Adobe is known as being the creator of Photoshop. Then, they went and bought Macromedia in 2005 which changed the game a lot for the creative industry. Since then, apps were bundled, we’ve moved to a subscription model with Creative Cloud, and all the apps now work together intuitively. I have a great respect for the company that makes the software I use every day. But there are certain workflows that I think can improve. And, being a photographer and videographer, my advice and opinion stretches across most of the apps they have. Let’s go through each one of them, and hopefully get some input with regards to the changes you'd like to see them make.
Adobe Premiere Pro
Renders with Adobe Premiere apparently take a lot longer than renders with Final Cut Pro. According to the guys using both, 4K footage in Final Cut is a breeze, as the app is optimized for the Mac. “It’s like magic!” is not something you hear from the Premiere camp very often unless you have built some sort of super computer. I’m ok with waiting for it, my Creative Cloud subscription gives me more than Apple’s Final Cut will. But I hate wasting time. Adobe can surely start using the mobile Creative Cloud app to send through notification when my Mac is finished rendering the video. It's all connected anyway, so let's make use of it Adobe.
Adobe can also make it possible to record a screen with Adobe Premiere Pro. Editors can then include their screen into the video they are producing with ease. It is a video editor, I get it, but we as videographers use the media online more and more in our work. This can be a great add on to Premiere’s capabilities.
And finally, the ability to edit multi-cam footage as it plays through. So you can play four or 6 compositions simultaneously and select which one best suits the video at that specific moment in time. I imagine it to be something similar to the editing of a live news or sports feed where the editor chooses which camera to switch to to best show the sports or news to the viewer as it happens.
It's a file management App. I get it. But, you can also import files from cards, apply raw develop settings to a batch of images, and filter through your 5-star rated images. So if I can import, why can’t I tether? It’s a form of importing is it not? I must be able to select where the files must go, and also give a second location for backup. I don’t use Lightroom because I always go through Photoshop with masking, duplicating layers, and using adjustment layers that I rather go to it directly. Bridge’s tethering will make it even better.
Secondly, I want the ability to select a few images and click a mood-board key which creates a mood-board for me where I can move and scale the images around. The ability to add text must be there too, as well as the ability to choose the paper stock size. This isn’t for production. This is for planning, pre-production, where I go to see clients with ideas and I add a lot of production value to my meeting and client experience if I can have a printed mood-board to indicate the ideas I have for the shoot. It can even be built on the back-bone of InDesign.
Can we add the raw module as an adjustment layer already? Instead of having to duplicate the layer, add the effects and not being able to go back unless it’s a smart object really isn’t the most intuitive, and things can surely be different.
When making a selection with the Pen Tool, I want to be able to Select and Mask there and then. Currently, I right-click, make the selection, go to the Magic Wand Tool or the Marquee tool to get the option to Select and Mask at the top. This used to be the Refine Selection, but it’s a step forward for me.
With regards to the interface, if you press F once you get a gray full screen background that you can spacebar-click to get to where you want to be on the image. If you press F again, all the tools disappear, making me believe there are certain people in this world who know all the shortcuts. I'm not one of them. Make the menus on the top, the tools on the left and the layers panel on the right appear when your mouse touches the edge of the screen, the same way the Mac's dock pops up when you hover the mouse at the bottom of your screen.
Now audio has never been Adobe’s strong point, but this year they showed some real developments with regards to the editing of this medium. What I think will integrate it more within the workflow eco system is to give it the Premiere or After Effects editing screen like you can with Apple’s Logic and Final Cut Pro. It’s a great workflow, and surely something I think they can focus on.
Behance was acquired by Adobe a couple of years back. Since then it’s grown a lot and Adobe gave us a way to present our portfolios in a custom domain using the Behance backend with MyPortfolio.com. They also brought out two mobile apps. One, to view your feeds of the people you follow, and the other to display your work in a presentable way.
What I believe the next step is, is to develop a way to connect teams based on location. An example of it’s use would be arranging of a shoot. If I can get the stylist, videographer, make up artist all by using this new app, it can be a massive advantage for me as photographer. Now I know there is almost no incentive for them to develop it, but their API is out there for a third party developer team to take a crack at it. People will pay for it, and actually subscribe. Behance’s costs are too high though.
After Effects is an amazing app. It is intuitive, has all the capabilities you need to produce great motion graphics. One of the things I think can improve is the timeline. It’s bars. In Premiere we can scroll up and down and get the pen tool in there to fade out from one shot to the next. It’s also "messier" and doesn’t line-up as intuitively as Premiere does. This is definitely something they can improve on.
When importing a PSD into After Effects, you can either import a flattened image, or you can import a layer. It can surely be possible to import the layers all as is, as layers into After Effects.
These are some of the changes I reckon will improve the general workflow of the photographer, videographer, and general creative person using these tools. If any of the changes are possible already, please share it in the comments. Also, if you have any changes that I haven’t mentioned, please share that too! If you're not an Adobe user, and you want to find out more, you can find out more on their site.