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The spectacular popularity of mobile devices means interactive designers need to extend their skills beyond the desktop to embrace the universe of HTML5. Among mobile devices, including tablet computers, smartphones, and interactive books and magazines, HTML5 is the common denominator.
Now I know there are a lot of people who don’t think HTML animation is very robust. They imagine type and div boxes animating and fading in and out, which I agree is less than optimal. But when you start combining that functionality with CSS3 and some of the styling and imagery, it starts to get compelling— you’re only limited by the browsers. Android and iOS devices have latest CSS3 capabilities that support features such as blurring, so it’s possible to offer a more sophisticated animation experience on these devices.
Animated illustrations in HTML5
Recently I created a course for the annual conference of the Association of Medical Illustrators that covered how to simulate illustrations in HTML for use in iBooks and digital magazines or for viewing on websites or mobile devices. While the subject matter experts were all medical illustrators, the session itself focused on making content today—easily digestible to readers—something that spans across industries. How do you capture your consumers’ attention with animation, and across various devices?
For the class, I created an animated interactive graphic that compares a healthy eye to an eye with glaucoma. The illustration shows how an eye with glaucoma can’t properly drain fluid, and includes a vision simulator that displays the effect of this condition on a person’s vision. The animated droplets are actually a series of nested animated symbols that create the constant, flowing effect. Edge Animate is able to replace a time and labor intensive coding process with one that is both easy and affordable.
One of the keys to easily creating interactive components in Edge Animate is how the symbols talk to each other via targeting. You can associate an interactive element, such as a click, with a symbol. In the glaucoma example, the user clicks the words Affected by Glaucoma, which then tells another symbol (in this case, the sunset photograph) to change its state. It is this ability to combine the functions and the order of symbols—each with their own timelines—that enables us to create these engaging animations. In the relatively short two hour class with 20 participants, it was exciting to see how quickly attendees were able to create their own animation projects using Edge Animate.
Animation is fun again
A few years ago, the web was full of animations and cool interactions, but those faded away as more attention turned to offering content that behaved consistently across devices and platforms. But people are starting to get excited again about adding it back into projects, and with Edge Animate we can combine styling and imagery with cascading style sheets and simple animation to once again create content that is exciting, engaging, and fun.
Adobe Ideas users asked – the Ideas team delivered:
Adobe Ideas 2.7 is here! Our new update includes several user-requested features to the free iOS application that lets anyone create freeform vector illustrations on their iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Here’s what’s new:
- Stylus Support – Ideas now includes pressure sensitive stylus support for Ten One Design’s Pogo Connect Bluetooth Pen, which enables users to be more expressive with their drawing strokes and achieve creative effects more naturally. It also allows for palm rejection so that users can draw while resting their palm on the iPad without interference. In addition, users can control their brushes, colors, opacity and size by simply tapping the button on the pen. Pogo Connect works with the iPad 3, 4 and iPad Mini.
- Stroke Smoothing – Based on community feedback, designers can now choose their preference on what line smoothing method works best for them. Users can choose to smooth the drawing stroke while drawing for increased accuracy, or after to achieve smoother curves.
- Share to other applications – Users can also share designs to other applications such as Behance and Photoshop Touch.
Update your app today! If you haven’t already experimented with Adobe Ideas, what are you waiting for? It’s free! Head straight to the App Store, download it and start using it: http://bit.ly/11QiKB8
We can’t wait to see what you create next!
Image created by Tomasz Usyk: http://www.behance.net/tomaszusyk
Earlier this month we showed you a preview of Kuler for the iPhone, the new Kuler website and how you can access your Kuler themes in Illustrator CC. Today, we’re launching the new site and making Kuler available on the App Store.
For those of you who missed Kuler in the MAX keynote, Kuler allows you to create inspiring color themes and explore hundreds of thousands of color themes created by other users. The Kuler iPhone app lets you capture color themes anywhere, using the iPhone camera. All the themes you create with Kuler, on the web or with your iPhone, can be accessed with other Adobe applications such as Illustrator and Ideas.
The full benefits of Kuler are available to Creative Cloud members. The Sync Colors feature lets you use Kuler and Illustrator to quickly incorporate colors you see around you into your vector artwork. Sync your favorite themes with the Kuler website, and they’ll be accessible immediately inside Illustrator CC – only available in Creative Cloud.
