Color Is The Focus Of The Next Version Of Premiere Pro
*Please note this Insight shows new features in Premiere Pro CC that were announced at NAB 2015, but as of this post are NOT yet available for Creative Cloud members. I would expect this update to be available later this year, but don’t know specifically of the release date. What I show here is subject to change or cancellation by Adobe.
At NAB 2015 I was asked by Adobe to help them announce and show off some really exciting new color features in a forthcoming release of Premiere Pro CC.
Of course, I was flattered, but I was also really excited!
After several weeks of using the new tools, I’ll show you in this Insight, my excitement about the power of these tools was in overdrive.
Well, I finally got the opportunity to show them off at the show and I think you’ll agree like the hundreds of people who stopped by the booth over the week – the future with Premiere Pro CC is indeed colorful!
More Intuitive, But More Powerful
I speak at events a lot and one thing I’m constantly hearing from editors is that they understand the importance of color but don’t have the time to learn a new application like Resolve or SpeedGrade, nor do they have the patience to deal with color workflows, i.e. conforming.
Ever since Adobe purchased Iridas & SpeedGrade a few years ago, they’ve been working hard to solve these and other color problems.
For example, the render free (ish) Premiere Pro > SpeedGrade Direct Link workflow was and is a game-changer. But still, the SpeedGrade UI, and toolset can be intimidating for craft editors.
I think Adobe has realized this over the past few years, and has realized that the current crop of color effects and Premiere Pro are lacking in a lot of ways.
So, in my opinion what Adobe has set out to do is to make the color tools in Premiere Pro more robust and more capable, while at the same time making them more intuitive.
These two concepts can often be at odds, but I think as you’ll see in the video below they’ve succeeded in many ways – from streamlining the application of the color toolset to letting you use as much or as little as you want. These tools can be a good fit for a huge variety of projects.
The one thing that is very clear to me about this work, is that Adobe is passionate about color and how it can help editors, designers and pretty much every creative out there to realize their creative visions.
Overview Of What’s New
Besides dozens of other editorials, audio and workflow enhancements, Adobe, obviously from my description above, has focused heavily on color in the upcoming release of Premiere Pro CC 2015.
Here is a quick overview of what’s new:
- New Color Workspace – there has been quite a bit of work done on workspaces in general in this release including a new workspace panel that by default is docked at the top of the UI. Of course, as in the past, each workspace can be customized. The color workspace opens the Lumetri Color Panel and the Lumetri Scopes.
- Improved Scopes (Lumetri Scopes) – borrowed from SpeedGrade, the updated scopes are much higher resolution, more configurable and best of all perform in real-time unlike the previous craziness with scopes using the Program/Reference Monitors.
- Lumetri Panel – the star of the show is the new Lumetri Panel. Divided into 5 separate sections, the first thing you’ll probably think if you used Adobe Lightroom before is “wow, this feels like Lightroom!” The sections contain different tools for different ways to manipulate the image. All of the tools are based on the 32-Bit Floating Point precision of the Lumetri Deep Color Engine. In real-world use, the tools are responsive and easy to use. As I’ll show you, don’t think of these tools as serial they can be enabled or disabled how you see fit. Probably the best thing about the Lumetri Panel is that instead of having to constantly drag a color effect from the Effects panel out to a clip or adjustment layer (which you might do hundreds of times a day) when you start manipulating a control the Lumetri Color effect is automatically applied to the shot – that alone is a huge time saver.
- Integration In The Effects Control Panel – don’t want to take up on-screen real estate with the Lumetri Panel? No problem all tools are available in the effects control panel including the ability to keyframe, enable/disable and used existing tools like masking and tracking.
- Creative Cloud Libraries – If you checked out my Insight on Project Candy the you already know Creative Cloud Libraries are a way to sync Project Candy looks and other assets. Premiere Pro now has a Creative Cloud Libraries panel that you can to drag and drop saved looks from Project Candy or from other members on your team.
- Source Settings For Raw – if you work with Raw material in Premiere Pro you know that you often have to open up the Source Settings dialog to access Raw development settings. In this update (finally), source settings are integrated into the Effects Control Panel. Premiere Pro auto detects Raw footage and gives you the correct source settings.
There are several other small things including the ability to export Lumetri Color Panel grades as LUTs, but overall these updates are HUGE improvement to grading in Premiere Pro.
This Is Just The Start
I really dig these new tools but as I said in my Insight on Project Candy – the future is really exciting.
These tools open a whole world of new color possibilities for Premiere Pro editors who don’t want to use a 3rd party tool like Magic Bullet and I know that Adobe is committed to continually improving these tools.
Now you might ask: “Robbie, aren’t you worried that these tools will mean less people are using dedicated colorists?”
I’m absolutely not worried.
The more editors, producers, DPs, directors are thinking about color, have the tools to try things out and be able to communicate more about color, then I think that benefits everyone.
Furthermore, for the same reasons I was never worried about a tool like Resolve Lite – talent, eye, and experience are still king. Not only is Adobe helping make the future more colorful, but the future is also bright for all of us because color is on everyone’s mind.
As always if you have questions or comments please use the comments below. Just keep in mind I’m not privy to Adobe’s future plans.
P.S. This is a pretty long movie (yes, I know I say ‘quick preview’ at the top!) – it clocks in around 17:40 min and may take an extra moment or two to load.
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