With NAB just a couple of days away, Adobe has announced a suite of updates for its Creative Cloud video apps – Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and Adobe Anywhere. Keep in mind that updates have been happening throughout the year, so these are simply the updates that are being shown at the upcoming NAB show in Las Vegas.

In announcing the changes, Adobe also provided some insight into the five years of its Creative Cloud. The company says that there are now more than 1.8m Creative Cloud Members. It also noted that director David Fincher’s upcoming film Gone Girl will employ a fully Premiere Pro editing workflow.

Check out www.adobe.com/go/nab2014 for Adobe’s information about the updated offerings, but if you’re short on time here’s a quick recap of what’s new (and what we like):

Premiere Pro CC
  • Master Clip effect – this applies to Premiere Pro and SpeedGrade, and means that changes made to original project clips will ‘ripple’ down to instances of the same clip wherever it is used. This is a great feature — add an effect to a clip and it will be applied across every single timeline where you used it.
  • Live Text Templates – these will allow users  create a template in an AE composition which may then be used in Premiere Pro. Various composition layers may be protected, so that only certain elements may be modified within Premiere.
  • Masking and tracking – This release brings the masking and tracking technology that has been in After Effects for several releases, but with a streamlined UI designed for editors. Inside every effect control, there are two mask creation options for an ellipse or a 4-point polygon mask. It’s not limited to 4 points, as points may actually be added — but that’s the starting point. The masks can also be modified in After Effects via Dynamic Link, since under the hood it’s using the same tech.
  • Autosave to Creative Cloud – for automated backup of projects
  • GPU Debayering for RED footage – takes advantage of the new SDK
Premier Pro CC.

Premier Pro CC.

After Effects CC

Upgrades to After Effects CC include the following:

  • Effect Masking – similar to Premiere CC, effects in AE may also be masked through compositing options which control how the effect is blending into the original layer on a per mask/effect basis. Our favorite new feature.
  • Key Cleaner/Spill Supressor – designed to improve keying results from compressed footage by reducing noise, as well as provides additional controls for further spill suppression
  • Adobe Typekit integration – thousands of fonts become available with Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC
  • Mercury transmit – This brings the support of broadcast monitoring hardware onto a par with what is offered in Premiere (via Blackmagic and AJA hardware)

Most artists familiar with the new features felt similar to NYC-based artist Danny Princz. “This release has some nice improvements for everyone,” he said. “The ability to mask an effect opens up functionality while reducing the clutter that can happen when working in AE. That ultimately should lead to more creativity versus hitting a wall trying to figure out what is the best approach to accomplish the task at hand and not making a big mess of your comp.”

Princz reminded us of something we feel many After Effects users were most excited about, but it isn’t part of this release. Instead, it was something that was was put forward in a blog post by Steve Forde at the end of last year:

That being said, I want to look into 2014 and ask you, our customer, a hypothetical question…

What if we did NOTHING else in After Effects during 2014 other than make it faster? I mean MUCH faster. I mean much faster without a specific hardware requirement (new CPU, GPU, disk, machine, etc., etc.)?

He admitted that nothing was “currently in the works for 2014″, but the response was loud and clear. Users would clearly like to see improved performance in After Effects — even at the cost of programming for new features.  Interactive working performance as a first priority, followed by rendering performance.

So..maybe a year from now?

After Effects CC.

After Effects CC.

SpeedGrade CC

Upgrades to SpeedGrade CC include the following:

  • Improvements to Direct Link – lots of “little” tweaks that make a big difference, such as the ability hide and show tracks — the eye icon is connected directly to the visibility in Premiere. Can also turn off the entire Lumetri effect stack in SpeedGrade, and it is reflected in Premiere Pro.
  • Master clip effect – similar to Premiere CC, SpeedGrade has master clip effect capability
  • New broadcast scopes – for broadcast clients, there are improvements to waveforms, including YUV vectorscopes. This added feature makes sense, as according to product manager Patrick Palmer, they have seen large growth within this market.
  • UI tweaks – taking into account that many users don’t have a control surface, every color wheel instance in the app now has a slider next to it, making it a bit friendlier to mouse/tablet users
Speed Grade CC.

Speed Grade CC.

Adobe Anywhere

We’ve been following Adobe Anywhere since its inception, and we’ve even tried it out here at fxguide and fxphd. Adobe will be rolling some new features into Anywhere, including:

  • Hot Backup – real-time back up of projects
  • Rough Cut Support – lets you start editing rough cuts in Prelude CC and finish sequences in Premiere Pro CC
  • After Effects CC media processing – will allow for direct integration between Anywhere and After Effects CC

If you’re attending NAB, you can find out more from Adobe themselves at is booth – #SL3910, in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.


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