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Posts in Category "Creative Cloud"

Pushing The Web Forward

The fifth installment of I Went to Adobe Creative Camp at SXSW 2015… And all I brought back is a series of blog posts, the firsthand account of a first-time Adobe SXSW Creative Camp attendee.

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The Evolution of the Web with CJ Gammon

“The web connects us globally and it’s hard to imagine a future where we aren’t more connected because of the foundation of it. Given that technology and the web changes so fast, it’s not difficult to imagine the web of the future looking very different from the web of today.”

CJ Gammon works at Adobe creating interactive experiences and applications focused on web technologies. His session posed the question: How do we simplify the creation of complex content, make it easier for everyone to create, and also raise the bar for developers who are pushing the web forward?

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Rich experiences and dynamic graphics

“When we think of native platforms, we often think of native games and the rich 3D experiences that are created on them. What if I want more, what if I want direct access to the GPU to create really amazing experiences?”

The web has consisted, for a long time, primarily of high-level extras and lower-level APIs (like CSS and SVG). But what about taking full advantage of the hardware?

  • WebGL Specifications: From the Khronos Group, it enabled developers to use canvas elements to create rich, complex 3D web graphics.
  • WebGL: For rendering the rich textures and effects of native consoles (unfortunately, difficult to write).
  • Three.js: One of the most popular cross-browser WebGL libraries for the display of animated and 3D graphics. It simplifies the code-writing process.
  • Leap Motion: Released with a JavaScript library, it enables people to gesturally interact with content and software. A unique experience right inside of the browser.
  • Hybrid applications: The web is getting really good at providing access to hardware (cameras, phones, and game pad APIs) that expands the potential for native-type experiences.

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“Peripherals offer experiences that we’re able to integrate using the web’s APIs.”

Thanks to devices like Oculus Rift and Google Carboard, it’s impossible to talk about the future of the web, without mentioning Virtual Reality (VR). It can be achieved on the web with WebGL and rendering in stereoscopic view, but it requires access to the application data (so the application moves along with someone moving their head).

WebVR makes that possible. The experimental API uses JavaScript to provide access to the data in VR devices through a browser. MozVR, Mozilla’s Virtual Reality team, is exploring how to bring WebGL and game-like experiences to VR and playing around with what traditional web experiences might look like through a VR headset.

What kind of experiences could these technologies enable in the browser? As an example, something like Google Street View might look VERY different: Right now, it’s mapped photos that create a 360-degree view. Very cool. But static. Although there are logistical issues, the technology exists to attach VR cameras to drones that capture images in flight that people can experience through VR headsets.

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Designers and their tools

“What about designers? How do designers create content for these more complex experiences. Not everyone is going to be able to write their own tools, so how do you tap into the tools that designers are already using?”

Designing is visual. And the tools designers are used to working with have rich GUIs that accelerate their ability to create:

  • 3D: The rich models, textures and animations of 3D applications can be combined with WebGL. A plug-in for three.js, packaged with the three.js library enables use of Blender, an open source 3D modeling and animation tool. Designers can work where they’re comfortable and developers can work where they’re comfortable.
  • Photoshop for graphics: Adobe Generator for Photoshop CC, essentially a node server running inside Photoshop; developers can write JavaScript scripts that actually tap in to the application.
  • Animation: Flash changed animation by enabling designers to easily create and share animation everywhere. With support for custom platforms, developers can write plug-ins that allow the export of anything in any format.

My conclusion: New workflows. Existing tools. Collaborations. Hybrid applications. A mass approach to simplifying the creation of complex content on the web.

Want to hear CJ’s talk in his own words? He recorded his session.

 
Read the wrap-up of Session 4: How to be a More Inefficient Designer with The Made Shop

5:50 AM Permalink

Adobe Comp CC, The Best Thing To Happen to Layout Ideation Since The Cocktail Napkin

The latest addition to our family of mobile apps is a powerful tool for visual thinking and a new connection between the mobile and desktop applications in Creative Cloud.

Announcing Adobe Comp CC, a free app for the iPad that enables the rapid creation of layout concepts for mobile, web, and print.

