Adobe

Adobe’s Software Development Teams Need To Get a Clue.

adobeYesterday I finally broke down and installed all of the software upgrades that Adobe’s Creative Cloud had been pushing on me since they were announced at Adobe Max. While the process of running the upgrades wasn’t painful (at first) it was time-consuming (and still is). So let’s get to this. If you haven’t upgraded yet, be prepared to spend a boat load of time being involved with this process. Not because the initial upgrade will eat your day, but because the aftermath will. Why? because the Adobe software engineering team failed to take into account that an upgrade involves more than just their base software. It involves all the third-party plugins, presets scripts, and additional add-ons that most of use to extend Adobe’s software and make it more functional.

The new upgrade installs completely new versions of the Creative Cloud suite. That’s right it doesn’t actually upgrade your existing software base, it installs a brand new version of each piece of software you use. Adobe, this is an engineering fail and let me explain why. By installing a new version of the software as opposed to overwriting the existing software you force me to spend hours downloading and reinstalling hundreds of third-party add-ons across 14 applications that were upgraded in a single move. Now I know I am probably an exception to the rule since I use more than the average Joe when it comes to your software suite, but even for people only using, let’s say Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, this sucks. For instance, I have to now download and reinstall just for Photoshop the Nik plugin pack, Topaz Denoise, Natural HDR, Luminosity mask scripts, all of the actions I had created for previous versions, and a handful of other plugins and scripts. For After Effects it’s even worse I have to download and reinstall the entire Red Giant suite, (Particular, Light Factory, Composite Wizard, Holomatrix, Warp, Text Anarchy, Plane Space, Lux, Shine, Starglow, 3D Stroke, Sound Keys, Mir, Tow, Form, Looks, Colorista, Primatte, and about 8 more), not to mention scripts like Ease and Wizz and about 10 others.

This is a giant time suck, and time is money.

Adobe is the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to creative software. If you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, filmmaker, typographer, sound designer, videographer, or artist you probably use at least one Adobe product if not components from the entire suite, and you are probably using Adobe’s Creative Cloud to stay current. Like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with the Creative Cloud. I love that it keeps me up to date. I hate that every time there is a major upgrade I have to go through this bullshit. I get that Adobe moved to the Creative Cloud set up to combat software piracy, and control versioning across a large distribution base. What I don’t get is why after 3 or 4 years of pushing everyone to use the Creative Cloud, no one at Adobe has figured out that their upgrade process truly sucks. It’s broken. The user experience after making the upgrade is pure crap. It’s a gigantic time suck, and it could be avoided. The thing is, when you are the only game in town, you don’t have to make things right for your customer base

The thing is, when you are the only game in town, you don’t have to make things right for your customer base. You just keep doing what you are doing, because the chances of being dethroned after 30 years is pretty small. Adobe if you are listening, and I doubt you are, I am going to spend the better part of a day completing the upgrade to CC 2017, because your software engineering team didn’t feel that it was important enough to create an actual “Upgrade” as opposed to a complete new install. A new install that left legacy versions of 10 applications sitting on my hard drive wasting space, and is forcing me to track down essential tools I need to complete my workflow and reinstall them.

I know there are alternative tool sets available, but like so many I have bought into the Adobe workflow, and have spent decades learning to use these tools to master my craft. For lack of a better term, Adobe has me by the balls, and they know I am too invested to give them up. Consequently, it feels as though they have stopped giving a damn about the total user experience which involves maintenance like upgrades, but hey they added some new features to Photoshop I’ll probably never use.

I wonder if I can send them a bill for the time I’ll spend installing everything else I need to make the current updates fully functional with my workflow?

 

UPDATE: Like pouring salt in an open wound, if you are a Mac user, all of the applications in your Dock no longer work so you get to spend additional time removing all of them and adding the new application updates back in.

dock

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Duik 15 for After Effects.

If you do any kind of character animation work in After Effects, you know the built in tools can be a bit limiting. Rigging parts to move together is time consuming and awkward, the puppet tool only goes so far, and results from both can be frustrating. Thankfully Duik 15 from DuDuf is coming later this month and it looks pretty damn amazing. The video below walks through a ton of new features, and then rolls into a show reel with some killer animations built using the plugin for After Effects. The video starts out in silent mode. Don’t adjust your speakers. When it gets to the show reel part the audio comes up.

Software That Changed Everything.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of days now but work, remodeling, and life just keep getting in the way. I’m going to date myself. I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop since version 1. That’s right 25 years of Photoshop use under my belt. After all this time I feel pretty confident in my skills but I am by no means a master. I learn new stuff about this software every single day.

The 25th anniversary of Photoshop happened back on the 18th of February, and it got me to thinking about how much this program has grown and changed over the years. How much Photoshop has changed photography, graphic design, art, film, video, typography and so much more. The video below was published by Adobe to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Photoshop. It’s a fun little animated piece that highlights just how powerful this tool can be.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Photoshop work I need to dive back into.

The Adobe Illustrator Story.

About a year and a half ago I posted a couple of videos on the 25th anniversary of Adobe Illustrator. Both were pretty boring videos that Adobe produced back in the day to sell the new software to graphic designers. The video below, while just as long offers a better insight to how Adobe Illustrator really changed everything in the world of graphic design. Yes it really did. There are a number of references to the old school way of getting a piece of art from the drawing board to the printed page, but unless you did it, you have no idea. Through out the video designers, illustrators and artists are interviewed on how Adobe Illustrator has impacted their careers, or changed the course of them. The Adobe Illustrator Story is a tad long, but it’s well done with high production value and solid insight into John Warnock’s vision of how to make graphic design a bit easier, and ultimately more creative for us.

When You Have the Time, Create Something For Yourself.

Occasionally when I have a bit of downtime, I like to try and polish the design/art/lettering/software skills. This week has been rather slow on the work front, so yesterday I used the opportunity to flex my Illustrator muscle and create the image below. I know, it’s blatant self promotion but I don’t care. I rarely post any of my own work here, and frankly I think it turned out rather well. Everything but the background was created from scratch in Adobe Illustrator CS6. The background is vintage wallpaper that was color shifted in Photoshop.

Darwin

Blank Slate, from Gestalten.

This is a designers dream come true. That’s a pretty huge statement, so let me dial it back a bit. If you are a graphic designer that regularly has to mockup your design work on physical items, so the client can wrap their head around it, you’re gonna love this.

Gestalten has released “Blank Slate“, a book with a companion CD that is filled with hundreds of everyday objects ready to be mocked up with your art. The CD has every image in the book as a native layered Photoshop file. The book itself is a catalog reference manual for the files. I don’t know about you, but this just made me very happy.

Blank Slate – A Comprehensive Library of Photographic Templates from Gestalten on Vimeo.

Lexus and Instagram Make a Video.

With Instagram one of the white hot darlings of social media 2.0 it’s no surprise that Lexus turned to it to create one of their latest ads.

The video below was uploaded a couple of days ago to YouTube, and features images taken by 212 instagramers over the course of a day highlighting the new 2014 Lexus IS.  Using hundreds of their shots the images were uploaded to Instagram, with a specific hashtag for the car. At the same time images were captured onsite and edited with what looked like Adobe Premier. (you get a brief glimpse of the edit suite in the YouTube video below). For a full list of participants click through to YouTube to see their names.