Over the last few weeks we’ve been slowly revealing the tiles of our Creative Cloud Mosaic. This week, at the #CCNext launch, we unveiled the completed piece; it’s now highlighted both on Behance and on a number of Adobe’s Facebook pages.
We’re really happy with the result and hope you love it as much as we do. We love collaborating with artists in different disciplines from around the world and seeing what they can do when given a challenge.
We’ve done a number of interpretations of our brand over the past several years—beginning with the “Adobe &” project, and several Adobe Remix projects—and the CC Mosaic is another milestone of the type of work we want to do with our creative community as we continue forward.
It’s important to us that the community feels they have co-ownership of the Adobe brand. Working on collaborative projects like this is the perfect way to show off the promise of the Creative Cloud—it allows us to celebrate individual creativity and the infinite possibilities of the creative disciplines.
Want to get involved in one of our future projects? Connect with us on Behance and drop us a note.
Adobe Muse CC has come a long way in a short amount of time. Introduced just two years ago, it’s now a native app and a powerful member of Creative Cloud. Check out the features that became available to Creative Cloud members on June 18.
Many graphic designers have the opportunity to design for the web, but they may not have had the time or the desire to learn how to code. Adobe Muse CC enables designers to create sites using rich imagery, engaging interactivity (slideshows and scroll effects), and hundreds of web fonts served by Adobe Typekit. Adobe Muse CC also makes short work of creating mobile versions of websites, collecting customer data using contact forms, and connecting sites to social media like Facebook and Twitter. Sites published with Adobe Muse also meet the latest web standards—they load quickly, function across platforms and popular web browsers, and are search engine optimized.
- Adobe Muse is now a native app, like Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and InDesign CC, and requires 64-bit hardware, Windows 7+ or Mac OS 10.7+ to access the latest update. Hear from Adobe Muse partner Steve Harris of Muse-Themes about what the native build means for you.
- Adobe Muse now supports serial number installs, and no longer requires an Adobe ID or named user, ideal for Enterprise and Education deployments.
- Creative Cloud Add-ons mean getting a jumpstart on site designs with downloadable starter files, new widgets, and pre-designed elements—buttons and menus—directly from the Library panel. Get started.
- For the 2014 release of Creative Cloud, Adobe Muse was rebuilt to provide a design experience even more similar to that of InDesign and Illustrator; it takes advantage of the latest web browser updates, operating system updates such as Mavericks OS X, plus new hardware like high-resolution Retina displays.
- Adobe Muse will now deliver premium learning content in-app from Adobe and some of the world’s best trainers, with fresh tutorials delivered regularly.
- The Adobe Muse CC workspace can be customized with a dark or light interface, undocked panels, side-by-side windows and more. Learn how.
- Say goodbye to spending time updating live websites. In-browser Editing now works with multiple hosting providers. Get the details.
Get the details about what’s new in this release.
Already a Creative Cloud member? This update is available now.
Not a Creative Cloud member yet? Don’t miss out; download the free 30-day Muse CC trial.
We’ve been hard at work the last two years to address four key areas of the Creative Cloud you told us to focus on: performance boosts, workflow efficiencies, support for new hardware and standards, and of course innovative features, which we call the Adobe “magic.” If you’ve been hanging on to your old CS disks, waiting for the right time to join the Creative Cloud community, that moment is here. The latest version—available today—is packed with new, truly inventive features that will make it easier to do your work from anywhere, help you do it faster, and let you bring all of those great creative ideas in your imagination, to life.
Read on for the highlights list of what’s new in Creative Cloud, and click through to the product blogs and videos to get a deep dive directly from the teams.
Major updates across our desktop apps
- Photoshop CC now has Blur Gallery motion effects for creating a sense of motion, and the recently introduced Perspective Warp for fluidly adjusting the perspective of a specific part of an image without affecting the surrounding area. Focus Mask (did you see the sneak?) makes portrait shots with shallow depth of field stand out, and new Content-Aware capabilities make one of the most popular features even better. We’ve also added more camera support to Lightroom (version 5.5) as well as a new Lightroom mobile app for iPhone. The Photoshop and Lightroom blogs have the full scoop.
