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Swiss Radio and Television Produces Stunning Sochi Opener

Broadcaster uses Adobe Creative Cloud workflow to create opener promoting the winter games

The Winter Games are a chance for us to witness magic moments of incredible artistry and athleticism performed by the amazing athletes competing there. But in order for us to do so, broadcasters around the world spent months preparing for that short period of intense coverage. For Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), a publicly funded broadcaster serving the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the preparations included creating a stunning opener that builds excitement for audiences tuning-in to the games. Patrick Arnecke, head of design and promotion, leads the creative team responsible for design and production of the on air campaign.

Adobe: Tell us about the Swiss Radio and Television.

Arnecke: The SRF is a publicly funded broadcaster that serves the German-speaking part of Switzerland. We maintain two full-blown 24/7 TV channels, a TV repeat channel for news programs, seven radio channels, and an extensive online portal.

Adobe: What teams do you work with at the SRF and what do they produce?

Arnecke: I’m the head of the design and promotion team. The design team consists of 25 designers who do all corporate design, motion graphics and interaction design for SRF. Creatively they are responsible for channel branding, campaigns, image clips and labels as well as show packaging. We also do all of the 2D and 3D animation used for our TV magazines and news shows. The promotion team has eleven editors and promo producers who work on traditional on-air trailers as well as cross media campaigns.

Adobe: Tell us about the work you’ve done for the Winter Games?

Arnecke: Last year during the summer we started to rethink our overall sports design. We have various sports programs on air and wanted to repackage the whole set of shows for SRF zwei, our main entertainment and sports channel. We regularly cover huge events like the Winter Games for the Swiss audience, and we needed to come up with a solution for those events as well, and tie that into the overall design.

We decided to center our redesign around the core idea of the “magic moment”—those rare moments when extraordinary athletic performance seems almost supernatural. We then spent five days shooting all the necessary plates using RED Epic and Phantom Flex cameras, special camera rigs with a high speed camera carousel, and a huge 15m x 9m x 7.5m green screen area. Among other things, we staged ice hockey, alpine skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, ski jumping, and cross country skiing. Everything was conceptualized, directed, and pre- and post-produced by four in-house designers. From that footage we produced a 28-second opener for our Sochi coverage along with the show packaging, and the promo teasers that we used to ramp up the campaign in January.

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Adobe: What products are you using to produce your content?

Arnecke: Right now we have a mix of Adobe Creative Cloud and Creative Suite 6 software. On the design team we use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Our main tool for 2D animation is After Effects, and we rely on Cinema 4D as our main 3D package. The closer relationship between Adobe and Maxon and the strong connection between Cinema 4D and After Effects comes in very handy for our pipeline.

At the beginning of 2013 we started using Edge Animate to create small, interactive HTML5 elements to give our online news articles more depth and interactivity. For our video content, we started to work with SpeedGrade to give content from different sources a uniform look. During the last months we switched to Premiere Pro as our main editing tool, which replaces Final Cut Pro.

Adobe: What was the workflow for creating the Sochi opener?

Arnecke: In pre-production the responsible designers Martin Bernhard (director) and Simon Renfer (co-director) used Photoshop, with Wacom tablets and screens, to create the storyboards. On set and after the shoot was completed, we used SpeedGrade to convert the Phantom material and then edited the content in Premiere Pro. Lead 3D Artists Jürg Dummermuth and Simone Nucci did all of the 3D CGI with Cinema 4D. In addition to using After Effects for previsualization and animatics, it was also used for 2D animation, keying, rotoscoping, retouching, compositing, and grading. We’ve done a lot of smaller projects such as show openers and image trailers using Premiere Pro, but the Sochi opener is one of the biggest projects we’ve done to date with the new workflow.

Adobe: Why did you make the switch to Premiere Pro?

Arnecke: After Apple didn’t continue Final Cut Pro, we were looking for alternatives. The pipeline efficiencies that let us easily switch between Premiere Pro and After Effects are important to us. Premiere Pro is especially useful if we shoot on RED cameras because thanks to the Mercury Playback Engine we don’t have to convert and we can edit right away. We usually like to edit on set to see if what we’ve shot is exactly what we need.

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Adobe: Tell us how you’re using Adobe Edge Animate CC?

