ADOBE CHANNEL 1ST YEAR ANNIVERSARY: A VIDEO IN RETROSPECT
The Adobe Channel launched from the Community Pavilion at Adobe MAX 2015 and we recently celebrated our first anniversary. Upon discussing ways to celebrate and promote the channel with Adobe Channel Producer, Donna Kelley, we decided it would be fun to put out a retrospective video reel. The caveat was that we wanted this reel published by Adobe MAX 2016 which was in just 8 days. We managed to complete production on time. The video was posted to the Adobe Creative Cloud YouTube channel and tweeted within an hour or two of delivery.
How did we manage this? For one thing, there is no lack of brilliant assets when the subject matter involves artists. Take the video’s background, for example. It was made for social media profiles and combined art from streamers monkeyonstrike, mattgyver and codibear. I changed the opacity of the background slightly and sometimes added a mask to accommodate the scene as needed.
The artwork in the title, as well as the digital on-screen bug that serves to identify the channel in the right bottom corner throughout the video, was derived from a template used to make badges for channel streamers and moderators to post on social media and in their own Twitch channels. Here is a purple one made by mchaize for fellow streamer sydweiler.
I had also been making social media assets throughout the year which came in handy.
Combined with streamer artwork, weaving all of these glorious assets together into a story was truly one of the best experiences I’ve had making a reel. (If only I could do this so readily with my own EPK!)
I conceived a basic concept where I would ask streamers for their favorite piece of art created on the Adobe Channel, a link to the VOD (Video On Demand) for the stream in which it was created, and 10 or 15 seconds of video with anniversary greetings and/or a statement as to why they love streaming for Adobe. The great thing about working with streamers is that they can be ready at a moment’s notice to make a video. More streamers than I expected rose to the challenge. They came through with such heartfelt sentiments and gorgeous art that the transitional arc of the video more or less wrote itself. Thankfully so. Knowing streamers would be responding over the course of the week, I really couldn’t make a proper rough cut. I just puzzled out and corrected footage as it came in. I had written a treatment up front, and I provided preview renders along the way to assure the video was moving in the imagined direction. With such short notice, I started refining my requests of streamers as they responded later in the process, based upon the types of assets I still needed.
As awesome as it was, creating the video wasn’t without its challenges. Are they ever?
Finding downloadable VODs in the Twitch archives is a bit of a challenge. In retrospect, it might have been quicker to use Twitch’s clip tool vs. download entire VODs, but the challenge of finding them remains. It was easier just to grab them as I found them and scrub them locally later. Due to the nature of stream technology, some of the VODs required an audio resync.
Not all streamers were setup to deliver their statements to exact specifications in due course. Premiere handles multiple formats beautifully, so there was only one submission with which I wasn’t immediately equipped to deal. I scaled some videos up, some down, and cropped some, depending upon a variety of issues both corrective and creative. There were a number of lighting challenges to address. Some clips needed to be color corrected, for which I used the Lumetri Color Basic Correction panel. Some low light clips required visual denoising. Audio, overall, typically requires some leveling and repair.
After corrective measures were taken, I used the Lumetri Color Creative panel to apply a creative look to an adjustment layer that spans the length of the sequence. I brought down the intensity of the look and performed other tweaks, as needed, to bring a blended, cohesive feel to the production. Below is a screenshot of the sequence, in which you can see an original clip of HeyItsHystrix, in the Source panel, as well as the Lumetri treated version in the Project panel. You’ll especially notice that the blacks of his clothes are more definitive, as well as the texture of his groovy hair, in the latter. I found a royalty free song I liked for the soundtrack. I often try to find a soundtrack first and work alongside it. It really helps me determine flow. Sometimes, I wind up changing it out. This was one of those times the soundtrack suited everything perfectly.
Since this is a video blog, let me indulge you by concentrating on assets created by some of the Adobe Channel video streamers!
One of the very first things I envisioned for the project was an intro using a Mike Milo cartoon. I am a big fan of Pinky and the Brain and Uncle Grandpa, among other productions to which Mike has contributed. Video and animation are my thing, so I’ve been having a blast watching his streams. I had some very specific footage in my head, and Mike (aka Milowerx) kindly exported Tinga for me in all its high-definition glory. It really started off the production with a bang!
Psynaps excels at 3D motion graphics. Within the Creativity 360 event stream for which I showed social media promotion above, a project was completed that featured his work. It was so rich and robust that it stood out in my mind as something that would provide a spicy transition during special event highlights
Keyframer, another wicked talented animator, collaborates with channel moderator LCFinch on a cartoon called Buttnana and Saucy. Like many other projects created on stream, Buttnana and Saucy is constantly evolving thanks to lots of input from viewers. It is a very fun process in which to participate. A Buttnana and Saucy clip juxtaposed to its VOD added even more spiffy dynamics to the retrospective.
COMMUNITY AND COLLABORATION
The Adobe Channel features media production, illustration, traditional / non-digital art, special events, game shows, charity projects, and a whole lot more! Many streamers will give you feedback on your work, and some even have regular mentoring segments within their streams.
The Adobe Channel: A One-Year Retrospective was, itself, a true channel collaboration and a privilege to produce. Thanks to streamers playing it within their streams over the next week, everyone was able to celebrate together!
Going Meta with MissCoookiez