If it’s time for a major tradeshow then it must be time for a new release of the Adobe Creative Cloud. There’s a lot going on in the Adobe Pro Video world. Premiere Pro continues on with its march forward in development. While there are a lot of under-the-hood enhancements and feature updates that will come to this next update to Adobe Premiere Pro CC there are two specific ones that caught my attention. One minor but greatly needed and one that is big. Very big. We’re talking about the visual keyboard shortcut editor and Team Projects.
Visual Keyboard Layout
As a keyboard-centric editor I’ve always taken to mapping my editing keyboard to something that made sense for me, that put my most often used keys front and center and that helped me edit faster. This Keyboard Manifesto has taken a very similar keyboard layout from Avid Media Composer to Final Cut Pro Classic to Adobe Premiere Pro (FCPX is its own beast). When Premiere finally “got good” back around CS 5 or 6 I began adapting my PPro keyboard to my liking. While Premiere has always had a ton of keyboard shortcuts that can be mapped, the process of mapping them and figuring out what is what in terms of what they are and where they go has been tedious. It was only a few versions ago that we finally gained the ability to map a command to more than one key. Things now get easier with the visual keyboard layout.
Premiere has always had one of the deeper keyboard command assignment options in all of the NLEs because of the vast number of commands that can be assigned to the keyboard. There are assignable functions don’t exist in the menus and the only way you would know there are there is by searching them out in the keyboard shortcuts editor. A more visual way of assigning them will help not just finding the functions but encouraging editors to actually customize their keyboards beyond the default. To be frank, it’s just been a pain in the rear to deeply customize the Premiere Pro keyboard in the past. This will make it a lot easier.
Why did it take so long to get a visual keyboard layout and editor? I’ve asked this question to quite a few people in the past, not just at Adobe but other software developers as well, and have been told more than once that a well functioning visual keyboard editor is not a small engineering task. I also suspect that marketing might not see a visual keyboard editor as a particularly sexy selling point when it comes to upgrades but IMHO it’s one of the most important. If you live in these tools day in and day out things like this make a huge difference.
Adobe engineers have color coded the visual keyboard editor. One color (purple) will show application wide shortcuts while another (green) designate shortcuts that are panel specific. If you’ve delved deep into PPro’s keyboard shortcuts you know that there certain keyboard shortcuts that only work in specific panels. This is great because you can have more than once shortcut assigned to the same key. This functionality makes the color coding of the visual keyboard editor a big plus.
I really like that there is a pop-up to show only a certain batch of panel shortcuts such as just for the timeline. This will help to refine your keyboard shortcuts into a well oiled machine.
The above Adobe video goes into the most detail we’ve seen for Team Projects.
The other major announcement coming from Adobe for IBC is what I think will be one of their biggest and most important product initiatives since launching the Creative Cloud: Team Projects. There’s not a lot to go on as this is currently in development but I think it’s safe to say Team Projects is a much bigger thing than the visual keyboard layout. Team Projects is all about collaboration.
Collaboration is an important concept in this age of media creation. It’s way more important than a small feature add-on and it looks as if Team Projects takes collaboration far beyond just the sharing of sequences in Premiere Pro. Team Projects will fit right into the entire Creative Cloud philosophy with project sharing between Premiere Pro, After Effects and Prelude.
How will it work? A new option will exist to create a new Team Project or open an existing Team Project. There will be a new dialog box to invite other team members and manage who is collaborating. Beyond that when you’re working in Premiere there’s not much different except for some icons in the Project window to see who is attached to the project. There are also two new buttons to either share your changes or update your project to get the changes of others. Those two buttons will become very important.
UPDATE: Here’s a few screen grabs from that YouTube video above with some comments on what looks like some cool features that will be coming in this new way to work.
One the one hand it looks as if Team Projects will allow for something editors have been asking for: a robust way to share sequences among editors. While this is somewhat possible now with the Media Browser (see how we did just that with 5 editors working around a table with shared storage) Team Projects will add true collaboration with things like version management and (hopefully) changes and conflict resolution. It will put the burden of figuring out what is what not on the editors but on the system. This is what editors want. Let’s dissect the official Adobe announcement.
Share editorial workflows across your production facilities without requiring additional dedicated hardware.
