Adobe Systems Incorporated

When Digital Waters the Seed of Natural Creativity

With another school year now well underway, I find myself thinking about an article in WIRED magazine in which Michael Gough talks about about drawing, children, and creativity—what we teach them, and how this is changing with the explosion of digital creativity tools.

Michael is the head of Experience Design at Adobe and a self-proclaimed “compulsive drawer.” He’s had lots of personal and professional experience backing up his ideas about creativity and technology.

I was especially struck by his comment that we’ve trained people to think of drawing (and, by extension, creativity) as a talent that only a special few are born with. Many of us over forty grew up hearing this old, tired idea.

Does it make sense anymore?

Michael believes that everyone has the inherent ability to draw, and that technology can help this ability bloom. I think the idea can be extended to creativity of all kinds—not just drawing.

I remember when our schools had programs to “teach technology” because we learned through formal instruction; today our children “play” with technology. This process of experimentation and exploration is fundamentally a process of creative thinking.

As the parent of teenagers (who’s spent some time working in a school), I see how differently young people react to media than the older generations. For them, their cell phones and tablets are extensions of their hands. They don’t think of gadgets as sophisticated technology that they have to master—they simply pick them up, download apps, and start playing (read: creating).

And with children getting introduced to devices with incredible power to capture inspiration and create at ever younger ages, they’re expressing themselves differently, whether for school projects or for fun. My daughters started doing homework on tablets in middle school; children just a few years younger have been playing with smartphones and tablets since they were toddlers.

When I saw the images that my daughter created using Photoshop on her tablet, I was amazed

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© Gwen Luhmann

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© Gwen Luhmann

“How did you learn to use that?” I asked.

“Mom, they give it to us at school.” (Duh, Mom, like I need someone to show me.)

Creativity scholar Ken Robinson agrees that it’s time to throw off the old ideas about who’s creative and who isn’t. In his book Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative, he writes:

“Human intelligence is uniquely and profoundly creative. We live in a world that’s shaped by the ideas, beliefs and values of human imagination and culture. The human world is created out of our minds as much as from the natural environment.”

Those of us who grew up in the pre-digital past were given things like crayons and paper to feed our creativity. As we moved through our educational lives we were sorted into students who were “creative” and those who weren’t.

Digital is changing all of that

Our children live in a world where there doesn’t have to be any distinction between people who are creative and those who aren’t. Digital is leveling the playing field so we can experiment more freely and develop everyone’s creative side. And it’s an incentive for parents like me to spend more time experimenting with new apps and tools to try to keep up with the younger generation.

With all the new possibilities for expressing creativity, people everywhere are going to be running around shooting and playing with pictures, drawing, making music, and capturing inspiration in all kinds of ways. I can’t wait to see how much fun we all have doing it.

6:45 PM Permalink

It’s All About The Touch

Art for feet and the touch power of Adobe Illustrator CC.

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When we learned that one of the new features for Adobe Illustrator CC would be making it usable on a touchscreen—specifically Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3—we took the technology to Adobe MAX 2014 with the session Beyond Mouse and Keyboard: The Future of Touch and Adobe Illustrator.

Then we collaborated with BucketFeet, an artist collective 10,000 artists and 60 countries strong (that creates one-of-a-kind, artist-designed shoes), artist/illustrator Amy Ruppel, and design studio Jolby & Friends to create custom shoe art using Illustrator CC’s new touchscreen functionality on Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.

Their first-time experience resulted in designs we couldn’t wait to share… So, we’re offering a chance for someone to win a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, a one-year Creative Cloud membership, framed prints of each design, and two pairs of shoes with hand-drawn art.

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Jolby & Friends

Amy Ruppel

Amy Ruppel


Design and illustration on a touchscreen

When Jolby & Friends accepted our challenge, their first task was to adapt their process to a touchscreen or, in their words, “establish a sandbox to play in.” In the end, with all the restrictions, advantages, and shortcuts, they “made something they don’t think they would have using any other drawing tool.”