If you are an active Kuler user, you may notice a few pages and features missing from the new Kuler website. I’m writing to explain what’s missing, why it’s missing, and what you can expect to see in the coming weeks and months. Here’s an overview of what you won’t find on the new site:
Create a theme from an image: We know many users really like the “Create from an Image” feature. Unfortunately, this feature was not ready for the new site launch. So, rather than launching a buggy or half-baked feature, we decided to take a bit more time to get it right.
We intend to add this feature to the site as soon as it’s ready. Until then, you can use the free iPhone app to create themes from images.
Color space “slider” controls: We talked to a lot of Kuler users about the slider controls. Some users like them and others don’t. The main complaint we heard was that the sliders add unnecessary complexity and take up too much space.
So, we opted to not add the sliders and err on the side of making the creation experience simple. Though, we decided to keep the “brightness” slider control since some colors spaces don’t have a brightness variable. We’d love to know what you think. You can voice your opinion on the Kuler forum.
Change the order of colors: In our research, we found most users did not know you could re-order colors on the old Kuler site. And, it’s actually quite a bit of work to build this feature. So, rather than re-building a feature many users don’t know about or use, we wanted to hear from you first. Please visit the Kuler forum and let us know what you think.
Avatar: Most of the users we talked with about Kuler avatars were indifferent. In fact, they asked us to focus on other features first. So, that’s what we’re doing–we’re focusing on some of the most requested features first.
Community spotlight and Pulse: The Community Spotlight and Pulse were beta features that never really gained any traction. So, we opted to not continue with these features.
API: We’re working to rebuild the Kuler API to offer more robust capabilities. Until then, we’re no longer issuing new API keys. If you already have a key and are using the API, your service will not be interrupted (your key will continue to work).
We’re always looking for feedback and would love to hear what you think about any of these topics—please join the discussion on the Kuler forum.
When you think of creativity and gaming, Richard Hilleman is a name on the top of any list. He’s an American computer game and video game producer best known for his work creating the original Madden Football game for video game consoles for Electronic Arts. Today, Rich Hilleman works for Electronic Arts as Chief Creative Officer, and currently works in the internal University at Electronic Arts on specialized education for Producers and Development Directors. We are excited for Richard to speak on “The Magic Bullet of Web Gaming” at Adobe MAX, sharing his unique insider knowledge covering over 30 years in the industry. Check out our Q&A with him below to get a better sense of how Richard came into his great gaming success.
Adobe: As a kid what did you want to be when you grew up and did you ever imagine that you would be making video games that are so ingrained in American culture?
Richard Hilleman: Videogames showed up for me in High School. My exposure was more to computers. I was lucky enough to get to spend time on computers at a very early age in a very early time. I was pretty sure computers would change the world, but not in the ways I have seen. How quickly computers have become situationally aware has been a big surprise.
How did you get started in gaming? Was it be accident or by design?
It depends on what you call games. Unlike a lot of people in my industry, I played sports, and my grandfather raced cars. We played a lot of board games, and I took Chess very seriously. I never really got the war game or D&D bug, and my interest in Videogames was mostly centered on simulations. When I came to Electronic Arts, I came to focus on computer science. Over a couple of years, I discovered I was pretty good at game design and production. Probably because I wasn’t making games for just myself.
Obviously the tools you use to create games are different from when you first started but is there something about game creation that hasn’t changed?
People. The most surprising thing about the last thirty years is how much people’s taste and interest has endured. I talk all the time with kids in school for our business, and the most important advice I give them is to fall in love with people, not machines. The technology moves so fast, that educational investments in specific tech almost always has less short term value than you think. By comparison, understanding people, and the culture they occupy, will transcend the technology and give you a lifetime of returns.
What keeps you up at night or what drives you to keep making games?
Mostly my kids. I have been lucky enough to spend most of my career at the bleeding edge. I still can’t wait for the future and what we can do next.
To be successful sometimes you need to fail. Can you recall a project you worked on that did not turn out as planned and what did you learn from that process?
I think I have failed a lot. I remember a few years ago there was an Edge magazine article about the 500 best Videogames of all time, and the Worse 100. I had enough entries in both lists to keep me humble. Most of the time, when things go wrong, it was because something I knew was a risk, didn’t work out. Usually, it reminds me about taking appropriate and balanced risk. There are a far number of happy accidents, including some of my most successful titles.
What’s the best part of your job?
The kids that are doing the job for the first time. They reinvigorate me every day.
You grew up playing hockey so is that your favorite sport? What’s your favorite team?
Hockey is one of my favorites, and I still play it. I also played a lot of Baseball (Hockey and Baseball are perfect season compliments), and I love motor sports. I grew up a North Star and Twins fan, and then the NStars moved. I have been a Sharks season ticket holder since they were founded, and I had Giants Season tickets for a decade.
