Adobe Systems Incorporated

Sometimes the Hardest Thing to Get is the Easiest Thing to Give

Encouragement_1.5

One of the benefits of social media is that it allows us to keep up with what our friends, colleagues, and mentors are working on. But, one of the consequences of having constant access to an almost unlimited stream of inspiration is that it can make us feel self-conscious about our own productivity or creative ambitions.

Whether it’s a series of illustrations or photographs, a mural, a short film, or a new blog or podcast, just about everyone I know has had trouble getting started on some kind of creative project, or has left one unfinished.

There are an infinite number of reasons for putting the things we’re passionate about on hold—from a lack of time and energy, to insecurity and fear of failure—but there’s one thing that seems, universally, to help get people going: encouragement.

At Adobe, we build the tools and services that help creatives express themselves. But having access to the latest tools and technology isn’t always the answer; new features and more intelligent algorithms are great, but sometimes what we need, more than anything else, is to know that someone is in our corner, with all the reasons why we can do something instead of all the reasons why we can’t. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do:

A group of us at Adobe got together and decided that one of the most meaningful (and, quite frankly, fun) things we could do for our community is help as many of you as possible either start a creative project you’re passionate about, or finish a project that you’ve already started. If that describes you or someone you know, send your name, mailing address (anywhere in the world), and a description of the project to act@adobe.com. Let us know what your challenges are, and what obstacles are getting in your way. Obviously we can’t work miracles, but what we can do is send you a little encouragement, and let you know that there are people at the finish line cheering you on.

1:58 PM Permalink

Revealing Our Creative Cloud Mosaic

cc_mosaic_ivan

Adobe is celebrating creativity by bringing together artists from around the world to help us co-create our new Creative Cloud identity. The idea is simple: we’ve invited 48 designers and artists from around the world to contribute “tiles” of their own creative expression which we’ve assembled into the world’s most creative digital mosaic. This mosaic will actually serve as our Creative Cloud identity to be released on June 18.

If you haven’t already, please visit our Behance page and watch as we build out the mosaic one tile at a time. You can also learn about each artist and visit their full online portfolios.

And don’t miss the final, big reveal as we unveil the finished mosaic during our live online event on June 18; register for it today to see firsthand everything new that’s coming to Creative Cloud.

6:02 PM Permalink

Working hard in corporate video—and loving it

Leah Earle and Phanta Media deliver brilliant work with Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Leah Earle loves her job. As a video editor for Phanta Media in Toronto, she looks forward to going to work. Founded by Mark Drager in 2006, Phanta Media is a rising star in the corporate video universe, known for delivering great work on real-world timelines. Earle describes the ten-person company as cozy but rapidly growing, with a staff comprising business development representatives, producers, motion graphics, and video editors. Earle often works late and sometimes on weekends—and can’t get enough of it.

Most of the Phanta Media team: Mark Drager on the left, Leah Earle front center.

Most of the Phanta Media team: Mark Drager on the left, Leah Earle front center.

Adobe: What makes Phanta Media unique compared to other corporate video production companies?
Earle: We’re extremely passionate, even if we’re working on what some might consider a mundane corporate training video. We work hard and collaborate as a team. No one here is interested in being second best. This can lead to frustration, because I may get criticism from eight other people on my one great idea for an edit. But in the end it gives the client the best possible product. We’re a small company, and every client has a personal and highly creative experience with us. We “bring it,” every time to create beautiful projects on tight deadlines.

Adobe: What’s it like working with Mark Drager?
Earle: Mark is the reason I took this job and also the reason I’m still here. He’s 31-years-old and started this company when he was only 23. He had the confidence to know that he could make better videos than the next guy, and his enthusiasm is infectious; it motivates us to push ourselves. He promises clients that we will blow them away with our skills—and we always do.

Adobe: How did you get into this line of work?
Earle: I always wanted to do something technical, but I went to school for English literature because I was uncertain about what path to take. A few people guided me toward journalism. That led me to a video journalism postgraduate program at Conestoga College. I really liked shooting, and I didn’t mind being on camera or reading a teleprompter, but what I loved right away was editing.

Phanta_2

Adobe: When did you start using Adobe Premiere Pro CC?
Earle: I had never used Premiere Pro before I came to Phanta Media. Previously, Phanta Media was a Final Cut Pro shop, but like many in the industry, the company started looking for other options as soon as Final Cut Pro X came out. Premiere Pro is very “editor-friendly,” and that’s been a huge plus in growing my career.

Adobe: How would you compare Premiere Pro CC to other editing software?
Earle: For starters, you don’t have to log and capture footage. The scrubbing and playback in Premiere Pro is much faster than Final Cut, and not having to render something just to to watch it is a dream. I find the program makes it really easy to adjust my shortcuts and organize my workspace and projects. I like being able to save things such as title templates to use throughout projects, because I do a lot of subtitle work. Even the addition of the tiny window at the top left where you can preview your clip when you click once is helpful. I need to sort through mountains of footage fast. I like being able to export using Media Encoder CC as I work, because no one wants to have to stop and wait to export.

