Adobe Systems Incorporated

Contemplating Design… One State at A Time

A lover of vintage design and typography, Jonathan Lawrence had noticed, over the years, a decline in license plate design. He’d asked himself before why they weren’t designed in a way that was pleasing. Why sometimes they didn’t seem to be considered at all.StatePlates_1_Logo

But the final straw came in the mail. In the form of new license plates for his car. His description, “It’s the worst thing in the world. It’s this crazy peach farm with a sunset, peach state script that’s pushing Georgia out of the way, and all this craziness happening behind the important information.”

That irritation provided the impetus for his effort to redesign every state plate in the US. “With the older plates, there’s a simplification of order, of hierarchy, of consideration that I feel has gradually gotten lost. I wanted to bring a little bit of that back.”

Quickly realizing the enormity of the project, Jonathan reached out to his designer friends and colleagues and before he knew it, more than half the 50 states, that would eventually comprise the State Plates Project had been spoken for; after he posted on social media, the rest were snapped up. Each designer, either born in the state or having adopted it as home, was passionate about the location, Jonathan’s project, and design.

Jonathan sent each of them a template and a design brief.

StatePlates_2_Template The union of function and beauty
Not wanting to get too prescriptive, Jonathan’s creative direction was fairly simple: “Bring back the union of functionality and design in a way that the plates can be beautiful, but also make sense and serve a need, then wrap that all up in a package that feels like the state.”

Since he wanted the focus to remain on applying a design approach, he asked the designers not to get too bogged down in the specifics of plate design (for instance, although it’s a requirement in some states, he didn’t insist on the redesign of the registration stickers), but to focus instead on the hierarchy of the primary content: the size and placement of the tag numbers and letters, the name of the state, and the message related to the region.

StatePlates_4_Options Jonathan chose Georgia.

Originally from Florida, he’d gone back-and-forth about which state he wanted to design. He ultimately chose Georgia so he could finish what compelled the project. For him, simplification was key: “As designers, we have a responsibility to design but somewhere along the line, whether it’s a marketing decision or something else, things get over-analyzed (as an example, URLs—state.pa.us, myflorida.com, georgia.gov—on license plates). It’s like everything has to be everything. And really, we just need license plates to be license plates.”

Considering Georgia
Like anything that looks simple after it’s done, the small space, the historical context, and the design parameters made it a challenge. Although he’d been living in the state almost four years, he began researching prior plate designs.

StatePlates_3_InspirationOne of the first things he noticed was that since the 1940s, a peach had been the symbolic center of the design. So he knew it had to stay. While for many states the plates have always been two specific colors, Georgia had bounced around the color wheel. Ultimately, inspired by a color scheme from the 1960s and ’70s Jonathan threw that into a design equation, along with a nickname he found (Empire State of the South), that was already beginning to get complicated.

At the same time he was curating, guiding and creative directing 49 other designers with anything from minor tweaks to major concept simplification.

The next chapter
In the end, everyone’s work paid off; Jonathan’s State Plates Project tumblr launched with a plate-a-day last October. Now, it’s a rich archive of design concept and execution with detailed comments by each of the designers.

StatePlates_6_Final Although Jonathan wouldn’t mind seeing some of the plates used in the special interest plate programs that benefit private organizations, he ultimately he feels that it’s the conversation that’s most important: “When the project went viral, people who weren’t designers were starting to find out about it. If we’re just talking to ourselves, that’s great, but actually getting past that early adopter stage, and having people start to realize the potential, that’s where the real impact is.”


We met Jonathan at Creative Jam Atlanta where he was one of the local speakers. Join us for the next Creative Jam and meet someone new.

7:20 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Four Students to Make Their Comic-Con Debut

This spring, Adobe collaborated with Marvel to make the first-ever student-illustrated Avengers comic—powered by Creative Cloud.

The limited-edition origin story comic will officially debut at San Diego Comic-Con, where the students will get one-on-one portfolio interviews with Marvel pros.

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Students from around the world submitted their portfolios through Behance—garnering responses from students in more than 47 countries.

We’re proud to announce that Chad Lewis, of Kent State University; Alexandria Huntington, of Academy of Art; Hayden Sherman, from RISD; and Emil Friis Ernst, from Animation Workshop in Denmark were officially selected for the opportunity.

Though we have selected four students to illustrate the new comic, we are working on another opportunity for two additional students to help with special effects or creatively think of ways to bring a few pages of this comic to life when it’s complete. Stay tuned for more information on this opportunity.

