Adobe Unveils Powerful New Collaboration and AI Capabilities in Photoshop

Adobe has announced at Adobe MAX  new innovations in Photoshop that make the world’s most advanced image editing application even smarter, more collaborative and easier to use across surfaces. Share for Review (beta) enables users to conveniently collaborate on projects without leaving Photoshop, and new features make editing images in a browser far more powerful. Additionally, the flagship Photoshop desktop app adds breakthrough features powered by Adobe Sensei AI, including selection improvements that enhance the accuracy and quality of selections, and a one-click Delete and Fill tool to remove and replace objects in images with a single action.

“In a world where everyone can be a creator, Adobe is ensuring that Photoshop evolves to serve all creators across platforms and devices,” said Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice president, Creative Cloud at Adobe. “This year, we’ve made Photoshop smarter and more collaborative so you can easily get feedback and create spectacular images even faster.” 

Collaboration First

Seamless collaboration has become critical for creative workflows in today’s increasingly digital economy. Supporting collaborative work from anywhere, the new version of Photoshop introduces Share for Review, enabling convenient collaboration between creators and stakeholders: All feedback is managed and incorporated directly within the Photoshop app.

This new feature lets creatives easily share a preferred version of their work in the form of a web link. Collaborators can review the project and comment right in their browser, even without a Creative Cloud subscription. Whether creators are sharing work for stakeholder review, or collaborating with their coworkers, Share for Review syncs comments across devices, and works wherever users do – at the office, at home or on the go.

AI Innovations Make Creation Faster, Easier and More Powerful

New AI features launching today in Photoshop include:

  • Selection improvements that enable users to hover over, detect and make detailed selections of complex objects with a single click, creating higher quality and more accurate selections of elements such as skies, foregrounds, subjects and hair, while preserving detailed edges.
  • One-Click Delete and Fill selects and removes objects from images, filling the removed area using content-aware fill, in a single action in Photoshop on the web.
  • Photo Restoration Neural Filter (beta) helps Photoshop on the web users bring old or damaged photos back to life, using machine learning to intelligently eliminate scratches and other minor imperfections on old photographs.
  • Remove Background is now available in Photoshop on the web (beta), enabling one-click background removal.
  • Masking and Brushing are also now available in Photoshop on the web (beta) and make precise adjustments faster and easier from a web browser.

Photoshop and Lightroom AI image-editing features were used over 1.3 billion times in the past year. These innovative tools power mundane Photoshop tasks, such as selecting detailed objects, changing a person’s expression or removing blemishes from a portrait. By simplifying complexity and speeding up time-consuming processes, Neural Filters and other AI-powered features give Photoshop users more time to do what they love – create.

Improved Multi-Surface Experiences

Photoshop delivers an approachable and intuitive experience across desktops, iPads and browsers, enabling creators to work wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. Photoshop on the iPad continues evolving to ease creation on tablets. iPad users gain access to Photoshop’s powerful one-tap Content-Aware Fill and Remove Background features, using AI to accurately replace unwanted elements in photos so creators and editors can work faster.  

New Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements 2023. Now With Sensei AI

Adobe has announced Photoshop Elements 2023 and Premiere Elements 2023, including all-new features the company says makes creative photo and video editing simple for users at any skill level. The new releases incorporate new Adobe Sensei AI-powered features to enable intuitive, streamlined editing, and offer step-by-step Guided Edits that everyone from beginners to advanced users will appreciate. Going beyond the desktop app, Elements 2023 also offers a connected experience with new web and mobile companion apps (English-only beta) that ease on-the-go photo and video access, viewing and sharing.

“We believe everyone should be able to create anything they imagine,” said Ashley Still, senior vice president, digital media marketing, strategy & global partnerships at Adobe. “With Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, anyone can bring their creative visions to life in new ways with AI-powered editing, hands-on learning content and the flexibility to enjoy their creative content from any location.”

