Posts in Category "Creative Suite"

Thomas Knoll: The Story of Photoshop

Thomas Knoll, Photoshop co-inventor, provides insights on the fascinating history of Photoshop, the recent shift to the Creative Cloud, and the new Photoshop Photography Program:
(watch) Thomas Knoll: The Story of Photoshop

Thomas Knoll, Photoshop co-inventor.

Thomas Knoll, Photoshop co-inventor.

Adobe Creative Cloud for Education Deployment Resources

Adobe Creative Cloud for Education Deployment Resources

Adobe Family of Deployment Tools for Enterprise

Adobe Family of Deployment Tools for Enterprise

The enterprise deployment tools

Since the release of the Adobe Creative Cloud for Enterprise (CCE) and the Creative Cloud Packager for Enterprise (CCP) this past June, many institutions are preparing their images and applications for fall semester deployment. These tools are free and are used when deploying applications in the Enterprise. Information about these tools and links to these applications can be found at the URLs below and also on your Adobe Licensing Portal (LWS)In this post we will review the role of CCP and it associated tools. To make things easier, a list of resources follows at the end of this post.

Background

Beginning with CS6 was released, Adobe has been hard at work in providing a more enterprise-friendly environment for packaging and provisioning the applications for deployment across the campus. The individual application installers are being standardized so that they can be packaged into either a .MSI file for Windows or a .PKG file for Mac. These common installer file types can distributed by any means that support them.

Changes to packaging process when deploying CCE

Unlike CS6, CCE packages must be packaged thorough the CCP dashboard. This is an application downloaded from the Adobe Licensing Portal (LWS). CCP will then pull the applications from the Adobe Cloud Server to the local IT admin machine where they can be serialized and packaged for distribution to the machines across campus. The advantage of this packaging is that the software will be pre-activated so that once placed on the destination machine, there will be no need to “phone home” periodically (as it does for named user installations like CC for individuals and Teams). This type of packaging and deployment is known as Anonymous (or machine-based deployment). Note: unlike  CS6, there is no ability to enter serial numbers to the individual applications when used in the enterprise. They must be entered via the CCP tool or the Adobe Application Provisioning Tool (AAPT).

Distributing packages

Some common methods for distribution include:

  • Cloning image masters for replication on client machines using such tools as Casper, Ghost, and Apple Remote Desktop to name a few.
  • Pushing these packages though Microsoft SCCM, Altiris, or ARD, for example
  • When network access to the client machine is not practical. placing the package file on the computer desktop and double-clicking will extract it. You must then delete the package file. 

Application exceptions when packaging with CCP

While most of the applications for CCE can be packaged with the CCP dashboard, there are still a few that have not bee standardized to run in the common packaging environment. Adobe is working on getting these applications into the CCP family, but until then these applications need to be installed differently.

As of this post, the exceptions are:

  • Windows - LightRoom 5, Acrobat XI, Muse, and the Edge family of applications still under developer preview in Adobe Labs.
  • Macintosh - Muse, and the Edge family of applications still under developer preview in Adobe Labs.

Working with Exceptions

Since there are still a few applications that fall outside of the CCP environment, these applications each have a slightly different procedure and requirement for proper deployment. The steps and requirements are available at http://tinyurl.com/ccpackager.

If you do not follow these steps, the apps under exception will not install properly. This includes installing as a trial, or not installing at all so please be sure to review the instructions and test prior to full deployment. The Community Forum is a good place to get more info and answers to specific problems. The Link for the CCE forum can be found here 

http://forums.adobe.com/community/download_install_setup/creative_suite_enterprise_deployment

Deploying Acrobat

In Enterprise environments where you are deploying many Acrobat XI installs, you may want to consider packaging Acrobat with the Acrobat Customization Wizard available as part of the Acrobat Enterprise Toolkit at http://tinyurl.com/acroetk. To use this tool, you will enter a separate Acrobat SN in LWS, not the SN supplied with the CC apps. Once the Packages are created they can be deployed as part of your normal distribution process.

