When Adobe released the Project Parfait beta in April 2014, the team knew it had something wonderful on its hands. But the tool—which enables front-end developers to effortlessly transform comps into code by dropping PSDs into a browser—was met with excitement that the team could never have predicted. (Really. Check out what people were saying on Twitter.)
At that time, Project Parfait was a standalone web app. Fast-forward to today… We’ve named the tool Extract and a Preview version has been integrated into Creative Cloud Files. It’s one more time-saving addition to Creative Cloud.
The new feature in Creative Cloud Files enables Web designers and developers, who work with PSD files, to easily create code-based design from Photoshop CC compositions. That means extracting style information and image assets, copying text and CSS, grabbing color, gradient and font information, measuring distances between elements, and saving optimized image assets for production—with a drag, a drop, and a click of the mouse. From a single PSD file. Directly in Creative Cloud Files.
And the best news: Anyone with a free or paid Creative Cloud account can upload a PSD file to Creative Cloud Files and use Extract. Not only that, but once an Extract link has been shared, the recipient doesn’t need to be logged-in to a Creative Cloud account to pull assets and measurements from the file.
So there it is. A bit of magic. From Adobe. Go on, give it a try.
Some (quick) Extract lessons
A help doc from our Adobe Learn team: Extract for PSD to Web Workflows
And a video by Adobe evangelist Paul Trani:
Prestige Group, India’s leading real estate developer, delivers superior quality design content using Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.
One of the leading real estate developers in the southern states of India The Prestige Group (Prestige) works across the residential, commercial, retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors. Since its inception in 1986, Prestige has completed 177 projects which include apartment enclaves, shopping malls, and corporate structures.
A long-time Adobe customer, Prestige has used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for various stages of project execution; during the initial stages of idea creation and project conceptualization, the design team creates concept presentations: “It’s a collage of various photos and ideas to depict the overall project,” says Aditya Muley, business development and design manager at Morph Design Co., part of the Prestige Group. “In this stage, we use Photoshop extensively to edit multiple photos from the inventory and also from the Internet; Illustrator is useful when there is a requirement to create wallpaper and other designs of interior items,” says Muley.
Once the concept is approved, the property floor plan and the layout is developed using AutoCAD or 3ds Max software. At this stage of concept development, the Prestige design team would once again use Photoshop extensively. “We use Photoshop to import or edit photos, provide multiple textures to the layout, add special effects, and finally to design different views, such as a top view or side view,” says Muley.
Version consistency and license management
Although the firm has been using Adobe creative tools rigorously, there were multiple challenges in terms of using the latest versions of these tools and managing the licenses. “Our traditional approach was to install new versions one, two, or three seats at a time. As a result, we might have designers using one version and the architect team using another, which could cause IT administration issues associated with maintaining multiple software versions,” says Venkat Rao, general manager, IT, Prestige. “We wanted our employees to uniformly use the latest and leading-edge solutions.” The use of the latest versions of the creative tools was vital for Prestige also from a compliance point of view.
Prestige decided to adopt Adobe Create Cloud for teams. “For a rapidly growing firm like ours, the biggest challenge is giving everyone access to the latest software and then tracking application allocations,” says Rao. “That’s why we were excited when we heard about the automated administration in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.” Prestige also realized that the latest versions of Adobe’s creative tools offer incredible integration, more features, and a greatly advanced—yet familiar—user interface with which its designers can work with higher efficiency. “The incompatibility issue was automatically resolved,” says Rao.
A streamlined migration process
The migration to Creative Cloud for teams went smoothly; post-implementation, Adobe held multiple training sessions on using the tools in Creative Cloud.
Now with simplified access to all of the components in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams and no lag time between versions or upgrades, the designers are always updated. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives Prestige upgrades of the software upon release of new versions, plus exclusive features between releases, enabling them to stay up to date on the creative tools integral to their daily workflow.
Multiple new features of Adobe Creative Cloud tools are of great value to Prestige. Adobe Photoshop CC features include effects such as sun glare or artificial light, the ability to edit background and insert images, and ease of obtaining multiple views, which are extensively used by Prestige. “With Photoshop CC, one can directly edit and import textures into AutoCAD or 3ds Max,” says Muley. With Adobe Illustrator CC, Prestige can create new images from scratch, which can then be enlarged and sent out for printing. “We are thrilled with the newly added features of Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC,” says Muley. “In fact, with access to the latest versions of the software, we are empowered to experiment and invent new ideas in project design and execution.”
