Adobe boosts video creation tools ahead of NAB

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Just in time for NAB, Adobe announces enhancements to Premiere Pro, After Effects, Character Animator and Audition.

Image: Adobe

Video continues to consume our attention at an amazing rate. We’re captivated each hour of the day by video on our smartphones, computers, or television sets. And there’s really no stopping it. Content creators around the world understand this and work tirelessly to continue the trend of captivating audiences with not only great visual stories but amazing visual effects while using tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Just in time for NAB Show in Las Vegas, Adobe announced some nifty updates to its video creation tools, which will not only speed up workflow with the power of artificial intelligence (AI) but give an even more intuitive interface for creatives to speed through a workflow.

SEE: Artificial intelligence: Trends, obstacles, and potential wins (Tech Pro Research)

What’s new in Premiere Pro?

Let’s take a look at Premiere Pro. The popular video editing tool, which has had its challenges over the years continues to get better with its tools, performance boost, and integration with other apps within the Creative Cloud suite. One of the biggest announcements around Premiere Pro is the support for dual GPUs to further increase performance while rendering high-resolution videos.

Year after year, critics of Premiere Pro boast “how much better” Apple’s Final Cut Pro is than Premiere Pro when it comes to video editing and performance. And yes, Final Cut Pro really does perform well on MacOS. Although I admit I’ve seen performance increases in Premiere Pro starting with last year’s release. Granted, having a beefy computer system helps, but Adobe has definitely improved with this aspect. As of today, if you’re running a computer system with dual graphics cards, you can get the most out of your graphics processing horsepower and speed within your renders as dual graphics card configurations are now supported.

Adobe shared stats of the performance increase being up to 13x when handling extensive mask and motion tracking in a 4K timeline. Although it must be noted that these numbers were based on a test system running dual NVIDIA Quadro M4000 cards. I’d love to see this performance on my middle-tier GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of RAM

Other notable updates for Premiere Pro include free-form organization of the project panel to help with organizing clips prior to editing, a streamlined way of creating more dynamic motion graphics such as lower thirds and using text layers as masks overlays in your video. This particular masking effect was generally created more in After Effects.

What’s new in After Effects?

Adobe has teased about After Effects having a specific capability that’s been found in Photoshop for quite some time. That’s the content-aware fill option. Last year at Adobe Max, this capability was teased during the keynote, but it wasn’t released to the masses. Now, this feature is ready to go with this latest version of After Effects.

After Effects is another video editing tool in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, but it’s designed more for the heavy lifting of creating visual effects and motion graphics for your video projects. It’s extremely robust and popular in the graphics world, which also includes many Hollywood studios. Some even call After Effects the “Photoshop of video.”

The content-aware fill capability just ups the ante when it comes to video effects. This feature allows video creators to essentially cut holes in a piece of video footage to remove an object and fill in the pixels with neighboring pixel data to complete the scene—all powered by Adobe’s Sensei AI.

I saw a demonstration of this effect and was amazed at how easy this is for an average After Effects user to carry out. Below are demo images of the effect in action. In the footage depicted, the video editor would like to remove the red car from the footage.

aecontent-aware-fill1-before.jpg

Image: Adobe

Select the object for removal and punch a hole into the sequence.

aecontent-aware-fill2-mask.jpg

Image: Adobe

Generate a fill layer in the footage, and the AI does the rest.

aecontent-aware-fill3-after.jpg

Image: Adobe

What’s new in audio creation?

Auto ducking of audio tracks in audio production is a great tool that limits the amount of time an audio mixer/editor spends creating keyframes to properly fade in or fade out of audio. Commonly, when recording interviews, a music bed may be on another audio track. You wouldn’t want the music playing over the top of your interview drowning out the actual vocal audio, so you’d create keyframes to automatically fade the music bed in or out. Auto ducking makes this easier with one click because of AI built into Adobe Audition, Adobe’s audio authoring software.

Auto ducking now also works with tracks designated as ambient audio, not just music beds. Now, there’s the popular Punch and Roll editing flow available in Audition. With Punch and Roll, a voice-over talent can follow along with video footage while recording their dialogue and re-record any mistakes or miscues if needed. The Punch and Roll allow the artist to go back in time and record exactly where their mistake was made and seamlessly re-take and keep cadence. Or, if the artist would like to try multiple takes to better figure out the flow and cadence, they can do so with this feature and use the tracks that will work best in their final output.

aupunchand-rollrecording.jpg

Image: Adobe

Further discussion about the latest software updates and features can be found on the Adobe blog and its YouTube channel. What are your thoughts on the new updates? Are you heading to NAB this year to learn more about tools for creating awesome content? If you are, tag me over on Twitter. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Oh, there’s one more thing. My friend Jason Levine will be doing an awesome walkthrough of the new features available in a live stream at 12 pm eastern on Thursday April 4. Mr. Levine is the Principle Worldwide Evangelist for Adobe who does a great job not only showing off the latest and greatest offerings from Adobe’s video and audio editing options.

See also

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