Phanta_3

Adobe: What else do you use in your pipeline?
Earle: I use Photoshop CC and After Effects CC for most graphics. I can bring graphics files straight into the Premiere Pro CC timeline, without having to export them every time I change the file, which is so great. I can click on something and edit it on the spot, rather than having to look for the file and open it in another program. This saves so much time on projects, especially those with hundreds of After Effects files that you’d normally have to re-time.

I sometimes edit in Adobe Audition CC when I am facing a complex audio problem or when I’m tasked with voiceovers. When I first started I was in charge of setting up new DVD templates and Adobe Encore was so easy to learn and use to burn DVDs. Now, I use Adobe Media Encoder a lot to create files for various media: the Internet, PCs, or DVDs—whatever clients want.

Phanta_4

Adobe: What was your experience  moving to Adobe Creative Cloud?
Earle: My favorite thing about the switch to Adobe Creative Cloud, was the new finding and re-linking function in Premiere Pro. It’s crucial, because a few of us may be working on the same project and files often reside in different places and get moved around a lot.

All in all, the interfaces, shortcuts, and other commands among Adobe’s creative software apps are so uniform that I grow more familiar with the tools and the workflows every day. This makes me increasingly more efficient and gets rid of that frustrating gap between what the technology can do and what you think it should be able to do. With Creative Cloud, I can take greater advantage of each program’s full potential to realize any creative ideas we dream up.

Mark Drager and Kyle Wilson of Phanta Media recently presented the Ask a Video Pro session How to Build a Successful Corporate Video Business.

Learn more about the Pro Video Tools in Adobe Creative Cloud
Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud

10:35 AM Permalink

Typekit: New Fonts from TypeTogether and Rui Abreu

We are thrilled to announce a full shelf of new releases at Typekit today. You can now get your hands on new fonts, extended families, and added desktop availability from two longtime Typekit foundry partners: TypeTogether and Rui Abreu. Let’s get to it:

Essay Text from TypeTogether

Essay Text from TypeTogether

The lovely Essay Text by Stefan Ellmer is a serif text face comprised of an upright and an italic. Drawing from the historical context of the Renaissance, the italic can act as a complement to the upright, or stand on its own as a text face. Both carry a calligraphic slant, more comparable to each other than is typical of this pairing. Don’t miss the stylistic alternates and other typographic and ornamental goodies hidden within. Both styles are available for desktop sync for Creative Cloud subscribers.

Abril Titling from TypeTogether

Abril Titling from TypeTogether

Welcome the newest addition to the Abril family: Abril Titling. A well-stocked font family in its own right (eight styles in four different widths), the letterforms, contrast, and spacing are revisions of Abril Text—sturdier than Abril Display, while more suitable than Abril Text for larger sizes, and more varied in available widths. All 32 styles are available for desktop sync!

We’ve also updated two other TypeTogether families, with italic versions of the geometric sans serif Soleil, and the casual slab serif Bree Serif. Both families are available for desktop sync.

Signo from Rui Abreu

Signo from Rui Abreu

Also new to Typekit is Signo from Rui Abreu. Signo’s reverse contrast letterforms (the horizontal strokes are heavier than the vertical strokes, contrary to most type designs) stand out when set in headlines and in editorial environments. The heavier horizontals also help the visual continuity of characters in lines of text. Aided by a high x-height, open counters, and TrueType hinting for some older Windows browsers, Signo also performs well in body copy. Select styles are available for desktop sync.

Grafolita Script from Rui Abreu

Grafolita Script from Rui Abreu

Rui’s warm, inviting Grafolita Script has an easy fluidity achieved by careful design of glyph-connecting finials and contextual alternates where connections make less sense. Grafolita Script comes in three weights, with alternate superscript underlines and special ligatures for “and” and “or” to lend it a touch of sign-painted whimsy. Grafolita Script Medium is available for desktop sync.

Azo Sans Uber and Azo Sans Bold from Rui Abreu

Azo Sans Uber and Azo Sans Bold from Rui Abreu

Azo Sans Uber is the ultra heavy display weight of Rui’s Azo Sans (shown in the last line of the sample above). It’s packed with personality, with contextual alternates like the R and Ys above that give the chunky sans serif an air of playfulness. Some styles of Azo Sans are also now available for desktop sync.

Rui’s popular typeface Gesta has now also been extended for use in Creative Cloud desktop sync. Check out Nick Cox’s excellent article “About Face: Gesta.”

Font families mentioned in this post, and their availability for web and desktop at Typekit:

Typekit_6.2_6

Have at ‘em! If you’ve never tried Typekit, sign up (it’s free!) and upgrade to a paid plan when you’re ready.