The students are currently working with Marvel on their comic using Creative Cloud and its new mobile apps, like Adobe Brush CC.

Follow Adobe Students on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see sneak peaks of the comic, and origins of some of the most famous Avengers characters!

11:40 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Trending Now: The Pulse of the Creative Economy

Today, Will Allen, senior director of digital media at Adobe unveiled original research on the global creative economy. From data and findings associated with the public projects of nearly five million Behance users, it’s the first look at Adobe’s ongoing analysis of creative industry trends.

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The new insights, “Adobe Digital Index New Creatives Mashup,” focus on the formative years of a creative career and offer a view into the thoughts, aspirations, and focus of younger creative professionals. It delves into how innovation on mobile has enabled second-screens to become increasingly integrated into creative workflows; which parts of the world are hotbeds of ideation and project creation; and what appears to be a renaissance of analog elements (like ink and pencil) in design work.

Adobe has been a catalyst in the creative industry for years; now, with the considerable insight available to us from Creative Cloud, Behance, and the Fotolia Stock image service, we have access to ongoing data that can illustrate and predict creative trends and help us determine how to best support the next generation of creative professionals.

Want the full story on the interests and passions that are fueling the creative economy? Read Will’s “Adobe Digital Index: New Creatives Mashup.”

9:02 AM Permalink

Missed NAB 2015? We’re bringing it to you.

New color, collaboration, mobile creativity, and magic from Adobe.

Under the banner of “Creativity just got a lot more colorful,” Adobe revealed what’s coming next to the Creative Cloud pro video tools, showcasing the next versions at NAB 2015, where people could see them in person for the first time. As outlined in an earlier article, the next release offers re-invented color workflows, new mobile technologies, expanded collaboration with Creative Cloud Libraries, and awesome new magic, like Adobe Character Animator, Morph Cut, Time Tuner, and more.

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If you missed our NAB 2015 Reveal webcast, you can watch it on-demand.

It just keeps getting better
This was my fourth time with Adobe at NAB and amazingly, the buzz and excitement around the Creative Cloud video tools just keeps growing. There were more visitors to the Adobe booth than ever before—amazing considering some of the crowds we’ve had in the recent past; there were more interviews with journalists, including this (underlit) gem from Randi Altman’s postPerspective during which Al Mooney summarizes the entire release in just under two minutes, and more scheduled meetings (literally, hundreds of them) with customers ranging from boutique production houses to major broadcasters. And there were awards, too: a Best in Show award for Creative Cloud from Studio Daily, a second Best in Show from Videomaker Magazine, naming Adobe Premiere Pro CC as the Best Editing Software of NAB 2015, and another Best in Show from Digital Video Magazine. In addition, Adobe Character Animator won Coolest New Product from Post magazine.

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Standing room only
The Adobe booth was packed for almost every presentation throughout the show, sometimes standing room only—six-people deep into the aisles around the booth. I don’t know if we’ve ever had such a strong speaker line-up, including Adam Epstein from the Saturday Night Live film crew, whose new movie Staten Island Summer is coming out soon; Devin Graham (aka YouTube superstar Devin Super Tramp); Vashi Nedomansky, recently of Sharkado 2 fame; Aaron Brenner (who showed me his Stanley Cup ring) of the LA Kings video production team; Dan Dome, editor of Late Night with Seth Meyers; perennial crowd-favorite Andrew Kramer (Video Copilot), who showed how to destroy a city in a few simple steps with Adobe After Effects CC; and many other awesome presenters.

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Supermeet was super fun
If you’re a Supermeet fan and missed the fun this year—or even if you just want to relive it—here’s a taste, including Al Mooney’s stage presentation. (Yes, he’s wearing a cat T-shirt. Some traditions never die.)
 

Adventures in Filmmaking: From Saturday Night Live Shorts to Feature Film
Another highlight of the show was my colleague Meagan Keane’s in-depth interview with the articulate and insightful Adam Epstein. The presentation was part of the NAB Creative Master’s Series.
 

Looking forward
The new features, apps, and workflows presented at NAB will be available in the next release of Creative Cloud. “It’s exciting, even humbling, to see the growth of our video tools, especially at a major industry event like NAB, where you can experience the buzz in person,” said Al Mooney, senior product manager for Premiere Pro CC. “We’re building tools that people need and workflows that let you do more creatively. It’s a joy to see the response from our users.”

