ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD: VIDEO

Pro video is a shining star in this year’s Creative Cloud lineup

Like Creative Cloud’s web software, Adobe’s video tools are spread across multiple products, so subscribers get a lot of bang for their buck. But where the sheer number of web products seems like a few too many, the pro video solutions feel about right, especially when they work so well together to provide a nearly seamless experience.

One excellent example of this tight integration is converting a script from Story Plus CC into searchable metadata using Prelude CC, with Speech-to-Text analysis provided by Media Encoder CC. Clips can then be handed off to Premiere Pro CC, where an editor will be able to perform text searches for certain words or phrases instead of endlessly scrubbing in search of that dialogue.

New to Premiere Pro and Audition CC is audio-effects plug-in support for VST3 and Audio Units, and the bundled TC Electronic Loudness Radar makes sure output mix levels remain legal and consistent. Premiere Pro’s improved Audio Clip Mixer offers more precise control without porting sequences to Audition, which itself boasts multitrack editing enhancements like color-coded clips or tracks and a slick way to non-destructive^ silence unwanted portions of audio clips.

Visually, Premiere Pro CC doesn’t look much different from CS6, but the Timeline includes welcome Ul improvements, with contextual menu options and better track targeting for a more productive, comfortable environment. We were particularly impressed by CC’s multicam improvements, where multiple clips can be synced using only the accompanying audio.

After Effects CC integrates tightly with the included Cinema 4D Lite, making last-minute changes effortless.

Media management is the bane of every video editor’s existence, but no more: the sheer quantity of options with the new Link & Locate makes reconnecting hundreds or even thousands of clips spread across multiple drives almost pleasurable. Premiere Pro CC also gleefully accepts any native workflow you throw at it, including mixed formats, frame rates, and sizes.

After Effects CC also received much love this year, starting with native 64-bit support for improved performance and better memory usage. There are at least two must-have new features: the new Refine Edge tool borrowed from Photoshop to eliminate hard matte lines, and 3D Camera Tracker, which allows newly created objects to behave as if they were there all along. Render-free 3D integration with the included Maxon Cinema 4D Lite is truly a sight to behold.

SpeedGrade CC received a Ul overhaul, but it doesn’t go quite far enough in our eyes. However, the slick new Shot Matcher delivers the goods, making short work of color correction, even using favorite «looks» pulled from still images. Prelude CC (formerly OnLocation) can now rename files as they’re ingested or export rough cuts to Media Encoder or even Premiere Pro for a final round of editing. Unfortunately, disc authoring solution Encore remains at CS6, with no new features or even CC rebranding.

The bottom line. Video professionals have the most to gain from this year’s Creative Cloud update, as Adobe engineers have done a bang-up job interweaving the different applications together into a cohesive whole that delivers the best lineup to date.

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