Adobe’s new pro video tools: NAB sneak peek

NAB2013 is right around the corner – it starts April 6th – but before the broadcast conference even begins, Adobe has a sneak peek into the next versions of Premiere Pro, After Effects, SpeedGrade, Audition, Prelude, Media Encoder and Story. It’s only been a year since the last release, but some amazing work has been done on the apps in a short time. It looks to be an incredibly solid release.

So what are the main new features? Adobe has a very nice web-based overview of the next versions in the pipeline, so we won’t go into everything fully here. But we will highlight some of our favorite new features, as we were fortunate enough to get access to the version of software being shown at NAB.

After Effects

The biggest new feature was hinted at weeks ago when Adobe announced a partnership with MAXON. But few probably thought that the next version of AE would actually include a Lite version of CINEMA 4D.

After Effects.
After Effects.

The integration starts with the CINEWARE plugin, which is an effect that can be applied to a layer. Using this plugin, you can load a .c4d file into After Effects. Using the plugin, you can apply the AE camera to the C4D file, allowing you to use the 3D Camera Tracker to generate the camera. In addition you can also take cameras, lights, and objects in the C4D file and create corresponding cameras, lights, and null objects in AE.

More importantly, one of my favorite workflow commands in the Adobe Suite, Command-E, applies to this workflow. You can easily Edit Original…., opening up the C4D scene file in the included Lite version (or the full version if you have it installed).

There have been nice improvements to roto capabilities inside AE with the new Refine Edge tool. This provides the ability to refine the results the Roto Brush — and in our initial testing makes a huge difference in the usability of the feature.

We’ll be chatting about the new release of After Effects with Steve Forde at NAB, during our six hours of live streaming coverage on Tuesday, April 9th. We’ll be asking him about the tech behind the Refine Edge tool, as well as interrogating him on what Adobe Anywhere for AE (coming in July) really means.

(Stu Maschwitz reminded me of one of my favorite new features in AE Next — and that’s the fact that bicubic resampling is now available)

Adobe Premiere Pro

The new version has a streamlined timeline with some major features as well a ton of day-to-day “minor” workflow improvements that add up to be an even bigger feature.

Premiere Pro.

There is a brand new Link & Locate tool that starts to fill a huge gap in what former FCP users such as myself are used to. There are a few rough edges in the tool, but relinking is much more robust in the next version of Premiere and probably one of the biggest improvements from a workflow standpoint.

The new version marks the wider launch of Adobe Anywhere (see requirements below). When it was initially announced, we were excited and covered what it actually meant. Now with it public, we’re looking forward to seeing how it might help the fxguide/fxphd workflow between our Chicago, Los Angeles, and Sydney offices.

There’s the “Lumetri Deep Color Engine”, which is a catchy marketing name. But what it means is that due to underlying shared tech you can easily create a look in Speed Grade, save it,  and use the look in Premiere. You can’t adjust the look, but it is a great first step in integration.

For broadcasters, the number one new feature is probably closed captioning. It’s not sexy, but a critical part of the workflow for television. Editor Art Guglielmo, who is teaching a new editing course this term over at pegged this as something his clients were very much looking for in Premiere.


Audition has a new Preview Editor and enhanced Spectral Frequency Display. There’s also a new Noise Generator and Generate Tones, plus improved multitrack features for large projects.



Prelude is aimed at ingesting and logging more easily and faster, using a keyboard-driven workflow entering temporal markers and other searchable metadata. The next Prelude has expanded file support for
ingest and transcoding, with new features such hover scrubbing of thumbnails, file renaming during ingest, and metadata templates which ensure key information is added.



Features enhanced UI, workflow integration, shot matching, film stock emulations.

Media Encoder

The dedicated encoding tool has enhanced background rendering from both Premiere Pro and After Effects, with several new presets for tablets and mobile devices.

Adobe Anywhere

Teased in 2012, Adobe will showcase its collaborative workflow platform Adobe Anywhere at NAB2013, with availability expected in May 2013. The software supports tools such as Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects (later in 2013), and Adobe Prelude.

Server hardware

Qualified Systems:

  • Dell Systems: Poweredge R720 2U
  • Hewlett-Packard: SL250

Adobe Anywhere Collaboration Hub (Quantity required: 1)

  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 2008 Server R2 Enterprise (64-bit)
  • Network connection:Dual port 10Gbps FullDuplex Ethernet

Adobe Mercury Streaming Engine (Minimum quantity required: 3)

  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 2008 Server R2 Enterprise (64-bit)
  • Network connection:Dual port 10Gbps FullDuplex Ethernet
  • GPU required: NVIDIATesla K10

Qualified Systems

  • Harmonic MediaGrid
  • Isilon X400 series

The specs include a note from Adobe: For determining performance & compatibility with other storage systems, please contact your Adobe account representative.


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