Adobe Systems Incorporated

Explore: A New Way to Learn Creative Cloud Apps

Adobe’s Creative Cloud Learn (CCL) team has been hard at work improving the user experience of our tutorials to make it even easier to learn the apps in Creative Cloud.

Most Creative Cloud apps have their own landing page showing all of the tutorials in a single view, with topics organized to reflect a logical flow that matches how people will likely work with the features in that app.

New Explore pages provide at-a-glance views of our tutorials.

New explore pages provide at-a-glance views of our tutorials.

The core of our content is under the Learn Essentials tab, but if you’re new to the products, the Get Started section is a great place to start. If you’re an experienced user looking to extend your expertise, the Key Techniques section consists of more advanced topics and introduces workflows between Creative Cloud applications.

There are a few ways to access the tutorials: One way is to select the Menu option at the top of most any page on Adobe.com. In the overlay that appears, click See All at the top right of the Products tab to see a listing of Creative Cloud products. Find the product you’re interested in, then click Learn & Support; from there, check out the featured content, or click Show All Tutorials to reveal more links.

We provide a variety of learning types so you can watch, read, and even do some projects to enhance your knowledge of the tools in Creative Cloud.

Once you access the Explore pages, hover over any tutorial title to find out more about the learning approach (read, watch, do project, etc.), the apps that are covered in the tutorial, and a description of what will be taught.

Hover over a title to see the description, learning approach, and which apps are covered.

Hover over a title to see the description, learning approach, and which apps are covered.

The following screencast (no sound) provides a quick overview of how to find this content.

Once inside a specific tutorial, a similar navigation panel shows all the tutorial topics for that product; click Show All Tutorials to expand the listing of available titles.

Click "Show All Tutorials" from any tutorial page to see a list of tutorials for that product.

Click “Show All Tutorials” from any tutorial page to see a list of tutorials for that product.

Notice that the tutorial headings are on the left side of the Learn drawer and provide the main area for navigating between topics within a specific product.

Navigate tutorial topics by selecting the appropriate header on the left.

Navigate tutorial topics by selecting the appropriate header on the left.

Products with new landing pages have direct Learn & Support links on the pages (watch for more products to have this option in the future). Some of the direct links:

Check out the Creative Cloud Tutorials: Better Than Ever for more details on the latest tutorial offering. And, stay tuned in the coming months for improvements to the other products pages and to Creative Cloud’s overall learning experience.

12:14 PM Permalink

IBC 2014: What’s Coming Next to Creative Cloud for Video

Streamline video workflows with industry-leading integration

This month at IBC 2014 in Amsterdam, Adobe will preview the updates coming soon to Creative Cloud’s pro video applications. In a fast-moving industry, video pros need tools that keep them ahead of the curve, allowing them to work confidently with the latest hardware and camera formats. With regular updates, Creative Cloud meets that need, making everyday tasks faster and easier—and opens new creative possibilities with a little more Adobe magic.

  • Powerful media and project management—Take control of large projects with new features like Search bins, Consolidate & Transcode, and Multi-project workflows in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
  • Support for cutting-edge technologies—Focus on the content with a refreshed user-interface across all of the video applications, including HiDPI support for Windows 8.1 and Mac Retina displays.
  • Streamlined workflows—Complete everyday tasks more efficiently, thanks to new tools and refinements, such as Curve adjustments and hover preview Looks in Adobe SpeedGrade CC.

After a successful run using Premiere Pro CC to edit David Fincher’s upcoming thriller Gone Girl, two-time Academy Award winner Kirk Baxter has made Premiere Pro CC the NLE of choice for his new company, EXILE. “I’m happy to see so many of the new features we asked Adobe for during Gone Girl in the upcoming release.” —Kirk Baxter, ACE

This post provides an overview of the upcoming video releases, including many of the top features and enhancements. For more in-depth information, visit the product blogs for Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe SpeedGrade CC, Adobe Prelude CC, Adobe Media Encoder CC, Adobe Audition CC, and Adobe Story Plus CC.

Updated user interface

All of the Creative Cloud video applications have been given gentle facelifts, using a more subtle color scheme and simplified UI elements.