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The road to product launch

When we began adding connected mobile apps to Creative Cloud, we knew they would change the way people worked. We knew that enabling people to work (really work) away from their desks, capturing thoughts and ideas and concepts as they flew through their minds, that we could enhance the creative process.

Built on the Adobe Creative SDK, Comp CC couples intuitive iPad gestures, fonts from Typekit, and the personal assets stored in Creative Cloud Libraries to provide designers with the perfect mobile brainstorming and layout work surface. Then, with a single click, comps can be sent to Adobe InDesign CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, or Adobe Photoshop CC (where CC Libraries assets and fonts from Typekit are also synced) to fine-tune and finish the work. It’s this powerful connection back to the desktop, where designers do so much of their work, that makes Comp CC, and all of our mobile apps, so valuable.

The app made its first appearance at Adobe MAX in October 2014 when Khoi Vinh, former design director of the New York Times, revealed it, and his collaboration with Adobe, during the Project LayUp Sneak. He said of that collaboration, “The company’s deep expertise in creative software plus the comprehensive power of their Creative Cloud platform were essential to this product—only Adobe could have brought Comp CC to life.”

From brainstorm to layout

As energetic as sketching with pencil and paper, Comp CC, amps up the ideation phase of the design process. Then it enables designers to add polish to the quick-gesture comps with custom type and personal creative assets.

CompCC_4But the true beauty is in how those ideas, achieved rapid-fire no-holds-barred, are managed. No need to save ideas that may or may not make the cut. A single source file and a rich history feature mean that every iteration—that’s every single version of every single layout—is saved. No need to distinguish between creative genius and creative missteps; a quick drag of a few fingers left or right on the screen move through the file backward or forward in time, to view every comp.

What’s more, at any point it’s possible to pause. And export. Not just a .jpeg or .png, but an InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, or Photoshop CC file with live, native objects. So… Comp CC moves effortlessly between quick-sketching brainstorms on mobile, to our desktop application, to refined output. All without ever leaving Creative Cloud.

Scott Belsky, vice-president of products at Adobe sums up its power: “Comp CC takes advantage of the iPad’s advanced touch screen with an intuitive interface and makes the beginning of the design process integral to the finished result. Doing creative work on a mobile device is only useful if the results can be opened on the desktop, where the project can be perfected in a precise, professional-grade tool like InDesign or Photoshop.”

A family of connected apps

Comp CC joins Adobe’s family of Creative Cloud mobile apps: Adobe Illustrator Draw, Adobe Illustrator Line, Adobe Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Premiere Clip, Adobe Photoshop Mix, Adobe Shape CC, Adobe Brush CC, Adobe Color CC and Lightroom mobile for iPhone, iPad and Android.
 

Capture a layout wherever. Capture a layout whenever. Capture a layout now. Download Comp CC.

Adobe Creative Cloud. Where innovation is ongoing. Give it a try. It’s free.

9:01 AM Permalink

Show Marvel Your Best Work

 

Are you a student looking to showcase your talent, get advice from top-tier professionals, gain invaluable real-world experience, and build your portfolio? If so, Adobe has the perfect opportunity for you:

We’ve teamed up with Marvel to make comic book history and give you a chance to apply your cutting-edge skills.

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What’s the deal?

We’re looking for four (4) students with four (4) distinct styles to team up with Marvel pros to create a limited-edition Avengers comic, powered by Creative Cloud, to debut during San Diego Comic-Con.

If chosen, you’ll contribute to a new Marvel comic, get a ticket to San Diego Comic-Con, and a one-on-one portfolio review with the Marvel pros. Your comic will also be printed and distributed in comic stores across the United States. (You may also be featured on the Adobe Students social channels to help your portfolio stand out to future employers.)

Who we’re looking for

Students (in or outside the USA) aged eighteen (18) and over, who are passionate about illustration, digital media, animation, and comics. Since storytelling is crucial in comic books, we’ll be keeping an eye out for sequential samples, regardless of style.

How to be considered

Tag your best original non-Marvel work on your Behance portfolio with #madethis #Marvel. If you don’t have a Behance portfolio, you can make one by simply signing up on Behance and uploading your work.

Submission deadline

Work must be tagged on Behance no later than April 13, 2015 for consideration.