This post ran on the Typekit blog on Thursday May 29, 2014.

10:36 AM Permalink

Setting the Stage for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Video playback and graphics team uses Adobe Creative Cloud and plugins from FxFactory to create period-specific news content.

To make the set of GNN, the 24-hour news channel featured in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, as realistic as possible required one essential element: content. It was the job of the video playback and graphics team to fill the dozens of screens throughout the fictional studio with realistic, period-specific news.

Rather than filling the screens in post production and using archived news reports, the team produced nearly all original content and fed it to the screens in real time. News reports were shot and composited with stock footage using an Adobe Creative Cloud video workflow and plugins from FxFactory, which offers a broad range of VFX tools for editors and compositors.

Playback Supervisor, Todd Marks, worked closely with his hand-picked team, designers Perry Freeze and Jeb Johenning to create the functioning 1980s GNN studio and news-office that helps set the stage for the blockbuster comedy. Todd and Jeb have worked together on many projects over the last twelve years; Perry was added to the team when they worked on The Internship in 2012.

Anchor1

Adobe: What were your roles on Anchorman 2?
Marks: I was the playback supervisor, responsible for overseeing all of the content creation and playback. In this case, my team put together and ran the functioning GNN studios, and we created all of the content, some which was story-specific and some was just background imagery to add to the reality of the time period and the set. We call it “bg” (background) footage and we created a lot of it.

Freeze: I worked as a designer on the film and also helped coordinate the data asset management, which involved keeping track of all of the moving pieces and approvals. On this movie we had a fairly short development cycle. We had to get up-and-running with a graphics package for the studio, and within the studio we wanted to have up to ten  channels on air featuring news from around the world.

Johenning: I was also a designer, working with Perry on the content. When we initially looked at the breadth of content it was enormous. We had in excess of 100 different videos and one or more ways to create them, without actually knowing how they would be used.

Adobe: How does it all start?
Marks: We get a script and have to breakdown what’s written, which involves meetings with the production designer, set decorator, director, and even the props and construction people. We make recommendations and try to push beyond what most people think can be done. With the story-specific content, we needed to help tell the story in a short amount of time in a visually accurate, period-specific manner. Each film has different needs. For this movie, we needed to recreate a news studio look (we referenced CNN’s style during its launch in 1980). GNN starts with a simple graphics package at launch, as they are on the air longer, we had the look mature by increasing the complexity of the font and graphics package.

Anchor2

Adobe: How did you go about creating the content?
Freeze: We couldn’t possibly get clearance from actual archived material or we would have had to stick to a very narrow, stock footage type of content. So very early on we decided to make all of the content.

Johenning: In the GNN studio office, there is a big wall with fifteen different monitors that show everything happening around the world. Every piece of footage had to look local to its environment. We hired actors to be our period reporters and then filmed “man-on-the-street” interviews. I’m a videographer, so Perry and I worked with our video team and shot most of the unique footage for this project. The wardrobe people put the actors in period costumes and we filmed them against a green screen in both interior and exterior locations.

Anchor3

Later, we composited them into different locations, such as in front of the Pyramids in Egypt, the slums in Kenya, or farmland in Iowa. Each one had a different graphic look and feel. We created fake names for the people and used different fonts that would be local to each region. The backgrounds were sourced from stock footage or public domain sources. We also went around Atlanta, Georgia and filmed b-roll elements that we later used as content in our news reports, in addition to the composited green screen shots.

Anchor4

Adobe: Was it easy to integrate the new and old footage?
Johenning: All of the new footage was shot on a Sony F3, so it was beautiful HD quality. The stock footage backgrounds were 10-, 15-, even 20-years-old, standard-definition video and film, so the look of the two formats was completely different. We had to dumb down the foreground shots to make them look believable with the background stuff. We used an array of Adobe tools, including Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop, to make everything look authentic.

Marks: The PHYX products from FxFactory were used extensively. We used PHYX KEYER tools, PHYX CLEANER, and PHYX DEFOCUS to create composites, match the look of different footage, and add depth to the shots to make them look realistic. Using the PHYX filters with After Effects and Premiere Pro really helped to streamline our workflow.

Johenning: In some cases, we could stay entirely in Premiere Pro, and in other cases we would take footage into After Effects for more specialized compositing. We would ultimately always end up in Premiere Pro, where we would up-res the SD to HD so we could have the cleanest keys, edges, and color correction. The last step was to down-res and use the link to Media Encoder to output a piece of SD footage for playback on an SD monitor.

Adobe: Did you use any other plugins from FxFactory?
Marks: In addition to the PHYX filters, we used FxFactory Bad TV filters to add static hits and signal degradation, just as you would see with a normal satellite feed. Using these plugins adds a sense of reality and gives us the opportunity to do cuts that aren’t perceived by the audience. We used about ten different FxFactory plugins throughout the film. For news elements, there are specific plugins that add realism to the feel and look.

