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March 31, 2009

Adobe and Facebook teaming up? Time to get social!

Facebook Server IconOr: How you can use Illustrator, Photoshop, and Fireworks CS4 to design the next killer app with Facebook integration.
Just as a reminder, the Adobe Flash Platform and the Facebook Platform provide the ultimate solution for building rich, social experiences on the web. Remember that Flash is available on more than 98% of Internet-connected PCs, so people can immediately access the applications, content, and video that enable social interactions. Also, the Facebook Platform is used by millions of people everyday to connect and share with the people in their lives. Together, both platforms allow you to:

  • Share: Create rich interactions for users to share with friends.
  • Have fun: Make games social; let users compete against their friends.
  • Connect: Let users connect to your Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) with Facebook Connect.
  • Solve problems: Build RIAs that harness the power of community.
  • Reach people: Reach millions of Facebook users through social distribution.

What does that mean for us designers? This is not just about code. If you check out these pages (Adobe Developer Connection), you'll see that there are infinite possibilities! Integration, games, desktop AIR applications.
The cool thing is that you, as a designer, can participate in first person...

How, if I don't know the first thing about that "ActionScript 3.0 Client Library for Facebook Platform" and "Flex"? You gotta be kidding, right?
Well, no, dear Creative Professional. And here's why:

  • as a creative pro, you have all the cool ideas,
  • you have the design skills that make the application look great,
  • and, you have the tools to get your design to the next step: the developer!

Did you know that:
  • You can create designs in Photoshop or Illustrator, open them in Fireworks, add some basic interactivity, export as an AIR application to show and then hand that off to your favorite developer so they can add that Facebook connectivity I've been talking about?
  • You can create Flex mock ups in Fireworks?

Check out these cool links to get started:
  • For CS4, Adobe has been working hard to integrate Fireworks with the other apps, especially Photoshop. Two of the new areas of compatibility are in layer comps and vector shape support. You can now also bring vector elements from Photoshop into Fireworks and because of this new integration with Photoshop, everything that you bring over from Photoshop is editable. In addition, Fireworks now runs the same text engine so there is less inconsistency between Fireworks, Photoshop and Illustrator in CS4. [Layers Magazine]
  • Using Fireworks CS4 new create AIR package command, you can use Fireworks to prototype interactive desktop applications and deliver them directly to the client. Darrell Heath explores some of these new capabilities. [Layers Magazine]
  • Create your AIR icons automatically with Fireworks, by Paul Burnett.
  • Newly-added flex skinning commands in Fireworks CS4 allow quick access to skin design elements so that designers can edit the appearance of skins in their layouts, and hand off designs to developers to add database connectivity. [Layers Magazine]

Adobe teamed up with Facebook; designers team up with developers, and get those creative, and social, juices flowing!

March 30, 2009

Muito obrigado São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro!

Panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro

My four days in Brazil were incredible, to say the least; and I want to thank everyone whom I have met and had the privilege to talk to. Starting with the events at the Photoshop Conference 2009 in São Paulo, the interviews for Desktop, and PhotoshopPro magazines, the presentation at Editoria Abril, and the fantastic InDesign User Group meeting (and that's just the first day!). Then there were the schools: ESPM in São Paulo, and Estácio de Sá in Rio, but the show was broadcast to all other campuses around Brazil. Then there were agencies, such as Young, and publishers such as Projac-TV Globo. Forgive me if I have forgotten anyone. But in short: thank you! Muito obrigado! The energy and interest I felt for our Creative Suite 4 Applications was intense.

Everyday Time Saver #5 with CS4 Design Premium

From withing the applications that are part of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium, you can now share what you are doing on your screen with your Clients, co-workers, or friends! This nifty feature allows you to get immediate feedback while you are working on a project. The free service allows you to share what you are doing in real time with up to three people at one time, and even to give momentary control of your screen to your viewers! In InDesign, for example, all you need to do is choose File > Share My Screen, a few clicks and your Adobe ID (free), you are ready to go. Make sure to give it a whirl, and let me know what you think.

You can also find this, and more, on Adobe TV, or on my YouTube Channel.

