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Adobe Anywhere Updates at NAB

Adobe has lifted the veil a little further on the much-trailed editing platform, Anywhere, although there is no release date yet. The beta version will be demonstrated at NAB.

Anywhere allows editors to edit projects on a central server from remote clients. Premiere Pro provides the client, but all media files are hosted on the server. The server platform includes the Adobe Collaboration Server and the Mercury Engine along with third part storage and MAM. The Collaboration Server arbitrates and manages the clients, and the Mercury Engine performs the video processing to render the timeline and streams to the clients. 

The remote Premiere client serves the function of clip viewer and user interface, although it can also be used to add local media to projects. Local files are uploaded in the background to the server. The client displays clips streamed in real time.

Although this may appear to be editing in the cloud, the initial release looks likely to be targeted to the enterprise user, and hosted with on-premise servers. The client requires about 30 to 40Mb/s of network connectivity, so don't expect to cut video from your local coffee shop. The Mercury Engine will run on high performance GPUs, like the NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators. A card like the Tesla K20 has 2496 CUDA cores (I’m composing this document on a laptop with 32 cores), so can handle several concurrent clients.

The larger broadcaster with a high capacity network it looks a good fit for initial rollouts. To build the storage network and Mercury engine will require special skills, and Adobe has trained up a selected group of system integrators to handle the server side of Anywhere.

Many of today's program genres have high shooting ratios, and may use a lead editor with a couple of assistants so collaboration is key. The Anywhere platform, with its central storage, fits with such editing requirements

At NAB alongside Anywhere, Adobe will be previewing the next release of Premiere Pro. This will see a number of user interface tweaks resulting from ongoing dialogue with working editors. Relinking media is one area that has been improved. Another handy development is support for mezzanine codecs—DNxHD and ProRes.

Adobe seems to be working hard to pick up dissatisfied editors from competitors by listening to their needs. After all, the technology is only a tool, and the skill lies in the cutting of programs against ever tightening deadlines.

For After Effects users the fruits of Adobe's strategic alliance with Maxon is evident with a new live 3D pipeline withCinema 4D. AE now comes bundled with a Lite version of Cinema 4D, allowing the user to add 3D objects and scenes and eliminate the need for intermediate rendering. AE too will have integration with Adobe Anywhere.

A quick look, but I hope to add more detail when I get my hands on a demo.