Posts tagged "adobe"

Adobe Illustrator’s Pattern Tool

Adobe Illustrator’s Pattern Tool can  quickly add spice to the background of your project.  In this case, I used it to create the horizontal stripes making up the background of this infographic.

pattern_background

Check out this YouTube video for a short tutorial on how to use the Pattern Tool.

 

Scott Trudeau
www.scotttrudeau.com 
Solutions Consultant, Adobe Inc.

Follow me on Twitter!
https://twitter.com/scott_trudeau

Use Adobe Illustrator’s Blend Tool to Help Build Infographics

You can use Adobe Illustrator’s Blend Tool to quickly build columns and rows of icons.  This is great for creating infographics.

Check out this quick tutorial!

Illustrator's Blend Tool

…and another quick tutorial that provides  additional tips for blending colors and duplicating columns.

blend tool

Back to School with Adobe Illustrator and Infographics

Both of my daughters are excited about the upcoming school year  (high school and junior high).  They are busy school shopping, selecting classes, and attending athletic two-a-days.  Meanwhile, their teachers are busy winding down their much-earned summer of relaxation and are writing curriculum, creating lesson plans, and planning “cool” projects.  Yep, it’s that time of the year – back to school time!

This year, why not consider incorporating infographic design into your curriculum?  Infographics provide an interesting way to visualize information, knowledge and data.  Infographic design is also a great way for students to learn Adobe Illustrator while solving problems in a creative way.

I recommend starting with a topic that interest the students – themselves!  For example, why not have the students create an infographic outlining what they did over the summer?

This is a great beginning-of-the-year project, as it allows the students to share about their summer while learning Adobe Illustrator.  Because infographics typically consist of a combination of graphs, charts, data, and simple graphics, the instructor can kick-start the course by teaching basic Illustrator skills such as:

  • Combining shapes using the Shape Builder Tool
  • Pattern Building (Background)
  • Typography
  • Building Simple Shapes (rectangle, rounded rectangle, star, ellipse, etc.)
  • Strokes and Lines
  • Color Selection

For example, the following infographic visually represents my “summer in review”.  I selected 4 summer-time events that I wanted to display in a simple, yet effective manner.

summer_infographic2

 

The Illustrator tools/skills I incorporated are:

  • Shape Builder Tool – The  people icons and the sunscreen bottle
  • Shape Tool – The sun was made from an ellipse and a star (obviously there are many examples of rectangles)
  • Typography
  • Strokes and Lines – I used the Spiral tool for the surfing wave and the line tool to create the vertical divider as well as the swimming pool water.
  • Pattern Panel – I created a horizontal striped pattern and applied it to the background.
  • Alignment Panel – for aligning the text
  • Kuler – to find my color palette

As you can see, these are very basic  skills and a great way to introduce your new digital graphics students, communications students, and career and tech students to Adobe Illustrator.  Not to mention, it will also get them thinking about how to communicate ideas in a creative way.

Infographic Resources –

 

Have a great and creative 2013-2014 school year!

Scott Trudeau
www.scotttrudeau.com 
Solutions Consultant, Adobe Inc. 

Follow me on Twitter!
https://twitter.com/scott_trudeau

 

 

 

 

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

Adobe EchoSign Can Save Your Organization Huge Time and Money

EchoSign Testimonial

Early in the year I received an unsolicited email from a customer that works for a large Texas independent school district touting the benefits of their EchoSign purchase.

 “Today I did a MegaSign of about 1,000 Letters of Reasonable Assurance to our at-will, non-contract employees who don’t work during the summer (we send about 3,000 total).  A process that used to take a team of people months to complete (printing letters, stuffing envelopes, mailing, tracking, receiving, logging, scanning…)

with EchoSign, I was able to do this myself.  I had about 40% back before I left work (with an average processing time of 21 minutes).  Incredible!”

Mike

Mike went on to explain that receiving signed Letters of Reasonable Assurance is extremely important in that it protects schools from paying unemployment during the summer break.  Without the letter, he explained,  districts would “pay enormous sums in unemployment.”

 So…what is EchoSign?

Adobe EchoSign provides an extremely easy-to-use electronic signature solution.

EchoSign can work with all kinds of documents.  The most common document formats used with EchoSign are:

  • PDFs
  • Word Documents
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • Common image formats

With EchoSign there is no need for your customers (or students, faculty, and parents) to download or signup for anything. They can use their mouse, stylus, or finger to sign the document (heck, they can even type their name into a field and have EchoSign create a signature for them), and you don’t have to worry about what device or browser is supported.  EchoSign works on all browsers, across all devices.

How can teachers use EchoSign?

As a parent, I would love for my child’s school to offer a digital signature option.  For example, say my daughter’s teacher is charged with collecting fieldtrip permission slips from the entire 7th grade.  The teacher can use EchoSign to easily complete and manage this task. The teacher would simply upload the form into EchoSign, add a signature field (drag and drop simple), and send the digital permission slip out to the parents.

