Adobe Systems Incorporated

A Productive Pairing: Banner Engineering and Creative Cloud for Teams

Banner Engineering, a leader in industrial and process automation, brings marketing and technical literature in-house with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.

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Founded almost 50 years ago as a small electronics engineering firm, Banner Engineering has grown into a global leader in process and industrial automation. The company provides customers worldwide with industry-leading photo eyes, sensors, machine safety equipment, and lighting devices that increase efficiency, monitor quality, and safeguard employees.

Small team big output

The company currently offers thousands of innovative products and develops hundreds of new solutions every year. Despite its impressive product line-up, the company operates with a small marketing team that handles almost all marketing and technical documentation, including product and company brochures, tradeshow displays, success stories, product packaging, technical illustrations, videos, software GUI graphics, and a comprehensive printed product catalog with more than 1,000 pages.

Banner Catalogs“We have a lean marketing team for a company of our size, producing the output of teams two or three times larger,” says Delaine Suess, senior graphic designer for corporate branding in the marketing department. “We need to work as efficiently as possible.”

Banner has been using Adobe creative software as its standard for graphics and documents for the past eighteen years, but in a budget-conscious environment, didn’t always have the funds for every software upgrade. Now, with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, Banner has access to the latest versions of all creative software.

The right tools for the job(s)

Marketers use Adobe InDesign CC for documents, including Banner’s comprehensive, 1,000-page catalog. Adobe InCopy CC enables copywriters to proof and make quick changes to InDesign files even when working simultaneously with designers, making the proofing process faster and more consistent. For diagrams and icons, Adobe Illustrator CC is the standard used by Banner and its vendors, while Adobe Photoshop CC is used to edit a wide range of images.

Banner_3Products such as LED lights are difficult to photograph accurately, so Banner adds simulated lighting effects in Photoshop CC to give customers a better idea of products. Marketers also use it to composite images to show a product in use or to add effects, such as lighting, to rendered Autodesk 3ds Max files.

Banner relies on Adobe Acrobat XI for its proofing needs. Team members can review, edit, and comment easily within the PDF so all involved can easily track their changes during the proofing process. “We use shared reviews so our engineers and sales people can annotate PDFs consistently with familiar tools. And our marketing team can track progress and consolidate comments,” said Suess.

For a company with a small team, that creates almost all of its marketing and technical literature in-house, productivity is key. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives us the exact tools that we need to get projects done as quickly as possible,” says Suess.

Read the Banner Engineering case study.

10:19 AM Comments (1) Permalink

Brian Yap: From Shape to Illustration

When we saw Brian Yap’s Vector Drawing on The Go post on INSPIRE, about his Adobe Shape CC to Adobe Illustrator CC work process, we had a few questions about how using Shape to capture the flicker of an idea eventually translates into a full-blown illustration or design concept. Since he’s now an associate creative director on Adobe’s Studio Team, we caught up with him about his process, his technique, and how he feels about the tools.

What Brian had to say about mobile apps and productivity, his obsession with layers, and the value of being truly satisfied with each step in the creative process:

A quick loose portrait of Cullen O'Donnel of the Logos began with a photo.

A quick loose portrait of Cullen O’Donnel of the Logos began with a photo.

What’s the value of capturing a vector outline in Shape (as opposed to drawing it yourself)? Shape is perfect for when you want a quick and loose outline of an image, even if you end up heavily drawing over it, it saves tons of time and creates some cool effects (it reminds me what we used to get from double and triple xeroxing images.)

Alternatively, when you do sketch on paper, how nice is it to be able to capture one of your own sketches in Shape without having to trace it in Illustrator CC? As the app gets better and better I fully expect to be able to capture sketches straight to vector that will need very little clean up. I’m excited to see where that workflow leads.

How much refinement do you usually do once you have an image in Shape? Do you prefer to start with as many details as possible? Or just a basic outline? So far, I’ve been pushing the detail all the way up to capture as much as possible, but there’s so much more you can play with by lowering that or reversing the capture.