Arnecke: We have a small team of designers who work on infographics for our daily news shows. We use graphical content created for on-air programming, add interactivity and repackage that content for our news articles online. For example, for the election of Pope Franziskus or the 50th anniversary of the President Kennedy assassination we created interactive explanatory pieces with Edge Animate. These interactives give more depth to our news articles online and typically take us one to three days to produce—last year we did more than 150 of these.

See examples of the infographics here

Adobe: What’s next for your team?

Arnecke: We’re planning a seven day shoot that will take place in March for our summer sports. With the success of the winter sports workflow, we’ll be using a similar setup.

Read more about the use of Maxon Cinema 4D

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud

Download a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud

12:52 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: McFarland & Pecci on Creative Cloud

Twisted, dark and awesome. Three words that describe the work of the creative team and visual artists that make up McFarland & Pecci. Still relatively new Creative Cloud members, these fellas have wasted no time utilizing the broad range of tools and programs to create one-of-a-kind work. A documentary film for well-known “metal core” band, Killswitch Engage? They’ve done it. High concept cover art for the Boston Phoenix? Sure. See what we mean about twisted, dark and awesome?

We engaged in a lightning round Q&A session with them to get more details on why Creative Cloud works for them. The diverse amount of products offered, the seamless syncing, constant updates, and bug fixes are just a few reasons why this duo takes creativity to a whole new level.

Adobe: Describe a project you are currently working on or have completed with Creative Cloud.

McFarland & Pecci: We signed up for Creative Cloud a few months ago and jumped right into a few projects with Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop. McFarland & Pecci is a creative team of directors and visual artists. We create everything from high concept photo shoots to feature films and documentaries. The past few months have kept us busy in post-production on the new Killswitch Engage documentary called “New Awakening”, the new music video for CZARFACE featuring Inspectah Deck from Wu-Tang, one of the final high concept covers for the Boston Phoenix, and an upcoming “double secret” comic book film.

What was your inspiration behind the project?

We love to tell stories, and we tend to be drawn to darker subject matter and artists that are obsessed with their craft.  The film on Killswitch Engage was a fun project that allowed us to focus on the guys as a family unit and we kept our gear tight and our crew small. The CZARFACE video is deeply rooted in our love for Grindhouse flicks and Shaw Brothers films, and the ‘End of the World’ photo shoot was completely influenced by the epic magic of Michael Bay!

How has the Creative Cloud changed your creative workflow?

We switched to Premiere Pro to simplify our workflow. Plain and simple. We shot CZARFACE with the RED EPIC in 5K with Hawk anamorphic lenses.  The piece required a lot of compositing in After Effects and color grading. The fact that I could bring the raw files right into my timeline and directly export to After Effects made our lives so much easier. A competitor’s program has really dropped the ball when it comes to professional editing these days so we were looking for a smart move. Just the time saved by not having to transcode footage from the RED and/or DSLRs was enough of a reason to make the jump to Premiere Pro.

What tools specific to Creative Cloud enable you to work more efficiently?

As mentioned earlier, all the new benefits of Premier Pro were our big draw in the video side of things, but the new version of Photoshop and its retouching tools and amazing smart layers really helped us composite these giant “End of the World” files. We have always been Adobe fans in one way or another, but having it all in one spot really helps us.  The cloud helps us keep both systems identical in our edit bays, and the constant updates have fixed a lot of software bugs already.

Describe your style of work in three words

Really F$#Kin Awesome!

Fill in the blank: I couldn’t create without _________.

Our twisted minds and the tools that can keep up with them.

What advice would you give to an individual who is considering Creative Cloud?

If you are a video editor, make the jump to Premier Pro.  Just do it. Creative Cloud is the smart choice; you sign up and download everything you need. It even runs on two systems. Makes having a post house a lot easier.

Dig their work? Check out Mcfarland & Pecci on Facebook, visit our website to see more films – www.mcfarlandandpecci.com – or follow directors @MikePecci and @Ian_McFarland on Twitter for behind the scenes content and tutorials.

10:38 AM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Jeff Sydor on Adobe Creative Cloud

What do you get when you combine a popular mobile and web game, a classic painting, and a creative mind? Creative specialist Jeff Sydor’s (@JeffSydor) most recent Creative Cloud project: “A Friend in Need – An Angry Birds Parody.”