This is important as editors and facilities won’t have to invest in an initiative like Adobe Anywhere to use the collaborative tools. Of course Adobe Anywhere is a much different thing than Team Projects but the technology of Team Projects has come from what Adobe learned with Adobe Anywhere.
This service adds deep collaboration features like version control and smart conflict resolution to Adobe Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and Prelude CC.
To me one of the most intriguing things here is that producers in the field could utilize Prelude to begin setting up work for the editor and Team Projects would be an easier way to get that work into post. The Prelude to Premiere workflow was already pretty easy so it’ll be interesting to see how it gets better. Also notice Adobe uses the word service. Do not be at all surprised if Team Projects is an additional cost to the Creative Cloud subscription. This question was asked in multiple ways but Adobe is not releasing any information on price and availability at this time.
Post-production professionals can work simultaneously in shared sequences or compositions within Adobe Creative Cloud applications and access version control features that significantly reduce project conflicts and make reverting to older project iterations simple.
To some editors and productions this is the holy grail of collaboration: working simultaneously in shared projects. Adobe specifically mentioned something like a visual effects artist working in After Effects while a craft editor works on the show in Premiere. That’s an obvious workflow but what I want to see is exactly how Team Projects will work only within Premiere Pro. Imagine the many different scenarios in editorial: Multiple editors hashing out a big show; preditors stringing out and updating story edits; a senior editor working through changes as a junior editor tweaks the technical details, graphics and/or color working the story is still being finessed. There are many possibilities that could make many different versions of a Premiere Pro project file a thing of the past … if it works.
With Team Projects, you can store files locally or share lightweight proxies via Creative Cloud.
One thing Adobe mentioned was the possibility of storing proxies in the Creative Cloud storage. That could allow for some very easy and very remote collaboration provided you don’t have a ton of media or you have the bandwidth to handle it. I love the idea of a media manager in point A handling all of the transcoding and uploading while editors in points B, C and D just cut away and the Creative Cloud syncs in the background. Many productions will need way more than the basic 20 GB of cloud storage so expect much bigger storage options to be offered and that will probably mean an additional cost. Adobe also said you could also have one editor working on full resolution media while another remote editor is working on proxies of that same media. There will be a media management panel in Team Projects that will allow for relinking of all the media to the appropriate places and resolutions.
The team project workflow that most excites me is that of multiple editors working on duplicate, locally stored media. This isn’t an uncommon workflow now with editors sending sequences around via a transfer project but Team Projects could make this much easier. I specifically asked Adobe this workflow and it is a supported workflow.
There’s nothing new to learn and, aside from your VPN or Internet connection, no new setup or hardware is required.
This means Team Projects should be very easy to setup and be usable by anyone.
One specific thing asked about Team Projects is how it might benefit the single user. The response from Adobe was that a since Team Projects are always updated in the cloud a single user could utilize this as a way to move backwards in time and recover older versions without the need to manually save tons of PPro project files. It was mentioned as sort of an unlimited undo stack. While I don’t think it’ll be as easy as that, it sounds like it’ll be an additional safeguard to move back in a project history without the editor having to really do much work. It also sounds like the Team Project architecture moves away from the single PPro project file format that has been known to bloat over time. This will be welcomed news. If you are a single editor wanting to use this new Team Project functionality it’ll be a close look at the cost vs. the benefit when the product is shipped.
Overall Team Projects looks to be one of the biggest things to happen to the Creative Cloud since it became the Creative Cloud. Functionally is sounds like there is a lot of good stuff in there that editors and their teams can use and have been asking for. Avid and Media Composer is currently the standard for collaboration in the professional video space so will Adobe be able to muscle in on this stronghold? That remains to be seen but if Adobe wants to get into this market they are going to have to prove the reliability of Team Projects as one of the major hurdles. The other thing that may prove more difficult is getting in-grained Hollywood workflows to move away from Avid. Having cut reality shows in both Media Composer and Premiere Pro I would argue that the more advanced feature set of Premiere Pro could make it a better tool for a lot of productions but Adobe will need to convince the decision makers and bean counters that this is true. Good luck to them with that. I just hope the pricing is right as there is already enough yelling on the Internet about the subscription model.
What else is new?
There’s quite a new other things worth noting in this upcoming release of the Adobe Creative Cloud video tools. I don’t have any more commentary as what I think are the best features are above. But here’s Adobe’s notes on the other new Premiere Pro CC features that Adobe says “will be available by end of 2016.” Thanks Adobe for working hard on these tools.