We know you use Adobe Illustrator Draw for a lot of away-from-your-desk drawing. How much easier is it to transfer your work between the three applications now that there’s Creative Cloud Libraries? I honestly can’t emphasize enough how important it is to me that all the Adobe apps are connected through Creative Cloud Libraries. It makes the pure act of working and creating seamless. Ease of use and accessibility to all of my files is huge to me.

From photo to Adobe Shape capture.

From photo to Adobe Shape capture.

You sound really organized. How do you feel about using CC Libraries to organize your content from the time you capture it until the time you complete it? Without a doubt, CC Libraries has made moving from mobile to desktop incredibly simple. The mobile apps, especially the ones that allow you to capture things out in the world, really need that connection and accessibility to be useful. I don’t ever have to think about where my captures are.

How has your drawing process changed since you started incorporating mobile apps into it? Working digitally, and with drawing apps on a tablet, I’ve become insanely more productive. I used to be scared to “waste time” trying different things; now I don’t ever stop at just the first pass at doing something. I used to draw on sketch pads, and when deadlines were limiting, moved on to the next step as soon as something looked successful, then I’d lament later that it could be better.

I know every artist says that, but there’s value in getting to that point of true satisfaction. What you learn in those last steps ALWAYS comes through in the final piece. Working with mobile apps and ingesting them into my process has opened all those possibilities back up to me. Recently I’ve been experimenting more—letting my drawing style loosen up, starting with photographic reference and captures in Shape, and playing more and more with different tools.

You described your layer management system by saying, “I usually select each color and merge all shapes of each color to keep things tidy.” Does your layers management begin in Draw or do you not worry about it until you get the art into Illustrator CC? Okay, I’m a little bit obsessive, so I start right away getting to know layers in whatever application they’re in. When you think about it, layers are the greatest and purist advantage to working digitally.

I mostly split colors into different layers. As the piece gets more and more complex, this really helps when I want to edit something. Then when I take something into Illustrator CC, the organization transfers over. (I take it one step further and merge all objects of the same color to make it easy to edit color.) And, since my style tends toward flat poster color style work, I often restrict myself to three or four colors, with an eye towards screen printing.

From Adobe Shape capture to finished illustration.

From Adobe Shape capture to finished illustration.

What’s the distinction between how you use Adobe Draw and how you use Illustrator CC to fine-tune your work? I almost always do my loose drawing in Draw. I like the feel of the tablet in my hand (akin to a sketchbook) and being able to do a ton of my drawing on the couch or on my commute. There was always a threshold point though where I would move it into Illustrator CC to finish the job. But, in truth, that point is becoming a grey area. With the Touch Slide tools in Draw, Shape and Color, I can do a lot more just on my iPad. But I’ve even started drawing more in Illustrator CC with the Surface Pro 3, so it’s turning into a decision I make based on the project.

Out of curiosity, how many image traces do you have in your Shape libraries? Ha, you might be scared… I would guess, that in 4 or 5 different libraries, maybe 50–75. I’m working on another experiment and that particular library is getting out of control (and, as the app grows I expect that to get a lot bigger).

If it’s not a secret, what are you working on now/next? I have a few things going right now, one of them purely for fun and experimentation, that I’m really excited about. I captured a ton of Shape graphics on a recent trek to Muir woods and want to develop a portrait of John Muir using those as textures. They’re so complex that just trying to use the photos I took and draw over them would be monumentally time consuming. But I found the place so inspiring that I think having the image be built from those captures will imbue the illustration in a way that simply drawing his portrait could never match.

Brian’s Shape to Draw to Illustrator CC process on INSPIRE.
Adobe Shape CC and Adobe Illustrator Draw in the iTunes App Store.
Haven’t tried Creative Cloud? Take it for a free trial run.

3:50 PM Comments (1) Permalink

Capture Ideas When They’re Ready

Creativity is nurtured, stimulated and directed by constraints, but inspiration should be free of any constraint. Opportunities present. We allow them to escape unnoticed or unable to capture because we didn’t have the perceptual or physical tools to accomplish the capture. Our creative identity fades before our very eyes.

