Thursday, June 4, 2020

Adobe Essential Graphics - Not Ready for Prime Time

With Premiere CC v14, Adobe is forcing us to switch from Titles (now "legacy" titles) to the new "Essential Graphics" system.  In theory, this is a better system for titles and light graphics (you can even incorporate motion), but they released the "feature" WAY before it was ready for public use.

My first gripe is a big one: you cannot "nudge" type areas with the arrow keys.  To move a text field, you have to either physically drag it (not precise), or use the horizontal/vertical transform controls in the Essential Graphics panel (not convenient).

While there are many other issues, the rest of this post will be dedicated to file management for graphics (files) used in "motion graphics templates."

If you place a graphic (a logo, for instance) via the "new layer" drop down choice "From file" in the  Essential Graphics panel, Premiere just drops the file into your project wherever it feels like it.  If you've got twenty or more folders in a project, good luck finding your file (you can use "reveal in project" from the timeline, but wtf?)! So once you add a file via the Essentials Graphics panel, you'll need to manually move said file to a Motion Graphics (or some other) folder to keep things from getting super cluttered.  Additionally, if you create a "Master Graphics Template," Premiere copies the graphic file that you've utilized to a system folder (not just a bin in your project) that Premiere creates called "Motion Graphics Template Media." This new folder on your hard drive will be filled with folders that have been named with randomly generated strings of characters as if Adobe is trying to prevent us from finding OUR OWN graphics files.  Each Graphics Template has it's own folder named by a long random string (i.e. 0df6380f-23b8-467c-9040-8d2e5dc1096e), but then that folder has a subfolder named simply by the SAME NAME as the Graphics Template you created.  WHY IS THE RANDOM STRING FOLDER NECESSARY?! The bigger question is this... why can't Premiere just access the graphic from it's original location (thus preventing the need for TWICE AS MUCH space to store the file)?  If you need to export your template to a new location or another computer, I could see copying the files then to keep them in the template, but create a duplicate right off the bat? Inefficient and confusing to say the least.

Another issue that drives me nuts: there doesn't seem to be an option to "update Motion Graphics Template" if you make a change to it in your timeline.  For instance, if you're using a template and you make a small adjustment to the text, you only have the option to "Export as Motion Graphics Template" at which point you can either save the template again with the same name and then go back into your library, figure out which is the old template, and manually delete the old one, or give the adjusted template a new name (at which point you will STILL need to delete the old template that is now obsolete from your library).

Finally, as referenced in the above issue, if you create two Motion Graphics Templates and place them in the same library, and you name them with the same title, Premiere will not let you know that you've created a title with the exact same name.  In other words, you could create 30 Motion Graphics Templates, all with the same name; then when you need to use the template you created, you have to sift through all the templates with the same name to see which one is the correct one.  Brilliant.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Windows 10 Clip Board "bin"

For years Windows users have had to install third-party software to be able to store more than one item on their "clipboard" (where things go when you cut-and-paste [Ctrl]-C or [Ctrl]-X).  But with a recent update to Windows 10, Microsoft has finally implemented a multi-item clipboard "bin."

The usual cut-and-paste shortcuts still work as they always have, but now you have the option to [Win]-V (windows key + v) and a pop-up will present you with a list of all the things you've cut or copied since turning on your machine last.  This means that from one page, you can cut or copy many items and have access to ALL OF THEM when you go to the location you want to paste those things.  No more going back and forth from various tabs or documents to cut and paste.

This is an incredible time saver.

And not only can you access things you've previously cut or copied during your current session, but you can PIN items to the clipboard for permanent access!  This is a major boon to my daily workflow.

Now instead of having to create a document with commonly used bits of text (common correspondence, various signatures, common strings, etc.), I can pin those things to the clipboard and access them straight from Win-V anytime I wish!

That is an even bigger time saver.

When you open your clipboard, each item will have the ubiquitous "triple dot" next to it.  The options from that menu are "delete," "pin," and "clear all."

If you use multiple Windows devices, you can also choose to sync your clipboard so the items are accessible across as many devices as you wish.  Just type "sync clipboard" in your Windows search bar and follow the instructions!