Some questions and answers

  • Who’s eligible to participate? Currently enrolled students from all majors and backgrounds. You must be over the age of eighteen (18).
  • I don’t live in the US, can I participate? Yes. The opportunity is available globally.
  • Will I be paid for my work? Yes. Each selected student will receive a cash payment.
  • Will hotel and accommodations be taken care of at San Diego Comic-Con? Yes. The selected students traveling to San Diego Comic-Con will have transportation and hotel accommodations planned and paid for by Adobe, as well as a daily stipend.
  • I’m from outside the US, will my visa be taken care of? If you’re chosen, you will be responsible for applying for your visa. It can be completed by visiting esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta and following the application directions. We will reimburse you for any costs needed to obtain your visa.
  • Do I need Creative Cloud to participate? You will need a Behance portfolio and Creative Cloud skills.  If you aren’t already a Creative Cloud member, download free trials of the Creative Cloud apps.
7:53 AM Permalink

The Journey of Design

The fourth installment of I Went to Adobe Creative Camp at SXSW 2015… And all I brought back is a series of blog posts, the firsthand account of a first-time Adobe SXSW Creative Camp attendee.

Learning How to be a More Inefficient Designer with The Made Shop

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“We view our process, our journey from not knowing to knowing, as our work.”

Like everyone, the founders of The Made Shop have been taught to value efficiency (time, after all, is money), but when they looked closely at the projects in their portfolio, many of them had a common thread: They’d been created “the hard way,” using tools they’d never used before, ideas they’d never tested, and paths they’d never previously followed. It made them question whether efficiency was all it was cracked up to be.

During their session, subtitled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Inefficiency,” they shared projects and maxims and explained how to introduce friction into the design process, how to un-automate procedures, how to design the hard way, and still consistently create solutions that imaginatively address client needs.

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“Not to find the answer but to ask the questions… that’s the job of the designer. Selling answers, that’s a product. Selling questions, that’s part of the process. We start with the idea that the client comes with the questions and it’s our job, and they’re paying us, to come up with the answer. But that’s not quite the right way to think of it.”

The “right” answers don’t always ensure the best solution. If designers only take on work they know… that is, projects for which they answers come easily, they sell only their most tested capabilities to clients. Only their most-accepted answers.

But clients call on designers for new. For unique. For innovative. So… Question. Learn. Explore. Then begin the process again with every new assignment.

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“Limitations act like a funnel; they direct focus and, because they cut away other options, produce a really pointed end result. When starting a new project, where you start directs the shape of it in an inevitable way.”

Creative minds wandering unencumbered by money or time or rules… it’s the creative ideal. Unrestrained imagination and problem-solving. The ability to stretch creative muscles. Afterall, controls are not for creative thinkers trying to solve problems for a living. Unfettered creative freedom is how other designers come up with meaningful and memorable solutions. Right?

Well, that’s for sure the knee-jerk reaction: Constraints (a lack of time, of budget, of experience) as not good for the design proces, stumbling blocks to work that’s valuable, rich and, well, creative.

The opposite is true.

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“One of our favorite methodologies is to work with tools we’re unfamiliar with…. that we don’t exactly know how to use. Sometimes, although difficult to use, they give us exactly what we needed in the first place—even though we didn’t know that when we started.”

Want a new solution for a problem you’ve solved before? Use tools that are unfamiliar, follow paths that are unknown, and say yes to projects that scare you:

Analog. Digital. Tools provide the direction of the solution. Unfamiliar tools force finding new ways to do things.

Sidetracked by an idea? Follow it. See where it leads. Not sure whether it will work? Not knowing is the first step toward knowing.

Say yes. Despite obstacles, lack of knowledge, or limitations. Dive into projects with no prior experience, no answers, and no expectations about how they will go. “You’ll be,” says The Made Shop, “inherently and unavoidably in an inefficient place.”

My conclusion: The goal of design is to NOT make things exactly the same, or in exactly the same way, every single time.

Read the wrap-up of Session 3: Failure As A Creative Catalyst with Erik Natzke

8:32 AM Permalink

HaZ Goes Hollywood with Sci-Fi Teasers

Turning proof-of-concept shorts into feature film deals with Adobe Creative Cloud.