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You never know when an idea or creative inspiration will surface. Sometimes it seems more like an idea is ready for you to discover it than the other way around. Adobe has given you the ability to capture ideas when they’re ready through a new series of mobile apps appropriately grouped under the umbrella of “Capture.” Adobe Color, Brush, and Shape CC allow you to capture the world around you and manipulate it into objects that can be integrated right into your creative workflow. It isn’t just about what your smartphone camera sees but rather what it actually is… the hues turned into color themes, the shapes into vectored objects and a brush created from what you see be it a rose or a pencil.

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All of this creative energy flows right into your creative profile in the Creative Cloud. It restores and enhances your creative self. The workflow is uninterrupted as you change location or device. Think about it.

One morning while riding into work, I had a thought as I passed by a man standing in a crosswalk holding his phone. Pick any moment throughout your day and what do you find nearby? It’s likely your smartphone. But what if the people and places you come into contact with everyday could dovetail into your creative pursuits?

I believe it was Edgar Degas who said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” My perspective watching this businessman likely shuffling his way to work like myself caught my attention for one reason. He was in motion as the bright morning sun was cutting its way through the downtown buildings.

Throughout our busy days, we’ve all witnessed objects, people, and architecture with essences worthy of capturing. That’s what Adobe Color, Shape and Brush allow you to do: go beyond the image in front of you and define its essence using the boundless limits of your own mind.

Adobe Color CC

Capture the inspiration of color. Generate color themes wherever inspiration strikes with Adobe Color. Capture color combinations with your iPhone or iPad. Use them in your projects immediately by saving to Creative Cloud Libraries.

See color in action. Color generates themes you can use in Adobe desktop apps like Photoshop and Illustrator CC, and new Adobe mobile apps like Illustrator Line, Illustrator Draw, and Photoshop Sketch.

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Adobe Brush CC

Pablo Picasso put it best when he said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” With Adobe Brush, artists now have unlimited opportunities to transform their paintings on the go. No matter what brush style moves your design, Adobe Brush gives you the ability to turn photographs into visual patterns of depth.

Picture the perfect brush. Create custom brushes from photos you capture on your iPhone or iPad and start using them right away in Photoshop and Illustrator CC, and Adobe Photoshop Sketch.

Imagine your brush in action. Design beautiful, high-quality brushes in any style—organic, painterly, graphic, and more. Anything you can take a photo of can be turned into a brush.

Capture the inspiration anywhere so you can work playfully while designing professionally.

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Adobe Shape CC

This is where ideas take shape. See a shape you’d like to use in your designs? Capture it with your iPhone or iPad and Adobe Shape will turn it into vectors. Save it to Creative Cloud Libraries to use in Adobe InDesign CC, Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, or the all-new Adobe Illustrator Draw.

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Turn the shapes around you into action. Capture shapes anywhere. Simply take pictures of shapes you like and you can start turning the world around you into vector shapes.

Technology does change the way we approach art and design, and the amazing power of mobile devices now offers us a truly connected creative experience. Everything you see and do can be captured in extraordinary ways.

As I arrived at my office that bright sunny morning, I was curious about the man I saw making his way to work, who inspired me to pause.

I turned on my iPhone and smiled. It was all there in living color, shape vector and brush stroke.

 

11:57 AM Comments (2) Permalink

Fantac: Creative, Branded Vehicle Marking

Since 1960, EXING Co. Ltd. has become known throughout Japan as a leader in the distribution and transportation of hazardous materials. Since then, the company has expanded into a wide range of services, including boom lift rentals, vehicle marking, and even a catalog of local gifts from around Japan.

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Started in 1985, EXING’s Fantac vehicle marking service has grown to become its second largest business. Not only is the high-quality Fantac service used by companies across Japan to brand their trucks and tractor-trailers, but it is also used by organizations ranging from police agencies to public transportation organizations. Six Fantac service centers located throughout Japan provide full service solutions to customers, handling everything from planning and design to cutting and applying the film.