Maintaining design integrity with Adobe Acrobat CC
During various stages of the project; from conceptualization and design to execution, multiple project designs are required to be shared with internal and external groups of users for review and acceptance. Ensuring the security and integrity of these designs is vital. Also, sharing AutoCAD or 3ds Max design files with a wide group of users created issues. “We wanted the final output to be secured and optimized in its size in order to share it with the internal or external users,” says Muley. Prestige effectively addressed these challenges by standardizing on Adobe Acrobat Pro.
Prestige collaborates on projects across teams and with clients more easily. “We have never faced compatibility issues and the overall workflow has greatly improved with Acrobat,” says Muley.
Simplified management, big savings
The streamlined deployment and administration in Creative Cloud for teams has greatly helped the IT team at Prestige to eliminate many time-consuming manual processes, such as installing packaged software or maintaining version consistency. “We no longer need to perform updates one-by-one on machines as we now have the flexibility to install software onto computers on demand and activate new subscriptions as needed,” says Rao. Creative Cloud for teams has helped Prestige raise the productivity of the IT team by simplifying software administration with license management, automatic tracking, and version upgrades.
Creative Cloud for teams eliminates the need to manage software upgrades. Every employee has automatic access to the latest versions of Adobe products, which not only supports compatibility between workers but enables the company to take advantage of new features without worrying about the cost of upgrades.
For Prestige, Creative Cloud for teams has significantly reduced the total cost of ownership for Adobe solutions by creating a standardized model for purchasing and deploying the most current versions of Creative Cloud tools. “We like paying annually for Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. It’s a much more effective approach to budgeting as it eliminates lump-sum software purchases,” says Rao.
Scalable for future expansion
With better control and higher visibility on license utilization Creative Cloud for teams is a scalable solution. “As our design and architect teams expand, Creative Cloud for teams readily supports us as licenses can be added on-the-fly without major cost implications,” says Rao.
It supports the company’s rapid growth and its ability to efficiently manage the workflow of large and complex real estate projects. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams helps us become more productive by simplifying software administration with license management and automatic tracking,” says Rao. “The predictable, easily managed model in Creative Cloud for teams allows us to budget for software purchases accordingly and grow as our team grows.”
Read the Prestige Group case study.
It’s a short story that begins with, in mid-June of 2014, the introduction of Ink & Slide, Adobe’s innovative digital drawing tools (and the mobile apps, Adobe Line and Adobe Sketch, that launched alongside the hardware); a new friendship with Portland, Oregon, design studio Jolby & Friends; and Adobe’s for-the-second-time sponsorship of WMC Fest, a music-filled art and design conference that takes place in Cleveland Ohio).
The seemingly unrelated series of events coincided on July 10 at ICON8 in Portland, where the co-founders of Jolby & Friends, Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols, were speaking. Adobe wanted its drawing tools (hardware and software) to see some real-world application. And also wanted something to hand-out at our booth at WMC Fest. As luck would have it, Josh and Colby were planning to attend, and speak at, WMC Fest.
A practical canvas
In short order, Adobe Line, along with Ink & Slide were in their designerly hands. All they needed was an idea for a “product.” They very quickly came up with one: A pencil case, the brainchild of a design duo who, along with designer Brett Stenson, had a sudden need to carry Ink & Slide in their bags. Their decision, they explained, was based on utility, “We like things that have a use beyond the aesthetic; we were trying to think of something practical and thought that designers could put Ink & Slide in it, or just use it for their tools.”
While most Jolby & Friends projects begin with pencil and paper this time the team’s concepting stage incorporated Adobe’s hardware and software. Thinking back on the decision to go digital they said, “If Ink & Slide weren’t going to be part of the process of making the case, we couldn’t really see the point of doing it. We wanted to challenge ourselves to use the products.”
So they forged ahead with the same free-sketching process they always use. Endearingly termed Ride The Weird, the concept is a simple one: “When ideas come to mind, instead of shelving them or not allowing them to come out we let the ideas flow.”
In this particular case, the means justified the end, and Ride the Weird (“the elements and objects and things that help with creation”) became the underlying concept for the art on the pencil case. The end result is a refined amalgamation of the studio’s lighthearted vibe, it’s freeform approach to ideation, and the collaborative intermingling of ideas.