Adobe: What was the most challenging part of the data asset management?
Freeze: Films don’t shoot chronologically, so it’s important to keep track of what media needs to be on air and how it needs to look at that point in the movie. We used Adobe Bridge to keep track of revisions, star approved artwork, and manage all folders. Bridge is universally tied into Photoshop and Illustrator, making it easy to create contact sheets of all of our work, print them out and post them, or show the top ten revisions on an iPad to the director while on location, for quick approval.

Marks: The studio had about 150 CRT monitors, and we were able to route from 14 different feeds to each monitor at any time. It requires keeping track of what’s on each monitor in what scene, which involves lots of logistics in addition to the technical aspects. Some of first scenes we did in the studio were in Linda Jackson’s office, where there were three monitors on a far wall. We thought they would just be in the background, but the actors were placed right in front of them. You never know whether something you work on for days or weeks will be shown for just seconds or be featured prominently in a scene. This makes it even more important to keep track of shots so you don’t see the same footage in more than one scene.

Anchor5

Adobe: Have you started using Adobe Creative Cloud?
Johenning: I was already using Adobe Master Collection CS6, but when Creative Cloud came out I jumped on the bandwagon. An added benefit of CC included Adobe Muse. I was a user of Muse for my own business website and having that part of the Adobe CC collection was a real bonus! I had switched to Premiere Pro after Apple introduced Final Cut Pro X, and it’s the only editing program I use right now.

Freeze: I’m using Creative Cloud as well. The thing about using Creative Cloud is that when we’re working with teams everyone is on the same current, updated release. We used to deal with people not installing updates, or being on a different version all together, which created problems in our pipeline.

Adobe: What was the process like when you were on set?
Freeze: As prepared as we were, it was very much like a live news broadcast. We were using an AJA IO system to connect After Effects and Premiere Pro directly into our video switcher that was going out to the studio floor. It wasn’t what you would typically do in a TV production situation. We were creating content for the movie on the fly by tying directly into a switcher that was taking live camera feeds of Will Ferrell’s character, and then using After Effects to quickly apply lower thirds and over the shoulder graphics.

Marks: Because we were using standard definition CRTs, to make them look like they came from the right period, the set dressing department created plastic bezels that made the screen sizes even smaller than typical CRTs. This made the normal safety area even smaller, couple that with each old TV monitor’s slightly different scaling, and often I would actually have to be on the studio floor talking the control room through the proper positioning of the graphics on a featured screen.

Freeze: We would run around on the floor with cameras and take pictures of our work on the older TVs, go back to Photoshop or Illustrator and create a matte, and save it as a new title or action safe that could then be applied in After Effects or Premiere Pro when we were working so we knew how something would look when we put it on the period monitors. When you’re on a movie set and you have an entire crew, including all of the actors, waiting for you to finish something or change something it’s a lot of pressure.

Anchor6

Adobe: How is it different than the visual effects in other films?
Johenning: None of what we do is done in post production. A lot of visual effects in movies involve after-the-fact effects. I’m not diminishing the importance of that approach to moviemaking, but in our case rather than filling a monitor with a solid green image and creating, tracking, and coloring the content after a scene is shot, we have to do it as if it’s live TV and make it look real and believable.

Adobe: Why was this approach useful in the Anchorman 2 production?
Freeze: We ultimately helped make a better movie because the content was live. The actors could see themselves on the monitors and ad lib, and we made changes to things like titles on the fly.

Marks: We surprised the crew with our capabilities, and it freed the post production people up a lot. There was one scene where we were able to use Photoshop to quickly build a full map of the United States, with temperatures throughout the country, and then overlay satellite imagery using Premiere Pro. Because they were able to use the map in the scene instead of just having a green screen, Steve Carrell was able to see himself on the monitor and play off of what was happening. The director was also able to give him direction based on what he saw evolving. It was some of the most hysterical stuff we shot and it wouldn’t have happened if it was done in post production.

Adobe: Can you give an example of how After Effects was used?
Marks: One of the scenes in the movie shows the characters covering a car chase. Production was quite concerned about the cost of staging the chase, but the stock footage we had wasn’t long enough. Through some creative editing, Perry made it happen.

Freeze: We had chase footage of two cars, one grey convertible with a closed black canvas top on the freeway and one larger grey car primarily going through neighborhoods. We used the Roto Brush in After Effects to track the roof of the larger car and then darken the roof to match the other vehicle. By using tools in Premiere Pro to flip the footage and slow down and speed up shots, we were able to edit together a longer scene, with four different segments for playback.

Adobe: Were there any other benefits to working with Adobe video tools?
Marks: With Adobe tools being so portable we were able to take the same laptop we used on stage back to our hotel room and still have the same powerful workflow. It was especially useful when we were working late on graphics that were needed for the next day of shooting. Doing our job would be nearly impossible without Adobe’s powerful software.

