Adobe have released the latest versions of their Creative Cloud apps at their MAX conference in Vegas.

You can see more details on their site, but let’s pull out some of the highlights in SP’s areas of video, print and digital:

My favourite new thing in Premiere might actually be that the splash screen is nicer! No, really. First thing every morning for the last few months, editors have been confronted with a picture of a tiny silhouetted human in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, staring up hopelessly at an enormous glowing broken machine. Nobody needs that kind of metaphor before they’ve had coffee.

As far as actual features go, you can now open multiple projects in Premiere (just like Final Cut Pro 1 in 1999!)  Back when we started switching to Premiere in 2010/11, one of the main advantages we hoped for was that Premiere would be able to open multiple large projects better than FCP with its 32 bit memory limitation. So it’s taken a while to get here, but we’re happy that we can do this instead of telling editors and assistants to browse into other projects in Media Browser.  Our clients’ TV editors who are used to working with Avid have wanted this for ages.

They’ve also added Project locking, allowing you to provide Read Only access to other users on your network or shared storage.

Adobe’s Team Projects (Adobe Anywhere Lite) comes out of Beta to v1 and gives remote simultaneous collaboration options, based in the cloud. We’re doing another round of testing for this at the moment with our broadcast clients.

However, we think that the Project locking will be more popular in the nearer term for the more familiar serial editing workflows on local storage.

They’ve added a Close Gap feature (same level of long-awaited relief as multiple projects!)

Titles in Premiere get another upgrade. They were completely changed earlier this year into a new tool called Essential Graphics. The old tool was long-overdue an upgrade, and although editors were excited about Essential Graphics, many that I spoke to were then a bit frustrated by its lack of ready-made templates and the AE-type fiddliness of it.

It has also caused me pain even making basic titles in Premiere, as it’s easy to unwittingly break titles you’re not even looking at, and only discover your mistake when previewing your exported file.

In this release, Adobe have updated Essential Graphics, and it’ll be interesting to see if the new version is a bit lessy clicky and liable to trouble from fat-fingered keyboard shortcut users like me.

The thing that should really help here is that they are expanding the availability of Motion Graphics Templates (which they have nicknamed MOGRTs – pronounced horribly to rhyme with yoghurt). These can be used with Essential Graphics inside Premiere, to provide templated graphics – you just change text and colours, but the layout and design stays fixed.

They’ll be selling shiny Motion Graphics Templates in Adobe Stock and also letting you sell your own there. Stock now has a searchable panel within Premiere. Adobe are saying there’ll be hundreds available – presumably all for a price.  We may yet see a future in which making impressive shiny titles is easy and fun.

These templates will also now be responsive to different frame sizes, which will help with multi-frame deliveries. This is part of Adobe’s realisation that they need to help us deliver more content versions, more quickly.  No Film School have posted in more detail about these new responsive design features.

Virtual Reality in Premiere and AE gets a big boost from the integration of Mettle Skybox tools, so that you can now do proper VR editing, and watch in a headset without third party tools.

Outside Premiere, Adobe have finally launched Character Animator. It’s pre-release Beta name was Adobe Animal. (How much better is that as a name? Product naming people are weird.) It allows you to do live puppetry of cartoon characters, and they’ve been showing off live chats with Homer Simpson and Mr Bean. I can see this getting used a lot, particularly online.

They’ve also launched the very useful looking Adobe XD, for designing web and mobile UI and UX, and a 3D design tool called Dimensions, which in Beta was called Felix (again with the product naming!)

And Lightroom CC moves to being a web-based tool, which is very cool – and of course makes sense these days. (It will still be available on Desktop as “Lightroom Classic”)

I’ve skipped over all the AE, Audition, Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign stuff here because it was already getting long – but for more on these and other tools, you can read about it on Adobe’s site.

Hope this was useful – please let me know if there’s anything you particularly like that we’ve missed out, or think I’ve judged unfairly.

— A last note on upgrading: —

Frame.io have announced this morning that their panel is not compatible with the new version, so if you’re a Frame user, wait a bit before upgrading. Remember to test your other 3rd party plugins and apps before making a big switch, and don’t upgrade in the middle of a project. For most of our clients, we tend to wait to version 12.1 in a couple of months before rolling out across all machines.