Adobe reveals details of next versions of After Effects and Premiere Pro

Ahead of the IBC trade show in Amsterdam, Adobe has detailed the new features coming to Premiere Pro and After Effects 2018.

(Adobe hasn't specifically committed to branding these as '2018' releases, but based on past behaviour we think it's likely).

The updates to its video and animation apps are due to be released later in the year – likely near to the Adobe Max conference in October.

Here's what's new.

After Effects 2018

AE 2018's big new feature is the ability to create data-driven animations – from a wide range of graphs to more complex infographics using paths or masks based on data.. These can be based on 'live' data through the use of JSON files, and Adobe has demoed using AE's Expressions scripting tools to dynamically colour graph elements.

There's GPU acceleration for more effects – including Layer Styles, Motion Blur, Directional Blur, the Transform effect and any third-party plug-in that uses the Mercury Rendering Engine.

Also added is a visual shortcut key editor (as found in Premiere Pro and Audition).

Anyone working with type will appreciate full support for ligatures within typefaces – and you can work with TypeKit fonts too.  

AE will be able to use motion graphics templates from Adobe Stock – which will soon offer a selection of titles, lower thirds, bumpers and closing credits. These will also be available in the next version of Premiere Pro.

Premiere Pro 2018

The next version of Premiere Pro will see Mettle's Skybox tools for 360-degree video editing – which Adobe bought back in June – integrated directly into Adobe's editor. This means that they're GPU-enhanced (whether you have a AMD or Nvidia graphics card) and run faster overall.

When reviewing 360 footage in a VR headset (Oculus Rift or HTC Vive) you can use your controllers to scrub your timeline and set markers. You can see a section of your timeline, containing only what Adobe says are "the most meaningful parts" for the review process.

Also new are:

  • One-click gap removal from the timeline (respecting placeholders)
  • You can double-click the Workspace to reset your panel layout to the standard set
  • A choice of 16 colours for labels (up from eight).
  • You can have multiple projects open at once and copy-&-paste between them.
  • Frames around titles will now automatically resize as you edit the text.

Character Animator 2018

Adobe's live character animation tool will offer pose-to-pose movement – only moving between set poses as it follows your movements and speech. The end result is a character that feels more hand-made than motion-captured.

A new Perform panel gives you different hand poses, for example, that you can trigger using keyboard shortcuts or a MIDI keyboard (if you need more keys).

IBC 2017

IBC is Europe's largest trade show for the video industries. Sprawling across 11 halls of the enormous RAI Centre in Amsterdam – and outside – it brings in over 55,000 attendees. IBC 2017 runs from September 15-19, with a conference running alongside it running from Sep 14-18.

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