Adobe Systems Incorporated

An Early Holiday Surprise: New Collaboration with Creative Cloud Libraries

Since the introduction of Creative Cloud Libraries at Adobe MAX in early October, we’ve been listening to your feedback and actively working to update the features you want to see.

Shared Libraries: You asked. We delivered.

We heard what our customers were saying. So we got to work. And… we have an early holiday gift for you: brand new collaboration and management features in Creative Cloud Libraries.

Creative Cloud Libraries connects to your Creative Profile, making your favorite images, colors, text styles (and more) available to you and your creative team anywhere and anytime. Easily maintain consistency with standardized and branded project assets or style guides. Create and collaborate with a library of shared assets in Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, and mobile apps, and easily organize your libraries and rename move and copy individual assets in them.

Watch Paul Trani demonstrate the new collaboration and management features in Share assets in Photoshop and Illustrator using Creative Cloud Libraries then give Creative Cloud Libraries a roll and let us know what you think.

For more information about Creative Cloud Libraries, check out these resources:
Shared Libraries in Photoshop
Shared CC Libraries in Illustrator
Creative Cloud Help / Creative Cloud Libraries
Creative Cloud Help / Collaborate on folders and libraries

11:59 AM Permalink

Jones Knowles Ritchie, Turning Heads with Design

A leading design agency takes a brand first approach to working with clients using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

JKR_1 From Boddington’s and Budweiser, to Heinz, Penhaligon’s, and Unilever, Jones Knowles Ritchie’s (jkr) clients are a who’s who of the hottest companies. The firm’s designers are experts in packaging and visual brand articulation—and they often work with brands globally through offices in London, New York, and Singapore.

“If a brand has visual equity, we unlock it,” says Stuart Colledge, IT consultant for jkr. “We’re brand champions and recognize that a brand is not a slogan, it’s a promise that our clients are making to their customers, and Adobe creative tools have always helped us communicate that effectively.”

Adobe creative tools have been a mainstay throughout the jkr enterprise for all phases of packaging design, from initial artwork creation to the application of that artwork on physical packaging. When the jkr IT team heard about Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, they were enthusiastic and wanted to adopt the new model to provide company-wide access to Adobe tools. The cloud-based option would allow them to equip everyone with the latest versions of the software and provide enhanced scalability and flexibility while simplifying IT administration and maintenance.

“We’re great fans of Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise—it’s a very welcome model that will make it easier for us to deploy and manage the software that our designers use to serve our clients,” says Colledge.

JKR_2

Streamlined administration and the ability to scale

The IT department anticipated the significant advantages of Creative Cloud for enterprise in terms of time savings and service improvement. Setup and deployment of software throughout the company is simplified, and it’s easy for IT to add new users. In addition to jkr’s internal teams, the company occasionally works with freelancers when project quantities and demands warrant; those designers need to be working with the same software so they can integrate easily with existing teams.

The ability to provide quick and easy access to Creative Cloud supports internal growth and also gives IT the flexibility to add and immediately equip freelancers with a full set of creative tools to meet project needs. Once the freelancer’s job is complete, the license can be reassigned to another artist.

The streamlined license management enabled by Creative Cloud for enterprise means IT can concentrate on more strategic, value-added tasks rather than manually maintaining licenses and day-to-day administration. “In the past, we had to audit every machine and track licenses on a spreadsheet, which was time consuming and challenging to keep current,” says Colledge. “With Adobe Creative Cloud, we know what we paid for, who is using it, what is needed, and what we will pay for in the next round of licenses. It helps us scale as needed.”

In terms of the financial benefits of Creative Cloud for enterprise, budgeting is simpler because jkr knows precisely what it will cost to add more creative talent. IT and finance can rely on a set cost in the budget for a specified period of time. On the administration front, IT can readily deploy the products and report in to finance with exact expenses, unit costs, staff usage and turnover, as well as a justification for adding more licenses when needed.

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Creativity and productivity unleashed

Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise also benefits end users by delivering both collaboration and productivity enhancements. Designers can access just the software they want and need. The issue of having different software and incompatible file versions that disrupts the exchange of files, slowing projects and frustrating teams, is virtually eliminated for jkr’s teams using Creative Cloud.

Having access to a broader creative toolset means that users can try new things and expand their creative repertoire to provide new types of services for clients eager to engage consumers with interactive content. For IT, it is gratifying to be able to unleash new forms of creativity, without going through the process of licensing a new standalone software package.

