It was fun being on stage at MAX with David Wadhwani to share a few of the projects that we have been working on in XD. The team has been exploring how new form factor displays, new interactions (like touch and gesture), cloud connections and even new hardware might change how you all create and in turn how it might impact what software we need to build. And we have been having a serious amount of fun.
Although there are many explorations going on, we chose three to highlight. The first, Mighty, is our connected pen:
The Adobe “Project Mighty” Connected Pen
We actually started project Mighty, our “cloud pen” to help us focus on the future of drawing. I’ve always been a little obsessed with drawing. An early mentor of mine said: “If you can’t draw, you can’t think. I guess I took that to heart. The good news is that absolutely anyone can train himself or herself to draw. With the right tools to support you it’s a little bit like learning to ride a bike – you just have to keep doing it until you tease out your own style of drawing.
Mighty is pressure sensitive, which helps it draw a natural and expressive line. It is also connected to the Creative Cloud through the software and a local Bluetooth LE connection. We have used this connection to pull up Kuler themes and enable a “cloud clipboard” which gives you access to assets you have saved to the cloud for reuse.
Mighty was created with the help of Ammunition, the industrial design firm founded by Robert Brunner. They landed on a three-sided, twisted form that is inspired by the ergonomics of holding a pen. When a child struggles with writing, he or she is given a triangular grip that fits over the pencil. Our design takes that one step further by twisting the pen’s triangular form so that it also rests gently on the hand. It also yields a sculptural object that is both beautiful and distinct. There’s a lot of hardware technology involved in bringing a high tech pen like this to life, so we’ve been working with San Francisco-based MindTribe on the electrical and mechanical engineering.
Although we spend many hours a day behind the keyboard and mouse, we still often start the creative process as we did thousands of years ago with pen and paper. But with tablets and new input methods like Mighty, this is going to change – I am confident. Over the last year, my tablet has replaced my sketchbook. I never thought I would give up drawing in a moleskin sketchbook.
Our second exploration, code named Napoleon is complementary to Mighty. This digital ruler is designed to bring back some of the feeling of drawing with analog tools like the t-square and triangle. Adobe has been talking about building a physical drawing aid like this ever since we built our first digital drafting table, almost two years ago.
Adobe “Project Mighty” Connected Pen & Project Napoleon” Digital Ruler Working on iPad
I was originally trained as an architect, and still find great comfort and confidence drawing with these tools. There is something about the confidence of drawing a line aided by a physical device – the tactile feedback you get as you move the straightedge around – as well as the fluidity and accuracy of drawing that comes from interacting with physical objects. Our little ruler (Napoleon, get it?) creates a digitally projected edge that you can use to accurately draw shapes and lines. It just feels right.
The Adobe “Project Napoleon” Digital Ruler
We are looking at a lot of potential features for Napoleon, but a favorite of mine is snapping to vanishing points. Imagine how easy it will be to sketch in perspective, when you can use the ruler to quickly create and then snap to perspective vanishing points that are well off screen.
Finally, Project Context is the most ambitious of the three explorations. I like to think of it as our answer to “big content.” You know, just like big data, but with images and text and video and the like. Most of us have experience with printing hundreds of images and trying to pin them all on the wall or spreading them on the floor just to try to figure out the big picture. This is another good example of how something was lost when we went from physical to digital. Somehow file folders full of assets, or tiled displays of images don’t quite cut it. We think that large screens with touch and gesture interaction paired with the appropriate software design are a way to not only get back what was lost, but to take the organizing and producing experience to a whole new level.
When combined with InDesign and the Digital Publishing Suite, Context creates an ideal editorial and publishing environment for Wired and other publishers. Context offers a powerful and intuitive way to grab assets from just about anywhere, and to collaboratively organize and eventually even edit and publish them. These exploratory projects stand a much better chance of becoming real shipping products when we work with a customer to build them. We have the good fortune to be working with WIRED to build out the first version of Context as a system to support the editorial and layout process for their magazine.
Digitally enabled, cloud connected physical devices leverage the best from both the digital and the analog worlds. They could enable whole new levels of creative productivity and artistic confidence – and one of the many innovation milestones that makes an Adobe incredible place to work.
Adobe MAX, The Creativity Conference, opened today in Los Angeles and we announced some big news: a major update to Adobe Creative Cloud, including fully integrated cross-device collaboration, community and publishing capabilities; and the next generation of Adobe’s pro creative desktop applications.
A milestone update to Adobe Creative Cloud simplifies the entire creative process with new versions of desktop tools; services that take publishing content to the next level; and capabilities that make it easier than ever to collaborate and share work on a worldwide basis. Behance, the world’s leading online creative community with over 1.4 million creatives in the network, is now central to the Creative Cloud experience.
