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Stargate Studios Sets the Bar for Visual Effects on Productions

Adobe Creative Cloud and automation create competitive edge for iconic production studio

Delivering content for some of televisions top shows, including House of Lies, Grey's Anatomy, and, of course The Walking Dead, Stargate Studios continues to break the mold of how feature films, television series, electronic games, and commercials are generated. The studio was founded in 1989 by Sam Nicholson, a distinguished cinematographer and visual effects supervisor with 30 years of expertise in film, television, and visual effects. The now international production company provides concept development, advanced production services, and state-of-the-art postproduction services.

In an industry that requires ever-more impressive productions to be created with the same or even smaller budgets than in years past, Stargate has developed a winning strategy. We had a chance to sit down with Sam Nicholson, CEO and founder, and Adam Ealovega, vice president of technology for Stargate Studios to learn more about their strategy and success.


Stargate Studios

Adobe: What do you think differentiates Stargate from other studios?

Nicholson: Over the years, Stargate has adopted the latest cameras, visual effects, editing, and other tools and pushed them to their limits. We have always stayed at the forefront of technology with developments such as our Virtual Backlot (VB), VB Library of virtual environments and stock locations, and VB Live process of real time compositing. We’ve also developed and refined a diverse array of proprietary production tools. And our people are the best of the best, with advanced skills in live action film, HD production, CGI, digital compositing, matte painting, and on-line HD editing.

We are working really hard toward streamlining the difficult process of visual effects. Most people think of VFX like an all-day root canal. They’re expensive. They’re slow. They’re painful. We’re working hard to change that. For instance, on The Walking Dead, we’re showing how creating zombies digitally can be faster and less expensive than physically producing them using prosthetics—although the award-winning prosthetics on The Walking Dead are impressive and deserving of the accolades they receive.


The Walking Dead Season 2 Visual Effects Reel

Adobe: What does being at the forefront of technology mean from practical and business standpoints?

Nicholson: We’ve been able to grow a company based in Los Angeles to a company where we now have facilities in Los Angeles, Toronto, Berlin, Vancouver, Malta, Atlanta, Dubai, and soon Cairo. And what’s amazing is that we can go into countries like Germany or places in the Middle East and win the business, where their cost of business and labor is much lower. We’re not just involved in doing blockbuster features with unlimited budgets. Instead, we’re doing a lot of international TV shows and blockbusters where budgets are very, very low—but at the same time, we refuse to sacrifice quality and creativity. One major benefit is our use of Adobe Creative Cloud. The software is well integrated and easily attainable via Creative Cloud. Everyone is on the same version and it’s easy to update when our team members are working all over the world.

Adobe: How is it possible for Stargate to expand when other companies may be having difficulties?

Ealovega: We face a wide range of both creative and financial challenges and are always looking for flexibility and economy. We’re long time After Effects users—we began using it even before Adobe acquired the software from CoSA—and it is the lynchpin of our operations. We use Adobe Photoshop for all of our matte paintings. We're not an editing house per se, but Adobe Premiere Pro is our tool for ingesting everything, in pretty much any format. We’re also starting to use Adobe Prelude for reviewing and Adobe SpeedGrade for color grading VFX. With Creative Cloud, we can work with artists from all over the world and streamline our creative and production processes so we can pass the savings and creative options along to our clients.


The Walking Dead Season 2 Visual Effects Reel

Adobe: How does your process work?

Ealovega: We essentially started working in the cloud before Adobe Creative Cloud was a reality. Our clients present us with the rough edit on a show online. Then we gather the source EDL files and match them to the original camera source to be sure we’re on target.

We match up what we’re finding in Premiere Pro with what we’re seeing in After Effects and ingest it into our Stargate system that is capable of sharing files with each of our facilities. We transfer all the information into our VFX system and the assets then get transferred to the local digital asset management system on the site that’s designated to working on the project. Keep in mind that this is all transparent to the VFX and editorial departments. So essentially, any artist, staff, or supervisor in any of our global facilities can review material in real time, create proxies, and send a project to a render farm in the background.

Using our proprietary software, we can review a VFX spot, make assignments, and build projects in After Effects. The composited assets automatically land in the final facility, in the right color space specified by the client. The artist doesn't even have to know what color space is needed. It’s applied automatically.

Adobe: Why is Creative Cloud central to your workflow?

Nicholson: We work on productions shot all over the world at different frame rates and on multiple cameras. I think we work with, literally, almost every camera format ever invented. We have to be able to ingest material from every camera manufacturer in the world at everything from 6K to PAL and NTSC resolution. Truly, we can’t use anything but Premiere Pro. It’s the only system that will handle the different formats we’re shooting and throwing on the timeline.

Ealovega: I have to add that Creative Cloud, and After Effects in particular, is an open framework. We can add functionality to the software through open source tools. This has allowed us to write our own virtual operating system (“VOS”) to assist us in integrating all of our facilities. It’s one thing to say that you’ve got one big facility with an integrated pipeline. It’s an entirely different thing to say you have seven or eight facilities and to be able to span each of these facilities with render data and have artists flowing their work back and forth to one another. Our artists can literally click a flag of the country on their screens and it sends an automated delivery to that render farm and ensures it is rendered correctly and delivered to the right destination. We also have incorporated other tools into Creative Cloud so that we can view dailies very quickly, without spending a lot of per-seat licensing for codecs that would otherwise be required.


Stargate Studios

Adobe: What do you see as the vision for the future?

Nicholson: Frankly, we hope we are inventing it. We create about 10,000 shots a year—that’s 40 to 50 shots per day from simple driving comps to 3D interfaces involving our virtual backlot. Using our workflow, we’re really proud of the quality. We are shooting four to five cameras at 4K resolution simultaneously. So we’re talking about a 16K to 20K background, and every frame must be processed. We break the frames up on the back end to be as light as possible. Then we use After Effects as a front-end tool to proxy the footage, and stitch it all back together.

Think of it as real-time compositing on green screen. It reminds me of sound mixing. You wouldn’t mix one or two cuts like you do two or three scenes in a movie. Adobe products and our own innovation are leading us into a visual mixing arena where we are talking about time rather than an individual cut. It’s all about the automation and efficiency of the tools, so that artists can focus on the genuinely complex shots. We can increase our creative capabilities and quality at the same time. The world has changed so that feature-film quality is being achieved on television series, and that efficiency has reached new heights. Creative Cloud and our virtual operating system let us accomplish two times the shots most companies can achieve—all at half the budget. We think it’s a model that will succeed in a world where automation is vital yet the human, creative touch is essential.

Watch the video:http://tv.adobe.com/watch/customer-stories-video-film-and-audio/stargate-st...