Whether consumers want to make quick editing adjustments or explore advanced artistic options, Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements dramatically simplify the creation and sharing of inspiring visual content. Some of the many innovative new features in Elements 2023 include:

  • AI advancements for photos and videos let you add Moving Elements to photos, so you can bring a touch of movie magic to waterfalls, clouds and backgrounds in still images, then save in social-ready formats including MP4 (videos) and GIFs (animated photos); Artistic Effects inspired by popular art styles let you transform entire video clips with one click.
  • Take photos to the next level with updated creative content including new backgrounds, patterns and skies.
  • Use new collage and slideshow templates to showcase your photos in fun ways.
  • Create with Peek-through Overlays to create the illusion of depth in photos.
  • Choose the perfect soundtrack for everything from home movies to class projects with 100 new audio tracks in Premiere Elements.
  • Enjoy enhanced performance and stability, with up to 35% faster installation, 50% faster launch times, a 48% reduction in app size and up to 70% faster launch times on Apple M1-powered Mac computers.
  • Enjoy on-the-go access to your photos and videos by using the new mobile companion app (English-only beta) to upload to the cloud, streamlining your creation and editing of photos and videos on the desktop.
  • Do more from any browser by using the new web companion app (English-only beta) to share and view edited photos and videos, and create photo collages and multimedia slideshows.


At A Glance

Edit with the power of AI. Add motion, effects, and overlays. View via web and mobile.*

New Features and Benefits

NEW Select an area and make it move

Bring a touch of movie magic to any photo by selecting an area and adding motion. Choose the direction, adjust the speed, and then save your photo as an MP4 or GIF to share on social.

Powered by Adobe Sensei**

NEW Click once to turn your videos into art

Transform your clips with effects inspired by famous works of art or popular art styles. Just like with Photoshop Elements, you can click to add an amazing artistic effect.

Powered by Adobe Sensei**

UPDATE Easily build your skills with Guided Edits

Just follow along to make basic adjustments, artistic creations, visual effects, and more with 87 step-by-step Guided Edits. Here’s what’s new:

•     NEW Add peek-through overlays to photos

Create the illusion of depth in any photo by framing your subject with natural and realistic overlays such as flowers, leaves, grass, and more. Easily resize, adjust blur, or add a vignette to get just the look you want.

•     UPDATE Edit photos with new modern content

Try fresh looks for your photos with new backgrounds in the Replace Background Guided Edit, new skies in the Perfect Landscape Guided Edit, and new patterns in the Pattern Brush Guided Edit.

•     NEW Quickly search and explore Guided Edit photo options

Easily find what you want to do with your photos or discover new things to try by searching on familiar terms, using keyword tags, or choosing from popular options.

UPDATE Try out great audio tracks

The perfect video needs the perfect soundtrack. Create just the feel you want with over 100 fresh new audio tracks.

UPDATE Tell stories with all-new collage and slideshow templates

Create photo collages and multimedia slideshows that feature a range of modern looks and themes.

NEW Experience better performance and stability

Enjoy up to 35% faster installation and up to 50% faster launch times. And since we’ve reduced the app size by up to 48%, less space is required on your computer.

NEW Apple M1 chip support

With full support for Apple M1 chip systems, you’ll enjoy up to 70% faster launch times and performance on Mac computers.

NEW Do more from any browser (English-only beta)

Explore the new web companion app to access and view your edited Elements photos and videos from any browser, create collages and slideshows, and share the way you like.

NEW Have fun with your photos on the go (English-only beta)

Try the new Android companion app to upload mobile photos and videos to Elements on desktop and web, do more creative and advanced editing on the desktop, and then access, view, and share back on your mobile.

NEW Enjoy ongoing companion app updates and included storage (English-only beta)

The web and mobile beta apps are just the beginning—they’ll be updated throughout the year with new features. The apps are available to licensed Elements users and they come with 2GB of cloud storage.

I haven’t seen any details on pricing as yet and will advise as soon as I have that info. I will also hopefully have review copies shortly and be able to give a personal oinion of both packages.


Adobe Premiere Pro? Subscription? No Thanks. But take a second for a bit of lateral thinking here…

Although probably impossible to prove, it is more than likely the most popular and widely used NLE is Adobe Premiere Pro.

If you look through the various forums on video editing programs however, any number of people will tell you that they will not use it as they do not want to get roped into the Adobe eco-verse of subscription payments as against owning their software outright.

