Adobe MAX

Moving Photoshop Design Features to the Cloud.

A little over a year ago at the Adobe Max conference in Los Angeles Adobe announced their new Creative Cloud service to the world. At the time it really seemed like another cloud based storage solution, but as it has rolled out Adobe’s Creative Cloud has begun to show what it is really about. Creative Cloud is Adobe’s vehicle to move all of us to a subscription based model for software.

On December 5th at 12:00 Central Standard Time, Adobe will host a live streaming event where Jeffrey Veen, the Vice President of Products at Adobe, will demo new Photoshop features that will be available to Creative Cloud members only. This is not a new strategy. Adobe has already done this with other core products (Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Acrobat) where there hav been Creative Cloud only upgrades.

The Creative Now Live event will showcase the upcoming team version of Creative Cloud, and a how to “explore ways to take your design skills from print to online and mobile.” This will be followed by presentations by Photoshop master Scott Kelby talking about hidden gems in Photoshop CS6, and Justin Weyers talking about “A Liars Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman”.

So why should you watch the event and what does it mean to you the Adobe software user? You should watch because this event shows Adobe’s plan to move its user base to a subscription model.  A model that provides access to an extended range of creative tools for a flat monthly rate. This effects you the designer, because in the long term you will probably lease your software from Adobe.

If you are still on the fence about Adobe’s Creative Cloud, you can still get a special upgrade price to join. It’s 30 bucks a month which will cost you 360.00 a year.

Adobe MAX, Muse, and Edge Preview 3.

Having just spent the last 6 days in Los Angeles attending the Adobe MAX conference, my blog posts have been on the light side. I tried to keep up with the post-a-day stuff, but it’s hard when you are attending a conference, speaking at the conference, and enjoying the conference festivities at night.

Since not everyone could attend MAX this year, I thought I would touch on a couple of the things that stood out in the keynotes. Things you should be interested in if you are an interactive designer. I would really like to tell you about two things I saw in the “Adobe Sneaks” section that pertain to Photoshop, but I am sworn to secrecy. Let just say this, if two of the sneaks items I saw make it into the next version of Photoshop, your head is going to explode with joy and amazement.

The things I can talk about are “Muse” and the “Edge Preview 3” that were both shown in keynotes on Monday and Tuesday. If you haven’t downloaded and installed the beta’s of these applications, and the Muse InDesign extension do it now.

Adobe Edge is a web motion and interaction design tool that lets designers to bring animated content to websites, using web standards like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3. The good news is, you don’t have to write code, the UI looks like After Effects, and the results are freaking amazing. Version 3 which was shown, demoed some really nice HTML5 based animation combined with an interactive layer that was used to build a web app that could be handed off to any developer for further refinement, if needed. The results that were shown preformed fluidly, and were built in a matter of minutes. In typical Adobe fashion, the UI looked clean and elegant, easy to use, and the program showed how you could be up and running in no time.

Muse is a standalone application, as well as an extension for InDesign. I highly recommend that you go to the Adobe Muse site and take a long look at what these tools can do. When combined with Adobe’s e-publishing tools, this program and extension become a one stop publishing and dynamic media tool allowing you to build everything from a magazine to an iPad application, to a web site. There is far more information than I want to write about here, and I know that I won’t give Muse the credit it deserves. Let me just say that in the 15 minutes that it was being shown off on stage, it really did make me stop and say this has the ability to change things in a very big way. That is a big thing for me to say. I am not the guy that looks at a new tool and immediately starts clamoring about how awesome it is, and how it is going to change the world, especially when it comes to development tools for the internet and rich media application development.

Both these software packages offer up a quick and easier way for designers to prototype applications that scale across multiple screens and outlet points. If you do any level of interactive design, you really need to investigate Muse, and Edge if you haven’t already.

Adobe MAX 2011


So here we are, the first day of MAX 2011. I’m less than 24 hours from my speaking session, and with each dry run of my presentation I make more and more changes. Rearranging slides, editing text, trying to remember what I am going to say. One thing I know, filling an hour won’t be hard. I’m just hoping I don’t disappoint, and I manage to be mildly entertaining.