“The first thing you’ll notice when you open them, is the cleaner look to all of the video apps,” said Bill Roberts, senior director of product management. “We’ve modernized and simplified the user interface so that it doesn’t compete with the content. The point is to allow video pros to focus more on their content, and less on the widgets.”

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In addition to the UI refinements, the video apps have all been updated to work with HiDPI displays, including Mac OSX and Windows 8.1 devices. “We foresee a day when video professionals will be creating and interacting with their content in a variety of ways across a variety of devices. Our goal is to support this transition as it evolves and this UI refresh lays the foundation for that,” added Roberts.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

New Search bins allow users to automatically generate dynamic bins based on search criteria, including new Advanced Timeline Search capabilities. Search bins update as new content is added to a project, so users can keep projects organized, even as new footage is still coming in.

Consolidate & Transcode allows users to move all relevant files in projects and sequences to reduce the overall project size. Once the setting is selected in the Project Manager panel, all content is rendered into a single codec and a compact new project file is created.

Multi-project workflows allow editors to bring everything they need into one workspace. Users can open multiple Media Browser panels for easy access to as many projects as needed. The new Source Monitor Timeline view opens a second Timeline for media and sequences from other projects, making it easy to bring existing clips, edits, transitions, or graphics directly into your current project.

Premiere Pro CC now offers full support for reading and encoding GoPro CineForm, an easily managed, cross-platform intermediate codec, ideal for high resolution footage. And the Premiere Pro CC engineers keep finding ways to get more out of the GPU with native support for 4K, 5K, 6K (and higher) content, including new GPU-based deBayering for AJA RAW, Canon RAW, and Phantom Cine, as well as RED and Cinema DNG footage.

Existing features see some significant new capabilities, too, like enhanced Masking & Tracking, that enables users to adjust feathering directly in the Program Monitor, or use the free-draw polygon tool to create complex mask shapes. Use Render & Replace to speed up performance of VFX-heavy sequences by flattening After Effects CC compositions into video clips—and thanks to Dynamic Link, the original comps are always accessible if you need to make further changes. Improved Master Clip effects, Send to Audition, and AAF export to DAWs, are just a few other enhancements coming to Premiere Pro CC this Fall.

“This is a packed release for Premiere Pro CC with some really nice additions to existing features, but our big focus here was on creating easier workflows for large projects,” said Al Mooney, product manager for Premiere Pro CC. “Consolidate & Transcode, for example, is perfect for facilities who need to trim down large projects. It makes it easy to pass work on to other teams, or to archive editable projects which are still reasonably-sized.”

Adobe After Effects CC

The next release of After Effects CC offers an enhanced Live 3D Pipeline, adding Cineware 2.0 and CINEMA 4D R16 compatibility, so that artists can work faster and more easily with 3D elements in their compositions. Broadcasters and large facilities that use Adobe Anywhere for video will benefit from improved Anywhere collaboration to streamline remote workflows with version tracking and project sharing. In addition, the new version offers a number of usability refinements, such as more visible anchor points on layers, tracking behavior improvements, and more incremental improvements that make motion graphics and visual effects work easier and more efficient.

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“We’re really excited about where we’re going with After Effects CC” said Steve Forde, principal product manager. “A special highlight of our 2014 releases is the deeper integration with Premiere Pro CC and Anywhere for video. This is a great example of how we are streamlining workflows for motion graphics and visual effects artists—and enabling collaboration between teams.

Adobe SpeedGrade CC

The next release of SpeedGrade CC is focused squarely on the creative tools, including a significantly enhanced Looks workflow, Curve adjustments and awesome new Grading Layer Grouping capabilities.

Working with Looks in SpeedGrade CC has never been easier: Hover to preview Looks in the main image Monitor, and click to apply. Looks can be dragged into the grading layer stack where they will immediately appear as a new Grading Layer Group, making it easy to combine existing Looks and LUTs; just adjust the opacity of each group to get the result you want and… Voila! A real “Look mixer.” It’s also possible to create your own Grading Layer Groups, or copy and paste selected grading layers to apply them to new clips or save as new Looks.