Transcript
Hi! This is Rufus Deuchler, Worldwide Design Evangelist at Adobe Systems. In the next few minutes I will be showing you how you can save yourself a lot of time by using Adobe Creative Suite 4.
In this clip, I will be showing you can streamline working with your colleagues and Clients with a feature called Share my Screen, available in all of the applications that come with Adobe Creative Suite 4.
In the past, when you wanted to show your Client work in progress you’d have had to send him a PDF or an image in order to gather feedback. This was usually a very time consuming process because it meant waiting for an answer, which in many cases was not even always very clear… so you’d have to get back to the Client and gather more information.
Share my Screen is part of a set of services that come with Acrobat.com, other services include a word processor called Buzzword, or a place where you can share large files called Share, thus avoiding sending large attachments in your emails. These services are free, and all you need is an Adobe ID.
In InDesign for example, but this also works from within the other applications in Creative Suite 4 Design Premium, you can activate Share my Screen, this will launch a ConnectNow Session that will enable you to share your screen with up to three people who know this specific URL [showing on monitor].
With Share my Screen you can exchange ideas using the chat pod, add a live video or audio feed, or use the white board feature to enable your coworkers or clients to discuss content. And, this is almost magical, you can momentarily hand over control of the screen to a guest to collaborate on a file. Imagine someone from the other side of the world using your InDesign CS4!
By using Share my Screen with your Creative Suite 4 applications you will be able tostreamline the review process making it real time. It’s like having your Client beside you, but without the breathing behind your neck!
And, if time is money, as they say, this has never been more important than in a design workflow, where every minute of production has a fixed cost.
This is Rufus Deuchler, Worldwide Design Evangelist at Adobe Systems.
See you soon, and make good use of your time with Adobe Creative Suite 4!

March 24, 2009

And now the hard facts: the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Benchmark Project

Many of you have seen my Shortcut to Savings videos, either on AdobeTV or on my YouTube Channel, and I thank you for that. Now, some of you may have asked yourselves "what is Rufus talking about? How much faster did he say it was? Where did he get his figures?". Well, here are your answers. Enjoy speed!

Today Adobe announced benchmarking results from an independent research study conducted by Pfeiffer Consulting and commissioned by Adobe. According to the report, features in Adobe Creative Suite 4 can dramatically increase productivity, efficiency and return on investment. Research shows that every unnecessary click has the ability to slow down users’ productivity. Routine operations across Adobe Creative Suite 4 can be accomplished more quickly now than with previous versions, dramatically improving the user experience and saving hours every month. Users can now dedicate more time to the creative side of the project with this latest version of the Creative Suite product line. More than 100 benchmark tests focusing on design, print, digital imaging, Web and interactive design, and video production were conducted. Tests covered workflow-related productivity measures as well as market-specific design and publishing activities.

Learn more about the Creative Suite 4 ROI Study.

Key Findings for Design Professionals

  • Users can identify and eliminate production-level errors more than twice as fast in CS4 than in previous versions by activating the Live Preflight feature in InDesign software.

  • Multiple artboards in Illustrator CS4 can help users save almost one-third the time previously needed to make changes to common parameters, like fonts and color, in projects composed of numerous design pieces.

  • New Smart Guides provide positioning hints including alignment with borders, spacing and angle rotation when one is creating or modifying objects on a page. Creation of a new object and aligning it with two other objects now takes less than half the time it took with CS3.

Key Findings for Digital Imaging Professionals

  • Making simple, non-destructive adjustments to an image is more than twice as fast using Adjustment Panels with Photoshop CS4 than with previous versions.

  • Adobe Bridge CS4 increases efficiency in managing a wide variety of files and metadata. The new Review mode can help users review and select images for use twice as fast than with previous releases of the application.

  • Open GL support in Photoshop CS4 helps speed up image-navigation features including zooming and panning. Benchmark tests showed that in one month it can save users one hour and 40 minutes compared with CS3.

Key Findings for Web Professionals

  • New commands such as Live Preview and Live Code are designed to eliminate time-consuming tasks that can shave hours off of Web development projects each month compared with CS3. Using Live Code versus checking code in the browser to preview a Web page now takes 68 percent less time than CS3.

