Adobe Gains Momentum at NAB

Recently, Studio Daily posted a piece on the "Eight Technology Trends from NAB 2013." One major news story coming out of the show in April is of particular interest to those of us in the post-production industry: Adobe's Creative Suite is now leading the pack of NLE options, unseating Apple at the top of mountain.

And it serves them right. Ever since the new Final Cut Pro was announced, Apple has abandoned the all-in-one solution that was Final Cut Studio, leaving editors with few alternatives for real world, round-trip editing. 

But with the introduction of Prelude and other new CS tools, Adobe is creating a complete production workflow the will unquestionably be attractive to professionals going forward. 

With the Creative Suite transition to a cloud based platform, it remains to be seen how successfully the industry will transition to the future of collaborative workflow.


DMALA Report - 3/12/13.

On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to attend the monthly Digital Media Artists of Los Angeles meeting with my good friend and fellow VS grad, Sally Lok

The evening's featured speaker was VFX Master Andrew Kramer of VideoCopilot, who gave us a sneak preview of the next build of Element 3D, his particle based After Effects plug-in that's taken the industry by storm. 

He was pretty hush-hush on new features, but revealed that the next update will include feature like unified rendering, shadows and a channel viewer. But the demo he showed us of the new City Pack really proved the power and depth of features of E-3D. Designing and modifying city blocks with skyscrapers without leaving After Effects is really mindboggling, and drew many oohs and ahs from the audience.

Not that it will ever replace Cinema 4D (especially with Adobe's growing integration of Cinema 4D into After Effect's workflow) but it's ease of use is definitely a plus, along with it's extensive library of ready-made 3D objects. 


Hands-on FCP X with Larry Jordan

Having edited in the "old" Final Cut for years, I've been reluctant to leave the comfortable confines of Studio 3 and switch into the new version. I've also been toying with the idea of moving back to Adobe Premiere, since I'm doing more and more work in After Effects now.

But I figured before making any major decisions, I might as well see what the X is all about. And who better to learn from than Mr. Final Cut Pro himself?

Turns out I was the only one in the class that had ever edited in Final Cut Pro before, and the other students could not comprehend WHY I would be so hesitant to move to the new software. Larry was the only one who understood my plight, and encouraged me that I don't have to change editing systems if I didn't have a good reason to. 

Over the course of the 2-day class, he showed me how the features in the old Final Cut translated into the new software. Some things were an improvement. Others fell embarrassingly short.

But what Final Cut Pro X does well, it does better than any editing software I've seen, including an impressive keying feature that resembles Primatte but harnesses the power of real-time playback. The extremely limiting motion controls in the old Final Cut are replaced by those found in Apple Motion, which is a welcome improvement. And it has audio filters that rival those found in Soundtrack Pro.

The multicamera editor is extremely responsive, and in a word, fun.

Since it's release last year, Apple has sought to re-invent the wheel with FCP X, and forever changed the video editing paradigm. Some view it as iMovie Pro, and I found parts of that to be accurate.

At the end of the weekend, I knew my way around the software enough to do a basic edit. But it would definitely take time to get used to it, because I have to forget everything I know. I'm not sure I would ever use it as my primary editor, but it could be useful to keep in my toolkit. Others will, and that's fine.

Still it was an invaluable experience, and I made some really great connections. And, as always, it was a pleasure to sit under the unforgetable teaching style of Dr. Jordan. Thanks for everything, Larry!