Additional Resource Links
•    CREATIVE CLOUD PACKAGER DOCUMENTATION

http://tinyurl.com/ccpackager

•    CREATIVE CLOUD TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

http://tinyurl.com/cctechnical

•    ENTERPRISE TOOLKIT FOR ACROBAT

http://tinyurl.com/acroetk

•    WHAT’S NEW IN CREATIVE CLOUD
http://tinyurl.com/ccnewfeatures
•    ENTERPRISE DEPLOYMENT WEBSITE

http://tinyurl.com/csdeploy

•    LICENSING AND INSTALLATION BLOG

http://blogs.adobe.com/oobe

Create Now Live on December 11

Since we announced the Adobe Creative Cloud this Spring there has been a steady number of updates in terms of new and updated tools and services. Even more exciting news is now imminent so make sure to enroll for the upcoming Create Now Live event and share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. And in case you aren’t aware what Adobe Creative Cloud has to offer check this introduction from Adobe TV:

Digital literacy = employment readiness

In mid-December, just before I headed out to the Adobe World Wide Sales Conference, I was invited by my ad students and the coordinator of the Centennial College Advertising program to their portfolio review day. I accepted right away; I really wanted to see how much they had grown as digital professionals. Continue reading…

Now Available: New eBook on Fireworks’ CSS and jQuery Mobile features

Using the CSS3 Mobile Pack for Adobe Fireworks CS5

Using the CSS3 Mobile Pack for Adobe Fireworks CS5

If you’ve found yourself wondering how Adobe Fireworks can fit into your web and mobile design workflows, or how you can introduce students to a visual method of designing for mobile, I may have just the thing for you.

Today, my new eBook, Using the CSS3 Mobile Pack for Adobe Fireworks CS5, went live at http://www.peachpit.com/.

While there are already a couple good how-to tutorials available at the Fireworks Developer Center, I wanted to take a deeper, more practical approach to this new extension. I wanted to go beyond the how and hopefully address the why. I walk you through the basics, but then I move you to a realistic application of the extension. You will learn about both parts of the CSS3 Mobile Pack:

  • CSS Properties Panel
  • jQuery Mobile Theme Builder

CSS Properties Panel

In the chapter on the CSS Properties panel, for example, you’ll be doing more than simply exporting a rounded corner rectangle as CSS3 mark up; you will be taking a completed web page design and – using Fireworks and a Dreamweaver HTML5 starter page layout – building a standards-based web page, complete with navigation, semi-transparent content areas and stylized text.

Final web page design that matches the original Fireworks mock up

Final web page design that matches the original Fireworks mock up

The only bitmap in the page is the background image. And it was all done with a minimum of coding. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that’s pretty cool.

jQuery Mobile design, mocked up in Fireworks, then exported to Dreamweaver and previewed in Device Central.

jQuery Mobile design, mocked up in Fireworks, then exported to Dreamweaver and previewed in Device Central.

jQuery Mobile Theme builder

In the chapter on the jQuery Mobile Skinning, you will study and work with the jQuery Mobile template file, also part of the CSS3 Mobile Pack, and learn how to customize an existing skin and export that new mark up over to Dreamweaver to quickly create a simple, customized mobile web site.

Time-saver in production and in the classroom

Whether you are comfortable with code or not, the new tools in this extension can be a creative and time-saving boon.

A designer  can export out standards based mark up, which can be further edited and tweaked by a developer in their preferred web page editing environment. Or if the designer wears both hat, he or she can move quickly from a visual design to realizing that design in HTML and CSS. I think this is a great example of Fireworks bridging the gap between designers and developers.

And for students learning the craft of web and mobile design, it gives them the opportunity to create their design first, and then see how that design becomes converted to code. Or, depending on the design itself, learn about the limitations to be aware of when building a standards-based design that targets multiple devices.

Either way, it’s a win-win.

Final thoughts

The fact that the extension is also FREE is another bonus. I think it’s pretty cool that Adobe released this extension now, rather than making anyone wait for the next version of Fireworks.

