Video editors will soon have more tools to clean up noise and master color correction. On September 12, Adobe introduced a slew of new tools for the company’s video, audio, and animation programs ahead of IBC2018 in Amsterdam. The updates include color and audio tools for Adobe Premiere Pro, Motion Graphics updates to After Effects, and enhanced tools in Audition and Character Animator. Adobe also shared that the previously teased social-first video editor Project Rush will be available later this year. The tools are being previewed at IBC and will be available before the end of the year.
The updates continue adding features that use artificial intelligence to streamline creative tasks without removing more precise tools. “Video professionals face short deadlines, clunky handoffs and long lists of deliverables,” said Steve Warner, Adobe’s vice president of digital video and audio. “This latest Creative Cloud release introduces new innovation and capabilities to address these challenges and make common tasks faster and easier.”
In Premiere Pro, new artificial intelligence tools can help clean up video audio by reducing background noise and reverb. Both tools give editors a separate slider to control each effect. Patrick Palmer, the product manager for Adobe Premiere Pro, says that the tools won’t negate the value of studio recordings, but can improve an otherwise unusable recording.
Video editors will also soon have more color grading options with enhanced Lumetri Color tools. Five new curve options pit one control with another, including hue vs. saturation, hue vs. hue and hue vs. luminance. The curve panel also now allows users to use a slider to adjust what color is in the center of that control.
The update, Adobe says, makes the curves less daunting for beginners to the video program with selective color grading. In a demonstration, the tool was used to soften the skin tones after emphasizing saturation in order to create a brightly colored background.
Premiere Pro also now supports VR180, a format introduced by YouTube that has some of the perks of 360 content but without including what’s happening behind the camera. The footage can be viewed from the computer screen or a headset, including an option to place spatial markers while using a headset to return to later from the desktop screen.
Motion Graphics Templates, a popular tool to add animation and titling effects from After Effects or from Adobe Stock, gain new features in both Premiere Pro and After Effects. Premiere Pro users have new tools to adjust the template’s parameters, such as font settings. The template author can choose whether or not to allow the template to change in After Effects. Another update enhances infographics made by linking Motion Graphics Templates with a spreadsheet.
Along with the audio, color, VR180, and Motion Graphics Template features, the update also brings improved performance for working with H.264 and HEVC and support for new formats including HEIC used in by the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Those same Motion Graphics Templates updates stem from changes inside Adobe After Effects. The update enables creators to choose whether or not users can change things like font inside Premiere Pro. Responsive design allows areas of the template to remain the same even when the size of the graphic is stretched.
After Effect’s animation tools also get a boost with the upcoming update. Mesh sculpting options give animators more control over the movements, including advanced pins for more control over the position, scale and rotation. Bend pins help create a movement that looks more natural. New depth tools allow those animations to better mix within a video — depth maps can simulate 3D effects while other tools can add fades and depth of field.
The update also brings performance boosts to expressions as well as speed enhancements made possible through GPU optimization for faster work with fill, curves, exposure, noise and color balance. After Effects also gains the same selective color grading tools inside the new Premiere Pro.
The same A.I.-powered tools for reducing noise and reverb also enter Adobe’s audio-focused software, Audition. The algorithms make real-time adjustments to audio, Adobe says. Audio editors can use the same sliders to control the effects found in Premiere Pro, or can use the Effects rack to access more ways to fine-tune the adjustments.
Audition’s user interface also gets some fine-tuning, with enhanced clip visibility and organization. Updates also include one-click tools for adding audio and bus tracks as well as eliminating empty tracks. A zoom to time tool, automatic import for third-party tools after an update and several other enhancements will also be coming later this year.
Adobe’s budding Character Animator program sees a few updates as well — Adobe says the program’s Characterizer is now fully ready for production. Character Animator creates animations from a video, mapping out movements and facial expressions from a webcam to an animated character.
Characterizer allows you to bring your own artwork into the program to apply to a character or even a photo of yourself. The result is an animation that uses styles from the inspiration artwork, similar to how the popular Prisma app uses A.I. to turn a photo into a painting.
The upcoming update will allow characters to pick up and throw or drop animated objects using a feature called magnets. Additional characteristics for the walk actions allow users to create a more natural walk or an exaggerated strut instead, for example. A new “squashiness” parameter allows for more movement options, particularly with a bouncy or stretchy character.
Character Animator will also allow replays during live recordings. For example, Adobe says, you can record a laugh or a smile and replay that expression at the right moment during a live performance. Another update allows users to bookmark a spot in their history, making it easy to go back to a previous point in the project.
Adobe says all the updates will roll out later this year.
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