Fueled by “busy”
Although admitting it was a challenge to “learn how to draw again on an iPad,” no hurdle was too big for the trio. Despite a hard deadline (about three days), they quickly got up-to-speed on their brand-new tools, quickly mastering the hardware. And the software. And the ability to merge them with Creative Cloud. They briefly described their process, “With any of the digital tools we use, we try to replicate what we can do with our hands… but with the efficiency and the ease of transferring files back-and-forth. Once we learned how to use Ink & Slide to get the look we wanted we were able to, all three of us, do little bits and pieces and effortlessly put them all together.”
Last week Jolby & Friends sent off their files to ArtOfWhere and today the cases are on their way to a first public appearance. At WMC Fest. In the Adobe booth.
And that’s the story of how Adobe’s hardware, and software, was tested, a design relationships was further cemented, and a pencil case was born.
Attending WMC Fest?
Stop by our booth for a Jolby & Friends pencil case and the latest details about the tools and services in Creative Cloud.
And don’t miss out on Josh and Colby’s talk, Beyond A Collaboration, on Saturday August 16 at 4:15pm at the Cleveland Public Theatre.
More font choices, bulleted lists, and spam protection… On the heels of the first major phase of the native 64-bit rebuild of Adobe Muse in June, the product team has released a handful of top-requested design features and enhancements:
- Self-hosted web font support provides easy access to the fonts users already own
- Add bulleted and numbered lists with a single click, using the new Bullets, Bullet styles, and Glyphs panels
- reCAPTCHA spam protection keeps contact forms free of automated spam for sites published with any hosting provider
There’s also support for right-to-left languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic. To see a complete list of updates, with videos to learn how to get started, visit the Adobe Muse We’ve Been Busy page.
Already a Creative Cloud member? Download the latest Adobe Muse update from the Creative Cloud desktop app or directly from Adobe Muse.
Not a Creative Cloud member yet? Don’t miss out. Download the free 30-day Adobe Muse CC trial.
On June 18 2014, at a Creative Cloud launch event, Adobe introduced exciting new features to the applications in Creative Cloud, a newly reimagined Adobe.com, and hundreds of new Creative Cloud tutorials.
I want to share with you the new design for Adobe.com and its integration with Creative Cloud’s Learn, Help and Support content, which is now accessible from any of the product pages, or from the Learn and Support landing page.
Hundreds of tutorials
A big focus of this redesign was to make it much easier for everyone to find and access learn content. Another important focus was to provide richer content. The larger variety of learn content now includes single video overviews, multi-video step-by-step processes and longer project-based articles.
As much as possible, the Creative Cloud Learn team worked to provide content aimed at encouraging Creative Cloud members to get their hands on the products and try the new features and workflows themselves; the ability to download project files makes it easy to jump in quickly and start building solutions of your own.
From the home page
The menu sandwich icon appears on every page of Adobe.com and provides links to all of the Creative Cloud products as well as Learn & Support.
All product home pages can be accessed from the main page by clicking on the icon for any of the featured products or the All Products button. Learning opportunities are widely integrated throughout Adobe.com and some, such as the updated Live Design feature for Adobe Dreamweaver CC, have a feature preview that can be viewed from the main product page.
Anywhere you see a See How It Works link, you can click it to get a new or updated tutorial to begin working with that feature. The See How It Works link on the Dreamweaver CC product page marquee image takes you to an in-depth, hands-on tutorial from which you can download the project files and begin working with the new feature.
Scrolling down from the marquee image reveals links to the next four new/popular product features from the current release and access to corresponding tutorials. Below each image is a See How It Works link.
From the product pages
Click Learn and Support from any of the pages on Adobe.com. Dig deeper by going to the Learn and Support landing page to get access to all of the Learning, help and support content for the Creative Cloud products.
Content tiles across the top provide access to the primary learning content for each of the learn categories as well as direct access to that product’s online help. Click the Show All tutorials link to reveal the navigation section to access all of the learn tutorials and click Hide All Tutorials to save space.
A variety of Learn content types
Creative Cloud Learn content now comes in a wider variety of content types:
We’ve added a lot more in the way of project-based videos with downloadable project files so members can try the steps on their own. For example, the tutorials for Dreamweaver’s new and updated Live View, CSS Designer, Element Quick View, Modern Platform Support, Integration with Edge Animate, all now have project-based tutorials with project files. (Downloadable project files are accessible by clicking the Get Files button in the What do I need? section at the top of the tutorial.)
Single-video tutorials, such as What Is Dreamweaver, demonstrate specific concepts or features. Just click the Play button directly in the marquee image.
Multiple-video tutorials, such as How to Make and Style A Web Page in Dreamweaver, break a project down into logical steps. Many of these have project files that you can download and follow along with the presenter.