- The Adobe Illustrator blog has the rundown on what’s new in Illustrator CC, such as Live Shapes to quickly and non-destructively transform rectangles into complex forms and then return to the original rectangle with just a few clicks.
- With InDesign CC layout artists can now move rows and columns around in tables by simply selecting, dragging and dropping, which will be a big time saver. The new EPUB Fixed Layout means you can create digital books effortlessly.
- The team is rebuilding Adobe Muse CC as a native 64-bit application and it now includes HiDPI display support for sharper-looking images, objects, and text.
- Originally previewed at the NAB show in April, new features in our video apps include Live Text Templates, Masking and Tracking plus new integrations that leverage the power of Adobe After Effects CC inside Adobe Premiere Pro CC. It’s better, faster, stronger. Read more on our Pro Video blog.
- Dreamweaver CC lets you see your work come to life. You can now view your markup in an interactive tree using the new Element Quick View, to quickly navigate, and modify the HTML structure of pages. The Dreamweaver CC blog has all the details.
And there’s so much more so check out all of the new features over on Adobe.com.
Creative Cloud connected mobile apps and new hardware—because our world is mobile.
An entirely new family of connected mobile apps and the hardware (yes, Adobe is releasing hardware) could be the things we all look back on in two years and say, “OK that really changed how I do my work.” These are incredibly powerful apps that start to bring the functionality you get from desktop apps, to mobile. Pros will want to use them, but they’re easy enough that anyone can use them. Get these apps now—they are all free:
- Adobe Sketch, a social sketching iPad app for free-form drawing.
- Adobe Line, the world’s first iPad app for precision drawing and drafting.
- Adobe Photoshop Mix brings the powerful creative imaging tools only found in Photoshop right to the iPad, for the first time. The focus of this release is to be task oriented, so we started with the two most-used features: precise compositing and masking. PS Mix also includes Upright, Content Aware Fill and Camera Shake Reduction—and integrates back to Photoshop CC on the desktop.
- Adobe Lightroom mobile for iPhone, extending Lightroom right to your iPhone.
The Creative Cloud connected mobile apps complement and enhance the new creative hardware that’s also available now. Adobe Ink (formerly Project Mighty) is a new digital pen that connects to the Creative Cloud, giving users access to their creative assets—drawings, photos, colors and more—all at the tip of the pen. And Adobe Slide (formerly Project Napoleon) is a new digital ruler to create precise sketches and lines. As we talked about previously, these new pieces of hardware “make digital creativity both more accessible and more natural by combining the accuracy, expressiveness and immediacy of pen and paper with all the advantages of our digital products and the Creative Cloud.” Adobe Ink and Slide demonstrate how mobile is now a true partner in the creative workflow.
Creative Cloud services tie it all together so you can work wherever you are.
We all work on multiple devices. We move between desktop or laptop to phone and tablet. Now Creative Cloud is connected to iOS devices, so you can take it wherever you go; your creative identity isn’t just tied to your desk. All of the latest desktop apps, mobile apps and creative hardware are tightly integrated through Creative Cloud services. Simply put, you can now access and manage everything that makes up your creative profile—files, photos, colors, community and so much more—from wherever you are. Get the new Creative Cloud app for iPhone and iPad for full access on your mobile devices.
New offers for photographers, enterprises and education
- For all photographers—hobbyist, prosumer and professional—we’re introducing a new Creative Cloud Photography plan at just $9.99 per month.
- For our Education customers, we now have a device-based licensing plan for classrooms and labs so more than one person can access Creative Cloud on a single machine. The special student/teacher edition pricing also got a little sweeter, as the full Creative Cloud is now available to them at just $19.99/month for the first year.
- For our Enterprise customers, we’ve added file storage and collaboration to Creative Cloud, along with expanded options for deployment (named user vs. anonymous) and a new dashboard for managing users and entitlements.
