For their summer update, Adobe has quietly rolled out a bevy of new features to Creative Cloud that they promise will “take your creativity to the next level.” Most of these updates were previewed last Spring at NAB and applications like Adobe Character Animator are now live as part of new improvements to Premiere Pro and After Effects. There’s even a new virtual reality tool. Let’s take a look.
“Now is the perfect time to update your Creative Cloud desktop apps and services because the new updates make it even easier to get from “’blank page’ to ‘brilliant.'” – Adobe Blog
The new video and effects editing features were previewed at NAB 2016, and with this update, are out of Beta and now a part of the Creative Cloud interface. They include the Adobe Character Animator for After Effects, which enables you to sync character animation with real time motion capture and voice acting.
You may recall that Adobe worked with Fox a few months back to create a five minute live Q&A session with Homer Simpson using Character Animator. Since then, it has also been used on comedy shows like Late Night with Stephen Colbert, where he interviews Donald Trump. It’s pretty funny. So with this new update, Character Animator is now available for all members who have an animated feature in their head and want to get started with it.
Other new features of Character Animator include:
- Attach styles: Choose how parts connect to each other such as welded like metal, hinged like a door, or free to fly around on their own.
- Draggable take groups: Now every hand, foot, tail, or limb you drag will automatically get its own track in the timeline – making it significantly easier to get that perfect performance.
- Face smoothing: Crank up this new facial feature to reduce any jitter or jumping as you move your face around.
- Eyeball toggles: Every individual behavior and track can now be turned on or off.
- Playback speed: Adding to slow-motion recording, you can now play your performances back at slower speeds to make sure every frame looks great.
- Improved lip sync and new visemes: The automatic lip sync has been refined to give more mouth shape options and more accurate output.
- Staple tool: Staple separate parts of a puppet together to quickly connect them.
Virtual Reality gets a shot in the arm with this update as Premiere Pro gets a new Field of View mode, which makes it easier for editors to preview their VR footage from the audience’s perspective. There’s also enhanced video and audio playback of cached frames synced with Adobe Audition.
Other features in this update include Photoshop tools like “Content aware crop,” which enables you to intelligently fill gaps around cropped images to keep them balanced and preventing you from having to start again. There’s also a new Face Liquify feature which enables you to adjust the eyes, nose, mouth and other facial features to give your images that Anime effect. Adobe has also improved the performance of Photoshop with streamlined font menus and an over all content aware feature which speeds up your work flow by nearly 400%.
Illustrator gets a fast export feature which can scale an image for multiple screen sizes rather than having to rescale and re-export for every single one. With Fast export, they do all the standard sizes with a single click. Adobe’s XD Preview has now gone global for advanced designers with extended languages in German, French and Japanese.
Lastly there’s Adobe Stock, which offers a new premium collection of over 100,000 curated images from artists used in top publications and ad campaigns, which you can try and then buy directly from the Stock interface with their One click to buy option. Adobe is also planning to offer users the capability of offering their own images through a new Contributor Portal in Adobe Stock by linking them directly from your images in Adobe Lightroom and Bridge with auto tagging.
Adobe is constantly updating the Creative Cloud interface and it’s really the best feature of the software. Every time a new feature is planned and tested, it’s just incorporated into the online interface for everyone to use, without having to go out and buy a new version. When you consider the low monthly subscription cost, the ability to get these new features as they become available is a definitely advantage to the old way.
Check out Adobe’s site for more details.