“With Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise we can make more apps available so employees can produce more work, including digital content such as animation and video, in ways they’ve never done before,” says Colledge. “Expanding our teams’ capabilities with additional tools in Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise supports both our client acquisition and retention efforts.”

If artists have questions or issues, they can simply access online training resources or schedule an Expert Services session as part of Creative Cloud for enterprise. This ability to speak one-on-one with an Adobe product expert can provide exceptional value add for artists, and enables them to expand their skill sets quickly.

“Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise delivers services and products that not only ease our administrative burden, but they also provide a direct value add to our users,” says Colledge. “Adobe Expert Services will help our teams figure out shortcuts and achieve certain effects and outcomes that enable them to use the software more effectively.”

An obvious choice

For Colledge, and head of IT Leon Bentham, there was never a need to justify a move to Creative Cloud for enterprise. They both recognized the benefits it offered in terms of both creativity and efficiency. “Our choice of Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise was a no-brainer,” says Bentham. “Adobe creative software is our bread and butter. We need to stay current and on the cutting edge. We’ve been in this industry for 24 years, and we know a good thing when we see one—Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise is just that.”

Read the Jones Knowles Ritchie case study.

12:10 PM Permalink

Getting Familiar with Adobe Muse

Five feature tips for Adobe Muse CC that Joseph Angelo Todaro couldn’t NOT share.

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Designer Joseph Angelo Todaro began using Muse CC about two years ago. Not long after, he started helping other designers get up to speed with the application, first with tutorial videos on YouTube and later with Muse Resources, a library of, well, resources to use in Muse… tutorials, graphics, templates, widgets and Tips & Tricks.

MuseTips_Logo_2 We asked Joseph, also a software instructor with more than 5,000 hours of teaching under his belt, what tips he’d pass along to other designers who were using Adobe Muse for the first time. He had more ideas than we had space, but finally narrowed down his selection; what follows is his Adobe Muse feature insight and advice.

So, open Muse CC, (grab a free 30-day trial), follow along, and see how easy it is to create websites with little or no development experience.

Getting the most out of Master Pages

Websites share elements between pages—navigation, background, and branding typically remain consistent, sitewide. With Adobe Muse, these elements don’t need to be created on each page individually; in fact they don’t even need to be copied and pasted to each page individually (which would make even the smallest changes tedious). For this purpose Adobe Muse has Master Pages.

When looking at your site map in Adobe Muse, Master Pages is at the bottom. Double click on the default “A-Master” to begin editing and adding global elements. You can create multiple different Master Pages and drag them onto any pages of your sitemap to which you want to apply that Master design.

What’s cool about this feature
One master page can be dragged onto another to combine globally repeating elements with sectionally repeating elements.

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As an example, let’s look at navigation (which needs to be on every single page): Let’s name the Master containing the navigation, “A-Master” and the Master we’ll use on the other fifteen pages of the site, that will have a banner at the top, “Banner.” At this point, most users would be inclined to duplicate A-Master, rename it Banner, then edit it. Instead, A-Master can be dragged onto Banner to apply its elements. Now when you need to change navigation, background, or branding you only need to do it in one place.

Leveraging Layers

The design canvas in Adobe Muse provides a lot of freedom and the ability to interact directly with objects (selecting, moving, and scaling couldn’t be any easier), but when it comes to organizing objects, Adobe Muse has a crucial tool: Layers.

MuseTips_4a By default, a new Muse project starts off with a single layer. Using the Layers Panel, which can be turned on and off from the Window menu, you can create or delete layers using the respective buttons at the bottom of the panel. Any new object on the canvas becomes part of the selected layer and both objects and layers can be dragged and dropped to rearrange. (Note: The Layers Panel can also be used to switch between images or slides in a slideshow or composition.)


MuseTips_4bWhat’s cool about this feature
When designing Master pages, you may find that elements from other pages, such as navigation, inadvertently end up on top of Master elements. To avoid getting caught in an impossible juggle of objects, I create three layers right off the bat and use the top layer for objects that should always float above the design; the bottom layer for background elements; and the middle layer for all other page design work.


Saving and managing color

Good design is deliberate. With that comes a certain consistency. Colors, for example, should be consistent throughout the design of your site. That doesn’t mean you can’t use many different colors… it simply means you shouldn’t have 30 varying shades of blue by accident. Fortunately, Muse allows us to save colors to the Swatches Panel/Color Picker, so we can reuse the exact same color for graphics and text throughout our sites.

