Adobe Reveals Creative Cloud Feature Updates Including AI-Based Animation Tools and Sophisticated Color Grading in Premiere Pro

As IBC 2018 approaches, Adobe has released details of new features that will be added to its Creative Cloud software suite by the end of the year, including new animation options in After Effects and Character. Animator, improved noise reduction and reverb removal tools in Adobe Audition. , and extensions to animation and color grading options in Premiere Pro.

Adobe’s next Project Rush cross-device workflow
Adobe

Adobe also highlighted the continued development of Project Rush, described as a “multi-device video editing application” for online content creators. It is said to integrate features from Premiere Pro and After Effects to create Premiere compatible projects. Like the latest updates from Creative Cloud, Adobe said, Project Rush is expected to be available later this year.

Read on for our roundup of the rest of today’s Creative Cloud news, interspersed with relevant demo videos released today by Adobe for a better illustration of some of the features.

Teach me, Sensei

Sensei, Adobe’s umbrella term for its artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, features prominently in the new updates. “Sensei has it all,” Adobe senior director of product management for video, Bill Roberts, promised during a press briefing announcing the new features.

Screenshot of Adobe Character Animator

New Characterizer feature in Adobe Character Animator
Adobe

A good example is the new Character Animator Characterizer tool. Characterizer allows users to select an artistic style that can be applied to facial animation captured by webcam in real time. After a little setup time to train the AI ​​on different facial expressions and mouth shapes, Characterizer allows users to take a huge shortcut – they can puppeteers a stylized, animated character without spending time designing and drawing at home. start from nothing.

The technology that allows AI to transform one image by mimicking the artistic styles of another image is not new; what appears to be new is Adobe’s real-time implementation of this technology in a commercial application. Character Animator is already popular with TV users who enjoy capturing live cartoon performances; it will be interesting to see what they do with the new features in Characterizer. (By the way, if you’ve been following something called Project Puppetron, Characterizer is the official version of it.)

For those working with still images, Sensei also features prominently in a new version of Photoshop, which features a revamped version of Content-Aware Fill that gives users much more precise control over the tool, which can be used. to erase image elements with a minimum of work on the part of the photo editor. See the video above for examples.

More improvements to graphic animation models

On the video editing front, Adobe continues to improve Motion Graphics Templates, which bridge the workflow between After Effects and Premiere Pro, making it easier for editors to apply edits to onscreen graphics. without requiring the participation of the original designers. For example, After Effects’ authoring tools have new options that allow artists to organize various customization settings, combine them into groups with drop-down menus, and more precisely define (and simplify) how editors can use them in Premiere Pro.

New font controls have been added to select the typeface, change the font size, and apply ‘false styles’, such as all caps, and a ‘responsive design’ framework designed to allow certain elements – like intros and outros – to be locked to maintain their timing, even when editors apply time-stretch tools, has moved from Premiere Pro to After Effects.

New data-driven infographics are of particular interest in the age of big data, which allow Premiere Pro editors to drag and drop spreadsheets into specially configured motion graphics templates and see the displayed data update. day automatically. And, depending on how easy and intuitive Adobe is in the setup process, this will be a good way to help editors keep tables and graphs on screen up to date without sending them back to After Effects for. an update.

For Lumetri Color, a new type of color curve

Adobe Premiere Pro screenshot

Adobe Premiere Pro selective color grading; notice the different new color curves inside the Lumetri Color panel on the right.
Adobe

Premiere Pro’s built-in Lumetri color grading toolkit is also growing in popularity. Adobe has redesigned the curve fitting this time around, implementing what’s called selective color grading. Under this paradigm, the familiar Hue / Saturation color wheel has been reshaped into a flat line, with hue drawn horizontally and saturation drawn vertically. Pick points on the curve defining the range of colors you are working with, then drag those points to shape the curve to get the precise increase and decrease in saturation relative to the hue you are looking for. A scroll bar positions the relevant part of the color spectrum in the center of the screen for easy manipulation.

It’s a break from the traditional approach to color grading – don’t worry, traditional color wheels are still available elsewhere in the Lumetri Color panel! – but it is also quite intuitive and seems to allow non-expert users to quickly achieve real precision and complexity in general color adjustments. This means editors may want to refer to the tools as they work, quickly discovering whether or not a given clip will fit on the timeline with a little help from Lumetri.

In addition to Tint vs. Saturation, curves are also available to plot Hue vs. Tint, Tint vs. Luma, Luma vs. Saturation and Saturation vs. Saturation; it only takes a moment to play with each one to get a good idea of ​​the kind of changes it allows. Patrick Palmer, Adobe’s senior product manager for video editing, said the idea was to create curves “less intimidating for beginners and more useful for everyone.”

Step up audio, reverb and noise reduction tools

Sound is also getting attention this time around, with a pair of new and / or improved dialogue repair tools available from the Essential Sound panel in Premiere Pro. The Reduce Reverb tool is a great way to recover audio recorded in a large room with inadequate sound preparation. Based on our quick beta testing, this tool can easily turn audio from the realm of almost unusable to quite acceptable. This and the accompanying “Reduce Noise” tool to get rid of background noise are built on “adaptive algorithms” which analyze the specific characteristics of your sound clips in real time and adjust accordingly, Adobe said. (In other words, more machine learning techniques mean you don’t have to go through the process of creating a ‘noise impression’ or providing other tips to the tools; they just work as you expect and hope.) Both tools have sliders that allow you to adjust the strength of the effect to achieve the best balance between removing unwanted noise and preserving the quality of the original audio. .

Similar DeReverb and DeNoise effects are included with Audition, along with performance improvements for larger multitrack projects. As a rough guide, Adobe says that a “typical workstation” should now be able to play more than 128 audio tracks or record 32 simultaneously with low latency.

Screenshot of Adobe Audition user interface

New Adobe Auditon user interface with color picker visible at bottom right
Adobe

For those who like to visually think about their sound mix, Adobe has improved Audition’s color picker, making it easier to customize the look of your timeline, and gain controls are now accessible on each individual audio clip. which facilitates in-context adjustments. There is an Add Tracks dialog that allows for quick insertion of audio and bus tracks, and a Zoom to Time option allows users to control the duration of their displayed project and save custom presets at different levels of sound. details.

Get Z depth from clips created in After Effects

Back in After Effects, artists should appreciate a new Depth Passes tool used to position 3D objects in space and better integrate them into a video scene. “You can apply depth effects to native clips generated with After Effects for the first time,” Victoria Nece, senior product manager for motion graphics and visual effects, said during a demo. Previously, it was possible to apply these effects to items imported from another application, but not to something created in After Effects. “After Effects automatically knows that I have these depth values ​​in this pre-composition, so those effects work,” Nece continued. “I have nothing to do special.”

Also new in AE are the mesh sculpting tools to control the shape of surfaces, which can be used with new pins to better control how puppet-effect meshes warp around these pins. “It’s really great to do false 3D turns, even on a simple flat object,” said Nece, explaining that the new pins make it easier to create more robust animations. “It’s a smarter way to work because now you just have to pick up a few pins; you don’t have to animate them all individually.

Finally, After Effects adopted a new JavaScript expression engine based on modern frameworks that Adobe says runs up to five times faster than previous versions. The old engine will still be available, although most expressions should be backwards compatible.


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