SVG Europe Sit-Down: Adobe’s Steve Forde on cloud-based production and recent sports highlights

Adobe group product manager – digital video and audio Steve Forde

Adobe group product manager – digital video and audio Steve Forde

Extensive updates to the professional video apps in Adobe Creative Cloud – including comprehensive native format compliance for editing 4K to 8K footage and support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) workflows – were among the highlights of Adobe’s presence at IBC 2015. As cloud-based workflows continues to rise in prominence, it is therefore no surprise to discover that this production revolution was a primary topic of SVG Europe’s recent conversation with Adobe group product manager – digital video and audio, Steve Forde.

But there was also time to consider the changing nature of sports production per se, as well as some specific recent sports project highlights…

How would you describe general activity levels for Adobe’s broadcast related business in 2015, compared to 2014?

As a public company, we don’t report on the specifics of any part of our business, but we know large numbers of broadcasters continue to standardise their workflows on Adobe. The transition to file based media and the recent addition of 4K support is a big motivator for broadcasters to adopt Adobe’s workflow.

How would you characterise the current state of play with regard to cloud-based workflows in broadcast? Has the business case now been made, or do some people still remain to be convinced?

It varies considerably – the number of broadcasters who are introducing cloud workflows is increasing every month. As modern media enterprises go virtual, they can realise tremendous boosts in productivity by adopting cloud-based workflows, which is a key advantage for Adobe as we offer some of the best creativity tools via Creative Cloud.

What are the primary elements that you think differentiate the Adobe cloud services from that of other vendors?

Our cloud services are not generic and are designed to support a specific customer workflow. With our patented CreativeSync technology, it powers the connections between desktop and mobile apps and the assets creatives use every day. This deep Creative Cloud integration is a key differentiator for video professionals.

To what extent have you seen traction achieved among sports broadcasters?

We’ve worked closely with a range of sports teams, leagues, federations and broadcast rights holders to deliver a wide range of experiences. Examples include: host feed of the 2014 World Cup (for HBS, with MoovIT and EVS); 2015 F1 Coverage by SkyTV; and extensive usage of our tools by NBC Sports, NASCAR, MLB, ADI, Freeride World Tour, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Rams, Van Wagner Big Screen Productions and many others.

In what ways do you expect sports broadcaster workflows to change over the next few years – and in what ways can Adobe help support this?

Sports is one of the last ‘all live’ audiences. The live workflows we’ve created with EVS allows editors to edit feeds while they are being recorded, which is key to providing amazing coverage. This will continue to be amplified by trends such as social sharing. Use of graphics and complex animations will grow as solutions such as After Effects will become more integrated into the production pipeline.

Finally, please provide a few hints about forthcoming plans and projects…

Now that would be telling! We’re working with pretty much every major broad entity globally who will be covering all major events – stay tuned.

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