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Commentary: Adobe Reveals Creative Tools Features and Strategy at Adobe MAX

Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC showcased in Adobe MAX kickoff keynote

During today's Adobe MAX keynote, Adobe's David Wadhwani introduced new features in two venerable Adobe applications--After Effects and Premiere Pro--by noting that the video products won six Best of Show awards at the National Association of Broadcasters' show.

"With Premiere Pro we are now number one--both in market share and public perception--for the first time," said Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager of Adobe's Digital Media business unit.

Jason Levine, Adobe's Worldwide Creative Suite Video and Audio Evangelist, showed off several features of Premiere Pro—including an enhanced but simplified timeline. Levine noted Adobe's uptick in market share and public perception were a long time coming.

Adobe feels market share dominance will accelerate with the introduction of the Creative Cloud versions of both After Effects and Premiere Pro. As part of that dominance, Levine showed off a few interesting tidbits about After Effects CC that could pave the way for virtual set creation in After Effects.

3D Modeling and Object Tracking in After Effects CC

"After Effects CC now, for the first time, includes Maxon Cinema 4D Lite," said Levine, "for the ability to create 3D models and integrate those into an After Effects project.

“We start with the new 3D camera tracker, selecting points along the ground to create a ground plane, or origin plane, for camera shots that may curve around a particular point.

"We then find a point that we want to create a solid to track," said Levine, "to parent the 3D object and export the tracking data into Maxon Cinema 4D Lite, showing the ground plane and solid object tracking data."

Levine showed the 3D object tracking on the parent solid object, but then noted that a traditional 3D integration workflow required imagining--in one's head--what the 3D object would look like overlaid on the video.

"With After Effects CC, we're able to overlay the 3D object on the 2D solid object, on top of the video," said Levine, "so no guessing required."

Photoshop Features in After Effects CC

Levine and Wadhwani also talked about the benefit of bringing Photoshop features into After Effects.

"We're bringing in Refine Edge from Photoshop into After Effects," said Levine, "so that After Effects CC can now allow tracing of edge lines (such as a hedgerow or forest) against the sky or other distinctly distant background. This preserves all the fine points—twigs or branches in the case of our example--to make the separation from the background appear more realistic."

"The biggest difference between the Photoshop and After Effects versions of Refine Edge," said Wadhwani, "is that Photoshop applies this with a single image and After Effects applies Refine Edge--with tracking--automatically across multiple frames."


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