If you’re interested in the ebook, it’s available for less than $6.50 USD at http://www.peachpit.com/. Feel free to follow me on twitter @JimBabbage. If you’ve got questions, that’s a great place to find me.

 

Adobe MAX 2011: an education perspective

MAX 2011 and pre-MAX sessions such as the full-day Education Summit gave educators many opportunities to learn from the industry, from Adobe and from each other.

The room fills up quickly as doors open for the first keynote

The room fills up quickly as doors open for the first keynote

Having been a teacher in Higher Ed for 20+ years, it’s natural for me to look at events like MAX with an educator’s eye. This is a perspective I hope I never lose, to be honest.

While MAX is a great networking occasion for professional designers and developers, it also gives teachers a chance to some important networking as well. They have the opportunity not only to learn new tips and techniques, but to talk to the people working in the industry, learning what skills are used, and what ones may be lacking. I think this is invaluable information; gaining this knowledge can help immensely when planning new courses, or updating existing ones to be more relevant.

The keynotes and sessions revolved around a major theme of Change, in my opinion. In the keynotes, Adobe continued to remind the industry that they are aware of – and actively involved in  - changes in the marketplace and user trends. Continue reading…

Fireworks Mobile Design Tip: Exporting Layers to Files

In July of 2011, I presented a Fireworks session at D2WC called Wireframing and Prototyping for Mobile using Adobe Fireworks. I was so pleased to see a very full room of attendees. Even happier to note that many were not current Fireworks users.

Yes, I did say happy. The reason is simple. I want people to know what they’re missing out on. :-)  As you might be noticing, I’m a big Fireworks fan. Huge, even.

My original goal with this session was to focus on some sample prototypes and wireframes, but based on the crowd and many of the questions fired at me, I changed the slant slightly and talked more about how many of the Fireworks built-in features are designed to save you time, without sacrificing quality. Time is money as they say. Projects are quoted on estimated number of hours, so the sooner you can complete a wireframe or a prototype, the sooner you can move forward to actually wiring up the actual application, and the happier everyone is.

The sooner students can learn how to achieve optimum results in less time, the more employable they are.

As usual, I had way more content than I needed or had time to use, so I’ve posted the files (including brief slide deck, a couple tutorials and LOTS of assets) on my web site.

Aside from using Fireworks pages to mock up wireframes and prototypes, FW also has many other built-in features that can really help with any kind of prototyping, especially mobile.

A couple things I really wanted to get to in my session but ran out of time were:

  1. Exporting layers to files
  2. Batch processing for mobile

In this tutorial we’ll look at exporting layers to files.  I’ll also be releasing a new tutorial that will cover batch processing the new files created from this tutorial. Continue reading…

Houston Area School Uses Adobe Technologies to Enter International Technology Contest

Alief Taylor High School has entered a student-created video in an international technology contest that will hopefully win their school thousands of dollars worth of technology.  The video is currently in 2nd place only behind a South African school.

Robert Goetsch is Alief’s audio-video teacher.  He helped his students write, produce, shoot, and edit the video.  The students used Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, and Audition to help create the music parody. The final video is awesome! 

Voting has ended and Alief’s entry has made it into the 9-12 grade finalist!

View the video:
http://2010classroommakeover.shycast.com/submission/show/662

Prolific Powerhouse People: Teacher, Mike Skocko and the Mac Lab

Mike Skocko Keeps learning exciting and in balance in his Mac Lab

Valhalla High School teacher Mike Skocko keeps learning exciting and in balance in his Mac Lab.

 When it comes to learning Adobe software and technologies there is a fantastic cornucopia of terrific choices out there: great books, in-person seminars, online webinars, weekend hands on intensives and much, much more. I’m a visual learner so when it comes to my own way of learning Adobe tools I tend to gravitate towards one of the super online video offerings from companies like: KelbyTraining.com, VTC.com, TotalTraining.com, AtomicLearning.com, Lynda.com or our very own Adobe TV.

With the exception of Adobe TV mentioned above all of these training companies offer deep discounted education pricing to educators who subscribe to their offerings and in my humble opinion they are a super value. But what if I told you there is another source of terrific online video training available on Adobe tools and to access the videos it won’t cost you a dime?

