Adobe has previewed new features to be added to its video tools: After Effects CC, Premiere Pro CC, Audition CC, Media Encoder CC, Prelude CC and SpeedGrade CC. Adobe isn't saying when the upgrades will be released, but past experience tell us it should be with us in about a month or two - and the company will be showing them off at the NAB 2015 exhibition next week.
Headline features include Photoshop's Creative Cloud Libraries being added to AE and Premiere, Face Tracking in AE, Photoshop-style colour controls in Premiere Pro, a new way to deal with jump cuts, and interface tweaks to make the tools easier to use on touchscreen Windows tablets and laptops like the Dell M3800 I'm currently writing this story on. There are also two completely new products - the still-in-beta Character Animator and the 'Kuler-for-video' project Candy.
Creative Cloud Libraries for video
Creative Cloud Libraries are a feature within Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign that allow certain components to be shared between documents: colour schemes, graphics and logos and the like. Adobe is added these to After Effects and Premiere so you can quickly access assets - especially regularly used ones like logos - and share them between applications.
The assets are automatically synced between your computers through your Creative Cloud Files, and are created and can be accessed through a panel in each application.
New Adobe app: Project Candy
Project Candy is essentially Kuler for video - but where Kuler turns photos into colour palettes of three-to-five colours, the Project Candy iOS app captures the 'look' of a photo. You can adjust these in the app using 'colour bubble' controls.
The looks are saved online, where they automatically appear in Premiere Pro, After Effects and the Premiere Clip app.
New in After Effects CC: Face Tracker
This extension to AE's tracking toolset can automatically detect faces and the points within them (eg nose, eyebrows, pupils and mouth) through a clip. It's the update's big wow feature - though even Adobe seem unsure what you'd do with the track once you'd done it. It seems a big technological innovation to just change eye colour or cartoonify facial expressions.
However, the tracks can be exported to the new Character Animator software, for example to power facial animation for a cartoon character. The technology also underpins that application's live facial animation feature.
New in Premiere Pro CC: Morph Cut + Premiere Clip Workflow
Facial tracking is put to more practical, everyday use in Premiere Pro CC, where it's used by the new Morph Cut transition. If this works as well as Adobe claims, it's quite innovative - as it allows you to get rid of jump cuts in fixed-camera close-ups (such as interviews) by using a transition that creates smooth morphs between edits. Cassetteboy's going to love it.
Adobe has also improved its Premiere Clip app so that edits, music cues and looks created in that app can be opened as a project in Premiere Pro CC.
New in Premiere Pro CC: Lumetri Colour
The new Lumetri Color panel brings together traditional video colour correction tools such as colour wheels with ways of altering the colours of a shot used on photography in tools such as Photoshop and Lightroom - such as RGB Curves.
Adobe Character Animator
Character Animator is relatively simple animation application that even when made available will still be in beta. Its one trick - and it's a pretty good trick - is to capture your facial expressions from a webcam and apply these to an animated character. It uses the same technology as AE's new Face Tracker and Premiere Pro's new Morph Cut.
As well as expressions, it can lip sync to your words. For more info, see our full story about Character Animator.
Other upgrades that Adobe has revealed include:
- Dynamic Linking between Audition and Premiere, and SpeedGrade and Premiere.
- Retiming in Media Encoder.
- Voiceover recording in Prelude.
- A version of the Adobe Anywhere for studios in a single location.