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Kevin Patrick
NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 21, 2012 at 9:01:58 pm

For those of you who might be interested, here's my brief summary on NAB.

I'd say about 80% of Adobe's booth was one big presentation. A big screen, lots of seats and a full view for bystanders on three sides. While both Autodesk and Avid had similar setups, I'd say Adobe accommodated 4 to 5 times more people. (a guess, not fact) Especially when you took into account all the people standing around. In the three days I was there, I'd say the Adobe seats were almost always filled up. When one presentation ended, seats that were vacated were quickly taken up. Often times there were people standing around all three sides. It was always fairly full.

In contrast, I could usually find a seat at Avid's booth, at least the couple of times I was there. It appeared to me that there was quite a bit more interest in what Adobe had to say or show as opposed to Avid. I suppose most people were either already Avid users, or they have already made the decision to move (or move back to) Avid. Their booth had a lot of traffic, it just didn't seem as high as Adobe's. Specifically those who were watching the big presentations. I don't think the attendance difference was related to content. Avid had some interesting presenters. Although, I think Avid might have made a mistake by not offering a print out of their schedule. Both Adobe and Autodesk did, so it was easier to make plans to be at their booths.

I'm not sure why so many people keep all the Adobe seats filled. Were they existing Adobe customers and wanted to hear more about the software they're already using? Not all the presentations were CS6 specific. Many of the presentations were from people who recently used Adobe's products in their productions so these weren't really about what's new with CS6. I got the feeling many of these people didn't use Adobe's products (maybe specifically Premier Pro) on a daily basis. They wanted to see and hear from others who do. Although, I don't think there was a presentation where PP was used as the primary editor as opposed to being an important part of the workflow. Except for perhaps Vincent Laforet's Mobius, which I think used only PP.

One message I usually heard from Adobe people was the fact that they listen to their customers. I don't think anyone would deny that fact. One of the product managers offered up his card to me (without my asking) and asked me to contact him directly next week for some more feedback.

There was obviously a lot of interest with Smoke. Although, I'm not sure they did a great job convincing editors that Smoke was now a better option than the previous version. I thought they could have done a better job showing off Smoke's new(er) editing capabilities. In the demos I watched, they jumped rather quickly into Smoke's color capabilities. I'm not familiar with Smoke, so when I saw a three up viewer (three viewers showing three parts of the timeline) I wanted to see more. Or at least confirm that's what I just saw. (sorry, never used Smoke) But the presenter moved on right away to the color portion. Although, the color tools may be a one of the reasons to consider Smoke. You can edit and have a powerful color tool all in one app. Certainly an efficient workflow, assuming you are both editing and color correcting or grading. If not, it might be hard to justify $3,500 a seat. Either way, this seemed to me to be an intriguing reason to consider Smoke.

As for FCPX, it was in a few places, like AJA and Sony. I believe Intel as well, showing off Thunderbolt. There was a lot of Thunderbolt. If you thought a company was probably one that could or should offer a Thunderbolt product, they did.

Apple's biggest presence was probably through their iMac. I think most Apple systems (at least the ones you could see) were iMacs. Especially in the Autodesk booth. I would like to think that this is not another nail in the Mac Pro coffin, but the iMac was certainly getting the job done.

I stopped off at Sony's booth a couple of times. They mentioned there was a lot of interest in their XDCAM plug-in for FCPX, but you didn't have to fight your way through a crowd to see it. The plug-in is rather simple. You point the FCPX import process to a BPAV folder on your computer or an SxS card. (no XDCAM Disc) It will re-wrap to a *.mov file and copy it to an Event. A nice convenience, but not as nice as Premiere's ability to simply browse to BPAV folders to view and import without re-wrapping. Perhaps the bigger software update was to the XDCAM Browser. Sony is trying to make the Browser the one SW tool to do everything, replacing things like XDCAM Transfer.


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Andrew Richards
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 21, 2012 at 9:22:00 pm

[Kevin Patrick] "In the three days I was there, I'd say the Adobe seats were almost always filled up. When one presentation ended, seats that were vacated were quickly taken up. Often times there were people standing around all three sides. It was always fairly full. "

That is how Apple's booths were back in 2004-2007. The Apple Demo Theater was always mobbed, with the standing-room-only crowd spilling into the thoroughfare. It bodes well for Adobe that they had the same level of interest this year that Apple commanded during the ascent of FCP.

Best,
Andy


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Bill Davis
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 21, 2012 at 10:05:24 pm

My experience was a bit different.

One used to have trouble even finding a place to stand and watch the Apple demos - and just their live demo area was usually far larger than Adobe's entire booth this year. The Adobe booth for 2012 was only about a quarter the size of BlackMagic, a bit smaller than Autodesk, and smaller than AJA. Which I suppose reveals the relative profitability of hardware over software? Hard to say.

Were attendees well interested in Adobe? Heck yes. That was obvious. But it's impossible to compare booth interest by crowd size because too many variables are in play.

Unlike AVID, Adobe's position made them less of a "destination" visit. AVID was upstairs adjacent to Ericcson and Harmonic, Inc. Adobe was close to the big buzz at BlackMagic, where the setup was much more "Apple-esque" up to and including the "big wall" setup where the public face of the booth fronted for a pretty large "behind the scenes" layout. They were also directly across from both RED and Autodesk - making the area itself a core destination for most show goers.

My actual props for Booth Fu must go to the folks at GoPro. They were far "down hall" but by cleverly using a "sign up on our wall mounted iPads to get a $100 discount on a GoPro Hero 2- strategy - they virtually graranteed that there would be long lines snaking into their booth constantly. Well played! (The fact that they could have simply scanned badges in a 10th of a second like everyone else and got the same data likely didn't escape them.) Smart folks!