Learn content is also available within the products themselves. Each product has an in-app feature tour and new feature videos—available from the Welcome screen and Help menus. In-app feature tours provide an animated overview of the new features along with videos introducing the new features and how they work.
Project Hello in Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Muse CC
Whether it’s something you like or some way we can improve our Learn content, we want to know… Each product tutorial has a feedback link at the bottom. Let us know what you think.
I’m very excited about the new Learn offering available in conjunction with the Creative Cloud 2014 launch: Not only do the designs of the marquee images and tutorial assets, by our talented design team, really show the potential of what can be done with the Creative Cloud products but the content is richer than ever before, and the variety of tutorials will definitely appeal to a range of learning styles.
Branding, design, and interactive firm Oestreicher+Wagner develops and delivers high-impact content using Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.
Oestreicher+Wagner (OE+W) has been an icon in the design, prepress, and production industries in Germany for more than 80 years. With approximately 100 employees, OE+W is a renowned media powerhouse serving long-time customers worldwide in industries ranging from automotive to food and fashion.
Several years ago the firm expanded beyond its expertise in prepress and published print pieces to offer clients more interactive services. The goal was to enable OE+W clients to engage their customers through multimedia experiences delivered via traditional websites, mobile sites, and other channels.
Today, the company’s services span the breadth of media production, with three photo studios, professional retouching and composition, desktop publishing and layout, and digital printing. In addition, the firm’s interactive division handles all things interactive; collaborating closely with clients to design and develop websites and mobile apps. Custom content management solutions and e-commerce applications round out OE+W’s interactive portfolio offerings.
Commitment to compelling, high-quality, content
OE+W has always been on the cutting-edge of design and technology, embracing the tools that enable them to provide clients with impactful content, and targeted audiences with memorable experiences. Integral to OE+W’s work over the years has been the use of Adobe creative software. “We began using Adobe Photoshop and other Adobe creative tools years ago,” says Roland Fellner, head of IT and systems at OE+W. “Even now much of our work relies on photo retouching and publishing, so Adobe software has always been vital to our success.”
As a long-time Adobe customer, OE+W’s IT and creative teams were instantly intrigued when they heard about Adobe Creative Cloud, especially after learning more about how membership would give staff faster access to full versions of popular Adobe applications.
Easy management, accelerated access
The firm originally joined Adobe Creative Cloud, and explored the tools, through individual memberships. But, with the help and advice from reseller Syspro, they quickly took advantage of Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. The centralized Admin Console in Creative Cloud for teams reduces IT overhead for OE+W and accelerates the deployment of software by providing a single view into license management. Equally important, Creative Cloud for teams helps the company’s finance managers more easily predict spending. “For our team, upgrading to an Creative Cloud for teams allowed us to scale as needed. We can add or change user licenses easily, versus having individual memberships, which helped support our business,” says Fellner.
Creative Cloud for teams enables OE+W to quickly address changing client and team requirements with the flexibility to easily reassign licenses without having to deactivate a license at an individual workstation. “Our move to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams is helping us realize time savings of up to 40% on software deployment and license management,” explains Fellner. “With built-in tools like Creative Cloud Packager, we can instantly distribute software based on users’ needs, whether prepress, photo retouching, or other design uses.”
An expanded toolset at the click of a button
OE+W has expanded the number of seats of Creative Cloud for teams, and now has the flexibility to equip and scale its computer-generated imagery (CGI) unit with the video and effects software needed to manage CGI, post-production, video, and other activities.
For many at OE+W, rapid success with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams wasn’t surprising given previous positive experiences with Adobe. “Adobe software is woven into the fabric of our company,” Fellner says. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives us the assurance that all our departments can collaborate easily using the latest versions of Adobe software and take advantage of the newest features to experiment creatively.”
Multiple departments within the company use Adobe creative software to accomplish their daily tasks. For example, OE+W needs the latest version of Adobe Photoshop CC to support 64-bit performance enhancements that enable teams to better manage large files, from 500MB to 6GB. For the firm’s retouching professionals who work with many layers to create new photos the results are noteworthy; OE+W clients appreciate the photos that present their products in the best light.
Other groups at OE+W rely regularly on Adobe InDesign CC to design brochures and catalogs for clients. The high-resolution materials can be converted quickly to PDF for streamlined delivery. At the same time, Adobe Illustrator CC is used by creative teams to create icons and symbols that precisely convey the nuances of each client’s brand.