SpeedGrade CC now offers Curve adjustments, including RGB curves familiar to Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Lightroom users, as well as Hue & Saturation curves, which allow you to boost or mute parts of the color spectrum. Use Curve grading layers on their own or in tandem with the other SpeedGrade CC color correction tools.

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Improvements to existing features include audio support for Premiere Pro CC projects in Direct Link, faster tracking, better Autosave, improved performance with masks, and Enhanced Mercury Transmit, providing 4K output for 4K monitors and new support for Blackmagic video cards.

Adobe Prelude CC

Log metadata while an event is unfolding in front of you. Use keyboard shortcuts on your laptop together with your custom tags to prepare content efficiently—and without typos. Deliver media that gives your editor a running start for a faster turnaround in post-production. Add In and Out points more efficiently and apply transitions across clips in the Rough Cut timeline. Replace, or augment, camera audio with new support for multiple audio tracks.

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Adobe Media Encoder CC

Render and deliver your work in one fell swoop with Destination Publishing: Add preset options for FTP sites, or your Creative Cloud folder. Send to multiple locations and track rendering and upload in the same panel. With new Watch Folder support for projects, you can automate transcoding of all of your project files at once by dragging Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, or Final Cut Pro XML projects into Watch Folders. Mux during encode for faster rendering of MPEG2 files with audio. Extended Match Source support now includes QuickTime and DNxHD formats.

Adobe Audition CC

Open virtually any video format, including RED, XDCAM, MXF, and others. Video files now load faster and play more smoothly. Minimize background noises while amplifying and leveling speech with a powerful new Target Dynamic Range parameter providing even better volume leveling for spoken content. Read and add notes to audio files with iXML metadata support, including information such as Scene, Take, or time code formats.

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Adobe Story Plus CC

Screenwriters and writing teams can now Customize text boxes so that notes and comments stand out. Fine tune production planning and assign numbers to camera shots to align with scene order.

Adobe Anywhere

Adobe Anywhere for video adds robust collaboration support for After Effects CC users and brings refinements to the Adobe Anywhere app for iPad, including new scrubbing gestures and sorting options. A new streaming API allows facilities and broadcasters to integrate content from Adobe Anywhere into a variety of user experiences on the web or mobile devices.

“We’re excited to be showing another strong release at IBC 2014,” said Bill Roberts. “Constant refinements across all of our applications mean we’re always improving the tools, integration, and collaboration. The demands on video pros keep growing and our efforts are empowering our users to deliver better work, faster and more efficiently than ever.”

Availability

These updates to the Creative Cloud video apps and Adobe Anywhere for video are expected to be available in the coming weeks.

We’ll share even more amazing innovation coming to Creative Cloud—across desktop, mobile, services and community—at Adobe MAX, The Creativity Conference, October 4–8 in Los Angeles. To be among the first to know when these and other Creative Cloud updates are available, follow Creative Cloud on Twitter and Facebook.

Visit the Creative Cloud video page for links and news from Adobe at IBC 2014 from September 12–17. And if you can’t make it to IBC, please join us for a special, live from Amsterdam, Ask a Video Pro session on Friday, September 12 at 10:00am PT (7:00pm CEST) when Jason Levine will introduce the new features coming to the CC video apps.

12:01 AM Permalink

Creative Cloud: A (Continuing) Promise to Innovate

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We’ve done it again (and again, and again, and again)… continued to fulfill our promise for ongoing innovation to Creative Cloud.

Read on to catch up on the latest and greatest Creative Cloud updates to services and apps that will help you get your creative on.

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The new Creative Cloud Market, just released in July, is a royalty-free repository that gives paid Creative Cloud members* access to a curated collection of Behance-sourced vector graphics, icons, patterns, UI kits, and layered PSD files. Creative Cloud Market has been a huge hit because it gives members a jump-start on their designs. Find the Market under the Assets tab of the Creative Cloud desktop app.

And stay tuned: Creative Cloud Market is also coming to your browser, and Adobe’s mobile apps, starting with Adobe Sketch (read the update below).


Promise_2
Nothing’s evolving faster than 3D printing, and Adobe is in lockstep.