HaZ_1Soon after its release, Project Kronos was an Internet hit on YouTube and Vimeo. Viewers loved the gritty documentary feel of the fifteen-minute short created on a budget of just £3000 by Hasraf “HaZ” Dulull entirely with Adobe Creative Cloud applications, including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, and Adobe Photoshop CC. Hollywood loved it, too. So much so, that HaZ was able to win his first feature film deal for a full-length version of the space exploration drama.

Hollywood is a long way from the buzzing streets of central London where HaZ grew up. As a boy, his interest in cinema was first piqued by VHS videos of Blade Runner and Alien. Fascinated by the special effects, the youngster carefully reviewed scenes, trying to discern how they were created. Meanwhile in school he started playing around with an early version of the Paint application. “The school computers wouldn’t let you save files, so day after day I would create the same image, improving it as I went along,” he recalls. “I got pretty good at pushing pixels that way.”

At sixteen, he got his first computer and was soon a keen gamer. His interest in pursuing a career in game design led him to choose Computer Science, Technology, and Design for his A Level exam subjects. As part of his schoolwork, he created and animated a film using 4-bit images. From there HaZ went on to study media communications and for his dissertation on video games he created a simple horror game.

From game cinematics to cinema

That helped him land his first video game job creating cinematics, the short films that serve as introductions to video game narratives and as “cut scenes” between levels. “By now I was working with the first wave of digital tools, including Alias Wavefront for animation, Photoshop for painting, Combustion for compositing, and Avid for editing,” says HaZ.

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“After a few years, I asked myself: ‘Why am I doing this?’ Why not work on actual films,” he continues. “So I got my first film job at the Moving Picture Company in London.” Starting in 2003, he worked his way up from compositor to lead compositor, finally becoming VFX supervisor on broadcast series such as America: The Story of US (History Channel) and Planet Dinosaurs (BBC), both of which earned him award nominations in 2011.

As a VFX supervisor he was soon working shoulder to shoulder with directors. “That became my film school,” he says. “I was helping filmmakers plan their productions in a way that avoided problems in post-production. This didn’t just teach me about the process of filmmaking, it deepened my understanding of storytelling and how each aspect of a film, if done right, supports the larger narrative.”

The role of VFX supervisor is an interesting one and tells us a lot about the evolution of filmmaking today. Originally, the VFX supervisor was brought on set to bridge the gap between filming and post production. They ensured that shots were captured correctly for efficient post-production and high-quality visual effects. Sometimes VFX supervisors even directed segments themselves. But the role has grown as the place for visual effects in filmmaking has matured. “As a VFX supervisor, I’m working with writers actors, directors, producers, executives,” says HaZ. “We’ve become very influential in the storytelling process and we’re usually brought in now during development, before the script is even green lit.”

Pitching feature films in Hollywood

Meanwhile, HaZ himself was also evolving and the idea for Project Kronos was born. “Project Kronos was the right thing at the right time,” he explains. “Gravity was hitting theaters and Interstellar was in production. Space stories were hot.” Project Kronos was picked up by Armory Films and Benderspink to turn into a full-length drama with HaZ attached to write and direct. All of a sudden, he was being asked to pitch ideas for other films.

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“Now I go into the meetings as a director and a writer,” he says, “and I don’t just bring a script with storyboards. I cut a short teaser of the film to show the studio execs what the film will look like. And I’m not just showing them the story, I’m showing them how it can be made.”

The approach has worked. In short order HaZ had three films in development with a fourth in the works. “It really helps that I can knock out the videos fast,” he explains. “Once I even cut a pitch trailer on the plane, on the way to Los Angeles. It’s so easy now: boot up the laptop, open the Creative Cloud apps and just get to work.”

The process itself is not new to him, just the ease with which he can do it. “I’ve been doing proof of concept stuff for a long time, but it used to be with disconnected tools,” he says. “With Creative Cloud I don’t have to deal with that anymore. I just bring everything into Premiere Pro CC and then connect the pieces. It makes it so much easier to sell an idea when you can show it already visualized.”