There is so much that’s new in the 2014 release of Creative Cloud that you have to take a few minutes to click around, read about the new apps, and watch videos of the new features. Are you a paid member? All of it is available now for you. Have you been considering the move to Creative Cloud? The new versions of the desktop apps you use most have added hundreds of new features since CS6. There really is no better time to join the community.
This Ask a Video Pro was recorded February 6, 2014
What used to be done with chemicals and film in a lab can now be done digitally on a laptop. Today’s filmmakers need tools and techniques that allow them to shape their images with artistry and precision. Will Read’s first film project was spoiled by bad telecine work and even worse color grading. He vowed then and there to never again let someone else ruin his images. Today he’s in high demand as a can-do filmmaker with a reputation for delivering stunning image quality.
This presentation covers:
- Moving beyond online/offline to simplify your pipeline
- Best practices for organizing a video project
- Using Direct Link in an integrated editing/grading workflow
- An introduction to the SpeedGrade CC color tools
Watch the recorded session.
About the presenter
William H.W. Read is a filmmaker and colorist based in London, England, and works in commercials, TV and film. His work can be seen at www.whwread.com.
This Ask a Video Pro was recorded February 27, 2014
If you’re building or upgrading a system for editing or motion graphics work with Adobe After Effects CC and Premiere Pro CC, this online seminar will help you understand your options, and get the best performance out of your software.
The session covers:
- How CPU, GPU, and RAM affect performance
- The types of graphics cards you should you be looking at
- The platform-specific considerations you should be aware of
- Running these Adobe applications on the new Mac Pro
About the presenters
Todd Kopriva is a quality engineer on the After Effects CC team and Steve Hoeg is the engineering manager on the Premiere Pro CC team.
A top gaming company jump-starts development and marketing with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.
More fun for all
With more than 110 million registered players, InnoGames is one of the worldwide leading developers and publishers of complex, strategy-oriented online and mobile games. Currently, more than 300 people work at its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany.
All of the company’s online games offer exceptional, exciting graphics, and a strategy-based orientation designed to keep players intrigued and outwitting their opponents. The goal—regardless of whether gamers have standard or premium accounts—is to optimize gaming excitement and gratification.
From Forge of Empires to Grepolis and the new Rising Generals, InnoGames provides some of the industry’s more popular browser-based games, and is now delivering mobile games as well. “A lot of what we do hinges on having great graphics and exciting, immersive gaming environments. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams is key to helping us achieve this,” says Dennis Heinert, head of public relations for InnoGames.
The strategic orientation and engaging, rich-media gaming experiences are paying off for InnoGames through rapid company growth. This, in turn, is spurring ongoing staff expansion to include more graphics and video artists, as well as marketing, software development, and IT staff. More than 100 team members at InnoGames rely on components of Adobe creative software for game design, development, and marketing, and that number grows every month.
InnoGames initially chose Adobe Creative Cloud for individuals to have access to the latest creative software and services. Working with reseller Systemhaus for you GmbH, and taking advantage of a promotional offer, the company recently upgraded to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams for ease of maintenance, ability to scale with company growth, and simpler bookkeeping. Additionally, Creative Cloud for teams enables InnoGames to quickly address changing client and team requirements and the flexibility to easily reassign licenses without having to deactivate a license at an individual workstation.
“After exploring individual Adobe Creative Cloud licenses we upgraded to Creative Cloud for teams, which makes it easier for us to equip our teams with software licenses as we grow and morph to meet customer and market demands,” says Tobias Protz, IT administrator, InnoGames. “We can assign and reassign licenses with ease.”
Making the most of visual assets
Using Adobe Photoshop CC, graphics staff members design 2D visual assets for games that are subsequently repurposed by marketers creating banner ads or wallpapers. Video professionals rely on Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC to create sequences and animations for use within games. They also use Adobe Flash Professional CC as an authoring environment for creating animations and multimedia content for games.