3:13 PM Permalink

Adobe Originals: 25 Years Later

Twenty-five years after Adobe Originals were introduced, they’re still setting the standard for typographic excellence.

In 1989 Adobe Garamond and Utopia, the first type designs from Adobe, were released and the Adobe Originals program was born. With Utopia, an original design, and Adobe Garamond, a historic revival that captured the essence of its models while offering all the advantages of contemporary typography, the release signaled to the design and type community that Adobe was serious about typography. Many of the typefaces released over the years have become timeless classics: Myriad, Minion, Trajan, Lithos, and Adobe Caslon are just a few examples that have withstood the test of time and will likely be widely used and respected for many years to come.

To celebrate 25 years of original type design at Adobe, later this month the newly combined Typekit and Adobe Type team will be launching a new blog series that will run throughout the summer. The series will share the history of type design at Adobe; showcase some of Adobe’s typefaces and designers; talk about how new technologies have, in recent years, changed type design at Adobe; and ask designers such as Stephen Coles, Marian Bantjes, and Jessica Hische to share their perspective on Adobe Originals.

But what celebration about type design would be complete without a new typeface? Beginning today, Adobe’s 100th typeface family, Source Serif, is available free as a thank you to our customers. Source Serif, designed as the companion to Adobe’s popular Source Sans typeface, lends itself to extended text on paper and on screen. For desktop and web use through Typekit’s free plan, it’s available to all Creative Cloud members, including trial users.

Source Serif, Adobe’s 100th typeface family. Designed by Frank Grießhammer.

Source Serif, Adobe’s 100th typeface family. Designed by Frank Grießhammer.

Source Serif is available in regular, semi-bold, and bold; additional weights and italics will be released at a later date.

Source Serif is available in regular, semi-bold, and bold; additional weights and italics will be released at a later date.


Read the Typekit blog to Learn more about today’s announcements, how to keep up with this summer’s Adobe Originals series, and where to get Adobe’s new open source typeface. And, to keep up with the upcoming Adobe Originals series, bookmark the RSS feed.

8:01 AM Permalink

Creating a visual experience for Fatboy Slim at Coachella

happiness_labs_1

Production company creates immersive experience for well-known DJ artist at art and music festival using Adobe Creative Cloud.

Plastic Reality is a production company known for branding and other video work for big corporate clients such as BP and Unilever. But unlike most corporate video companies, it has a wild side, called The Happiness Labs, focused on producing experiential content and graphics for live events and installations.

In creating new realities and immersive experiences, The Happiness Labs raised the bar for British DJ, musician, rapper, and record producer Fatboy Slim at the 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Tim Fleming, executive producer of The Happiness Labs, shares how Fatboy Slim’s otherworldly stage experience came together.

Adobe: What makes you excited about working with bands?
Fleming: I worked at an advertising company at the beginning of my career, but then I had the chance to work with big-name artists and tour with various art collectives. I was excited to be working with people who were very receptive to new creative ideas. Layering visuals and lighting was becoming a big part of these shows and I started to think about how video content could further enhance the experience.

Today, bands think about shows as a whole experience with intricate props and designs from the moment they kick them off, but it wasn’t always that way. Seeing how these shows were being constructed as an experience, especially in the electronic music space, and being a bit of a party boy I thought it looked like a lot of fun.

Adobe: How did you get connected with Fatboy Slim?
Fleming: I’ve had a longstanding relationship with Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook. He is a superstar DJ and lovely bloke all at the same time. When I started with him around 2000 or 2001, he was already famous for his videos. His record label had seen the work we’d done with some artists, and asked us to submit a treatment for his upcoming video, “Star 69.”

A while later, Norman was approached to do a show on Brighton Beach. It was one of the first large outdoor shows with a DJ and his team knew they would need some content for the show. They liked what we’d done for “Star 69,” so they asked us to work on the show. The first Brighton Beach Boutique show had 60,000 attendees, and the second one had 250,000. From then on I was on the bus and the next stop was a show in Brazil for about 350,000 people.

Adobe: How would you describe the Coachella show?
Fleming: Coachella in 2014 has a big focus on electronic acts and electronic dance music. The performance there was an evolution of everything we’ve been doing over the last several years to turn watching a DJ into a magical experience that transports audiences into another realm with incredible lighting, imagery, effects, video, and graphics. The heart of his show is focused on his hit track “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”

Adobe: Tell us more about “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”
Fleming: Well there’s an interesting story around where the actual lyric for “Eat, Sleep, Rave Repeat” came from. In between shows I was editing some shots for Norman and he sent me a mail at around midnight when I was still working, asking how it was going. I sent him a one line reply saying, “Eat, Sleep, Edit, Rave, Repeat.”