What’s cool about this feature
Have you noticed what happens when you double click on a color swatch? A Swatch Options box appears and enables you to name your color swatch; more importantly, though, it also lets you CHANGE the color, and every single instance of it, on the entire website. That’s huge!

Let’s say, for example, you’re designing a site for a company with an orange logo. You create a swatch of the company’s exact orange, using the eyedropper. You use this swatch all over the site for text, shape fills, and strokes. Then you get an email from the client with the subject line, “Updated Logo,” stating that they’ve changed the shade of orange. Since you’ve used the same color swatch for every orange object, you can simply double click on your swatch and use the eyedropper to pick up the new orange. When you click OK, every element connected to that swatch updates to the new color.

It’s as simple as this:

Syncing text between layouts and pages

Adobe Muse allows us to create desktop, tablet, and phone versions of our websites to be sure that our sites look great on every device. The difficult part is that it could mean designing and maintaining three different versions of the site. In a recent update to Muse, we gained the ability to synchronize the content of text boxes across pages and layouts by using the Content Panel.

The Content Panel allows you to create “Collections” (organizational groups that hold “Tags”). Tags hold individual text box content that can then be applied to other text boxes throughout your site(s). When changing the content of a text box linked to a Tag, it updates the content of every single text box connected to that Tag.

What’s cool about this feature
By adding web fonts that contain graphics as characters, graphics can be synced across your pages and layouts. My Icon Megapack Webfont is a great example; it contains 458 icons in the form of text characters.

To create a Tag, select an existing text box and click the + in the content panel beneath the Collection you’d like to add it to (you may create additional collections at the bottom of the Content Panel to help you stay organized). To apply that content to another text box, select the destination text box and simply click the name of the Tag. Boom! The content will appear in your text box and remain synced moving forward. You can also copy and paste a text box with tagged content and, since both will be connected to the same Tag, they will automatically be synced.

See how it’s done:

Recycle resources

As a professional web designer, you are most likely in the business of creating original designs for each and every client. While the overall design may need to be original, not every element of it needs to be bespoke. For example, a nice simple contact form, can be saved and reused in the future. For this, Adobe Muse has a Library Panel.

What’s cool about this feature
The Library Panel allows you to import and export your saved items right from the bottom of the Panel. Now you can begin sharing and downloading items for your Library on the Adobe Muse Exchange (or grab free content from Muse Resources).

To save something that you plan to reuse to the Library Panel, select that object on your design canvas, click the New button at the bottom of the Library Panel and give it a name. Be careful not to confuse the Library Panel with the “Widgets Library Panel” (where you’ll find the widgets that come preloaded with Muse CC). The Library Panel is persistent and the same content displays as you move between projects and the items in it can be dragged-and-dropped onto the design canvas of any site you build in the future.

How it works:

10:25 AM Permalink

Digital Imaging: Two-minute Tutorials for Beginners

Wanting to learn more about digital photography? Our photography tutorials are a great place to start.

Some very basic two-minute tutorials for novice photographers who are just getting started with photo editing, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CC. If you’re a total beginner and just want to learn a few really basic skills, check these out:

PhotoTuts_1Photography: Where to start
Editing, organizing, and sharing photos through Lightroom and Photoshop CC desktop and mobile photography applications.


PhotoTuts_2Go retro: Convert to B & W
Create stunning black & white photos from your color photos with Lightroom presets, and fine-tune the look further with easy-to-use adjustment sliders.


PhotoTuts_3Crop and level
Fix tilted photos with alignment guides and crop them for picture-perfect results in Lightroom.


PhotoTuts_4Create a panorama
Take photos from Lightroom into Photoshop CC and stitch them into a seamless panorama; save it and continue to edit, print, and share through social media within Lightroom.


PhotoTuts_5Remove that object
Seamlessly erase objects from photos with content-aware fill in Photoshop CC.


PhotoTuts_6Fearless photo edits
Experiment fearlessly with your photos in Lightroom: fix a photo or change your mind; apply an editing preset with one click; reset to your original at any time.


PhotoTuts_7Straighten up!
Correct distorted horizontal or vertical perspectives in photos with the Upright feature in Lightroom.


PhotoTuts_8Add words to your picture
Learn how to add text to a photo in Photoshop CC and then style and position it.