Just a few months after releasing Adobe Photoshop CC with 3D printing capability, we’re now providing expanded support for new 3D printers (MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation), and print services (check our current list of print service providers), and we’ve added a broader range of supported file formats including VRML, U3D, PLY, and IGES. Plus there’s now streamlined 3D painting and the ability to combine multiple jobs into a single print bed. So even if your 3D printer is slow, setting up your design will be quick.


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Adobe Muse CC, the app that enables designers, who don’t want to learn code, to build and publish beautiful websites, continues to evolve and gather fans.

Adobe Muse now supports self-hosted web fonts, and the new Bullet Styles and Glyphs panels facilitate one-click addition of bulleted or numbered lists and special characters (such as © or ᵝ). We’ve also partnered with Google to include reCAPTCHA, a free service that uses text and number distortion to distinguish humans from bots. Now you can more easily create better-looking web pages and put the brakes on spam.


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Finally, Adobe Sketch (now in version 1.1) keeps getting better.

The mobile drawing app, with the capability to express and connect with the broader creative community now includes free, in-app access to Creative Cloud Market so you can add high-quality assets to compositions on the go, and faster file syncing for easier sharing with Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC. There’s also finer precision when drawing shapes with more finished, chamfered corners with
Adobe Slide or Touch Slide (a built-in feature for drawing straight lines and curves without hardware).


Keep an eye on this blog for our monthly roundup of the new additions to Creative Cloud.

And don’t forget, Adobe MAX is October 4–8. Register now for the Los Angeles event and you’ll be among the first to learn what’s coming next to Creative Cloud.

 

* With the exception of the Creative Cloud Photography and Photoshop Photography plans.

12:00 PM Permalink

Adobe Creative Cloud and Coudal Partners Welcome Layer Tennis 4

Think you’re a good designer? Are you brave enough to put your design skills up against other world-class designers in a fast paced competition? If the answers are “yes,” it’s time to play Layer Tennis.

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We’re excited to be working with Coudal Partners to bring Layer Tennis back for a fourth season. When it begins again on September 12 the competition will be stiff. For anyone who’s never heard of it, Layer Tennis is an online design competition where two players swap a file back-and-forth in real-time, building on each other’s work.

LayerTennis_2 In past seasons, designers like Jessica Hische, Jason Santa Maria, and Aaron Draplin have competed against each other and against up-and-coming designers who’ve won qualifying match rounds. If you’re a designer, illustrator, animator—or in any other creative profession—and you think you’ve got what it takes to compete in a qualifying match, then show us:

Create a Behance profile and

  • tag existing work that best shows off your style with “LayerTennisQualifier,”
  • or play your own Layer Tennis match with a friend and upload the layers in a shared project.

We’ll be looking through the entries and inviting designers to play in a qualifying match. If you need some inspiration visit the archive of past seasons and follow Layer Tennis on Twitter for updates, and details about the players and matches.

Then mark your calendar for the Season 4 start of Layer Tennis on September 12 and get ready to watch another season of real-time design!

10:19 AM Permalink

Learn Something New: The Latest Creative Cloud Tutorials

Creative Cloud Learn has hundreds of tutorials that help members get started, grasp essentials, learn how to use new applications, and take full advantage of a Creative Cloud membership.

This week the Learn team’s new tutorial content focuses (primarily) on the new features in Adobe Muse CC and helping experienced video professionals make the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro CC:

Switch to Premiere Pro CC

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Switch from Final Cut Pro. In this 20-minute tutorial, learn the simple XML workflow for exporting projects from Final Cut Pro and importing them into Premiere Pro CC.

Latest tips for quick video editing. Learn the latest workflow shortcuts, file performance enhancements, scrubbing tricks, and dozens of tips that improve and quicken the video editing experience in Premiere Pro CC.

Export a Digital Cinema Package. Learn how to export a Digital Cinema Package (DCP), an industry-standard collection of digital files, directly from the timeline in Premiere Pro CC.

Work with text in Adobe Muse

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Add self-hosted web fonts. Because no one can ever have too many typefaces, Adobe Muse CC just made it easier to use the fonts you already own: In this five-minute video, learn to add web fonts, licensed and downloaded from font foundries or services, to your Adobe Muse font menu.

Bullets and number lists. In this four-minute video, learn how to use the new Bullet, Bullet Styles, and Glyphs panels to easily add great-looking customized bulleted and numbered lists to website designs.