EXING_4 “In the past, we used specialized design terminals to create the diagrams, and then we cut each piece of film by hand,” says Hiromasa Yamabe, CEO and president of EXING. “Now we use computers and cutting plotters, which helps us provide faster service at a lower cost. The vehicle marking industry is very competitive. To stay ahead of the competition, we must streamline processes as much as possible while investing in our IT infrastructure to deliver new, exciting businesses.”

The newest products; the latest technology

Several years ago, EXING standardized the design environments at its Fantac service centers on Adobe Illustrator. The software not only features high usability, but also many members of the design staff were familiar with Adobe software, having learned Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop while in school. EXING_3

In addition to providing all designers with access to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, EXING also complied with a request from the sales manager to provide all salespeople with copies of the software. “Because salespeople work in the same, standard Adobe environment, they can make small changes to the design if needed, which helps everyone work more efficiently,” says Shinichi Tanaka, manager of the systems administration group at EXING.

EXING previously purchased Adobe Creative Suite licenses for every employee, but when the company upgraded its IT hardware, it switched to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. “To create the newest products, we need access to the very latest technologies,” says Tanaka. “We upgraded to Creative Cloud for teams so that we would always have access to the latest versions of software.”

Excerpted from “EXING, leading the pack through new technologies.” Read the EXING case study.

 

10:03 AM Permalink

Download and Share: Market Assets and Creative Cloud for Desktop

Get a headstart on projects with Creative Cloud Market and ensure that you and your team can access your favorite assets anytime, anywhere with Creative Cloud Libraries.

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Creative Cloud Market

Creative Cloud Market is a collection of professionally crafted and curated vector graphics, icons, patterns, UI kits, brushes, and more from the best creatives on Behance. Already there are thousands of assets available on Market and the number grows with each passing day. With Creative Cloud paid subscription (except the photography plan), you are entitled to download up to 500 free, unique, ready-to-use, and royalty free assets every month. Once downloaded, you can use them freely in your creative projects, and modify or build upon them according to your needs.

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Access Market

Creative Cloud for desktop app is a gateway to Creative Cloud Market. Using Creative Cloud for desktop, you can browse, search, sort, or download Market assets.

To access Market from Creative Cloud for desktop, choose Assets > Market. Then search assets by specifying a keyword, category, tag, or creator in the search box. You can further refine or sort results from the options available in the All Categories dropdown.



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Download assets from Market

To download an asset, click the asset thumbnail, click Download, and choose an existing Creative Cloud library or create a new library where the asset will be downloaded. Downloaded assets are also saved in the Market Downloads folder in your main Creative Cloud Files folder.



CCMarket_4In addition to the information like the asset name and the creator, the asset page also shows tags applied to the asset. You can click any tag, to search for other assets that are tagged with the same keywords, to find related and similar assets. For example, clicking the “pen” tag in the above example will search and display other assets tagged with pen.



CCMarket_5Downloaded assets are now available for use across all desktop and mobile apps and devices. Note: Creative Cloud for desktop must be running for downloaded assets to sync and become available for use. You can view downloaded assets in Creative Cloud for desktop by clicking the dropdown menu next to Market and selecting Downloaded under the Sort category.



For more information about downloading and using Market assets, see Creative Cloud Market.

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Share assets and collaborate using Creative Cloud Libraries

While you can access downloaded Market assets in all apps and on all devices, in some situations you may want to share assets with your team, so that everybody is in sync. You can achieve this by sharing the Creative Cloud Libraries where assets are downloaded. It allows you to collaborate while maintaining consistency in your designs.

You can share a library from Creative Cloud Assets or the Libraries panel in Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe Illustrator CC.

In addition to downloading Market assets, you can add more assets to Libraries using mobile apps and Creative Cloud Assets. For more information about working with Libraries, see Creative Cloud Libraries.

Helpful resources

Creative Cloud blog
Creative Cloud help

11:55 AM Permalink

Broadway Malyan, A Return on Design

A distinguished architecture firm applies experience, skills, and cutting-edge Adobe Creative Cloud applications to exceed client expectations.

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Distinguished by its global reach with 16 studios across world centers, unrivaled diversity with over 500 design experts, and distinctive client focus with more than 75% of its income from repeat business, Broadway Malyan creates world-class, fully integrated cities, places, and buildings to unlock lasting value and deliver “return on design.”