Learn more about the video apps and services in Adobe Creative Cloud


Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud




Posted by: Adam Spiel on Nov 8, 2013 at 8:56:59 am After Effects, Customers

"We Are What We Are" enjoys theatrical release following Sundance premiere

Filmmaker’s third film edited with Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Premiere Pro

Countless filmmakers have launched their careers at the Sundance Film Festival, many going on to gain honors as highly regarded as an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. For Director Jim Mickle, having his third independent film, We Are What We Are, premiere in the Midnight category was nothing short of an honor. After cutting his first two films on Final Cut Pro, Mickle made the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud for his latest work. The film has now been released in theaters, and we talked with Mickle about how working at full resolution in Adobe Premiere Pro not only saved time, but helped him complete the film—from first draft to final edit—in just a year’s time.



Adobe: How did you come to the decision for your third feature to be a remake of a 2010 film by the same name?
Mickle: I’m not a big fan of remakes, but in this case we looked at the original as more of an interesting concept, a story that could happen anywhere. It isn’t a gross out horror movie; I consider it more of a cool, artsy drama. I knew of the Mexican film because it played at a lot of the same festivals as my last film. I knew the story, and it sounded like a cool movie. Instead of Mexico City, we based the story in rural upstate New York and the main characters are girls rather than boys. We built the rest of the story from there.

Adobe: What is your background in filmmaking?
Mickle: I went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where I started out doing work as a grip and production assistant. Then I went on to freelance for post-production houses that mostly did corporate and documentary work. During that time I worked with Final Cut and After Effects. My first movie, Mulberry Street, had a crazy low budget and I shot it with a Panasonic DVX 100. It got picked up and did pretty well. My second film was Stake Land, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and earned the Midnight Madness Audience Award. In between making my own movies I would always go back to my day job, editing to pay the bills. It was really great practice and helped prepare me to edit my own films.



Adobe: What made you decide to switch to Adobe Premiere Pro and Creative Cloud?
Mickle: My last film was shot on RED, and I transcoded everything to Pro Res. There was a lot of back and forth between Final Cut and After Effects and I only had Pro Res 2k files. I ended up going back and redoing all of the effects with the 4K raw files, which was pretty time consuming. I started shooting We Are What We Are at the end of May 2012, when Creative Cloud was just launching. When I heard that I wouldn’t have to do Pro Res working with Premiere Pro, I made the jump. I was able to use a 5K raw workflow for the entire film, without having to transcode.

Adobe: Did you do your own special effects?
Mickle: There are 60 effects in the film and I handed off 10 that were more 3D stuff. I did all of the compositing in After Effects. The film takes place during a big storm, so we did a lot of practical rain on set and a LOT of post rain in After Effects. We also made adjustments when, say, a house didn’t match the background. It’s really fun to make these adjustments while editing because if you didn’t get a shot on set you can make it up as you go along.



Adobe: Were there features in Adobe Premiere Pro that are worth noting?
Mickle: I used Warp Stabilizer in Premiere Pro and it was great. We have a lot of tricky dolly shots, and we wanted a really sleek look. I was really impressed with how it helped smooth everything out. I also like to do a lot of playing around with color. Even for rough cuts, I could adjust the color so it more closely matched the look I was going for. Being able to recolor a movie, reassign the ISO, and adjust the color temperature in Premiere Pro is awesome. Lastly, we did a lot of reframing and repositioning shots. I would say one third of shots are repositioned in some way. The film is a thriller, so there is a lot of zooming in. Working with raw files made it easy to push a shot to 300% without losing quality.

Adobe: What do you think of the Adobe Creative Cloud offering?
Mickle: The Creative Cloud membership is really awesome. I don’t know why more companies don’t offer software this way. I always knew I was working with the latest software versions, and I liked being able to store files and access them from anywhere. I also used Adobe Ideas to jot down notes for the VFX guys that I then accessed through the cloud. For independent filmmakers, it is an affordable solution that gives us access to all the tools we need to make the films that will get us noticed.



Adobe: What’s your next project?
Mickle: I just wrapped shooting on a new film called COLD IN JULY starring Michael C Hall, Sam Shepard, and Don Johnson. It’s a Southern Noir set in the 80s. I have lots of post ahead and it should be coming out sometime next year.

Interview with Jim Mickle at Sundance



Watch the We Are What We Are trailer



Watch Adobe & Sundance 2013 - Part 01

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud

Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud (you can download Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more)


Posted by: Adam Spiel on Nov 5, 2013 at 2:54:27 pm Premiere Pro, Customers

A bird’s-eye view of World War II

Emmy-winning documentary created for HISTORY includes 300 animations and 79 VFX shots created with Adobe video tools

When a television program wins an Emmy award for Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction, it must be something special. World War II from Space, a program commissioned by HISTORY, is a stunning 90-minute documentary visualizing key events from World War II from the vantage point of space. This was a huge creative endeavor with 300 animations and 79 VFX shots—all completed over the course of one and a half years by U.K. production company October Films and visual effects studio Prime Focus. Simon George wrote and directed the film, while Prime Focus created the VFX, led by Design and Animation Director Hazel Baird, and Creative Director Simon Clarke. We had a chance to sit down with George, Baird, and Clarke to discuss how the video tools in Adobe Creative Cloud, allowed them to create their own bird's eye view.



Adobe: How was World War II from Space different from other projects for Prime Focus?
Clarke: It was the first time that a show like this was created only using visual effects. The only live action is the interviews. Prime Focus engaged with October Films to co-direct, in a way. We wanted to make learning about World War II much more appealing to younger audiences, more exciting than black and white film images. We asked ourselves how we could get a new generation interested, while still layering in the amazing information we had from our faithful historians. Ultimately, we created 78 minutes of pure CG content for a 90 minute program.

Adobe: Can you tell us a little more about what makes World War II from Space special?
George: We were recounting the battles and shifting tides of the war from a bird’s eye view, so there was enormous reliance on animations and VFX to tell the story. We had to rely on globe-spanning maps and highly detailed computer animations to recreate events from Pearl Harbor to the atomic bomb. We wanted to create a new style that would be relevant for all ages and that would be visceral, informative and visually stunning.


Pop Culture Lens

Adobe: With so many VFX shots and animations over 90 minutes, what were your biggest personal challenges as a filmmaker?
George: I really liked the idea of telling the story from space, because it was such a grand concept that had never been attempted before but so many things in World War II were occurring simultaneously, and each influenced the other. There was also massive global geopolitical wrangling and the only way that can be captured in a visually stunning and meaningful way is from space. But I have to say as I started, I didn’t know if it was a good idea. Nine months into storyboarding, drawing, and designing, I still had some doubt: could we make it work? As a filmmaker, it is difficult to think of an idea that is so enormous. When you are shooting a drama, you have finite resources. Yet when you are building everything in CGI, anything is possible. Our biggest challenge was how to rein the show in, yet make it exciting.