What Jolby & Friends knew from the start is that they didn’t want to just show their dexterity with the software; they wanted to create a story. They had this to say about their concept, “It takes place within a hidden forest where everyone’s spirit animals play and race around with each other.” The execution of their concept included connecting every. single. line. drawn on the shoe, which seemed to work well on a touchscreen:

“The nice part about the touch in Illustrator CC was the ability to treat the artwork more organically. Typically things we do in Illustrator CC are either very rigid or focus around Bezier curves (which come with their own restrictions). Every line we created was drawn using just the pencil tool—something we’d never do with a mouse—so the lines look more hand-drawn and unique.”

For illustrator Amy Ruppel, a Mac-based artist new to the Windows operating system, working directly on the surface of the screen felt more like drawing in a sketchbook than on a computer. “I loved that,” she said. “I normally draw point-to-point in vector land, and this freed up my hand immensely.” And since she garners inspiration from whatever medium she’s working in, the touchscreen also came in handy for the animals (with fur) that she loves to paint: “It lent itself to a pressure sensitive brush style; I leaned towards the polar bear, whose fur I could show in this manner.”

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The artists put their stories on shoes

To learn a bit more about creating designs that will translate favorably from a flat surface to the contours of a shoe, we asked head of product at BucketFeet, Takashi Yoshii what was most important to keep in mind:

“Scale. Making sure that the scale of a two-dimensional design fits the accurate scale of the intended product. You don’t want files to not fit properly or be distorted. Footwear, in general is a very Illustrator heavy industry so art and designs that are created in Illustrator CC translate very well.”

When Jolby & Friends took their art to the shoe they found it “much easier to switch to a mouse to move the pieces around, do light clean-up, edit color, and do quick mock-ups.” Amy, on the other hand, added to her design as she began placing her art onto the shoe template. She talked about the advantage of the computer-generated brush lines: “They’re vector-based, even though they don’t look as if they are, which allows them to be rearranged and altered very easily.”

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Enter, and maybe win something

About the Power of Illustrator Sweepstakes mentioned at the start: We’ve partnered with BucketFeet for one Grand Prize that includes a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, a one-year Creative Cloud Membership, framed prints of each design, and two pairs of hand-drawn shoes; and two Second Prizes of a one-year Creative Cloud Membership, and a framed print of one of the designs. (For anyone who wants to see them, the Terms & Conditions.)

All it takes to enter is an email. So stop on over at BucketFeet and enter. After that… download a free 30-day Adobe Illustrator CC trial, check the Creative Cloud Learn team’s Draw in a touch environment tutorial, then… make something.

11:29 AM Permalink

Working Late: A Project Breakdown with Kelli Anderson

We have absolutely loved the Working Late series at Makeshift Society this fall. If you joined us for the panel discussion, crit night, or coworking night, you already have an idea of how much we’ve been learning, from each others’ work and experience, during the discussions.
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For our final event in the series on November 11, Kelli Anderson will deconstruct a recent project, beginning with a quick overview of the final product, then unpacking the design decisions to explain where and how the ideas developed along the way.

Kelli is an accomplished designer with a demonstrated interest in solving design problems in three dimensions. Her gifted work with paper crafting has been displayed at ApexArt, Jen Bekman Gallery, the New York Public Library, and MoMA. Whether she’s creating tiny forest animals of paper or bringing famous book covers to life, her work is delightful across the board.


Kelli's Existential Calculator, commissioned by Adobe for AIGA’s Head, Heart, Hand design conference.

Kelli’s Existential Calculator, commissioned by Adobe for AIGA’s Head, Heart, Hand design conference.

Kelli’s blog is a treasure trove of past project walkthroughs, and definitely worth a perusal. For her project breakdown next Tuesday, she’ll walk through the phases of an ambitious design project from her portfolio, sharing insight into how a professional designer brings an idea from concept to full realization.

We’re really looking forward to this event and can’t wait to hear what Kelli has to say. If you’re planning to join us, save room for dessert; we’ve got a sweet surprise to close out the series.

If you’ll be in New York November 11, join Typekit and Makeshift Society at 55 Hope Street in  Brooklyn. Get the details. See you soon!

 

Reposted from the Typekit blog.

10:54 AM Permalink

Projects: Don’t Leave Home without Them

Work on the go. Creative Cloud mobile apps for artists and designers.

