Adobe announced the availability of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 for Mac OS and Windows today, offering intelligent photo editing features, solutions for remote workflows, and extended sharing and publishing capabilities. As the digital photography landscape has advanced and evolved, Lightroom has kept pace, offering powerful new features and gaining recognition as the essential photography application for busy professionals and creative amateurs to get the most out of their digital images.
Among the powerful new photo editing tools included in Lightroom 5 are:
Advanced Healing Brush – helps fix imperfections with the precision and flexibility of a fine brush
Upright Tool – analyzes and automatically straightens objects such as buildings
Radial Gradient – subjects stand out by applying off-center and multiple vignettes in a single image
Smart Previews allow photographers to make edits to their images offline with edits. Changes made to Smart Previews are automatically applied to the original images when they are reconnected. Additionally, new video slideshows can combine still images, video clips and music in a creative HD slideshow that can be viewed on almost any device, while updates to the Book module allow users to create, personalize and print beautiful photo books from a variety of tailored and easy-to-use or customer-specific templates.
Lightroom 5 was initially released as a free, public beta in April 2013. Since beta testing, a Behance Publish Service and more than 400 bug fixes have been incorporated into the final release. More detailed information about the updates in Lightroom 5, in addition to pricing and availability, can be found in the full press release here.
I admit it. I was the archetypal awkward kid sitting off to the side, observing more than engaging. I went through numerous crisis of confidence about my conflicting interests in art and design and the more “legitimate” pursuits like sports and AP classes. But through a wonderful convergence of good fortune and good timing I emerged from the awkward years mostly intact and embarked on a career as a designer at just about the time that the world started to wake up to the value of design. I am a proud, albeit still awkward card carrying member of the Creative Class. It turns out that there are quite a few of us here at Adobe, including about 100 in the Experience Design (XD) team I lead. There are also a few million of them that we feel connected to because they (all of you) are the people who make the applications that we help design sing and dance.
It is in this capacity, as the creatives that help make the tools for the creatives, that we set out to make the Adobe Creative Class video:
We started with only the seeds of an idea. We wanted to create an Anthem to creatives, something that would both recognize the travails and celebrate the accomplishments of our peers, creative people. Over the course of the few weeks that we had to conceptualize and execute the project, there were all the regular fears, challenges and unreasonable optimism that accompany any creative effort. We started the project by retaining the creative people at Melcher Media, and together conceptualized a project that was ambitious but attainable, and they set about to lead the effort to produce a script that still gives me the chills every time I read it:
The Creative Class
We are the creative class. We are alone in our rooms with one dream among us. We tell stories about boys and girls who learn to fly and we make those stories come as true as our minds can will them. Our teachers are comic books and cartoons; every bedroom a Bat Cave, every den the mutant lair. Our gallery is hung with magnets on the fridge.
We stand on your corner and wonder, What if we could play for a living? What if we could use chalk to make this sidewalk more interesting? What if there are others out here watching the trees turn into polka dots? We fill wastebaskets with weak ideas. Our cash goes to canvas and acrylic colors, and we wonder, How much bologna can we eat before it’s bad for us? Can we bottle the smell of fear and sell it?
We paint a mural of the ocean and in the wall we find the shell around a tiny pearl. We share it between us. It warms our hands. Let’s use it to guide us in twos and threes. Let’s make something there in the dark, so we’re not afraid of the dark ever again. We are the photo negative and we are what develops. There are forty of us making this work after hours because we’ve figured out a way to do it better. Don’t say that it’s impossible and that there’s no budget for glitter. Give us a wheel to reinvent. Let’s make a lighter, cleaner water jug for disaster relief. Let’s turn sustainable design into design that sustains us all.
We are millions of us armed with drop cloths and wood glue and a vision. We will silk screen a banner that flies colors you’ve never heard of. Let’s raise high the beams and set the roof on fire. Let’s send a ripple from here to New Delhi. We can start a rally with a website, a revolution with a jpeg, and we are more than the sum of our parts. We get presidents elected. We are an army. We are alone in our rooms. There is a story in all of us and we are going to make it.