Adobe: How did you stay organized with so much going on?
George: The hub we used to stay in sync was a combination of Adobe Story and Adobe Premiere Pro. The last thing I wanted was a bunch of different drafts of the script flying around, so I used Adobe Story for writing. Once I made changes, they were instantly reflected online so the producers, editors, and designers could see where my head was at in an instant. Then I had all the interviews with people like Pulitzer prize-winning historian David Kennedy transcribed and brought into Adobe Story. Everything could be shared instantly. We married the transcoded text with images and grabbed bits we needed using metadata and put them onto the Premiere Pro timeline.


Map Lens

Adobe: How did you actually capture the interviews with all of these top historians and military brass?
George: We had to be pretty methodical to keep everything organized. We flew to The Pentagon, San Francisco, and to a variety of places to interview leading historians. We shot the interviews on ARRI ALEXA cameras in ProRes, so the project was pretty large. Then we came back and got the files transcribed. We imported clips into Premiere Pro and put clip numbers on the text in Adobe Story. So rather than doing cuts on paper, we cut them together in Premiere Pro on screen, live. The integration between Adobe tools saved a massive amount of time. We could even type in a word and locate that particular text and put a clip in, literally saving days. That’s the challenge with documentaries: there is so much material to keep organized. We had the concept down, but we started seeing how it would really come together once we started cutting everything together in Premiere Pro. We would even block things out as rough storyboards, such as the Pearl Harbor attack, scan them into Premiere Pro to see how it was working and get a good idea of how to move forward.

Adobe: Tell us more about the actual design process?
Baird: I started off creating mood boards to show the different design approaches we could do. Once I had an understanding of where to go I started designing the look of the different styles (lenses). There were about six, Tech lens (UI Graphics), Pop Culture, Graphic lens etc. But because of the varying lenses I was worried that it could look a bit mismatched so I came up with a grid that is present in all the animations that ties them together. I used After Effects to create my storyboard images. I prefer using After Effects so I already understand how the elements are going to move. I have worked like that for years and like that approach.


Tech Lens

Adobe: What were you responsible for, working with the team at Prime Focus?
Baird: I was responsible for all the animations. For example, the six styles (lenses) were created in After Effects. Our team at Prime Focus would get the written notes from Simon George detailing what needs to happen in that scene (battle scenes, maps, etc.) and then we would use one of the styles to bring it to life visually in After Effects. If there were mock ups of old documents we would create these in Photoshop and then bring it into After Effects to animate.

We worked a lot of the more complex sequences out using a combination of CINEMA 4D and After Effects. The integration between these two programs is fantastic for speeding up the workflow. Every time there was a text shot, we would design it in 3D. We also did a lot of the post-production in After Effects to simulate atmospheric conditions and made a lot of particle fields.

Adobe: What were some of your favorite scene elements?
Baird: I loved doing the title sequence, as well as the scenes where I had to mock up documents to look like blueprints. I researched 1940s documents and maps from the War Museum in London to get a sense of the style back then. We often dirtied the images in Photoshop and then brought them into After Effects. The tech lenses looked great too; it really helped bring certain scenes to life. The photographs where we used parallax to give depth came out brilliantly and we used a combination of After Effects and Fusion (VFX) to create this effect. We were proud of how they looked on screen.


Paralexed Lens

Adobe: When did you start believing that the whole concept of using an orbital view of events would work?
George: We had the design down but also had the first six minutes of the film working, and we recognized that the look was exciting and visually stunning. We showed it to HISTORY and they were very excited with the results. But then when they wanted to roll with it, we started to feel a lot of pressure to move quickly, so we had to stay focused and work long hours. Every time something was finished, we put it back into Premiere Pro, so we didn’t have miscellaneous files disseminated all over the place.

Adobe: How was the film finished?
Baird: The initial coloring we did for most of the animations in After Effects didn't change much. We then brought all the shots into Premiere Pro and made any last tweaks. After that, we did a three-day color grade in Baselight to balance everything out and create a slightly darker grown up feel. We finished 80 shots that required a ton of motion tracking in eight months. We had a lot of image volume to work through. It was a little grueling, with long days and late nights, but it was also very rewarding.


Real Globe Lens

Adobe: Would you do this again?
George: This project has been quite a learning journey, in terms of telling a huge story in a way that brings all the visual conventions and imagery of modern war reporting to World War II. But I think it really gave viewers a fresh interpretation of the war. Telling almost everything graphically is so freeing and exciting. Yes, I would do a project like this again. The process was fascinating and we’re happy with the end result.

Clarke: As a result of the success of World War II from Space, we’ve been talking about creating other types of shows like this with October Films. It has opened the eyes of other commissioners and broadcasters. These types of projects have always had a very stereotyped format, and now there’s an appetite to try to push the visual aesthetic to a whole new level. There is a whole new generation to expose to the history of their fathers and grandfathers. From a social point of view, it's quite important. We’re translating the legacy to a new audience in a visceral and powerful way that enables them to engage with it. It is important for us to keep pace with the audience’s level of expectation, so the stories can survive and be passed on to a new generation.

Learn more about the video apps and services in Adobe Creative Cloud


Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud



Posted by: Adam Spiel on Oct 29, 2013 at 1:36:14 pm After Effects, Customers

Darren Orange moves from role-playing games to feature films

Creative Cloud powers the production workflow for Reactor 88

Reactor 88 is an independent production company based near Chicago with a unique focus on creating films based on role-playing game narratives. The company’s first production, InSpectres was released in September 2013 and the team is hard at work on their second film, Dead News Report. We spoke with Darren Orange, CEO of Reactor 88, about their films, their inspiration, and their tools.

What drew you into filmmaking?

It was a complete accident. I wanted to make video games originally, but when I made a short film to illustrate the concept for a video game idea, I got hooked on the filmmaking part. I dropped my game aspirations and start making movies. I made a lot of short films at first and it grew from there. I will never forget my first project. The weather was extremely cold and we were all in shorts and t-shirts but I had such a blast working with my team. It brought home to me how collaborative filmmaking is. I realized I would never have experiences like this in video game work - fun though that must be, too.



What is it about role-playing games that provides great content for films?

Role-playing games at their core have always been more about telling stories than about creating worlds. And for me personally, as a filmmaker it makes sense to me to focus on telling great stories. There are a lot of other creative people in the role-playing game world who are passionate about creating the worlds. I am comfortable relying on their talents and putting my efforts into the characters and how the narrative unfolds from their personalities. This is another example of the collaborative aspect of filmmaking that I love.