Fair enough. It’s also fair to say that the way an NLE operates is very important to the way your personal workflow is setup. In my case, for more than 10 years I have been using Vegas Pro, and only recently switched to DaVinci Resolve for major projects. I still use Vegas Pro for quick and dirty stuff though as I can bang out a 30 second clip in just a few minutes.

But even the paid Studio version of Resolve is incredible value for money for what it is capable of, especially if, as I do, you also get the Speed Editor editing console.

Before Vegas I did use Premiere Pro though, and in fact its fair to say I learnt digital editing via that program, before that being mainly analogue based.

So, it is hard for me too to justify the Creative Cloud subscription for Premiere Pro at around 40 bucks a month. And if that is all there was in the “people versus Premiere Pro” argument pool, that would be the end of that.

But it isn’t, is it? And this is the bit that more often than not is precluded from the Premiere Pro vs the rest subscription argument.

$40 a month for Premiere Pro as I say, I cannot justify. But $80 a month for a subscription that includes Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects with InDesign thrown in I certainly could if I was a serious editor.

Sure, Bridge I would not use (Kyno is my app of choice for asset management) and Rush doesn’t work on my mobile devices so there is a no point there either.

But to your serious video editor, Photoshop and After Effects are almost indispensable.

So my tip is certainly keep using the NLE of your choice. That really does not affect things in the greater scheme.

$79.99 per month (or $871 on an annual basis) I would have thought is an easy choice to make though for the benefits the other apps give you?

Of course, if you have never used Premiere Pro, you might turn out to be surprised how good it actually is. And the very tight integration between all of the Creative Cloud apps is an added bonus, being a great time saver as well as enabling a fantastic workflow.

If you have never used After Effects, then frankly, you do not know what you are missing! You can get a trial of it and have a play. Grab some tutorials and run through them. While initially you may have NO idea what you are doing, you’ll soon pick up the concept and probably think of a million things you could use it for and a few million more you COULD have used it for!

Get the trial After Effects here. And have a look at your first tutorial here.


David Bowie fan? And a makeup artist? This is for you then…

Adobe has today announced it is paying tribute to a true creative icon, David Bowie, by launching a new range of Bowie-inspired digital tools across Creative Cloud, encouraging people to freely explore their identities. The tools, created in partnership with Bowie 75, mark both Bowie’s 75th birthday and, later this week, the 50th anniversary of one of his most beloved alter egos – Ziggy Stardust.

The partnership – ‘Adobe x Bowie’ – sees the digitised tools available in Photoshop, Illustrator, Fresco, Substance and Adobe Express. Known for dramatic musical transformations, including his character Ziggy Stardust, Bowie was considered the original ‘chameleon’ of pop, thanks to his ever-changing appearance and sound. While he left behind an impressive musical legacy, which included 28 albums, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, his cultural legacy transcends music and time.

Inspired by his memorable, colourful and vibrant personas, Adobe is using these tools to invite people to explore their own forms of self-expression:

  • A range of make-up brushes named after some of his biggest hits, such as ‘Ashes’, ‘Changes’, ‘Major Tom’ and ‘Queen Bish’.
  • Adobe’s pattern sampler, that lets creatives sample the fabrics and patterns of Bowie’s most well-known outfits to turn them into something entirely new.
  • Brightly coloured backgrounds & 3D Substance props, inspired by David’s posters and album covers.
  • A sticker pack, drawing on iconic Bowie graphics such as the famous Aladdin Sane lightning bolt and Ziggy Stardust’s astral sphere.

This is the latest in an ongoing initiative by Adobe to bring to life historic tools from artists that have changed the world, and place them in the hands of modern creators. This was first launched with the digital recreation of Edward Munch’s paintbrushes, continued with the Lost Alphabets of Bauhaus Dessau, and was last seen in 2020, with the release of a vast array of brushes inspired by the legendary 1980s New York artist, Keith Haring.

Simon Morris, Senior Director of Marketing at Adobe: “We passionately believe that creativity is for all, and who embodies that ethos as much as David Bowie? A true icon who crucially believed that ‘art is inherent in everyone’. With these digital tools, we want to lift the limits of creativity and empower artistic expression – inspiring anybody with a story to tell and empowering them to create incredible personas, just like he did.”