PhotoTuts_9Edit photos on the go
Crop images, apply presets to create unique effects, and share photos with Lightroom mobile.


And, for anyone who hasn’t tried the latest version of Adobe Photoshop CC… Give it a try for 30 days. Free.

10:03 AM Permalink

PLP Architecture: An Innovative Practice and Creative Growth

A leading architecture studio equips its design professionals with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

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PLP Architecture’s, team of architects, designers, and thinkers value the transformative role of ideas and the capacity for architecture to inspire. The latest digital technologies, including parametric design, are integral to the creative process and the collaborative and enquiring design approach of the studio.

PLP Architecture has long worked with Adobe creative software as part of the varied range of creative software helping its design teams and specialist groups to evolve ideas and deliver successful presentations; from visualization artists who specialize in renderings and animations to 3D modelmakers and graphic designers who realize a wide range of communications material.

“Adobe software, particularly Photoshop CC, is at the center of our multiple creative workflows,” says Mark Shattock, IT manager at PLP Architecture. “Adobe software is an important tool used at all stages of the design process and to effectively present our innovative designs to existing and potential clients, consultants, planning authorities, and to both the architectural profession and the wider community.”

Imperial West Technology Transfer Building; White City, London, UK. Client: Imperial College London and Voreda Capital

Imperial West Technology Transfer Building; White City, London, UK. Client: Imperial College London and Voreda Capital

Mainstay software for an expanding design studio

Having typically purchased traditional Adobe creative software packages, PLP Architecture was faced with the issue of making sure everyone had the relevant software solutions to successfully fulfill their design activities.

The studio, limiting the number of software installations in relation to the number of licenses, had to track licenses for the software that moved from machine to machine while remaining aware of the specific applications to which the architects, interior architects, landscape architects, and urban designers had access. At the same time, the practice, having grown significantly since its inception in 2009, repeatedly acquired additional licenses that also needed to be tracked and managed.

Following a period of momentous growth in relation to a number of new UK and international commissions, Shattock considered this need for further software licenses as the opportune time to introduce a concurrent license model with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, rather than continuing to purchase earlier versions of the desktop software.

“The launch of Adobe Creative Cloud offers multiple advantages such as the ability to give everyone access to the necessary software,” says Shattock. “We upgraded the entire practice, at a key time, to Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.”

Customizable creative software packages

PLP Architecture realized that Creative Cloud for enterprise would provide the organization with simple and easy access to a broad range of creative desktop applications and services, along with license management tools and enterprise-level technical support. Creative Cloud for enterprise also allowed flexible license true-ups to simplify software-tracking and financial management tasks.

The Creative Cloud Packager allows the IT department to customize and make available software for various design groups depending on their requirements, responsibilities, and tasks while maintaining centralized control of and transparency into software licenses.

“The ability to use Creative Cloud Packager to customize software packages for different groups based on their needs is very convenient,” says Shattock. “From an IT perspective, Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise makes managing our practice systems much simpler.”

Broad access fuels creative success

Nova, Victoria; Westminster, London, UK.

Nova, Victoria; Westminster, London, UK.

At PLP Architecture, Adobe InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, and Photoshop CC are go-to tools for illustrating projects and design proposals and are used by the graphic design team to present project-specific and communications material, combining a wide range of digital and print media.

The visualization team frequently finishes renderings using Photoshop CC, and produces and edits videos and rendered animations using Adobe Premiere Pro CC (noted by Richard Woolsgrove, head of visualization, for the seamless referencing of After Effects CC files, which makes working with the two products particularly efficient) and Adobe After Effects CC.

Additionally, the software is immediately available through the enterprise license when individuals or a design team wish to explore new applications for particular activities, for example Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. “When our graphic design team recently requested to work with Adobe Muse CC, we were able to provide the program without having to negotiate a new purchase or manually install the software,” says Shattock.

Nova, Victoria; Westminster, London, UK. Client: Victoria Circle Limited Partnership (Land Securities and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board)

Nova, Victoria; Westminster, London, UK. Client: Victoria Circle Limited Partnership (Land Securities and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board)

Promoting growth, controlling costs

The enterprise agreement has made it easier to set current costs and to forecast future expenditure on software. New members of staff may be equipped with the most suitable package and costs reconciled at the end of the financial year.