How long have you been using Adobe Premiere Pro?

I've used Adobe Premiere since 1999. I started on version 5.1 or 5.0. I originally learned how to use the software to create anime music videos. Only after that did I realize I could make any kind of film this way. Learning to edit was amazingly liberating: I realized what kind of power this put into my hands. Later on I drifted over to Final Cut, but I'm back with Premiere Pro now.



What made you switch back to Premiere Pro?

To be honest it’s kind of hard to say why I ever left Premiere Pro. I think maybe it was just peer pressure. I came back because Premiere started to support so many different native formats, including H.264, which we used to shoot InSpectres. It was so much easier to work in Premiere Pro than it was in the other software. I'm glad to say that I'm staying with Premiere Pro now for good: it's just the best editing platform out there, no question. Adobe has done a fantastic job at pushing development and making the Creative Cloud video tools into the most capable, the most dynamic, and the most complete workflow solution there is.

You used Adobe Audition extensively on InSpectres.

Yes we used Audition for pretty much all the sound for InSpectres, from sweetening the audio recorded on location to adding sound effects to the final mix and 5.1 surround sound for our DCP for our theatrical release. We worked in Audition over an eight-month period and it was a great experience. We pushed the limits of our hardware, but the software could just keep on going. The most impressive thing for me was the noise reduction, which allowed us to retain over 90% of our location sound: it was a massive time and cost saver. But it also matters to me as a director to be able to use as much of our original audio as possible.



Was it hard for you as a video editor to get used to Audition?

Audition was easy for me to pick up and learn. It felt like I was editing video so I found the transition was very easy. My co-producer Sean Czaja has lots of experience doing sound work and he was also able to get up to speed in Audition very quickly.

Sean also did all of our visual effects shots for InSpectres in After Effects.

In your next film you are moving to an all Creative Cloud workflow. What led to that decision?

I don't want to have to worry about which applications will work with which, or whether they will support industry standard formats and cameras. And I need support I can count on, no question. Simply put: Adobe rocks when it comes to working with everything out there on the market and the community around Adobe is like none other. Another thing that matters to me, which many filmmakers seem to forget about, is that, at some point, you are going to have to archive your work. Do you want to archive your work across all kinds of different software and be unsure of future support? Again, Adobe is the clear choice for me.

Tell us about your next project.

Dead News Report is a post-apocalyptic story about a group of survivors trying to reach a news station which they discover is still broadcasting. This film has been a long time coming. The original concept was created by my mentor Bill Allan back in 2002. Since then, a lot of things have changed: it’s no longer a kind of newsroom drama, but much more of an epic story. While there are zombies in the picture, the film focuses on the characters. The story is all about people finding their purpose in life and how that purpose can affect others.

Is it hard to move from comedy to such intense drama?

Not really. I generally lean towards more serious work anyway. That being said Dead News Report is going to be challenging for the actors in terms of where they need to go emotionally. I try to learn everything I can about everything involved with the film. This includes researching real-world examples of the emotions that the characters experience. I think as a director not only do you need to be technically excellent and really connect with the actors, but you really need to feel what the actors are going though. It's a kind of empathy, getting that connection with the performance and helping the actors get there by understanding how the things that they are experiencing would affect people in real life.

Where do you hope to go with Reactor 88?

We have a whole slate of films that we would like to produce. We have a very pragmatic strategy. We want to keep our focus on turning games into movies. The feature after Dead News Report gets back to that and we already have the first draft for that script. Going forward I hope we will evolve into a preeminent intellectual property production company.

What would you advise someone who is considering moving to the Creative Cloud production tools?

What are you waiting for? Take everything you're doing now and just plug it in. The system is designed to support your workflow at any stage. Take any scripts or concepts and get them into Adobe Story and go from there. It’s so nice having every part of pre-production to postproduction all in one place and knowing that all the pieces will work seamlessly with each other. It runs on OSX or PC and there is even a free version of Story. Get started now, there's no excuse!

Darren Orange has been a Creative Cloud member since July 2013. He is the founder of Reactor 88 and has been at the head of its production development since 2003.

To learn more about Reactor 88 visit www.r88s.com

To learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud: http://www.adobe.com/products/speedgrade.html?sdid=KIWHJ

Try Adobe Creative Cloud:
http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/buying-guide.html?sdid=KIWHK


Posted by: Adam Spiel on Oct 28, 2013 at 12:11:27 pm filmmaking, postproduction

Brilliant Visuals | Fluid Workflows

Over 150 new pro video features coming to Creative Cloud in October

This week at IBC, we’ll be showing off many awesome new features coming in the October 2013 releases of the Creative Cloud pro video tools. Instead of the usual 12 or 18-month wait, we’re proud to be offering the major updates just four months after the original CC products were launched. Over 150 new features will help you deliver brilliant visuals with a richer toolset and even more integrated workflows. Along with significant updates to Adobe Premiere® Pro CC, After Effects® CC, SpeedGrade® CC, Prelude™ CC, Adobe Media Encoder CC, and Adobe Story CC Plus, we will also preview a cool new iPad app, Prelude Live Logger, which is in final development. In this post we want to share some of the highlights with you.

Direct Link integrated color pipeline
Now you can really take your creative vision to the next level with the new color pipeline between Adobe Premiere Pro CC and SpeedGrade CC. Open Adobe Premiere Pro projects inside SpeedGrade CC for color grading, and send them back to Adobe Premiere Pro CC where you can continue editing with color corrections and looks applied. Use the new SpeedLooks in SpeedGrade CC to add instant cinematic vibrance to your productions. Move easily back and forth between the applications as you fine-tune your edits and grades in one integrated workflow.



Brilliant visuals at 4K and beyond
New cameras and formats keep on appearing. With Adobe Premiere Pro CC you can work fluidly and efficiently with 4K and higher resolution, Ultra HD, and RAW footage, including the latest digital file- and camera formats, such as CinemaDNG , RED Dragon, Sony F65, AVC Long GOP/XAVC Long GOP, AVC Ultra, and others. There’s really no need to waste time transcoding and rewrapping footage—with Adobe Premiere Pro CC you get right to work on your content.

New mask tools for faster workflows
Quickly create masks and apply effects that automatically travel frame by frame throughout your compositions. Mask Tracker in After Effects CC eliminates the need for repeated manual adjustments to your masks and saves you from repetitive rotoscoping. SpeedGrade CC now offers support for multiple grading masks: add masks to individual layers within a grade, so you can save and copy all of them in a single action—and move through your projects more efficiently.