After coming across his work on the Creative Cloud Facebook page, we connected with Jeff to learn more about his project, how Creative Cloud played an integral role in the creation, and some features that have helped him evolve his creative process. Get the whole story below, plus learn some tips and techniques you can apply to your next project.

Finally, be sure to submit your own work on the Creative Cloud Facebook wall for a chance to be featured!

Adobe: Describe a project you are currently working on or have completed with Creative Cloud.

Jeff: I started my Angry Birds poker project in early 2012, titled: A Friend In Need – An Angry Birds Parody. This project was inspired by a tutorial by Marcos Torres (@marcos333) to design a custom Angry Birds scene.

What was your inspiration behind the project?

I wanted to design a scene that no one else had done yet, so I settled on the popular “Dogs Playing Poker” or “A Friend In Need” themed creation. I figured it was only a matter of time until someone made an Angry Birds variation given its relevance to current pop-culture.

The second part of this project was mainly a challenge for me – to design the entire image using tools only found in Adobe Illustrator CS6. Up until this point, I had only used Illustrator to design icons or logos, not full-scale graphics and scenes. I knew I could design many of the elements in Photoshop CS6 (especially the 3D ones), but I wanted to see just how far I could push both my and Illustrator’s limits. This helped me master many new skills and tools that would help me in future projects.

How has the Creative Cloud changed your creative workflow?

The greatest advantage that the Creative Cloud has given me was the ability to specify the computers I use with certain products. I use my desktops at home and at the office for all my Creative Suite 6 tools – whether it’s video editing, interactive design, web development, photo editing, or in this case – illustrating. Then I can specifically use my laptop with the essential applications without using up all my disk space. Plus, now I have the option to install any new and existing applications whenever, and wherever I need them. Thanks to Creative Cloud’s App-Store like interface, I can do this without needing to carry the install disks around with me.

What tools specific to Creative Cloud enable you to work more efficiently?

When I started this project I would carry my work around on a flash drive. The biggest problems with this for me were making sure that I always had the most updated file on hand and worrying whether or not the file would get lost or corrupted. The biggest advantage of Creative Cloud is the ability to save my work in one place, the cloud. This allowed me to save all my files, settings, brushes, symbols, and color palettes while having access to them on any machine I was working on.

Describe your style of work in three words:

Organized, Colorful, Themed.

What advice would you give to an individual who is considering Creative Cloud?

Adobe now offers many useful tools that that you can only get with a Creative Cloud membership.

One Illustrator tool that I especially love and can’t live without, the ability to preflight and package all my data like you can in Adobe InDesign. Now I don’t have to spend extra time finding document links and outlining fonts before sending them to another designer or printer. This allows me to work non-destructively while getting projects completed much faster. The other benefit is that Creative Cloud is subscription based. If you are struggling to justify spending a lot of money to upgrade or buy the most recent software, you can now spend a much smaller amount on a monthly basis.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The only way to discover your potential and creativity is to play, and Adobe’s Creative Cloud is always giving you cool new things to play with. So sit at the computer, open an application, and just try it. Keep trying new things and mixing techniques and you’ll discover something really cool.

You can check out additional projects Jeff has completed by vising his website.

11:44 AM Permalink

Our Top 12 Most Notable Moments of 2012 – Part Two

Here is the second half of our countdown to our top 12 moments of 2012. We hope you’ve enjoyed the year as much as we did. As we look forward, we’re extremely excited for what’s in store in 2013. Here’s to an amazing new year!

Scavenger-150x150 Moment #6 | Creative Cloud Scavenger Hunt 

Back in April, we got creatives involved in a scavenger hunt right in our backyard in San Francisco the day of the Creative Cloud launch – and it sure was a blast. The grand prize was $10,000 and a lifetime Creative Cloud membership, with two runner-up prizes of 1-year Creative Cloud memberships, which ended up being grabbed by some very lucky winners. Thanks again to all those who participated! We had some great memories from your social documentary.