Marketers then capture in-game scenes from different mobile devices or browsers and repurpose them to create marketing materials that encourage gamers to try new games. They use Adobe After Effects CC to produce animations and sometimes include small interviews with game designers, developers, and artists. The resulting monthly podcasts, created from start to finish using Adobe software, are then published on YouTube to promote games and encourage community involvement among InnoGames players.
“Prior to Creative Cloud, we had issues with users being on different software versions, so they often had challenges transferring and sharing files with each other,” says Christopher Lindemann, IT department team lead. “Our ability to have graphic artists create game characters and scenes and then easily pass creative files along to our marketing team for generating promotional materials is essential in streamlining our workflow.”
Broadening the creative toolset while simplifying IT
By using Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, both artists and marketing professionals at InnoGames have a wider range of software from which to choose, expanding their creative repertoire, and enriching marketing materials. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives our teams the opportunity to expand their skillset with new software,” says Lindemann. “It is immediately cost efficient if you are using two to three software packages regularly; it just makes sense, because we’re able to use the entire portfolio of Adobe creative software.”
In addition to equipping artists and marketers with a broader set of creative tools, Adobe Creative Cloud for teams has streamlined administrative processes. The centralized administrative console of Creative Cloud for teams simplifies software deployment while providing a single view into license tracking, reducing IT administration and finance overhead and membership helps the finance team more easily predict spending.
“We previously had to audit every machine physically to see what software was on it. With the introduction of Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, we are really saving time during the purchase and deployment process,” says Lindemann. “Keeping track of our software inventory has become far easier and the time required to rassign a license has been reduced by up to 80%.”
Set for success
For InnoGames, Adobe Creative Cloud for teams has become integral to supporting a growing company with an expanding assortment of addictive games available across platforms. The company strives for quality and sophistication, and focuses on generating only about three games at a time. InnoGames also works to build a strong community and stay in close contact with its players to create a foundation that promotes the continued improvement of its games.
The formula for InnoGames is working, and its games are clearly infectious, with more than 110 million registered players and an ever-expanding audience. With Adobe creative and development solutions, the company is poised for further success and even higher levels of flexibility, efficiency, and customer loyalty.
“We continually look for ways to expand our reach and enrich our game and marketing content so that players get excited to continue to play and are eager to try out our new releases,” says Protz. “With Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, we are set to capitalize on even bigger opportunities, with greater flexibility and efficiency and the ability to engage audiences on almost any platform.”
Read the InnoGames case study.
Leah Earle and Phanta Media deliver brilliant work with Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
Leah Earle loves her job. As a video editor for Phanta Media in Toronto, she looks forward to going to work. Founded by Mark Drager in 2006, Phanta Media is a rising star in the corporate video universe, known for delivering great work on real-world timelines. Earle describes the ten-person company as cozy but rapidly growing, with a staff comprising business development representatives, producers, motion graphics, and video editors. Earle often works late and sometimes on weekends—and can’t get enough of it.
Adobe: What makes Phanta Media unique compared to other corporate video production companies?
Earle: We’re extremely passionate, even if we’re working on what some might consider a mundane corporate training video. We work hard and collaborate as a team. No one here is interested in being second best. This can lead to frustration, because I may get criticism from eight other people on my one great idea for an edit. But in the end it gives the client the best possible product. We’re a small company, and every client has a personal and highly creative experience with us. We “bring it,” every time to create beautiful projects on tight deadlines.
Adobe: What’s it like working with Mark Drager?
Earle: Mark is the reason I took this job and also the reason I’m still here. He’s 31-years-old and started this company when he was only 23. He had the confidence to know that he could make better videos than the next guy, and his enthusiasm is infectious; it motivates us to push ourselves. He promises clients that we will blow them away with our skills—and we always do.
Adobe: How did you get into this line of work?
Earle: I always wanted to do something technical, but I went to school for English literature because I was uncertain about what path to take. A few people guided me toward journalism. That led me to a video journalism postgraduate program at Conestoga College. I really liked shooting, and I didn’t mind being on camera or reading a teleprompter, but what I loved right away was editing.