Adobe’s desktop tools, previously known as Creative Suite (CS) are now branded CC to reflect that they are an integral part of Creative Cloud and have been reinvented to support a more intuitive, connected way of creating. All of Adobe’s fan-favorite desktop apps have been updated: InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC, Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Muse CC and more. Indeed our most iconic application, a powerful new version of Photoshop – Adobe Photoshop CC – will anchor this update to Creative Cloud. In all, Creative Cloud will now consist of more than 30 tools and services that enable professional grade content creation and delivery across print, web, mobile apps, video and photography.
This major update is expected to be available, around the globe, in June.
Moving forward, the company also announced that it will focus creative software development efforts on Creative Cloud. While Adobe Creative Suite 6 products will continue to be supported and available for purchase, there are no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products. By focusing development on Creative Cloud, Adobe can accelerate the rate of innovation that it can deliver to creatives worldwide.
We thought long and hard before doing this, and we understand that this transition may be hard for some people. As our teams work to deliver a constant stream of innovation for Creative Cloud members, we are actively engaging with customers to answer their questions — in forums like Creative Cloud community. And attractive pricing plans and promotions for individuals, teams and enterprise customers are being offered to make the transition to Creative Cloud really easy. More information can be found at on our Creative Cloud plans page.
More detailed information about today’s major Creative Cloud update can be found in the full press release here.
And if you have specific questions, chances are you’ll find an answer in our comprehensive FAQ.
Today we shared more insights on the transformation of MAX, The Creativity Conference (May 4-8, 2013, Los Angeles Convention Center & Nokia Theatre) and announced a packed lineup of keynotes, luminary sessions, training workshops and sneaks presented by the best in the industry: graphic designer and illustrator Paula Scher, multimedia artist Phil Hansen, designer and writer Rob Legato, photographer Erik Johanssonand EA chief creative officer Richard Hilleman.
MAX will convene more than 5,000 industry leaders to exchange ideas, get inspired and explore how creativity is changing the world. The conference will feature highly anticipated MAX keynotes hosted by senior vice president and general manager of Digital Media, David Wadhwani that will explore the dramatically changing creative process and major advancements in technology. Adobe is expected to unveil a milestone update to Adobe® Creative Cloud™ at the event.
Luminary sessions will expose attendees to new ways of thinking about creative projects and some of most innovative, boundary-pushing, experimental work out there. Highlighted luminary sessions include: Jessica Walsh (design): The Importance of Play in Innovation; Greg Gorman (photography): Celebrity Portraiture: Behind the Scenes with Greg Gorman; Jeffrey Zeldman (Web): Ten Commandments of Modern Web Design; karlssonwilker (design): Creativity, Technology, and karlssonwilker; Jacob Rosenberg (video): Dust to Lightning: The Unique Storytelling of Bandito Brothers; Scott Belsky (Web): Behance: Connecting the Creative World and more!
In reimagining every aspect of Adobe MAX, the company challenged designers to rethink the MAX brand and design a new logo that embodied the new creative spirit of MAX. Top design firms and studios, including Sagmeister and Walsh, karlssonwilker, and Vasava applied their unique vision to the challenge. Design enthusiasts were invited to watch the creative process in action as Jessica Walsh of Sagmeister and Walsh hosted a live 24-hour redesign session featuring a single design material. The redesigned logos can be viewed here.
For more details on what we have in store for Adobe MAX this year, check out today’s press release, here.
Follow us on the MAX blog and @AdobeMAX leading up to and during the conference and join the conversation with #AdobeMAX.
The next version of Adobe video tools has been developed with features created in direct response to the needs of filmmakers, broadcasters and video professionals. In fact, the multiple Academy Award winning Coen brothers have been working directly with the Adobe Premiere Pro product team and are switching to Adobe Premiere Pro for their next feature film slated for late 2013. More on that here.
In addition to our tools, we announced Adobe Anywhere for video – a modern, collaborative workflow platform that empowers teams using Adobe professional video tools, to work together accessing and managing centralized media and assets across virtually any network. Adobe Anywhere was revealed as a technology preview in 2012, and will be showcased at NAB this year, and is expected to be available in May 2013.
At NAB, we are discussing the fusion of new media and filmmaking. On Sunday, April 7, at 10:30 a.m. in room N250, Adobe will lead the Post|Production World keynote titled, “From Concept to Delivery: The Fusion of New Media and Storytelling.” The panel will feature Adam Pertofsky, editor and partner at Rock Paper Scissors, Bayan Joonam of Soul Pancake, Rainn Wilson’s production and media company, and Patrick F. X. Murphy, Visual Effects Supervisor and Animation Director for “Annoying Orange” on Cartoon Network, who will join moderator Mark Randall, chief strategist for Adobe, to discuss how creativity and technology work together. Watch the panel next week here.
