IBC 2019: new video tools from Adobe, Blackmagic, Lenovo and more

Over the past decade, we’ve seen fewer and fewer new creative tools launched at the IBC conference in Amsterdam – though there are still a few interesting announcements.

Even last year, Adobe used IBC to launch new versions of After Effects, Premiere Pro and other video and animation-focussed tools – though they weren’t released until Adobe’s own Max conference in October alongside a wider Creative Cloud upgrade.

This year Adobe has announced only a single new feature for Premiere Pro in Amsterdam. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be new features added to AE and other video tools come Adobe Max 2019 next month – but it would be unusual not to debut them here, unless their focus is in areas away from the high-end post production and broadcast focus of IBC, for example upgrading the YouTuber-targeting Premiere Rush.

The new Premiere Pro tool looks pretty nifty though. Like the Content-Aware Fill tool added to After Effects in April – which drew on a similar but photo-focussed tool found in Photoshop – Auto Reframe uses Adobe’s Sensei machine learning platform to automate a non-creative task.

Auto Reframe reframes video content to different aspect ratios from vertical to widescreen. Adobe claims it does this by automatically identifying the most important parts of your footage and crops and pans so it’s always in frame.

Blackmagic for Premiere

New right now for Premiere Pro is native support for the Blackmagic RAW codec, through the new Blackmagic RAW 1.5 plugin. A plug-in for Avid Media Composer has also been released.

These allow editors using Premiere or Media Composer to edit footage shot using the RAW codec on cameras such as Blackmagic’s recently announced Pocket Cinema Camera 6K without transcoding or confirming during finishing. The plugins can tap the host computer’s CPU and GPU for maximum performance, and they also allow that full camera information is shared when files are shared between editing in Premiere or Media Composer and colour correction in DaVinci Resolve.

The Blackmagic RAW software also includes versions of the Blackmagic RAW Speed Test for Mac, Windows and Linux for benchmarking desktops and laptops to establish their capabilities with editing Blackmagic RAW footage.

Also announced were new Video Assist 12G monitors, production switches and routers.

Another editing tool to gain support for Blackmagic RAW is Edius, the long-running but niche video-editing software from Grass Valley. The company released version 9.50 at IBC, adding the ability to import – but not work natively with – Blackmagic RAW, as well as Canon Cinema Raw Light, Sony Raw 3.3 and Sony X-OCN. Multicam audio sync is also possible in the version 9.50.

A super-powerful rack workstation

Officially launched at the SEG (Society of Exploration Geologists) conference – a world away from IBC but coinciding with it – Lenovo has launched a new 2U rack workstation targeting larger animation and VFX houses who want the manageability and security of a virtualised workstations.

The ThinkStation P920 Rack is as powerful as it gets in this form, supporting up to two Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 graphics cards or four Tesla T4s, Intel’s Xeon second-generation scalable processors with up to 56 cores at up to 4.4GHz and 3TB of DDR4-2933MHz ECC memory.

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