LINEUP: An Evening with Adobe: The Adobe Production Studio, including After Effects 7.0
Our first meeting of 2006 was dedicated to a special presentation by Adobe Systems of their new Adobe Production Studio, featuring After Effects 7.0 plus updates to Audition, Premiere Pro, and Encore DVD. This was the first-ever comprehensive showing on the West coast, and included the best presenters you could ask for: Steve Kilisky (After Effects Product Manager, and pictured here), Giles Baker (Premiere Pro Product Manager), and other special guests including members of the After Effects team including Dave Simons, one of the orginal architects of After Effects. Adobe catered the evening, generously providing free food and drink for everyone.
Giles Baker, Premiere Pro Product Manager gave an overview of the integration and workflow pipeline from Adobe After Effects to Premiere Pro demonstrating the Adobe's Dynamic Link and the ability to preview compositions in the new editor without rendering the effects.
While in Premiere Pro 2, Giles showed the new Clip Notes system, which allows for Premiere Pro 2 users to export movies into PDF documents. These PDFs with embedded videos can be emailed or streamed to clients, annotated, and returned to the editor. The returned file contains markers and notes which match the timeline to the frame.
Surprisingly, the audience (mostly graphics artists) was impressed by the Clip Note system and the potential ability to pull Premiere Pro 2 projects directly into After Effects (which effectively makes Clip Notes integrated into AE).
Giles also showed off Multi-Cam editing in Premiere Pro 2, which can be very easily pulled off using the multi-cam monitor and simply clicking on the footage in real time.
While there aren't many audio editors who attend MGLA, we have all had to do some type of audio editing at some point. So when Audition's new lasso isolation tool was featured, allowing audio editing (on Audition's visual sound display) in irregular shapes, not just via a rectangular marquee, everyone was impressed.
Audition sports other new features including video and low latency, which can be viewed on the PixelCorps broadcast.
Adobe's Encore DVD has several new features, including the interface redesign which puts it obviously in the family with the other new tools. Not only can Encore take advantage of the Dynamic Link and cross-use of project files, but you can now create Photoshop files directly from within Encore.
Several other features of Giles' presentation, including specifics and presentation of the new application can be seen on the PixelCorps broadcast.
After a break, Steve Kilisky, Michael Coleman, and Dave Simons then tag-teamed to show off the main event: After Effects 7.0.
Steve hit everyone with Pixelmotion, which is After Effects' time resampling plugin that analyzes each pixel, and creates smooth slow motion footage using the vectors created by the tiny data. Someone in the crowd pointed out that editors can't stay away from speed changes. This will certainly help us when the editors slow things down.
Steve also showed off the massive amount of template projects that ship with Adobe After Effects 7, including a project from Dan Ebberts of MotionScript.com (everyone's favorite expression guru).
Dave then demo'd the new Graph Editor, audio waveforms and HDR imaging in After Effects 7.
Using a 32-bit float, AE7 now has an unprecedented range of color control, and allows for OpenEXR files, Photoshop and TIFF. You can work in After Effects lossless now.
There are several plugins that take advantage of the 32-bit mode, and companders for those that don't.
Dave also pointed out that expressions are now auto-correcting. In previous
versions of the software, when expressions are written, the JAVA code must
be precise and the syntax exact. Changing the name of a layer can break a
whole string of expressions. In After Effects 7, expressions know which layer
they are attached to, and if the layer's name is changed, the expression
will go out and try to change out the name where it appears in the syntax
As for the news and secrets, Adobe played it diplomatically close to the breast:
Windows: Adobe supports 4 Gigs of RAM
Mac : Adobe supports 3.5 Gigs of RAM
Windows : XP
Mac: You should probably get 10.4.3 or better, although 10.3.9 should work.
Vista OS for PC - Adobe products should work, but Vista isn't out yet, so who knows.
Universal for Mac - Mac/Intel is certainly on Adobe's radar, but there is no announcement for when that is going to happen at this time.
The application is not completely multi-threaded yet (another reason to look into GridIron's Nucleo).
No UI for keyboard shortcuts - but you know I'll try to hack that previous hack.
And, yes, there are things that they want to put in, but haven't yet. If
you want to submit a comment to Adobe, please check the MGLA
Cafe forum for
how to do it.
The door prizes included:
* A copy of the Adobe Production Studio Premium ($1699 value!) (the Production Studio is Windows-based; Adobe will offer an equally enticing replacement prize for Mac users)
* Two free passes to the Lynda.com FlashForward Conference and Film Festival in Seattle February 27 through March 2 - Steve Kilisky of Adobe will be among the speakers ($1000 value each!)
* Lynda.com is also donating 4 CD-ROMs and two new Flash-related Hands-On Training books. Be sure to pick up one of their handouts, which will include $100 discount coupons!
* A set of the just-released Flash 8 training from Total Training ($300 value)
Lynda.com also handed out discount coupons for Flashforward (sometimes, you just have to be there...).
Oh, by the way - admission was again free this evening, also courtesy of Adobe. Nice way to kick off the new year, eh?
Barnsdall Gallery Theatre and Art Park is a facility of the
City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department