Next thing I knew he sent me a demo titled “Your Tune.” Then he got RivaStarr and Beardyman involved and the whole thing grew into a monster to the point where, a few months after this email conversation, we’re getting photos sent in from people who have tattoos saying “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”

Adobe: How did the idea translate to Coachella?
Fleming: Coachella originally approached us asking if we would like to do a show based around the four seasons. A set at Coachella is 60 minutes long, so the festival organizers were looking to split it into four parts and use a bunch of physical effects, such as fire, snow, and rain, to accentuate the different seasons. We had a think about this and obviously loved the idea of the different physical effects but thought the four seasons might be a bit like doing opera.

We got Team Fatboy together over a good lunch as we usually do and started throwing some ideas around. We realized we could re-work “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” into “Heat, Sleet, Rain, Repeat” and… job done! We got to keep the physical effects but incorporate them into Norm’s global smash hit.

Adobe: What special elements are included in the Coachella show?
Fleming: As well as building a boom box that has ice, fire, and rain built into it we used a 3D model of Norman’s head that was shot at Pinewood Studios. We inserted it in with other graphics and 3D elements around the head. It appears every couple of bars in the song. All of the mapping was done and put together in Adobe After Effects CC, along with the textures and finishing.

happiness_labs_3

We also put Norman in the middle of the screen in a 9×9 matrix and created accompanying video content and original graphics, including a fun fruit machine. All of the video content was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. It was great to be able to throw multiple codecs and file types right onto the timeline in Premiere Pro CC and have it work seamlessly.

happiness_labs_2

Adobe: How do you pull off these surreal experiences?
Fleming: We combined a well-researched history of being the last one on the dance floor with other techniques, some involving big rig or prop installations and others requiring software. We’ve always been big After Effects users. CINEMA 4D and After Effects are at the heart of everything we do and their widespread adoption throughout the creative industry is a reflection of the quality results that can be achieved. Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC are also key to our workflow and we appreciate having all of the tools available to us in Creative Cloud.

Adobe: What do you think of the closer integration between Adobe After Effects CC and CINEMA 4D?
Fleming: The forthcoming era of deeper integration between CINEMA 4D and After Effects CC is very exciting and we are really looking forward to seeing how it enhances our workflow. We really just find them a joy to play with and encourage all younger artists who are working with us to learn this combination. We’re also excited about the option of rendering in the cloud so we don’t tie up local resources.

Adobe: The shows you put together have an entirely new look. What is it you’re trying to accomplish?
Fleming: EDM shows tend to look very polished, high-def, and fast moving. We wanted to do something a little different to set us apart. That’s why we shot some original content for Coachella in black-and-white and slow-motion and edited it in Premiere Pro CC. In one shot, we have people jumping around that we filmed with a slow-motion camera. So the look is a bit different than your classic EDM footage. We also slapped Norman in the face with a fish and filmed that in slow-mo!

Adobe: What are the benefits of moving to Creative Cloud?
Fleming: We work with small teams plus many freelancers. Our Adobe Creative Cloud for teams membership helps us move seats around so artists working in different locations are all on the same version and have the software they need when they need it. We’re also looking at trying new tools like Adobe Prelude CC for ingest, at no extra charge. That’s a big bonus.

Adobe: What’s in the future for you?
Fleming: Fatboy Slim has the World Cup coming up in June in Brazil, followed by the 2014 Glastonbury Festival. Norman is trying to go for the world record for the most consecutive Glastonbury Festival’s played, so he can’t miss it! There are other festivals planned during the summer months as well, so we’ll be busy.

Our work has become so diversified that we’re going to continue to use Plastic Reality for our corporate work. But now we’re developing The Happiness Labs for the fun, experiential work we’re doing for bands and brands. We’re looking to develop content for immersive, virtual reality technologies such as Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, and Thalmic Labs MYO. There’s a big shift in the way content and storytelling is being developed, and we intend to be at the convergence of the amazing new wave of tech and tools and the never-ending desire for a good story that we humans have.

Tim would like to thank long-time collaborators Chris Cousins, Joe Plant, and Bob Jaroc, as well as Mike Sansom at BrightFire Pyrotechnics for working on this year’s content.

Learn more about the Pro Video Tools in Adobe Creative Cloud
Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud

3:01 AM Permalink

Singularity: The Evolution of Humanness

Lucas_1

Lucas Doerre, a 20-year-old designer from Hamburg, Germany was recently chosen to take part in Shutterstock’s Designer Passport tutorial series, to unveil the process behind his recent project—Singularity.

Lucas’s broadly-scoped representation of what it means to be human was created in Adobe Photoshop CC, with images from Shutterstock’s library. It defines the evolution of the human spirit, its transformation, evolution and growth. It’s a multi-tiered look at the process of growing into society while also maintaining singleness and individuality.

We asked Lucas to join us at HOW Design Live. He’ll be deconstructing Singularity in the Adobe booth on Wednesday May 14 at 12:30pm. We caught up with him a few days ago to get advance insight into what he’ll be talking about at HOW; read what he has to say about Photoshop CC’s Perspective Warp feature, Shutterstock’s “Find Similar Images” function, and the difficulty of visually defining human adaptability.