Unlike most firms, Broadway Malyan’s myriad of projects often extend beyond traditional architecture. In addition to its architectural focus, the firm’s designers visualize and shape many different aspects of their design with a holistic approach resulting in a level of detail that can extend to branding and equipment design. Both architects and designers at Broadway Malyan depend on Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise and Adobe Acrobat Pro, purchased through an Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA), to delight clients with their imaginative, useful, and beautiful creations, tailored to meet customer needs.

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Broadway Malyan’s priority is to excel for the benefit of clients through a focus on quality, collaboration, and delivery. To achieve superb results, employees rely daily on a variety of Adobe applications; Adobe Illustrator CC, Photoshop CC, and InDesign CC are mainstays for designing buildings, collateral materials, and finessing client proposals and presentations. Acrobat Pro is essential to both designers and architects for combining multiple file types and sharing them as universally accessible PDF files with clients, as well as internally among staff collaborating on projects across the company’s global offices.

Enabling business expansion and flexibility

Equipping its 550 users worldwide with the most up-to-date versions of Adobe software was an ongoing challenge for the IT department. The sheer number of users, geographic diversity, and varying needs and skill sets within the firm made software provisioning complicated and time consuming.

The firm often combines teams with the most relevant talents from around the globe to work together on projects. Whether they’re located in Shanghai or Warsaw, people need the right software. In the past, the firm provided some applications on designated resource computers at each location. Users had to leave their desks to access applications like Acrobat Pro, which impacted their productivity.

To furnish all employees with what they need to do their best work, right at their fingertips, the team purchased Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, a solution that accommodates rapid growth while reducing IT complexity through an ETLA with Adobe. “The Adobe enterprise term license agreement is fantastic—it’s the way I like to work,” says Alexandre Vasconcelos, head of IT for Broadway Malyan. “We use a number of different types of software in the company, and I would rate Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise in the top three in terms of the way the licensing works.”

BroadwayM_3 Through the enterprise agreement, the firm can juggle the fluctuations of a project-based business. Employees can obtain and install Adobe software regardless of their location. As the company expands and morphs, it has the flexibility to add software licenses or move them to the other side of the globe as needed, without cumbersome, far-flung license deactivation and reactivation.

Simplified, fast IT

Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise has dramatically streamlined tasks for IT. The software installation process is fast and intuitive, and Creative Cloud for enterprise provides full visibility into what software each user has, simplifying license management.

To implement Creative Cloud for enterprise applications, Broadway Malyan used Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM); it made it easier and faster to distribute the new software worldwide via remote control.

The IT team set up company-wide Adobe software installation for Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, and Photoshop CC, which took only 15 minutes to install simultaneously on each computer—a process that previously required an hour and a half. “Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise has made a major positive change in the way we deploy software,” says Vasconcelos. “Employees can simply request specifi applications that they need and have them installed quickly and easily.”

Distribution of Acrobat Pro using SCCM was similarly fast and straightforward. “Using Microsoft SCCM, we installed Acrobat Pro in three offices a day and it took only five minutes per office, so there was no negative impact on productivity,” says Vasconcelos. “All of our offices were up and running with the software in just five days.”

Productivity on the rise

With Creative Cloud for enterprise, Broadway Malyan is bolstering productivity among employees. Architects and designers no longer have to find a computer with the proper software installed; instead, they can download and install precisely the right software applications to meet the most pressing needs for the project at hand.

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With a global team, the use of different software versions previously caused file incompatibility issues that could bring projects to a temporary halt. If one studio started on a file and sent it to another to finish off overnight, any issues with interoperability could cause difficulty in completing the project on time. With Creative Cloud, all studios are always on the most up-to-date software versions, eliminating interoperability issues or the need for time-consuming , manual file conversions.

In addition to creative applications, everyone now has the same version of Acrobat Pro. They can open files, combine multiple file types, convert PDFs to Microsoft Office applications if needed, and print and share them among clients and coworkers. “Now, everyone can take advantage of the file conversion and consumption benefits Adobe Acrobat offers without having to go to a dedicated computer to accomplish their work,” says Vasconcelos.