Adobe: When did you start using Adobe Premiere Pro CC?
Earle: I had never used Premiere Pro before I came to Phanta Media. Previously, Phanta Media was a Final Cut Pro shop, but like many in the industry, the company started looking for other options as soon as Final Cut Pro X came out. Premiere Pro is very “editor-friendly,” and that’s been a huge plus in growing my career.
Adobe: How would you compare Premiere Pro CC to other editing software?
Earle: For starters, you don’t have to log and capture footage. The scrubbing and playback in Premiere Pro is much faster than Final Cut, and not having to render something just to to watch it is a dream. I find the program makes it really easy to adjust my shortcuts and organize my workspace and projects. I like being able to save things such as title templates to use throughout projects, because I do a lot of subtitle work. Even the addition of the tiny window at the top left where you can preview your clip when you click once is helpful. I need to sort through mountains of footage fast. I like being able to export using Media Encoder CC as I work, because no one wants to have to stop and wait to export.
Adobe: What else do you use in your pipeline?
Earle: I use Photoshop CC and After Effects CC for most graphics. I can bring graphics files straight into the Premiere Pro CC timeline, without having to export them every time I change the file, which is so great. I can click on something and edit it on the spot, rather than having to look for the file and open it in another program. This saves so much time on projects, especially those with hundreds of After Effects files that you’d normally have to re-time.
I sometimes edit in Adobe Audition CC when I am facing a complex audio problem or when I’m tasked with voiceovers. When I first started I was in charge of setting up new DVD templates and Adobe Encore was so easy to learn and use to burn DVDs. Now, I use Adobe Media Encoder a lot to create files for various media: the Internet, PCs, or DVDs—whatever clients want.
Adobe: What was your experience moving to Adobe Creative Cloud?
Earle: My favorite thing about the switch to Adobe Creative Cloud, was the new finding and re-linking function in Premiere Pro. It’s crucial, because a few of us may be working on the same project and files often reside in different places and get moved around a lot.
All in all, the interfaces, shortcuts, and other commands among Adobe’s creative software apps are so uniform that I grow more familiar with the tools and the workflows every day. This makes me increasingly more efficient and gets rid of that frustrating gap between what the technology can do and what you think it should be able to do. With Creative Cloud, I can take greater advantage of each program’s full potential to realize any creative ideas we dream up.
Mark Drager and Kyle Wilson of Phanta Media recently presented the Ask a Video Pro session How to Build a Successful Corporate Video Business.
We are thrilled to announce a full shelf of new releases at Typekit today. You can now get your hands on new fonts, extended families, and added desktop availability from two longtime Typekit foundry partners: TypeTogether and Rui Abreu. Let’s get to it:
The lovely Essay Text by Stefan Ellmer is a serif text face comprised of an upright and an italic. Drawing from the historical context of the Renaissance, the italic can act as a complement to the upright, or stand on its own as a text face. Both carry a calligraphic slant, more comparable to each other than is typical of this pairing. Don’t miss the stylistic alternates and other typographic and ornamental goodies hidden within. Both styles are available for desktop sync for Creative Cloud subscribers.
Welcome the newest addition to the Abril family: Abril Titling. A well-stocked font family in its own right (eight styles in four different widths), the letterforms, contrast, and spacing are revisions of Abril Text—sturdier than Abril Display, while more suitable than Abril Text for larger sizes, and more varied in available widths. All 32 styles are available for desktop sync!
Also new to Typekit is Signo from Rui Abreu. Signo’s reverse contrast letterforms (the horizontal strokes are heavier than the vertical strokes, contrary to most type designs) stand out when set in headlines and in editorial environments. The heavier horizontals also help the visual continuity of characters in lines of text. Aided by a high x-height, open counters, and TrueType hinting for some older Windows browsers, Signo also performs well in body copy. Select styles are available for desktop sync.
