With Adobe Creative Cloud now passing its one-year mark, Adobe is coming out with a major update to the platform. In this release are 14 separate applications that are all getting updates. There are also new connected mobile apps as well as new hardware devices that you can use with your iPad to enhance your experience. There are new services to enable a persistent creative identity and new offerings for education and enterprises. There is even a new Creative Cloud plan for photography. There are a lot of exciting changes coming that I will be covering over the next several weeks.
Up first is Creative Cloud for Video, a complete filmmaking system for your desktop. There is a significant shift in the way it addresses workflow. Instead of workflow moving left-to-right, now the editor is at the hub, with the other applications surrounding the core, making it easier for you to jump back and forth to the supporting applications as you need them.
The tools that come with CC for Video are Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Audition CC, Adobe Story CC, Adobe Prelude CC, and Adobe SpeedGrade CC. If you want to see more online about this package or check out the various membership plans you can visit Adobe Creative Cloud for Video.
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014
Adobe Premiere Pro is a real-time, timeline-based video editing software application that has gained acceptance within the film and video industry. Adobe Premiere Pro CC attempts to reduce the complexity of the process of video production. It does this by easily integrating multiple products such After Effects and Audition to try to make each step of the video production more efficient and give you more time to work your story.
So what is new with Premiere Pro CC?
• Masking and Tracking: Tools have been added that let you add feathered masks that can follow your shot throughout the scene. This gives you the ability to blur out faces, license plates, or other sensitive information in a clip quickly and easily. Furthermore, these masks can then be sent into Adobe After Effects through Dynamic Link so that you can make more refinements before returning to Premiere Pro.
• Master Clip: This new effect feature allows you to apply an effect to a Master Clip and it will ripple down to every part of the sequence. This enables you to try out effects much more easily since you don’t have to add them to each clip one at a time, and provides a much faster workflow.
• Enhanced graphic performance: This means you can now handle large projects much more quickly and easily, with accelerated sorting and searching in the project panel as well as support for a wider range of GPUs. This includes GPU debayering for RED media as well as support for IRIS architecture. You will have the ability get more done in a much more timely manner.
• Direct Link has been improved to make sure that your integration with your other tools is much simpler and faster than ever. Now it’s very easy to do round-trip color grading with SpeedGrade CC and work with Adobe Media Encoder CC to output to virtually any format including DCP and AS-11 contact packages.
• Typekit support lets you work with the Adobe type library within Premiere Pro. This gives you access to hundreds of high-quality fonts for working with titles, etc.
After Effects CC
After Effects CC is digital motion graphics and compositing software used by motion graphic designers, visual artists, and video editors. It can be used in both film and video post-production. It uses a system of layers organized on a timeline to create composites from still images and motion footage such as from video files.
It has become the industry standard for visual effects and motion graphics because it offers flexible tools that can be used to prepare dynamic media. It integrates well with other tools used in the industry. You can find imagery created in After Effects in everything from motion pictures to cell phones to websites.
So what is new with After Effects CC?
• Keying effects will let you get more acceptable results from compressed or poorly shot blue or green screen footage. It comes with advanced spill suppressor controls to help you remove color spills more cleanly, but also has the ability to massage challenging elements with detail-preserving precision.
• Live Text Templates: These allow you to modify text in Premiere Pro without altering the type of text, the color, or the lower-third background. Live Text Templates can also be refined using Dynamic Link to eliminate the intermediate rendering. This means that when you make a change in After Effects, you will see them in Premiere Pro automatically.
• Flexible Masking: Along with the Premiere Pro interchange, you are able to add multiple effects that are constrained by masks all in a single layer. This means there is no need for other matte layers or adjustment layers. Within the same layer, effects can be blended individually, and you can import masks from Premiere Pro to refine tracking or apply other adjustments.
• Kuler Integration allows you to capture colors anywhere with your iPhone or browser. From there you can save them as a color swatch theme to use in your work. Also, Typekit integration gives you the same access to fonts that comes with Premiere Pro.
• Mercury Transmit support allows you to add a second monitor for full-screen presentations of your video as you work.
• Improved Media Browser lets you manage and import content more readily as well as navigate your media locally or across a network using Adobe Anywhere.
Adobe Audition CC
Adobe Audition CC is the latest release of the comprehensive Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) production solution from Adobe Systems. It features a multi-track mix/edit environment that you can use to create your own music, record and mix a project, produce a radio spot, clean up audio, and compile and edit a soundtrack. In fact it is your own personal recording studio.
So what is new with Audition CC?
• Improved integration so you can send clips and projects out of Premiere Pro and into Audition, clean up, adjust, and make them just right, and then send them back into Premiere Pro.