OE+W has adopted Adobe Edge Reflow CC to mock-up initial screens of websites for client review and have started experimenting with Adobe Edge Animate CC. The company has also begun creating short films for websites and is exploring the possibility of integrating video into interactive brochures for clients. “With Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, we’re finding new uses for Adobe software,” says Fellner. “Access to more software is encouraging us to explore options for expanding services, with teams looking closely at tools such as Adobe After Effects CC and Adobe Premiere Pro CC for video production.”
Additionally, the company has started using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Enterprise Edition to transform traditional layouts into interactive media, that include video and other elements, for greater reach and impact.
“Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives us the ability to grow creatively across departments and expand our business,” says Thomas Eusterholz, managing director at OE+W. “We benefit from having access to the latest features in software we’ve used for years, as well as having the flexibility to explore applications to take our business in new directions.”
Read the Oestreicher+Wagner case study.
When the Creative Cloud Learn team decided to create in-app tutorial content for Creative Cloud members (a highly visual audience with equally high expectations), it knew that the accompanying imagery would have to be as compelling as the instruction.
The team turned toward its long-standing relationships with the designers, illustrators and artists who use Creative Cloud and asked a group of them to illustratively-interpret a handful of the features in Adobe’s applications—content that would tell the story of what was being taught but that would also stand on its own. They were staggered by the results. This five-part series is a close-up look at the artists and their approach to crafting this conceptual art:
First up is Tad Carpenter, a Kansas City, Missouri-based illustrator and designer who runs design and branding studio Tad Carpenter Creative.
Tell us a bit about your studio and what you love most about being in a creative profession.
I’ve been working professionally as a designer for ten years and opened the studio five years ago—with a focus on creating brand identities, packaging and illustrative-based design. We bring messages to life through smart, strong and honest work for a wide range of clients. What I love most about what we do: Our work is our play, and our play is our work.
Illustration often involves the conceptual interpretation of a concrete idea (a story, a product, an event); was it any different creating art to define a feature in an application?
No. I actually approached this project very much as an editorial-based job. I was given several feature topics and my job was to interpret them, in literal or abstract ways, in design form. It was a blast. Some of our concepts I think are easier to piece together with the topic and others take some thought…but that’s what made this project so fun.
Do you remember the art direction you received from the Learn team? Was it hands-off? Or hands-on?
Very hands off. They showed great trust in my ideas and overall concepts. They of course had input and ideas but ultimately they allowed me to paint the picture that supported their product.
Were you aware of the Creative Cloud Learn content before starting this project?
I’m embarrassed to say I wasn’t. But since working on it I’ve watched and read a lot of content in the Learn section. Adobe’s tools are so deep and keeping up with upgrades and additions can be difficult but Adobe’s made it easier than ever to learn new tricks and pick-up on things you’ve never used before.
Of the illustrations you created, which is your favorite? Why?
That’s a hard choice but I have to say the image for Master Pages in Adobe Muse. When I think about developing interactive content and how best to illustrate that, it starts to hurt my head: Designing a website entails creating an entirely new experience for someone, with the involvement of a lot of moving parts, structures, and collaborators all working toward one common goal. Looking at it that way, Adobe Muse starts to sound a little like a musical conductor… leading a group that’s working together to create one beautiful experience, but not just musicians create this experience… shapes, colors, abstract thought, ideas, are what it takes to build and make an interactive experience. It’s what designers and developers do everyday.
Of the topics you created illustrations for, which was the most problematic? How did you solve it?
For sure the Hyperlinks in Adobe Muse was the most difficult. My approach was to show a whimsical vehicle that takes people where they need to go. It’s a very literal approach to what a link actually does but the vehicle has lots of wires and buttons and a space-age look—as if it were traveling through tubes and wires inside a device.
Where does your creative process begin? On paper? Or screen?
Every single project I work on starts out with pencil and paper. I start by creating a bunch of thumbnails. I move quickly with a bunch of scenarios for the illustration. I don’t worry about accuracy, or anything else for that matter, and focus purely on concept and idea generation. I then pick out a couple I think are the most successful and refine them as sketches.
Technically speaking I scan in my final pencil sketch and use that as a guide by placing it on a layer and using it as a guide to start creating my final piece. I include a lot of hand-painting textures, lines and splatters but make those separately based on the project and bring them into Illustrator CC.
In one word describe how you feel when staring at that blank canvas.
Do you feel like your art could change how people perceive the features in Creative Cloud and/or aid their interpretation of how to use them?