CreateTheWeb-150x150Moment #5 | Create the Web

Kicking off the first leg of the tour in San Francisco, we announced key updates for the web development community, including Dreamweaver updates and new Edge Tools & Services, exclusively for Creative Cloud members. This also included the first release of Edge Animate (formerly known as Adobe Edge). With these new apps added to Creative Cloud, we’ve seen a tremendous appreciation from you – landing its rank at number four.

 

CreateNow-300x111Moment #4 | Create Now Live

This online event pulls into the number three spot due to the big feature updates we were thrilled to announce for Creative Cloud members. Photoshop updates included Retina Display support and more, Muse acquired a way to create mobile versions for websites, and the very popular announcements of Creative Cloud for Teams and the addition of Creative Cloud Training. You can still watch the keynote and other snippets from the event on our Create Now Adobe TVchannel.

 

BehanceMoment #3 | Adobe & Behance

We’re thrilled that the Behance community will be joining our family! 2013 holds more in store for how we deepen the connections between our creative tools and services via Creative Cloud and creatives like you around the world.

 

CreativeCloud-150x150Moment #2 | Creative Cloud Launch

This is where it all began, which is why were placing this in the runner-up spot for our notable moments. Along with the launch of Creative Cloud, we were excited to introduce the new version of Creative Suite 6, loaded with major feature updates to all our CS applications.

 

Facebook-150x150Moment #1 | Top 3 Creative Cloud Facebook Posts

None of the moments up to this point would have mattered if it weren’t for you, our community. A big thanks goes out to our Creative Cloud Facebook fans. We hit our 50,000 likes milestone just before the end of the year! Here’s a look at our Fan favorite moments based on your engagement.

 

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12:00 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Tad Carpenter’s Sad Santa Book

‘Tis the season for some holiday-inspired creative work! Tad Carpenter is no stranger to us when it comes to sharing some of his great pieces of artwork. He was a part of our Creative Suite Spotlight series and was featured on our Design Center showcase for his interpretation of the ‘Modern Day Venus.’ This time around, we reached out to Tad regarding his recent book, Sad Santa, which was created using a number Creative Suite 6 applications.

Get a feel for his book in the below animated teaser and get an even more in-depth understanding to how Tad found his inspiration for the project in a Q&A exchange we had with him.

Adobe: What’s the background and creative process for your Sad Santa book? 

Tad Carpenter: Working on Sad Santa was a dream come true. It was 100% a project built on passion. It was an idea I was kicking around in my head for sometime and decided to take the time to make it a reality. I wrote the manuscript and created several examples of how I envisioned the artwork looking and the book being designed to start. I was lucky enough to have contacts with various publishers I had done work with prior and then started to shop the concept around. I was thrilled with the feedback I got from publishers, and Sterling Books quickly acquired it.

What inspired you to create this book? Store_SadSanta_tadcarpenter-264x300

This book was written and illustrated shortly after getting married to my best friend and now wife, Jessica. After planning a wedding for over a year, it came and went so quickly. We planned a huge party for all our friends and family for an entire year and then it was over. I thought, “I bet this is how Santa feels each year.” He works all year for one day and just like that, it is over. No doubt December 26th has to be an awful and horrible day for Santa. So, after many conversations with Santa himself, I was right! Santa does get the post-holiday blues. When the toys are all made, the presents handed out, and the Christmas cookies eaten, Santa is miserable. Will Santa ever feel like his old holly-jolly self again? What will cheer him up? And with that, the idea for the book was born.

Do you have any useful tips to share with our community?

Passion projects are good. Sad Santa started as a little sketch and a few lines of copy in my sketchbook. I was passionate about the idea and the project. No one was initially paying me to work on this project but I knew something was there. Always trust your gut and make your vision happen.

Any other details you’d like to share with the community about the project?

One thing I want all the kids and parents to do this year and make a tradition moving forward is this: Since Santa’s most difficult day of the year is December 26th after all the presents have been delivered, make sure you drop a little thank you note to Santa in the mail on that day so he knows how much you care. That will surely give the big guy a smile. :)

11:17 AM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Ryan Garratt on Adobe Ideas

Recently, Adobe Ideas v2.5 was released on iOS and our fans love it! For over a year now, graphic designer and Touch Apps user Ryan Garratt (@NemesisGraphics) has continued to improve his creative process and creations with each update to Ideas. Excited about the update, Ryan connected with us over Twitter to let us know what he really loves about the update and provided us useful pointers for both rookie and veteran users.