• Custom channelization makes it easy for you to create just about any audio setting. This includes the 7.1 content for broadcast or even your own custom surround sound for dedicated installations. All you have to do is set up how many channels you want to give to a project and add the labels for each one.
• Enhanced multitrack gives you the ability to work more quickly within projects. You will now have more visibility of your clip content as well of the selected tracks. You will be able to lock tracks at minimum heights to eliminated distractions, and now you can color tracks to better organize and visualize you content.
• Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus support will make it easier to work with Dolby 5.1 audio content for broadcast.
Adobe SpeedGrade CC
Adobe SpeedGrade CC is a software product that aims to craft the perfect look for every production. Through color grading, you can transform the visual part of your storytelling into something special. SpeedGrade with the Lumetri Deep Color Engine lets you add professional color correction and look design to your post-production workflow.
So what is new with SpeedGrade CC?
• Improved Direct Link now lets you trigger the Lumetri effect on and off as well as hide or show tracks for an easier overview of more complex timelines.
• Master Clip effect lets you apply looks to multiple clips much as you can now do in Premiere Pro. You also have refined grading tools to help you work faster using easy primary sliders.
• Enhanced broadcast scopes use fixed scales to present image information. Using the new YUV Vectorscope you can include color targets to more easily visualize the color distribution.
• Improved Look Manager makes it easier to to keep track of Look presets and your own custom Look libraries.
• SpeedLooks: This gives you more options for creative look design. You can use them alongside the SpeedLooks camera patch for added accuracy with the new digital cinema cameras on the market.
Adobe Prelude CC
Adobe Prelude CC provides a unified interface for ingesting and logging workflows. This way you can work faster and stay organized as well as streamline your production process. For example, if you are a producer you can prepare raw news reports on the way out of your location shoot. If you are a director, you can create dailies and distribute them to reviewers and editors without the overhead of a full-blown non-linear editing system, giving you the ability to easily show how the story should be told.
So what is new with Prelude CC?
• Tag panel lets you create custom markers with a single click as you review your footage, speeding up your workflow. You can also save Tag templates to share between machines and users or for re-use on new projects.
• Rough cut workflow makes it easy to generate assembly edits. Simply by dragging and dropping or using the new mouse and keyboard shortcuts, you can apply ripple trims right in the Prelude timeline for basic editing.
• Enhanced Ingest panel gives you more control when copying your media. By setting custom values for auto increment renaming on ingest, you speed up your workflow. You can also preview the transcoding duration and resulting file size for any shots you want to transfer. There are also new sorting options.
Adobe Story CC
Adobe Story CC takes the screenwriting features that come with Adobe Story Free and adds scheduling features and reporting tools to allow you to collaborate with coauthors and others in your team. Create schedules from one or many scripts so you can get the most out of every shoot. Generate reports that help everyone and make your production much more efficient.
• Support for Live Entertainment workflows lets you customize scripts for programs with music-driven scripting and camera movements. You can generate camera cards with music notation cues. You can also capture AS-11-compliant metadata and export to XML to provide broadcast-ready content for distribution in the UK.
Adobe Creative Cloud membership costs US$49.99 per month, with an annual contract. A special introductory offer of US$29.99 per month for existing CS individual customers is also available. You can also subscribe to individual items. If for example you use only Adobe Photoshop, you can license it for $19.99/month. There is also a photography membership priced at $9.99/month.
Overall I really like the direction that Adobe is going with CC for Video in that it makes a lot more sense from an editing standpoint to gear everything around Premiere Pro. When I am working with video, that is generally where it begins and ends for me. I frequently go into After Effects, Audition, and SpeedGrade, but the core of my work is in Premiere Pro.
As far as new overall features the Direct Link improvements make this interaction really nice to work with. The Master Clip in some of the products is really nice as well, as is the Typekit integration. The speed overall seems to be improved as well.
I really liked the way masking works in Premiere Pro and After Effects. The Keying effects, Live Text Templates, and Kuler integration are nice additions to After Effects too. For Audition, while the custom channelization and the Dolby Sound don’t affect my work, I know some who will really like them. Personally I really do like the enhanced multitrack improvements, especially the track locking and the color coding. The color tracks were really needed.
The rest of the improvements are also really nice additions and to me show Adobe’s focus and commitment to making its video editing platform both incredibly useful and very streamlined and functional. Normally I would say I very highly recommend this upgrade, but if you have a subscription to Creative Cloud for Video or the Creative Cloud membership then you have already upgraded. On the other hand if you are in the process of looking for a platform to work with professional video tools, then I do very highly recommend Creative Cloud for Video.