Today Adobe showed offa slew of touch based applications for tablets, including Photoshop which drops for Android mid November, and first of the year for iPad. Along with Photoshop they demo’d the latest version of Ideas, a vector based sketching tool that saves files in a format Illustrator understands. Kuler, a tablet version of their color development tool. And a cloud based file sharing service that goes live early next year.

Adobe is fully embracing the tablet revolution, and based on what I saw today the future looks good.

Adobe MAX.

I’m heading out to sunny Southern California tomorrow not for a week of R and R, but to attend and speak at the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles. Because of this, posts might be brief over the next week. What I remember from last year is limited phone reception, and WiFi.

I’ll probably post brief updates from the conference itself, and I hop I don’t bore the hell out of everyone when I do. Now I am going to go and finish up revision 1,238,467.3 of my presentation.

Going to the MAX.

Well, it’s official. I’ll be speaking at the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles sometime between October 3rd and the 5th. The dates aren’t set in stone yet but I am registered as a speaker, and my head shot has been uploaded to Adobe. If you are attending you can sign up for my session “Workflow for Motion Designers “, and I promise it won’t be as dull as the title makes it out to be. If you haven’t signed up yet, and you want to click here to go to the Adobe MAX website.

The description that I submitted to Adobe is below, and while the presentation will still focus on the same basic principals, I am going to punctuate the session with actual examples of files that were originally created for print, and brought to life with programs like After Effects, Premiere, Audition, and Flash.

“Workflow for Motion Designers

Developing a workflow that works for your company or department can be a challenge.
Working in an environment that uses a workflow designed for “Print” can be an even
bigger challenge for motion designers. This session will demonstrate how Hallmark is
developing a Motion Design workflow as we begin to develop more and more content
that has multiple uses (print, interactive, web, broadcast, mobile, etc.)

Using Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Premier, Flash, Sound Booth, and Media
Encoder, this session will show how to take files that originated for print and then
convert for distribution to the web, in mobile applications, google TV, and
broadcast, starting with HD source files and creating an author once, distribute

Using a single file, the focus will range from simple things like naming conventions,
to output modules to file creation. (story board to final art)

The Adobe Max Keynote Disaster.

Today marked day two of the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles. I’m not sure how to describe the train wreck that was the keynote today. I thought I was going to be attending a two hour general session that highlighted the Adobe CS5 Master collection. A keynote with an equal focus on design tools as well as coding technologies that make all of this stuff go. What I was subjected to was an I’ll planned, horribly written, poorly acted, not very funny set of skits that were way to long and featured Adobe Staff. 

Programmers and Project Managers trying to be stand up comics is not a good mix people.

This could have been a great session, focusing on Adobe’s push into the interactive TV, and mobile spaces with their tools. Instead it was a two hour train wreck that people felt compelled to laugh at, because you felt sorry for all the participants. I did get some good information, and when I get back on Thursday I’ll write it all up and post about it. 

Unfortunately right now I just want to go back to my hotel room, close the curtains, curl up in a fetal position and try to wash the insanity I just witnessed from my mind.  

Adobe MAX, Keynote Highlights.

The first keynote at MAX focused on the future of content development and how it will be delivered. The talk was divided into 4 sections, multi screen, publishing, enterprise, and gaming. Below are some quick notes jotted down on my iPhone during the two hour kick off.

Connecting to the Internet via mobile will eclipse the PC by 2013.

Mobile bandwidth on 4G, WiMax and LTE will be greater than 50mbt per second surpassing traditional cable modem and WiFi speeds.

By the end of 2010, Flash will be deployed on over 1 million mobile devices.

Adobe has a new beta software tool named Edge. The demo looked like Dreamweaver with an After Effects timeline.

Edge outputs CSS3, HTML 5, and Java Script to control animation transitions, and content delivery. (it looked pretty bad ass)

Flash video use has grown by 130% year over year for the last 3.

The Flash developer base has grown by 50% in the last year.

70% of all games on the web are developed in Flash.

Adobe now has over 400 million installs of Air on the desktop.

Blackberry “Playbook’s” Ui is built on Air. It looks pretty Amazing.