After Effects and Premiere Pro CC 2017 updated to make motion graphics and audio easier

New versions of After Effects and Premiere Pro introduce the Essential Graphics and Audio panels, better camera shake removal, and an upgraded Character Animator.

Just ahead of next week's NAB broadcast industry show in Las Vegas next week, Adobe has launched new versions of After Effects, Premiere Pro, Character Animator and Audition.

First off, there's a performance boost to After Effects. This includes GPU-accelerated versions of the Fractal Noise, Levels, and Fast Box Blur filters - the last of which gives you the traditional Gaussian Blur or Fast Blur (but faster).

The application's' new Essential Graphics panel lets you build motion graphics templates for use in Premiere. You set the parameters that are accessible to the editor - such as editing text, colour, opacity and the like - while the overall design and layout remains locked off. This allows you to define the look of a graphics package that will always remain consistent during editing.

The new Camera Shake Deblur filter in After Effects is another one of those tools that appears to work magic. It can remove the blurring caused by camera shake by analysing previous and following frames and using these to predict what the frames you're applying it to would look like without shake. 

In a demo shown to us by Adobe, this seemed very impressive - though we've yet to try it ourselves.

For the more scientific among you, After Effects gains a full set of scopes. Similar to the Lumetri Scopes panel found in Premiere Pro, this gives you access to Vectorscopes, Histogram, Parade, and Waveform..

The panel can display up to five scopes - in 8-bit, floating point colour or HDR.

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Character Animator gains support for blending modes, so you can adjust how parts of a character affect the backgrounds behind them (as shown here).

You can live-stream animations to YouTube or Facebook Live from Character Animator (or just to an external monitor). This requires third-party hardware from the likes of AJA, Blackmagic, Bluefish444 or Matrox to take Character Animator's output and stream it for live broadcast.

The new Walk behaviour makes creating walking animation easier. You tag the various parts of a characters body - legs, arms, body - and the choose from a selection of walking patterns - or run, or sneak.

The animation automatically adapts to the height of your character, says Adobe.

Other new features include the ability to edit mouth shapes linked to particular visemes, and workspaces for different tasks (eg for learning the application, or rigging).

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As well as editing motion graphics templates created in After Effects, the Essential Graphics panel also allows you to quickly create and edit text without having to use the dreaded clunky Titler.

Instead you can use the Type tool to create them, and the panel to adjust them. The same's true for the Rectangle, Oval and Freeform drawing tools. 

The Essential Sound panel - which is also found in the updated Audition - offers a quick way to adjust audio. Aimed at editors who aren't audio experts (hi!), it gives you a small selection of audio tools tailored to the type of audio track you're working on. For example, you tell it that a track is dialogue and it gives you tools to make the volume uniform across all clips, or remove background noise, or add
compression and EQ for clearer voices.

If you have a new MacBook Pro or an even-newer Microsoft Surface Studio, there's specific input device support for your computer.

There's support for the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar, and for Dial devices - including the one shownhere  for the Microsoft Surface Studio or the Dell Canvas.

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Finally, there's support for ambisonic audio output for 360-degree video projects - whether for VR or 'pan-around' video on YouTube or Facebook. This allows you to position audio clips in 3D space to match where they would appear to be coming from in your video.