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Archive for June, 2013

7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

You’ve hit a brick wall. It’s difficult to concentrate. Social media sites and emails are suddenly demanding your attention. The ideas just aren’t coming today. Has this happened to you?

It’s difficult to get into the creative process when you can’t focus and feel surrounded by distractions. Luckily, Behance’s 99u blog broke down seven ways to boost your creativity to help you get in the zone.

Here’s a few of our favorites:

Separate work from consumption
Instead of gathering information while completing a project, keep these tasks separate to focus on the creative process in its own step. Absorb all of the information first, and then create.

Restrict yourself
Putting limits on a project can prove to be beneficial to your creativity. Instead of attacking a task like you normally would, consider adding a time limit or size limit to encourage you think about it in a different way.

Stay Positive
Influencing your mood in a positive way can actually have an impact on your ability to think outside of the box. Quick exercise or recalling good memories might help you find your positive place.

Be sure to check out the full list at 99u.

What quick tips do you use to boost your creativity?

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7:04 PM Permalink

Open Source Flash C++ Compiler, CrossBridge

We are excited to announce that the Flash C++ Compiler (FlasCC) has been contributed to open source as CrossBridge and will be delivered through GitHub.  FlasCC has become the standard technology to bring C/C++ content to the unparalleled reach of the web.  As CrossBridge, it will enjoy the speed of innovation and improvement that the open source community can bring.

FlasCC was previously delivered as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud.  As CrossBridge, it is available to everyone and we invite you to join with us to improve it.  Adobe will continue to invest in CrossBridge, contributing to and managing the project.  CrossBridge has been released as 1.0.1, containing all the original source of FlasCC 1.0 plus several improvements to the product.  In addition, we have contributed all current, on-going development work of CrossBridge 1.1, which includes an upgrade to LLVM and the front end, Clang to enable advanced C++ syntax support.  We look forward to collaborating with the community to complete this exciting release.

To get started with CrossBridge, please visit adobe-flash.github.io/crossbridge and, to find out more about our Game Developer Tools and the Adobe Creative Cloud, visit gaming.adobe.com/getstarted.

11:54 AM Permalink

Major Update to Adobe Creative Cloud Now Available

We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that our new family of Creative Cloud desktop apps, and many of the powerful publishing and collaborative features that we announced at Adobe MAX in May, are now available. These include:

  • Hundreds of new features in new versions of the apps you love, including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Adobe Muse CC, Dreamweaver CC, Edge Animate CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, and more. Your Creative Cloud membership includes more than 30 tools and services that enable professional-grade content creation and delivery across print, web, mobile apps, video and photography.
  • The new Creative Cloud app for your desktop, which keeps your entire creative world in sync and organized. Download and manage the latest product updates, keep tabs on your work and your followers on Behance, and more – all right from your desktop.
  • The ability to sync your application settings to Creative Cloud. Whether you use a Mac or PC —or both! — you can synchronize your workspace settings — including things like preferences, presets, brushes, and libraries. No more tedious fussing with your apps on a new computer. Just log in, sync, and get back to work.
  • Integration with Behance, the world’s leading creative community.  Members are able to publish their portfolios, follow others, publish work-in-progress from within a growing number of CC apps, and solicit feedback from a worldwide community of over 1.4 million creatives. And now, stay connected with the world’s best creative work with the Behance mobile app for iOS.
  • A Behance Prosite for Creative Cloud member. Create a personalized, professional looking, dynamic web site in minutes to show off your work and build your brand.
  • The new Adobe Kuler iPhone app, so you can share your color themes and explore thousands of others available on the Kuler website. Sync your favorite themes, and they’ll be accessible immediately in Illustrator CC. We’ll be rolling out support for synced color themes in other CC apps later this year.
  • The updated Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition that extends InDesign CC and allows you to create iPad apps without writing code.
  • Over 200 new tutorials added to Creative Cloud Learn to help customers get up and running quickly.  And the all new Creative Voices videos that give you a glimpse into the lives of some of the most creative minds in the world.

If you are a Creative Cloud member, all of these new apps and services are available to you today, available on a completely redesigned app center on the Creative Cloud website. For enterprise and education customers, we expect to make everything available on June 21 and government customers will see the updates in July. To learn more about Creative Cloud for enterprise, go here.

So, what’s next?

