Adobe's Patrick Palmer, Talks Hollywood, Premiere Pro CC 2018, and Beyond.
Meet the man who is largely responsible for the future of Premiere Pro CC. Premiere Bro is proud to share this exclusive Premiere Profile with Adobe's Patrick Palmer. (Patrick replaced former Sr. Product Manager, Al Mooney, last year.)
In this interview, we ask Patrick about Adobe's recent push into the Hollywood market, and how that focus impacts non-Hollywood editors. He discusses the latest challenges facing video editors, and how the new features in Premiere Pro CC 2018 expand creativity by saving valuable time.
What is your role on the Adobe Premiere Pro team and what do you like most about your job?
I am the Sr. Product Manager for professional video editing. I set the direction for Premiere Pro, Media Encoder, and Prelude.
My job is rather diverse. Together with my fantastic colleagues from marketing, engineering, program management, and several other groups at Adobe, I get to create the path towards the very next release, as well as plan the next couple of years for the product.
Another important part, and probably the most fun aspect of my job, is understanding the actual use of the product across various user segments which I learn through our customers - big and small - throughout the year. These customer interactions significantly drive the Adobe agenda.
What were you doing before coming to Adobe?
I used to work for IRIDAS as the COO up until 2011 when the core technology from its flagship product, SpeedGrade, was acquired by Adobe. Back then I worked with new Adobe teammates to transfer the Speedgrade technology to the Adobe video products, while keeping an eye on great discoverability and usability of the all new Lumetri interface.
After that, I worked on several different initiatives ranging from Creative Cloud Services to classic desktop products such as Media Encoder.
What can Premiere Pro users expect from you in the years ahead? What excites you about the future of video editing?
I like to reimagine things that already exist and present them in such a way that both beginners and experts can use quickly and productively. When I got started in this industry, a lot of products were modeled after analog traditions and workflows. We’ve come along way, but there’s still a lot left to be modernized and democratized. I’ve always been a huge fan of making tools accessible.
Another area that excites me greatly is the integration of machine learning technology into day to day workflows. Creating workflow efficiencies well beyond scripting and pipeline automation will open up a new realm of possibilities for video professionals.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing video creators? How are the new features in Premiere Pro CC 2018 helping video creators overcome that challenge?
Time is precious! Creating the best cut you possibly can while saving time along the way remains the biggest challenge for most video creators these days.
We keep investing in small but meaningful changes to the product. Something as simple as closing multiple gaps at once can save a couple minutes everyday. These are minutes you can invest in one more round of reviews, extra finesse for your trimming, or a final pass on your Lumetri color work. Freeing up some time for a creative break over coffee isn’t so bad either.
Another important challenge is professional output across the board, including sound, color, and graphics. Who has time to be deeply familiar with absolutely every aspect in all these areas? Just like the Essential Sound panel and the Lumetri Color panel deliver great sounding and great looking content, the new Essential Graphics panel can produce professional motion graphics with an approachable workflow. The great range of Motion Graphics Templates available from Adobe Stock provide high quality motion graphics and titles for a much broader range of our customers.
These tools basically allow you to “punch above your weight,” and they’re a lot of fun, too.
There has been a lot of recent talk about Adobe targeting Hollywood. In your own words, what does this mean?
We’re seeing success with editors working on long-form content, resulting in lots of amazing documentaries and feature films, many of which have been presented at film festivals such as Sundance. Working with these editors helped us grow the product for Hollywood-level work. This is where we’ve seen a lot of growth and will continue to engage. We have boots on the ground working with experienced assistant and craft editors, and that’s why we’re involved in some of the most demanding productions, such as 6 Below, Only the Brave and Mindhunter to date, including 4K and 6K workflows.
How does Adobe's aim at Hollywood impact non-Hollywood Premiere Pro users?
There’s definitely benefit for every Premiere Pro user. A lot of the work that went into making Premiere Pro the application of choice for long-form editing will benefit all of our customers. The feedback we get from our Hollywood users helps us harden workflows and create a better, smoother editing pipeline for all editors -- it often results in new features as well.
What was the impetus behind Multiple Open Projects in Premiere Pro CC 2018?
Multiple Open Projects is a classic way of splitting a project into several, lightweight projects. It’s great for getting organized, and excellent for performance on projects with a lot of assets. It’s also useful when you need assets from a previous episode or a project from the archive, etc.
Premiere Pro CC 2018 introduces Shared Projects and Project Locking? What type of editor does Shared Projects appeal to most?
Shared Projects and Project Locking are making life easier for editors collaborating on shared storage. They help create a clear path for organizing assets and moving projects from assistants to craft editors.
How does Premiere Pro compare to the market in terms of offering a native, end-to-end 360 VR workflow?
Premiere Pro has been a leading product for 360 VR video editing for several years already. We decided to up the game further by incorporating a broad range of Immersive Effects and Transitions into Premiere Pro. There’s also a professional toolset for working with VR footage in After Effects, which complements the Premiere Pro editing experience.
What’s the story behind the new Immersive Effects and Transitions in Premiere Pro CC 2018?
Why do we even need new tools for VR you might ask. Isn’t it good enough to project existing effects and transitions in 360? Turns out you need to think differently when producing 360 VR video; none of the traditional tools will serve you well as they’re not meant to be projected into a sphere. Simple things like geometry operations that work perfectly fine on flat images will fail you in 360 VR video. This is where all the new tools come in: they just do the job for you. We don’t want you to think hard about workarounds or whether a tool is applicable. If you use the new Immersive Effects and Transitions, you’ll save more energy for the creative process where it belongs.
Can you describe the Adobe Immersive Environment? How does this feature fit in 360 VR video editing workflows?
The Adobe Immersive Environment is a super fun and useful way to review 360 VR work in progress. It allows for using a head mount display to see exactly what the end user is going to see. It has added controls over Premiere’s playback behavior and timeline, so you can get more work done while you’re wearing the headset.
While you would absolutely want to do as much work as possible without wearing a headset, the Adobe Immersive Environment is an indispensable tool for checking work in progress. It provides enough control over your sequence in the headset to avoid having to remove it all the time. We think this is just the beginning. There’s lots more for us to explore in making this a productive extension to the immersive workflow in general.
How do the new Responsive Design tools redefine motion graphics workflows?
The new Responsive Design features in Premiere Pro allow motion graphics to adapt as your creative vision develops. The Responsive Design - Time feature gives the ability to set intro and outro segments, which means editors can work faster, changing the overall duration of a title or lower third without having to adjust the timing of keyframes to meet the new length of the clip. The Responsive Design - Position features allow you to do several cool things: By pinning a shape to a text layer, you can get the same powerful rescaling effects like in After Effects, where the shape grows or shrinks with the text. By pinning a shape to one or two edges of the video frame, you can create a Motion Graphics template (.mogrt) that can be dropped into different sized sequences for social media, while preserving the overall design aesthetic of your graphics.
Can we expect more Responsive Design tools in the future?
While we have a few ideas percolating, we’re eager to hear about what priorities our users have for future Responsive Design features in both Premiere Pro and After Effects. So let us know what that is!
We hope you enjoyed hearing from Patrick as much as we did. What are your thoughts on Adobe targeting more "Hollywood" productions? How are the new features in Premiere Pro CC 2018 saving you time? Are you excited about the future of Premiere Pro? Please share! We would love to continue the conversation in the comments below.