With Creative Cloud mobile apps, you can now create anywhere you find inspiration… then, seamlessly move to your desktop to finish your projects.

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Creative Profile: The creative hub that goes where you go

Your Creative Profile puts all of your creative assets at your fingertips—wherever your work takes you. It’s your brushes, graphics, text styles, and creative assets, across desktop and mobile apps, whenever and wherever you need them.

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Adobe Shape CC

With the recent release of Adobe Shape, you can now take a photo and automatically convert it into a vector drawing. A live demonstration of Adobe Shape at Adobe MAX 2014. Cue up at 6:40 or watch the whole thing to see all of this year’s new Adobe mobile features and apps.

Ready to turn a photo into a vector image? We’ve put together this tutorial to help you Get started with Shape.


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Adobe Brush CC

If you like the idea of transforming a photo into a brush that can be used in multiple apps, this is the tool for you. It’s a breeze to Capture an image and use it to create custom brushes.



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Adobe Color CC

Create color themes based on images captured on your mobile device with Adobe Color (the app formerly known as Adobe Kuler) and use them in your Creative Cloud desktop and mobile apps. Get started with Adobe Color.


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Adobe Photoshop Sketch

Quickly capture and share concepts on your iPad. See how to create drawings using natural gestures and brushes with Photoshop Sketch.


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Adobe Illustrator Draw

Use Illustrator Draw to create free-form vector illustrations anywhere. Draw has five vector pens, an eraser, and up to ten drawing layers. Your designs can be further edited in Adobe Illustrator CC and placed in Adobe Photoshop CC. Get started with Draw.

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Adobe Illustrator Line

Straight lines, perspective views, geometric shapes, organic curves… Learn how to combine free-form drawing with straight lines and perfect shapes in Get started with Line.


Adobe Ink & Slide

Our fine-tip, pressure-sensitive pen and its partner device, a digital ruler for drawing precise shapes and lines work seamlessly with Line, Sketch, and Draw. Get started with Adobe Ink and Slide.

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What’s next?

If you’re curious about what the future holds for Creative Cloud mobile and desktop apps and features, check out The Creative Magic of MAX 2014 Sneaks. It was a real crowd-pleaser at this year’s Adobe MAX Creativity Conference.


Now step away from the desk and get some work done! And, have fun while you’re at it. Then, share what you create with our mobile apps on Behance.

These are just the tip of Creative Cloud Learn’s training iceberg; see all of the Creative Cloud Mobile Apps Tutorials.

10:59 AM Permalink

Really Creative Media: Bringing Events to Life

Media production company, Really Creative Media, uses the integrated software in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to work with top talent and bring stunning high-tech visuals to live events.

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Today’s biggest events and musical acts entertain audiences from all angles, often combining audio and video for exciting spectacles. With backgrounds in theater and video production, Really Creative Media’s co-founders Nick Dew and Jack James are perfectly suited to oversee events that marry live and virtual experiences. The two directors work with teams of expert designers, animators, technicians, and more to bring visual productions to life.

For Really Creative Media, every project is unique with different requirements. “We primarily work with freelancers, so we can combine the best skillsets for each job,” says Dew. “Working with freelancers enables us to work flexibly, but it also means that we need to invest more time and energy to keep everyone on the same page, encourage collaboration, and deliver consistent results—and Creative Cloud does that for us.”

Working as a team

Adobe creative software forms the core of every step of Really Creative Media’s workflow. Whether working on runway shows, touring musical acts, or movie premieres, Really Creative Media relies on Creative Cloud to produce the videos, animations, and intense visual effects that bring shows to life.

Working with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, Really Creative Media provides its freelancers with access to the latest versions of industry-standard Adobe creative software. “With Creative Cloud for teams, everyone works on the same version, so we don’t need to worry about incompatibilities slowing us down,” says James. The company further enhances collaboration by creating sharable settings and templates that help freelancers adhere to the project requirements.

The Admin Console in Creative Cloud for teams enables Really Creative Media to centralize deployment and manage all licenses from a single location. The company gains visibility into who is using what software, making it easy to reclaim licenses when a project ends and to assign seats to new team members for short-term projects. Once licenses are provided, users can download or update any assigned software without assistance—in the office or on the road.