Switch or upgrade to the Adobe Creative Cloud Complete plan and save 40%
There’s never been a better time to make the switch to Creative Cloud. Join by May 29 to get 40% off on your first year, paying just US$29.99 per month for all of the Adobe creative applications, including Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, and much more. Updates are included with your membership. Learn more about the offer.

7:09 AM Permalink

Inside the Daily Habits of Ash Thorp

A chromed-out 3D human head bobs in what appears to be a deep red liquid on the big screen at annual design and tech festival FITC Toronto. Designer, director, and illustrator Ash Thorp is showing off his latest creative obsession—highly-designed 3D heads. Known for his work on major feature films such as Ender’s Game and Total Recall, Thorp shared insights about his path to a creative career.

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One of the things Ash went into detail about were his daily habits, more specifically his six-step “task master” process, which we’ll cover in this post. Don’t want to miss a thing? You can watch his full presentation here.

AshThorp_2_GleiThe task master
Each night Thorp will write up a list of what he needs to accomplish the next day. He always writes this list on paper because it’s tangible and in his words, “becomes a reality.” As a child of the ’80s he feels there is a level of nostalgic productivity in this.

Once his list is written, he moves on to prioritizing it. Based on insights he obtained from the book Eat That Frog!, Thorp uses an A–D class system in setting his goals. Things that make his A-list include must-do tasks like client work and taking his daughter to school. B-list is often comprised of personal projects of importance and speaking opportunities. C-list is made up of stuff that needs to get done eventually, and D-list is comprised of tasks that he doesn’t really need to do or things he can delegate.

He then puts all of these tasks into his calendar and set alarms for each “chapter” of his day.

“We’re creative people, so when I get in the mode of creating, time flies,” said Thorp. “When you’re creating, time doesn’t even exist.”

Despite some hostile feelings towards his phone for the alarms which often pull him away from fun work, Thorp feels this process doubles his daily efficiency. It gives him something tangible that he can visualize. Once his plan for the next day is in place, he can sleep on it and wake-up ready to rock.

Time
“The richest person and poorest person spiritually and monetarily share the same currency—time,” said Thorp. Look at time as being precious. Avoid interruptions whenever possible.

One thing he will do is limit his time on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to just ten to fifteen minutes a day. To do this, he’ll put his phone on silent and close his browser if he’s not using it.

Goals
Thorp relies heavily on goal setting. This goes back to his emphasis on the importance of having a vision—something tangible to work towards. He sets one week, one month, three month, six month, and one year goals.

His one year goal is always really abstract, whereas his one week goal is related to daily tasks. Every Sunday he’ll write out his weekly goal, ensuring that his tasks for the week align to this. It’s not all process though; Thorp is a strong believer in treating yourself for accomplishing a goal. Rewarding yourself for a job well done is a great motivational strategy to keep you on point and striving to reach those goals.

AshThorp_3_Lasseter The end date
Everything must come to an end. Setting end dates and getting things done is important to accomplishing goals and being professional. “Don’t be known as just a starter, you have to finish stuff,” said Thorp. This can be a challenge because working in creative fields you always feel like you can do stuff better, and each day comes with renewed inspiration. Setting a deadline and knowing when to let go will help you complete a project and move on to the next thing.

Play time!
Make personal time every day. A couple hours reserved for stuff you enjoy is important for your personal growth, spiritually, and creatively. This doesn’t always have to be in the evening; sometimes a creative kick-start to your morning can be just what you need. It’s all about priorities!

AshThorp_4_HeadShotRest and recover
While Thorp doesn’t claim to be any good at this, getting sleep is important. It’s hard to make proper decisions when you’re not getting enough sleep. It affects your mood, professionalism and, ultimately, your work.

One thing Thorp reiterated throughout his talk is that his task master process works well for him. Daily routines aren’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, but given his success and ability to manage many things at once, this process (or key elements of it) might just be worth a try. Also, like most things worth doing, it doesn’t come without a bit of sacrifice and hard work.

Have a different approach to staying on top of many things at once? Let us know in the comments.

Find @Ashthorp (occasionally) on Twitter.
 
Watch Thorp’s FITC Toronto 2015—Steps on a Creative Career Path presentation:
 

10:10 AM Permalink

Bonnie Siegler Answers Design’s Tough Questions

In the fall of 2014 Bonnie Siegler, joined us for a Working Late event at Makeshift Society in Brooklyn. Next week she’ll be back at Makeshift Society for a special night of cocktails, questions, and business advice.