Printers, overnight mail, scanners, and fax machines are killing business productivity. More and more organizations are moving away from paper-based approaches to their critical business processes to reduce costs, improve security, and limit environmental impact. According to a recent Adobe study, “Paper: An Endangered Species?” the majority of managers surveyed had overwhelmingly negative attitudes toward paper-based processes and cited productivity, security, attracting talent and going green as the benefits of a completely digital workflow. The research is based on interviews with 1,051 U.S. managers in small, medium and large businesses that are responsible for creating or working with contracts.
Going Digital: Improving Business Processes
Adobe’s research shows that more than half of managers surveyed believe that digital approaches simplify work. Further, companies slow to adopt fully digital practices are at a disadvantage when it comes to growing their businesses and ultimately attracting new customers. For example:
51% of respondents said that a digital workflow makes filing and managing documents easier
61% of managers said working digitally saves on costs
32% said a digital workflow is more efficient, giving them an edge with client work and ultimately helps win new business
Paper-Based Contracts: a negative impact on trust
Our study also showed that paper impacts the trust that businesses have with partners, vendors and customers. Unfortunately, this is particularly acute when it comes to the sanctity of contracts, the heart of business agreements:
More than two-thirds believe that paper-based contracts are prone to defacing
60% of managers believe that password-protected electronic documents are more secure than paper documents locked in a safe
56% cited the fear of losing a paper document as the top “con” of using paper
Attracting talent and going green
Our study also pointed out a growing attitude among people that it’s more prestigious to work for a company that is mostly digital:
76% of respondents said they are impressed by companies that have a strong digital presence
71% said they wish their company was more digital
68% said that it is important for a company to operate mostly electronically versus on paper when they are deciding where to work
The last mile: moving to electronic contracts
While the vast majority of business processes – from small companies to large enterprises – have already gone digital, contracts represent the last mile for companies to go paperless. Our study showed that the tipping point for more businesses to transition to digital contracting may be on the horizon – respondents noted they would be highly interested in using an automated Web contracting tool that makes it easy to electronically sign, track and secure contracts:
98% of respondents noted they still use paper in their transactions involving contracts
Only 18% having made the switch to purely digital methods when signing contracts
72% said a digital tool, such as an eSignature service, would fulfill a critical business need
73% of managers affirmed that life would be easier if all contracts exchanged at work were done digitally
Digital Contracts Streamline Business
Adobe believes that now is the time for all organizations to immediately evaluate how and if they can shift to digital approaches for contracting. eSignature technologies are easy, secure, and readily available. Organizations that use eSignatures are seeing a dramatic decrease in the time needed to close deals, reduced contract negotiation times, faster “quote-to-cash”, and a safer, more secure way to track and store some of their most critical business documents. And all eSignatures are backed by the federal ESIGN Act, ensuring the legality of the contract, which should put the customer at ease.
For your “signees,” signing a contract is simple and easy. They can sign from their mobile phone, their iPad, or any device connected to the Web – no more waiting by the fax machine or for that overnight envelope to arrive.
It’s easy to get more digital. Just check out Adobe EchoSign here for a free test drive.
In anticipation of the marquee Adobe event for designers, MAX, The Creativity Conference, May 4-8 in Los Angeles, Adobe shared a few project updates today that have been in the works for the last several months.
Adobe released a second preview of the responsive web design tool, Edge Reflow, that is now available to Creative Cloud members. The new features add more styling and layout capabilities and are user-driven, based on initial feedback to the first preview. Edge Reflow Preview 2 is the most recent example of how Adobe is using an open development model to create the next generation of innovative web design tools to support today’s new workflows. Learn more in this blog post.
The Dreamweaver team revealed an exciting sneak peek into the new CSS Designer feature that provides a visual interface to let users quickly and intuitively work with CSS properties like gradients, box shadows, and media queries. It gives users the ability to visually apply and set different media queries for web content to be presented in different sized media. This feature will be available later this year and you can find out more information in this blog post.
Make sure you check out MAX to learn what’s coming next for Adobe’s creative tools.
You probably heard back in December that Adobe acquired Behance, the leading online social media platform that enables creative professionals to showcase and share their work with millions. We wanted to share some great news for our Creative Cloud complete members.
Starting today, Behance ProSite (normally $100/year) will be available at no additional cost for all paid Creative Cloud complete members. ProSite transforms a public Behance portfolio into a fully customized personal portfolio site with your own URL. You can design an incredible portfolio site that stays in sync with your projects on Behance, increasing your efficiency and helping your work get more exposure from Behance’s 18+ million visitors every month.
If you’re ready to get started building and customizing your Behance ProSite, just a few quick steps:
Find the ProSite icon under “Other Services” and click on the “Get Started” link
You’ll be brought to the ProSite welcome page on Behance, where you can either log in or sign up for Behance to build your portfolio and launch your ProSite when you’re ready.