  • With Flash CS4 and a more streamlined process for creating Motion tweens, Web professionals can create simple animations in one-third of the time than with previous releases.

  • Photoshop Smart Objects in Dreamweaver CS4 allows users to place native, multi-layered Photoshop files in a web page without needing to update images already placed. With three Photoshop round-trips, CS4 users take 33.98 seconds to complete the project, less than half the time it took in previous versions.

Key Findings for Video Professionals

  • CS4 users who leverage the new Speech to Text feature in Adobe Premiere® Pro to search for a specific spoken phrase in a 10-minute video can achieve results in 16.46 seconds. Users of previous versions would have taken almost a minute and a half to get the same results.

  • Navigating to a specific layer or effect in a complex After Effects project containing thousands of layers previously may have taken nearly two minutes versus the previous version. With Quicksearch in After Effects CS4, searches now take 80 percent less time.

  • Working with Adobe OnLocation in CS4 revolutionizes tapeless video capture by uploading footage directly to the hard drive of a computer for immediate editing, which eliminates time spent ingesting video from tape. It now takes less than a minute with CS4 versus more than 11 minutes with previous versions of Creative Suite.

March 14, 2009

Спасибо Москве!

Спасибо Москве! Я глубоко смирился по количеству людей, которые пришли, чтобы Adobe Creative Suite 4. Спасибо.

The Creative Future event in Moscow is now over. Well, I have to say that the whole day was overwhelming. It was incredible to see so many of our Russian friends so excited about the Creative Suite, so full of curiosity, and interesting questions or feedback. I can truly say that my colleagues Paul Burnett, Karl Soulé, and myself are deeply humbled by the welcome we experienced. So again, thanks to all of our friends in Moscow for attending this show.

The main hall of the Creative Future event in Moscow. 15 hours prior to kick-off.

The day prior to the event (with a timer on the big screen) we stayed on location prepping for the event and making sure that everything will run smoothly.

An almost full house during the plenary session at the Creative Future event in Moscow

During the plenary session, after an incredibly entertaining theatrical performance from the local Adobe team, we each had about 20 minutes to do a quick overview of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection. Paul did Web, Karl video, and I did Design of course.
Then we split into separate rooms to do our breakout sessions. I did two: one on Photoshop Lightroom 2 and integration with Photoshop CS4, and then an in depth dive into the new features of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium. Both the sessions were packed, but I have to say that the Lightroom presentation beat them all (over 300 people in a room that could seat only 250).

And now onto San Francisco to work on some new AdobeTV episodes. Stay tuned for the CSInsider|Design show!

March 11, 2009

Everyday Time Saver #4 with CS4 Design Premium

Let me give you a quick tour of the new Links Panel in Adobe InDesign CS4, which saves you time by letting you find and manage your links faster and easier. I mean, everything that is vital to your workflow at your fingertips, what else can you ask for? In combination of the new Live Preflight feature (and here in the Everyday Time Saver #2) you really have access to all the information you need to sleep at night and be sure that your InDesign document won't generate problems down the production line.

You can also find this, and more, on Adobe TV, or on my YouTube Channel.

Transcript
Hi! This is Rufus Deuchler, Worldwide Design Evangelist at Adobe Systems. In the next few minutes I will be showing you how you can save yourself a lot of time by using Adobe Creative Suite 4.
In this clip, I will be showing you the brand new Links Panel in Adobe InDesign CS4.
Creating documents in InDesign is all about linking to graphics and images in order to create captivating layouts. These linked files can be very many, and as their number grows it becomes more time consuming to manage those links. That is why we completely redesigned the Links Panel to enable you to see all the information you need, thus dramatically reducing the time necessary to find the information in multiple locations within the application itself.
The redesigned Links panel provides comprehensive and consolidated access to link attributes and metadata, including scale, original and effective resolution, layer assignment, copyright information, workflow status, and much more. The panel can be customized to display the metadata and attributes that are most critical to your workflow for every linked asset.
For a quick overview, here are three useful new features in the Links panel.
1. If you have multiple links to the same file those are now grouped together
2. You now also get thumbnail previews that automatically appear in front of each link, making it much easier to identify linked assets
3. Also, the pages on which the links appear are hyperlinked, so you can quickly jump to the page containing the placed file.
The information you see in the Links Panel is completely customizable to let you view only the information that is critical to your workflow, for example the scaling percentage of images, actual and effective PPI of raster images, and much, much more…
Working with the new Links Panel in Adobe InDesign CS4 will tremendously speed up your workflow, and help you manage your linked assets in ways way that were impossible in earlier versions of InDesign.
And, if time is money, as they say, this has never been more important than in a design workflow, where every minute of production has a fixed cost.
This is Rufus Deuchler, Worldwide Design Evangelist at Adobe Systems.
See you soon, and make good use of your time with Adobe Creative Suite 4!