“To produce truly complementary content for an event, we often need to be on location to fine-tune the timing and effects, so we spend quite a bit of time traveling,” says James. “Previously, we would physically remove hard drives from our work computers and fly them to new locations. With Adobe Creative Cloud, we can log in from a remote computer and sync our work so that we’re accessing the same files, software, and settings that we had in London.”

Backing up a legendary rock band

For a recent project, Really Creative Media supported the world tour of Queen + Adam Lambert with large LED light and video projections.

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage

The creative team used Adobe Illustrator CC for drawing and arraying objects before moving assets into Adobe After Effects CC to prototype visuals, while Adobe Photoshop CC was used to open videos and extract stills and batch TIFF sequences with a specific effect. “With the deep integration among Adobe software applications, edits that we make in Photoshop CC are automatically updated in After Effects CC,” says Dew. “We can spend more time pushing ourselves further creatively and less time exporting files.”

The video portions of the show used significant amounts of archival footage, creating the illusion that legendary Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury was on stage with the rest of the band. “We were working on all types of archival footage—film, tape, you name it,” says Dew. “Adobe Premiere Pro CC supports any file format, so we could just drop footage on the timeline without waiting to transcode hours of video at a time.”

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with large LED light and video projections

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with large LED light and video projections

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with video projections

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with video projections

Once finalized, Really Creative Media rendered the footage using Adobe Media Encoder CC. Not only did Media Encoder CC render quickly, but it also worked in the background so that creators were able to continue working on the project and make the most out of their time.

Integration and flexibility

Through deep integration with third-party plug-ins and software, including Trapcode and Cinema 4D, especially Cinema 4D integration with After Effects CC, Creative Cloud for teams provides creators with the flexibility to use any specialty programs within the Adobe workflow. In future projects, Really Creative Media looks forward to leveraging the built-in support for 4K resolution footage in Premiere Pro CC to push their presentations visually and provide a better experience for the audience.

“We work with large stage screens, so the ability to work with high resolutions will enable us to deliver sharper and more detailed images for clients,” says Dew. ” Creative Cloud for teams gives us the tools we need to work effectively and push our limits creatively to provide audiences with unforgettable events.”

Read the Really Creative Media case study.

9:53 AM Permalink

Adobe Ideas: A New Name, A New Look, A New App

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Recently, Adobe Ideas, our popular vector drawing app for iPad and iPhone, that’s been downloaded over 2.2 million times since May 2013, grew up and got better. Adobe Illustrator Draw is a transformation that means a newer, more modern version of the full-featured drawing app that people have come to rely on.

 

Not just an update; a complete reinterpretation

Instead of settling for just another update, we’ve created an entirely new version of Adobe Ideas. Based on Adobe’s new Creative SDK, the redesigned version of Ideas (Adobe Draw) matches the look and the connection to creative assets and community found in Adobe Photoshop Sketch and Adobe Illustrator Line. But it’s not just creating consistency across our mobile apps that has us so excited, it’s also the new features… which include new, completely rewritten, robust file syncing, and the ability to effortlessly bring files into Adobe Illustrator CC.

Still free. And with the features designers and illustrators love

For everyone who loves Adobe Ideas, don’t worry: Not only have we kept the core drawing elements and everyone’s favorite controls and preferences, but the app is still free.

What we’ve added is Adobe Ink & Slide support, as well as a software version of Slide (called Touch Slide) for drawing straight-lines, geometric shapes and French curves—without hardware. (No longer will it be necessary to create workarounds for drawing perfect circles.) We’ve also added Behance integration, including the ability to post works in progress to Behance and receive in-app feedback; the ability to view a gallery of content inside the app; and effortless Creative Cloud back-up and file syncing.

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Sign-up, sign-in and sync

What can you do to get going with Adobe Draw? Take the time to create an Adobe ID, sign in with it, and sync your Adobe Ideas files to Creative Cloud… because our new drawing app is here. And now that it is, existing Ideas files that are synced to Creative Cloud will be automatically migrated to Adobe Draw. (Files synced to Creative Cloud can be grouped together in folders that will be imported as projects in Draw.)

