Recent Post Production News Excerpted from Digital Cinema Society eNewsletter, September 2017:
R.I.P. Final Cut Pro 7
Besides the product releases associated with IBC, a lot of the news in Post is related to Apple’s pending release of their latest Mac OS High Sierra on September 25th. It seems their new Apple File System (APFS) which is built on a new 64-bit optimized for solid state drives will not support many legacy software and hardware items, including the it’s own popular Final Cut 7. While this has been expected for some time, many die hard FCP7 fans have resisted updating to Final Cut X, which seems fundamentally different and unfamiliar to most users who grew up on the earlier generations of Final Cut. Other NLE providers including Adobe and Blackmagic Design have stepped up to make the migration to their platforms easier for Editors transitioning from Final Cut 7.
Many of the same keyboard shortcuts will carry over to Premiere and DaVinci Resolve, and both feature a similar editing and trimming model. DaVinci Resolve 14 can import timelines from FCP7 to make the transition even easier. They’re created a short demo video to walk former FCP7 users through the transition:
Major Adobe Creative Cloud Updates Announced at IBC
In a word, “integration” is what the many recent updates to Creative Cloud are all about. Over the last several years Adobe has been developing and acquiring technology, such as IRIDAS Speed Grade, and more recently the Skybox VR technology of Mettle. They have also been busy bringing all these technologies together to work seamlessly in one platform, Premiere.
Multiple projects can now remain open without repeatedly having to open and close individual projects to access different functions formerly only available separately in software such as After Effects, Audition, etc.. Also included is integrated access to over 4 million HD and 4K Adobe Stock footage selections directly within Creative Cloud.
Once the latest innovations are put on-line, (later this year), multiple workstations will be able to remotely collaborate simultaneously on a single project for color, graphics and audio workflows without ever leaving Premiere. However, to avoid confusion and control access, high level project locking functions have been put in place. Collaborators will also receive periodic reminders to share their changes and can easily access the group’s version history.
Most popular formats can now be easily edited natively and mixed on a single timeline. In addition to the aforementioned ability to port over FCP keyboard shortcuts, Adobe is trying to ease the transition of many Editors to Premiere as more high profile projects are now cutting on the platform. Some notable productions making the switch include Mindhunter from executive producer and director David Fincher, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power from co-directors Bonni Cohen and John Shenk, Only the Brave from director Joseph Kosinski, and 6 Below from director Scott Waugh.
Perhaps the biggest new features coming to Premiere are in the area of VR. Virtual Reality content creation will be possible with a dedicated viewing environment in Premiere Pro. Editors will soon be able to immersively experience content, review their timeline, and use keyboard driven editing for trimming and markers while wearing the same VR head-mounts as their audience. A graphic editing interface can also be overlaid to float in VR space which can be controlled with a wireless handheld pointer so that basic editing function can be performed without taking off the headsets. In addition, audio can be determined by orientation or position and exported as ambisonics audio for VR-enabled platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. VR effects and transitions are now native and accelerated via the Mercury playback engine.
Another area of advancement is Character Animation; Adobe’s Character Animator 1.0 has been unveiled with changes to core and custom animation functions, such as pose-to-pose blending, new physics behaviors and visual puppet controls. Auto tracking features help to improve realtime lip-sync capability by accurately matching mouth shape with spoken sounds.
Many of these innovations in virtual reality (VR)/360, animation, motion graphics, and editing collaboration are powered by Adobe Sensei, the company’s artificial intelligence and machine learning framework. The technology announced at IBC 2017 is not all currently available, but will be later this year.
For more information, visit: www.adobe.com.
I will begin by congratulating Avid for their 2017 Emmy Award for “Technology and Engineering” from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). Many of their customers were also winners at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards including the Post professionals behind Stranger Things, The Night Of and Westworld.
At IBC2017, Avid introduced their new MediaCentral solutions which integrates Media Composer editing software with a new collaborative asset management module, new video I/O hardware and Avid Nexis software-defined storage. MediaCentral for Post is scalable from small and mid-sized productions all the way up to major features and broadcast networks for collaborative workflow that efficiently handle 4K and other demanding formats.
Besides Media Composer, MediaCentral solutions for post integrate Avid’s products in a single, open platform that includes:
• MediaCentral Editorial Management with secure and reliable media asset management in a creative organization. Without needing an NLE, various collaborators and editorial assistants can ingest files, create bins, add locators and metadata, create subclips and perform other asset management tasks.
• MediaCentral Cloud UX, and interface that runs on any OS or mobile device to keep everyone connected to the platform whatever their location.
• Artist DNxIVvideo is an interface for analog and digital I/O allowing interface to broad spectrum of Avid and third-party editing, audio, visual effects and graphics software.
• MediaCentral Panel for Media Composer allows users to view media outside of their active project as well as drag and drop assets from MediaCentral directly into a Media Composer project.
• Avid Nexis Pro now scales to up to a160 terabytes, two times the previous capacity and Avid Nexis E2 now supports SSD drives for increased performance with multiple streams of high-resolution media in real time.
OWC Debuts USB-C Travel Dock For Connectivity on the Go
Announced in the lead up to IBC, the OWC USB-C Travel Dock provides simple connectivity to USB devices through one USB Type-C integrated cable. That one cable gives connectivity for up to five ports and USB devices weather MacBook Pro, desktop, or PC. The HDMI port connects one 4K display, so there is no need to worry about insufficient quality or connection when creating and presenting on the go. Two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports connect and power two USB devices, so users can have a full tablet or phone charge at all times. An SD card slot also allows users to access and store photos with one easy connection. The OWC USB-C dock comes in two versions: Mini DisplayPort and HDMI. Both versions also have a 3.5 headphone/microphone combo port and Gigabit Ethernet. The Mini DisplayPort version costs $148.75, and the HDMI version costs anywhere from $127.99 to $148.75.