Ultimately what I hope is people see my interpretation of each CC feature and it inspires them to dig deeper into the content—either because they responded to my piece, hated my piece, or were just interested in the content. Regardless I hope my illustration intrigues users enough to keep learning about the features in Creative Cloud.
Did the Learn content entice you to try applications you’d never used before?
Absolutely. After watching and reading content in the Learn section I immediately began exploring and playing with applications I’d used before and others for the first time.
Spoiler Alert: Like reading the last page of a book, hearing how a movie ends, or learning the answer to a hard-to-solve puzzle… Tad was gracious enough to offer insight into the concepts behind his art:
New Document in Illustrator CC: I landed where I did because I like the concept that what we create takes over our worlds. I know when I start a new project it’s all I can think about. All the sketches, paint textures, and notes from meetings literally cover my desk. When we create a new file in Illustrator CC it takes over our world, seeping out of us and into the software. We are what we make.
Auto-trace and Resolution in Illustrator CC: When I was given this topic I immediately liked the idea of emphasizing the heightened resolution Illustrator CC now offers in auto-tracing. I very rarely use auto-trace but I do understand its purpose and how important resolution is to the people who use it. I wanted to show this in a simple manner. Showing how everything else might have looked one way but when using what Adobe now offers it can look so much better and different.
Arrowheads in Illustrator CC: Arrowheads are often forgotten in the large amount of tools Illustrator CC offers. Simple in nature they’re often used as accents. But arrowheads, and simple, strong, support shapes like them, can really bring creations to life. When I first started pencil sketching ideas, I really liked the idea of creating an image made entirely of arrowheads—not as a support players but as the stars. I love the mid-century feel a lot of the arrowhead shapes naturally have and wanted to play this idea up more in my color choices and overall layout. I drew some of the arrowheads but many of them are provided in Illustrator CC.
Earlier this summer Apple announced that it’s working on the next release of OS X, code-named “Yosemite.” Apple is currently sharing access to the pre-release builds via a Beta program for developers, and may expand access to the beta in the future.
We wanted to share some guidance for anyone considering installing and using Creative Cloud desktop applications on pre-release versions of Yosemite:
We’re working hard to ensure that our Creative Cloud desktop applications work great on the next version of OS X. However, currently, running Creative Cloud desktop applications on the pre-release versions of Yosemite is not supported. Applications may install and run, but you may experience unexpected errors and issues. If you decide to install and run apps such as Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC on the Yosemite OS, we recommend that you backup your work, and also that you not use the apps for production work just yet.
You can find more information here.
Mobile application marketing firm Hiiir Inc. adopts Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.
Founded in 2008, Hiiir Inc. is the first marketing company in Taiwan to provide integrated social media, Internet, and mobile marketing. Its marketing tool, Timely, is enjoyed by more than 3.8 million members and generates 15 million page views daily. Over the past few years, Hiiir has become Taiwan’s largest professional mobile application marketing company, serving clients like Coca-Cola, Sushi Express, and convenience store chain Family Mart.
Based on evolving market trends and user behaviors, Hiiir began to strategize and look for the next potential product with significant profit. With that, General Manager John Yeh invested marketing and technical resources to help enterprise clients emphasize emerging mobile tools and cloud development. The company also released a mobile business app, as well as a cuisine and travel app featuring a location-based service. These products have attracted attention from international enterprises and garnered an additional US$3.33 million investment from FetNet, one of the top three telecom companies in Taiwan.
Integrated applications help bring design to the extreme
Recently, Hiiir adopted Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to give employees anytime, anywhere access to the latest design tools, while also allowing them more time for the creativity and brainstorming that result in products that exceed customer expectations. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams saves Hiiir on software purchasing costs and simplifies the deployment process significantly and innovations in Adobe Creative Cloud software have inspired Hiiir to offer better cloud services for their customers in the future. According to a 2013 survey announced by Taiwan Network Information Center, 77.09% of the Taiwan population use the Internet, which translates to opportunities for many web design companies.
Hiiir had been a loyal user of Adobe Creative Suite software for years. “At Hiiir, Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Edge Animate, and Illustrator are widely used for web and mobile app design. Multiple applications are required when designing artwork, which influences the end results, and Adobe Creative Cloud for teams significantly improves integration among the applications and maximizes their effectiveness,” said Neil Lee, chief technology officer, Hiiir.
