Adobe Max: Sneaks 2018 Panel Previews Exciting Tools for Filmmakers

One of the most exciting panels at the annual Adobe Max creative conference is ADOBE SNEAKS. This panel, offers a glimpse over the horizon at some tools that Adobe engineers are developing. It’s kinda like Skunk Works, but without the top secret security clearance. And this year, we saw some of the best visionary applications yet. Sneaks is showcasing some amazing new tools that filmmakers are praying will make it to the next version of Creative Cloud.

Project Smooth Operator.  Designed chiefly to support mobile centric platforms and social media, Project Smooth Operator harnesses Adobe Sensei to analyze the aspect ratio of the video clip, identifying the major subjects and action of the scene, and then crops the according to the platform it’s to be published on. Think of that portrait centric look of Instagram stories, where the aspect ratio is that of a mobile phone. Smooth Operator keeps the subject of the scene, and the action, center stage. No rotoscoping. No keyframes. No masking. It just works. And in the case of a scene that has multiple subjects, Smooth Operator identifies them and smoothly pans with the action to feature the interaction that occurs.

Project Waltz. Project Waltz allows users to pair their mobile device with their desktop, and then use that mobile device as the virtual camera within the scene. This enables visual effects uses to have a live rendered view of the virtual camera as it happens, and then interact with it within the virtual space. This could be a game changer in the realm of visual effects.

Project FastMask is another post production gamer changer at Adobe Sneaks. Having to mask out a moving image is a rotorscoper’s nightmare. But with Project Fast Mask, Adobe Sensei analyzes the moving subject and determines where the mask needs to go, selecting and removing it from the background and masking it out, so it can be used in a virtual scene. Or, you can create a layer in-between the background and the subject, and then add something like a title or 3d element.  And it’s all done in less then five mouse clicks!

Project Model Morph. 3D modeling is incredibly complicated and time consuming as a 3d artist manipulates thousands of points and keep them in balance with every change. With Project Model Morph, 3d modelers can cut the workflow of developing a 3D model thanks to the power of Adobe Sensei. So whether you’re an experienced 3D modelers, or a hobbyist just looking to create a 3d model for your sci fi short, Project Model Morph will give you a professional result in minutes, rather than hours, or even days.

Project Moving Stills. When Ken Burns came on the scene with his iconic documentary The Civil War, he invented a new way to bringing century old photo stills to live by adding subtle movements to them. It came known as the Ken Burns effect. Well Project Moving Stills takes the Burns effect and turns it up to eleven, animating a still shot to look like it was shot as a video scene.  So, rather than spending tens of thousands to reshoot a simple establishing scene, filmmakers can use Project Moving Stills to accomplish the same goal for next to nothing, and with one click of your mouse.

Project FontPhoria. Titles can be really fun to create and manipulate. But they can also be time consuming. But with FontPhoria, users can create an entire font based on a single created letter.  FontPhoria can also capture a still image, analyze it for any text it contains, and then turns it into a complete font! Or, you can take a still image, and then use FontPhoria’s augmented reality tool to change the font virtually to help visualize it before printing.

Project Kazoo. Learning to play a new musical instrument can be a lot of work. But if you’re not musically inclined, and don’t have the time to learn, Project Kazoo can help by transforming your voice into a musical instrument!  All you need to do is press record and single a jingle you have in mind. Then, Adobe Sensei will analyze it and synthesize the melody into the dulcet tones of your selected instrument. You can also change your voice into different octaves, and go from say … a bass to a soprano. That’s some serious audio voodoo.

Project Good Bones. With Project Good Bones, art directors can take sketches and concept art, add a skeleton overlay to it, and then manipulate and change it in a fashion that looks more natural. As a plug in to Adobe Illustrator, Good Bones uses Adobe Sensei to analyze the artwork for pivot points and create a virtual skeleton. Then you can simply manipulate it at your whim. Then, you can use frame interpolation to create in-between frames. So, imagine how quickly you can go from concept art to storyboard to animatic? That translates to animation in hours, instead of weeks!

Project Brush Bounty. This is yet another animation app coming out of sneaks, that converts a simple concept art into vector graphics and then add animation to project greater drama and motion. Brush Bounty literally infuses your brush with movement, so a still shot of rainfall because a more dynamic and animated downpour. But here’s the real crazy thing. Brush Bounty can take the natural weather anywhere in the world, and apply that data to your scene. So you can see how bad the rain is in Texas right now, and then paste that data into Brush Bounty, and suddenly, your scene is raining just like it is in real life. Lastly, you can change and animate the light in the scene, moving from day to night.

Oh, and there is one more that’s mostly for creating packaging. It’s not really going to help a filmmaker, unless he wants to create unique marketing materials, but his PR firm will love it. And that’s Project Fantastic Fold. Simply put, Fantastic Fold will analyze the origami like folds of packaging, and using Adobe Sensei, will overlay your 2D design, so that it appears as it should in its 3D final form. All with a simple click of a mouse. Look at this:

This year, the crazy ideas coming out of Adobe Sneaks are simply the best that they have ever created for content creation. Unfortunately, some of these will make it into Adobe Creative Cloud, and some won’t. But I think I can speak for every creative out there, that we WANT ALL OF THEM!


About James DeRuvo 801 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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