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Computer Shopper - - CONTENTS - James Mor­ris

Adobe’s up­dates make Pre­miere Pro CC 2018 a top-qual­ity video-edit­ing suite

VER­DICT

This com­pre­hen­sive up­date makes Adobe Pre­miere Pro CC the best it’s ever been, es­pe­cially for cre­at­ing 360° video

ASIDE FROM THE monthly suck­ing of funds from your ac­count, there’s one ma­jor problem with sub­scrip­tion-only soft­ware such as Adobe Pre­miere Pro CC: it’s easy to miss when a sig­nif­i­cant new ver­sion ar­rives.

Don’t make that mis­take with this lat­est in­car­na­tion, be­cause it’s a bel­ter. Along with some long-needed us­abil­ity and col­lab­o­ra­tion im­prove­ments, there’s also much better sup­port for 360° video con­tent.

MORE THE MER­RIER

Let’s start with the im­prove­ments to us­abil­ity and col­lab­o­ra­tion. It seems a bizarre fea­ture not to have had over Adobe Pre­miere Pro’s 25 years of his­tory, but at long last you can now open more than one pro­ject si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Be­fore, if you wanted to re­use as­sets cre­ated in one pro­ject within a new one, you would need to im­port the old pro­ject. This could get very messy.

Now you can just open both projects, then copy and paste be­tween them. You can grab el­e­ments from the time­line of one se­quence, and when you paste them into a se­quence in an­other pro­ject, their re­lated file ref­er­ences come with them. This is a much more con­ve­nient way of work­ing.

Vaguely re­lated is the new Shared Projects fa­cil­ity. Pre­miere Pro CC has had a team pro­ject ca­pa­bil­ity via Cre­ative Cloud stor­age for a while, but Shared Projects are aimed at col­lab­o­ra­tion us­ing com­mu­nal stor­age on a lo­cal net­work. A user can now lock a pro­ject that has been loaded from a cen­tral stor­age repos­i­tory, say a NAS or SAN, so that other work­sta­tions can only open it in read-only mode.

Once Pro­ject Lock­ing has been en­abled in the Pre­miere Pro pref­er­ences, you give your work­sta­tion a user­name in the same di­a­log. Then, you cre­ate Shared Projects, and can use a lit­tle pad­lock icon in the bot­tom left-hand cor­ner to tog­gle read-write mode or re­lease a pro­ject for oth­ers to work on.

TAKE A GOOD LOOK AROUND

The other sig­nif­i­cant area of im­prove­ment is for cre­at­ing 360° VR con­tent, which Adobe is la­belling Im­mer­sive Video. Pre­miere Pro CC had re­ceived some sup­port for 360° con­tent with ver­sion 2015.3 in the mid­dle of 2016. But for CC 2018, this has been beefed up con­sid­er­ably, with a se­lec­tion of 360°-aware ef­fects and tran­si­tions that de­rive from Adobe’s ac­qui­si­tion of the Met­tle SkyBox Suite (sadly Adobe hasn’t in­cluded the lat­ter’s 360° stitch­ing tools in Pre­miere Pro).

Al­though you could ap­ply 2D ef­fects al­ready, these could in­tro­duce un­wanted arte­facts along stitch­ing lines. How­ever, the new ef­fects are seam­less, and in­clude Blur, Chromatic Aber­ra­tions, Colour Gra­di­ents, De-Noise, Dig­i­tal Glitch, Frac­tal Noise, Glow, Plane to Sphere, Pro­jec­tion, Ro­tate Sphere and Sharpen.

The Plane to Sphere ef­fect is par­tic­u­larly use­ful; with­out it, when you im­port a 2D im­age it will au­to­mat­i­cally look curved. Ap­ply the VR Plane to Sphere, and the im­age will in­stead ap­pear like a 2D plac­ard within a 360° space, with tools to ad­just how far away it looks and ori­en­ta­tion. Even better, all these ef­fects are GPU-ac­cel­er­ated, so they gain a per­for­mance ad­van­tage from your graph­ics hard­ware.

The VR Ro­tate Sphere ef­fect lets you cor­rect ori­en­ta­tion is­sues with your 3D sphere, and you can add keyframes to an­i­mate the de­fault view di­rec­tion within the 360° space. The VR Pro­jec­tion tool is also handy, be­cause it makes it easy to use footage shot on dif­fer­ent 360° cam­eras on the same time­line. For ex­am­ple, we im­ported footage shot on a Ri­coh Theta S along­side Garmin VIRB 360 out­put, and the VR Pro­jec­tion fil­ter stretched the Ri­coh footage per­fectly to match the Garmin’s.

The re­main­ing ef­fects are es­sen­tially 360°-aware ver­sions of their 2D coun­ter­parts. The im­mer­sive tran­si­tions in­clude Chroma Leaks, Gra­di­ent Wipe, Iris Wipe, Light Leaks, Light Rays, Mo­bius Zoom, Ran­dom Blocks and Spher­i­cal Blur.

All use the 360° space in an in­ter­est­ing way to move be­tween clips, and are a wel­come ad­di­tion as most 2D tran­si­tions in­tro­duce un­wanted vis­ual arte­facts. Pre­miere Pro it­self also now works in VR, so you can edit while wear­ing a VR-view­ing de­vice such as the Ocu­lus Rift or HTC Vive.

DUE CREDIT

There are a cou­ple of other sig­nif­i­cant new fea­tures. The Es­sen­tial Graph­ics Panel, in­tro­duced with Pre­miere Pro CC 2017 to re­place the legacy ti­tler, has been im­proved by the ad­di­tion of Re­spon­sive De­sign. The Time el­e­ment lets you pin a range of in­tro and outro keyframes at the be­gin­ning and end of a mo­tion graph­ics clip, which are pre­served when you make rip­ple ed­its.

This also includes a rolling cred­its fea­ture. The Po­si­tion el­e­ment lets you pin a graph­ics layer to an­other layer or the video frame it­self. The graph­ics layer will then re­spond to changes to the pinned layer or video frame, so when these are added to a se­quence with a dif­fer­ent as­pect ra­tio they will main­tain their rel­a­tive po­si­tion.

There are sundry smaller im­prove­ments, in­clud­ing the abil­ity to pre­view fonts and edit mo­tion graph­ics tem­plates cre­ated in Af­ter Ef­fects di­rectly within Pre­miere Pro. There are now also eight new la­bel colours to aid clip or­gan­i­sa­tion. But the abil­ity to load mul­ti­ple projects, shared pro­ject con­trols and ex­tended VR sup­port are the killer new fea­tures. Pre­miere Pro CC 2018 is even eas­ier to use than ever, and now also a se­ri­ous con­tender for cre­at­ing 360° con­tent.

⬆ Pre­miere Pro 2018 en­ables you to work with full 360º VR con­tent

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