Building pitch trailers with Creative Cloud

One of the new projects is called Sync. Unlike Project Kronos, which is styled like a documentary, Sync is a sci-fi thriller. “I wanted to show I could create the kinds of action films that studios are often looking for from young first-time filmmakers,” he says.

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He even created a kind of pre-teaser to show potential collaborators what he wanted to make, including grading with Adobe SpeedGrade CC, to create atmosphere, and VFX created in Photoshop CC and After Effects CC. “That worked,” he smiles. “My test shots generated interest and I found my crew and actors just by showing it around.”

While shooting the Sync teaser, HaZ and his team were already doing rough assembly, which was easy, since Premiere Pro CC supports the native files right out of the camera. From there the short film was built stem-to-stern in Creative Cloud. “Adobe isn’t just creating tools, they’re creating workflows,” says HaZ. He is proud of this project, which he feels includes elements of Blade Runner, one of his first movie loves.

I.R.I.S, a third feature film project, combines the documentary storytelling style of Project Kronos with the sci-fi thriller genre of Sync. In this story, the globe is surrounded by miniature drones which, using sophisticated artificial intelligence, monitor and police human activity.

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I.R.I.S. was created using the same workflow as Project Kronos and Sync. As with those shorts, HaZ made extensive use of After Effects CC for compositing CG elements into the live action, as well as augmenting stock footage. HaZ created I.R.I.S. before Sync but it was released afterwards. “It was a project I developed with another production company in Los Angeles to pitch as a feature film,” explains HaZ. “We never intended to release this one as a short film, but after all the buzz around Sync it made sense to make this public, too.

“I asked my DP on I.R.I.S. if he could find some guys who could help out as marines in the film. When I turned up on set these guys were fully kitted out with enough weaponry to start a small war—all replicas of course! They were awesome to work with and totally loved films like Aliens, so directing them was a blast. Naturally, I used them again on Sync for much bigger action scenes.”

A playground for developing ideas

As all of these short film projects show, Creative Cloud gives HaZ a digital playground for developing ideas. The result in each case is not just a story idea, but clear ideas for how to make it efficiently and cost-effectively. For example, HaZ has made extensive use of Adobe Audition CC to map out audio for his projects. “Sound studio time is really expensive, so it helps a lot if I can show exactly how I want the audio to be done, and the audio people end up using many of the original sound elements I created,” says HaZ. “And I’m not even an audio guy!”

The design tools have also proven useful in fleshing out concepts. “For one project I was asked how I thought it could be marketed, so I grabbed some stills and designed a poster for the film,” he says. “Typekit is a lifesaver for me, too—not just for making posters, but for titling and design elements within the films. I also used Creative Cloud Assets to create graphics in Sync. I don’t want to be thinking about tools when I’m doing my work. Everything I need I already have in Creative Cloud.”

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After a year of polishing the script, HaZ is now gearing up for his feature film directorial debut on Project Kronos, which will go into production in 2015. While this will bring new experiences, he feels very much at home in the process. “I don’t need to worry about post, or editorial, because I know I have all the tools to get the job done.
 

In case you missed it… from October 2013, Creating a Great Pitch Trailer for your Feature Film, an Ask A Pro session with HaZ Dullul.

(HaZ is represented by manager Scott Glassgold of IAM Entertainment.)

3:10 PM Permalink

Between Failure and Success

The third installment of I Went to Adobe Creative Camp at SXSW 2015… And all I brought back is a series of blog posts, the firsthand account of a first-time Adobe SXSW Creative Camp attendee.

Failure as a Creative Catalyst with Erik Natzke

“Anyone here who has not failed as a creative, raise your hand, stand up, and walk out the door. Because THAT is not how creativity is born. Creativity is born through struggle, through strife, through what happens every day when someone decides, ‘I’m gonna go try this.'”

Over the next hour Erik walked the audience through his career, and its portfolio of projects, and the serendipitous collision of challenges, setbacks, successes, efforts, and decisions that led him to…. now. Over a dozen stories, each connected by the thread of a falter, a restart, and success.

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“Never turn things down. Especially if something is a challenge for you. Test your reach not your grasp.”

Doubt plagues people in creative professions. More often than not, instead of believing, “I got this,” internal conversations are more of a faltering, ego-crushing, “I don’t know if I’m going to be good at this.”