Agile and flexible

License forecasting and management are straightforward, and consume far less IT time. Budgeting is no longer a required exercise; instead, Broadway Malyan pays a fixed cost each year and adjusts it accordingly as the company grows. The number of software licenses can grow and be moved from location to location on an as-needed basis, without business disruption. As the business evolves, every machine in the firm can be adapted to the most current business requirements.

Next, Broadway Malyan plans to use the Enterprise Dashboard in Creative Cloud for enterprise to allow administrators to more easily manage user accounts. The firm is also tapping Adobe Expert Services to help users with quick installation or deployment questions and technical troubleshooting of individual products.

“Adobe is our go-to for creative software, and Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise has made us extremely agile and flexible company wide,” says Vasconcelos. “Our enterprise agreement with Adobe saves time and improves productivity.”

Read the Broadway Malyan case study.

11:27 AM Permalink

An Adobe Inspire Webinar with Designer Maria Grønlund

Designer Maria Grønlund will demonstrate her I speak fluid colors technique on January 14 during the inaugural session of Adobe Inspire’s new webinar series Inspire: Artists at Work.

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With its new series, “Inspire: Artists at Work,” the Adobe Inspire team wanted to provide something a bit different from a typical online tutorial. We envisioned events that would not only give participants new skills and teach them new techniques, but also spark their creativity and inspire them to try new things. We wanted to provide an over-the-shoulder look at an artists’ creative processes, as well as a peek at their inspirations.

So we were thrilled when Danish graphic designer Maria Grønlund agreed to join us for our first event. We’re big fans of Maria’s beautiful abstract creations—she is well known for her work’s vibrant colors and for her innovative methods.

During the one-hour event on Wednesday, January 14 (at 10:00am PST/6:00pm GMT), Maria will be demonstrating and discussing (in a conversation with Adobe worldwide design evangelist Rufus Deuchler) the Adobe Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC  techniques she employed to create her I speak fluid colors series.

An image from Maria Grønlund's I speak fluid color series was used as the visual identity for Adobe MAX 2014.

An image from Maria Grønlund’s I speak fluid color series was used as the visual identity for Adobe MAX 2014.

“I fell in love with Maria’s red, orange, and blue version of I speak fluid colors,” says Adobe creative director Kashka Pregowska-Czerw. “Very imaginative, great composition, and so visually appealing. I thought it was a perfect fit for Adobe MAX. The idea that it was digitally created from scratch was a nice bonus. I think our attendees agreed.”

Maria bases her images on organic shapes such as flowers, smoke, and ink suspended in water. She says, “These are digital drawings developed primarily for aesthetics. It’s a study in colors and Illustrator CC techniques…in principle, there’s no right or wrong way to interpret the drawings. It’s a bit like watching the clouds and finding rabbits and sheep in the shapes—though [they are] created with the intention of evoking a positive and light feel.”

The process by which Maria creates these images begins with an outline in Illustrator CC (based on a shape found in nature or even a simple doodle); she then employs blend shapes, gradients, and other Illustrator tools. The results are surprising forms with a 3D look.

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Formerly a classical musician, Maria made the switch to graphic design when she was in her mid-30s and describes herself as a self-taught designer. She has a unique approach to learning new software and has said that she simply sets herself the task of learning one tool each day. In that way, she wrote in a recent blog post, she “has no expectations as to what the outcome might be or what the tools are supposed to produce. The work method is pretty much driven by curiosity.”

Terri Stone, Adobe Inspire’s content director, explains, “Illustrator CC is a complex, powerful application, and that can be a little intimidating. But if we approach it like Maria—with a sense of curiosity, not fear—we’ll get unique results and a deeper understanding of the possibilities.”

We hope anyone with an interest in Illustrator CC will join Maria and Rufus for this inspiring hour. Register now for the free January 14 webinar.
 
Don’t worry if you can’t join us live on January 14; we’ll be posting a recording of the event on inspire.adobe.com (sign up for our free newsletter to stay informed about upcoming events).

