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Morph Cuts, Time Tuning, and More: Inside the Latest Adobe Creative Cloud Reveal

This NAB's Adobe CC Reveal includes Lumetri Looks customization, a simplified 3 Way Color Corrector, and other feature updates in Premiere Pro, plus a new Time Tuner for Adobe Media Encoder, and a fun Character Animator companion app to After Effects.

The Morph Cut Tool

One of the challenges of editing interview videos are jump cuts, when you cut from one shot to the next using the same basic camera angle and framing, which makes the subject seem to jump from one shot to the next. My solution has always been to insert a very obvious transition, like a cube spin, which avoids any viewer confusion, but can look inelegant.

To address this, Premiere Pro will gain a Morph Cut transition that “uses advanced face tracking and frame interpolation to build seamless interview sequences.” Here’s a video that describes this effect:


Task-Oriented Workspaces

Other new features for Premiere Pro include task-oriented workspaces, which builds on the existing concept of workspaces by making them more accessible via buttons atop the interface. You can get a feel for how this works in the video Task-Oriented Workspaces. Other notable new features include the following:

  • Some support for Windows touch devices
  • The ability to open projects from Adobe Premiere Clip, Adobe’s iOS editor, in Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Expanded format support, including support for ProRes 4444 XQ, Avid DNxHR with compressed alpha, Canon XF-AVC, MXF-wrapped JPEG 2000, and Panasonic 4K_HS.
  • The ability to share assets from Premiere Pro projects via Creative Cloud.


Adobe Media Encoder

The most significant addition to Adobe Media Encoder is Time Tuner (Figure 4, below), a feature that lets you adjust the duration of your output by a percentage or by choosing a specific target duration. For example, if you need your project to be exactly 60 seconds long, you can choose that target.

Figure 4. Time Tuner in Adobe Media Encoder.

Time Tuner doesn’t simply mechanically add or delete frames as needed to fit the target. Rather, it “imperceptibly adds or removes frames during shot changes and in sections with still images, low visual activity, or quiet audio.” Assuming Time Tuner works as advertised, it could save producers who have to output for specific time slots gobs of production time. Note that Time Tuner is also available as an effect in Premiere Pro, where it could be really useful in a range of videos.

This short video demonstrates Time Tuner operation in Adobe Media Encoder.


Other Adobe Media Encoder new features include the following:

  • Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus support for 5.1 and 7.1 channel output
  • QuickTime channelization and rewrap, so a single QuickTime file can contain both stereo and 5.1 output
  • Enhanced format support, including MXF-wrapped JPEG 2000.

Note that Adobe Media Encoder will not be getting HEVC encode this go-round, or VP9 encode for that matter.

Adobe Character Animator

Without question, the most fun new application in the NAB 2015 reveal is the Adobe Character Animator, which is a companion app to After Effects. When I first heard the name, I immediately thought it was a text-related feature.

But, by character, Adobe means character. That is, you create a character in Photoshop or Illustrator with head, arms, eyes, mouth and other features (Figure 5, below). Then, you can animate the character by talking into a webcam, with the digital character mimicking mouth and movements, and changes in facial features like frowning or smiling. You can even include normal breathing motions while at rest.

Figure 5. The characters are animated via the motion in the webcam. Click the image to see it at full size.

If you’re having a bad hair day, you can create a character, talk into the webcam, and have the character serve as your custom live avatar, with no programming involved. You can see exactly what I’m talking about in the video Adobe Character Animator.


There are lots of other features many other CC applications, which I’m sure you’ll be hearing about if you’re an Adobe CC subscriber.

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The new Lumetri Color panel makes it simple to correct your footage and then creatively control the color with preset looks or your own adjustments. It's one of the best new additions in the Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015 update.