Adobe CC 15.3

We realize that some of you are not considering 15.3 as a new product, but rather are wondering if it’s stable and worth the update. Here’s what it might mean for your capabilities if you do update to 15.3.

What’s New?

There are three creative cloud apps we are going to cover: Premiere Pro, After Effects and Media Encoder. Between these three programs, this update is most definitely for video editors. Let’s run down each program and see what’s new in 15.3.

Premiere Pro 2015.3

Premiere has the most notable updates out of the three video production programs updated in 15.3. First, you’ll find a new and improved proxy and ingest workflow. If you were jealous of how proxies work in Final Cut Pro X, be jealous no more. Proxies in Premiere now function just like in FCPX — a very welcome improvement. However, it’s a long time coming. We’re happy to have it now but had expected to see it in a previous version.

A new spherical video (i.e., VR) workflow allows you to import stitched video and edit in a view that gives you pan and tilt controls for preview. This gives you the ability to click and drag on the video to explore all of the viewing angles. Plus, there is now the ability to add metadata for panoramic viewing on platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Going along with the VR update are improvements to Lumetri Color. Now you can use a control surface with Lumetri to make adjustments. We tested this with the Tangent Ripple, and it worked nicely. The new control surface support even allows you to reassign what each knob or button does for personal customization.

The new HSL secondaries allow for quick selection of color ranges for better control over nuance. Going along with them are enhancements to Lumetri scopes such as instant feedback, brightness control and support for Rec2020 color space monitoring.

Also notable among Premiere Pro updates are the many new keyboard shortcuts. It’s always nice to have a new way to get a job done with fewer steps. We would have liked it even better if every combination of keys could be used and assigned to any and all processes.

Premiere Pro CC 15.3 - Morph Cut
Premiere Pro CC 15.3 – Morph Cut

Lastly, we weren’t impressed with the original release of Morph Cut, so we hoped updates would finally make it a usable solution to interview jump cuts. Adobe says they’ve improved morph cut’s face detection, so we tried it again. We’re happy to report that Morph Cut is greatly improved and is now usable! However, it remains insufficient as an end-all solution to jump cuts. 

After Effects 2015.3

After Effects saw a different type of update, most of its improvements are to the user experience, not a new tool or improved effects. Adobe touts a smoother playback experience and faster app performance. As much as we noticed improvements, they weren't groundbreaking — improvements nonetheless, however. Also, After Effects touts new accelerated effects, faster importing and an updated Libraries panel.

Media Encoder 2015.3

Media Encoder also got some subtle but positive updates. Working with Premiere, Media Encoder now offers ingest and transcode for proxies. It can now also export directly from Audition and Character Animator. We use Media Encoder for all of our renders; it’s faster and gives a unified location to do all renders, no matter from After Effects or Premiere. We are excited to see this as a trend for CC. The last two notable updates are the new import feature for importing folders and publishing support for Twitter.

Our Experience

Adobe gave us the update early, so it has certainly been put to the test. It’s been working great for us for quite a while now.

It’s always hard to do an update when the software is what makes your work possible. It’s a bit easier for us to accept since we need to report our experiences back to you. In this case it’s easy; 15.3 hasn’t given us any new issues and adds some usable upgrades and updates. We installed it 5 times with no issue, including on a PC laptop and two desktops, and on a Mac laptop and Mac desktop. We do know others who experienced issues, however, so we can’t fully guarantee an issue-free update.

It’s always hard to do an update when the software is what makes your work possible.

Having control panel support now opens up a whole new line of products to the small crew and low-budget producer. Consider yourself having to grade 3,000 different clips, now multiply that by how long it takes you to grade one shot. The time adds up quickly, and if you can shave off even seconds from each effort, it can equate to huge time savings. We are very hopeful for this improvement and hope that affordable control surfaces like the Tangent Ripple will continue to challenge the marketplace and create even more innovation in that space.

Recommendation

With this review, we realize that some are reading this to know whether or not the update is worth the risk of potential stability issues. On the other hand, those not already operating Adobe CC want to know if it’s worth the monthly cost. Let’s address the first group: In our experience, the improvements found in 15.3 did not cause any problems that we would stay away from. In fact we didn't experience any new issues we would consider a negative. To the second group: Yes, the Creative Cloud is a great suite, and because of the constant updates and improvements, Adobe continues to keep the whole CC family on the cutting edge.

STRENGTHS:

New Proxy Workflow is great, but long overdue
Lumetri control surface support worked well

WEAKNESSES:

15.3 projects are not backwards compatible

SUMMARY:

Adobe CC 15.3 gives great updates to all of its video-centered programs. It keeps Adobe on the cutting edge and is well worth leasing or updating.

RECOMMENDED USERS:

Everyone

PRICE: $10 to $70 per month depending on plan

TECH SPECS:

Minimum System Requirements:

Premiere CC 15.3
Windows

  • Multi Core processor with 64-bit support
  • Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (64 bit) or Windows 8 (64 bit), or Windows 10
  • 8GB of RAM (16GB recommended)
  • 8GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)
  • 1280×800 display
  • Sound card compatible with ASIO protocol or Microsoft Windows Driver Model
  • Optional: Adobe-recommended GPU card for GPU-accelerated performance
  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

Mac OS

  • Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
  • Mac OS X v10.9, v10.10, or v10.11
  • 8GB of RAM (16GB recommended)
  • 8GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
  • 1280×800 display
  • Optional: Adobe-recommended GPU card for GPU-accelerated performance
  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

After Effects CC 15.3

Windows

  • Intel Core2 Duo or AMD Phenom II processor with 64-bit support
  • Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
  • 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
  • 5GB of available hard-disk space; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)
  • Additional disk space for disk cache (10GB recommended)
  • 1280×1080 display
  • OpenGL 2.0-capable system
  • QuickTime 7.6.6 software required for QuickTime features
  • Optional: Adobe-certified GPU card for GPU-accelerated ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

Mac OS

  • Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
  • Mac OS X versions 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11
  • 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
  • 6GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
  • Additional disk space for disk cache (10GB recommended)
  • 1440×900 display
  • OpenGL 2.0-capable system
  • QuickTime 7.6.6 software required for QuickTime features
  • Optional: Adobe-certified GPU card for GPU-accelerated ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

Chris Monlux is sick of getting haircuts. He’d like his hair to stop growing, but not fall out. He is also Videomaker’s Multimedia Editor. 
 

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