Everyone uses the same version of software, so there are no issues with collaborating and exchanging files, adding to the benefits. “The flexible license model provided with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise helps the studio respond to the different requirements of our projects and is much easier for the IT group to manage than traditional desktop software,” says Shattock. “With Adobe Creative Cloud, we always have the most current software versions and no longer have to purchase a piece of software and upgrade later. Ultimately with our enterprise agreement, we know what we spend on Adobe software each year and are able to budget in accordance with the studio’s current and projected workload and activities.”

Read the PLP Architecture case study.

5:01 PM Permalink

Do not disturb. New creative at work.

We’ve all been there… That moment when your creative juices are flowing and the magic is happening and then, suddenly, you just lose your groove.

We all have at least one well-intentioned colleague/family member/cat who doesn’t pick up on the subtle signs of head down, headphones on, serious face, keys flying, mouse clicking getting-it-done work mode.

While we can’t guarantee this will work on your cat (unless it’s really, really smart), we developed some door hangers that might just help keep your creative mode operational in the near future.

For those working on making the world picture perfect:
 
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AI | PDF
 

For those striving for the deep satisfaction of inbox zero:
 
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AI | PDF
 

For the designer making the next thing we’ll appreciate on Behance:
 
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AI | PDF
 

For the web developer whose logic stream refuses to be broken:
 
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AI | PDF
 

For those making the next big Hollywood feature or YouTube video featuring their really, really smart cat:
 
DoorHanger_5



AI | PDF
 

Download, print, cut and hang these in plain sight of all creativity disturbers.

Once you’ve done that and can work in peace, mock up your own door hanger using Creative Cloud and share it with us online using #CCDoorHanger.

We look forward to seeing what you create!

12:20 PM Permalink

Make Your Site Feel Faster by Changing Colors

It’s possible that people have visited your website and come away with negative feelings because some of the content loaded too slowly.

If your site features online games, for example, there’s often a several-second wait while the game loads, even with a blazing-fast Internet connection. The same goes for downloading movies and videos. And don’t forget that some people actually lack access to broadband and still have to rely on dial-up or other slower methods of Internet access.

A recent report published by Radware says the median page of the top 500 US retail websites takes 10 seconds to load. Ten seconds! (Yes, I was surprised too.)

How can color help?

Researchers have known for some time that you can actually decrease perceived wait times  by using more relaxing colors. So while you can’t really speed up the loading time of your site by changing its color, you can make your users believe you have. Crazy, huh?

Choose the right color

Let’s take a look at the three main dimensions of color: hue, chroma, and brightness.

Hue is what usually comes to mind when we think of different colors: blue, red, yellow, etc. A large body of research has shown that blue is a more calming hue than red or yellow. Red, in particular, elicits excitement, which is very useful in some situations, but when you want to make a download feel quicker, blue is the color to choose as the main color for your page.

Blue can positively affect the perceived speed of a file download.

Blue can positively affect the perceived speed of a file download.

Chroma is a measure of the pigmentation or saturation of a color. High-chroma colors appear more intense and vivid than low-chroma colors. So, as you might guess, high-chroma colors generate more excitement, but low-chroma colors relax viewers and are likely better options for download pages.

Low chroma colors relax viewers.

Low chroma colors relax viewers.

Bightness or value is the tint that a color seems to have. Low-value colors look like they’ve been mixed with black, whereas high-value colors look like they’ve been mixed with white. We sometimes call high-value colors “pastels.” This won’t come as much of a shock, but research has indicated that high-value colors elicit more relaxing feelings. And, this translates into a very significant impact on perceived speed.  Of all the variables tested, brightness seems to have the most impact.

Color brightness most affects the perceived speed of a file download.

Color brightness most affects the perceived speed of a file download.

An additional benefit

All in all, there’s compelling evidence that certain colors induce relaxation and that relaxation makes download times seem shorter. But the conclusions go even beyond that:

Researchers have also shown that color-induced relaxation has a direct effect on consumer attitudes  toward your website as a whole. If viewers are relaxed, they’re more inclined to like your website and recommend it to others; research even suggests that they might be more willing to make a purchase.

Give it a try

Download some relaxing color themes from Adobe Color CC, along with (free) trials of our Creative Cloud apps, and give these guidelines a try for yourself.

Remember, though, these are just guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. You can choose a low-chroma, high-value shade of blue for your download page, or you can use whatever other color feels right to you.

Please post a comment below and let me know how it goes.

10:36 AM Permalink

Unpack The App!

This December, celebrate the holidays with Adobe Premiere Clip.

