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.

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