Pushing through the insecurities is possible because of people who’ve gone before, who’ve also been troubled by finding satisfying resolutions and answers that address the needs of a creative brief. Every creative difficulty is supported by a community that knows the reward… of a solution that was hard to come by.

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“Everyone is always going to come to you to do exactly what you’ve done before, so you have to force yourself to evolve… unless you’re really happy with what you’re doing. I’m constantly trying to make sure that what I’m doing is something I enjoy.”

Each project leads to what’s next. An obvious statement perhaps, but Erik delivered a stern warning to the audience to be careful about choices, to not make them based on dexterity, or comfort, or convenience. But to always be doing those things that fuel passion. Because looking back at a career through a lens of “I stuck with what I did well,” might not be so satisfying.

Instead of spending a lifetime doing only what you’re “good at,” do what you love. Make a move. Make a change. Even if it’s painful.

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Erik’s first project at Adobe was We Are The Creative Class, “a rallying cry to the passion, the pain and the power of commitment to creative. It’s a creativity anthem that embodies the struggles and strife of the creative profession.”

Erik ended up at Adobe because he wanted to work on the tools that have played such a big part in his creative process. And, during the almost three years he’s been at Adobe, he’s created beautifully-memorable bodies of work like the TED All-Star Portraits and was the principal designer for the build of Adobe Brush CC.

But Erik’s first uplifting project for Adobe almost didn’t happen because of a series of Herculean constraints:

My conclusion: A creative path, littered with projects that didn’t go as planned, is not always an easy one, but the successes, the result of inevitable failures… worth the suffering.

 
Read the wrap-up of Session 2: Moving from Graphic Design to 3D Object Design with Paul Trani

7:50 AM Permalink

Aaron Draplin and The Collaborative Poster Project

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Aaron Draplin is joining Adobe at HOW Design Live.

And, in collaboration with Adobe and boutique printer Mama’s Sauce he’s also fronting Draplin in The Cloud—part commemorative poster design, part portrait of a new work process, and part collaborative art project—using Adobe Shape CC and Adobe Illustrator CC.

Draplin, along with Adobe evangelist Paul Trani will be presenting a lunchtime session titled Draplin Takes Mobile to Desktop about capturing shapes in Adobe Shape and taking them into Illustrator CC. He’ll also be presenting in the Adobe booth, a sort of reenactment of his design process.

He had a few things to say about this uniquely-challenging creative collaboration:

Draplin_1 From shape to design. We know you’ve used Adobe Shape a bit. Tell us how you see it fitting into your design process long term? I’ll sketch something and take a shot of it, let the thing show up in my Library, and will have vectors to refine. From paper to digital, a little quicker. Then I’ll grab that vector, lock it on the art board, and draw over it, refining the idea. It’s another fun way to capture an idea. But mainly, it eliminates steps for me. Instead of having to shoot it with my phone, load the shots to my machine, let the cloud grab it, and then place the shot? From four steps to one.

The assets for this poster will be a compilation of vector icons solicited and gathered from other people’s Adobe Shape CC captures. Tell us a bit about how you think that will work. The world’s moving faster and faster. I’m having to learn new ways of capturing my thoughts, based on what’s within an arm’s reach—paper, steamy shower glass, my desktop computer and, more and more, my phone. Using these new mobile apps, you can bridge that gap. Quick and clean. And I’m starting to rely on it in my process.

It will be fun to see stuff come flying in, out of my control. And then, making new out of it all. That randomness sounds fun. I’ll be at their mercy. Out of my element.

And about that… People on the Internet, whom you’ve never met, sending in submissions for you to design around; that’s a broad collaboration. Nothing can go wrong there, right? Not one thing. Ha! I mean, if it’s weird or mean or creepy, I reserve the right to hit the “delete” button. But for the most part, I anticipate the stuff being submitted with good spirit behind it. Let’s make something cool.
 

