Auto-Proxy Software, AI Transcription, and Smart Timecode Device Among Premiere Pro Workflow Solutions at NAB Show 2017
By Dylan Osborn
NAB Show in Las Vegas has become a yearly pilgrimage for me to catch up with other post production pros and see what’s new from the major NLE and camera manufacturers. It’s also a chance to get exclusive sneak peaks at technology that will be on the market in the near future. The fun thing about being at NAB Show is that when you hear about a cool product, you can go to the manufacturer’s booth and check it out – and probably meet the people who invented it! Of course, I’m always interested in Adobe Premiere Pro workflows. Here are five cool products to boost your Premiere Pro editing workflow that I discovered at NAB Show 2017.
The week before NAB Show, Adobe released full updates to all Creative Cloud apps including Premiere Pro and After Effects. The new Essential Graphics panel is a welcome way to create multi-layered titles within a single graphic object in Premiere Pro. But After Effects is where Essential Graphics really gets interesting for editors. As Premiere Bro explains, you can select multiple properties (font, color, size, etc.) from deep within an AE comp, save the comp as a .mogrt template, and those properties become editable in the Essential Graphics panel in Premiere Pro. Viola! The Motion Graphic Template possibilities are endless.
It was really cool to talk with Adobe engineers and see how they’ve listened to users, taken an old feature (AE live text templates), and expanded it into a major workflow booster for both apps. This is something that everyone from small shops to major broadcasters will use every day.
Following a suggestion from Jarle Leirpoll, I found a little meeting room at the far end of South Upper hall and met the Comprimato team. They’ve created a way for Premiere Pro editors to use the same file as both uncompressed, full resolution master and proxy file. The playback resolution menu in the Program Monitor is all you need to switch back and forth, and the performance gains are huge – imagine editing 8K on your laptop!
So how is this possible? JPEG 2000 wavelet compression. With the UltraPix plugin, Adobe Media Encoder converts your source files to the JPEG 2000 codec in an MXF wrapper. They can then be decoded at any resolution you need. Some people I talked to mistook this for a new codec to worry about, but it’s actually a clever combination of the existing, open-standard JPEG 2000 codec (which anybody can use) with Comprimato’s software and hardware. The result is a new type of mezzanine file with huge workflow upsides for 4K, 8K, VR, and VFX on low budget hardware. It will be exciting to see where Comprimato takes this.
Digital Anarchy announced this Premiere Pro plugin at Supermeet and got a great response. The Transcriptive panel within Premiere will automatically use AI to convert the speech from your video clips into text in the panel, which can then be corrected line by line if necessary. This text can be used for captions, subtitles, or placed into markers for enhanced search in Premiere Pro. With a claim of 96% accuracy, and the beta available this month for free, Transcriptive could become a low cost yet accurate transcription option for Adobe editors.
Have you ever synced footage from a multicamera shoot, using audio waveforms? Hopefully you already know this can be done right in Premiere Pro’s Create Multicamera Source Sequence window. Although, some people like Red Giant’s PluralEyes plugin for its extra features and integration. Either way, the syncing process rarely goes perfectly (especially with DSLR footage). Some clips may not have clear reference audio, others may not overlap. Cameraman Ulrich Esser decided to “fix it on set” and invented Tentacle Sync, an affordable hardware solution for writing continuous timecode into camera audio tracks. He showed me how to plug a “tentacle” box into each camera, set up and sync them with the mobile app, and shoot away.
When you ingest the footage, the Tentacle Sync Studio app uses the timecode embedded in each audio track to sync all the clips perfectly. Then we just sent the sequence over to Premiere Pro. A little preparation goes a long way!
Adobe had one of these little audio monitors plugged into their Audition demo station, and it struck me as a useful addition to any edit suite. If you’ve used Premiere Pro’s built in LoudnessRadar effect, TC Electronic should sound familiar because they made it. But the effect opens in a pop up window, and even if you apply it to your master output in the track mixer it can be cumbersome to monitor while editing.
The Clarity M solves that by giving you a dedicated, USB-connected external monitor for audio loudness and levels, freeing up screen real estate for the visuals. If you think about how much external video monitors cost, this tool seems like a no-brainer for achieving consistent audio mixes – which is half the experience, after all!