One of the advantages of being a Creative Cloud member is that you get updates and new features continuously. We already have the next batch lined up and you will be seeing the following new features and functionality as soon as they are ready:

  • File syncing on the desktop, including file versioning and private folder sharing. Customers may continue to upload and share files via the browser, with desktop functionality and more features coming soon. Private folders will let you share just the files you want in the cloud, and with versioning, every layer will be maintained and past versions will be saved. Comments on versions and invitations to join shared folders will appear in your activity stream in the Creative Cloud desktop app.
  • Typekit fonts on your desktop. Quickly find the perfect fonts in the growing Adobe Typekit library, sync them to your computer, and have them immediately available for use in any desktop application. Full Creative Cloud members will soon have access to over 700 fonts, installed with a single click.
  • An exciting new technology in Photoshop which we demonstrated at our MAX conference, that automatically sizes, crops, and creates image assets for the web from a document’s layers. This makes it significantly easier to go from static visual design to responsive layouts using HTML5 and CSS.
  • A Creative Cloud app for iOS to keep your entire creative world in sync and organized – on the go.

We can’t wait to see what you do with these new apps and services. If you have any questions or comments, please post them in our forums, where we are continuing the conversation. And if you’re not yet a Creative Cloud member, it’s easier than ever to get started with a complete plan, or 30-day free trials of all the new CC apps.

Enjoy!

The Creative Cloud Team

8:48 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight on Creative Cloud Logo Redesign Artists Vasava

Imagine a design studio. You’ll most likely default to thinking of a cool, hip office filled with tons of creative individuals. Now take that concept and turn it on its head. What do you end up with? The design studio that re-imagined our Creative Cloud logo, Vasava Studios.

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Far from a traditional design studio, Vasava does not specialize in anything. In fact, they like to experiment. Each member has the taste for the unexpected and selects projects that may test their creative abilities. Enric Godes states it best when he says, “It’s not a money driving company, but a company driven by passion.” Top that off with a balance between old school and new school styles of design coming together (there is a father/son duo working at Vasava) and you have one of the most unique studios ever.

Bruno Sellés, a partner at Vasava Studios, believes inspiration happens outside of the office. Once he hits the streets of Barcelona, inspiration strikes and his creative process takes off. Creative Cloud plays a huge roll here, because it gives everyone the ability to create wherever. Having the ability to begin a project on Adobe Ideas while commuting to work, uploading it to the cloud and then further refining and finalizing in Illustrator in the studio really opened Bruno’s eyes to how Creative Cloud has taken creativity to a whole new level.

Take a virtual tour of Vasava Studios, meet the team and more by checking out the videos below. Also, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to curb your hunger for all things design.

 

Vasava on the web:

Website
Facebook
Twitter

4:08 PM Permalink

The Punk Rocker Who Became a Filmmaker

Richard Jobson uses all Adobe Pipeline on Wayland’s Song

We really pushed the boundaries of what you can do with the Creative Cloud software. For me, it’s almost like being in a punk band again with Adobe: SpeedGrade and After Effects are my drummer and my bass player and Premiere Pro is my guitarist, who’s been getting much better. I have my band, and now I can tell my stories.

– Richard Jobson

Leveraging the complete Adobe Creative Cloud toolset, Wayland’s Song, which premiered at Cannes on May 25, 2013, was written and directed by Richard Jobson. A former movie critic and television host, Jobson started his career as the charismatic front man for 1970’s punk band, The Skids. After working in broadcast, he began screenwriting in 2000 and was soon directing short films and game cinematics. Early writing and directing highlights included Heartlands, and 16 Years or Alcohol.

As an independent filmmaker Jobson brings a practical, can-do attitude to his work, producing movies that are technically innovative and pioneering in terms of subject matter; such as his visually powerful 2009 human trafficking short, The Journey.

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Filmmaker Richard Jobson speaks about Waylands Song at Adobe&Filmmakers event.

Already familiar with Photoshop and After Effects, Jobson started editing with Adobe Premiere Pro in 2011 to conform and finish The Somnambulists – an arresting portrayal of fallen service personnel, recounting their experiences in Iraq, from beyond the grave.

 

“Premiere Pro allowed me to go back to the original, native rushes that I shot in camera, without changing or degrading the image,” said Jobson. No other software allowed me to do that. With Premiere Pro’s dynamic link to After Effects, completing the film in Adobe software was a no-brainer for me.”