Read on to learn more and be sure to visit our Adobe Touch Apps Facebook and Twitter channels to see his work on display. Also, check out the Adobe TV video after the Q&A to learn more about what’s new in Adobe Ideas v2.5.

Adobe: Have you had a chance to try out the new features in Adobe Ideas v 2.5? Which are your favorites?

Ryan: The update is SUPERB! The addition of the new preset tools is fantastic and the paintbrush is possibly my favorite addition to the arsenal, as I really enjoy how you can vary the strokes to give power lines to work. The paint bucket fill is an absolute genius addition as well. Before it would be a case of coloring and getting a few spots that you had missed, but with the new fill bucket it increases productivity and efficiency. Needless to say, I was really excited when the update came out.

What tips/suggestions do you have for creative individuals thinking about getting into Adobe Ideas?

Enjoy what you do. I recommend having a stylus on hand and find somewhere you can relax. Experiment as well – try different opacity settings and line thickness. It’s all about finding your style!

For Ideas veterans like yourself, what tips and/or techniques can you offer them to improve their creative workflow?

Just enjoy what you’re doing! I absolutely love what i do and think that fuels me to keep creating. Also, keep everything you do, regardless of whether it’s a quick doodle or masterpiece. To look back on and see your journey progress is critical.

Which pairing of the Touch Apps and CS6 products are most instrumental to your creative process and why?

I would have to say Illustrator. I can sketch something roughly on my iPad using Ideas, and after uploading it I can use Illustrator to clean up and tweak everything. The live trace preset is fantastic.

How much of a difference has direct touch input made to your creations?

Immensely! I take my iPad and stylus with me everywhere… just in case the mood to draw strikes me. Uploading to a computer from anywhere makes life extremely easy and 100% more efficient. Its’ been a huge help and boosted my ability and workflow.

Anything else you would like to say?

If you don’t already own any of the Adobe Touch Apps, I strongly recommend getting them. They are enjoyable and easy to use, and not to mention they are very powerful tools for creating. Without them, I don’t think I could draw. I can’t recommend them enough!

11:56 AM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Director Ross Ching and Empty America

emptyamerica

Director Ross Ching has mastered the art of the time-lapse video and has recently done it in very innovative way. He has created an eerie video series, titled “Empty America,” by removing the hustle and bustle that normally is the heartbeat of major U.S. cities, using Creative Suite 6 applications, Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro. Check out our exchange with Ross on his inspiration and some of his quick video tips.

Adobe: Can you give a quick description highlighting your creative process/creative workflow for Empty America?

Ross Ching: People really find connections with things they recognize in situations that they don’t recognize. It’s almost as if the viewer is in on an inside joke. It’s something that I always try to incorporate into my work, and that’s why time-lapse, super slow motion and stop motion are so prevalent on the Internet. So when deciding which cities to feature in this series, I wanted people who have never even been to the locations to be able to pick out landmarks that they’ve seen before. 

What was your inspiration behind the project?

I live in Los Angeles. I drive in Los Angeles. I think about traffic a lot in Los Angeles. A couple years ago, I discovered Matt Logue’s Empty LA photographs. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but every time I was stuck in rush hour all-hour traffic, I found myself thinking, “What if tomorrow everyone’s car disappeared?” What would that scene look like? How would people react? How quickly would the atmosphere rebound from centuries of fossil fuel emissions?

So I took Matt Logue’s still photography concept and applied it to something that I do best — time lapse. That Los Angeles video was very successful, and so I pitched an expansion of it to Thrash Lab, a destination for digital filmmakers created by Ashton Kutcher’s Katalyst Network. They really liked it and believed in my work, and it’s now the biggest set of videos on the channel.

Do you have any useful tips or techniques to share with the community?

When creating something for the Internet, people’s attention span is VERY short. Think about how you look at other videos on YouTube and think about the how long it takes you to either skip through the video or click the back button. Our main goal as a video creator is to get the viewer to watch from beginning to end without skipping or hitting the back button. If they’re able to do that, they’re MANY times more likely to share the video with a friend — and that’s how seeds of viral videos are made. So let’s look at the elements to do that:

Must be short — 3 or 4 minutes or less. I’ve got many other tabs open and my pot of water on the stove is about to boil.

