Christmas updates for Premiere, and 360 interactive video in Stornaway

The new release of Adobe Video apps has dropped in time for Christmas. I’ve been too busy working on my interactive video platform Stornaway.io (check it out!) to update here for the last couple of years, but I thought I’d start updating here again because I saw the new features are things I’ve wanted while working on videos in the last month. Even though they’re not huge features, they make me happy.

Let me draw heavily on a post by Eric Philpott at Adobe on LinkedIn with some of my own comments.

The December release of the Creative Cloud video applications adds really useful and long awaited text and shape tools in Premiere Pro and innovations that fast-track puppet design and animation in Adobe Character Animator – also long awaited (for me, anyway). Plus performance improvements for Apple silicon & Windows machines with integrated GPUs.

First, the text & shapes in Premiere

Search and replace text across all graphics & titles & transcripts – spell check – shapes with rounded corners (hallelujah – crazy how long these have taken to come to Premiere!)

The new titling tools in Premiere & AE

Open the new Text panel to see a running list of all the graphics in your sequence. Use search to find graphics with specific words, use search and replace to update multiple graphics at once, and spell check to catch typos.

A new universal text engine makes it easy to work with different languages and scripts, even within the same graphic. Middle Eastern and South Asian creators using right-to-left scripts now have all the controls they need in the Essential Graphics panel.

This is all stuff that started to be hinted at almost 10 years ago with Story, but never emerged. Glad it’s all here now.

The shape tools have been improved, too, with a new polygon tool and controls for rounded corners. Rounded corners!

Next, Puppet Maker and Transcript Sync in Character Animator

New Puppet Maker is delivering more of the promise that Adobe Animal hinted at years ago – but remained too hard for most people to use. It now lets you create, customize, and animate your own characters in Adobe Character Animator. Previously, you had to first build and rig a layered puppet in Photoshop or Illustrator, or use one of the pre-built puppets in Character Animator. Puppet Maker gives you the immediacy of starting in Character Animator and the freedom to design your own character from a variety of styles, without leaving the application.

Once built, creators can use their web cam or a connected camera to animate their character using their own voice, facial expressions, and body movements. Performance capture provides a highly interactive and efficient workflow for recording and refining animations and Puppet Maker makes this innovative toolset accessible to any content creators who want to incorporate animations in their content, such as social media posts, or characters in explainer videos.

Creating animations with text transcripts 🎉

New Transcript-based Lip Sync allows creators to animate their character’s mouth movements using written scripts or transcriptions, including transcripts generated with Speech to Text in Premiere Pro. Available for English only at the moment – you may have seen that the Adobe Sensei powered Speech to Text has very good accuracy.

Performance improvements for Mac and PC

Adobe says, “Premiere Pro allows users to take advantage of the latest technologies. New hardware acceleration for Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max systems delivers up to 5x faster performance for 4k and 8K ProRes formats. High resolution HEVC formats are also faster on all Apple silicon Macs running macOS 12. Display technology optimizations on Windows systems with integrated GPUs will see playback performance improvements ranging from 5 percent to 40 percent across all formats. Color Match is now 30 percent faster, accelerating shot matching workflows, and two more effects are now GPU-accelerated.”

And not to forget AE

The latest release of After Effects includes the new universal text engine, described above, and the latest version of Cinema 4D Lite with support for the full version of the Maxon Cinema 4D R25.

Finally, Happy Christmas!!

I just made this interactive 360 video Christmas card for all our Stornaway users, using the immersive 360 tools in Premiere, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Hopefully I’ll find time to post the workflow and tips in the New Year. Hope you have a restful break.