Every time Adobe releases an update, I get upset.
Upset at the time I spent in the past doing the things they just improved. Upset that students will never know the frustration of creating a character in Photoshop, saving the layers individually, putting it back together in After Effect then manually animating each layer for each movement as you create cartoon. I get upset that I spent so much time learning how to do the latest update just in time for Adobe to make it better.
Just before NAB in April, Adobe released several major updates to Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, and more of their CC apps. Adobe’s integration plan for their products always amazes me. This year is no different.
The latest release has taken one of the worst elements of Premiere Pro CC and made it potentially one of the best. If you are using Premiere Pro CC prior to the latest release, you know that creating titles was quite possibly one of the dumbest processes ever.* Now with the new update simply click the text tool icon in the tools panel and type text on the program window. No more opening of the title window, labeling the title, creating the title, closing the title window, then placing the element from your assets bin onto your timeline. Simply click, type, add effects if wanted and move on.
Also with the new update, you can create graphics and save them in the graphics essentials panel. I am really upset with this. At NAB, we shot over 30 interviews with industry reps and for each of the lower 3rds I pulled the template from After Effects and edited the template. No longer is that needed just throw the graphic into the essentials panel and it’s there. If you have multiple people working on the same or similar project, you can share your templates with them via libraries, email, dropbox, or any other file sharing device. This is great because you can now create a brand or a look for your school and simply share the graphics with your students and they can add those elements to their projects to keep a look for the broadcasts or videos. Building your program’s brand is a breeze now with this recent release.
After Effects also received some pretty hefty updates. Adding the essential graphics panel to After Effects means that just like in the new release of Premiere, you can create a brand and simply manipulate the factors needed for that edit opposed to having to bring in a completed composition each time. Also, Adobe changed how you control color including adding new scopes and presets into After Effects. This doesn’t replace Speed Grade but for simple color tweaks it makes life a lot easier and may save you a couple of minutes with each edit. Which over time saves hours or days depending on how much you produce. These little changes to After Effects mean you can help your students create more professional products without having to teach them an entire new software workflow.
Audition continues to be the unsung hero of video production. Audio is so often overlooked by our students and hurts their products more than most will ever realize. The word of the year at Adobe is “essential” as evidenced by the inclusion of the Essential Sound panel. The Essential Sound panel allows you to essentially group the most used audio editing tools you use (effects, presets, etc) in one place. This may seem like a simple thing but if you have worked in Audition for more than 15 minutes, you understand the continual clicking and scrolling to get to the compressor that you like as well as then adding the correct settings. The Audio Essentials panel takes that work from you as you can place elements in the panel and pull them in.
For those of you that have never editing your audio in Audition, Click here (https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/editing-audio-audition.html#main-pars_header_1884138082) to get the lowdown on how to get your sequence into Audition and ready to be edited.
Spend some time this summer learning these new tools and make your life easier next year when the students come. Adding the Essential Graphics panels in Premiere and After Effects along with the Essentials panel in Audition to your video workflows will make your student works better and your life as a teacher easier. The other side effect of using these tools is that your program can build a brand to help with recognition and recruiting for the future!
*I know nothing about creating computer applications so my statement is only because I am the end user. I am sure the developers didn’t set out to make it difficult but let’s be real - it was.
Tom White is a video production teacher at the Rockdale Career Academy in Conyers. GA. Tom is also the director of the Sports Broadcast Institute, which is One of Five Georgia Governor’s Innovation in Education award winning programs and the NFHS Network Best Overall Program. The Sports Broadcast Institute works to produce live broadcasts, newscasts, sports documentaries and more for the Three schools, Rockdale Co, Salem, and Heritage High schools, that the career academy serves. Prior to teaching, Tom was a marketing, promotions, and online content director for a major radio corporation in Atlanta. Tom studied exercise science at High Point University prior to his radio career. Despite his winding career path, his mother still thinks he is special.