How were you selected to be a part of Designer Passport? Philippe Intraligi, design director at Shutterstock, was looking for a German designer for the Passport series. He found me through the Behance network, emailed me, and we chatted on Skype.

Have you ever thought of your digital project Singularity as an installation? Of actually building it? I was thinking of 3D printing it but there were some color issues—and unfortunately I don’t have access to a 3D printer. But it’s given me some ideas for future 3D printing projects that I definitely want to try, especially since Photoshop CC has 3D printing capability now.

Lucas_2Why or how did you choose the materials that the figure is passing through–the wood, the fire, the water? What do they symbolize? What do they mean to you? I chose them randomly, but they are intended to express the different phases and possibilities in a person’s lifetime.

Shutterstock has a huge (35 million+) image library, how did you choose the images in Singularity? I started with keywords that described the visual or the mood I was looking for and made good use of the “Find Similar Images” function.

Was this your first time using Photoshop CC’s Perspective Warp feature? Do you forsee using it in future projects? I had actually been experimenting with it prior to this project. It offers such a range of possibility; there’s so much that can be created with it.

What was the most difficult part of creating this project? The most difficult part was the beginning, I had an extremely detailed idea and was trying to realize it in so many ways but unfortunately no way seemed the “right” way. After some tries I got this idea to divide the whole image into sections. It became the foundation for the final artwork.

Lucas_3When you began documenting your process for Shutterstock did you see things in Singularity that you wish you’d done differently? Actually no. After so many attempts at starting this project I finally had a composition and a look that I really liked.

Have you experimented with other apps in Creative Cloud? Has having access to a variety of apps in Creative Cloud allowed you to experiment more? I’m loving the Typekit integration; it allows me to search new fonts in a extremely convenient way. And the ability to sync all my work to Behance and to have access to all my files in Creative Cloud are also very helpful.  I’ve also started using Adobe Illustrator CC; the features enable the creation of really interesting stuff.

We know project was created with Photoshop CC, but if you could use just one Creative Cloud application, which would it be? Why? It would be Photoshop CC. I love it. Some of my first works were created with Photoshop. It allows me to recreate and modify my images, type, whatever. And that’s what I’m doing… creating and modifying my ideas and visions. On a computer.

Follow us during HOW Design Live on Twitter and Facebook

9:46 AM Permalink

Producing The Largest Sports Show on Earth Is No Small Task

An ambitious content delivery goal will be met with a workflow featuring Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Pulling off the broadcast of the largest sports show on earth, spanning nearly a month’s worth of content, is no small task. HBS, the dedicated host broadcaster for one of the largest sporting events in the world, has contracted EVS and MoovIT. EVS will provide for the central Media Asset Exchange Server located at the International Broadcast Center (IBC) and all editing workstation will be supplied by MoovIT. Central to the editing workflow is Premiere Pro CC, which will help editors quickly turn around content for distribution to multilateral production facilities and Media Rights Licensees (known as MRLs).

The central media server is the hub for the production operation during the competition. All material generated by HBS will be uploaded and logged onto the server and users connected to the system will be able to search and browse via dedicated browsing stations and transfer content into their system for unilateral programming requirements. All multilateral editing workstations required for post-production and multimedia will also be connected with the large SAN storage as part of the central server based on EVS technology.

MoovIT was brought on board to provide the 54 workstations with Premiere Pro CC for editing live content and creating features, promos, and all other components required for multimedia production. This new workflow will enable editors to turn content around more quickly than ever before. The central media server, acting as a shared storage, integrates with Premiere Pro CC by using the EVS IPLink interface.

Editors using Premiere Pro CC and the IPLink interface will be able to directly connect to the server, making it easy to create final edits of updates, promos, and multimedia packages. In addition, external media from various sources will come in from the ENG crews and be combined on the workstations without any transcoding to quickly produce the content.

For multimedia clients a wide selection of Video on Demand (VOD) clips will be provided by the host broadcaster. These clips need to be provided quickly so they can be immediately featured on websites, through mobile subscription sites, or by sponsors and broadcasters. After an event happens, such as a goal or a red card, a clip should be available online within minutes and available in various languages.

MoovIT and EVS will both help HBS to meet this enterprising goal so that fans in multiple countries will be able to experience the action in near real-time. With a customized workflow that includes Premiere Pro CC, HBS, through this service, will keep fans around the world on the edge of their seats as they follow the action and relive key moments from their favorite teams and players.

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud
Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud

10:53 AM Permalink

Gabia Unleashes Creativity, Efficiency

A web services firm enhances design production, efficiency, and client service, while reducing licensing costs by more than 20% with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.

Gabia1

Maximizing creativity and efficiency, minimizing overhead

South Korea-based Gabia Inc. specializes in Internet infrastructure services. The company provides its clients with everything from domain name registration and web hosting solutions to website design, image and video hosting, and e-learning solutions.

