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Creative Spotlight: Todd Powelson on Adobe Touch Apps

When it comes to looking at options for portability, Todd Powelson has tried it all from dragging along his canvas, paints and brushes, then downsizing to markers. It wasn’t until Todd tried the Adobe Touch Apps that simplicity sunk in, allowing him to quickly concept anywhere and transfer creations to his desktop where he can further refine until he is satisfied.

In addition to the Cubism/Surrealism/Fauvist art he has shared with us today, Todd plans on utilizing new products, such as Edge Animate, to incorporate animation into his work.

Read the full Q&A below to find out how Todd found Adobe Touch Apps, how they and other Adobe products have benefited his creative process.

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11:36 AM Permalink

Top 5 Creative Cloud Tips (and Benefits) from Dave Cross

Dave-CrossOur team noticed Photoshop trainer, author, speaker and photographer, Dave Cross (@DaveCross) sharing Creative Cloud tips on Twitter, so we tapped him to see if he’d be up for sharing his insights with our Creative Layer readers. Dave told us that in the relatively short time that he’s been an Adobe Creative Cloud member, he’s already benefited in some unexpected ways, and continues to see additional opportunities where he can take advantage of Creative Cloud features. Here are Dave’s top 5 Creative Cloud tips (and really some benefits), written by the pro himself:

Tip #1: Apps

Of course, having access to all the Adobe applications is pretty sweet. But there’s a “hidden” benefit: Adobe Creative Cloud members get access to new features before they are released to everyone else. There have already been exclusive new features added to Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Muse and more, and I expect that will continue in the future with other apps.  

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5:48 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Adrian Franks on Adobe Touch Apps

We’d like to introduce you to Adrian Franks (@afranks3) – a creative who celebrates friends, historic figures and admired current icons by creating silhouette sketches using the creative trio of Adobe Touch Apps, Creative Cloud, and Creative Suite! We stumbled upon one of Adrian’s impressive sketches on the Adobe Ideas Facebook Page and reached out to learn more about him and his work as we knew that Adrian would have a great story to share.

Get to know Adrian – find out where he likes to create, his ideal travel destination and how Adobe’s products have helped streamline his digital workflow in the full Q&A below. Also, visit both our Twitter and Facebook channels to see his work on display.

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Adobe: When were you first introduced to Adobe Touch Apps?

Adrian Franks: I started using Adobe Touch Apps when I first discovered Adobe Ideas in January 2011.

What was the very first creation you made with Touch Apps and Creative Cloud?
My creative endeavors with Touch Apps is a line of silhouette drawings called FEARLESS that highlights various people that I admire whether they are close friends, historic figures, or current pop culture icons. Currently, I use Creative Cloud to store my vector-based silhouette and download them to my Mac for further design work in CS6.

Where’s your favorite location to create?
My favorite place is at my studio, which is broken down into 2 places. One, being my physical studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the other is out in the world on the go. Whether I am on my bike, riding the train, the bus, or random coffee shops, I consider that as part of my studio. It helps influence my work.

How has the integration from Touch Apps through to the Creative Cloud features changed your creative workflow?
Creative Cloud has allowed me to produce my ideas faster because I have fewer steps to take. I love the fact that once I am done creating in Ideas it auto saves, syncs to the Cloud where I can download the file back to my computer to further manipulate in Photoshop or Illustrator. Once done, I can post to social or send to a printer. All of this has streamlined the process into a digital workflow. I love it!

Which pairing of the Touch Apps and the applications within Creative Cloud (i.e., CS6), are most instrumental to your creative process and why?
I love the combo of Ideas + Photoshop + Illustrator for creating illustrations and designs. I also love Proto + Photoshop + Illustrator for web design and UX projects.

How much of a difference has direct touch input made to your creations?
The Touch Apps give me the freedom to create and concept like I used to before the computer. It replicates the functions of pen and paper, but maintains ease of use on digital.  Touch is the present and future creative.

If you had the opportunity to travel to anywhere in the world with your Touch Apps, where would it be and why?
Africa, especially South Africa. Design there has been in a boom for a couple of years now. Events such as the World Cup and its rich political history have caused a shift in how the world perceives South Africa and its people. With that said, things such as creativity, design, art, and photography have pushed the thinking of South Africans. I would like to be a part of that, I would need to be mobile and believe Adobe’s Touch Apps and CS6 would allow me to do that.