Brian Yap talked about Adobe Illustrator Draw at Adobe MAX in a session titled What’s New in Adobe Ideas. Give it a watch. Then go get Adobe Draw for iPad in the iTunes App Store. Sync those Adobe Ideas files. Then keep an ongoing listen to Adobe Drawing’s Facebook and Twitter.

11:28 AM Permalink

Introducing… Brackets 1.0 and Extract for Brackets (Preview)

The Brackets team is celebrating a huge milestone today—reaching the 1.0 version of its popular open source text editors, and releasing a preview version of Extract for Brackets, the new Creative Cloud comp-to-code service that speeds up the process of pulling design information like colors, fonts and measurement info out of a PSD and turning it into clean, minimal CSS.

Both are immediately available today as free downloads.

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What is Brackets?

Brackets is a modern, open source text editor that understands web design. It was built for web designers and front-end developers working with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Adobe not only created Brackets, but we’re also a key contributor to the project. When we first started Brackets we wanted to release early and often. We’ve done both. This will mark the 45th release of Brackets in 3 years; it’s a pace of innovation that our teams are able to maintain now that we’ve moved to Creative Cloud.

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Introducing Extract for Brackets (preview)

This release also includes a preview of Extract for Brackets, a new Creative Cloud service that lets you view and get information and assets out of a PSD right from your text editor. Extract for Brackets lets you pull things like colors, fonts, measurement, gradients, and more from a PSD in the form of contextual code hints in CSS and HTML files. You can also extract layers as images, use information from the PSD to define preprocessor variables, and easily get dimensions between objects. We’re really excited about how it will improve the process of moving from design to development and speed workflows.

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If you haven’t looked at Brackets in a while or are brand new to it, now is a great time to see the awesome stuff we’ve been working on.

Brackets blends visual tools right into the editor so you get the right amount of help when you want it. In more recent releases, we’ve added multiple cursors, split view, theme support, and many more fixes and enhancements.

Extract for Brackets (preview) can be downloaded as a standalone extension from the Brackets Extension Registry or included with Brackets 1.0 in a bundle that’s immediately available as a free download from brackets.io.

Join us!

10:22 AM Permalink

Typekit: New Fonts from Hamilton Wood Type Foundry

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Good news for your desktop (and your websites): We’ve added a boatload of new typefaces from Hamilton Wood Type Foundry to the Typekit library.

Hamilton Wood Type (HWT) is a partnership between the P22 type foundry and the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, bringing 19th-century wood type designs into modern font formats. We’ve long been supporters of this cause at Adobe Type, conducting fundraisers and making donations, and helping with the digitization effort. Three of the designs in the HWT collection were digitized by members of our team: Gothic Round by me, Tuscan Extended by Frank Greißhammer, and Bulletin Script by Paul Hunt.

The bulk of the HWT Collection is comprised of digital revivals, but it also includes two original designs made by Erik Spiekermann (HWT Artz) and Matthew Carter (HWT Van Lanen).

We included just a couple of HWT fonts in our library prior to this release, but now we’re all caught up: All of the font families of the current HWT collection are now available at Typekit, and you can use any of them on your desktop (and, in most cases, on the web) with a Portfolio plan or higher.

This initiative not only helps the dissemination of fonts that were previously only available as wood type, but it also helps the preservation of wood type history since a portion of proceeds from all sales of the HWT digital fonts goes toward supporting the mission and operation of the The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum.

With over twenty fonts new to the Typekit library from HWT, we’d be here all day if we profiled each one. Here’s a handful to give you a sample (be sure to check out the full list.)

HWT American

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HWT American Chromatic was the first design in the collection to be digitized (the term chromatic means that it’s made up of fonts that act as layers, to which different colors can be applied—resulting in rich, attention-grabbing headlines. The family has a total of eight styles that can be arranged in multiple combinations for an almost endless number of variations. Try layering the styles on a web page using CSS, or create interesting hues in print by letting the colors overprint. The Behance gallery from Hamilton Wood Type goes into more detail about the work that went into digitizing this one-of-a-kind font family.

