Adobe finally released the much advertized “Creative Cloud” version of their applications this week. The most significant aspect of that change is that significant software updates can be released on a much faster cycle. The other big change is that instead of buying a permanent license for a specific application, users buy a monthly subscription to access all of Adobe’s software, to be downloaded and installed whenever they need it. Contrary to what the name implies, the software doesn’t actually get hosted from the cloud, only the installers do. Similar to previous versions of Creative Suite, owning a single license allows software to be installed on two systems, and anything beyond that will require juggling activations.
Besides the changes to way the software is delivered to the end user, there are a whole host of improvements in the individual apps. Obviously I focus primarily on Premiere Pro, but there are lots of other applications included with Creative Cloud. Photoshop has a bunch of new automated sharpening tools, Speedgrade has a user interface, and After Effects integrates with Cinema4D. Premiere Pro has new tools for more efficiently managing source assets. Projects can be moved and linked easier, and exchanged with other NLEs, like Avid and FCP, with broader support for XML and AAF import and export. The Mercury Playback Engine is now optimized to take advantage of multiple GPUs if available.
One of the new developments with the most potential to change workflows in the future, is support for Adobe Anywhere. If it works as advertized, Adobe Anywhere will allow projects to be shared between editors, for a more collaborative creative experience. That will actually be a cloud supported feature, since the projects and media with be hosted on a server, and encoded live for network based playback. This is similar to how Avid Interplay works, so we will begin to see some competition at that level.
To be completely honest, I never really embraced CS6 for my own projects, and still have CS5.5 on my personal systems. But as soon as I can find a new laptop I like, I will be jumping to the new versions of all the Adobe applications. But my search for a latest generation laptop is another whole story for next time.