Can’t get enough of Adrian’s work? Visit his Creative Works website to check out more of his work. If you have great work to share, send your creations our way for chance to be featured in an upcoming Creative Spotlight. Reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or in comments here.

11:31 AM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Jordan Rodgers on Adobe Touch Apps

The first time we discovered Jordan L. Rodgers, we were impressed by his ability to create with Adobe Touch Apps. We were blown away after stumbling upon his Adobe Ideas sketch of the RIBA façade via Twitter. We reached out to him, to learn more about his creative process – and of course, see more of his work!

Jordan was kind enough to discuss how Touch Apps have revolutionized his creative process. Check out what he shared with us below and then be sure to head over to our Adobe Touch Twitter channel to see the new background we’ve created from his sketches.

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JordanAdobe: When were you first introduced to Adobe Touch Apps?

Jordan Rodgers: As an artist I make use of the iPad as a tool to explore the comparisons between traditional drawing on paper and digital drawing applications. Since discovering Adobe Ideas, I have embarked on further research and exploration between art and technology as a means to record everyday journeys, drawn in the evolution of a Modern Metropolis.

How has Adobe Touch Apps improved your ability to create?

The ability to draw on a hand held tablet in any location allows one to document in new ways. The Adobe Ideas app provides the ability to zoom in and out while restricting oneself to 0.5 fine line and working from one’s finger touch for greater rhythm and flow while drawing the lines. I also tend to do a lot of building up and then undo lines I don’t feel reflect the scene adequately.

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

Touch screens are revolutionizing the process of creation and represent a new perspective in drawing. Direct touch input has made a significant difference to my pieces.

How has the integration from Touch Apps through to the Creative Cloud features changed your workflow?

The integration from Touch Apps through to the Creative Cloud features has changed my work workflow in allowing the drawing to be kinetic and mobile from other devices (iPad, iPhone, Desktop). By utilizing this form of modern technology, I am then in a position to share my works via social media – from hosting a portfolio on my own website to using Twitter (@jordanlrodgers) as a means to engage with a diverse range of practitioners.

Which pairing of the Touch Apps and the applications within Creative Cloud is most instrumental to your creative process?

The pairing of Adobe Ideas and Photoshop CS6 application within Creative Cloud has proven to be most instrumental to my creative process when drawing traditional Arch-viz. I have also taken the initiative and paired up the use of Adobe Ideas app and explored visual effects, motion graphics in After Effects software with the purpose of creating depth by essentially projecting flat images onto some 3D geometry or AE 3D cards.

To see other projects from Jordan, visit www.jordanlrodgers.com. Also, reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or even here if you’d like to have your work featured. We’re always on the lookout for talented Touch Apps users to feature!

Note: All images featured are the property of Jordan L. Rodgers.

2:36 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Q&A with Animator Lee Daniels

You may have stumbled across Lee Daniels’ work on our Adobe Stories site or our Adobe Facebook Page, but we recently caught up with him to really find out the depths and origins of his creativity when it comes to animation and cartooning.

Adobe: What’s your story? How did you get to where you are today?

Lee Daniels: After experiencing a lack of support for cartooning in grammar school, I decided to get a job in graphic design rather than University education. I got to learn all the Adobe software by trial and error in a real world environment on company hardware, which was always better than what I could afford at the time. I then became a digital retouch artist and graphic designer for a magazine publishing firm for 13 years after leaving school. Since then, I’ve been working as a freelance illustrator in London for almost 4 years (8 including the crossover with my last design job).

leedanielsart-300x212What was it about animation that got your attention? 

Cartoons like Wile E. Coyote and Tom and Jerry. I always saw the levels of creativity, invention and escapism in cartoons as light-years ahead of the live action drip-feed in to our living room for the other 95% of viewing time.

Cartoons have always been generally viewed as childish because of the history in kids TV, which is why I like to use the medium to create work that is not necessarily childish – without taking it too far of course, that’s the job of South Park.

Inspiration: Is it easy to come by for you or is it a rare pearl? How do you find it?

