As the world of virtual reality advances, Adobe is right there in the center of the action.
[Editor's note: In this series, we will be exploring Adobe's approach to several aspects of post-production, and how Creative Cloud can help elevate your work.]
One of the reasons that it's an exciting time to be making movies is that, as virtual reality (VR) grows in popularity, filmmakers are finding bold, innovative ways to use all the new technology to tell dynamic stories. And Adobe is right there, front and center, providing industry-leading workflows for VR right inside its flagship video editor. Premiere Pro now allows editors to work in VR like never before through its VR Video mode and the Adobe Immersive Environment via a head-mount display.
We chatted with Project Manager Patrick Palmer over at Adobe about all of the powerful tools Premiere Pro offers editors working in VR, including dynamic effects, transitions, and orientation-based audio, effectively turning it into an end-to-end solution for creative immersive 360/VR experiences. Here are some of the features that Palmer mentioned.
VR Video Mode
The transition from editing standard content to 360 and VR content can be a difficult one to make, but Premiere Pro's VR Video Mode (and the VR Comp Editor in After Effects), makes it a little easier by allowing users to edit footage the same way they always have. VR Video Mode transforms equirectangular 360 footage into flat rectilinear images for a more familiar editing experience.
Adobe Immersive Environment
How is an editor going to know if their work is truly immersive if they can't see their 360/VR footage from the point of view of their audience? Well, Adobe has made it possible to edit and monitor content in Premiere Pro while wearing the same VR headsets many viewers use at home. Editors can navigate their timelines and shuttle playback, as well as perform edits like "trim" and "add markers" with the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and VR controller, all while still using keyboard-driven editing.
Users have the ability to give their viewers a truly immersive experience by using orientation-based audio. Determined by your position or orientation, this new functionality allows audio to be edited and exported as ambisonic audio for all platforms that support VR, including Facebook and YouTube.
Immersive Effects and Transitions
Premiere Pro offers a number of powerful tools for editing 360 and VR footage.
With seamless effects like VR Blur, VR Glow, VR Sharpen, VR De-noise, and VR Chromatic Aberration, users can add style and artistry to their stitched content without resulting in visible seams, distortions, or artifacts. Also, titles and graphics are easily added to your footage with the Plane to Sphere effect, which automatically projects a 2D image into the sphere.
Video transitions also give users the ability to guide their viewers' gaze through the immersive virtual world around them. These include VR Iris Wipes with position and feathering controls, VR Mobius Zoom, which gives images a sense of movement, and VR Spherical Blur, which spin viewers to the next scene. Other transitions, like VR Gradient Wipe, VR Random Blocks, VR Light Rays, VR Light Leaks, and VR Chroma Leaks give users a more stylistic approach to transitioning from one scene to another.
Though VR and 360 video are still relatively new art forms, filmmakers and other creatives are eager to experiment and learn, as well as help create its language. However, technology is still struggling to keep up with the pace of its users. As Palmer says, "VR has been around for 20 to 25 years now, but technology hasn't evolved enough to go mainstream yet." He adds, "We're making it possible to do storytelling in a new way, whether it's a three-minute or 90-minute project. We're seeing the seed being planted right now, and we want to be there for our customers. There shouldn't be so much trouble getting into VR."
Premiere Pro offers so many solutions and powerful tools for working with this kind of media, from dynamic effects and transitions to immersive editing options, that editors, filmmakers, and designers won't have to wait for the technology to mature because it's right there growing along with them.