Marketing all of these services requires large volumes of brochures, sell sheets, event signage, customer case studies, and other materials with targeted messaging and eye-catching, effective design. As a vital part of the company’s operations, the design team’s task is twofold: On a day-to-day basis, they generate marketing materials that assist the company in winning new business; and focus on keeping existing customers loyal and up-to-date with new products and services.

“Effective, vibrant design is a part of everything we do to support our clients, our marketing and sales, and our overall brand,” says Kwangyoon Won, director of Gabia’s sales division. “We make it a priority to create innovative products and to support them in the marketplace by rigorously and continuously up-leveling our design and creative capabilities.”

Empowering creative teams

Because Gabia has an inherent and constant need to design and produce creative content, such as e-commerce sites for clients, as efficiently as possible, it’s a priority to equip teams with the right creative tools for the job. For years, Gabia has used Adobe creative software to enable a skilled staff of designers to maintain high standards for generating beautiful, professional materials—both to market their own products and create websites for clients. Adobe creative software has been the standard at the company due to its flexibility, power, integration, and rich feature sets.

As Gabia’s growth and innovation continued, the importance of staying current on the latest version of software and services became critical for delivering large amounts of design work. For the IT team, streamlining the management associated with software licensing and deployment would help eliminate the time-consuming task of managing individual license numbers and installing the necessary programs on the team’s desktops.

“Adobe creative tools are at the heart of our operation,” says Won. “Because we are efficiency-driven and Adobe software is so central to our business, we began looking at the different licensing models and options for the software.”

Collaborating in the cloud

Gabia3

After evaluating new licensing options from Adobe that would provide teams with the best solutions
while increasing efficiencies, Gabia chose Creative Cloud for teams. “With Creative Cloud for teams, our designers can download the software they need to either create marketing materials or design websites for clients. Constant updates are provided by Adobe so everyone can stay on the latest versions of software with ease,” says Won. “Creative Cloud for teams also offers 100GB of storage, so team members can exchange ideas on designs, regardless of location. Employees no longer need to email files or send drives back and forth because the current files are available to everyone on the team in the cloud.”

Creative Cloud for teams has streamlined collaboration and file sharing and virtually eliminated communication delays. The workflow has been greatly improved because fewer handoffs are required to accomplish tasks and individuals can accomplish more on their own with access to all of the intuitive new software available in Creative Cloud for teams.

Gabia can execute projects faster because contributors can simultaneously share the same files in Adobe Photoshop CC, Dreamweaver CC, or Illustrator CC, as they are working on them in the cloud. Each time layouts, typography, or images are revised, everyone on the team is apprised and working with the same versions of files.

More creative control, less coding

Speed and efficiency is necessary in streamlining production of marketing materials for Gabia products, but it is equally essential when accommodating client needs for new or revised materials. To meet this need, Gabia was able to try new creative tools available within Creative Cloud for teams (all at no extra charge with a Creative Cloud membership) including new creative tools that weren’t available previously in Creative Suite.

“It’s wonderful to be able to try new software that we probably would not have before,” says Won. “It has given us new creative functionality that is expanding our repertoire and removing some of the limitations of purchasing packaged software.”

Gabia’s designers have adopted Adobe Muse CC and Adobe Edge Tools and Services, both available in Creative Cloud for teams. With Muse CC, graphic designers can stretch their capabilities by publishing websites, that work well on virtually any device, without writing code; with Adobe Edge Animate CC, the team can add interactivity and animation to client websites. Both products extend the capabilities of Gabia’s design teams and accelerate delivery of customer requests for new websites or ongoing updates.

With Creative Cloud for teams, designers can save images directly from a layout for use on the web, or can quickly create responsive websites or animation effects without requiring special code development. “With Creative Cloud for teams, we now can perform small jobs, such as video coding or image resizing, without having to rely on a specialized designer, code developer, or video producer,” says Kim Sooyeon, assistant manager of Gabia’s creative division. “It results in faster turnaround time for our clients and a lot more creative autonomy for everyone.”

Easier on IT, significantly reduced costs

Gabia2

In addition to designers, the IT team is more efficient as well. With Creative Cloud for teams, Gabia can assign licenses to users through email using a web-based console to easily distribute the programs. Designers then download the software they need. An administrator no longer needs to manually check each serial number to install the necessary programs on individual desktops, freeing up IT time to spend on more strategic activities.

Gabia as a whole has also experienced greatly reduced licensing costs. “With Creative Cloud for teams, our licensing costs were cut by more than 20% in comparison to desktop software,” says Won. “At Gabia, we will continue to use Creative Cloud for teams; it’s now a part of our core infrastructure for inventing and delivering new creative businesses and catering faster and better to our clients.

Read the Gabia Inc. case study.

8:43 AM Permalink