HWT Gothic Round

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It’s hard to believe the contemporary-looking HWT Gothic Round was originally designed almost two centuries ago, in 1838. The round edges of this Gothic (or sans-serif) face give the design an undeniable warmth and bubbly quality—particularly noticeable in the lowercase letters. The design’s heavy weight provides plenty of impact in applications that demand a reader’s heightened attention, such as a magazine masthead or a store sign. This typeface was a 2013 Typographica favorite; see more about the work that went into digitizing it.

HWT Unit Gothic

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First shown in a magazine advertisement in 1907, the HWT Unit Gothic series includes a breadth of weight and width styles rarely seen in wood type designs. Seamlessly organized as a system of fonts, this family is believed to have been the predecessor of the neo-grotesque collections—Helvetica and Univers—released around 50 years later. Besides supporting extended Latin, HWT Unit Gothic also includes Greek and Cyrillic, thus providing broad language coverage for a wide range of applications, from newspaper headlines to logos. Read more about the digitization process for this typeface on the Hamilton Wood Type Behance page.

HWT Van Lanen

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In 2002, the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum commissioned typeface designer Matthew Carter to develop a new wood type design as a way to help promote the newly established facility. Part of the project included the fabrication of actual wood blocks. Named after Jim Van Lanen, the museum’s founder, this bold wedge-shape serifed design of HWT Van Lanen is reminiscent of the Latin Extended style popularized in the late 19th century. Included in the family is a reversed font style, called Streamer, that can be used on its own or in combination with the default style to create interesting chromatic effects. See the Hamilton Wood Type Behance page for more details about the making of Van Lanen.

Let us know what you make with these new fonts; we love seeing cool type in action. And if you’ve never tried Typekit, sign up for a free trial and take a look around… then upgrade to a paid plan when you’re ready.

Reposted from the Typekit blog.

12:59 PM Permalink

Premiere Clip Gives New Life to Personal Videos

Among all the new mobile apps and desktop product updates released on October 6, Adobe Premiere Clip stands out for me as a fun app that can be used to make something out of all the videos and photos you’ve already got on your iPhone or iPad—or both, actually, by syncing your project across devices and tapping into each device’s camera roll.

My editorial focus on the Creative Cloud Learn team is our digital video and audio tools. Until recently, I hadn’t seen any good mobile apps for making creative use of the videos and photos on my phone. There’s something compelling about making a movie soon after having shot some video at a family event or while traveling, and then sharing that edited movie with others or posting it to YouTube. Premiere Clip makes that task fun.

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Before Premiere Clip was launched at Adobe MAX 2014, I had recorded a couple of tutorials: Create and edit video with Premiere Clip and Refine a Premiere Clip video in Premiere Pro. For those demos, I went downtown (in San Francisco) and shot some relatively random videos of cable cars, which I then assembled into a movie using my iPhone and iPad. It was fun but somewhat familiar terrain for me. However, I recently used Premiere Clip “in the wild.”

While attending MAX, I went to a large outdoor party where there was lots of food, playfully interactive outlets for spontaneous creativity, and a concert by Kings of Leon. It occurred to me that I should record the event—and put Premiere Clip to the test.

I shot the following movie entirely with my iPhone 5 and edited it in Premiere Clip while flying back from Los Angeles. Before considering it ready for public consumption, I synced the project with my Creative Cloud profile and then imported it into Adobe Premiere Pro CC, where I did some minor trimming and audio adjusting.

Playing around with Premiere Clip is a lot of fun—and perhaps gives some meaning to all those times you hold up your phone and shoot something that seems important at the time but, you realize later, it’s too difficult to do anything with it.

Let me know in the tutorials’ feedback links what you think of Premiere Clip, and how you think it could help you with either personal, or professional, video projects.

11:52 AM Permalink

Square Enix: Worldwide Gaming Entertainment

Using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise as its foundation, digital entertainment content provider Square Enix Co., Ltd brings fantastic stories to fans around the world.

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Creating unforgettable experiences

“Spread happiness across the globe by providing unforgettable experiences” is the corporate philosophy of Square Enix. Building on this philosophy, the company delivers high-quality entertainment and services to fans around the world.
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From classic game series including Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy to popular comic series FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and Black Butler, Square Enix is home to countless hits. And Adobe’s creative software, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CC, are part of the backbone upon which these creations are built.

