A Close-up Look at Abobe's Team Projects Preview
Adobe has announced a new service that is going to revolutionize the way Premiere Pro CC users collaborate with each other and with After Effects artists. Team Projects will allow video editors and motion graphics designers to work on a shared project simultaneously within Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and Prelude CC. Not only will Team Projects be a more connected workflow, but it will also be the next evolution of cloud-based post-production and location independent editing. Here are 10 key takeaways from the Team Projects preview.
1. Team Projects is based on Adobe Anywhere technology.
Adobe Anywhere is an on-premise workflow solution that lets video professionals simultaneously access and edit centrally stored media on a network. It is only available with an Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA). Team Projects will take the core of Adobe Anywhere and put it in the cloud, available to all Creative Cloud customers. In so many words, Team Projects is Adobe Anywhere for anyone.
2. Pricing for Team Projects is not yet available.
Team Projects is a "hosted service", and will come with its own price tag in addition to the Creative Cloud subscription. This might disappoint editors who have gotten used to new Premiere Pro CC features on a bi-annual basis since 2013. Consumers need to understand that its a challenge for companies to remain profitable without raising their prices. My guess is Team Projects is Adobe's innovative way of satisfying both customer demand and company profitability. There's no doubt that if Adobe included Team Projects in Creative Cloud, they would be forced to raise the subscription cost.
3. Team Projects is for Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and Prelude CC.
The initial launch of Team Projects will support Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and Prelude CC. (Does anyone want to take a guess at when Audition CC will make it on this list?) Two personal comments: I'm relieved to see Prelude CC will be included in Team Projects. After several release cycles with insignificant updates to Prelude CC, I was beginning to worry. This is a positive sign that Prelude CC still has a valuable place in the Adobe post-production pipeline. Second, I find it very exciting that the initial launch of Team Projects will be geared towards post-production, as opposed to design and illustration. For me, this demonstrates Adobe's continuing commitment to video, and particularly to the professional market.
4. Team Projects will replace standalone project files.
Instead of working in three standalone Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and Prelude CC project files, all three applications will be able to share a single Team Project via the cloud. Team members will be able to create and open Team Projects from the splash screens and File drop down menus of the applications. A unified Team Project will mean cross-platform compatibility between Mac and PC users. Another benefit is font management; missing fonts will automatically be installed.
5. Team Projects is hardware independent.
Unlike Adobe Anywhere, Team Projects will not require shared network storage or any additional hardware. This means that media can be stored anywhere, including the cloud, i.e. Creative Cloud. Combining Team Projects with the new proxy workflows in Premiere Pro CC will make for an end-to-end cloud-based editorial workflow. I wouldn't be surprised if we see new pricing options for Creative Cloud storage to encourage users towards Adobe's cloud storage instead of Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
6. New Media Mapping keeps media online.
Media management is the first dilemma of shared project workflows. It's easy enough to pass project files back and forth, but how do you keep media from going offline? The new Media Mapping capability in Team Projects will let users manage locally stored media independently of each other. Users will be able to save and edit their own Media Mapping without causing offline issues for team members. With Team Projects, all you need is access to media; how and where you access will be irrelevant. Essentially, Team Projects will be media file path agnostic.
7. Team Projects connects Creative Cloud users.
As the owner of a Team Project, you will be able to add collaborators by entering their Adobe ID's in the Edit Collaborators window. Team members will receive an invite to join the Team Project. Here's some wishful thinking: perhaps there will be pricing options that allow team members to be added without them needing to have their own Team Projects subscriptions. In other words, only Team Project owners will be required to have Team Projects subscriptions. This would be similar to many of the online video review and approval services which allow a licensed user to freely invite collaborators to join a project.
8. Share and receive changes with your team.
Working on a Team Project in Premiere Pro CC will be no different than any other project. Your edits will be invisible to team members until you are ready to share it with them. Clicking the new Share Changes button in the bottom of the Project panel will share your work with your team. The Get Latest Changes button will turn blue, notifying your team members that changes have been made.
9. Smart conflict resolution keeps Team Projects in sync.
Conflict resolution is the crux of simultaneous project sharing. What happens if you make changes to a sequence or composition that a team member has already made changes to? Team Projects keeps track of all shared changes to a project, and provides several resolution options when it detects a conflict. You will able to choose between your version, the previously shared version, or choose to save off your version under a new name.
10. Version history makes version backups a thing of the past.
Team Projects will allow you to step back to a previous shared version of a project. So there's no more need to backup iterations of your work. The Media Browser takes on a significantly expanded role here. Team members will be able use the Team Projects History Slider in the Media Browser to browse previous shared states of a Team Project. Earlier versions of shared sequences and compositions will be easily accessible without having to search dozens of old project files.
Now we wait...
Much about Team Projects remains to be seen but, for now, it is positioned to be a post-production game-changer. The new media management, smart conflict resolution and project history in Team Projects is going to revolutionize editing workflows for many Premiere Pro CC users. Scott Simmons framed it this way, "Team Projects might be the most important thing to come along from Adobe since the Creative Cloud."
Do you agree? What's your reaction to the preview of Team Projects? Please share your thoughts along with any relevant information you have on Team Projects in the comments section below.
Helpful Team Projects Links
Watch the Team Projects video preview: IBC Show 2016: Introducing Team Projects | Adobe Creative Cloud
Read the official Adobe blog post: Up Next for Premiere Pro CC and Media Encoder CC
ProVideo Coalition blog post by Scott Simmons: ADOBE PREMIERE PRO IBC 2016 REVEAL – TEAM PROJECTS AND VISUAL KEYBOARD LAYOUT
Read Alex Gollner's recap of Team Projects seen live at IBC 2016.