March 10, 2009

Three interesting Adobe InDesign links

Thought it would be useful to post these three links which I have just been reading.

1. Scripting InDesign CS4 Preflight.
Yup that's right, you can script almost anything in Adobe InDesign, and that includes the new Live Preflight feature. So if you think that the 200% productivity gain is still not enough, get your scritong gloves on, and automate it even more. This post demonstrates how to interact with the preflight system using JavaScript. [Via Heath Lynn, InDesign SDK Blog].

2. New Quark to Adobe InDesign CS4 Conversion Guide.
Although we are now at the 6th version of InDesign (InDesign CS4) I still hear of a lot of users needing help understanding InDesign as they migrate from QuarkXPress, and enter a new world of integration with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash. InDesign has become a real cross-media power horse, and we created a guide that will help new users make the move that will change their lives and workflows. Welcome to the Creative Suite! [Download, PDF 6.6MB]. And here's the web page on Adobe.com dedicated to making your switch easier, with top reasons to switch to InDesign, in depth information, resources, and links.

3. Woodwing Smart Styles now available for InDesign CS4.
Why use a plug-in if InDesign's styling features are so powerful right out of the box, you may be asking yourself. Well it's not like we can do everything, so we rely on partners such as Woodwing to rise the bar even higher. Smart Styles enables you, among many other things, to make complex formatting even easier, insert formulas into tables and sort rows, reduce boring or repetitive tasks. Check it out here (you can download a fully functional 30-day trial version of Smart Styles).

March 9, 2009

Creativity at Adobe MAX 2009 - Don't just attend, be part of it!

Adobe MAX is an experience unlike any other; it's an opportunity to connect with thousands of designers, developers, partners, executives, and Adobe staff for education, inspiration, and community.

From October 4 to 7, MAX'09 will be hosted in sun-soaked southern California at the Los Angeles Convention Center and Nokia theater location next to L.A. LIVE, a one-of-a-kind entertainment campus. Host to the GRAMMY® Awards, Emmy® Awards, American Idol finals, and hundreds of other events, L.A. LIVE brings downtown Los Angeles alive with world-class venues, restaurants, cafes, and cinemas, including Lucky Strike Lanes, the GRAMMY Museum℠ and the legendary Conga Room. Wohoo! Yup, that's the other side of MAX, mingle and party hard. But seriously: historically MAX has always been an event for coders (no offense to anyone), but in the past two years we've started adding content for designers as well, going into the depth of our creative solutions (read Adobe Master Collection). We were able to create cool sessions around designing for Print, Web, Interactivity, and Video. These sessions rocked and were extremely well attended. Well then, in a reality where Designers and Developers increasingly collaborate (or should be), it is necessary, if not critical, to mix and match both worlds and discover what each can do to accelerate business through alliance.

Last week we started working on content development for Adobe MAX'09 with a Call for Sessions and Labs. If you, as a designer riding the wave of technology, would like to propose a session or a lab for MAX 2009, please complete the forms linked to below. The MAX team will then review the proposals and formulate the agenda for the Adobe event of the year. We truly look forward to reviewing your proposals.

Details:
Adobe MAX 2009 Call for Sessions and Labs will end April 15, 2009 midnight PST.
MAX team goal is to have all sessions, labs, and speakers selected by May 15, 2009.