 

For his latest feature film, Wayland’s Song, Richard Jobson moved to an all Adobe workflow: Starting with Adobe Story Plus, which he used for script editing, preproduction planning, and to generate detailed production schedules, all the material was moved smoothly through Adobe Prelude, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Adobe Audition, and finally SpeedGrade for finishing.

 

Creating Wayland’s Song

Inspired by a Nordic myth, Wayland’s Song tells the story of a British soldier returning from Afghanistan. While the world he left behind him seemed dark and medieval, the world he returns to appears little better. He discovers that his daughter has disappeared and the film follows his search for her, a journey through friendship, tragedy and ultimately revenge.


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“I have always loved a kind of graphic sensibility in my stories,” reflected Jobson. “The Wayland character has almost been lifted from a graphic novel. I love that type of thing. In all of my films I use the camera and lighting to create this quality.”

Wayland’s Song was beautifully shot on the Canon C300 by Director of Photography Andrei Austin. Offload, back-up and ingest was done with Adobe Prelude, which the production team used for shot-logging, adding metadata for use in postproduction, and pre-editing.

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Adobe Prelude was used for camera file ingest and shot logging on Wayland’s Song.

Visual effects and graphics were created entirely in Photoshop and After Effects, including a series of colorful, experimental sequences portraying the main character’s collapse into a seizure.  “I suffer from epilepsy myself, and I wanted to visualize that overwhelming sensory experience, where mind and body are flooded with light and you enter a world of hyper reality,” said Jobson.

The film was edited by Steven Sander in Adobe Premiere Pro. Moving to a native workflow allowed for a much faster pipeline that required no transcoding or rewrapping of files. XDCAM, Apple ProRes and H.264 codecs were all mixed on the same timeline in a smooth, seamless process. The combination of HP hardware, an Nvidia Quadro 5000 graphics card and the Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere Pro eliminated rendering from the editing process and allowed instant feedback when working with complex visual effects.

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“I was instantly impressed by the speed and responsiveness of Premiere Pro,” said Sander. “It seemed to handle everything we threw at it and it was great to be able to switch between Mac and Windows hardware, as needed, without converting sequences or media.”

Audio clean-up and mixing was done in Adobe Audition by musician and composer Keith Atack, who previously worked with Jobson on Heartlands and 16 Years of Alcohol. “This was a really fun and challenging project. A number of the team have a background in video game production and we tried to bring some of that dynamic to both the visuals and the sound design,” said Atack. “Audition lets me to work quickly and intuitively, allowing me as a sound designer to stay in the creative moment and get instant feedback. That was really useful for the more experimental sections of the film.”

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Audio editing for Wayland’s Song was done in Adobe Audition.

Grading and finishing were completed in SpeedGrade by colorist Dado Valentic at his MyTherapy facility in central London. Valentic has been a longtime SpeedGrade user.

“We actually developed the looks for the project in SpeedGrade before we started production,” explained Jobson. “This allowed us to view our shots as they came in with the creative looks applied. It was really helpful – just one of the ways that these tools allowed us to work faster and more efficiently.”

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Colorist Dado Valentic talks about his work with SpeedGrade on Wayland’s Song.

“Richard gave me a lot of creative freedom on this project,” said Valentic, “so I could really put SpeedGrade through its paces.  I applied technical looks, which I created to adjust the camera color spaces, along with the creative looks Richard used during production. With SpeedGrade, all of these color adjustments are layered so it’s easy to combine all of them for a final result that is both color corrected and stylized with the artistic look of the film.”

Filmmaking with Adobe Creative Cloud

Jobson joined Creative Cloud in 2012, soon after it became available, and couldn’t be happier with the service and the tools. “Adobe Story Plus gives me a great place to start my projects, and with the whole package I have all the tools for production right through to finishing. This software gives me the freedom to make films the way I want to make them.”

Wayland’s Song premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival on May 18 and will see theatrical distribution in the UK and Europe in September 2013.

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud and the latest tools for filmmakers mentioned in this article.