Mama’s Sauce: From Shape CC to Illustrator CC to screen print

This project wouldn’t have been possible without the participation of Mama’s Sauce, an incomparable boutique printer. Because their knowledge of hand-done print processes is profound, we dragged them into a conversation about this project and a larger one about vector-to-handmade printing:

When we said, “We want you to screen print a project that got its start on a smartphone with a mobile app,” did you want to run for the hills? No way. Screen print, letterpress, foil printing—they’ve all come a long way from painting on emulsion, moveable-type, hand carved blocks, chemical etching… you know, the historical processes of putting graphics in a form able of being printed on paper. While all of those are super viable still, each with their own purpose and/or aesthetic, these days, 100% of what we print in our shop comes from a digital or raster file. Considering that the average smartphone has more computing power than the spacecraft that brought us to the moon (you may want to fact check me), there isn’t much a phone can’t do these days. They’re certainly smart enough to produce vector and raster files. I mean, I do it all of the time with Adobe’s mobile apps. It’s crazy how I’m needing my computer less and less.

How do you feel about the concept now that you know a bit more about Adobe Shape and its integration with Illustrator CC? A light went off. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I didn’t realize that you could send files so easily right into our pre-press workflow. The idea of moving in that direction for receiving files is super appealing.

Talk a bit about how screen printing is the perfect complement to vector art and a digital process. It’s powerful when vector meets makers; and digital designers have embraced hand-made output in a big way. I don’t think anyone is forcing it either. It’s a natural fit. The more digital we get in our processes, the more people want to stay connected, not to fight progress, but to keep more options on the table. It’s happening in a multitude of ways too: People are scanning old wood type, exaggerating halftones in their designs, and creating aesthetics based on old production techniques that were once solely practical in nature. And when people wanted more out of the old presses, not just their type and halftone aesthetics, but rather the rest of their printing capabilities for their vector art… polymer plates came along. Modern plate-making for letterpress and modern film-making for screen print—these processes make old world printing the perfect complement for designers wanting to print work on a traditional press.

For anyone who might want to use a mobile-to-desktop-to-screen-print process, what’s most important for them to know?  Begin where you are. If you see something inspiring and want to know how it would look 1-color, how it would vectorize, you can snap a pic and see that nearly instantly. Gone are the days where you have to email yourself a file, drag to the desktop, open the asset and then get to work. You work can begin wherever.
 

Draplin in The Cloud: The collaboration

Aaron will select shapes from online submissions and incorporate them into a commemorative poster which will be printed in a limited run of 1,000 and given away at HOW Design Live. (Not attending HOW? Don’t worry, the poster will also be available as a digital download.)

Wondering how to get a shape on Aaron’s poster? It’s pretty simple. Open Adobe Shape. Capture a shape. Submit it to Aaron through the app. Get more details from Collaborate with Draplin… as an alternative, the process in the words of Aaron Draplin:


 

Check our microsite to see what else Adobe’s got going on at HOW Design Live.

9:03 AM Permalink

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and Adobe Muse CC

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Google recently announced a change in their site-ranking algorithm to include mobile-friendliness criteria for mobile search results, that will go live on April 21.

If your Adobe Muse site isn’t yet built to support mobile, it’s time to consider creating a tailored experience for your site visitors, whether they’re viewing on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Adobe Muse has the tools you need to prepare your site for this change, and ensure Google search queries continue to drive maximum site traffic, leads, and new business.

Get started with this step-by-step tutorial How to create a mobile website with Adobe Muse.

For an in-depth understanding of this change, and recommendations for creating a mobile-friendly site, read Mobile-Friendly Sites and Google Webmaster Tools on the Adobe Muse engineering team blog.

8:07 AM Permalink

Creative Cloud and Business Catalyst

Beginning May 1, 2015, Business Catalyst will no longer be included as part of Creative Cloud for new members. This change has no impact on current members, who will continue to have access to the service as part of their membership for as long as their membership remains active. Preview functionality from Muse will continue to be available for all Creative Cloud members.

We are continuously looking for opportunities to update our Creative Cloud offerings in order to focus on the features and functionality most requested by members. This includes adding new desktop and mobile apps, new features and services, as well as adjusting and changing the existing services and offerings. This change allows both the Creative Cloud and Business Catalyst teams to better focus their efforts on features for their respective members.