And a couple of extras

Access Creative Cloud Market design assets. Learn how to access and use Creative Cloud Market’s treasure trove of vector graphics, icons, patterns, UI kits, and for-placement images in design and web development projects.

Make selections based on focus. A three-minute how-to about making selections based on depth-of-field using Photoshop CC’s time-saving Focus Mask feature.

9:59 AM Permalink

Extract: Drag, Drop and Click to Web Extraordinary

When Adobe released the Project Parfait beta in April 2014, the team knew it had something wonderful on its hands. But the tool—which enables front-end developers to effortlessly transform comps into code by dropping PSDs into a browser—was met with excitement that the team could never have predicted. (Really. Check out what people were saying on Twitter.)

At that time, Project Parfait was a standalone web app. Fast-forward to today… We’ve named the tool Extract and a Preview version has been integrated into Creative Cloud Files. It’s one more time-saving addition to Creative Cloud.

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Assets in the Asset Panel

Less back-and-forth

The new feature in Creative Cloud Files enables Web designers and developers, who work with PSD files, to easily create code-based design from Photoshop CC compositions. That means extracting style information and image assets, copying text and CSS, grabbing color, gradient and font information, measuring distances between elements, and saving optimized image assets for production—with a drag, a drop, and a click of the mouse. From a single PSD file. Directly in Creative Cloud Files.

And the best news: Anyone with a free or paid Creative Cloud account can upload a PSD file to Creative Cloud Files and use Extract. Not only that, but once an Extract link has been shared, the recipient doesn’t need to be logged-in to a Creative Cloud account to pull assets and measurements from the file.

So there it is. A bit of magic. From Adobe. Go on, give it a try.

Some (quick) Extract lessons

A help doc from our Adobe Learn team: Extract for PSD to Web Workflows

And a video by Adobe evangelist Paul Trani:

Be sure to follow Adobe Creative Cloud: Web on Facebook and Twitter to tell us how we can make Extract better, easier to use, or, heck, just to pass along some love to the team.

2:52 PM Permalink

Building A World-class Infrastructure with Creative Cloud for Teams

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Prestige Group, India’s leading real estate developer, delivers superior quality design content using Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.

One of the leading real estate developers in the southern states of India The Prestige Group (Prestige) works across the residential, commercial, retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors. Since its inception in 1986, Prestige has completed 177 projects which include apartment enclaves, shopping malls, and corporate structures.

A long-time Adobe customer, Prestige has used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for various stages of project execution; during the initial stages of idea creation and project conceptualization, the design team creates concept presentations: “It’s a collage of various photos and ideas to depict the overall project,” says Aditya Muley, business development and design manager at Morph Design Co., part of the Prestige Group. “In this stage, we use Photoshop extensively to edit multiple photos from the inventory and also from the Internet; Illustrator is useful when there is a requirement to create wallpaper and other designs of interior items,” says Muley.

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Once the concept is approved, the property floor plan and the layout is developed using AutoCAD or 3ds Max software. At this stage of concept development, the Prestige design team would once again use Photoshop extensively. “We use Photoshop to import or edit photos, provide multiple textures to the layout, add special effects, and finally to design different views, such as a top view or side view,” says Muley.

Version consistency and license management

Although the firm has been using Adobe creative tools rigorously, there were multiple challenges in terms of using the latest versions of these tools and managing the licenses. “Our traditional approach was to install new versions one, two, or three seats at a time. As a result, we might have designers using one version and the architect team using another, which could cause IT administration issues associated with maintaining multiple software versions,” says Venkat Rao, general manager, IT, Prestige. “We wanted our employees to uniformly use the latest and leading-edge solutions.” The use of the latest versions of the creative tools was vital for Prestige also from a compliance point of view.

Prestige decided to adopt Adobe Create Cloud for teams. “For a rapidly growing firm like ours, the biggest challenge is giving everyone access to the latest software and then tracking application allocations,” says Rao. “That’s why we were excited when we heard about the automated administration in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.” Prestige also realized that the latest versions of Adobe’s creative tools offer incredible integration, more features, and a greatly advanced—yet familiar—user interface with which its designers can work with higher efficiency. “The incompatibility issue was automatically resolved,” says Rao.