Better Caption and Subtitle Tools
Expand your audience with captions and subtitles, whether to enliven silent auto-play video previews on Facebook, generate versions for different languages, or improve accessibility for hearing impaired viewers with closed captions. Easily create, fine-tune, and version captions, including tasks like text manipulation and altering duration and location right in the timeline. The new Edge Color feature ensures captions are easy to read on any color background. You get an easier workflow for creating captions from scratch as well. Deliver video content that speaks to more people and meets captioning requirements for web and broadcast in jurisdictions around the world.
Refined Lumetri Color Tools
The color toolset in Premiere Pro is ever-expanding, allowing editors to work deeply with color. Deliver the best color viewing experience for your audience with support for HDR10 metadata workflows, enabling editing of HDR10 and output for new HDR-enabled TVs and displays, providing greater precision for delivering brilliant imagery that makes the most of the viewing environment. The Lumetri Color toolset now includes a more refined color picker when working with HSL secondaries or white balance, allowing content creators to access powerful color correction and Look design tools in a dedicated color workspace.
Improved Virtual Reality Workflow
Introduced earlier in 2016, the VR workflow in Premiere Pro now offers additional improvements. Users can work with stitched equi-rectangular video to show field-of-view so you can replicate viewing experiences while you edit your content. Premiere Pro also exports correctly tagged VR files so that VR-capable video players, such as YouTube, can play the media. Added to this release, is the new auto-aware VR, which detects whether your media is monoscopic, stereoscopic over/ under or stereoscopic left/right and automatically applies preferences for the correct viewing environment.
Expanded Destination Publishing – now including Publish to Behance
Sharing your projects via Destination Publishing allows you to render and share videos to popular web locations from directly within Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC. With the addition of Publish to Behance, you can publish your videos directly to your Behance portfolio, the world’s largest creative community. Whether you’re posting to your favorite social media site like Behance, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, or want to share your productions privately to Creative Cloud, Destination Publishing gives you a fast delivery system to meet your needs.
Improved Live Text Templates
Live Text Templates allows users to include dynamic graphics with their video content in Premiere Pro, including the ability to edit text within those graphics, without requiring the editor to work directly inside After Effects. Live Text Templates are ideal for adding visual production value to any type of recurring content, such as tutorial videos, web series, broadcast graphics, and more. Editors who need to work with branded graphics content, like lower-thirds, will appreciate Live Text Templates improvements that allow for simple manipulation of text layers directly inside the Effect Control Panel. Automatically sync missing Typekit fonts, eliminating the need to find fonts manually, and take advantage of a new file format that allows you to share Live Text Templates via Creative Cloud Folders and import them directly into Premiere Pro without requiring an After Effects license.
Additional File Format Support
Broad file format support is one of the key strengths of Adobe Premiere Pro. Just load your files and start working, even during ingest, whether you elect to work with native source file formats, or lightweight, auto-linking proxies. Along with more efficient ingest of camera media, the next version of Premiere Pro adds support for Native QT DNxHD / DNxHR export.
More Audio Effects
This release brings new and improved audio effects to Premiere Pro, providing higher quality sound processing and improved fidelity from Adobe Audition including: Adaptive Noise Reduction, Dynamics Processing, Parametric Equalizer, Automatic Click Remover, Studio Reverb. New hi-DPI aware effects include, Analog Delay, Chorus/Flanger, DeHummer, Guitar Suite, Phaser, Single Band Compressor, Tube Modeled Compressor, Vocal Enhancer and Multi Band Compressor. Some legacy Premiere Pro audio plug-ins will be deprecated and they will be removed in a future version.
Additional features include the ability to render sequences faster with new GPU-accelerated effects and improved support for Apple Metal. New visual keyboard shortcut mapping makes it easy to discover, adjust and customize keyboard shortcuts. Improvements to Dynamic Link between Premiere Pro and After Effects makes working with both applications more streamlined. Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder now offer stitching of multiple clips from camera media into a single file on ingest for easier file management. Use the new Global FX Mute button in the Program Monitor to toggle on/off all video effects in a sequence, to improve playback performance, or view the clips without any effects applied. * And a new launch screen offers beginners a variety of learning options and approaches—whether it is examining a completed sequence, how to optimize a project, or a step by step through a featured tutorial.
* That will come in handy
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