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Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects get 360-friendly with SkyBox acquisition

Man using Adobe Premiere Pro on iMac
Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects will soon be getting more native 360-degree video and virtual reality editing tools. The company announced on June 21 that it’s acquiring SkyBox technology from Mettle, a 360-focused plug-in for Premiere Pro and After Effects.

With the acquisition, Adobe says SkyBox’s capabilities will be added to future programs without the need for a third-party plug-in, like adding text, logos, and effects; sharpening; reducing noise; changing the focal point or front of the 360 video; correcting the horizon; and adding tilt, pan, and roll. Native effects that aren’t designed specifically for 360 video tend to create stitch marks, but SkyBox’s edits are all designed specifically for immersive footage, so there’s no stitch effects, the company says. While support for the immersive formats was added to the programs last year, the acquisition will bring more 360-specific tools.

Mettle co-founder Chris Bobotis will join Adobe’s team as part of the acquisition. Financial details were not disclosed.

“We believe making virtual reality content should be as easy as possible for creators,” said Steven Warner, Adobe’s vice president of digital video and audio. “The acquisition of Mettle SkyBox technology allows us to deliver a more highly integrated VR editing and effects experience to the film and video community. Editing in 360 VR requires specialized technology and as such this is a critical area of investment for Adobe, and we’re thrilled Chris Bobotis has joined us to help lead the charge forward.”

The SkyBox plug-ins were the first to use Mettle’s 3DNAE technology, in 2015, and the plug-ins for immersive video launched shortly after that initial success. The plug-ins are widely used by large companies, like the New York Times, CNN, HBO, Google, YouTube, Discovery VR, Dreamworks TV, National Geographic, Washington Post, Apple, and Facebook, as well as independent filmmakers and individual YouTube channels.

“I’ve always believed in developing software for artists, by artists, and I’m looking forward to bringing new technology and integration that will empower creators with the digital tools they need to bring their creative vision to life,” said Bobotis, now the director of professional video at Adobe.

While 360-degree video is still a relatively new technology, the merger comes as the immersive format is rapidly growing, Adobe says. Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects users can learn more on the Skybox features by exploring the Adobe Creative Cloud video blog or at Mettle’s support platform.

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