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
As users update their Adobe Creative Cloud apps with the 2014 release they’ll be greeted with more than just new features… the splash screens for their favorite apps are also new and feature inspiring artwork from some talented designers. For anyone who hasn’t updated yet (or even for those who have) here’s a preview of a few of the new screens, along with the the inside scoop from the artists who created them:
Kylli Sparre—Adobe Photoshop CC
A self-taught designer, Kylli Sparre was attracted to Adobe Photoshop because of the endless options it gave her. According to Sparre, who describes her style as dreamlike, symbolic, and sometimes surreal, the limitlessness of image-making helped to open up her creativity. The image featured on the Adobe Photoshop CC splash screen is one of Sparre’s personal projects. She knew she wanted to combine the photo of the woman with the location shot, but none of the things she tried worked until she noticed an interesting connection between the two images. After adjusting the angle she was able to emphasize the connection with extraordinary results.
Geso/Pablo IA—Adobe After Effects CC
With a style that straddles art and design, Pablo Iglesias enjoys exploring all kinds of visual disciplines, most recently focusing on more live and video art that combines a range of creative disciplines. For the Adobe After Effects CC splash screen, he first created some graphic elements in Photoshop—a kind of digital illustration recreating a transparent prism with iridescent colors. Next, he generated some video loops with the image in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, using different movements and mirror effects. He then played the loops in a program he uses for live video performance, applied effects such as zoom, RGB delays, and 3D deformations, and captured it all with Syphon. The last step was to make the final edit and composition in Adobe Premiere Pro. The After Effects CC splash screen is one of the frames he captured from the final video.
Črtomir Just—Adobe Muse CC
The design for the Adobe Muse CC splash screen was the result of an experiment. Artist Črtomir Just typically begins all projects by sketching, but moves quickly into the digital realm, working with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign CC. For this project, he was trying out some new things on his own time, working with abstract 3D shapes that started to remind him of real-world animals. He developed the idea into a series of abstract yet realistic forms.
Nick Taylor—Adobe Flash Professional CC
Nick Taylor’s generative projects tend to follow a similar pattern. He starts by creating several short snippets of code, and when the code produces an output he likes, he’ll flesh it out into a larger program. He often imports vectors from Illustrator or raster images from Photoshop and manipulates them with code. He’ll tweak parameters to adjust color, scale, and composition, save unique PDF files, and take those he likes back into Illustrator or Photoshop for additional adjustments.
The Adobe Flash Professional CC splash screen is one of a number of images spawned from a single program. The program began as a very basic experiment involving a pair of individually-rotating vectors, with the second vector attached to the end of the first. It was inspired by the motion of a double pendulum. Taylor connected a number of these vector-pairs and introduced mouse tracking, allowing him to “draw” unique compositions onto the canvas. He finished the piece in Photoshop with texture overlays and color correction.
Holger Lippman—Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Audition CC
German artist Holger Lippman’s likes to incorporate rhythm, repetition, and iteration into his projects and says that his artwork is heavily influenced by electronic music. His work process starts with simple code that grows over weeks, and months, even years. The piece of art that appears on the Adobe Audition CC splash screen was based on the simple Peter De Jong map equations: x’ = sin(a * y) – cos(b * x) and y’ = sin(c * x) – cos(d * y)
The artwork chosen for the Adobe Premiere Pro CC splash screen was created using Adobe Flash Professional and programming. Lippman used an iteration algorithm consisting of a three-sided pseudo cube within an X Y matrix. The algorithm is divided down by two on six to eight layers, with randomness in number, size, color, and on/off state. Each repetition of the process results in one iteration, which is used as the starting point for the next iteration. He also coded a slight force to cluster the cubes to create little cloud gatherings.
Patrick Seymour—Adobe Illustrator CC
When Patrick Seymour was four-years-old, his mother predicted that he would be an illustrator. Today, with a degree in graphic design, he primarily works on personal projects and likes drawing the same thing many times using different styles. He typically begins with a picture or hand drawing and traces his lines over it. The illustration selected for the Adobe Illustrator CC splash screen was created using this line style. Seymour drew five or six gorillas and three or four lions. The illustration Adobe selected came from experimenting with different colors rather than using his typical black and white style.
The Creative Cloud Splash Screen collection on Behance.
Adobe InDesign CC’s Fixed Layout EPUB Format
While we’re often overly focused on the technology, tools and formats, the truth is that our customers tell us they really want to create something beautiful, something compelling, something that simply tells a great story and then they want to get it into the hands of their customers (or readers, or maybe just their moms). Providing our customers with the right kinds of choices for how they publish that content seems to be just as important, if not more so, than how they create it.