 
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As an extension of her column “Dear Bonnie,” on Design Observer, Bonnie will be taking questions from the audience about how to succeed in the design industry while keeping your sanity.

Bonnie’s background is in both the academic and business worlds, providing her with a wealth of knowledge about best practices for designers. She’s the founder of Eight and a Half, a multidisciplinary design studio based in New York, and before that was the co-founder of Number Seventeen. She served as the chair of the 2013 AIGA Design Conference and created and produced Command X, a live competition featuring up-and-coming designers, that’s been a component of the last four of AIGA’s national conferences.

Bonnie’s work is in the permanent design archives of AIGA and has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, and the Society of Publication Design. She got her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, has taught in the graduate design programs at Yale, RISD, and the School of Visual Arts, and was the 2014 Koopman Distinguished Chair in the Visual Arts at the University of Hartford.

Get a ticket, submit a question (anonymously of course), and join us Tuesday April 21 for Dear Bonnie; we’ll have food and drinks and Bonnie Siegler will have answers to the tough professional, social, and ethical design-related dilemmas.

7:37 AM Permalink

An Online Portfolio: Your Professional Story

The ninth (and final) installment of I Went to Adobe Creative Camp at SXSW 2015… And all I brought back is a series of blog posts, the firsthand account of a first-time Adobe SXSW Creative Camp attendee.

Promoting Your Creative Work on the Web with Roxanne Schwartz

Behance_2 For those who don’t know, Behance is the leading platform for sharing and discovering creative work. The numbers on the left offer up the number one advantage of posting work on Behance… Exposure. More than 200 million page views each month of exposure.

Not only does Behance have free online portfolios, it’s also the bones of ProSite, a customizable website builder that enables people to use custom domain names and easily sync Behance projects to it. What a lot of people don’t know is that ProSite is included with a Creative Cloud subscription (and the integration makes it super easy to share work).

Roxanne, a community manager at Behance, has seen thousands of web portfolios. She knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to showcasing creative work online. She had some good ideas about how to think about this hugely important promotional tool.

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Portfolios and profiles (words used interchangeably throughout this post) are always-on creative showcases. Make sure they represent you well when people stop to look:


  • Let the work take center stage. Viewers spend only a few seconds looking through portfolios. Make sure yours is easy to scan and that the work is the center of attention. Cluttered portfolios are frequently over-compensating for mediocre work.
  • Behance_3 Curate your best work. There’s truth to the saying: You’re only as good as your last project and your portfolio is only as good as your worst image. A few great images are better than a lot that are just okay. If there’s something you’re not proud of, leave it out.
  • Use eye-catching images. People have very short attention spans so catch their eye and keep them interested. Make sure that images are large, clear, and consistently sized. And remember, this isn’t a client hand off, it’s a portfolio… Be selective. It’s not necessary to show everything.
  • Share the backstory. Don’t be afraid to show process—from early sketches to finished work. People love knowing how and why things were done. Offer up details.
  • Highlight things that give you an edge. Don’t be afraid to mention awards, accomplishments, or testimonials.
  • Keep your portfolio fresh. This is a living, breathing document so resist the temptation to bulk it out with old or irrelevant work. The best portfolios are current portfolios.
  • Keep in touch. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date and easy to find. And add social accounts; email isn’t the only way to reach people.
  • Tell a story about yourself. Stories are more interesting than a list of past jobs. Spend some time thinking about how to represent yourself and your work with words.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Worked with a team? Don’t overstate your role and give credit to everyone who worked on the project with you. People appreciate being publicly acknowledged and giving credit where it’s due will ALWAYS make you look good.
  • Get feedback. Make sure your portfolio is ready to share with the world. Other people’s impressions are extremely valuable; ask friends and colleagues for critiques.
  • Share personal work alongside client work. It shows passion, commitment, and the ability to self-start.
  • Make your profile part of your project process. Working on a project? Set aside some favorite images to include in your portfolio. Once the project ends, documenting the process will be a snap.
  • Promote your work. Sharing isn’t bragging. Pick two or three social channels, connect them to your portfolio and share. Maintain an active presence, and respond to people when they comment.
  • Follow people who inspire you. Be thoughtful about the people you follow; it’s not only daily inspiration but a great way to build the foundation of a creative network. And don’t forget to network in person at local events.