The team at Melcher Media (http://melcher.com) had a good, rational plan for getting the project animated, but then I made the “mistake” of sharing the project with one of our Principal Designers, Erk Natzke. He reached out to Kyle Cooper and his team at Prologue (http://prologue.com), who emailed back this photo of his son Kaden working on his own bedroom Bat Cave, a sure indication that he shared an affinity for the project:
Kyle is probably well known to most of you, but for the record, he’s the motion designer that brought art back to movie credits when he created the mind blowing title sequences for Seven. And he said yes to our little project!So there we were, with a world class team, a damn good script, and a few weeks to create if we wanted to debut at MAX.
Not to be outdone, Erik contributed a few pictures of his young prodigy learning to fly (along with a number of his other non human creations.)
Over time it seemed like just about every line in the script sparked a connection to our lives as creatives. And we weren’t alone. As the team reached out to more and more creatives, to build the library of imagery that makes up the final product, there were personal stories and connections, little bits of nostalgia that made the project all that more meaningful to the participants. The project became an adventure in remembering how we became creatives and a celebration of all that has come to mean.
We are hoping this is just a start. We had a slightly bigger idea of building an application to create a bigger story that we would build with all of you, some sort of collective creative narrative. We would love to figure out how to create an ongoing dialogue about what it means to be part of the Creative Class. We would love to be able to see what all of you would contribute to that dialogue.
I think I can speak for the entire cast of characters that contributed to the project, that it became a remarkably personal and, as a result, remarkably satisfying project. And to give credit where credit is due, view the list of that cast on the next page.
I remember the first time I picked-up a video camera and created a story. It was an empowering experience that opened up a new world to me and allowed me to creatively express myself and share my ideas and passions with others. With the Adobe Youth Voice’s (AYV) Aspire Awards competition, Adobe is creating the opportunity for youth to come together and share original digital media projects that bravely and creatively address issues most important to them in their communities and beyond.
My personal passion for filmmaking was sparked in high school when I tried out for my senior year’s dance theatre workshop and did not make it. I was devastated, but when I found out that I could still participate by creating a documentary film about the process of choreography a seed was planted inside me. As that idea germinated, I became more and more excited to be able to combine my passion for dance with the art of storytelling and filmmaking.
Today, I am the Director of the Film Forward Initiative for the Sundance Institute and a filmmaker. I am also the founder of Swirl Productions, an independent production company focusing on documentary films for the theatrical and broadcast markets. I have been very fortunate to work as both a filmmaker and film professional supporting directors and producers in their art and craft. Having the opportunity to be the artist, mentor and executive has afforded me the insight that the key to success is not losing sight of your story. We each have many stories to tell and finding your authentic voice and staying true to your vision is what makes your story rise above the rest.
I am excited to be a judge for the Aspire Awards and be involved in a program that has the potential to help inspire and facilitate the development of the next generation of storytellers. As adults, we have to remind each other how important it is to listen and learn from youth. It is incredibly rewarding to work with youth as they discover their voice and that sense of empowerment from creating and sharing their unique digital work. These are valuable and practical skills that will translate into their next pursuit and/or career path.
Digital art making not only allows for participant’s stories to be expressed but provides a valuable entrée into the minds and concerns of young people today. What are they consumed by? What do they feel strongly about? And who is captivating their interest? It’s exciting to see so many youth concerned about community, social and global issues from women’s health and safety issues in India to managing physical disabilities in Morocco to standing up to bullies in Canada. Film is a powerful medium to connect people and effect change, and it is quite clear, through this year’s finalists, that there are more than a few “changemakers” out there.
It is an honor to be involved in the Aspire Awards as a judge and I look forward to the tremendous task ahead of helping to select a winner in each of the content categories.
I encourage you to participate as well and help select the Audience Award winners. Not only will you be part of this engaging process, but you will learn more about the issues that truly matter to today’s youth. Please visit the Aspire Awards Website to watch the extraordinary talent of our AYV youth and vote for your favorite entries!
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.
We’ve had the privilege of working with the best of the best when it comes to judging entries to the Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA). Our judging panel for 2012 is no exception!
The ADAA program partnered with Icograda (International Council of Graphic Design Associations) to identify design luminaries from all around the globe and invited them to lend their expertise to the ADAA judging panel.