“David’s creative works were incredibly subjective; always open to the interpretation of the individual,” said a representative of Bowie 75, the official campaign marking the artist’s 75th birthday. “That makes these new tools from Adobe a perfect way to celebrate his legacy, by encouraging other people to actively engage with art, personal expression and to unleash their inner creative personas.”

The digital tools are widely available now, for free – and fans are encouraged to try out the Bowie range, create their own personas here, and share their designs via the #AdobexBowie. They include over 150 graphics, colour swatches, vectors, patterns and stickers, created by Tina Touli, Kae Neskovic, Tabea Mahern and Thomas Hedger. They can be used across Creative Cloud apps, including: Photoshop, Photoshop for iPad, Illustrator, Illustrator for iPad, Fresco, Adobe Express and Substance family. In addition, 18 digital brushes created by Kyle T. Webster can be used in Photoshop, Photoshop for iPad and Fresco.

New Adobe Releases from its “MAX” Conference

There is a whole pile of stuff coming from the annual Adobe-Fest known as MAX.

I’ll attempt to bring the main things of interest as soon as I can. Here is the first, which for many, is probably the most relevent at this stage.

Through the latest updates to Creative Cloud flagship apps—powered by Adobe Sensei AI technology—Adobe defines the future of creativity through continuous innovation. Major releases at MAX include:

  • Photoshop : Three AI-powered Neural Filters in Photoshop desktop and Camera Raw file support on the iPad.
  • Lightroom/Lightroom Classic : More powerful and precise ML-powered masking capabilities, recommended presets and Community Remixing.
  • Premiere Pro : Enhanced Speech-to-Text capabilities and a Sensei-powered beta Remix feature.
  • After Effects : Faster Previews and Renders with Multi-Frame Rendering and beta Sensei-powered Scene Edit Detection capabilities.
  • Illustrator : Improved 3D effects and access to Substance 3D materials on desktop and a Sensei-powered Vectorize Technology Preview on iPad.
  • Character Animator : Powered by Adobe Sensei, creators can now animate their entire body with Body Tracker, using movements and gestures to animate their puppets.
  • Substance 3D : Tighter integration of 3D content, effects and capabilities across Illustrator, XD and Stock. A new Modeler (Private Beta) app joins the Substance 3D Collection, showcasing the role that 3D and immersive technology will play in helping users create the future.
  • Fresco : Turn any drawing layer into an animation layer to create motion, draw with new perspective guides and grids, and use non-destructive adjustment layers to explore and enhance colors.

Enabling Connected Creativity

At MAX, the company previewed the future of creativity on the web, which is designed to help creative teams collaborate in real time, across multiple surfaces and stakeholders, regardless of device or location.

  • : The recent acquisition of combines Adobe’s industry-leading creative video editing software, Premiere Pro and After Effects, with’s review and approval functionality to deliver a powerful collaboration platform that will radically accelerate the creative process.’s cloud-native platform is a secure and elegant way to gather feedback from everyone involved in the video production process and will enable every stakeholder to effectively contribute to the creative process.
  • Photoshop (Beta) and Illustrator (Private Beta) on the web : Browser-based experiences where millions of individuals, teams and stakeholders can view, share and comment on cloud documents on the web. Collaborators with a Photoshop subscription can make quick edits and retouch/adjust images, while Illustrator subscribers can access essential design tools and editing workflows using a set of early features.
  • Creative Cloud Spaces (Private Beta) : A digital space built to fuel collaboration among teams, Creative Cloud Spaces simplifies decision-making by putting everything they need in one place. This includes project files, libraries and external links so everyone on the team has universal access to drive creative projects from start to finish. Spaces will be accessible across desktop and mobile through Creative Cloud Web and available in Photoshop, Illustrator, Fresco and XD.
  • Creative Cloud Canvas (Private Beta) : To unlock a new level of collaboration, Canvases enable teams to lay out, visualize and review creative work together, in real time, without ever leaving the browser. On a Canvas, teams can place shapes, text, images and stickers, as well as linked documents from Creative Cloud apps, so anyone can make quick edits to the original creative in the corresponding app with a single click.