My previous videos include everything from the misfortune of frogs, though triumphant hamsters, to incompetent Secret Service agents and intelligence tests for a reluctant chimp. Although there is no overriding theme to all, I would have to highlight the common thread as the success of seemingly inferior beings over their seemingly superior tormentors. So inspiration for this can be found pretty much anywhere and tends to come fairly easily. I’ve usually got about 2-3 ideas for future shorts in mind while working on any one project.


lee-daniels-art-212x300Do you believe in creative blocks?  How do you push through them?

Yes, absolutely. Although this is almost impossible to do, I find the best way to get through a potential day-spoiler is to just drop everything, stop working and go for a run. Admittedly this is much easier to do now that I’m working for myself – leaving an employment situation in this fashion would be frowned-upon at best! The only real escape to freedom during a creative block in my old job was a trip to the coffee machine the long way round, which was not very inspiring.

What’s your go-to product within the Adobe Creative Suite? Why?

This may sound like a cop-out answer but my go to product is the Creative Suite. I like to view it as one playground. More specifically, if I’m static illustrating or cartooning, it would be a mixture of Illustrator and Photoshop. If I’m animating it would be the previous two plus After Effects, Premiere Pro and Soundbooth. If I’m doing a graphic design job it would be Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. But generally, whatever project I’m working on, I can guarantee to be pressing Apple + Tab multiple times throughout. I’ve downloaded free trials of a lot of different software over the years, but nothing comes close to Adobe in my opinion. I treated myself to the Master Collection after leaving my job to go freelance, and I wouldn’t change it for anything else.

What was your favorite project you worked on while using Adobe Creative Suite?

My most recent work ‘Jungle Brawl‘ is definitely my proudest achievement so far. I made a decision early on not to cut any corners when creating the background artwork and even playing the music myself on guitar as opposed to ‘loops’ (apart from the drum loops, which I don’t play). Previously, I’ve concentrated my efforts mainly on the characters, but I spent a lot of sleepless nights storyboarding, painting the rainforest environment and thinking of new ways to shoot the scenes in an attempt to keep up the filmic quality.

I utilized all the major Creative Suite applications during production – as you’ll see from the credits – and After Effects is definitely the star of the show, although heavily backed-up by Photoshop and Illustrator. After Effects is an incredibly powerful cartoon animating tool and I’m pleased to be championing its use for this medium.

Who are your creative role models?

Stylistically, I take inspiration from hundreds of undiscovered creatives in my online networks. Inspiration from more publicly known artists and companies would be some of the more obvious: Frank Miller, Jamie Hewlett, Patrick Brown, Dave Gibbons, Pixar, Warner Brothers.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new animator/artist starting out, what would it be?

Learn the software and practice, practice, practice. Every piece of software I’ve used has been predominantly learned by trial and error. I find that pure experimentation throws up unexpected problems and only deepens your knowledge in the long run by forcing you to learn what NOT to do.

To find out more about Lee’s upcoming work, you can follow him on Twitter @LeeDanielsART.

6:00 AM Permalink

Sneak Peek of New Package File Feature for Illustrator CS6 in the Creative Cloud

Here’s the sneak peek of the new Package Files feature coming soon in Illustrator CS6, exclusively for Creative Cloud members and Illustrator subscribers:

Now is a great time to become a Creative Cloud member as you may qualify for 40% off for your first year! Learn more here: http://adobe.ly/HXRaMg

For more information and to stay up to date on the Creative Cloud please visit the Creative Cloud Team Blog.

1:23 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Michael Startzman on Adobe Touch Apps and Creative Cloud

Words can’t describe how excited we were after Michael Startzman (@startzman) announced that he was going to create an eBook for Adobe Touch Apps users, highlighting techniques and tips for creating in Adobe Ideas. For the past few months we’ve been in contact with Michael, checking in on the process and teasing his work to our Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers. We’re so very pleased to announce that Michael’s “How to Use Adobe Ideas” eBook is complete, and believe us when we say it’s a must have for any Adobe Touch user.

With all of the hard work behind him, we sat down with Michael to learn how his love for the Adobe Touch Apps began and how the combination of Creative Cloud, Creative Suite 6 and Touch Apps have changed the way he creates. Check out the full Q&A below and be sure to visit our Twitter channel to see his work displayed on our background.