Rui’s warm, inviting Grafolita Script has an easy fluidity achieved by careful design of glyph-connecting finials and contextual alternates where connections make less sense. Grafolita Script comes in three weights, with alternate superscript underlines and special ligatures for “and” and “or” to lend it a touch of sign-painted whimsy. Grafolita Script Medium is available for desktop sync.
Azo Sans Uber is the ultra heavy display weight of Rui’s Azo Sans (shown in the last line of the sample above). It’s packed with personality, with contextual alternates like the R and Ys above that give the chunky sans serif an air of playfulness. Some styles of Azo Sans are also now available for desktop sync.
Font families mentioned in this post, and their availability for web and desktop at Typekit:
This post ran on the Typekit blog on Thursday May 29, 2014.
Video playback and graphics team uses Adobe Creative Cloud and plugins from FxFactory to create period-specific news content.
To make the set of GNN, the 24-hour news channel featured in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, as realistic as possible required one essential element: content. It was the job of the video playback and graphics team to fill the dozens of screens throughout the fictional studio with realistic, period-specific news.
Rather than filling the screens in post production and using archived news reports, the team produced nearly all original content and fed it to the screens in real time. News reports were shot and composited with stock footage using an Adobe Creative Cloud video workflow and plugins from FxFactory, which offers a broad range of VFX tools for editors and compositors.
Playback Supervisor, Todd Marks, worked closely with his hand-picked team, designers Perry Freeze and Jeb Johenning to create the functioning 1980s GNN studio and news-office that helps set the stage for the blockbuster comedy. Todd and Jeb have worked together on many projects over the last twelve years; Perry was added to the team when they worked on The Internship in 2012.
Adobe: What were your roles on Anchorman 2?
Marks: I was the playback supervisor, responsible for overseeing all of the content creation and playback. In this case, my team put together and ran the functioning GNN studios, and we created all of the content, some which was story-specific and some was just background imagery to add to the reality of the time period and the set. We call it “bg” (background) footage and we created a lot of it.
Freeze: I worked as a designer on the film and also helped coordinate the data asset management, which involved keeping track of all of the moving pieces and approvals. On this movie we had a fairly short development cycle. We had to get up-and-running with a graphics package for the studio, and within the studio we wanted to have up to ten channels on air featuring news from around the world.
Johenning: I was also a designer, working with Perry on the content. When we initially looked at the breadth of content it was enormous. We had in excess of 100 different videos and one or more ways to create them, without actually knowing how they would be used.
Adobe: How does it all start?
Marks: We get a script and have to breakdown what’s written, which involves meetings with the production designer, set decorator, director, and even the props and construction people. We make recommendations and try to push beyond what most people think can be done. With the story-specific content, we needed to help tell the story in a short amount of time in a visually accurate, period-specific manner. Each film has different needs. For this movie, we needed to recreate a news studio look (we referenced CNN’s style during its launch in 1980). GNN starts with a simple graphics package at launch, as they are on the air longer, we had the look mature by increasing the complexity of the font and graphics package.
Adobe: How did you go about creating the content?
Freeze: We couldn’t possibly get clearance from actual archived material or we would have had to stick to a very narrow, stock footage type of content. So very early on we decided to make all of the content.
Johenning: In the GNN studio office, there is a big wall with fifteen different monitors that show everything happening around the world. Every piece of footage had to look local to its environment. We hired actors to be our period reporters and then filmed “man-on-the-street” interviews. I’m a videographer, so Perry and I worked with our video team and shot most of the unique footage for this project. The wardrobe people put the actors in period costumes and we filmed them against a green screen in both interior and exterior locations.
Later, we composited them into different locations, such as in front of the Pyramids in Egypt, the slums in Kenya, or farmland in Iowa. Each one had a different graphic look and feel. We created fake names for the people and used different fonts that would be local to each region. The backgrounds were sourced from stock footage or public domain sources. We also went around Atlanta, Georgia and filmed b-roll elements that we later used as content in our news reports, in addition to the composited green screen shots.