NAB is such a monster sales game it's truly a joy to watch all these pro players at work.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Lemur Hayop
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 21, 2012 at 11:31:12 pm

I was at NAB. I couldn't tell who was a professional editor and who was a professional gear chaser. I think most were the latter. Not a lot of young folks, except the hot babes hired by the vendors. SinCity knows how to do it!

.....that's my take.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 22, 2012 at 1:19:13 am

Well Blackmagic snatched up the huge amount of prime square footage that used to be Apple's but much of their booth is redundant and unnecessary - and like one attendee said to me, how many freakin' mediocre products can one company produce?

I was in the AJA booth working all week, right next to Autodesk and could see the Adobe theater as well. Both could have used much bigger theaters as they were standing room only during presentations. Adobe had double the chairs as Autodesk but could have used double again and still had a full house. Looked like probably the smallest Adobe booth in a long time but CS6 was by far the most seen/talked about NLE at the show, followed closely by Smoke...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Kevin Patrick
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 22, 2012 at 11:54:55 am

The Blackmagic booth was huge. I went back and looked at the show map, it was the largest booth in the hall. Probably at least twice as big as the AJA booth.

Yet the booth always seemed to be fairly full of people during the three days I was there. I'm sure their new Cinema Camera was a big draw. But it wasn't as if there was some big line of people waiting to see just that camera. The booth traffic seemed spread out with people looking at and talking about just all of their products. I figured the interest would die down after the first day, but it didn't seem to. I couldn't quite figure out what the draw was.

Unlike most booths (AJA in comparison) the BM booth was brightly lit. Perhaps so many users spend their days (and nights) in dark rooms they were all simply attracted to the light? A trade show moth effect?


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Kevin Patrick
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 22, 2012 at 12:08:31 pm

[Bill Davis] " The Adobe booth for 2012 was only about a quarter the size of BlackMagic, a bit smaller than Autodesk, and smaller than AJA."

Perhaps I was a little misleading. You're right the Adobe booth was not a large booth. Total footprint might have been close to Autodesk, at best, smaller than AJA and BM's huge booth.

The difference was the fact that the seating area for Adobe was much bigger than all the rest. Maybe four times Autodesk? Significantly larger than the few chairs around BM's DaVinci Resolve. Adobe's open theater consumed most of the booth. Plus their design was wide open, so there were a lot of bystanders, not taking up costly booth space.

Interesting choice of booth design, whether intentional or driven by cost. They maximized their space for viewers, spent much less money on booth design (mostly chairs) and needed less floor space than most. Red's booth next door was at least twice as big, but most of the people standing in between the two booths seemed to be looking at Adobe's presentations. Red's presentation was of course in a closed theater with people waiting in line, looking at basically nothing but each other. Either Adobe was very clever, or the Finance guy brought down the budget hammer for this year's show. Either way, it seemed to work well for them.


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Oliver Peters
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 22, 2012 at 3:20:54 pm

[Kevin Patrick] "Perhaps I was a little misleading. You're right the Adobe booth was not a large booth. Total footprint might have been close to Autodesk, at best, smaller than AJA and BM's huge booth. "

I don't know how many times folks here go to NAB, but this is basically the same design BMD has had for several years. The map footprint is misleading, because there's a huge empty, seating/meeting area behind the wall. It's the same size or larger than the product display area in front. In the past, when BMD was by the stairs, they used the same design but placed the wall on a diagonal. The current floor space does seem to be about the same size as Apple's last booth in the same area of the hall.

Of course, now they have more products to show. For example, they now only compete with AJA on cards and format converters. Add to that, DaVinci, switchers, routers and cameras. BMD seems to be going for being a SONY/Ampex/RCA/Grass Valley-type company as a mainstay of the industry.

Generally all of these companies are still financially challenged and have gone with smaller booths than in past years.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 22, 2012 at 4:00:02 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Generally all of these companies are still financially challenged and have gone with smaller booths than in past years."

Except that Blackmagic had the biggest booth in all of NAB this year, which was not the case last year. I assure you that the change was not by accident. :-)

tim

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Lance Bachelder
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 22, 2012 at 6:23:59 pm

Having worked the AJA booth for 6 or 7 years now, the booth has grown a little every year. Cash certainly not a problem which is apparent if you're one of the thousands at the AJA Party at the MARQUEE Club - always the best party at NAB and this years was the best ever.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Bill Davis
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:22:25 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Except that Blackmagic had the biggest booth in all of NAB this year, which was not the case last year. I assure you that the change was not by accident. :-)"

Tim,

I think it was easily the largest in South Hall, but I don't think BMD was the biggest booth from what I saw.

But I suspect that Sony was significantly larger upstairs and the other end of that hall in terms of floorspace - which makes sense from a product division and longevity/deep pockets focus.

And Harris Broadcast in North Hall was about on part with Sony, maybe even bigger - and much more complex than any other booth I visited with at lest 3 "second story" lofts for writing contracts and private meetings with existing clients.

It think that venerable organization gets the nod for the largest "single vendor" presence at this years NAB.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Tim Wilson
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 23, 2012 at 3:09:34 pm

Admittedly I was talking about footprint rather than cubic volume, but with that, the numbers don't lie: among many big booths, BMD's WAS the biggest in the show by footprint, and that WASN'T by accident. :-)

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Craig Shields
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 21, 2012 at 11:41:37 pm

That's because the Adobe booths were really small in those years compared to Apple's and Avid's. I was never attracted to the Adobe booths then even though I was a big AE, PS and AI user. This year was a lot different. A large booth and exciting demos.



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Oliver Peters
Re: NAB: Adobe, Avid and Autodesk (FCPX too)
on Apr 22, 2012 at 2:37:08 am

http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/nab-2012-adobe-cs6-smoke-2013-...

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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