Adobe has announced updates to After Effects CC, Premiere Pro CC and other video post-production tools within its Creative Cloud software suite – plus the Adobe Anywhere networked editing environment. These Creative Cloud updates have been introduced ahead of the NAB trade show in Las Vegas next week, which is the world’s largest post-production and broadcast video conference and exhibition, but won’t be available until later in the ‘coming months’, according to the company.

The company says its updates are based around three key trends: 4K video (called UltraHD by broadcasters and consumer TV set makers), file-less workflows and distribution of content to multiple devices with wildly varying resolutions ands capabilities. However, Adobe’s also managed to slip in a few new creative features too – where it’s focussed on moving tools from other tools into Premiere and vice-versa.

Adobe has also said that this will be the last major updates to its video tools for a while – with the next big release set for the IBC trade show in Amsterdam in September.

After Effects CC update

Back in the day, updates to After Effects were all about new filters – though this has slowed in favour of attempted boosts to performance and workflow. This new update to Adobe CC adds two new filters that are designed to make keying less painful by reducing the time spent on manually tidying up keys.

Both the Key Cleaner and the Advanced Spill Suppressor are designed to be used alongside the standard keyer, The Foundry’s Keylight. The Key Cleaner is a largely automated tool that removes noise for cleaner keys, while the Advanced Spill Suppressor – as you’d expect – cleans up the spill around keys.

The new feature that’s going to make the most difference for many VFX and motion graphics artists and animators is the ability to add masks to effects with a single click. This makes it easier to constrain an effect to an area of your footage or animation, and there is a button on the timeline to track the underlying clip and match your effect to something that’s in motion.

Adobe has also integrated its TypeKit fonts service into After Effects CC (and Premiere Pro CC too). This gives artists, animators and editors access to 217 fonts that can be used in commercial projects – and includes quite a few ones you’d actually use from Futura and Franklin Gothic to Myriad Pro and Dalton Maag’s Aktiv Grotesk (like Helvetica but better, as used by our sister site Macworld).

Lastly, there's integration with the Creative Cloud's Kuler service, which allows you to capture images using an iPhone app and build colour schemes around them.

Premiere Pro CC

Premiere Pro CC gains the same TypeKit support and masking tools as After Effects. There’s also GPU-accelerated debayering of Red footage (and overall support for more graphics cards for OpenCL-based video processing), the ability to backup project files to Creative Cloud, and ways to output files with the correct metadata for use with broadcasters than require AS-11 or for digital projection.

Live Text Templates users edit text in After Effects compositions from directly within Premiere Pro CC.

One very useful new tools is the ability to apply effects to master clips in the Source panel. These effects are then applied to all instances of a clip on the timeline. This is a fast and efficient way to apply a look or fix a problem across a project when you’ve only discovered it when you’re half-way through editing.

Other CC tools

Adobe has also added the ability to create storyboards to its Prelude CC ingest tool, while users of SpeedGrade will be able to turn layers of a linked Premiere Pro on and off when grading.

Adobe Anywhere update

Adobe Anywhere is a networked post-production environment that uses desktop versions of Premiere Pro and After Effects connected to media processing servers, which do the ‘heavy lifting’ of rendering real-time and preview effects and streaming the results back to the desktops. It’s aim is to boost performance, especially when editing higher-grade formats on laptops or cheaper desktops – as well as letting editors and artists collaborate on projects where all of the media sits on a central server.

Anywhere is currently aimed at larger broadcasters and corporations – but the company expects that soon it will offer a version more suitable for smaller post-production companies.

New tools include full After Effects support – as well supporting working on projects in Premiere Pro and After Effects simultaneously. There’s support for third-party plugins, a full range of export options as found in the desktop version of Premiere Pro, OMF export and the iPad app for reviewing edits remotely has been given a polish too.

Again, the updates to Adobe Anywhere will appear in the coming months.

Adobe CC video tools update November 2013

The updates to After Effects CC, Premiere Pro CC etc follow updates more than 150 new features that were added to the Creative Cloud apps in November last year. The updates were announced back in early September and shown at the IBC exhibition in Amsterdam – but now you can get your hands on them. This is the first time these tools have been updated with new features since the Creative Cloud was launched in June. The updates are available now, free for Creative Cloud members.

After Effects CC new features

The Mask Tracker is a new tool for After Effects that allows you to create a mask around an area of your footage and then have AE automatically track that area frame-by-frame throughout it. This should speed up tasks with footage featuring a moving camera, such as adding bloom to lights or rotoscoping out unwanted elements.

For Mac users, the After Effects CC update brings compatibility with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, which was previously only achievable by downloading a slightly fiddly patch. Other Adobe Creative Cloud apps were already compatible with Mavericks.

See Will Adobe's CC and CS apps work on Mac OS X Mavericks? for more information.

Premiere Pro CC new features

Adobe says it has made editing in Premiere faster, with improved multicam, enhanced closed captioning capabilities, new monitor overlays and audio monitoring features.

OpenCL support allows effects and processing to be accelerated by a wider range of graphics cards – including AMD's. Support for GPU processing of the Cinema DNG format allows real-time playback. There's also support for UltraHD, 4K and higher resolutions, high framerates and more RAW formats.

Users can move multi-track timelines back and forth between Premiere Pro CC and SpeedGrade CC – allowing you to quickly apply looks to entire projects as well as individual clips. The results live 'live' inside Premiere Pro through support for SpeedGrade CC's Lumetri Deep Colour Engine.

SpeedGrade CC new features

The new SpeedLooks feature allows users to match the colour spaces even across different camera formats, according to Adobe. You can also work with multiple masks and linked mask layers.

Media Encoder CC new features

New Sync Settings in Adobe Media Encoder CC let users now sync application preferences between multiple computers via Creative Cloud.

Prelude CC new features

The new Prelude CC Live Logger iPad app allows users to log notes, events, and other data on their iPad while shooting, including the ability to sync with timecode on set via supported wireless timecode generators, and then sync metadata to footage via Creative Cloud.

Story Plus CC new features

New production planning features in Adobe Story Plus provide scheduling and reporting tools for managing productions efficiently, making it easier to modify and share lists between productions and users.

Adobe Anywhere new features

Adobe has also released updates to Adobe Anywhere, a server-based version of Premiere Pro that uses the desktop software almost as 'thin client'. Your media lives on the server – and edits, effects and the like are processed there. The aim is to make working as part of a post-production team easier with asset management taken care of – as well as tapping the power of the server for higher-performance than using a desktop or, especially, a laptop.

The update offers early access to support for After Effects CC using the same set-up. Users can also edit media in Premiere Pro CC while it is recording to a file – a capability Adobe says is important for sports and live broadcasters.

Adobe has also released the new Adobe Anywhere iPad app. This enables users to view productions and play back sequences on the Anywhere server from the field or a remote location.

To find out more about the Creative Cloud video app updates, visit Adobe's blog.