Videoguys NAB2008 Report: Adobe

Adobe 2008While Apple and Avid elected to not exhibit at this year’s show, it left Adobe as the place to be for NLE. Adobe was not showing any new versions of their software. The demo pods had Premiere pro, AE and Encore CS3 going. What got me so excited about Adobe was the technology preview I watched on the main stage Wednesday afternoon. Please keep in mind that everything I saw there was FUTURE technology - to be integrated into CS4 when it eventually ships. Since it isn’t even announced, I can’t even begin to give you a hint as to the when, but the WHAT that is coming down the road was simply amazing.

Metadata is the words and text that we can add to video clips that allows us to find, sort and use them faster. Adobe is taking metadata to all new levels. First they showed off On Location CS4. Now, not only can you capture live in the field, you can add all kinds of metadata while you capture. Describe the clip, note if it’s a good or bad take, what talent is in it etc. Now you can save even more time when you bring it into Premiere Pro CS4 or After Effects CS4. But that’s not even the coolest part about Adobe’s new metadata plan. I saw the most incredible demonstration that will impact video editing and productivity dramatically in the future - Voice recognition software integrated into Premiere Pro CS4. You get a voice recognition metadata field that is fully searchable. So if your talent is talking about the new pick-up truck, you can search for any clips that mention words like, towing, cargo bed, horsepower etc. This technology goes beyond searching and sorting clips. You can put a track on the timeline and then search for the keywords. That’s right, if you want to find the spot when the actor talks about the new suspension, just type the word suspension in and the timeline marker goes right to it. Now this was just a technology demonstration, so I can’t speak for the accuracy of the voice recognition software, but just think about the possibilities!

Multiple Device Design Tool. When Adobe launched CS3 I thought one of the cleverest new tools was Device Central. This allowed you to see how your video would look on any number of preset devices – cell phones, PDAs even iPods. With the next generation of software Adobe takes this one step further. Now you can work in After Effects with device safe areas. You select the devices you want your clip to be seen on, AE loads in the templates. Now you can crop and size the video to optimize the video viewing area for all the devices. No worries about chopping off the actor’s head or adding titles that don’t fit on the screen. Just another example of how Adobe gets it, and they are leading the charge towards multi-format video for all types of viewer experiences.

Bordeaux – the Drag & Drop interactive Flash Authoring. This was another demonstration that blew e away. With this new software you will be able to author a completely interactive Flash experience, merging graphics, animated text, sounds and video. The best part was that you can use the raw video clips. You don’t need to pre-render them into flash video. That allows you complete flexibility in the design process. In the demo it took about 15 minutes to create a fully interactive Flash experience complete with text that rolled in on cue, buttons that triggered graphics and or video. You can add keyframes into the video that trigger events in other areas of the screen. All with drag & drop simplicity. Like any fine wine I am certain that Bordeaux may initially be a little rough around the edges, but it will only get better and more powerful over time.

As I said, there is no official word on when CS4 will ship. We’ll keep you posted when we learn more. On the CS3 front Adobe did have a pretty significant announcement with regards to the latest Premiere update. With Premiere Pro CS3 and the 3.2.0 update, you can now natively Ingest, and Edit Sony’s XDCAM (DVCAM), XDCAM HD, and XDCAM EX format. Just as you would expect from Adobe and the Premiere Pro team, just drag and drop directly from the card into the Project Panel and start editing. No need to transcode your video with “wacky† single platform codecs and no need to worry about .mov and .avi files – just edit!

Click here to watch the technology demo

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