The 10 second hook — Probably the most important aspect. We need to WOW the viewer right off the bat. That means either showing them something they’ve never seen, or some kind of filmmaking technique that’s really unique. Whatever it is, if your friend doesn’t say WOW when you tell them the first 10 seconds of the concept, it’s back to the drawing board.

Sustainability — Once you have them hooked, you need to create a device that pulls them to the end. Some examples: a story, beautiful cinematography, creative art, exciting visuals that are rarely seen. Anything that will get them interested in seeing what happens at the end.

Check out more from the Empty America series on Thrash Lab’s Facebook Page.

11:05 AM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Jessica Graza on Adobe Ideas

Be gone the days of lugging around a laptop, the days where confined space would limit your creativity, the days where designing was restricted indoors. Adobe Touch Apps is a game changer when it comes to creating on-the-go, and one user who knows that better than many is Jessica Garza (@jessicamariedesign).

Jessica’s talents were discovered via Twitter. After identifying her as a veteran Touch Apps user, we threw some questions her way to better understand her creative workflow, discuss the creative projects that she is most proud of, as well as get tips for otherTouch Apps users. Check out the full Q&A below and visit our social channels (Facebook and Twitter) to see her work on display.

Adobe: How has the integration from Touch Apps through to the Creative Cloud features changed your creative workflow?
Jessica: Adobe Ideas has allowed me to create on-the-go. I used to create using my Wacom tablet and laptop, which was fine, except in situations where I had limited space. Now, I carry my iPad with me and create with Adobe Ideas. I can design at the park, by the pool, or on a flight – all without having to carry all my equipment.

What are your favorite features in Adobe Ideas?
What really made Ideas essential to my creative workflow was that it exports my art work in vector. I would not have much use for the app if my final product was just a JPEG, as I take what I create and refine it using Illustrator and Photoshop.

Which Adobe Ideas project are you most proud of and why?

I’d have to say the project I am most proud of is my “Gameday Dress” sketches. I created a template in Ideas to show my customers what their “Gameday Dress” would look like with specific colors and designs. Ideas made it easy for me to duplicate my original and edit the template by adding layers.

What tips/suggestions do you have for creative individuals thinking about getting into Adobe Touch Apps?

Do it! You won’t regret it. Ideas will give you the flexibility to create on-the-go. Whether you are sketching or creating complete works of art, Ideas makes it easy for you to do so. Even if you don’t consider yourself a digital artist, you will find a use for Ideas.

For veteran users like yourself, what tips and/or techniques can you offer them to improve their creative workflow?

When I used my sketchpad, I was hesitant to begin drawing until I had an idea of exactly what I was going to do. Now that I use Ideas as my digital sketchpad, I draw out all my ideas and work with new layers to refine the original sketch. My tip for users is to create without hesitation. You can always create a new layer or work on your file in Illustrator/Photoshop to refine it.

Stay up-to-date with all of Jessica’s projects by visiting her design blog. Also, remember to reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below for the chance to be featured. That’s all for now. Until then, keep on creating!

10:25 AM Permalink

Firewater’s A Little Revolution Music Video – The Making Of with Brian Yap

There’s no denying the fact that Brian Yap is one talented Adobe Touch Apps user. We’ve seen his Touch Apps projectssuch as the Grovemade iPhone/iPad Cases, his demo videos on Adobe TV , and we’re excited to bring you more of his great designs. This time around, Brian has lent his talents to the self-described “world punk” band Firewater for their recent music video titled “A Little Revolution.”

We chatted with Brian to learn how he utilized his favorite app, Adobe Ideas,  CS6 tools, and Creative Cloud in making of the music video. Check out our interview below and pick up some useful tips along the way.

Adobe: How did this opportunity to work on the Firewater music video project come about?
Brian Yap: Paul Griswold contacted me about working together for no reason other than seeing and liking my illustrations on an Adobe TV video – where I was using Adobe Ideas and talking about how it fit my style. We connected and talked a bit about wanting to collaborate on a fun project. Then, earlier this year, a friend of Paul’s and musical hero of mine, Todd A., contacted him in the hopes that he could get help creating a music video on a tight budget. The band was Firewater and the video was created for the first single off their new album.