So get them creative juices flowing! Check out the Adobe MAX Website for an idea of what sessions, and labs, took place in previous years.

March 6, 2009

One week at CeBIT

Rufus Deuchler showing Adobe Creative Suite 4 to the audience at CeBIT 2009

This week, both Jason Levine and yours truly are at CeBIT in Hannover (Germany) doing Creative Suite 4 Product Demonstrations. So what is CeBIT, you might be asking yourself? Basically, CeBIT is a trade show where over 4'000 exhibitors from just under 70 countries present their digital solutions, trends and innovations.

The Intel Core i7 processor Extreme EditionJason and myself are on duty at the Intel Pavilion, a space entirely dedicated to their microprocessors. Intel's products are designed to deliver a great computing experience for all sorts of workflows and situations. Particularly, Intel just introduced the Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition, which was installed on our demonstration machines (with Windows Vista 64Bit). 3.20 GHz core speed with 8 processing threads, the size of my thumbnail, made the Creative Suite applications fly. Truly. Jason and I have experienced a great difference in speed. Actually flabbergasting.

The fact that we were on the Intel booth during the time Apple announced the new Mac Pro with next-generation Intel architecture, including four cores on one die and an integrated memory controller, was kind of exciting. In a slightly nerdy way. We are definitely on the brink of a new era of user experience when it comes to the creative business. Whilst Adobe Creative Suite 4 is your shortcut to savings, in terms of time (and time being money...), these new technologies leverage everything we've been working on to make our software faster. So we are very glad that we were able to be in the Intel Pavilion, as new standards were being defined. Stay tuned.

March 3, 2009

Everyday Time Saver #3 with CS4 Design Premium

Edit Artwork Twice as Fast in Adobe Illustrator CS4.
Let me be your guide as I show you how to manage edits across multiple designs in a single project with the new multiple artboards feature in Illustrator CS4. This was actually one of the top pain points for Freehand users in the past, now it is possible to have more than one artboard. But please don't call them "pages", the last thing I would want to see you doing is creating layouts for multiple page documents such as brochures or even magazines... I am sure you know what I mean (that's what InDesign is for).

You can also find this, and more, on Adobe TV, or on my YouTube Channel.

Transcript
Hi! This is Rufus Deuchler, Worldwide Design Evangelist at Adobe Systems. In the next few minutes I will be showing you how you can save yourself a lot of time by using Adobe Creative Suite 4.
In this clip, I will be showing you Multiple Artboards in Adobe Illustrator CS4.
Until Illustrator CS4, when you were working on multiple assets such as a Poster, a series of postcards, or a web banner that shared the same elements, you had to work on different Illustrator files, crossing your fingers that you’d be careful enough to make corrections in all iterations of a shared logo, for example.
With Multiple Artboards, this fear has become a thing of the past because you can now streamline your workflow by creating any number of Artboards within a single Illustrator file.
Let’s take this example here. The poster, the postcard, the web banner all share common elements such as the logo. Well, if I use symbols, graphic styles and text styles, I can truly make sure that if I change one of those elements such as the bullet hole, for example, I’ll be sure that all instances will be updated.
Let me quickly show you what happens when I update the symbol of the Logo; let’s change its color to yellow, move back to the artwork, and Adobecadabra! All instances have been updated!
An independent research actually shows that working with multiple artboards, to change a font on three artboards is 300% faster than to change the font on three different documents! It has also become about 350% faster than in previous versions to export a document to EPS with 8 artboards instead of having to export 8 documents separately. Now that is what I call productivity.
Working with Multiple Artboards in Adobe Illustrator CS4 will tremendously speed up your workflow, and help you manage your designs in ways that were impossible before, thus saving yourself a lot of time that would have otherwise been spent opening several files to make sure that corrections were being made across a series of illustrations.
And, if time is money, as they say, this has never been more important than in a design workflow, where every minute of production has a fixed cost.
This is Rufus Deuchler, Worldwide Design Evangelist at Adobe Systems.
See you soon, and make good use of your time with Adobe Creative Suite 4!