 

10:01 AM Permalink

Innovating Innovation: A Formula for Success

If you look at a group of people who are creative for a living, you might see a room full of people goofing off, playing with toys, or staring into space, looking like they’re doing nothing at all. Then, you’ll immediately think, “Wow, I need to get a job like that.”

As the director of marketing, for the Creative Cloud Mobile division, I can promise you that we really are working. That’s what I say to my boss every time he walks past a room full of people staring at the wall. It’s all part of the process. I can’t say that my boss entirely believes me.

In fact, he decided to challenge me. He asked me to create a process for creativity. He wanted me to find a way to make innovation repeatable and predictable. He wanted it all delivered on the back of a unicorn.

Ok, so the unicorn part was made up, but the futility I felt when faced with that task wasn’t. After all, part of creativity is the ability to be spontaneous. How was I supposed to encourage creativity when I was trying to make everyone follow a paint-by-numbers process? Was I really being asked to innovate innovation?

As I sat down to write my letter of resignation, a sudden and ironic burst of spontaneous creativity came to me. While innovation might not be a process, there is a formula to it that anyone can use:

Innovation = f (passion * velocity * creativity * some array of variables) ^ risk

Innovating_1

This isn’t Beal’s Conjecture, so you can put away that calculator. If you want to make innovation repeatable, it’s not about specific actions you can take. It’s more of a matter of attitude. It’s what happens when the right product meets the right people at the right time. It’s understanding all of the moving parts that come into play to make that idea a reality.

Passion

Passion is a critical component for any innovation. If the team is not passionate about what they’re doing, they should be doing something else. Inventing is creating something new, but innovation changes the way we all look at a product. Inventing is creating that plastic thing at the end of a shoelace that makes it easier to lace your shoe (that’s an aglet, in case you’re curious). Innovating is turning the simple telephone into an iPhone, which changed the way we looked at communication entirely. Both are achieved through some desire to fill a need, but only passion can lead to true innovation.

Velocity

In math, velocity is the rate of speed at which something happens. Velocity in innovation is what overcomes all of the obstacles that get in the way. Velocity is what enables teams to “fail fast,” learn, and move on. And if you’re moving fast enough, you can share your ideas openly and benefit from customer feedback without being afraid of the competition stealing the idea and bringing a product to market sooner.

 Creativity

Organizations need to foster a creative mindset among their people in order to keep creativity spontaneous. It’s not enough to tell your people to “think outside of the box” and then send them back to their box-shaped cubicles. Creativity is a byproduct of curiosity, imagination, and knowledge. Every single person has the ability to be creative, but when their environment doesn’t foster creativity, they might as well be robots. Robots can do a lot of things. They can solve algorithms, they can build cars, they can even beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy. What they can’t do is innovate.

Even in an organization where people are expected to adhere to a specific process, there must be some amount of elasticity involved to inspire this creativity and improve on old ideas.

Variables

These variables might be within your control or outside of your control. Whether they’re changes in the market that might affect the need for your idea or internal company restrictions that might make it more difficult to bring an idea to life, all people who wish to change things need to accept the fact that there might be issues outside of their control that will change the end result. The important thing is to focus on what you can control and then identify what can’t be controlled without letting them become distractions.

Risk

Do you know the difference between a gambling addict and a professional gambler? Success. An addict will stick with a game even after they’ve lost everything to it. A pro knows nothing is certain, but if they don’t take the risk, they won’t reap the rewards.

All endeavors have some level of risk involved, and this risk can be especially high when you’re trying to innovate because you’re trying to change an established routine. People generally don’t like that, and shareholders may like it even less, but for companies to innovate, they need to embrace risk and reward risk takers. If the culture is too risk averse, all the company can do is maintain the status quo—the antithesis of innovation!

In this formula, everything is raised to the power of risk because without risk, there is no innovation. Without risk, you’d be reading this article in hieroglyphics on a cave wall. “Takes risks and is willing to fail” probably isn’t something you should write on your résumé, but it is an important part of how the world changes.

While it’s true that innovation can’t be planned, it can be inspired when organizations foster the right attitude in their people from the top down. By encouraging people to be creative, organizations can ensure that true innovation is a repeatable process, though it might not always be a predictable one.

11:43 AM Permalink