M&E Daily

NAB 2017: Adobe Adds Video Enhancements for Creative Cloud

Adobe April 19 unveiled enhancements to its video offerings within Creative Cloud, making the upgrades immediately available to users of the Software as a Service (SaaS). The “major update” for video in Adobe Creative Cloud was designed “to help filmmakers and video producers collaborate and streamline video workflows,” it said in a news release. The Creative Cloud release delivers new features for graphics and titling, animation, polishing audio and sharing assets; support for the latest video formats, including High Dynamic Range (HDR), virtual reality (VR) and 4K; new integrations with Adobe Stock; and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities powered by Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s AI and machine learning framework.

Announced at Adobe Summit 2017 in March in Las Vegas, Adobe Experience Cloud also “allows brands to deliver connected video experiences across any screen at massive scale, while analyzing performance and monetizing ads,” the company said. In a press briefing ahead of the April 19 announcement, Adobe said the Creative Cloud update will be touted by it at the NAB Show in Las Vegas April 24-27.

“At Adobe, we talk a lot about experience,” Bill Roberts, senior director of Professional Video Product Management at Adobe, told reporters. “And I think that for our industry, where we’re serving up television programming or online programming, experience is the change that’s happening,” he said, adding: “It’s no longer about just producing a single program and pushing it out. It’s about being in contact with your customers. It’s about having a social relationship with all of your consumers of your product, and being in a dynamic conversation, and making sure that, at every touch point the consumer has, they can get to the information that’s relevant.”

That’s “one of the big shifts we see, no matter who you are – whether you’re an independent, or whether you’re a big media conglomerate,” he said.

Roberts pointed out that “change is the new normal” within the industry, adding: “Everything is changing – from the moment you have inspiration to create a program until the audience watches the last pixel fade on the screen.”

As just one example, he noted that cameras “have gone through so much innovation in the past few years, and it seems almost every single month something new happens in that domain.” As a result, “if you want to communicate with your audience today, you have to think about what type of video do you want to produce – what’s the best way to engage your audience?” That could now mean just shooting in high-definition video, using video with HDR or shooting with 360-degree VR, he said, adding: “All of these things have to be considered at the front end of the process.”

Roberts went on to point out: “As you move through your production cycle, the audience is now global. So, you have to think about how do I get my content all around the world, and how do I tell my story in the right voice for all those different places?” It’s also possible that when creating content now, one may be collaborating with a team of creative people who are spread out across the globe, he said.

All of the change happening “can lead to a little bit of chaos, but in that chaos there is the opportunity to thrive,” he said. For one thing, because “the world is your audience,” there’s more opportunities to distribute and monetize a wide range of content, he said.

Video in general “has exploded in its use” and “every single company now thinks about video as a way to connect with your audience, as a way to explain their products, as a way to help people use their products,” he said. Pointing to the increased role of video when using Facebook, he said “video is at the core of way more experiences today,” meaning that more content has to be produced for more screens now. A company’s brand also has to “shine through” across all that content, so the video “has to look amazing [and] it has to sound amazing, so you need tools which are not simplistic, but they’re simplified and designed for fast turnaround,” he said.

Roberts added: “You’re going to see all of these themes reflected” in what Adobe announces for NAB. Those announcements include a “sweeping update” to all of Adobe’s products in the video family: Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition.

“One of the biggest” parts of the new enhancements include Motion Graphics Templates, which he said enables After Effects users to create content and then package it for distribution so that others can “modify it, but the core essence of your creativity is simplified and shared with the masses.”

Motion Graphics Templates “now bring the power of After Effects to Premiere Pro through easy to use templates, allowing creators to add beautiful titles, animations and lower thirds to their videos and create custom motion graphics templates” that can be shared via Creative Cloud Libraries, Adobe said in the news release.

The “areas of innovation” also include greater support for HDR and 360 VR workflows, Roberts said. Machine learning and AI, meanwhile, “are a theme running through our products and you’ll see it reflected” in the updates, he said.

Adobe provided demonstrations of some of the update highlights to reporters. As examples, Patrick Palmer, senior product manager for workflows, showed how machine learning technology used in the Essential Sound Panel helps content creators improve their audio mixes. In Premiere Pro, the Essential Sound Panel “lets users make audio mixes and sound improvements that in the past would have required a dedicated session by an audio engineer,” Adobe said in the news release.

Other new features include Camera Shake Deblur in After Effects, which saves unusable footage by reducing motion blur that often occurs with camera shake, Adobe said. The new features for Adobe Creative Cloud are available now with the latest version of Creative Cloud 2017, available for $49.99 a month.