A more streamlined editing environment
Editors, like all artists, need to stay in the creative flow: the mechanics of the tools shouldn’t interfere with the artistic process of crafting the story. Among a host of workflow enhancements big and small, Adobe Premiere Pro CC now offers a new monitor overlay showing key data, such as time codes and camera angles, during playback. Enhanced multicam support makes it easy to turn individual camera angles on or off or rearrange angles as you edit. Adobe Premiere Pro CC also adds support for captions in MXF media and encoding to CEA-708 standards, as well as audio monitoring to automatically mix down multi-channel audio for stereo playback.

Greater efficiency on set
Prelude CC adds new features, such as support for GoPro footage and metadata, and the ability to export clips and subclips, as well as rough cuts from the Project panel. Print out your marker list so you can easily review your content on set with your production team.



And then there’s Prelude Live Logger, a new iPad app in final development. With Live Logger, you can begin recording notes on your iPad while your crew shoots. After ingesting your footage, combine your Live Logger comments and tags with the rest of your metadata in Prelude CC so that all your information is available for editing and postproduction.

Powerful image upscaling
Resolutions are going up, up, up. Now you can preserve detail and sharpness in After Effects CC as you upscale footage for new higher resolution delivery formats. Transform SD material to HD or 2K to 4K—the new up-scaling effect retains edge detail and reduces noise and artifacts.



Smoother production planning
Efficient scheduling and smart use of resources, crew, and talent is the key to controlling production costs. Adobe Story CC delivers with new import and export support, including set lists, character lists, and tag lists, along with other refinements.

Performance optimizations
Analyze your footage dramatically faster with new multithreaded parallel processing for the Warp Stabilizer VFX and the 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects CC, as well as improved Warp Stabilizer performance in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. GPU optimizations in After Effects CC, including enhancements to the ray-traced 3D renderer, provide improved performance with extruded text and shapes. Also, all current Intel HD Graphics GPUs can now be used for OpenGL acceleration. And here’s something for Adobe Media Encoder fans: AME CC now offers GPU rendering for faster performance.

Better media management
Find and load video assets with the new Media Browser in After Effects CC. Link and Locate has been improved in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, for example with proxy file workflows when linking back to source content. Adobe Media Encoder CC now provides automated image processing for customized media output, including watermarks, time codes, and image processing, such as “baking in” Look Up Tables (LUTs).

All of this and more will be available in the October 2013 versions of the Creative Cloud pro video tools. See many of the new features in action on Adobe TV http://tv.adobe.com/show/adobe-at-ibc-2013/

Visit our IBC 2013 page page to catch the buzz from the show floor in Amsterdam - http://www.adobe.com/go/ibc2013

To join Creative Cloud, visit http://adobe.ly/15vvGxk


Posted by: Adam Spiel on Sep 8, 2013 at 9:02:53 pm pro video, update

New Adobe Creative Cloud Applications Now Available

Significant upgrades to Adobe Premiere Pro CC and other pro video tools

The wait is over: the new Creative Cloud applications are now available. Creative Cloud members can download all the latest Creative Cloud video tools including After Effects CC, Adobe Audition CC, Adobe Prelude CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, SpeedGrade CC, and Adobe Story CC Plus. Creative Cloud members will also have access to all the other new Creative Cloud applications, such as Photoshop CC and Adobe Muse CC.

Video professionals of all stripes will benefit from hundreds of new features and enhancements, providing them with better integration, greater creative scope, and a more efficient workflow. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Editing Finesse UI and workflow refinements in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
Lumetri Deep Color Engine integration in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Audio clip mixer in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Live 3D Pipeline between After Effects CC and MAXON CINEMA 4D Lite (included with After Effects)
Refine Edge tool in After Effects CC
Shot Matcher in SpeedGrade CC
Sound Remover in Adobe Audition CC
Preview Editor in Adobe Audition CC
Hover scrub thumbnails in Adobe Prelude CC
Adobe Story CC Plus script metadata support in Adobe Prelude CC and Adobe Premiere Pro CC

You can read a more in-depth overview of the new features here. http://bit.ly/ZlzXj9

“When I saw the integration offered by Adobe Creative Cloud, I could hardly wait to get started,” said filmmaker and visual effects supervisor Hasraf (HaZ) Dulull. “The learning curve was virtually nil. I moved among Audition, After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop, but it never felt like I was jumping from compositing to editing. The whole experience felt like one big environment. What made it even more incredible was that I did it all on my Macbook Pro laptop hooked up with cinema display screen and external raid drive.”



The new pro video applications were first revealed in April at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) exhibition in Las Vegas. “The response at NAB was incredible,” said Bill Roberts, Director of Product Management for Video and Audio at Adobe. “The Creative Cloud releases of our pro video tools are really strong across the board. With the efficient new Creative Cloud model, our teams are poised to deliver new features on an ongoing basis. We think our users are going to love this.”

“It was a no-brainer in terms of going with Adobe Creative Cloud,” said Kyle Alvarez, whose latest film C.O.G. premiered at Sundance and recently won the Grand Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival. “It offers virtually effortless access to all the latest software and it’s always there for us. We use Encore, Media Encoder, Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Bridge, and After Effects, for everything from effects to movie posters—and the software really integrates perfectly together.”

While the feedback from current Creative Cloud members has been overwhelmingly positive, the initial reactions to the new Creative Cloud model, announced at MAX on May 7, have varied. “We realize that some in the community are still unsure about Creative Cloud, but as we go forward, people will realize that this approach brings us much closer to our users,” explained Roberts. “The tools and the whole model will evolve in a much more collaborative environment than was the case in the old days of boxed software and big, expensive releases.”

“The low monthly price of Creative Cloud makes it really affordable for independent filmmakers and smaller post-production companies to get Adobe software,” said director and editor Jacob Rosenberg (Waiting for Lightning). “So far, it’s been seamless using Adobe Creative Cloud.”

“Creative Cloud provides a backend infrastructure for the tools, including storage, Sync Settings, an easy mechanism for staying up-to-date, and access to resources,” said Steve Forde, Senior Product Manager for After Effects. “As the digital media creation process evolves, this kind of infrastructure will become more important for our users. It’s a connected world and our creative tools should be connected, too.”