Square Enix deployed Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise across its creative teams. Creative Cloud gives all development staff access to the latest creative applications and the Adobe Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) helps the company improve software asset management and compliance.

Managing large-scale software licenses

Square Enix supports more than 2,000 employees in its Tokyo headquarters alone. The vast majority of those employees are involved with creative development; each developer has two to three high-performance computers, each with a wide range of necessary applications. Managing software licenses associated with each of those systems is a complex task.

“We want our developers to use the latest software to produce the best entertainment possible,” says Daishiro Okada, general manager at Square Enix. “But, when we took cost into consideration, we couldn’t always provide every employee with the most recent updates. As a result, employees were sometimes working with different software versions than their co-workers as well as on each of their own machines. Keeping track of all of this took an inordinate amount of time and effort.”

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Helping train new employees

To create fantastic entertainment, Square Enix developers need the skills to get the most out of the latest technologies. “We want to provide training on the latest technologies to help our employees improve their skills, regardless of the software version they are using,” says Okada. “And, ideally, we want to provide knowledge that applies to all of our employees.”

Complying with standards

Square Enix considers compliance with software usage regulations to be of utmost importance. “As a company that deals with the creation and distribution of digital content, we strongly recognize the importance of licensing and compliance,” says Okada. However, in an environment with multiple types of software and versions, eliminating unauthorized software usage can be a much more laborious task.

Reducing license management

Square Enix signed an ETLA for Adobe Creative Cloud to help improve the creative environment, simplify license management, and strengthen compliance. “Working with the Adobe enterprise agreement dramatically reduced the amount of work required for license management,” says Okada. “The ability to manage the licenses for all of our software centrally, without needing to pay attention to versions, has led to unbelievable administrative efficiencies.”

Square Enix developed an environment where users can download and install whatever software applications they need from an internal server. Only the agreed number of licenses can be issued, which greatly contributes to better compliance. The system also eliminates the need to connect to an external server, which reduces the risk of access to unauthorized copies.

Improving skills with free access

By deploying Adobe Creative Cloud, development staff can download the software that they need, when they need it, from the internal server. All creators, from experts to beginners, share the same cutting-edge environment. As a result, development teams can improve their creative skills while working to produce unique products and services.

“Most employees jumped into using Adobe Premiere Pro CC right away,” says Tomoyuki Hiraoka, KSK procurement supervisor in the general affairs department at Square Enix. “Many people wanted Premiere Pro CC, but we previously limited access to keep costs down; now everyone can have the applications they want through Creative Cloud.”

“Creating the best entertainment ultimately requires not only the best possible output, but also the best possible processes,” says Okada. “Using the latest technologies in Creative Cloud, we’re providing our developers an environment where they can quickly create brand new entertainment.”

Reducing annual costs

While analyzing the new licensing model, cost was a primary concern for Square Enix. Even if the new model improved licensing management, the efficiencies would not be worth it if costs also increased. The company examined costs from all angles, including initial purchasing and upgrade fees.

“Compared to our previous licensing model, we calculated that Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise reduces our costs by an amount equivalent to two full-time staff per year,” says Hiraoka. “The cost savings were a major factor in our decision to work with Creative Cloud.”

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Shifting the focus to online content

The video game market is changing rapidly, expanding from traditional home console games to an increasing number of mobile games played on smartphones and tablets. Square Enix is also focusing on development and delivery of online and social games played over networks.

“New types of devices will continue to enter the market, and we want to provide the best content and services for all of those devices,” says Okada. “Creative Cloud already has an established reputation for use in developing content on multiple devices and we believe that it will form a strong backbone for building our mobile services.”

Developing for the global stage

In addition to offices in Tokyo, London, and Los Angeles, Square Enix has additional creative studios in Montreal, Copenhagen, Shanghai, and San Francisco for a total of more than 3,500 development staff. The company plans to grow international operations in the future.

“Currently, each international office handles its operations independently, but we are looking to unify the development environment and management system on a global level,” says Okada. “We want to pull in top talent from not just Japan, but around the world, and provide them all with an excellent work environment. Expanding use of Adobe Creative Cloud globally would be ideal. If we can consolidate global license management, we will improve administrative efficiency and improve compliance even further.

Read the Square Enix case study.

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