Highlights from Day 4 of Adobe Video World 2016:
- Winning Over Clients with Quality Questions
- Frame.io Case Study
- Working with Effects in Premiere Pro CC
- Tips for Better Masking and Tracking
- Staying Organized in Premiere Pro CC
- Creative Cloud Workflow Case Study
- VR Storytelling and Interactivity
Win Over Clients—Ask Powerful Questions
The morning began with some inspiring words by Chris Do on how to win over clients. The premise of Chris's keynote was that the quality of the questions you ask will determine your value to your clients. The ability to listen, be in the moment and ask "high value questions" communicates genuine interest, and will lead to deeper relationships.
Another premise of Chris's keynote was that pitching a capability in response to a client's need immediately creates an opportunity for your client to doubt or distrust you. Think about it, this is our natural reaction to most advertising, right?
Instead, Chris recommended staying in the "diagnosis" phase for as long as possible by asking questions. Take a look at the value of the questions below. What questions are you asking your clients?
Successful tracking in Premiere Pro CC requires high contrast. If you're having difficulty with a track, you may be able to improve the results by adding some contrast to the shot. Contrast can be added using the Brightness & Contrast or the Lumetri Color effects. Then, nest the clip, and run the track. If it's successful, copy and paste the keyframes onto the original clip.
If a track begins to slip, find the last usable keyframe, and delete everything after. Then, set some manual keyframes, and run the track again. The manual keyframes might force the track "back on track". It's not guaranteed to work, but it could be enough to get usable results.
Frame.io acted as a file repository that offered a rich and intuitive commenting system, and deep integration with Premiere Pro CC.
As a file repository, Frame.io replaces an ftp server with increased ease and efficiency. You can upload anything to Frame.io! The preview may not always be accurate, but it won't stop you from uploading any type of file you want.
Comments in Frame.io are threaded, meaning you can reply to specific comments, just like on Facebook. Thanks to recent integration with Slack, Frame.io project activity can be sent directly to a Slack channel.
The crux of the Frame.io Premiere Pro panel is the Sync Playheads button, which links an uploaded sequence to the Timeline. This allows comments in Frame.io to be synced to the Timeline as markers. Likewise, markers added to the Timeline are synced back to Frame.io as comments.
Perfect Effects – Mastering Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro
Nick Harauz had a lot of helpful tips for working more efficiently with native effects in Premiere Pro CC. The insights he shared made attendees think a little differently about effects workflows and organization.
Did you know you can create adjustment layers in Premiere Pro CC? There are some editors who still don't know about this feature, or don't realize the benefits of using adjustment layers for effects work. The ability to use blend modes with adjustment layers was big part of Nick's workflow for creating looks on his footage.
I'm guilty of thinking effect presets are only meant for saving complicated effects. The reality is I don't spend the bulk of my time fine-tuning large effects. It's the little effects, repetitious effects that eat up most of my time. So Nick encouraged us to save presets for the effects we used the most: the simple ones!
There are two types of bins you can create in the Effects panel in Premiere Pro CC. A Custom Bin allows you to sort, and quickly find commonly used effects. (Note: the effects in Custom bins are aliases. Premiere Pro CC doesn't allow to remove effects from the Effects panel.) The other is a Presets Bin which stores customized effects that have been saved as presets.
Let's be honest. The Title Designer in Premiere Pro CC is a bit dated. But Nick pointed out that the Title Designer is useful for creating and compositing shapes, which can be used as track mattes or vignettes.
Totally Organized: Keeping Big Projects Under Control
This session with Jeff Greenberg had a lot of practical tips for managing large projects in Premiere Pro CC. Can't get enough organizational tips as an editor. Project management is the foundation for creative editing.
The unique thing about Jeff is his talent for including Premiere Pro CC tips and tricks that don't necessarily have to do with the topic he's teaching. It adds a lot of extra value to his sessions.
The Ripple Trim Next/Previous Edit to Playhead keyboard shortcuts (Q & W) are invaluable shortcuts for trimming selects sequences. They get even more interesting when you add modifier keys like Option (Alt) and Shift into the mix. Keep in mind, track targeting will determine which clips are trimmed.
A big part of Jeff's session had to do with avoiding repetitious work. For example, you can save a custom bin structure as a Premiere Pro project template. Next time you start a new project, duplicate the project template, and your bin structure will already be in place. The same can be done sequences and track names.
Search bins! Search bins everywhere! They're all over the place at Adobe Video World, but nowhere more than in this session. Jeff really pushed the idea of saving Search bins in his project templates. To learn more about Search bins, visit Find Assets in the Premiere Pro Project Panel.
Take Me Home Huey was more than just a film, there was also fundraising, promotional and social media material that had to be created. Christine shared how she was able to design and deliver all the content for Take Me Home Huey using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications.
It's such an educational experience to witness the different organizational methods people have. Unlike the previous session with Jeff, who focused on clips and Search bins, Christine primarily used clip markers to log her shots.
The principle goal of the editor is to tell a story. In order to do that efficiently requires a level of organization that's appropriate to the size of the project. An editor is only as good as the footage he remembers. Remember that, and take care to organize your project so you can recall your footage quickly.
Virtual Reality: Case Studies in Storytelling and Interactivity
The afternoon keynote speaker was Lucas Wilson, who spoke about the challenges and the future of virtual reality storytelling. When telling stories in VR, the most important thing is immersion of the viewer, because immersion equals emotion. Lucas referenced this point repeatedly during his presentation.
This was my first time hearing the term "true north" used in VR. It refers to that first angle of view the viewer sees when the VR experience begins. Within the first 10 seconds of a VR experience, it's natural for the viewer to look around, and get familiar with the environment. However, that first field of view — true north — will feel like "home base". The filmmakers can affirm this by keeping the primary action in that true north field of view.
One of the biggest concerns around VR and 360° video is making cuts. I was surprised to hear Lucas dismiss this entirely. He was confident that viewers are smart enough to follow the primary action in a 360° environment. The same principles of eye-trace and cutting on an action apply to VR/360° video as well. Just remember to keep the viewer's true north consistent.
Augmented reality has the edge on 360° video because it adds a higher level of interaction. (Fun fact: Lucas said the largest augmented reality company in the world is actually Snapchat.) For this reason, Lucas recommended editors and filmmakers start familiarizing themselves with gaming engines as they will be an integrated part of augmented reality production.
One thing video editors need to be aware of is the amplified intensity of effects in VR and 360° video. It's one thing to see blur effect on a flat TV screen, it's a whole other thing to be immersed in an environment that's completely blurry. Editors should monitor the intensity of applied effects with a headset.
Motion sickness is a real thing when it comes to VR. In fact, Lucas said he's a good test for his own VR projects because he is prone to motion sickness. For a smooth experience, and to avoid making viewers feel sick, Lucas warned against these two things:
With Adobe Creative Cloud, video creators have all the post-production tools they need to tell immersive stories with VR. Lucas confirmed this saying he and his team rely on Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC for their VR editorial and post-production workflow.
Premiere Bro's attendance at Adobe Video World is sponsored by Adobe, Future Media Concepts and JK Design.