A streamlined migration process

The migration to Creative Cloud for teams went smoothly; post-implementation, Adobe held multiple training sessions on using the tools in Creative Cloud.

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Now with simplified access to all of the components in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams and no lag time between versions or upgrades, the designers are always updated. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives Prestige upgrades of the software upon release of new versions, plus exclusive features between releases, enabling them to stay up to date on the creative tools integral to their daily workflow.

Multiple new features of Adobe Creative Cloud tools are of great value to Prestige. Adobe Photoshop CC features include effects such as sun glare or artificial light, the ability to edit background and insert images, and ease of obtaining multiple views, which are extensively used by Prestige. “With Photoshop CC, one can directly edit and import textures into AutoCAD or 3ds Max,” says Muley. With Adobe Illustrator CC, Prestige can create new images from scratch, which can then be enlarged and sent out for printing. “We are thrilled with the newly added features of Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC,” says Muley. “In fact, with access to the latest versions of the software, we are empowered to experiment and invent new ideas in project design and execution.”

Maintaining design integrity with Adobe Acrobat CC

During various stages of the project; from conceptualization and design to execution, multiple project designs are required to be shared with internal and external groups of users for review and acceptance. Ensuring the security and integrity of these designs is vital. Also, sharing AutoCAD or 3ds Max design files with a wide group of users created issues. “We wanted the final output to be secured and optimized in its size in order to share it with the internal or external users,” says Muley. Prestige effectively addressed these challenges by standardizing on Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Prestige collaborates on projects across teams and with clients more easily. “We have never faced compatibility issues and the overall workflow has greatly improved with Acrobat,” says Muley.

Simplified management, big savings

The streamlined deployment and administration in Creative Cloud for teams has greatly helped the IT team at Prestige to eliminate many time-consuming manual processes, such as installing packaged software or maintaining version consistency. “We no longer need to perform updates one-by-one on machines as we now have the flexibility to install software onto computers on demand and activate new subscriptions as needed,” says Rao. Creative Cloud for teams has helped Prestige raise the productivity of the IT team by simplifying software administration with license management, automatic tracking, and version upgrades.

Creative Cloud for teams eliminates the need to manage software upgrades. Every employee has automatic access to the latest versions of Adobe products, which not only supports compatibility between workers but enables the company to take advantage of new features without worrying about the cost of upgrades.

For Prestige, Creative Cloud for teams has significantly reduced the total cost of ownership for Adobe solutions by creating a standardized model for purchasing and deploying the most current versions of Creative Cloud tools. “We like paying annually for Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. It’s a much more effective approach to budgeting as it eliminates lump-sum software purchases,” says Rao.

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Scalable for future expansion

With better control and higher visibility on license utilization Creative Cloud for teams is a scalable solution. “As our design and architect teams expand, Creative Cloud for teams readily supports us as licenses can be added on-the-fly without major cost implications,” says Rao.

It supports the company’s rapid growth and its ability to efficiently manage the workflow of large and complex real estate projects. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams helps us become more productive by simplifying software administration with license management and automatic tracking,” says Rao. “The predictable, easily managed model in Creative Cloud for teams allows us to budget for software purchases accordingly and grow as our team grows.”

Read the Prestige Group case study.

1:31 PM Permalink

It’s Another Update for Adobe Muse CC

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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:





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.

10:54 AM Permalink

Illustrating Instruction: Tad Carpenter Creative

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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.
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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.

What features were you commissioned to illustrate?
For Adobe Illustrator CC: New Document, Auto-trace and Resolution, and Arrowheads. For Adobe Muse CC: Master Pages, Hyperlinks, and Site Set-up.

Master Pages in Adobe Muse

Master Pages in Adobe Muse

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.


Hyperlinks in Adobe Muse

Hyperlinks in Adobe Muse

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.

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In one word describe how you feel when staring at that blank canvas.
Anxious.

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

New Document in Illustrator CC

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-tracing and Resolution in Illustrator CC

Auto-tracing and Resolution in Illustrator CC

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.


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Unleashing Unlimited Creativity with Creative Cloud for Teams

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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

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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

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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.

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