One of the many advantages that moving to a cloud based service brings, is the power of a server side computing in conjunction with the computer and hardware that is being used locally. The ability to have much more horse power available to perform routine tasks, means that there are many additional options that are not achievable when just restricted to the local desktop. This is even more relevant in today’s world, when we are moving to a more connected and socially engaged environment. More and more people are using smart phones, tablets and are always “On-Line” at more touch points in their life than ever before. People are much more connected with each other, either socially or with their work, peers, friends or maybe even to create an idea whilst on the move. The ability to capture an idea on a smart phone using a photograph or colour swatch (with the new upcoming Kuler App for the iPhone), when they see something that catches their eye, that could in turn be used for inspiration for their next creation is quite powerful.
When it comes to creatives and creative applications we all like to make cool art and show it off to our peers and people that we respect and can learn from, having technology and an eco-system that supports this, is fundamental for continued success.
The Creative Cloud embraces all of these trends and supports the creative user in their workflow, enables them to be connected at all touch points, as well empowering them to be even more creative anywhere at any time. One of the things i enjoy about the Creative Cloud is the complete freedom to create and be inspired anywhere. For example, I can take a Photograph on my iPhone with Photoshop Touch and upload directly to the Creative Cloud. I can take this image almost immediately and populate a mood board with ideas on the iPad using Photoshop Touch and the extra form factor, then sync to my Creative Cloud account once I have finished. When I next get into the office, I am able to use this directly within Photoshop CC to a remind me of the idea, or add to an image or a piece of art work that I have been working on for a while, which may have been in need of something extra to make it visually compelling. This is something that for me was lacking in a non connected, non free flowing creative world.
Adobe has the unique advantage of having the Creative Cloud services, combined with the power of the desktop tools, as well as connecting the mobile touch apps in a complete transparent workflow.
As we have already mentioned, the Creative Cloud tools were previously disconnected from online services as well as within the local working environment. Most creative users are working with the two licenses that are available. however, one of the challenges is having consistency across both of these environments, i.e. not really supporting a consistent way of working with the tools (i.e. using the same brushes, actions, swatches, preferences etc) in the two environments that they are working in, therefore disrupting the creative process. Previously, to work with the same settings on both computers in your environment, you had to copy the files manually from one to the other, then hopefully the files would work without too much trouble or fiddling about.
(N.B.The 2 software installs as part of your subscription can be installed on a combination of Windows or Macintosh computers as well as across the same type of computer. )
Due to the Creative Cloud and server side computing we are able to connect each of the pure creative CC tools (Photoshop CC, After Effects CC, Premiere Pro CC etc) to have a deep connection to the Creative Cloud’s services, that will enable each applications settings to be synchronised with it’s opposite partner application on the other computer (There is more than just one service, but i’ll focus on sync settings in this post, which i think lies at the heart of the creative process), enabling a seamless working environment where ever you are.
N.B. The sync settings is not going to run all of the time and consume additional bandwidth on your Internet connection, slow your Internet connection or even your computer down, but only when you want to synchronise. Also, the settings will stay on the computer even if one of the computer(s) is/are offline (in accordance with the offline lease of the Creative Cloud), which means you don’t have be connected to the Internet all of the time to use the creative applications, so, you are able to go on your travel trip or away from home and still keep the consistent settings and run the applications as you always have been able to do, and ultimately keep your creative process simple and seamless.
Focusing on Imaging, I’d like to explain how this synchronisation works with Photoshop CC .
You now have a direct login to the Creative Cloud from within Photoshop CC, and access to Synchronise settings (under the preferences menu option).
The “Manage Sync Settings” will open the following screen
From this menu item you are able to manage which settings you would like to have synchronised with your Creative Cloud account (and eventually other computers).
In this menu option, synchronise can be turned off completely, or able to sync one or a selection of settings (described above). Because there can be up to the two unique computers in your environment, there is a concept of Local and Remote settings.Local settings are for the computer you are currently working on and remote settings are for the other computer. It is also worth while noting that when the settings are synchronised, they are updated without having to relaunch the App. Before the synchronisation is started , the configuration for managing any conflicts will need to be setup. In the above example you can see the “When conflicts occur” is set to “Always Ask”, which means if there is a newer version of the settings within my Creative Cloud account, Photoshop CC will prompt me to choose which settings I want to keep (local or remote ones). The other options that are available are “Keep Local” or “Keep Remote”, this will not prompt you to select which settings you want to use.
(N.B. The preferences will synchronise everything in the preferences panel (including application interface colour, background save etc)).
By clicking the “Manage Account Online” menu option, the Creative Cloud web interface will be launched and will take you into your online account (Adobe ID).
Once you are in the web browser, clicking on the “My Application Settings” will take you to the screen that shows the settings that exist online.
You can see here that there are settings stored for both Photoshop CC as well as After Effects CC. In this case in this example, the settings are from my computer that is in the studio.
The sync settings is also available on each application window, as show in the following picture.
Once the this button is clicked, the following small window will appear, just above it.
Once the “Sync Settings Now” is clicked, a progress bar will be displayed, then Photoshop CC will look at the differences between the Cloud files and your local files and work out the delta between the two. If settings don’t already exist, then it will be created for you, however, if they do and there are differences, then an alert will be displayed informing you that the settings are ready to by synced. If there are conflicts between the computers then you will be notified and prompted to make a choice (if “Always Ask” was turned on”) . If on the conflict you select “Local” then you will keep the local settings and these are synchronised with the Creative Cloud, updating the central settings files, if you choose “Remote” then the remote settings will be applied to the local application.
The sync settings is a great feature in CC which fully utilises the Creative Cloud and enables you to improve your workflow.