Throughout December, the Premiere Clip blog will feature posts that show how to get the most out of the mobile app along with filmmaking tips to help you create videos that look and sound great. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at all of Clip’s features, including Story Guides, audio controls, and guidelines for dialing in your visual storytelling skills.

Unpack_1

All month long, we’ll be shining our spotlight on videos #MadeWithClip that showcase seasonal cheer. Use Clip to create a holiday video card to share with loved ones or compile a “Year-in-Review” video using photos and videos taken throughout 2014. Share your videos with us on @PremiereClip and include #MadeWithClip for a chance to be featured on our blog and the Community Video page in the app!

To kick things off, check out this video greeting card from Adobe:

Unpack_2

Download Adobe Premiere Clip.
Follow @PremiereClip on Twitter.
Watch the Premiere Clip blog for tips, trick & highlights.

2:47 PM Permalink

Creative Cloud for Desktop: Powerful Design Using Fonts from Typekit

Typography can make or break a design. While many apps provide precise typographic controls, it’s important to start with the perfect font. Adobe Typekit opens the door to thousands of fonts for use on the web or in desktop applications.

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Every paid Creative Cloud complete membership includes the Typekit Portfolio plan, which provides access to the full library of web and desktop fonts. (If you have a free Creative Cloud subscription, you still get a selection of fonts as part of the Typekit trial plan.)

To access Typekit fonts, you just need to sign in to your Typekit account with the same Adobe ID and password you use for your Creative Cloud membership.


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Quick syncing

The Creative Cloud for desktop app syncs desktop fonts to your computer effortlessly. If the Creative Cloud for desktop app is not installed, you will be prompted to download it when you sync fonts using the Typekit account.

In the Creative Cloud app, navigate to the Assets tab and select the Fonts tab to see your current synced fonts and search for new fonts to add. While browsing the fonts library, you can narrow down the fonts for desktop use by enabling the Desktop Use filter in the filtering panel. You can then sync fonts and use them in any application installed on your computer. For more information, see Browse and add fonts from Typekit.

For information about how to use synced fonts in various Creative Cloud applications, see Work with fonts from Typekit in Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe InDesign CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, and Adobe After Effects CC.


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Offline use

Synced desktop fonts are available for use even when you’re offline, as long as the Creative Cloud for desktop app is running and you’re signed in. If you quit the Creative Cloud app, synced fonts become temporarily unavailable; signing out from the Creative Cloud app removes synced fonts from your computer. When you sign in again, the fonts are automatically re-synced from Typekit.


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Easy font management

You can view synced desktop fonts in the Fonts panel of the Creative Cloud for desktop app, or manage them through your Typekit account. You can also turn font sync on or off from the Preferences panel of the Creative Cloud for desktop app. For more information, see Manage synced fonts.


Go ahead, sync some fonts, and let us know how it goes. For additional help with Typekit and syncing Creative Cloud fonts, you might find the following helpful:

11:23 AM Permalink

MTunes, Delivering A Unique Viewing Experience in High Def

India’s music channel standardizes on Adobe Creative Cloud workflow to deliver superior quality HD video content.

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MTunes is India’s first and only high definition (HD) music channel showcasing Bollywood, India’s Hindi-language film industry, music around the clock. A technically superior channel compared to its contemporaries in the music genre, it features the latest blockbuster hits and the most trending tracks of Bollywood in sparkling high definition colors and crystal clear Dolby Digital sound. Launched in 2011, MTunes promises a unique viewing experience and superior audio and video quality.

The channel previously used Final Cut Pro to edit the HD video content received from multiple producers as well as from its in-house shoots. Many of these file formats were incompatible with Final Cut Pro and required conversion to ProRes format. This made the process of video editing and broadcasting tedious and time consuming.

“Besides our in-house shoots, the media we get comes from different external sources and in different formats such as HDCAM 50, P2, or R3D,” says Kalpesh Mehta, head of technical/broadcast operations, MTunes. “We were not able to work natively as Final Cut Pro is incompatible with many of the video output formats.”

In cases when the channel received media files that are incompatible with Final Cut Pro, it either had to ask the sender to resend the file after re-encoding or transcode it before being imported into the editor’s timeline. The loss of visual quality and time was considerable. “We used to spend as much as three hours transcoding the media files and the loss of quality of such transcoded media files was significant,” says Mehta.