Creative Cloud for teams integrates various desktop applications, including Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and Dreamweaver CC. Users can synchronize files, share design concepts with customers and colleagues, and securely access files anywhere from cloud storage via mobile devices. Additionally, Creative Cloud for teams enables web design teams to establish and publish websites, create mobile applications, design iPad publications, and produce responsive content.
Streamlining IT management and increasing efficiency
Hiiir’s design, product, and marketing departments, as well as its front-end engineers, all use Adobe creative software and tools. In the past, information technicians had to spend more than 1 hour per user to complete desktop application installations for up to 70 employees; even with 3 or 4 dedicated technicians, the efforts sometimes required overtime to finish setting-upapplications. This increased operational costs and impacted team efficiency.
“With business growth, Hiiir headcount has grown significantly, adding to 250 employees and creating heavy burdens for information technicians. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams saves human resources and time,” said Lee. “With the centralized procurement and management platform, information technicians can focus on Creative Cloud for teams application deployment and finish each installation in less than ten minutes. The installation for 8 to 10 staff can be done in under 40 minutes. With the increased efficiency, we need just one information technician to meet the demands of the whole company.”
Adobe Creative Cloud for teams integrates desktop applications and the latest updates providing all the required business features and services for collaboration. The Adobe Creative Cloud Packager centralizes and streamlines the software management and deployment process and helps information technicians select specific applications for groups or individuals—all easily done through an intuitive interface.
The most noteworthy advantage of adopting Adobe Creative Cloud for teams is the boost to work efficiency. “After creating accounts online, staff can install the latest version of applications themselves after login,” says Lee. “This significantly reduces installation time and effectively increases work efficiency; we keep improving the quality of our apps for customers by showcasing our unlimited creativity and best interface designs to the users.”
Maximizing innovation and creativity
Hiiir has transformed from an Internet to a mobile application company. With its design requirements, Hiiir relies heavily on Adobe creative software. “Adobe applications are mainly used for web design, mobile app interface design, and interactive Flash websites,” Lee said, “and as the company scales up, we expect our reliance on Adobe software to increase.”
“Hiiir is an innovative company, and we definitely want to choose the latest and best tools,” said Yeh. “With Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, we don’t need to worry about application updates. By using it, we’ve simplified the working process and made procurement planning and budget management easier as we grow. When all departments fully use the latest creative and design solutions from Adobe, it generates more profits for Hiiir.”
Adobe Creative Cloud for teams enables creativity and collaboration. Each staff member at Hiir is assigned 100GB of cloud storage. Team members can be more efficient in editing, collecting feedback, and collaborating in the cloud. Design teams at Hiiir can develop and create for various devices without limitations. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams not only reduces operational costs, but also greatly increases work efficiency for high-quality product design.
Read the Hiiir Inc. case study.
An interview with Premiere Pro CC product manager Al Mooney.
Al Mooney, senior product manager for Premiere Pro CC, has a long history in digital video editing and has played his part in the evolution of the NLE. Mooney grew up in the Southwest of England and studied music and sound recording at the University of Surrey. Starting out as a broadcast engineer, he went on to work for Digidesign (part of Avid Technology) and then Apple in the UK in sales and business development work. Mooney has been product manager of Premiere Pro since 2010.
With the launch of the 2014 versions of the Creative Cloud applications, I sat down with Al to talk about video editing and the past, present, and future of Premiere Pro CC.
How did you get into the world of film and broadcast production?
The original plan was to be an audio engineer in music. I studied audio engineering and, as part of my degree, worked a year for a German broadcaster as a sound designer. While there, it became pretty obvious that working in recording studios wasn’t for me—in part because I quite like things like daylight and eating. So when I finished my studies I went to work as a music product specialist at Digidesign. My interests evolved from there: I first got excited about audio for pictures, and then pictures themselves.
You’ve been the Premiere Pro product manager since CS 5.5. What were your objectives for the application when you were overseeing that release?
It was pretty clear to me—and I don’t think I was alone in this—that we had a great engine but a pretty ugly car. I wanted to make driving Premiere Pro delightful; I wanted to make people swoon when they looked at it.
Where are we today in the evolution of the NLE?
In terms of professionals, there are a number of big themes we’re seeing. More and more editors need to work with higher-resolution footage, most notably 4K but sometimes higher than that. Editors expect to be able to sit in front of their NLE and cut 4K, or even 5K, just like they do with SD or HD. And they should be able to do that! Making it work should be our problem, not theirs. Whenever an editor has to think about the technology, rather than the creative task, I think we’ve failed.
