Adobe Production Suite Specialist Colin Smith on Adobe Creative Cloud


Adobe Production Suite Specialist Colin Smith joins Steve Waskul for a look at what’s new with some interesting tips and tricks along the way.

The interview begins with an overall discussion about how Adobe is leveraging the cloud to bring solutions to creative professionals in a way that can keep pace with the quickly changing landscape. Colin explains that this approach makes it far easier for Adobe to make updated to applications since there are in relatively frequent communication with the apps residing on the customer’s machine. He also points out the applications are in fact installed locally and they are not sitting on the cloud as some applications are now attempting to do via web browsers etc.

One interesting program Colin mentions is Adobe Muse which is a web design tool that allows designers to build rich HTML and CSS-based web without the need to write any code. This is just one of 30 or so programs available to Creative Cloud members from Adobe.

The conversation now turns now to a discussion of how users can access their applications with Creative Cloud. Adobe realizes that in Today’s world creative professional may have several different devices and will want to use their applications on several of them at different times. They have made provision for this so that Creative Cloud and be installed on all machines and then easily turned off and on so that the user can move between devices as necessary. Colin takes us through several potential scenarios during the interview.

Next Colin and Steve talk about the new features coming to Premiere to help editors in recognition of the fact that editors today are often wearing multiple hats. He explains that Adobe is taking some very cool features from other products and integrating them into Premiere so that the editor has greater creative freedom without the need to leave the Premiere interface. One simple example Colin provides is Premiere being able to utilize an After Effects composition for lower thirds. Now the editor can change the name using a text template within Premier vs. having to stop work to change the composition in After Effects itself.

Steve Waskul next brings up the multi-camera features built into Premiere and Colin comes up with a very cool trick. By right-clicking on a multi-camera sequence in the project panel you can select “open in timeline”. This will open a sequence with all the footage in their own layers. This allows you to easily apply any desired effects to layers individually. Then when you close the sequence the effects will automatically be updated into your multi-camera clip. One additional tip we found trying this after the show was that some very intensive effects may slow down the editorial process if you first apply them to individual layers and then try to edit the multi camera sequence. The easy solution is to reopen the multi-camera sequence in the timeline (as described above) and turn off the effects you added to each layer. Then you can go back to your multi-camera view and create your edit without the effects slowing you down. After the edit is complete just turn the effects back on. There are probably additional options and depending on the effects you choose and the speed of your system this might not be an issue. We agree with Colin that this is a very cool feature.

Another question that comes up in the interview is: what next for Adobe After Effects? Colin explains that Adobe is working closely with plug-in manufacturers who are creating some amazing extensibility for the program. For the near future he believes Adobe will focus on the user experience and working to make After Effects work faster vs. coming up with new features. It sounds like there are amazing performance improvements coming soon but Colin was not at liberty to elaborate.

As the interview moves forward Colin and Steve talk about OpenCL and how Adobe is optimizing applications for OpenCL. This topic leads to a conversation of CPU vs. GPU and balancing your system to get the best performance. Thunderbolt is also briefly discussed.

Adobe’s creative cloud has certainly evolved and now in addition to the “regular apps” creative professionals are used to working with there are numerous new mobile apps for sketching, drawing and editing photos on the go. Adobe says they are “packed with power for the pros, but fun and easy for anyone to use. You can learn more about them here.