12:22 PM Permalink

The 4K Production Workflow of Nippon Television Network

Japanese broadcaster, Nippon Television Network, implements a cost-effective solution based on Adobe Creative Cloud to create a dynamic and efficient workflow for ultra-high definition 4K broadcasts.

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When the first 4K channel in Japan, Channel 4K, began test broadcasts, it started by airing live musical performances, travelogues, and sports broadcasts provided for free by members of the Next Generation Television & Broadcasting Promotion Forum. Since then, broadcasters have started to produce their own 4K programming , but the equipment remains costly. In addition, transcoding and outputting programs takes a great deal of time.

Originally a format developed for feature-length films, 4K was not intended for television programming where high volume production is valued. To begin introducing original 4K content in the broadcast space, Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) developed a 4K programming production workflow using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

The benefits of enterprise licenses

Since 1953, when Nippon TV became the first commercial television broadcaster in Japan, Nippon TV has entertained audiences with excellent programming, from professional sports to scripted dramas. Nippon TV first deployed Adobe Creative Cloud for 4K productions in the technical operations department of the engineering & technology division. This department handles a wide variety of operations, including CG, data broadcasts, media conversion, and remote subsystems. The department’s office space is filled with computers—some loaded with Autodesk Softimage to create CG infographics, while others are used to develop other graphics displayed within programs.

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When deciding between teams or enterprise licensing, the technical operations department chose to work with Creative Cloud for enterprise. “For security reasons, our work computers are not connected to the Internet so the enterprise license was a better fit for us,” says Ayato Fujii, CG designer for the technical operations department, engineering & technology division. “Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise includes all of the design tools we need: Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and After Effects CC.”

“We have always used Adobe creative software, and now Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise offers us a cost- effective way to provide everyone with the applications they need,” adds Toru Fujihara, associate managing director of the technical operations department, engineering & technology division. Yasuo Tsutsumi, CG designer in the graphic design department at the Nippon Television Art Media Design Center adds, “With Adobe Creative Cloud, we can install a full range of creative software onto all of our designers’ computers, which has everyone very excited.”

Developing high-quality 4K content

The technical operations department deployed Creative Cloud for enterprise on the workstations of all designers. The Creative Cloud implementation provided an opportunity to also switch from EDIUS editing systems to Adobe Premiere Pro CC to reduce costs, add integration with After Effects CC, and support the Grass Valley HQ/HQX codecs. “We do a great deal of CG work for our TV broadcasts,” says Fujii. “By using the Grass Valley HQ codec with Adobe Premiere Pro CC, we can attach 4K monitors to our work computers to create true 4K machines that leverage Adobe’s support for cutting-edge hardware and standards.”

Designing a new environment

One of the first 4K programs Fujihara worked to develop for Nippon TV using Creative Cloud was a video art exhibit across three 4k screens recreating the famous stone garden at Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto. The video was displayed in the “Kyoto from Inside and Outside: Scenes on Panels and Folding Screens” special exhibit at Tokyo National Museum. Nippon TV designers used Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop CC to pull the footage together and give visitors a taste of Ryoanji Temple across four seasons.

Four Seasons of the Ryoanji Temple Rock Garden in 4K, from the special exhibition, “Kyoto from Inside and Outside: Scenes on Panels and Folding Screens."

Four Seasons of the Ryoanji Temple Rock Garden in 4K, from the special exhibition, “Kyoto from Inside and Outside: Scenes on Panels and Folding Screens.”

Shooting at Ryoanji Temple started one year before the exhibition. At the time, Nippon TV did not have an environment that could view 4K footage so the team decided to implement a turnkey system that supported 4K in native resolution. One of the deciding factors for the system was that it also needed to support 60 frames per second.

“We produced the Ryoanji Temple footage in 30p, so there was no need for 60p support for that project,” says Fujihara. “However, we knew that we would need 60p support for future broadcasts that may involve fast motion, such as sports programming. By deploying Creative Cloud on Windows workstations loaded with Epoch 4K Supernova cards from BlueFish, we achieved a system similar to turnkey systems.”