In addition, an all-new Workfront plugin for Photoshop gives creatives the ability to collaborate in context. Through an embedded Workfront update screen in Photoshop, creators can see tasks and issues, and post and view comments related to the project they’re working on.

Review: Techsmith Snagit (Mac and Windows)

I have been creating web sites and pages for seemingly ever. Well since 1996 to be exact when OzEmail asked me to develop a site for one its corporate clients – Coates Hire off memory. From there I did other sites for Hertz, John Williamson (Old man Emu) and even developed the original HSC Online for the NSW Board of Studies.

I was among the first that worked out how to add video to websites – and that was before the Sydney Olympics in 2000!

I gave up counting the number of sites I had put together in the corporate and educational world at about 500, and only stopped when it become economically unviable when the tools made available by the likes of Microsoft (FrontPage) and Adobe (Dreamweaver) made it possible for companies’ IT departments to take the task in-house.

But over all that time, and right until about 5 minutes ago, one tool has stayed with me, invaluable for a major component of all websites – graphics images.

Yes, Adobe Photoshop is brilliant and without question, the top of the pack, blowing away all pretenders to the throne over the years. But like Microsoft Word for example, most users wouldn’t touch even 5% of its capability.

So for getting screen shots and creating transparency for images to go onto a website, or into a video, then the subscription price is hard to justify for most folk.

Enter Techsmith Snagit, an app I have been using since those early days of web development in 1995!

Remarkably easy to use and intuitive, Snagit comes in two parts – the Capture utility and the Editor.


Capturing screens lets you choose whether to get a defines Region (using the mouse to draw a rectangle over the desired area), a window, full screen, a scrolling window, a panorama, get just text. There is also an advanced Capture for menus, multiple areas, the clipboard or free hand selection.

All sorts of effects can be applied at capture time and you can even automatically direct captures to a third party app such as Twitter, Evernote, OneNote, Word, Dropbox or Google Drive for example.

Still images of course can be captured, but it also possible to capture “video” making it a breeze for Snagit to let you capture a sequence of say mouse click, menu drop, choose item and then the selection doing whatever it does. Simply brilliant for creating video tutorials or segments off that can be later put together.

You can choose to capture the cursor or not, set time delays for capture and even set presets for future use.


The Editor component takes the functionality of Snagit to a new level. Captures are automatically placed in the Editor, and once there, can be embellished with arrows, text, callouts, shapes and stamps. Fills can be applied items erased and my favourite, transparency applied to selected sections.

In Photoshop, adding transparency to an image’s background means fiddling about with Adding Layers, re-ordering them, making sure they are not locked and various other non-intuitive steps.

With Snagit Editor it is as simple as:

Step 1: Insert the image into the editor

Start by taking a screenshot with Snagit, or upload an image from the File menu. Images that have a white background, solid colour, or high-contrast backgrounds work best.

Step 2: Next, click the Fill button on the toolbar and choose Transparent

If you need to add a transparent fill to your Quick Styles for the first time, it’s pretty simple. All you need to is click down on the fill colour option in the Tool Properties and select the transparent fill.

Step 3: Adjust your tolerance

It’s fairly easy to adjust the tolerance on this image because it’s only black and white. But sometimes you have an image with lots of different shades. If you have an image with lots of similar colours or gradients in the background you may end up with some bleeding around the icon, logo, etc.

One thing you can do to remedy that is to adjust the tolerance of the fill. One percent is the most strict, and 100 percent means it will pretty much wash out your entire image. You may have to play with the tolerance to get the right transparency level.

Adjusting the opacity will dictate how transparent you want your fill to be. The more opaque, the less transparent your fill. So if you want your background completely removed, go with 0%.

Step 4: Click the background areas you want to remove

If you are using a screenshot or a PNG image, it will default to have a transparent background. If you are using a JPG or other file format, you’ll need to adjust your background colour in the Snagit editor first or it will default to white rather than transparent.

To do this, simply click Image > Canvas Colour (on Windows) or Image > Change Canvas Colour… (on Mac).

Step 5: Save your image as a PNG

(If you save as another format, say JPG, it defaults the background to white)


As you can see, Snagit Capture and Editor and very easy to use, and extremely fast in their operation. Available for both Mac and PC, it is a well matured product I have been using for many years and I see no need to change.