Learn more about Creative Cloud and the new pro video applications: http://adobe.ly/13872E5

Adobe is currently offering special introductory pricing on Creative Cloud: http://adobe.ly/170cRqV


Posted by: Adam Spiel on Jun 17, 2013 at 9:31:55 pmComments (1) Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro

The Punk Rocker Who Became a Filmmaker

Richard Jobson uses all Adobe Pipeline on Wayland’s Song

We really pushed the boundaries of what you can do with the Creative Cloud software. For me, it's almost like being in a punk band again with Adobe: SpeedGrade and After Effects are my drummer and my bass player and Premiere Pro is my guitarist, who’s been getting much better. I have my band, and now I can tell my stories.
- Richard Jobson

Leveraging the complete Adobe Creative Cloud toolset, Wayland’s Song, which premiered at Cannes on May 25, 2013, was written and directed by Richard Jobson. A former movie critic and television host, Jobson started his career as the charismatic front man for 1970’s punk band, The Skids. After working in broadcast, he began screenwriting in 2000 and was soon directing short films and game cinematics. Early writing and directing highlights included Heartlands, and 16 Years or Alcohol.

As an independent filmmaker Jobson brings a practical, can-do attitude to his work, producing movies that are technically innovative and pioneering in terms of subject matter; such as his visually powerful 2009 human trafficking short, The Journey.


Filmmaker Richard Jobson speaks about Waylands Song at Adobe&Filmmakers event.

Already familiar with Photoshop and After Effects, Jobson started editing with Adobe Premiere Pro in 2011 to conform and finish The Somnambulists – an arresting portrayal of fallen service personnel, recounting their experiences in Iraq, from beyond the grave.

“Premiere Pro allowed me to go back to the original, native rushes that I shot in camera, without changing or degrading the image,” said Jobson. No other software allowed me to do that. With Premiere Pro’s dynamic link to After Effects, completing the film in Adobe software was a no-brainer for me.”

For his latest feature film, Wayland’s Song, Richard Jobson moved to an all Adobe workflow: Starting with Adobe Story Plus, which he used for script editing, preproduction planning, and to generate detailed production schedules, all the material was moved smoothly through Adobe Prelude, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Adobe Audition, and finally SpeedGrade for finishing.

Creating Wayland’s Song
Inspired by a Nordic myth, Wayland’s Song tells the story of a British soldier returning from Afghanistan. While the world he left behind him seemed dark and medieval, the world he returns to appears little better. He discovers that his daughter has disappeared and the film follows his search for her, a journey through friendship, tragedy and ultimately revenge.



“I have always loved a kind of graphic sensibility in my stories,” reflected Jobson. “The Wayland character has almost been lifted from a graphic novel. I love that type of thing. In all of my films I use the camera and lighting to create this quality.”

Wayland’s Song was beautifully shot on the Canon C300 by Director of Photography Andrei Austin. Offload, back-up and ingest was done with Adobe Prelude, which the production team used for shot-logging, adding metadata for use in postproduction, and pre-editing.

Adobe Prelude was used for camera file ingest and shot logging on Wayland's Song.

Visual effects and graphics were created entirely in Photoshop and After Effects, including a series of colorful, experimental sequences portraying the main character’s collapse into a seizure. “I suffer from epilepsy myself, and I wanted to visualize that overwhelming sensory experience, where mind and body are flooded with light and you enter a world of hyper reality,” said Jobson.

The film was edited by Steven Sander in Adobe Premiere Pro. Moving to a native workflow allowed for a much faster pipeline that required no transcoding or rewrapping of files. XDCAM, Apple ProRes and H.264 codecs were all mixed on the same timeline in a smooth, seamless process. The combination of HP hardware, an Nvidia Quadro 5000 graphics card and the Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere Pro eliminated rendering from the editing process and allowed instant feedback when working with complex visual effects.



“I was instantly impressed by the speed and responsiveness of Premiere Pro,” said Sander. “It seemed to handle everything we threw at it and it was great to be able to switch between Mac and Windows hardware, as needed, without converting sequences or media.”

Audio clean-up and mixing was done in Adobe Audition by musician and composer Keith Atack, who previously worked with Jobson on Heartlands and 16 Years of Alcohol. “This was a really fun and challenging project. A number of the team have a background in video game production and we tried to bring some of that dynamic to both the visuals and the sound design,” said Atack. “Audition lets me to work quickly and intuitively, allowing me as a sound designer to stay in the creative moment and get instant feedback. That was really useful for the more experimental sections of the film.”


Audio editing for Wayland's Song was done in Adobe Audition.

Grading and finishing were completed in SpeedGrade by colorist Dado Valentic at his MyTherapy facility in central London. Valentic has been a longtime SpeedGrade user.

“We actually developed the looks for the project in SpeedGrade before we started production,” explained Jobson. “This allowed us to view our shots as they came in with the creative looks applied. It was really helpful - just one of the ways that these tools allowed us to work faster and more efficiently.”


Colorist Dado Valentic talks about his work with SpeedGrade on Wayland's Song.

“Richard gave me a lot of creative freedom on this project,” said Valentic, “so I could really put SpeedGrade through its paces. I applied technical looks, which I created to adjust the camera color spaces, along with the creative looks Richard used during production. With SpeedGrade, all of these color adjustments are layered so it’s easy to combine all of them for a final result that is both color corrected and stylized with the artistic look of the film.”

Filmmaking with Adobe Creative Cloud
Jobson joined Creative Cloud in 2012, soon after it became available, and couldn’t be happier with the service and the tools. “Adobe Story Plus gives me a great place to start my projects, and with the whole package I have all the tools for production right through to finishing. This software gives me the freedom to make films the way I want to make them.”

Wayland’s Song premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival on May 18 and will see theatrical distribution in the UK and Europe in September 2013.

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud here: http://adobe.ly/ZyiScn

Join Richard Jobson for a free Ask a Video Pro online seminar at 10 am PST on June 13, 2013 - http://adobe.ly/p6ZMbd


Posted by: Adam Spiel on May 31, 2013 at 11:33:06 am filmmaking, premiere pro

Kappa Studios and Annoying Orange



Kappa Studios switches from Avid to an all Adobe workflow for the production of Cartoon Network's new hit show Annoying Orange. This animated series originated online and when viewership broke a billion views it was time to take the production to broadcast. With the demand for extremely quick turn around Kappa Studios knew only Adobe video tools could meet their needs for complicated animation and accelerated post workflows to make the production a success. Watch on Adobe TV


Posted by: Adam Spiel on Feb 14, 2013 at 1:23:01 pm

Reinventing Video Creation with Adobe Creative Cloud

Just like people are shifting from consuming books and video content as physical media to digital and online consumption, Adobe is evolving from shipping shrink-wrapped boxes to offering easily downloadable software through the Cloud. You may or may not have heard about Adobe Creative Cloud, but you’ve probably heard about Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Premiere Pro. Creative Cloud is the most convenient and affordable way to get these powerful Adobe Creative Suite desktop tools with ongoing updates, plus many more tools and services like Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Story Plus and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, so you can deliver professional video productions from script to screen and beyond. All for less than the price of a cup of coffee per day!