A final four. Questions to ask yourself about your online profile/portfolio:

  • Can people easily find and view your work?
  • Does it represent you well?
  • Have you gotten feedback from friends/coworkers?
  • Do you have a plan to review and edit it?

My Conclusion (Roxanne summed it up nicely for me):

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Read the wrap-up of Session 8: The Art of Making (Great) Videos with Dave Werner

7:33 AM Permalink

The Art of Making (Great) Videos

The penultimate installment of I Went to Adobe Creative Camp at SXSW 2015… And all I brought back is a series of blog posts, the firsthand account of a first-time Adobe SXSW Creative Camp attendee.

Make Social Media POP! with Video with Dave Werner

It’s easy enough to agree on the persuasive power of video, but how to actually make one? Dave didn’t have enough time to dive deep into his process, but he shared what he’s learned over the years—usually by doing the completely wrong thing and learning from his mistakes.

SocialVideo_1 When something moves, it catches the eye. And when someone tells a good story, there’s momentum. Photos and books tell stories for the eyes, but they’re static and silent; songs tell stories for the ears, with the element of time, with no visuals…

“Video combines the visuals of a photo (moving at 24fps), the storytelling of a book (being told through dialogue, acting and cinematography), and the forward momentum of music.”

 

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Take it up a notch

“Ninety-five percent of people are just going to shoot with an iPhone; your videos will really start to stand out and you’ll start to differentiate yourself if you develop a vocabulary of techniques.”

  • Edit ruthlessly. It takes a lot of time to pull-together a compelling video. Dave’s five-minute intro took him five days to make and he watched it over 50 times—changing bits at a time.
  • Overlay B-Roll. Particularly good for videos of people talking for long periods, Camera A focuses on whatever’s driving the main narrative and Camera B shoots action that amplifies it, then the B-Roll shots are overlaid to keep the video visually interesting. (Dave used the technique every two or three seconds in his intro video.)
  • Have a rough plan. I know when I get really excited about a project, I just want to jump up grab my camera, and shoot. But videos turn out better with planning. Then again, improvisation works too: The “tripod” Dave used for his intro video? A chair, with a cardboard box, a food storage bowl, and a tissue box… with his iPhone perched on top of it all.
  • Refine audio. Someone could have the flashiest, best looking video in the world, and if the talking begins and it’s impossible to hear… it’s a fail. Quite simply: There are a lot of tools to help make voices loud and clear. Use them.
  • Add a look. There are people in Hollywood whose jobs are to work on the color of films. So it’s probably worth it to spend just a few minutes on it; shadows, highlights, saturation create an enormous visual payoff.
  • Don’t use canned titles. Don’t use terrible fonts, drop shadows, or funky animation. Typography is every bit as important as actors. Get creative: a sticky note with writing, chalk on a sidewalk, sketches on napkins, magnetic letters, anything that connects to the theme of a video
  • Add explosions. OK, so it’s probably not necessary to add explosions to everything, but they do help keep things interesting. That’s the beauty of special effects: They aren’t expected. All of a sudden things just start exploding.
  • End with a call to action. Don’t lose people when the credits roll. Never finish with “The End,” always give interested viewers a next step.
  • Always tell a story. Add a narrative layer that takes people through the entire video. There’s a reason why people tell stories. They’re easier to remember. Don’t need a story? Try one anyway.
  • Learn from the masters. Developing an eye for video means getting inspired by every. other. video. everywhere. Emulate things that look cool. Try everything.

 

Sharing with the world

Dave recently released a three-minute cover of the Sesame Street classic I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon. It took him about nine months to complete, was filmed entirely with an iPhone 6 Plus, and was edited and composited with Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC (watch The Making of I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon). Look for cameos by Iron Man, Sponge Bob Squarepants, Buzz Lightyear, Voltron, Optimus Prime, and Princess Unikitty.

For sure video is prominent in social media, but each platform treats it differently. In addition, social media changes constantly; what’s true today may be ancient history tomorrow (actually, since Dave’s session, Twitter introduced Periscope). Dave learned a few things when he social-shared I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon:

  • YouTube: The second most used search engine (after Google) is the best bet for crossing platforms (desktop, mobile, set-top boxes, game consoles) and creating a channel of content. Always make a custom thumbnail and add a title, description, and tags.
  • Facebook: Either a) upload the video directly to Facebook or b) post a picture with a link to the video in the description (embedding a video by linking to the URL makes a not-so-eye-catching and much smaller thumbnail).
  • Twitter: YouTube, Vine, and Twitter videos show up as embeds, Instagram and Facebook videos don’t. But, what seems to play best on Twitter, among all the words, is an image. With a link to the video.
  • Instagram/Vine: Best for short video messages and teasers. Also perfect places to experiment with new video techniques.
  • LinkedIn/Personal Blogs: Write a longer post and embed the video in it.