It costs AUD$75 from for either Mac or PC version, and to me, is worth its weight in gold and paid for itself many, many times over in time saving.

You can also get a trial version to see if you like it.

Confused by transparency? Here’s a 4 min tutorial to help (with Photoshop and Vegas Pro)

One of the most misunderstood functions in video editing is that of transparency. I know in my early days I had serious trouble getting my head around it, especially the weird concept of using black and white images as masks, where by some magic, one image could “show through” another.

And then there is the further concept of Alpha channels …

So here is a quick how to, using a couple of examples.

With a little help from Blakes7…

Vegas Post: First Look

If you are a Vegas Pro user and look enviously at those with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription and wish you had access to the graphics toys like Photoshop and After Effects, then be jealous no more.

Y’see, there is a new kid on the block specifically designed for Vegas Pro and called – tara! – Vegas Post.

In actual fact, Vegas Post is three applications in the same tin: Vegas 17 Pro, Vegas Image and Vegas Effects and these roughly correspond to the Premiere / Photoshop / AE combo.

Vegas Image

With Vegas Image, you get a super powerful application with which to create multi-layered composite images. Geared toward the video creative market, nonetheless it is also suitable for say photographers or those that create catalogues, newsletters, brochures and magazines. Or to put it another way, graphics artists and any type of image manipulators.

Its is chock full of masking and keying, colour grading and adjustment functionality and image creation and manipulation tools all using a drag and drop metaphor into a workspace. Where it is different from similar packages like Photoshop or those from Corel or even MAGIX themselves is that there is no “toolbox” to choose a tool from to create or modify something. This means you may take a little while to get your head around the workflow, and I strongly recommend you download the PDF manual and spend some time having a read of the 140 odd pages therein.

Vegas Effects

Vegas Effects is a like the compositing mode of Vegas Pro on steroids that has also drank a large bottle of red cordial mixed with a few litres of an energy drink.

Out of the box there are over 800 effects and presets ready to go for anything from fire and laser blasts, lightning and explosions, swirling black holes, 3D model and 360° video manipulation and effects, retro looks, text and titling and even heavy duty colour adjustment and grading.

If you must, it will even export vertical oriented video for your Instagram followers to drool over.

But don’t be fooled, Effects is not just to create whizz bang, eye popping special effects as under the bonnet there are serious, serious motion graphic and imagery adjustment tools.

You can use Effects as a stand-alone tool or it integrates directly into the Vegas Pro interface too by the way.


I have spent the better part of a week playing with these two new applications – more so with Effects than Image I admit – and they are truly incredible packages that fill any gaps that Vegas Pro stand alone may have had in video creativity workflow.

Like anything complex, there is a learning curve, especially if you have never used similar applications beforehand. Thankfully, if you know where to look, there are multitudes of tutorials out there in Internet land as in truth, both of these packages are collaborations between MAGIX and UK based fxHome, the creators of HitFilm.  Most of the tutorials from there are easily adapted as a result from iMerge Pro 5 (for Image) and Hitfilm Pro (for Effects).

Vegas Post is available now from the Vegas Creative Software website for USD$999 or on subscription for USD$21 / month. There is a free trial version available as there is for most of the Vegas packages and Post can be obtained from

The Trip To Exmouth – Part 1 – Video Asset Preparation

When you decide to go on a trip or holiday, many times you base the destination on some imagery you have seen – white sandy beaches, turquoise ocean, verdant forests, sumptuous hotels, exotic wildlife, warm climate, challenging ski slopes and so on.

Indeed, travel agents and locations promoters lean heavily on these images and videos in their brochures, TV adverts and editorial (which is often obtained by expensive wining, dining and shmoozing of travel writers) to coerce you to their little piece of paradise.

But what you don’t see, is the reality of what can – and often does – happen, in transit, while there, and when returning.

Jacqui and I decided to make a trip by car to the fishing Mecca of Exmouth in Western Australia. Located at the tip of the North-West Cape, Exmouth is renowned for its sunny and warm climate year ‘round, excellent fishing in the categories of sports, deep sea, reef and game, resorts with excellent accommodation and services, top shelf restaurants, super friendly staff and plenty to see and do in terms of snorkelling, surfing, sightseeing and numerous other pastimes to make you forget your normal, daily mundane life.

