Adobe is once again using the National Association of Broadcasters annual convention as a platform to divulge a first look at brand-new versions of its professional video and audio creation software. NAB 2013 attendees will get a sneak peek at new versions of Premiere Pro, After Effects, SpeedGrade, Audition, Prelude, Media Encoder, and Story Plus.
The company is also announcing Adobe Anywhere for video, an enterprise collaborative-workflow platform that allows users of Adobe's pro video tools—such as Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Prelude—to work together with media and assets across almost any network. Adobe Anywhere does not require heavy file transfers and does not rely on proxy files, so users work directly with high-quality media. Adobe Anywhere is expected to be released in May. Adobe Anywhere complements Adobe Creative Cloud, and is hosted on-premises alongside other media-storage and asset-management hardware and software. It requires a separate purchase and implementation from the creative applications.
Currently Adobe is offering no further details about when the new versions of the software for Mac and Windows will be released, what they will be called, how much they will cost, and in what suite configuration, if any, they will appear. With the release dates under wraps, Adobe is emphasizing that Creative Cloud subscribers will be the first to benefit from any upgrades.
Among the top new features of Premiere Pro, Adobe’s flagship video app, is Editing Finesse, which offers a redesigned, streamlined timeline and new shortcuts to hasten the editing process. A new Audio Clip Mixer allows you to control sound precisely, while the Lumetri Deep Color Engine, integrated with the SpeedGrade color utility, lets you apply assorted color grading looks to your footage. Improved track targeting enables you to select specific video and audio tracks in a target sequence and then insert a source clip from the Source panel into just those targeted tracks. Paste Attributes let you copy and paste specific effects from one clip to another. A new Link & Locate feature permits quick linking to media regardless of where it was moved.
Other new features include increased support for intermediate codecs, closed-captioning improvements, support for AAF and XML projects via tighter integration with Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro, an improved Mercury Playback Engine for accelerated export, and expanded support for GPU-accelerated third-party effects and transitions.
The updated version of After Effects provides new tools for creative and visual special effects such as Refine Edge, Warp Stabilizer VFX, an enhanced 3D CameraTracker, and a Live 3D Pipeline that brings 3D worlds created in Cinema 4D directly into After Effects compositions.
Other improvements include track optimization in the 3D Camera Tracker; Pixel Motion Blur for objects to quickly move through 3D scenes; Automatic Find for missing fonts, effects, and footage; and Bicubic Resampling to preserve details when resizing compositions. Layer and mask snapping let you align edges, anchor points, and mask paths between layers when constructing complex objects.
The new 64-bit Adobe Audition audio program features a Preview Editor that allows you to see waveforms before and after you apply changes, prior to committing to the edit. The new Sound Remover provides a fast and efficient way to clean up tracks. You can also manage multitrack projects more efficiently. New and enhanced Sound Design tools help you better warp, filter, and blend audio. Enhanced Spectral Display editing provides more precise selection tools and more accurate editing.
Introduced in the CS6 release, the new 64-bit Adobe Prelude is a metadata tool for ingesting and logging media files, and for managing and identifying the most relevant parts of a shoot.
New Hover scrub thumbnails let you quickly review clips in the project panel without opening the clip. You can apply descriptive names to your files as you ingest, and tag media by creating customized templates that allow you to choose what information is collected and applied to clips. You can import a scene from Story into Prelude, and turn your script into searchable metadata that flows into Adobe Premiere Pro, thus speeding the editing process. Finally, you can export rough cuts directly through Adobe Media Encoder to share for review or to upload to video-sharing websites.
The Prelude Live Logger, an iPad app planned for the third quarter of 2013, will let you begin logging on an iPad while you shoot.
Adobe SpeedGrade, a color-grading tool introduced with CS6, gets an interface overhaul for this new version. It offers real-time GPU-accelerated performance and introduces the Lumetri Deep Color engine, which allows for the loading of native SpeedGrade looks into Premiere Pro.
Other improvements let you automatically match shots from different cameras or with varying lighting conditions, add a second display, apply new film-stock emulations to your shots, and more. You can work with a mouse and keyboard, a tablet, a trackball, or a Tangent control surface, including Tangent Element.
Adobe Media Encoder
AME, the encoding tool that enables background rendering from both Premiere Pro and After Effects, provides a workflow for creating and using presets, as well as many new presets for tablets and mobile devices. It also encodes multiple versions of the same project.
The new version offers enhanced output to virtually any screen, device, or format; match source settings for H.264 and MPEG-2 exporters; export of closed-captioning data; enhanced integration with After Effects; and more.
Adobe Story Plus
New features in Adobe Story Plus, the online screenwriting tool, include online and offline access, industry-standard formatting with auto completion, and customizable and predesigned script templates for different types of projects. Permission assignments let you control who can access documents in a project and what they can do with them.
Story's new dynamic reporting feature lets you keep all departments organized. You can prepare a script for production with manual tagging of props and sound effects. Use auto tagging to add tags to a script and set up a project to keep related multiple documents (such as scripts, schedules, and reports) organized, and use categories to organize related projects.
You can get more information about the new versions of Adobe's professional video and audio apps on the company's Reveal Web page and on the Adobe Create Now Facebook page. Adobe is also offering a NAB show special that lets video pros in North America save 40 percent off the cost of a Creative Cloud annual subscription ($30 instead of $50 per year), valid from April 4 through April 19.
Adobe will demonstrate the new products at its NAB booth SL3910, South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 8 through April 11. The company's professional video and broadcast tools will also be presented in nearly 100 partner booths throughout the NAB exhibition.