I would receive an email on my mobile device, open the email, click a link and sign my daughter’s permission slip (with my finger – touch devices are amazing)!   For those parents that do not have a touch device they can use their mouse or a stylus.  I submit the permission slip and receive a signed copy within seconds.  The teacher also receives a signed copy (everyone is happy).

For those that don’t immediately sign, the teacher can setup reminder emails that reoccur on a set schedule.  The teacher no longer has to deal with last minute phone calls with parents scrambling to find and return important school documents.

What about security?

“But how do I know that it truly was the parent that signed the permission slip?”

That is a great question!  If you think about it, e-signatures provide more security than the paper-based permission slips that the students are returning. The teacher has no idea that the paper-based document truly reflects the parent’s signature or a forgery.  However, with an e-signed document, the parent must log into their email account (presumably using a password) to view the document. An email-based delivery mechanism provides a layer of security that the student’s backpack does not.

More on EchoSign security…

How about complex signature routing?

No worries! EchoSign has you covered.

I’ve also viewed more than a few documents that require complex signature routing.  For example, a change-of-course form may require a signature from the student, professor, student advisor, and the dean of the college.  If each person takes a day it can easily take a document almost a week to process.  EchoSign can handle that kind of complex routing as well, and greatly reduce the time it take to process multi-signature documents.

Below are examples of common documents that require a signature.

  • Contracts
  • HR Documents
  • Permission Slips
  • Parent/Teacher/Administrator documents
  • Progress Reports
  • University change-of-course forms
  • Student Parking Forms
  • Student Housing Forms

…and the list goes on!

Fantastic!  How can I get it?

Hold your horses pardner!  You may want to speak with your Adobe Account Manager.

Ways to purchase EchoSign…

  • Signup for EchoSign electronic signature software online (great for individuals or small teams)
  • Speak to your Adobe Account manager (best for larger departmental and institutional purchases).  For larger purchases, I highly recommend speaking to your Adobe account manager, as they can make recommendations based on your organization’s needs and also provide you with the best pricing options.  

When you think of your organization’s document workflow think of the headaches you experience when trying to get paperwork signed and returned on a TIMELY basis.

Bottom-line… EchoSign has huge potential to save your institution time and money (while saving you from a huge document-induced migraine)!

 

Scott Trudeau
Senior Solutions Consultant, Adobe Inc.
Education

For more Adobe Tips, Tricks, and Information Follow me on Twitter @scott_trudeau 

www.scotttrudeau.com

Create a Swirl Pattern Using Illustrator CS6

The new pattern tools in Illustrator CS6 are simply amazing.  The new tools will greatly reduce the time it takes to create web patterns, textile patterns, fabric patterns, etc.   Now you can spend less time learning tools, and more time on your designs!

And heck…I’ve found that creating patterns is somewhat therapeutic!

I’ve included a quick tutorial on how to create a “swirl” pattern.  Enjoy.

View the Tutorial (YouTube)

Student Documentary Competition – $50,000 in Student and Teacher Prizes

Middle School and High School students can win some nice prize money while learning about the U.S. Constitution.  So kids, get out your cameras and start-up your copies of Premiere Elements and/or Premiere Pro and start editing your videos!

C-SPAN’s StudentCam is an annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think about issues that affect our communities and our nation. Students are asked to create a short (5-8 minute) video documentary related to the following topic: “The Constitution and You: Select any provision of the U.S. Constitution and create a video illustrating why it’s important to you.”

 

 

 

 

Amazing Photoshop Touch Technique

Russell Brown thought up a great Photoshop Touch hack that is just too darn cool! Check out this short video on how to use Photoshop Touch and a flashlight to create some AMAZING lighting effects.

 

Publish Photoshop 3D layers to PDF

In my last tutorial I showed you how to take an image and apply that image to a 3D object in Photoshop. In this tutorial I will show you how to publish a 3D layer to PDF.  Anybody with Acrobat Reader will then be able to interact with your 3D object.

 

  1. Create a 3D object in Photoshop (tutorial here)
  2. Right click on the 3D layer
  3. Select Export 3D layer
  4. Name the file and select U3D from the Format dropdown menu
  5. Click the Save button
  6. The 3D Export Options dialogue box will open.
  7. Make sure that JPEG is selected from the Texture Format dropdown
  8. Use ECMA1  for the U3D Options

 

The steps above exported the Photoshop layer to a U3D file.  The U3D file can now be published to PDF.

 

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat X
  2. Select File>Created PDF>From File
  3. Browse to the U3D file you saved earlier
  4. An Insert 3D dialogue box will open.  Select OK (You may want to check out the “Advanced” options by clicking on the Show Advanced Options check box.  There are some neat options to play around with).
  5. Click on your 3D object to interact with it.  Also notice the 3D tool bar that appears.

Cool!  Now anybody with Acrobat Reader can view your 3D content!

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…