to assist in interpreting HDR files especially in UHD formats.

“If you look at the right side of the screen, you will see the headings of stacked panels,” Kopriva said. “This is a very efficient way to handle limited screen real estate on a small device such as the laptop I am using, or the Surface Pro 3 Al was accessing. You can also quickly switch workspaces with the Workspace Bar across the top.”

After Effects--Libraries in Stacked Panels Workspace

After Effects--Libraries in Stacked Panels Workspace

During the Webinar, Kopriva demonstrated all these functions with simple touch-activated finger controls, while also quickly importing licensed and unlicensed images from Adobe Stock which instantly appear on the screens of After Effects CC and Premiere Pro CC

Adobe Character Animator had been previewed last June, but at IBC 2015 they wanted to get more customer feedback, so Daniel Ramirez, quality engineer at Adobe, walked us through Preview 3 during the September 1 Webinar.

The character’s noggin on the screen tracked Ramirez’s head and facial movements while its mouth shape followed his voice in tight sync. “You can see we have added Touch support to all our applications,” Ramirez said. “I’m on a Mac and have a Wacom device here, which lets me control the characters arms, legs and tail with multi-touch gestures.”

A new template feature lets artists use characters they have created, while substituting facial features with other ones from the Adobe library.

“Another capability we are introducing in Preview 3 is the ‘Head Turner’,” Ramirez said. “I have set up keyboard make the character’s head turn left and right or up and down as I please. And, since we know we have an international audience, character animator will also be available in French, German and Japanese.”

Then Durin Gleaves, product manager, audio at Adobe, presented the new features of Adobe Audition CC. “The first feature we have added to Adobe Audition that is guaranteed to save you time is Remix,” Gleaves set forth. “It lets you create intelligent remixes to your audio track to match your video duration while retaining the musical structure and coherency.”

Whether you are using a 5 minute classic rock song for a 30 second spot, or stretching a 4 minute slow jam throughout an entire wedding ceremony, Remix uses a combination of beat detection, content intelligence and source separation technology that is already found in Audition’s Sound Remover effect.

“Select the clip, scan with Remix, and it will take 2-4 seconds per minute of audio,” Gleaves explained. “Transition points are identified on the waveform by zigzag lines where one section has been combined with another. The vocals and rhythm match and you really can’t hear the edit.”

Audition Remix--Zigzag Lines Indicate Transition Points

Audition Remix--Zigzag Lines Indicate Transition Points

Another feature in the new Audition CC can automatically generate a scratch narration track using the Generate Speech effect.

“This lets you convert text to speech in dozens of languages using the built-in speech synthesizer,” he said. “That way you can start editing immediately with a rough V. O. track while waiting for the final narration to be recorded. It’s also very useful as a sound design tool in video games and animation.”

Audition CC--generating narration track with text-to-speech

Audition CC--generating narration track with text-to-speech

There is also a Match Loudness panel in Audition that helps comply with various countries’ loudness limiting regulations, and a peak limiter to prevent inter-sample peaks from overloading the signal. That same functionality also exists in Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Media Encoder CC.

Audition CC--matching loudness and limiting peaks

Audition CC--matching loudness and limiting peaks

Alissa Johnson, product manager, collaborative workflows, described what is new in Adobe Anywhere. “In the past two years, Adobe Anywhere has been adopted by enterprise customers across a range of industries,” Johnson said. “At IBC, we are introducing a collaboration only configuration in addition to the streaming option so customers who already have their collaboration infrastructure in place and don’t need their assets to be streamed. Our streaming solution is targeted more toward largo media enterprises who have remote use cases. Both give you access to the same rich collaboration set.”

A MAM (Media Asset Management system) is required for the streaming configuration, but optional for the collaboration only configuration.

Finally, Campbell Foster, director of product marketing, Adobe Primetime, took over the Webinar to discuss the upgrades in Adobe’s multiscreen TV and film distribution and monetization system.

“Our goal with Primetime is to smooth the transition to OTT (Over The Top) delivery of programming for TV networks and MVPD’s (Multichannel Video Programming Distribution),” Foster said. “That’s why we are announcing a new HTML 5 player, and a new ‘Instant On’ feature that pre-fetches content to let the user start the system 300% faster.”

Adobe is giving their TV Everywhere system background authentication to make it easier for the mobile user to log on and to stay logged in longer.

“We are also bringing Dolby AC-3 audio quality to the OTT environment,” he continued, “along with HTML5 ad insertion (coming in Q4) and new DMP (Data Management Platform) re-tooled to let broadcasters pull in OTT and TV Everywhere viewing data and push it out to their sales team.”

There will also be advancements in Adobe Analytics including rich engagement metrics, multiscreen measurement and Federated Analytics.

It’s going to be a rich year for Adobe Systems with their heads floating royally on a Creative Cloud.

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