Enter amazing prolific powerhouse Mike Skocko (pronounced skotch-ko) of Valhalla High School in El Cajon California who has produced and posted over 3,000 online video tutorials (no that’s not a typo – 3,000 and counting!) covering a wide range of Adobe tools and technologies. Best part, they’re totally FREE to watch and learn from. In fact Mike already has close to 300 videos on many of the current Adobe CS5 tools posted online and adds new ones daily.

Mike stated to me recently (and in the most humble way) he would have had near five hundred videos posted on the Adobe CS5 tools by now but since he was recently derailed by being accepted into Adobe’s Education Leaders (AEL) program and simultaneously started work on a Masters Program along with his fulltime teaching duties at Valhalla High, he’s only been able to add one video tutorial post per day. One per day!?  Five per week!?  Twenty per month!? Are you kidding me Mike!? I’m lucky if I can find the time to write three blog posts here on the Adobe Education Technologies Blog per month! So now dear blog readers you know why Mike has been picked by me as a Prolific Powerhouse Person here on our blog.

I encourage you to check out Mike’s excellent videos on Adobe’s software tools and share this great and free learning resource with your students and education associates far and wide.

The Mac Lab’s Online Adobe Software Tutorials can be found HERE.

Check out a cool interview Mike conducted with one of his former Students HERE.

Adobe in Education: An Accessibility Guide

In recent years, the Education community has focusing increasingly on making all web content accessible to individual individuals with disabilities. Adobe® is an industry leader in accessibility and supports the creation of outstanding web experiences by encouraging web developers to produce rich, engaging content that is accessible to all. Adobe has also been focusing on this important task by improving and facilitating accessible content creation and consumption with its powerful design applications and productivity tools.

The information below references resources on our website that can help educators and authors understand the need for creating accessible content for an increasing diversity of users and screens. Not only will content creators learn more about how to optimize their workflows and effectively design a document that not only looks good, but they can also improve the experience as all users on a variety of screens and devices.

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility involves two key issues: first, how users with disabilities access electronic information, and second, how web content designers and developers enable web pages to function with assistive devices used by individuals with disabilities.

For the user with a disability, the challenge is to identify tools that provide the most convenient access to web-based and other electronic information. For the web content designer/developer, the challenge is to remove the obstacles that prevent accessibility tools from functioning effectively. In many cases, these challenges are relatively simple to overcome, but sometimes the solutions require some additional thought and effort.

For more information on Accessibility visit: http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/gettingstarted/accessibility.html

I have heard of Section 508 and the 508 standards. What are they?

Accessibility policies vary from country to country, but most countries, including those in the European Union, have adopted standards based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In the United States, Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act mandates that web content maintained by the federal government be made accessible to people with disabilities. This law is based on W3C Priority One checkpoints. Find more information at: http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/508standards.html

Where can I find the latest information about Adobe products and accessibility?

A great start to find out the latest information on Accessibility at Adobe is http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/. There you will find links and resources to examples compliance news, blogs, case studies, tips and tricks and more.

I have heard that Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader are very useful for working with and reading accessible content. Is that true?

Yes, unlike other PDF tools, Adobe® Acrobat® 9 and Reader® 9 software continue the tradition of providing strong accessibility support for Adobe PDF documents and forms. Acrobat 9 features a number of built-in accommodations for people with disabilities as well as support for users of assistive technologies.

Where can I find more detailed information about Adobe Acrobat and Reader’s roles in facilitating the creation and displaying of Accessible documents?

Are there any Adobe blogs that focus on Accessibility news and events?

Yes, visit the Adobe accessibility blog and join the discussion at: http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility/

Which Adobe products support and encourage authors and developers in the production of accessible content?

Adobe seeks to provide products that support and encourage authors and developers in the production of accessible content. The latest information on these products can be found by clicking on these links.

Where can I find information on other Adobe applications and accessibility?

For information on additional applications please visit the Adobe Accessibility website at: http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/