With its existing video and audio editing tools, MTunes was facing severe challenges in managing the workflow for large projects. The channel had to use third-party software for multiple tasks such as inserting graphics, processing audio, and exporting the final media files to the HD playout server. It needed a streamlined and efficient workflow for editing the audio and video HD content and for generating the final media files in a format accepted by its HD playout server. “We were looking for an integrated system that would work natively with different file formats to help ensure that a superior quality HD video is broadcasted efficiently,” says Mehta.

Standardizing on an all-Adobe workflow

mTunes_2_Trend
After careful deliberations, MTunes decided to replace Final Cut Pro with Adobe Premiere Pro CC software and standardize on an all Adobe workflow. The channel adopted Adobe Creative Cloud for teams including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, and Adobe Audition CC. “We realized that the video apps in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams offer incredible integration, more robust features, enhanced media management, and a greatly advanced, yet familiar user interface in which our editing team can work with higher efficiency,” says Mehta.

For MTunes, Premiere Pro CC is primarily used to import HD media into the system and edit natively without any transcoding with the help of wide range of codecs available. After Effects CC and Photoshop CC link to Premiere Pro CC in a transparent and seamless manner so that graphics can be directly superimposed on the media files. The audio is processed by Audition CC and the final media exported to the playout server.

“When we started really putting Adobe Premiere Pro CC to use, we were pleasantly surprised,” says Mehta. “The Dynamic Link capability between Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC dramatically speeds our workflow as we can insert multiple graphic elements seamlessly into our songs or shows.”

The channel uses multiple features of Premiere Pro CC, from enhanced multicam editing and support for more native camera formats to multi-format exporting and delivery. MTunes can now export media content to various formats suitable for broadcasting to its playout server, hosting on the website, or sending preview quality clips to clients.

Broadening the expertise of the editing team

The migration to a Creative Cloud workflow went smoothly without any work disruption. Intuitive features such as the ability to use Final Cut Pro 7 shortcut keys while working in Premiere Pro CC helped to smooth the transition. Adobe also held multiple training sessions to train the MTunes team on Creative Cloud apps, specifically on Premiere Pro CC and Audition CC.

Now, with simplified access to all of the components in Creative Cloud, the editing and creative teams are always prepared and updated. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives the MTunes team upgrades of the software upon release of new versions, plus exclusive features between releases, enabling them to stay up to date on the video editing tools integral to their daily workflow.

Significant time savings, efficient project execution

mTunes_3_Buzz

The ability of Premiere Pro CC to ingest almost any raw camera format without transcoding has enabled the channel to migrate media from any DSLR and professional video cameras or hard disks into Premiere Pro CC much more easily. One program, Star Of The Week, was shot on XDCAM HD 422 and could be imported directly into Premiere Pro CC for editing without transcoding, preserving quality and saving time.

The amount of time saved with Creative Cloud applications is considerable. “On an average, we save about three hours per project using the video applications in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams—quite significant considering our stringent timelines,” says Mehta.

Raising productivity while lowering cost of ownership

Adopting Adobe Creative Cloud for teams proved to be an incredibly cost effective measure for MTunes. The large capital expense associated with upgrading software licenses often meant such expense was moved down the budget priority list, resulting in outdated software. Further, uninstalling and reinstalling software to move licenses around to different users was tedious and time-consuming.

The Admin Console has helped MTunes eliminate many manual processes, such as installing packaged software or maintaining version consistency. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams has helped us raise our productivity by simplifying software administration with license management, automatic tracking, and version upgrades,” says Mehta.

For MTunes, membership of Creative Cloud for teams has significantly reduced the total cost of ownership of Adobe solutions by creating a standardized model for purchasing and deploying the most current versions of Creative Cloud applications and services. “We like paying a monthly fee for Adobe Creative Cloud for teams because it’s a much more effective approach to budgeting, especially for small- to medium-size businesses, and it eliminates lump-sum software purchases,” says Mehta. “With access to the latest Adobe applications via Creative Cloud for teams, we can take advantage of new features and support collaboration among users without cost being a barrier.”

Adobe Creative Cloud for teams helps support the channel’s rapid growth and efficiently manage the workflow of large and complex projects. “As the digital world is transitioning from SD to HD and now to 4K Ultra HD formats the need for integrated software with multiple capabilities will continue to expand,” says Mehta. “The video and audio editing tools in Adobe Creative Cloud are perfectly suited for such an environment.”

Read the MTunes case study.

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