My Conclusion: Have a story to tell? In an era of short attention spans, video could be the best way to tell it. So… Look around. Frame the shot. Get things ready. Record.

Dave’s SXSW session in his words: Making Social Media POP! with Video and Making Your Videos POP!

 
Read the wrap-up of Session 7: Story Structure Secrets with Christine Steele

9:09 AM Permalink

Coming Next to Adobe Pro Video Tools

Creativity is about to get a lot more colorful: Updates coming to Creative Cloud pro video tools.

Adobe announced today a new wave of major updates for video pros coming soon to Creative Cloud. New versions of the video tools and services, including some brand new apps, will be presented next week at National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) tradeshow.

Visitors to the show will see a new Color workspace and a Lumetri Color panel in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, which offers an entirely new color workflow for editors; Adobe Character Animator, an amazing (and fun) interactive desktop animation tool; expanded scope for collaboration with Creative Cloud Libraries and Adobe Anywhere; “Project Candy,” an innovative mobile technology, currently under development for capturing and sharing Looks; and lots of cool new Adobe Magic that makes it easy to accomplish tasks that would have been difficult or impossible before.

Watch our NAB 2015 webcast shot live on the show floor. See Jason Levine demonstrate and explain the top features coming soon to the Adobe video tools.

 

Watch Al Mooney’s overview video introducing key video features in the next release:

Key themes of the upcoming release

  • New color workflows that make color an integral part of the creative process, including the Color workspace in the Lumetri Color panel and scopes in Premiere Pro CC and new Look support in Creative Cloud Libraries.
  • Mobile apps and integrations that extend the creative process, such as a streamlined workflow for opening Adobe Premiere Clip projects in Premiere Pro CC, and new mobile capture technology, Project Candy, for creating Looks to enhance the appearance of video footage.
  • Deeper collaboration for all—from small teams to large enterprises, including asset sharing via Creative Cloud Libraries for mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-desktop workflows. And Adobe Anywhere, coming soon in two versions, offering collaborative editing workflows for teams of all sizes.
  • Tools and features that empower artists to create more and deliver faster: Adobe Character Animator, Morph Cut in Premiere Pro CC, Time Tuner in Adobe Media Encoder CC. Preview enhancements and Face Tracker in Adobe After Effects CC, and more.

Innovations like these are driving adoption of Adobe video workflows: recent Premiere Pro CC converts include the four-time Academy Award winning Coen Brothers, who are currently editing their film, Hail, Caesar!; and director Rhys Thomas and producer Lorne Michaels of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, with Staten Island Summer, a Paramount Pictures production, due out in 2015. In addition, MLB Network switched their editing and post-production environment to a complete Creative Cloud workflow.

“From script to screens, Adobe is delivering advanced workflows for every step of the creative journey. The industry is switching to Premiere Pro CC and our tightly integrated set of video tools because of the constant stream of innovation coming from our labs,” said Steve Warner, vice president of digital video and audio at Adobe.

“Our move to Creative Cloud, with deeply connected mobile-to-desktop workflows and services that make your assets available to you as you move from app to app, ensures our customers have the tools and services to create stunning videos, TV shows, films and commercials faster than before.”

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Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Editors have a lot to look forward to in the next release of Premiere Pro CC, starting with the all-new Color workspace and Lumetri Color panel providing powerful, yet easy-to-use, color tools inside Premiere Pro CC. Further extending their creative color workflows, Premiere Pro CC users will be able to apply Looks captured in the real world with Project Candy to add emotional impact and visual appeal to videos. Looks and graphics elements will be easily accessed in the application via Creative Cloud Libraries. Task-Oriented Workspaces organize the User Interface for the task at hand. Editors can also create and save custom workspaces to include the windows, tabs and tools that they use most.

It will be much easier to deliver polished interview content by smoothing out jump cuts in talking head shots with Morph Cut. Improved integration between Adobe Premiere Clip and Premiere Pro CC will offer a seamless transition from the mobile editing experience to the power of a professional desktop NLE. Other features coming in the next release include more streamlined audio workflows, caption burn-in, improved Mercury Transmit performance for external monitoring with third-party I/O hardware, support for Windows touch devices, new editing refinements, and even more file format support.