Pitching live baseball broadcasts

Another project driven by Nippon TV was a broadcast of the October 2013 professional baseball match between the Yomiuri Giants and the Yakult Swallows in Tokyo Dome recorded using four 4K cameras and one high-speed camera. Unlike other types of content, baseball broadcasts fill a very long slot in the schedule.

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First, Nippon TV shot the action in Tokyo Dome using five cameras, four of which recorded in SR-Lite mode on Sony’s Simple Studio Profile (SStP) codec. Next, the team edited the 4K footage on the Premiere Pro CC timeline and exported the final program in XAVC format. “When we started on our programs, Premiere Pro CC was one of the only applications that could output in XAVC format,” says Fujihara. “We knew we wanted to use XAVC output from the start, but being able to use Premiere Pro CC through final delivery really helped our workflow. We could not have produced the two 4K videos without Premiere Pro CC.”

Fujii concludes, “From a creator’s point of view, it’s a chance we couldn’t pass up. We’re glad to have Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise to help us continue to push the creativity limits of our production broadcasts.”

Read the Nippon Television Network case study.

9:59 AM Permalink

Creative Cloud and Microsoft Surface Pro 3

The new Touch workspace in the latest release of Adobe Illustrator CC is the long-awaited return of the artist’s canvas recreated on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3.

While Microsoft Surface Pro has had the power to run Adobe apps like Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC, small UI controls (which were optimized for desktop use), and a lack of touch support made using the apps a cumbersome experience. For over a year, Adobe and Microsoft have been collaborating to bring the full power of Creative Cloud to a mobile experience optimized for pen and touch.

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New Touch workspace in Illustrator CC

Illustrator CC has introduced a new workspace designed with Surface Pro 3 in mind. This Touch workspace lets designers create on the go what they could once only accomplish sitting at their desks. This new workspace exposes the core tools and controls for drawing and editing, optimized for multi-touch gestures and a pressure-sensitive pen.

Enabling productivity in a touch environment with a complex desktop application like Illustrator CC meant rethinking it for the touch metaphor. In the Touch workspace, the user interface is streamlined to expose the most used/most needed tools and controls, with larger icons that can be easily targeted with a stylus or finger on a small screen. Common key commands, such as Ctrl-Z to undo, have been accommodated in a working environment where a keyboard may not be available, or only available as a digital keyboard that requires extra actions to open/close.

The usage data has been very encouraging with around 80% of first-time users becoming active users of the new Touch workspace. The tendency has been that once you try it, you continue to use it for creation. We are seeing exponential growth in the number of users using Illustrator CC on touch-enabled devices like Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and the Touch workspace allows users to get the most out of their investment in new hardware.

An illustrated presentation of how to draw in this new Touch workspace can be found here.

Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC: Optimized for touch and pen

With enhanced pen and stylus support in the latest releases of Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC, the user experience is better than ever, enabling users to create on the go, closer to their inspiration or while just kicking back on the couch at home.

The active stylus on Surface Pro 3 provides on hover functionality—a better user experience than what is possible via passive styli. Further, the very high-quality stylus allows creative professionals to draw directly on the device, with pressure sensitivity, thus freeing them from the typical, “look here, draw there” way of working.

Additionally, pen and touch can potentially eliminate the need to have your non-dominant hand on the CTRL, SHIFT, ALT, and Z keys on the keyboard as you use apps like Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC. The movements are now as natural as if you weren’t on a computer at all and were just doing brush strokes on a canvas.

More to come

The future offers very interesting possibilities for user interface innovation on touch- and stylus-enabled devices like Surface Pro 3 that are capable of running Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC. Watch these two videos to get a glimpse into what’s coming:

Adobe MAX 2014 Sneaks: Shaper Tool

The future of Adobe creative applications on Microsoft devices

Now, you can take that vacation in Paris and sit on the Left Bank of the Seine to create your masterpiece in an environment that allows your creative genius to roam freely and naturally.

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An Early Holiday Surprise: New Collaboration with Creative Cloud Libraries

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

Shared Libraries: You asked. We delivered.

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

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

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

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

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