If you could start over again, what sport would you like to try or master and why?
Might have started motorsports earlier. Might have tried harder at Golf. I think I made pretty good choices.
Do you play any non-sports related video games? Which ones or do you go old school and play board games?
I play everything. I truly love Chess. I still think it is the best game ever invented, and I find the games of Morphy, Fischer and Kasporov to be as interesting and wonderful as any game I have ever made.
This will be your first time attending Adobe MAX as a speaker or attendee. Can you tell us what inspired you to talk about this particular topic at MAX?
I think I wanted to talk about how different game play expectations are inherited from the platform and gaming context, and how those expectations are increasingly a part of the design of Mobile and Web games. We have a lot of new customers on new platforms. Getting these experiences to match their expectations will decide how long we keep these new players.
Is gaming your thing? If so, it’s not too late to register for Adobe MAX to attend Richard’s session titled, “The Magic Bullet of Gaming” and so much more. Don’t forget to use promo code MXSM13 during registration for $300 off!
Like Marvel’s Avengers, you’ve put together a stellar team. So now what? Creative Cloud for teams not only puts the best tools in the hands of your team, but also enables them to seamlessly share files from any device. Since this offer is still new, we wanted to educate you all on the benefits of joining. We’ve recapped five educational updates about Creative Cloud for teams that we’ve shared on the Creative Cloud Facebook page and Twitter channels. Check them out and embrace the learning.
- Enables better collaboration
You can share files with colleagues inside and outside of your organization.
- Low TCO, best way to stay current
Keep your members up-to-date with the latest software at a low cost
- Members have 1:1 access to Adobe product experts
As a member, you have 1:1 access to Adobe product experts to ensure workflow support.
- Centralized purchasing and license management tools
Creative Cloud for teams makes it easy for your IT department to centrally purchase and manage Creative Cloud
- Users get 100GB cloud-based storage
Don’t let storage limits keep you up at night. Enjoy 100GB of cloud-based storage per team member
Today, we’re very excited to share two big updates to Creative Cloud for web designers and developers.
Edge Reflow – We first sneaked a look at Adobe Edge Reflow during our Create the Web event last September, and are eager to share that we’ve just released the first public preview of it today. Edge Reflow – a part of the Edge Tools & Services offering in Creative Cloud – is a new responsive design tool for web designers and developers creating websites and content for screens of virtually all sizes. It features an intuitive resizable design surface that shows how layouts and visuals will adapt to different screen sizes and enables users to create high fidelity web designs on the application’s native web surface leveraging the power of CSS. Get all the details from the Edge Reflow Team blog. Looking to get started right away? Here’s an intro to Reflow video from evangelist Paul Trani.
Also new to the Edge Tools & Services offering are new feature releases to Edge Animate and the introduction of Edge Code preview.
Edge Animate now supports CSS gradients and filters (so you can, for example, easily add blur effects) and makes it simpler to add rich typography with the free Edge Web Fonts service
- See changes in the browser as they make them, and code hinting for more CSS properties and HTML tags
- Edit code in context instead of having to switch between files with the addition of a Quick Edit feature.
Adobe Dreamweaver – We’ve introduced a second Dreamweaver update for Creative Cloud members. Here’s a brief overview of what new in this release:
- Improvements to Fluid Grids
- Bring print-quality typography to the web with Edge Web Fonts
- Custom settings retained after upgrade
- Expanded table view is back
- HTML5 support
- Critical bug fixes
For the full scoop, check out the Dreamweaver Team Blog.
Not a Creative Cloud member yet? Upgrade today and save 40%.
We’re excited to announce that Adobe evangelists and other creative leaders are bringing Create Now to a city near you on our Create Now World Tour! Now through mid-April 2013, you can attend a Create Now event in your area to learn what’s new in Adobe Creative Cloud. Whether you’re a photographer, graphic designer, video professional, or web designer, there are innovations in your favorite tools and services to get up to date on. Check out the Create Now World Tour schedule to see when we’ll be in your area, and don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter (hashtag #CreateNow).
If you’re in the U.S., check out and register for the below upcoming events, hosted by local Adobe user groups.
- Baltimore Event – March 4th 2013
- Chicago Event – March 7th 2013
- Seattle Event – March 9th 2013
- Boston Event – March 11 2013
- Los Angeles Event – March 13 2013
- San Diego Event – March 16-17th 2013
- Cleveland Event – March 18th 2013
- San Jose Event – March 23rd 2013
- Kansas City Event – April 4th 2013
Also, if you attend a Create Now World Tour event in person, you will receive a discount code for Adobe MAX 2013. Save US$400 — get a full conference pass for just US$1,095! Hope to see you all there!