Another interesting theme is color, which has become such an important part of the entire workflow, and no longer something that people just think about at the end. Editors expect to be able to work creatively with color from the very beginning of the process.
Aside from the needs of established professionals, there’s also a whole new group of people becoming creative with video who aren’t necessarily using NLE software to do it. I think the way people express themselves with software like Vine and Instagram is fascinating. So while I think there will always be a place for high-end, deep video editing apps, we’re seeing exciting changes in the way people use video in general.
Where do you see the 2014 release of Premiere Pro CC in terms of that bigger picture?
We’ve been focusing on higher resolution workflows for a very long time, and we make improvements every release. Alongside new format support, we’re always working on providing our customers with the best performance possible. Like I said, editors expect to be able to cut 4K just like they can HD, and the addition of the GPU debayer for RED media enables editors to cut RED incredibly fluidly.
In terms of color, we also made big improvements to Direct Link, which allows editors to dip into a powerful grading application at any point during the edit, without relinking or exporting anything. You can just open the project in SpeedGrade CC and work with it. I’m really proud of what we did with that workflow.
There’s been a lot of talk about the tighter integration with After Effects CC with new features like Live Text templates and Masking and Tracking. Why was this important?
We care a great deal about listening to and engaging with editors, and we heard loud and clear that there are certain effects-related tasks that editors often need to do many times a day. The Dynamic Link workflow between After Effects CC and Premiere Pro CC is extremely powerful but for things you need to do often and quickly it can be too much effort to go back and forth between applications. It wastes time and takes you out of the “editing mindset.” Also not every editor knows their way around After Effects CC. Editing text in AE comps is something many editors wanted to be able to do in the NLE. And it’s the same with masking and tracking—we heard that blurring of faces and license plates was hugely important, so that’s what we focused on.
I’m hugely proud of the way our engineers built Masking and Tracking into Premiere Pro CC. While we knew that blurring was crucial, our teams put the new functionality at the core of our effects engine so that the feature is capable of so much more than just blurring things out.
Are there any other features in the 2014 release that you are excited about?
I think the ability to have multiple Media Browser panels might be one of the best sleeper features. You can have as many as you need, browsing to your media directories, or, perhaps even more usefully, browsing to different projects. It’s a bit like having the Project Panel of another project open in a Media Browser, and as such you start to see a pretty powerful multiple project workflow. We also added Favorites to the Media Browser which I think a lot of people will find very helpful.
What are some of the other highlights for you in the most recent release of the Adobe video applications?
I mentioned improved Direct Link and I think that’s a huge feature for editors. I want them to be really comfortable in SpeedGrade CC and it’s really getting to a stage where SpeedGrade feels like an extension of Premiere Pro. Also I’d be crazy not to point out the spill suppressor technology in After Effects CC, which has caused many jaws to hit the floor during demos.
From a product development point of view, what do you think of Creative Cloud so far?
It’s so much fun, to be honest! This is really about the evolution of software itself. Changes come so fast these days and Creative Cloud gives us a framework to continually develop the tools, rather than being limited to a rigid twelve- or eighteen-month schedule. Now we can release features when they’re ready—and when our users need them.
How do you feel the Creative Cloud model has worked for users?
Professional users need tools that keep up with their world. In a fast moving industry, the Creative Cloud model has been an ideal fit for Premiere Pro—well all our video apps, really. Creative Cloud brings us much closer to our customers and product development is closely tied to user feedback. It’s much more of a partnership now with a lot more ongoing contact than we used to have.
Overall Creative Cloud membership is growing faster than we expected. Video pros in particular have been upgrading to Creative Cloud at an incredible rate. I’m really proud of that.
You’ve had plenty of personal experience with competing NLEs. Why should users consider switching to Premiere Pro CC now?
There are so many reasons! Our industry-leading native format support. Our amazing integration with other Adobe apps like Photoshop CC, After Effects CC, SpeedGrade CC. Our rich, diverse third-party ecosystem. Our speed of innovation. My cat. The list goes on!
What do you love most about your work now?
I love how engaged we are with the community. I adore speaking at user group events, showing off what we’ve been working on and gathering feedback from editors. I also have to call out the amazing team I work with—the amount of skill and knowledge in the Premiere Pro team is mind boggling. I’m so lucky to be part of this group of people.
Where do you hope to take Premiere Pro CC in the future?
To infinity and beyond! I want this product to be synonymous with video production. I’m jealous that Photoshop has become a verb—I want people to say, “I Premiere Pro’d it!”
Get a free trial of Premiere Pro CC