Exmouth and nearby Coral Bay are world renowned for the famous “Swimming with the Whale Sharks” adverts and promos. And an annual game fishing competition called Gamex, where huge blue and black marlin are caught on gossamer thin fishing line (and tagged and released by the way).

But what REALLY happens?

We used a variety of cameras – still and video – to capture as much as we could of our travels, accommodation en route, things that sidetracked us, our arrival, stay, excursions and adventures whilst there and return home.

We wanted to show what we experienced, what we saw, what we enjoyed, what we endured, what we loved and what we hated – for starters – and put this all together in a video. Over the coming days and weeks, I’ll be posting various aspects and elements of how we are compiling this video, culminating some time down the track in the finished version. Stay tuned!

First Part of the (Video Making) Journey

The first thing needed to be done was sift through all of the video clips and still images taken on the 21 day trip. With 7 different cameras (from camcorders to GoPros and 360 degree units to smartphones) this was a daunting task. And dare I say, one that might put a lot of people off.

In the past, I have used a custom-built Excel spread sheet to let me catalogue each clip, write down the approx. in and out points, and grade clips according to content and usefulness, but thankfully, whilst this system works, most current decent NLE’s these days have this sort of facility built in – with varying degrees of sophistication.

Vegas Pro 15 uses the inbuilt Windows SQL database for its engine, letting you manually create bins into which you can import clips – eg in my case, bins for Geraldton, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Perth City, Mandurah, On The Road etc for place names, and then have sub bins for subject matter under these headings. These might be Fishing, Snorkelling, Scenery, Restaurant Food, Accommodation and so on.

Vegas Screen Shot-1.jpg

Additionally, and a REAL bonus, is the ability to add Tags to clips and using a system inside the SQL database, Vegas Pro, will automatically create Bins for you based on these tags. As many tags as you like (as far as I can tell anyway) can be added to a single clip, and then of course, you can search for clips based on these tags. This system makes managing your asset base of clips (and stills) a snap as Smart bins are automatically created of saved search results that are automatically updated when new media items match the search results. You can also edit the search criteria of an existing Smart bin.

In my case, for video clips only, I ended up with over 400 and this would have been a nightmare to manage without this Bins / Tagging system. I shudder to think how this was managed by movie makers with possibly tens of thousands of clips and takes in the past!

Creating Multiscreens

All I was aiming to do initially, was create a multiscreen view of different clips showing different aspects of the trip for an intro to the eventually finished product.


This created a separate challenge, and I admit to a false start initially as I thought I could use Pan and Crop functionality in Vegas Pro to contain each of the 9 “segments”. This proved to be wrong (of course), and a bit of digging discovered that Track Motion was the way to go, creating a preset of size and location for each of the segments using coloured solids, and when all were finished (preset #9 containing all the other presets), I’d simply replace the solid colour with the clip of choice.

Before adding clips though, I made sure I saved the VEG file as a template for future use.

When adding clips to replace the solid colours in each track, be careful to make sure you don’t add any rogue keyframes otherwise everything gets quickly out of whack as I found out, making it necessary to start all over again. After that, I simply made it a habit to press the Home key to make sure the play head was at the start of the timeline before creating a new preset.

The screen shot shows the process up until preset location 6 is ready to be filled. Of course when all are filled, depending on the effect(s) you are after, the location on the timeline of each clip and its duration (and any other fx // fixes) can be modified.

Another trick is to make sure you ungroup Audio and Video and delete the Audio track after adding a track otherwise you’ll end up with a cacophony of sound.

Top Tip:

When adding a clip from the Trimmer, press TAB first to ungroup the audio and video, and press “A” to add the video segment to the selected track FROM the current playhead location (SHIFT-A adds it TO the current playhead location).

You may be wondering why I didn’t also include the stills we took in this process.

The answer is quite simple really, but none the less embarrassing. I didn’t check as to the camera settings beforehand, so what we ended up with is a large number of RAW images. In short, this will happen later after I have created a Photoshop batch process to perform the conversion and resize the images to PNG format.

As soon as the intro is completed, I’ll post it here and to Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube.