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NAB, Adobe, and the future of broadcasting and film

I popped over to the Adobe booth at NAB yesterday to see if I could learn a little more about CinemaDNG, a new industry standard the company is developing  for raw video. As luck would have it, Hart Shafer, Adobe senior product manager for Production Premium, gave a preview of several things to come for filmmakers and broadcasters alike. (This being well timed after a somewhat dismal keynote I attended that morning from renowned futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler.)

In half an hour, Shafer ran down a bulleted list of four key areas Adobe is working in now. The CinemaDNG (which utilizes technology already available in the Camera RAW format for photography) can be adopted throughout the film production and post-production pipeline, allowing everyone in the process that touches the film the highest quality source material from which to work. Leading camera manufacturers and software companies are collaborating with Adobe on the open initiative, with hopes to submit to a standards body this year.

He then turned to the topic of end-to-end metadata, giving a preview demo of a new technology from Adobe that automatically transcribes the audio from a video file. The output is XMP (a metadata format), allowing for the creation of ads, for example, based on occurrences of terms and the ability to perform searches within a video.

Next up, a quick After Effects preview demo, which integrates Device Central (a tool for outputting to mobile devices), that allows users to see all the variations of output on mobile devices within one staging area, with the ability to make adjustments quickly as a "design once" solution.

Finally, Shafer gave us a demo of the early beta of Adobe Bordeaux (symbol Bx), a product for creatives who need interactivity in their designs but aren't experts in it and may not need all the functionality in Flash. According to Shafer, this will make "video-rich Flash content creation powerful and simple." Amen to that. With Bordeaux, designers can convert artwork into interactive elements without coding, import Flash video, customize controls, create rich-media banners and interactive buttons, and make objects move, spin, fade, bounce, and slide, for example. He showed how you can simply grab the "Actions tool" for making a quick button with video and use various sliders for setting attributes.  

Looking forwarding to hearing more updates about these cool things Adobe is cooking up!