ADAA judges for 2012 include:
Daniel Biasatti, Design Director, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Gregoire Cliquet, Professor and Department Head of Experimental Applied Researches in interaction Design (READi), L’Ecole de design Nantes Atlantique
Nancy Juliber, Strategic Creative Media Marketing Executive
Mikael Kanfi, Partner and Chief Product Officer, Twist Image
Richard Loveless, President,Global Connections: Art and Technology Consulting Services; Visiting Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Susan Metros, Professor of Visual Design,The University of Southern California
Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Game Design, Interactive Media, Synesthesia, Q Entertainment
Ravi Naidoo, Founder and Managing Director, Interactive Africa / Design Indaba
Hephzibah Pathak, President, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Mumbai, India
Fernanda Saboia, Creative Director, Tatil Design
Tina Shaw, Video Production Manager / Creative Director,NBCUniversal Digital Entertainment and Liquid Filmworks
This summer, our esteemed judges will review thousands of innovative award submissions by students and faculty from higher education institutions around the world. Work will be judged across 13 student media categories and 3 faculty categories, and three finalists and honorable mention recipients will be named in each category. Judges will ultimately select one winner in each category. Winners will be announced at the ADAA Awards Ceremony at Adobe MAX in Los Angeles, this October.
Tina Shaw, one of this year’s judges, shared with me how energizing it is for her to join design peers from around the world and be inspired by the work of future creative leaders in traditional and experimental media. She added, “I take great honor in supporting the students and educators that rise to the challenges of their projects with remarkable/innovative/keen visual solutions.”
The ADAA is accepting entries until 5:00pm Pacific Time on June 22, 2012.Participants may enter each category three times. Recent student graduates are also eligible if their entry was created after May 1, 2011, and they were a student at that time. Finalists and winners will receive Adobe software and travel to Adobe MAX. In addition, winners in each category will receive $3000US cash. For more information on Adobe Design Achievement Awards and the various categories visit: http://www.adobeawards.com/us/. Stay informed and inspired by fellow designers by connecting to our ADAA Facebook and Twitter channels.
Are people living up to their creative potential? In a word, no.
This week, Adobe released global research in a State of Create report to uncover how people feel about their own creativity as well as its role in the economy, society, the workplace and our educational institutions. The findings were enlightening. A few highlights from the data:
8 in 10 feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth
Only 1 in 4 believe they are living up to their own creative potential
75% said they are under growing pressure to be productive rather than creative at work
More than half feel creativity is being stifled by the education system – and that feeling rises to 70% in the US
Only about half of Americans would describe themselves as creative (global average is even lower at 39%)
We call this separation between the importance and the day-to-day reality of creativity the “creativity gap.” That gap is pretty sobering.
So, what can we do to close the creativity gap? First, we need to make time for creativity as well as provide the necessary technology tools and training. Productivity and creativity should not be mutually exclusive – we all need to find ways to create at work, rather than considering it a weekend hobby or luxury for those with more time. As for our educational institutions, they need to foster the growth of the entire child, with more opportunities to participate in arts programs and foster “out of the box” creative thinking. Most importantly, we all need to think of creativity more broadly – it’s not just the domain of professional designers or artists. It’s a critical capability in a successful society and one that is in all of us.
Today we’re thrilled to introduce to you a brand new offering – Adobe Shadow Labs Release 1, which enables Web developers and designers to work faster and more efficiently by streamlining preview and customization of websites for mobile devices.
Adobe Shadow aims to alleviate the time and stress of working on websites across mobile browsers. Web pros can wirelessly pair multiple smartphones and tablets with their computer and simultaneously view real-time previews of Web content across multiple iOS and Android devices, quickly seeing refreshed website designs with live updates. Adobe Shadow’s synchronized browsing nearly eliminates the need to touch the device, but still provides a true, on-device experience.
We’re really excited to deliver Shadow and start simplifying the pain points of previewing, inspecting and presenting mobile Web content. We encourage Web Pros to download the free Labs Release 1 of Adobe Shadow available now at http://adobe.com/go/shadow and provide the team with feedback. To learn more about Adobe Shadow, visit the blog.
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