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Adobe Introduces Creative Cloud Video Enhancements

Adobe announced several new Creative Cloud Video enhancements that were made available May 19 for its Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Character Animator and Premiere Rush.
“Here at Adobe, we’re continually evolving to meet the real world needs of video professionals and the ways they work,” Francis Crossman, product manager for Premiere Pro, told reporters during a recent virtual press briefing ahead of the announcement.

“We’re shifting to a more frequent release schedule so we can continue to focus on stability and performance across our tools, while also delivering innovative new features to help video pros and social creators maximize their creativity wherever they’re working,” he said.

The company is “continuing to invest in performance, stability and innovation,” he told reporters, adding: “We know it’s critical to helping video pros do their best work efficiently. So we’re doubling down on this effort, especially through our more frequent release cycles.” Adobe has made “meaningful, significant improvements” over the past 18 months, he said.

On the Premiere Pro front, he noted Adobe last month launched Productions, new tools for Premiere Pro that it said in January were designed for organizing film projects and collaborative workflows.  “The feedback from our customers has been extremely positive,” he told reporters.

Now, Adobe has enhanced its Premiere Pro video editing application by adding “some of the most frequently requested features to Premiere Pro,” he said.

The enhancements include improved efficiency in video production. For example, new ProRes RAW support in Premiere Pro and After Effects provides a comprehensive, cross-platform solution for Apple ProRes workflows from camera media through to delivery, according to Adobe.

ProRes RAW is an “ideal acquisition format” and it’s available for Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac, Crossman said, adding: “If you want to use ProRes Raw on Windows, you’re going to have to go and download a driver from Apple, but Adobe has the only solution for ProRes RAW on Windows at this time.”

Adobe also added “some small but meaningful improvements” to its graphics capabilities, he said.

More streamlined graphics workflows in Premiere Pro include an improved Pen tool with better support for Bezier curves and greater precision creating lines and shapes, he demonstrated. Filter effects, meanwhile, show attributes that only have keyframes or adjusted parameters so users can focus on the currently active effects, according to Adobe.

Auto Reframe in Premiere Pro is also now faster. Powered by Adobe’s Sensei artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, Auto Reframe automatically reformats and repositions video within different aspect ratios, such as square and vertical video, accelerating workflows for social media and content platforms including Quibi, according to Adobe.

Hardware encoding on Windows for H.264 and H.265 (HEVC) is now available for Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) graphics processing units (GPUs), providing consistently faster exports for those widely used formats, Adobe said.

And support for audio files in Creative Cloud Libraries now enables Premiere Pro users to save, organize and share frequently used audio assets for easy access right from the CC Libraries panel, Adobe noted.

New enhancements to Adobe’s After Effects digital visual effects, motion graphics and compositing application were then demonstrated to reporters by Victoria Nece, senior product manager of motion graphics and visual effects at Adobe.

Tapered Shape Strokes and Concentric Shape Repeater are new creative tools that she said “enable you to get more expressive, more interesting designs out of After Effects shape layers.” Both were made available in public beta and “we’ve had a tremendous response from our beta users,” she told reporters, noting Twitter is “full of people animating cool examples of both of these.”

Tapered Shape Strokes gives motion graphics artists new creative options for animation and design. They can use it to make tapered, wavy, pointed or rounded strokes on shape layers, and the strokes can be animated for stylized looks and motion designs, Nece demonstrated.

Concentric Shape Repeater, meanwhile, offers new parameters in the Offset Paths shape effect to “create copies of a path that radiate outward or inward for funky designs with a cool retro vibe,” according to Adobe.

In addition, Mask and Shape Cursor Indicators in After Effects show which tool is being used and helps avoid unnecessary un-dos when drawing shapes and masks, Adobe said.

Improvements to Audio Triggers and Timeline filtering in Adobe’s Character Animator increase efficiency in animation workflows, the company said. A new collection of background puppets allows users to trigger animated elements of the scene behind a character, according to the company.

Durin Gleaves, product manager of audio at Adobe, went on to demonstrate Automatic Audio Device Switching, now available on macOS for After Effects, Media Encoder, Audition, Character Animator, Prelude, Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush.

When changing audio devices, or just plugging in headphones, the operating system now recognizes the hardware and the Adobe application automatically switches to the current hardware, he pointed out.

“We’ve seen a lot more interest in remote workflows,” Sirr Less, product manager for Character Animator, said, while demonstrating improvements in timeline management that he noted add more control over what tracks are seen and modified, and a new collection of background puppets that allow users to trigger animated elements of a scene behind a character.

Michael Henry, product manager on Premiere Rush, demonstrated new features on that video application for mobile devices. Users can now automatically resize projects to the 4:5 aspect ratio to match formats for Facebook and Instagram videos, he noted.

Also new is back camera switching on an iOS device (requires iOS 13 and a current iPhone) that enables capture within Premiere Rush from the selected back camera (ultra-wide, wide or telephoto), he pointed out.

Last, Premiere Rush users can also now import media from the Files app directly from the Premiere Rush media browser on iOS devices, simplifying access to files stored on device or different cloud services, he noted.