The ability to shape light and color is integral to the process of working with moving images,” said Al Mooney, senior product marketing manager. “Color tools should enable play and experimentation. They should be approachable, easy to understand, and easy to include in your post-production workflow.”

To learn more about what’s coming next, visit the Premiere Pro blog.

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Project Candy

“Project Candy” is the code name for an amazing new mobile technology, currently under development, that allows users to capture light and color from the things they see around them and save the results as Looks. Looks are like grading presets used to enhance the appearance of video footage, like those you can create in Adobe SpeedGrade CC or now in Premiere Pro CC.

“The brilliant thing about Project Candy, is that you don’t need to know anything about color grading to use it,” said senior product manager Patrick Palmer. “In the past you would need to be an expert colorist to match the Look of a scene in real-life. With Candy, you just need your phone.”

Looks saved in Project Candy are automatically available in Premiere Clip, Premiere Pro CC, and After Effects CC via Creative Cloud Libraries, where they can also be shared with colleagues.

Learn more about Project Candy on the Moving Colors blog.

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Adobe After Effects CC

The next release of After Effects CC will instantly feel faster for users, making it easy to explore their creativity while interacting with the software in new ways. Uninterrupted Preview allows users to explore design ideas, adjust properties, and even resize panels without stopping playback. Simplified Previews offers intuitive default behaviors to help new users get up and running faster while allowing experienced After Effects artists to customize their preview options to fit their preferred workflow.

“The preview enhancements in the coming release provide a more responsive and dynamic environment for motion graphics and visual effects work,” said Todd Kopriva, product manager for After Effects. “This allows artists to focus on the creative process and stay in the creative zone with fewer distractions or interruptions.”

Connected creativity takes a leap forward with Creative Cloud Libraries, putting assets right at the artist’s fingertips, including images, Looks, color swatches and vector graphics from other desktop and mobile apps like Adobe Shape CC.

Face Tracker is a new feature that makes it easy to map facial movements with exceptional accuracy, managing the level of detail you track. Users can use simple mask tracking for fast tracking (for example to blur out someone’s features) or use more detailed point or measurement tracking to apply precise effects, or export tracking data to Adobe Character Animator. Other enhancements in the new release include a more adaptable user interface and support for using touch controls to navigate between panels within the app.

Learn more about what’s coming next on the After Effects blog.

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Adobe Character Animator (Preview)

Adobe Character Animator offers a groundbreaking new experience for After Effects usersusing the computer’s webcam and microphone along with keyboard and mouse interaction allows users to animate characters created in Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe Illustrator CC in real time, shaving many hours off the creative process.

“Character Animator makes it incredibly easy to bring life-like behavior figures and insert them into scenes including other actions like wind or snow,” said Kopriva. Users can record multiple takes and then stitch together the best performances for a great result. The best thing about it? It’s so much fun to use!”

Learn more about Character Animator on the After Effects blog.

Adobe Media Encoder CC

The next release of Media Encoder CC includes Time Tuner which lets editors and broadcasters automatically adjust the duration of broadcast deliverableswithout time-consuming micro-editing. Time Tuner will be available in the next release of Media Encoder CC. Video pros will also be able to output multichannel audio with new Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus support in Media Encoder CC. And we’re adding support for encoding and decoding of JPEG 2000 in an MXF wrapper.

Learn more about what’s coming to Media Encoder CC on the Premiere Pro blog.

Adobe Audition CC

Editors and audio pros can get right to work, streaming native video formats inside the next release of Audition CC with Dynamic Link video streaming, and review full screen video on a separate monitor while editing audio. Live relinking allows users to replace assets within an open project and retain edits made to original clip.

Learn more about what’s coming next on the Adobe Audition blog.

More video updates

Record voiceover with your video capture as audio notes or for on-location reporting in Adobe Prelude CC. Bring editing projects into the Adobe SpeedGrade CC with Direct Link, now including support for the new Premiere Pro Lumetri color tools.

Adobe Anywhere

Adobe Anywhere is a breakthrough workflow platform that lets workgroups using Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Prelude CC collaborate with centralized media and assets across standard networks. Adobe Anywhere will soon be offered in two versions. A new, more cost-effective version of Adobe Anywhere will be available for teams of all sizes collaborating in a single location. Anywhere with Mercury Streaming Engines allows enterprise workgroups in multiple locations to work together on projects with shared access to all assets.