Adobe: Was it easy to integrate the new and old footage?
Johenning: All of the new footage was shot on a Sony F3, so it was beautiful HD quality. The stock footage backgrounds were 10-, 15-, even 20-years-old, standard-definition video and film, so the look of the two formats was completely different. We had to dumb down the foreground shots to make them look believable with the background stuff. We used an array of Adobe tools, including Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop, to make everything look authentic.
Marks: The PHYX products from FxFactory were used extensively. We used PHYX KEYER tools, PHYX CLEANER, and PHYX DEFOCUS to create composites, match the look of different footage, and add depth to the shots to make them look realistic. Using the PHYX filters with After Effects and Premiere Pro really helped to streamline our workflow.
Johenning: In some cases, we could stay entirely in Premiere Pro, and in other cases we would take footage into After Effects for more specialized compositing. We would ultimately always end up in Premiere Pro, where we would up-res the SD to HD so we could have the cleanest keys, edges, and color correction. The last step was to down-res and use the link to Media Encoder to output a piece of SD footage for playback on an SD monitor.
Adobe: Did you use any other plugins from FxFactory?
Marks: In addition to the PHYX filters, we used FxFactory Bad TV filters to add static hits and signal degradation, just as you would see with a normal satellite feed. Using these plugins adds a sense of reality and gives us the opportunity to do cuts that aren’t perceived by the audience. We used about ten different FxFactory plugins throughout the film. For news elements, there are specific plugins that add realism to the feel and look.
Adobe: What was the most challenging part of the data asset management?
Freeze: Films don’t shoot chronologically, so it’s important to keep track of what media needs to be on air and how it needs to look at that point in the movie. We used Adobe Bridge to keep track of revisions, star approved artwork, and manage all folders. Bridge is universally tied into Photoshop and Illustrator, making it easy to create contact sheets of all of our work, print them out and post them, or show the top ten revisions on an iPad to the director while on location, for quick approval.
Marks: The studio had about 150 CRT monitors, and we were able to route from 14 different feeds to each monitor at any time. It requires keeping track of what’s on each monitor in what scene, which involves lots of logistics in addition to the technical aspects. Some of first scenes we did in the studio were in Linda Jackson’s office, where there were three monitors on a far wall. We thought they would just be in the background, but the actors were placed right in front of them. You never know whether something you work on for days or weeks will be shown for just seconds or be featured prominently in a scene. This makes it even more important to keep track of shots so you don’t see the same footage in more than one scene.
Adobe: Have you started using Adobe Creative Cloud?
Johenning: I was already using Adobe Master Collection CS6, but when Creative Cloud came out I jumped on the bandwagon. An added benefit of CC included Adobe Muse. I was a user of Muse for my own business website and having that part of the Adobe CC collection was a real bonus! I had switched to Premiere Pro after Apple introduced Final Cut Pro X, and it’s the only editing program I use right now.
Freeze: I’m using Creative Cloud as well. The thing about using Creative Cloud is that when we’re working with teams everyone is on the same current, updated release. We used to deal with people not installing updates, or being on a different version all together, which created problems in our pipeline.
Adobe: What was the process like when you were on set?
Freeze: As prepared as we were, it was very much like a live news broadcast. We were using an AJA IO system to connect After Effects and Premiere Pro directly into our video switcher that was going out to the studio floor. It wasn’t what you would typically do in a TV production situation. We were creating content for the movie on the fly by tying directly into a switcher that was taking live camera feeds of Will Ferrell’s character, and then using After Effects to quickly apply lower thirds and over the shoulder graphics.
Marks: Because we were using standard definition CRTs, to make them look like they came from the right period, the set dressing department created plastic bezels that made the screen sizes even smaller than typical CRTs. This made the normal safety area even smaller, couple that with each old TV monitor’s slightly different scaling, and often I would actually have to be on the studio floor talking the control room through the proper positioning of the graphics on a featured screen.