Join Richard Jobson for an Ask a Video Pro online seminar at 10 am PST on June 13, 2013. Signup is free http://adobe.ly/p6ZMbd

 

1:53 PM Permalink

Help is a Conversation: The Adobe Forum MVP Program

As anyone who uses the Community Forums knows, Help is a Conversation. But where did the now-familiar slogan come from? Over the past two years, registered users have grown from 769,000 to 1.7 million, with an average of 20 million page views a month.* With the influx of new users, we saw the need to create a program that could provide help to the newcomers in a timely and efficient manner. Our idea? Create an MVP program to recognize and credential our valuable expert users and moderators.

The Adobe community Most Valuable Participant (MVP) program has changed the forum community dramatically by enhancing the learning experience. The MVPs are a group of highly active participants marked with a special orange MVP badge. They are present in almost every forum and are experts in their respective fields. If a customer has a question in the Photoshop forum for example, often times, our Photoshop MVPs will have the answer. Our community now has over 200 MVPs engaging with customers on a daily basis. These MVPs, combined with the 1,000+ Adobe employees participating on the forums, have created a network of resources for our customers.

Serena Fox, who led the MVP project in 2012, said “one of the main forum initiatives we took on was to build an MVP community of engaged, informed, experts from both within Adobe and from our customers. The goal was to increase by 20% both internal and external expert participation. We more than tripled internal experts and doubled external experts.”

From a business standpoint, the MVP program has been positively received. Ben Rasmussen, Senior Director of Customer Advocacy & Digital Media Customer Care, expresses his appreciation: “Adobe’s community professionals are critical to our success, and that of their fellow customers and community members. Through the contributions of our MVP’s in particular, we’re able to facilitate rich, engaging conversations in Adobe’s forums where our customers have the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge by learning from the best. We genuinely believe that our Community Help and Learning programs are a crucial part of our customer engagement strategies, and I can personally see the tremendous value the MVP’s bring to those conversations through their shared insights and expertise”

How has this program changed and improved the community in the forums? John Cornicello, the Community Program Manager, has seen the changes firsthand. “The Adobe MVPs are the heart of the Adobe Community Forums. They are the expert users who live and breathe the applications they support in the Forums. They usually know of issues and fixes/workarounds first, and are the first to jump in to help both new and experienced users. A number of our MVPs have been involved in the forums for up to 20 years, maybe more. The forums wouldn’t be here without them.”

Thank you Adobe MVPs for your hard work and dedication.

*1.7 millon users are registered. 205,000 of those users have posted content. In other words, 205,000customers and 1200 Adobe employees & MVPs are having a conversation which is being viewed by 1.7 million customers

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A few Adobe MVPs.

 

3:16 PM Permalink

Lightroom 5 is now available on Creative Cloud

Today we’re pleased to announce the availability of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5. Creative Cloud members can immediately download this latest version of Lightroom. The release adds new photo editing capabilities and workflow solutions for both photography enthusiasts and professionals.

Here are some of the highlights of what’s new in Lightroom 5:

    • The Advanced Healing Brush enables you to fix irregularly shaped imperfections such as dust spots, splotches, and other distractions with the precision and flexibility of a fine brush.
    • The Upright tool analyzes each image to automatically straighten objects such as buildings and level horizons.
    • Radial Gradients offer you the control to make photo subjects stand out by applying off-center and multiple vignettes in a single image.
    • In the book module, you can now edit the easy-to-use book templates and add page numbers to create a customized look for your beautiful photo books.
    • Smart Previews, new in Lightroom 5, enable you to make edits to your images offline, without bringing the entire library of original files with you. Edits and metadata changes to Smart Preview files are automatically applied to the original images when they are reconnected.
    • With video slideshows you can combine still images, video clips and music in a creative HD slideshow that can be viewed on almost any device.
    • Extended sharing and publishing capabilities, including the ability to publish photos directly to your work in progress on Behance.

Visit creative.adobe.com to get this new version of Lightroom. You can also read more about the changes on Adobe.com.

6:39 PM Permalink

HOW Design Live Attendees: Want to Win a 5-Year Creative Cloud Membership?

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There are so many exciting things happening at this year’s HOW Design Live conference including a closing keynote from our very own Scott Belsky, as well as sessions led by Adobe evangelists. What’s more, we’re hosting a Tweetway in conjunction with the event and we’re giving away some sweet prizes.