“The digital world is a connected world,” explained Bill Roberts. “Modern creative tools should reflect this and empower collaboration, whether in simple ways, like showing a client your work, or in complex remote production settings where artists around the world can work together on the same content even at the same time.”

Video professionals can get our best offer yet—40% off on Creative Cloud Complete

Join Adobe Creative Cloud Complete by May 29, 2015 and we’ll give you 40% off for your first year—that’s only US$29.99/month. Whether you’re moving up from Creative Suite, or moving over from Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, or Grass Valley Edius, there’s never been a better offer for joining Creative Cloud. Some conditions apply. Learn more.

“These new releases mark a significant step forward in our vision for a truly dynamic creative environment,” said Bill Roberts, senior director of product management. “In the past, production pipelines have tended to be strictly linear with functions such as VFX and Color Grading being relegated to the end of the process, but connected creativity is much more freeform and great ideas can come at any point in the production process. Creative tools should work the way creative people do, and not the other way around.”

Additional resources:

Creative Cloud’s pro video tools
NAB Overall Reveal Datasheet
What’s New Document
Character Animator Datasheet

Watch our NAB 2015 webcast shot live on the show floor. See Jason Levine demonstrate and explain the top features coming soon to the Adobe video tools.

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Stories Are Everything

The seventh installment of I Went to Adobe Creative Camp at SXSW 2015… And all I brought back is a series of blog posts, the firsthand account of a first-time Adobe SXSW Creative Camp attendee.

Story Structure Secrets with Christine Steele

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s short- or long-form, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, whether I have 1 minute to build it or 90, whether I’m writing a screenplay in Microsoft Word, or a script program, or an application for video editing…. everything I create is a story.”

For Christine story is everything. For an hour, she shared her principles of storytelling and the story structures she uses when editing or writing or producing or directing… anything.

Story_1_Theme

From good to great

The generally accepted definition of a theme, is a central idea in a story or work of art. Christine takes it a step further: it’s not just the idea; it’s the unfolding and advancement of the idea. There has to be change. There has to be progression. And the material (the story) has to be effectively structured around it.

Audiences are engaged by compelling narrative. It’s true for commercials, promos, animation, feature films… Any writer has to identify the most powerful themes in a story, then use those themes to develop it.

But which themes are most powerful? And what makes a story great? Two words: Universal truths.

Story_2_UTruths

The heart of the matter

Universal truths are those things that any human in any place in the world can identify with:

Fairness. Justice. Fear. Jealousy. Love. Power. Loss.

Great storytellers look for elements that express universal truths. Then, they’re subtle in their depiction of them so viewers can experience them in the personal and unique ways that help them make sense of the world. Because, after all, stories are how people identify with the circumstances of others.

Story_3_OStrong

Build strong

How ideas are introduced and how stories are structured is key: Writers have to get readers to want to know more, to want to know what’s next. Quickly.

Right out of the gate writers present the most compelling issues—where and when. Then, they create pace and tension by spurring the audience to ask questions before deliberately and skillfully answering them. But… timing is everything: Wait too long and viewers could lose interest. Provide answers too quickly and there’s no anticipation.

So, decide on the questions. Write the material to get the audience to ask them. Then decide when to answer or when to provide the information they need to answer themselves.

Story_4_3Act

Unfold, then move on

“I usually use a three act story structure; it doesn’t matter what I’m writing because it’s possible to write an arc with emotion and story in 30 seconds.”

Act 1: Tell the audience what the journey will be
Act 2: Unfold/build the journey
Act 3: Tell the audience how the journey ended

Three minutes or three hours… each scene in a story serves  its progression. Writers can master its unfolding by determining the information viewers must comprehend from each scene to make sense of the story. Dole out that information. Then, move on from a scene when the questions have been answered.

Everything builds to the answer to the most important question of the film—the climax. How long it takes to get that information across is up to the writer. But once it’s out, good writers don’t drone on. They know that viewers are no longer listening.

My conclusion: Good storytelling helps people make sense of the world… it’s why we listen.

Christine tells stories with Adobe’s Pro Video Tools. Watch her Ask a Video Pro session to learn how she does it: Filmmaking Workflow with Premiere Pro and Creative Cloud

 
Read the wrap-up of Session 6: Going from Design to Code without Going Insane with Ryan Stewart and Sarah Hunt

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