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.
Oh, the places you’ll go with Adobe Touch Apps… literally. For Matt Maughan (@somemattpaint), Touch Apps have transformed not only his creative process, but also his life, as his digital portfolio full of Adobe Ideas creations helped him score commissions and a gallery exhibition!
We connected with Matt over Twitter after coming across some of his creations including video game artwork in the style of a Chinese shadow puppet show. Take a closer look at his creative workflow, learn about some of his favorite features found in the Adobe Ideas v2.5 release, and pick up some tips and tricks.
Also, remember to visit our Facebook and Twitter channels to see Matt’s work featured.
Adobe: Describe a favorite creation you’ve created with Touch Apps
Matt: That’s a tough one. Maybe the Charles Bukowski portrait which was a commissioned piece, as I enjoyed doing the shadows and detail and I seemed to make use of all of Adobe Ideas’ features to create it.
What role do Adobe Touch Apps play in your creative process?
They are integral, completely and utterly – I can’t stress that enough. I create solely on the iPad and both Ideas and PS Touch are my primary apps for creation. Adobe Ideas has all the bases covered from sketching out ideas right through to full projects. PS Touch is most used as a ‘finishing school’ where projects go to become refined!
How has the integrationof Touch Apps and the Creative Cloud features changed your creative workflow?
The Touch Apps have revolutionized my creative workflow! The simplicity of them, the similarities in the UI which make it incredibly easy to switch between them, the tools offered and ultimately the fact that anything that I create in one app can be progressed, enhanced and polished in another. I’m forever switching between Adobe Ideas and Ps Touch. The Creative Cloud keeps all my artwork safe and allows me to access files quickly, as well as manage them either on my iPad or on my PC.
What are your favorite Adobe Ideas v2.5 features?
Top of the list has to be the new brushes – the tapering paint brush especially. It’s just perfect and adds a real artistry to projects. Lines have a fluid, natural look to them and results in a final image that looks more organic than digital. It’s also possible to add really fine detail especially for faces and hair!
I’m also a huge fan of the ‘fill’ function. So much time is saved now that I can fill specific areas with color just with a simple touch.
Next is the ability to merge layers. This essentially allows for unlimited layers so when a project becomes more complex you can merge together finished layers to create new blank layers for additional content. You can just keep going and going. One of the things I love about Adobe Ideas is that it’s as simple or complex as the user requires. I can do simple sketches like it’s a digital pad and pen or full on, multilayer projects that require duplicated layers, resizing, mirrored layers and varying opacity levels.
What tips/suggestions do you have for creative individuals thinking about getting into Adobe Ideas?
If you want to create digital art on a tablet I personally think Adobe Ideas is a ‘must have’. Then experiment and play with it. Play with the brushes, play with the opacity levels, play with everything. Import a photo and create a unique and accurate color palette with the eyedropper. See what happens when you select a layer and resize it, it may just make your artwork more striking. You can’t mess up so just experiment.
For veteran users like yourself, what tips and/or techniques can you offer them to improve their creative workflow?
Between Adobe Ideas and PS Touch and any other apps you may have, you have a whole array of tools that can help refine your work. Would shadowing look better if you adjusted the opacity level? Would the background work better if you moved its layer to the left? Is there an effect or feature in PS Touch that would really make your Ideas project pop out? I think it’s very easy after working on a project for hours to sit back and say finished! It’s always worth giving it a critical eye and remembering that you are working on an incredibly powerful tablet with incredibly powerful apps that just might make a good image wonderful.
Can’t get enough of Matt’s work? Head over to www.somemattpaint.com to see more creations!
We’re bringing you the ultimate creativity conference, Adobe MAX, taking place in Los Angeles, California on May 4-8, 2013. If you’re new to MAX, it’s a conference that is all about creativity and expressiveness. MAX brings together designers, developers, video professionals, photographers, and more to exchange creative ideas and inspiration. So if you create, you won’t want to miss MAX. When you’re there, you’ll be amongst industry pros and visionaries, and will learn about the latest technologies, techniques, and strategies for delivering your best creative work.
The icing on the cake? Buy a full conference pass, and you’ll get an annual Adobe Creative Cloud membership!
Be sure to check out the top ten reasons why you should attend Adobe MAX. We hope to see you all there!
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