Not a paid Creative Cloud complete member yet? Free Creative Cloud members can link their accounts to Behance.net using the “Get Started” link under the Behance icon. When you’re ready, move up to a Creative Cloud complete plan or team plan, and you’ll get ProSite too!
Learn more about this exciting update from Scott Belsky, Co-Founder & Head of Behance, VP – Product-Community, here.
I just passed my one-month mark after rejoining Adobe to head up corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions. It’s a unique perspective, having spent 14 years helping build Adobe’s creative business and then going off to lead teams in consumer internet, social and mobile companies before returning here. Adobe is the great company that I remember: incredible innovation, talented people, and the coolest customers anywhere. But it’s a company that has changed in many ways. As I come back in with fresh eyes, I thought I would share some of my observations.
It’s a whole new world when it comes to the creative professional and their work. Back in “the day” in our creative business, we spent most of our energy building kick-ass applications that helped creative professionals move from traditional to digital workflows while navigating the complexities of the desktop Mac and Windows platforms. Our customers were primarily focused on delivering great print or web content. Now with the explosion of mobile, creatives need to make sure their experiences scale to hundreds of smartphones and tablets, not to mention TVs, car dashboards and in-store kiosks. The challenge is staggering, both for creatives and Adobe, but there has never been more demand for compelling content. (That’s a good thing!) And with the advent of powerful mobile platforms, EVERYONE wants to be creative as they capture, enhance and share their daily experiences.
Enter the cloud. With cloud computing, customers are quickly learning (and expecting) to engage with us 24/7 and need our product offerings to go further in addressing a broader range of challenges, well beyond content creation. As a former product manager, I remember the team’s frustration when they were forced to hold back features to fit our 18-month Creative Suite product cycle. It was very difficult to deliver new innovations “off-cycle” due to our delivery and accounting model. (Every desktop software company struggles with this same challenge.) Nothing is more satisfying to one of our talented engineers than getting a new product feature into the hands of customers quickly, and now we can.
But Creative Cloud is so much more than a mechanism for getting new product features in the hands of customers faster. It will be the hub for creativity worldwide and enable you to work when and where you want. It will be where creative communities gather to be inspired by each other’s work and collaborate on projects. Our recent acquisition of Behance, the leading online social media platform for creatives, accelerates Adobe’s strategy to bring great community features to Creative Cloud. You’ll see us begin to integrate Behance with our creative tools in the next few months and in the meantime Behance will continue to be a key showcase for creativity. Check out their awesome blog highlighting some of the coolest creative work out there.
Some customers have given us their perspective on Creative Cloud in the video below and we promise that we’ve only just started. Indeed, all the innovation that we have planned for Creative Cloud will make Adobe MAX, the Creativity Conference, a must-attend event. It’s in Los Angeles May 4-8. We hope you can join us.
Finally, it’s been exhilarating to get involved with a whole new set of customers with Adobe Marketing Cloud. We have long focused on content creation for the world’s leading marketing departments. Now we’re extending that value to helping marketers manage and optimize consumer experiences across every touchpoint, from their websites to the social realm. Last week I attended our Summit conference and spoke to dozens of digital marketing customers about the possibilities as our Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud come together for better collaboration across teams and agencies. This is really where the creative rubber hits the road, from my perspective – showing the business return from all the amazing content created with our tools.
With my little “walkabout” behind me, I can honestly say that I’m thrilled to be back in the saddle at Adobe and am particularly excited to engage with our new customers and see how many familiar ones are still with us on this journey!
In time for St. Patrick’s Day, the Royal Irish Academy, in conjunction with its partners, announced today a new, interactive app produced with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite that engages users with the history and culture of Ireland. Exploring the rich heritage of the country through the lens of significant cultural objects, the app, “A History of Ireland in 100 Objects”, not only marks St. Patrick’s Day, but also Ireland’s ascension to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Rich with video, audio and animation, the app showcases Irish history and culture through the country’s treasures. Designed to promote engagement with the country’s ideals and heritage, the app immerses readers into the country’s history and encourages them to learn more.
“Fintan O’Toole, a journalist from The Irish Times, launched the project in 2011 with a series of newspaper columns highlighting 100 objects from Ireland, the UK and Norway that connect with Ireland’s rich past,” writes Joe Zeff, whose design firm produced the app. “Those columns became a hardcover book, and that book became the series of apps that we designed and developed for multiple platforms using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.”
Seeking to make the app available to the widest spectrum of users possible, the Royal Irish Academy used the multi-platform functionality of Digital Publishing Suite to deliver the app on iPad, iPhone and on Android tablets, including the Amazon Kindle Fire. The iPhone version is of particular note because it delivers formatted, well-thought out content that fits the on-the-go consumption habits of iPhone users – especially to visitors to Irish museums.
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