Whether you’re working on an Adobe Touch Apps project or simply just capturing ideas as they hit you, we want to see and hear about it! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter  or even in the comments below.

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Adobe: When were you first introduced to Adobe Touch Apps?

Michael Startzman: When a friend of mine bought an iPad and showed me Adobe Ideas…I was hooked. Two weeks after its initial release, I bought an iPad and the first app I downloaded was Ideas. I’ve been drawing with it ever since.

What was the very first creation you made with Touch Apps?

I first started using Adobe Ideas for brainstorming and plotting story concepts by thumbnailing pages, sketching character designs, and making notes. I think one of the first illustrations I did was of a snail descending a wall. Today, I can create nearly every step of an illustration directly on my iPad using Ideas.

How has the integration from Touch Apps through to the Creative Cloud features changed your creative workflow?

Using the Creative Cloud to sync between devices allows for freedom of creativity where ever I happen to be. If I only have my iPod available, I can create illustrations, make notes on websites and take photos, which not only sync to my iPad, but are also available when using Illustrator or Photoshop on my desktop computer.

Which pairing of the Touch Apps and the applications within Creative Cloud are most instrumental to your creative process and why?

Adobe Ideas has been a boon to my creativity and productivity. In the past, I would draw nearly all of my illustrations digitally with a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop. This, however, meant I was tied to a computer to produce any finished artwork. Now with Adobe Ideas, I’m free to create – whether on vacation, at the office, or sitting on the porch enjoying the morning breeze.

Adobe Ideas, coupled with the Creative Cloud, allows for further development and tweaking of the creations made on my iPod. I can open Ideas’ vector files and fine-tune them in Illustrator. I can also share files with colleagues and know my work is safely backed up online.

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

I learned to draw digitally using a mouse and then graduated to a pen tablet, which made a world of difference. Now I draw using my finger! The direct touch really increases productivity because I can see what I’m affecting and where I’m going with the lines, which in turn, provides me more control over the kinds of lines I create. Plus, I’m never without a drawing implement.

If you had the opportunity to travel to anywhere in the world with your Touch Apps, where would it be and why?

There are some pretty spectacular places out there and each new environment invites its own inspiration, that’s the beauty of having a portable studio. I think I’d like to visit Italy. The atmosphere created by the architecture, landscape and rich art history must be breathtaking.

 What compelled you to create the “How to Use Adobe Ideas” eBook?

adobe-ideas-300x215I created an eBook called “How to Use Adobe Ideas” because people were often surprised to learn my art was created on iPad. The eBook details my techniques for creating in Ideas and provides information and tips on the various settings and tools found on the application.

2:32 PM Permalink

Creative Cloud and CS6 Ask a Pro Launch Week Recap

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We had great Ask a Pro sessions with our Evangelists last week. Each day we learned more about the Creative Cloud and Creative Suite 6 offerings for the design, web, photo and video communities.

If you happened to miss any of the sessions, not to worry! Below are recordings of each for your viewing pleasure! Once you’ve had a chance to check out the sessions, be sure to let us know what CS6 and/or Creative Cloud features you’re most looking forward to working with below in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter(more…)

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Creative Suite Artist Profile Videos

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We never cease to be amazed by the stunning work created by artists around the world, using Adobe products to help make their art a reality. For our new Creative Suite 6 imagery, we searched across the globe for artists who value creativity above all else, and tapped into their skills and vision to create a humanized interpretation for each of our products. To give back to these artists who devote themselves to their craft, we captured their stories in our Creative Suite Artist Spotlight video series.

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12:00 PM Permalink

Creative Cloud Scavenger Hunt Winners

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One of our six balloons that were a part of our Adobe Creative Cloud Scavenger Hunt in San Francisco – #HuntSF

Yesterday was a big day for Adobe and all Adobe users worldwide as we launched the Adobe Creative Cloud membership and Creative Suite 6! After announcing the Creative Cloud membership and CS6 in San Francisco, we hosted a scavenger hunt with $10,000 and Creative Cloud memberships on the line.

Users had the option to hunt around various locations in San Francisco, ending at our SF office, to complete a puzzle that entered them into the contest. People outside of San Francisco joined the Race to Create online, which put their knowledge to the test and in a race to the finish. (more…)

4:32 PM Permalink