After the first two days of sessions and events and a third day with everyone at Adobe it was time for the final day of the Premiere Pro section of Adobe Video World. The program called for longer and more in depth sessions on the final day which I quite liked. While this was the final day for Premiere Pro World, the After Effects portion had just started the afternoon before. This meant that at the Expo on Thursday night and all day Friday the conference was in full swing and it was nice to be able to meet a wider range of people with a different expertise.
How the Adobe Video Apps Work Together
The day began with a session presented by Todd Kopriva, Al Mooney and two other Adobe engineers about how Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Media Encoder work together and are developed together. They pointed out that while they want to always be smoothing the workflow and feature set between the applications it doesn’t make sense to be constantly copy/pasting code and features between the apps. Todd gave the example of how the Lumetri engine began in Speed Grade and migrated to Premiere and finally After Effects as proof that the team wants crucial elements shared between apps. Inversely, while some of the more useful parts of Audition coughmaycough be coming to a Premiere near you they wouldn’t make sense in After Effects. During the session the team was happy to take questions and did a great job of answering our questions on the topic of export formats that After Effects supports.
The team mentioned that they had decided to minimize instability and bugs in After Effects by keeping the exporting of delivery formats (AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265, MPEG–2) as part of Media Encoder’s toolset. The reasoning is that After Effects is best at rendering new frames while the Premiere Pro/Media Encoder engine is best at transcoding existing frames. It make sense when you consider that Premiere/AME operates around the idea of opening existing frames, modifying them, and then putting them into new frames. After Effects, at least in the motion graphics world, generally is creating brand new frames in an uncompressed state internally and then actually rendering them into new video frames. Todd recommended that the workflow should be to render out of After Effects into a lossless or nearly lossless format like Cineform/ProRes/DNxHD and into a Media Encoder watch folder which can then be set up to go out to the above mentioned delivery formats.
So while the applications aren’t sharing that particular code, the Adobe Team gave two other examples where it is. First is called Drover which is the internal name for the UI of panels, buttons, sliders, etc that we all know and love in applications like Premiere Pro, After Effects, Media Encoder, and Audition. Al mentioned that while Speed Grade has gotten a face lift to be a bit more visually in line with its brethren, its interface has not yet been created with the Drover tool set. Sharing this type of code between the apps means any bugs fixed in one are fixed in all and we as users don’t have to be learning four different UI paradigms.
The second example of shared code is internally called MediaCore and is the bundle of importers and exporters that handle reading and exporting all of the different formats the applications support. For example you will see some of these flashing in the splash box when you launch Premiere. These are written as GPU accelerated plugins that are open to 3rd party developers and having it as shared code means each team doesn’t have to work through the struggles of supporting new camera formats.
The Rest of the Day
The next session I went to was a deep dive into Premiere with the magnificent Jarle Leirpoll. Aside from being the only known non-Adobe person to be thanked in the Premiere Pro about box, he is a fantastic teacher whose knowledge of Premiere is staggering. I love keyboard shortcuts, but Jarle breathes them. He took us through countless little tricks, hidden corners, and interesting workflows with Premiere. All I can say is I really am going to buy his book when I get home.
The final session I attended was a jump into the wild world of audio in Premiere Pro with Luisa Winters. I’m amazed at the amount of information she crammed into her session and while I do not enjoy working with audio I walked away much more comfortable with submixes, types of crossfades, multi-band compressors, and keyframing audio in Premiere. I do most of the deliveries at my work as 10-channel multichannel deliveries and I even learned a great trick there that will speed up how I get my deliveries out. Priceless.
That was it for my time at Adobe Video World! Though the conference continued on and switched gears to those crazy After Effects users it was time for me to head back to San Jose’s airport and get on a flight to Los Angeles. As I hope you can tell I had a fantastic time and learned a ton. Rumor has it next year is in Seattle…