On December 11th, Adobe announced new Photoshop features exclusive to Creative Cloud members, the availability of Creative Cloud for teams, and other news. In this article, you’ll learn more about Creative Cloud and why it might be a great choice for you, and get the scoop on the recent announcements.



Integrated tools for faster video production

So, what exactly is in Creative Cloud? For video professionals, Adobe offers industry-leading tools that cover the complete production workflow from ‘plan’ to ‘playback’. Creative Cloud is the way you download all the tightly integrated Creative Suite tools and services you need to create everything from documentaries and commercials to television news and feature films. One of the advantages of Creative Cloud membership is the ability to get ongoing feature updates, newly released products and more to stay up to date – all for one affordable monthly price. Creative Cloud gives you the following powerful pre- and post-production software tools:

• Adobe Premiere Pro for editing your way with true native format support, real-time performance, a sleek user interface, and the ability to mix and match formats on a single timeline. Adobe Premiere Pro offers tight integration with After Effects and Photoshop, as well as roundtrip editing workflows with Audition and inter-operability with other non-linear editing software and third party tools – so you can streamline your post-production workflow.
• Adobe After Effects for visual effects, motion graphics, compositing, and animation. After Effects CS6 is faster and more responsive than ever before thanks to a powerful new caching system called Global Performance Cache, while new 3D advancements such as the 3D Camera Tracker and 3D Ray-traced engine introduce a new creative dimension.
• Adobe Photoshop Extended for digital imaging magic, new creative options, and the Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine for blazingly fast performance. Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended delivers all the imaging magic in Photoshop CS6 plus 3D graphic design and image analysis tools*.
• Adobe Audition for efficient audio editing, sound design, and mixing
• Adobe SpeedGrade for advanced color-grading and finishing
• Adobe Prelude for easy shot logging, previewing, and rough cut assembly
• Adobe Story Plus for powerful screenwriting, production scheduling, and reporting

But these are just some of the tools and services in Creative Cloud that are specific to a video workflow. Read on to learn about all of the other great tools and services that will also help you promote yourself or build your business!



Filmmakers around the world are discovering how tools in Creative Cloud can speed up their production workflows. Customers like Academy Award winners Rob Legato (HUGO) and David Fincher (The Social Network), and top broadcasters like Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNN, BBC, Hearst, and Turner are using Adobe products to create compelling feature films and broadcast content. Adobe has received great feedback about Adobe CS6 video products, with tens of thousands of people switching from Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer to Adobe Premiere Pro, including Bill Yukich (Red Hot Chili Peppers- “Brendan’s Death Song”), Philip Bloom, Vincent Laforet, Popular (Burton Snowboards “13”), Second City Communications, Sandals Resorts, and Bill & Ben Productions / Made Visual Studios (A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman).


Great ongoing value for both individuals and teams

At $29.99US per month for your first year for upgrading Creative Suite customers or $49.99US per month standard pricing (annual contract), Creative Cloud offers all the tools in CS6 Master Collection plus a host of services including Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition, Adobe Business Catalyst, Adobe Muse, and helpful training content.

Creative Cloud has various membership offerings: you can join with an annual membership, or sign up for a month-to-month membership. You get the most economical value when you sign up for an annual Creative Cloud membership. If you are thinking of switching to Adobe Premiere Pro, you can try the 30-day trial included as part of a Creative Cloud free membership or sign up for the month-to-month membership with no cancellation strings attached, giving you the flexibility to experiment with the software as you like.

Aside from flexible membership options, Creative Cloud offers members exclusive and immediate access to the latest updates and product innovations as soon as they are released including:
Over a dozen new Photoshop features announced December 11, 2012 — including Smart Object support for Blur Gallery and Liquify for non-destructive editing freedom, new workflow timesavers, new 3D options, Conditional Actions that will run only under set parameters, and more. In addition, this latest release offers Retina display support**.
Illustrator new features released in August 2012 that will let you automatically package Illustrator projects and their related files for fast and accurate hand-offs, quickly unembed images in Illustrator files, and more efficiently access information in linked files.
Adobe Story regular updates - with eight updates so far this last year.
Exclusive Adobe Dreamweaver features announced in September 2012, including easier authoring of HTML5-based websites, new support for compositions from Adobe Edge Animate, more robust FTP transfers, and more.
New Adobe Muse features allow you to create unique layouts for mobile versions of websites, without writing code.

Also announced on December 11th, businesses or workgroups can now get Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, which offers all the perks of a Creative Cloud individual membership, plus 100GB of cloud-based storage per person, and direct access to Adobe’s support experts. In addition, Creative Cloud for teams includes administration tools for centrally deploying and tracking your licenses, making it easy to manage your software investment. You can easily assign or redeploy seats – or assign an administrator the rights to do so – as the team grows or changes. Creative Cloud for teams is priced at $49.99US per user per month for your first year for upgrading Adobe CS3 or later customers, with standard pricing of $69.99US per user per month (annual membership).

Previously, Creative Cloud for individuals was only available on Adobe.com and through select retailers like Amazon and Staples. But Creative Cloud for teams is available through Adobe's extensive network of certified resellers worldwide. So wherever you live, chances are likely that Creative Cloud is now available to you.


Tools and services for promoting your work

Many of our professional video customers use other Adobe products such as Acrobat, Dreamweaver, and Lightroom. With Creative Cloud membership, you have access to all your favorite tools you use on a regular basis, but also have the opportunity to try and use other Adobe products and services, so you can learn new skills and expand your repertoire, or reach new people in new ways. Many customers use these other tools as a complement to Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and other video tools or to promote their videos to their audience:

• Write scripts and organize your production with schedules and reports using Adobe Story Plus
• Create storyboards, pitches, posters, flyers, and other documents for your film with Acrobat and Adobe InDesign
• Create and host a website to promote and sell your films using Adobe Muse (with no coding) or Dreamweaver (if you are comfortable doing some coding), and our web hosting services called Business Catalyst (not only do we give you the tools to build your site, we'll even host up to 5 published websites for you, at no additional cost!)
• Publish your portfolio as an iPad app or create an iPhone app for your film using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition – with unlimited publishing of as many apps as you can create.
• Organize and manage your photos and pull high-res stills with Lightroom

And with the Creative Cloud Training offering, also announced on December 11th, you get access to an extensive library of cross-product tutorials and trial courses from renowned training partners Kelby Training, video2brain, and Attain as part of your Creative Cloud membership. You can use Creative Cloud Training to master the art of postproduction using the latest features in Adobe CS6 video products, or learn one of the above new tools that you’ve always wanted to try. We’ll be rolling out this new offering in the next week.