That’s why I’m particularly excited about the new Fixed Layout EPUB export capability that we announced in the 2014 version of Adobe InDesign CC. This new capability provides one more publishing choice for our customers: If you want to create a beautiful fixed-layout digital book to sell or give away via digital book stores, like the iBook store, then this is the feature for you.
If you’ve been making e-books for a while, then you’re probably familiar with the EPUB format. It’s an acronym for “electronic publication” and it’s the most widely supported e-book format. Developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum, it makes it possible for any device to change the format of any reflowable EPUB book. (There’s also a fixed-layout EPUB where the format does not change from device to device and the original design of the book or document is preserved.)
Lock-down your design
InDesign CC has provided the capability to create reflowable EPUBs from InDesign documents since 2007; reflowable EPUBs are great for text heavy documents like novels (like the one you read on your mobile device last time you were on vacation). However, as soon as you want to create a “beautiful design” for a coffee table book, a travel guide, a comic book, or a cook book, the reflowable nature of the EPUB simply doesn’t allow your design to successfully translate. With InDesign CC’s new fixed layout capability, you can truly “lock-down” your beautiful design and make sure that your book looks as beautiful on the device as it did in your layout. No author likes seeing their carefully chosen images moved around, or their artfully chosen layout changed, at the whim of an e-reader. Now those disappointing moments can be gone for good and the appearance of your document will be as you intended.
I’m obviously biased but, really, you should try it. There’s something magical about taking a beautiful design and creating a version that will stay beautiful and true to your original design when viewed on a device. Once you’ve created the digital document, it’s just a short step to take it to one of the many digital bookstores.
A better way
I can hear you say, “But I don’t make books.” Well, we built this new capability with two kinds of customers in mind: The first are professional book authors and publishers who are very clear that this is the kind of capability they want, if not need, right now; the second, and in my mind just as interesting, are casual book creators.
A few weeks ago, I attended a large well-established conference for book publishers. While it’s always fun to represent Adobe, it’s sometimes even more fun to talk to people “incognito.” As I wandered around the show floor, full of publishers of every kind, I came across a small, children’s book publisher. As well as proudly displaying his hard copy books, he had also mounted a tablet device onto a podium to showcase the EPUB versions of his books. I asked how many of his books were available as the digital version. “Some,” he said. “But ultimately all our books will be available and in fact need to be available as Fixed Layout EPUBs.” I asked him how he made these books today, and he visibly deflated right in front of me. He proceeded to tell me a sad story of how he had to find and hire a “coder” to take an InDesign document and convert it into a Fixed Layout EPUB. It was time consuming, it was costly and, in his words, “there has to be a better way.” Eventually I felt I had to explain who I was and why I was asking these questions. He said “So can you just give me a Fixed Layout Export from InDesign?” (Well, yes. But I couldn’t tell him as we hadn’t yet announced the new feature.)
We’ve obviously spoken with a lot of book publishers and authors, and they’re very excited. In fact they seem VERY excited. InDesign CC gives them a simple way to take their existing beautifully-designed content, use their existing workflows, and existing skills to create something wonderful that they can publish in digital book stores or serve up in their readers’ browsers.
So what about the second group I mentioned? The casual book creators? This is the group that, if I’m honest, has surprised me the most with their excitement around this new capability. As I’ve talked to more and more people, I’ve discovered that the world is full of would-be book publishers who all have stories to tell. There are millions of people who have created something beautiful in InDesign, or who know someone who can create something beautiful for them in InDesign CC. Why shouldn’t they be able to create a digital book?
Export to the format of your choice
When I talk about digital books to either professional or casual book creators I’m often asked one important question: “How is this capability different from making a PDF or using the Adobe DPS (Digital Publishing Suite) format?” This answer is straightforward and mostly comes down to how you want to distribute your content and whether you want to give the content away or sell it.
If you want to distribute your digital document as an application, free or paid, then the DPS solution will give you that capability (along with analytics, and connections to social). If you want to create a digital book to sell or give away via one of the digital book stores, then EPUB is almost certainly the format of choice. If you want to create a digital document, typically one that you want to give away, that can be read on most digital devices, and you want more flexibility about how you get it onto the device, then PDF or one of the other publishing choices may well be your answer. The good news: If you use InDesign CC, you’re going to be able to export to any of these formats.
Perhaps the thing I want you to remember after reading this, is not so much that InDesign CC has a great new Fixed Layout export capability, but that this new capability represents the fact that Adobe is committed to offering designers and publishers a choice about how and where they publish. Too much choice is often confusing, but too little choice… is worse.