Freeze: We would run around on the floor with cameras and take pictures of our work on the older TVs, go back to Photoshop or Illustrator and create a matte, and save it as a new title or action safe that could then be applied in After Effects or Premiere Pro when we were working so we knew how something would look when we put it on the period monitors. When you’re on a movie set and you have an entire crew, including all of the actors, waiting for you to finish something or change something it’s a lot of pressure.
Adobe: How is it different than the visual effects in other films?
Johenning: None of what we do is done in post production. A lot of visual effects in movies involve after-the-fact effects. I’m not diminishing the importance of that approach to moviemaking, but in our case rather than filling a monitor with a solid green image and creating, tracking, and coloring the content after a scene is shot, we have to do it as if it’s live TV and make it look real and believable.
Adobe: Why was this approach useful in the Anchorman 2 production?
Freeze: We ultimately helped make a better movie because the content was live. The actors could see themselves on the monitors and ad lib, and we made changes to things like titles on the fly.
Marks: We surprised the crew with our capabilities, and it freed the post production people up a lot. There was one scene where we were able to use Photoshop to quickly build a full map of the United States, with temperatures throughout the country, and then overlay satellite imagery using Premiere Pro. Because they were able to use the map in the scene instead of just having a green screen, Steve Carrell was able to see himself on the monitor and play off of what was happening. The director was also able to give him direction based on what he saw evolving. It was some of the most hysterical stuff we shot and it wouldn’t have happened if it was done in post production.
Adobe: Can you give an example of how After Effects was used?
Marks: One of the scenes in the movie shows the characters covering a car chase. Production was quite concerned about the cost of staging the chase, but the stock footage we had wasn’t long enough. Through some creative editing, Perry made it happen.
Freeze: We had chase footage of two cars, one grey convertible with a closed black canvas top on the freeway and one larger grey car primarily going through neighborhoods. We used the Roto Brush in After Effects to track the roof of the larger car and then darken the roof to match the other vehicle. By using tools in Premiere Pro to flip the footage and slow down and speed up shots, we were able to edit together a longer scene, with four different segments for playback.
Adobe: Were there any other benefits to working with Adobe video tools?
Marks: With Adobe tools being so portable we were able to take the same laptop we used on stage back to our hotel room and still have the same powerful workflow. It was especially useful when we were working late on graphics that were needed for the next day of shooting. Doing our job would be nearly impossible without Adobe’s powerful software.
Twenty-five years after Adobe Originals were introduced, they’re still setting the standard for typographic excellence.
In 1989 Adobe Garamond and Utopia, the first type designs from Adobe, were released and the Adobe Originals program was born. With Utopia, an original design, and Adobe Garamond, a historic revival that captured the essence of its models while offering all the advantages of contemporary typography, the release signaled to the design and type community that Adobe was serious about typography. Many of the typefaces released over the years have become timeless classics: Myriad, Minion, Trajan, Lithos, and Adobe Caslon are just a few examples that have withstood the test of time and will likely be widely used and respected for many years to come.
To celebrate 25 years of original type design at Adobe, later this month the newly combined Typekit and Adobe Type team will be launching a new blog series that will run throughout the summer. The series will share the history of type design at Adobe; showcase some of Adobe’s typefaces and designers; talk about how new technologies have, in recent years, changed type design at Adobe; and ask designers such as Stephen Coles, Marian Bantjes, and Jessica Hische to share their perspective on Adobe Originals.
But what celebration about type design would be complete without a new typeface? Beginning today, Adobe’s 100th typeface family, Source Serif, is available free as a thank you to our customers. Source Serif, designed as the companion to Adobe’s popular Source Sans typeface, lends itself to extended text on paper and on screen. For desktop and web use through Typekit’s free plan, it’s available to all Creative Cloud members, including trial users.
Read the Typekit blog to Learn more about today’s announcements, how to keep up with this summer’s Adobe Originals series, and where to get Adobe’s new open source typeface. And, to keep up with the upcoming Adobe Originals series, bookmark the RSS feed.