Live footage was shot in Turkey and was mixed with animation built from illustrations I did on the tablet with Adobe Ideas and then fine-tuned in Illustrator. The pieces were then animated with After Effects, as well as other programs outside of Adobe.  Being able to work remotely made it possible for me to connect with these amazingly talented guys and get in on this project, without ever actually meeting them in person.

Talk us through your creative process. How did you approach this project?
I started by working with the team to come up with a bunch of visual concepts to illustrate. I began collecting references and sketching things out. The process was cool because I would feed Paul Griswold sheets of designs and pieces, and then when the test animations started, it lead to other ideas and concepts.

Usually, whenever someone tells you to just draw cool stuff, the first thing that happens is white paper freeze, but Firewater’s music and the tracks from the new album are so filled with energy and ideas that it was easy to get things flowing and get into it.

Tell us why Adobe Touch Apps, specifically Adobe Ideas, was an ideal tool to use for this task?
I was able to work while traveling with Ideas and the Creative Cloud and keep all the many pieces and designs organized. Being able to draw while traveling for another project, or get out of the office or studio and work on this project really kept me inspired. The vector-based quality of Ideas meant that the process of cleaning up a sketch to make it finished and the way I wanted was super fast and easy so I could explore a lot more pieces quickly and feel okay about not sending everything.

What was the inspiration behind the images you created?
All the inspiration for the work I contributed to the piece was from the song. The tone of the music, the energetic and upbeat sound, and the themes in the lyrics, all helped to lead everything from color to what I was drawing. The video footage shot in Turkey had a “dance number” skew/protest march. It helped inspire me to keep the illustrations meaningful but usable in a way that matched the tone of the song.

Speaking of music, how critical does music play in your creative process? What genre or music gets you in a creative mode?
I’m definitely an aging music nerd. Everything I do is inspired by the music I listen to and when possible, like this project, actually part of the work. Todd A and Firewater’s sound and big catalog were on constant repeat during this project, and I think I made some new fans for them around me because of it. A lot of time it’s hip hop, like Ghostface Killah. When I need to slow it down, like when I’m sketching or playing with concepts, I get into bands with a more songwriting, musical exploration type feel. Lately groups like Manouk, Manchester Orchestra, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and instrumental outfits, like Red Sparowes, are as important to me working as the tools I use to draw.

What tips/suggestions do you have for creative individuals thinking about getting into Adobe Ideas?
The pinch and zoom allows you to work with an almost infinite sized canvas. Drawing on a tablet with a photo layer is an unbelievable way to keep a reference file, sketchbook and finished canvases all in the same place. I always say, just play around with it. Get used to the features and what it does and then make the tool work the way you work.

For veteran users like yourself, what tips and/or techniques can you offer?
I was using Ideas for a year before bothering to play much with opacity. It led me to a whole new way of drawing with Ideas that look like pencil by using a super low opacity and black or grey and just layering strokes. Always keep playing with the app. I think the simplicity makes it easy to use for everyone, but there are some smart guys behind this application and the ways we as artists use it is only fenced in by our imagination and willingness to adapt to a new artistic tool.

For more on the making of the music video, check out the project on Behance.

11:16 AM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Isaiah Bela on Adobe Touch Apps

Depending on his mood and where inspiration may strike him, you might find Adobe Touch Apps user Isaiah Bela (@BelaTheBoy) creating in the bedroom, a park or in the back seat of a car. We connected with this Los Angeles-based creative after coming across his “Fluttershy” project, which he shared with the Adobe Ideas Facebook Fan Page. Impressed with his work, we reached out to find out more about his work and creative process.

Being the vector-art fanatic that he is, Isaiah discussed the simplicity of creating on-the-go with Adobe Ideas and further refining his work in Illustrator CS6 through the use of the Creative Cloud. Additionally, he provided us with useful tips for all Touch Apps users, from newbie to veteran, and much more! Check out the full Q&A below, the photo album of his creations we’ve included directly below and his work displayed on our Touch Apps Twitter and Facebook channels. You can also see more of his creations on Deviantart.

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