Want to be a part of it? Here’s how to enter:

Between June 10 and June 25, send a Tweet with the hashtag #AdobeHOW and share your Adobe Ideas drawing, Adobe Kuler theme, or a link to a project in your Behance portfolio for a chance to win a Creative Cloud membership. We’re giving away one 5-year membership and ten (that’s right, 10!) 3-month memberships. Don’t miss out on a chance to win.

We’ll select winners at random, from all submissions, on June 25; winners will be notified on June 26 via Twitter. For full details, check out our HOW Tweetaway Sweepstakes Official Rules.

This is your chance to show off your work AND possibly win some great prizes. Be sure to follow Creative Cloud on Twitter. Also, if you’re at the conference, be sure to stop by the Adobe booth to say hello, get answers to your questions, and learn the latest about your favorite tools.

UPDATE (as of 2:30 PM PT): The results are in! Congratulations to our grand prize winner Eric Higgins (@iamEricHiggins) who will receive a 5-year membership to Creative Cloud. But there’s more…The following folks each receive a 3-month Creative Cloud membership. 

  1. Christopher Creese @CreeseWorks
  2. Matt Marriott @m_marriott
  3. Crescent Vale @CrescentVale
  4. Brent @MacTattooed
  5. Carrie Cousins @carriecousins
  6. The Stickman @StickmanArt
  7. Jessica Orion @ArtePerMe
  8. Michael Banks @4MikeBanks
  9. Matt McRae @mattmcrae
  10. Leo Rabelo @leorabelo

Thanks for participating everyone and happy creating! 

 

 

 

 

10:11 AM Permalink

Learn the Ins and Outs of Premiere Pro CC: Premium Beat Shares 10 Time Saving Tips

Get ready – the next generation of video production software is almost here. Later this month all you video pros will be able to get your hands on Premiere Pro CC. But why wait until then to learn the ins and outs? The Beat blog (@premiumbeat) shares tips that will save you time and get you up to speed quickly with the changes and new features in Premiere Pro CC.

Note: the tips and images below were taken directly from The Beat blog.

Assembly Workspace

Premiere Pro CC adds the new Assembly Workspace. This is a workspace layout that has a large Project area with the Program & Source Monitors sharing space. This is a handy workspace if you like to use Premiere Pro’s Hover Scrub, then set In & Out and use shortcuts to quickly Insert or Overwrite edit.

As the name suggests, this workspace is designed for quickly creating a rough cut in Premiere Pro.

1

Improved Multicam
In Premiere Pro CC you can mix different media, frame rate and sample rates. You have the new option of “sync to audio” which is handy if you have audio from a separate audio recorder that you want to sync to video clips.

2

Add Edit & Duplicate Frames
You can access settings for “Show Through Edits” & “Show Duplicate Frame Markers” from the Timeline Display Settings in the Sequence.

Now you can choose to see through edits and duplicate frames when you have used part of a clip

3

 

Write Keyframes in Audio Clip Mixer

Premiere Pro CC adds a Clip Audio Mixer to make working with clip audio easier. They also add the ability to record audio keyframes by selecting the “write keyframes” button. Click the button and then move the Fader to record keyframes while the clip is playing. There is a Preference for thinning out keyframes so you can then modify them as needed.

We’ve just outlined a few tips here. Be sure to visit the blog post and study up on the other six tips provided. Also, don’t forget to check out the Premiere Pro CC dedicated video playlist we put together on Adobe TV. As always, be sure to follow Creative Cloud on Facebook and Twitter.

12:51 PM Permalink

Academy Award Winner Rob Legato On Inspiration, Film & Tools

At this year’s Adobe MAX conference, Academy award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Legato excited the audience by sharing a glimpse behind the scenes of work he’s done on major blockbuster films such as Apollo 13, Titanic, Aviator and Hugo. He reveals his secrets behind visual effects, his inspirations, and creative process.

Known for creating visual effects so good the audience doesn’t realize that they are effects, Legato aims to transport the movie-goer into another time and place. His ideation process is surprisingly simple, as he looks to the past for inspiration. His talent, coupled with the use of creative tools for video professionals from Adobe, help Legato execute beautiful and memorable scenes in modern-day film.

For more, you can view his entire talk on Adobe TV or below:

We’ll be focusing on all-things video production for the remainder of this week. Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter for more inspirational stories, creative work and product news and tutorials.

3:31 PM Permalink