Try it yourself
As you can see, Creative Cloud membership gives you one powerful, comprehensive, and continuously updated toolset for creating and promoting your work using an integrated Adobe workflow, for an affordable monthly price. Try it yourself for free and let us know what you think in the Comments section below. What works well for you? What could we do better? What does Creative Cloud do for you?

Try Creative Cloud for free
Learn more about Creative Cloud
Learn more about the video products in Creative Cloud
Read about recent Creative Cloud announcements
See the Creative Cloud membership options


* 3D features and some GPU-enabled features are not supported on Microsoft® Windows® XP.
**Retina display support in Photoshop Extended is not exclusive to Creative Cloud members.


Posted by: Adam Spiel on Dec 11, 2012 at 6:09:04 pmComments (1)

Popular switches to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 for latest Burton Snowboards film—“13”

Award-winning creative company produces epic work using a variety of footage and an Adobe centered workflow

Imagine some of the world’s most progressive snowboarders risking their lives to shoot in beautiful remote locations—all cut to great music. This year, Burton Snowboards chased winter to produce an original film to kick off the season, inspiring both core riders and newcomers to the sport. The creative production company behind this year’s project is Popular, a studio recognized for originating authentic athlete, personality, and lifestyle- driven creative for film, commercials, and branded entertainment. The award-winning partners of Popular—David Tindale and Jeremy Pettit—sat down with Adobe to share their experience switching from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 software to put together 13, Burton’s action-packed film for 2013.



Adobe: Tell us about the film.

Tindale: The 45-minute film is Burton’s primary marketing vehicle for the 2013 season. The purpose of 13 is to inspire all snowboarders to get out and ride. Burton is iconic and steeped in heritage. Our goal was to create a film that represents snowboarding today, showcasing the creativity of each team rider and how they progress the sport in their individual ways. The film premiered in eight cities around the world and was released on iTunes, DVD, and Blu-ray. The premiere tour continues in local Burton stores and dealers eventually finding its way to every local shop’s TV — all 4,300 of them.



Adobe: What was Popular’s role?

Pettit: This was our second year directing a film with Burton. We worked six film crews, chasing snow and terrain to film some of the most progressive snowboarders all over the world, including Danny Davis, Mikkel Bang, John Jackson, Mark Sollors, Mikey Rencz, Jussi Oksanen, Terje Haakonsen, Jeremy Jones, Zak Hale, Ethan Deiss, Seppe Smits, Werni Stock, Roope Tonteri, and more. The riders’ styles are all different and it was important for Burton to feature a variety of unique, undiscovered locations to best showcase their varying disciplines. The team stepped it up this year with everyone logging solid footage of advanced and innovative tricks from the streets to the backcountry. We work with several film crews over the season, each submitting footage on a monthly basis, this was like our dailies.



We would make comments, provide input, and log everything—the Media Browser in Adobe Premiere Pro was a huge help. Near the end of the season we hit the road with a small crew, tight grip and light package, and a smoke machine to shoot the creative action and lifestyle that comprised the opening movie intro and rider interstitials. From the end of the season through the summer our focus was on the edit. Just getting the footage organized was pretty amazing. We had a nine terabyte (TB) internal drive and 18 TBs of external drives filled with footage. Throughout the whole process, we worked closely with the team at Burton, including Bryan Knox, global director of team marketing and media, and Evan Rose, creative director.




Adobe: You previously used Final Cut Pro. We understand this was really one of the first times you had ever used Adobe Premiere Pro. Why did you switch?

Tindale: This was our first film stepping into full 1080 resolution. We knew we would be working with different camera formats and needed an editing solution that could handle everything. Footage was shot on RED Scarlet and Epic cameras, mainly—but some Cineflex, Panasonic HPX, GPS, GoPro, and a variety of DSLR cameras. It was incredible to just throw it all onto the Adobe Premiere Pro timeline and get straight to work. I think the main thing was the ability to deal with all these different formats. With so much footage and a tight timeline it was amazing to jump right into the edit and skip the time-consuming process of transcoding all of our footage.

Adobe: What was the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro like?

Pettit: The switch was pretty straightforward. We started working with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 on an ESPN project last spring. I needed to work fast, so I just mapped the keyboard shortcuts from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere Pro. But with the Burton project we moved to CS6 and I started using the regular Adobe Premiere Pro keyboard shortcuts—it wasn’t difficult. The improvements in the Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 interface made it more user friendly than the previous version. I love the “log and transfer” capabilities, such as the ability to see big thumbnails and scrub through them, set your project in and out points, and drop everything into your timeline. We were still learning as we went, but we found that right away, Adobe Premiere Pro is great for getting down to business.



Adobe: What other Adobe Creative Cloud components do you use?

Tindale: We used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop a lot for titling and graphics. Everything started as a still reference with style frames and storyboards. When we got into post production and visual effects we used a lot of After Effects. I would say 70% of the shots went through After Effects to create the VFX and smooth out speed adjustments, which made Dynamic Link a critical tool.




Adobe: What are some of your favorite features in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6?

Pettit: We are big fans of the quick and effective color correction tools in Adobe Premiere Pro. The speed adjustments and speed ramping tools are super quick and easy to use. And like David said, the ability to use Dynamic Link with After Effects is fantastic. It’s so great to have updates in one program linked and automatically reflected in the other. I think it cut our time, literally, in half.

Adobe: How has the film been received?

Tindale: We just returned from The REELS Festival in France where 13 won Best Movie, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography so we’re really pleased. 13 has been well received by the industry media and public. We are looking forward to the remainder of the festivals this year and the industry awards in early 2013.




Adobe: What is your favorite part of the movie?

Pettit: The athletes themselves as individuals and athletes. It was great working with Burton—honestly, I can’t imagine a better client. It’s a team effort from the riders, team managers to the film crew – with everyone in sync we are proud to bring together 13 and feature the high level of riding and progressive tricks of the entire Burton team. We’re honored to have worked on this project.


Comment from Bryan Knox of Burton

13 is one of the best films to come out of Burton to date. We wanted to make a film that gets you hyped for winter and makes you want to go snowboarding.

I would like to personally thank everyone that helped make 13 a successful film.


Save up to 40% off all Adobe video products when you switch from Final Cut Pro or Avid by Nov. 30. Learn more





Learn more about Adobe CS6 Production Premium and Adobe Creative Cloud

Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud (includes After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more)


Posted by: Adam Spiel on Nov 20, 2012 at 1:08:57 pmComments (1)

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