Dreamweaver

Newton. Physics for After Effects

As a designer that works primarily with dynamic, and interactive media, I spend a large portion of my day using applications like Adobe After Effects. Actually I spend most of my day bouncing between After Effects, Premier, PhotoShop, Illustrator, and Audition these days. One thing I am always looking for is a way to improve my work, and if possible simplify the process.

Earlier today while looking for a real physics engine for After Effects, I came across Newton. This plugin has been out for a while, and is currently on version 1.2. I however just discovered it, and it looks really promising. Available from Motion Boutique, the plugin features: Gravity, friction, bounce, resistance, elasticity, collision detection, and a time divider for super slow motion.

At around $250.00 depending on the exchange rates its not cheap, but well worth the money if you need an easy to use solution for any of the features mentioned above.

Newton for Adobe After Effects, first tech demo. from motionboutique on Vimeo.

Advertisements

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.

Working Adobe Muse

Yesterday afternoon I was given an assignment to build a micro-site, on a very tight deadline and budget. Now I want to point out I am Not a coder/developer. I can hack my way around with some light HTML and CSS stuff but I am not the guy you want to sit down and start writing from code scratch. Especially if it involves advanced HTML5 and CSS tricks paired up with Java.

So in order to get the initial site design hammered out with the correct flow, look and feel, and user experience, I turned to Adobe Muse which I haven’t touched since it was in beta on Adobe Labs. I have to say, while not perfect, it does a solid job of letting me plan and execute this small 11 page site. The application is pretty much drop dead simple, and allows you to create all sorts of things like modal windows with video embedded in it.

Now before any hardcore code junkies fire up the comment wagon and send a bunch of comments slamming Muse, remember this application was not built for developers. It was built for designers that need to rapid prototype a web design for functionality and user flow. And hopefully Muse will be a catalyst for designers wanting to learn more about HTML, CSS, and Java. For a couple of quick reviews of the software, click here or here. For a more in depth overview of what Muse does, and to see how it is different from things like Dreamweaver watch the video below.

The Story Behind Adobe’s CS6 Desktop Brand System

I haven’t upgraded to Adobe Creative Suite CS6 yet. I simply can’t afford it right now, and I’ve only been using CS5.5 for about 9 months. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been following the changes, upgrades, and new features at the Adobe site though. Today, while I was perusing the Adobe blog, I came across a really interesting article talking about the number of branded assets that now go into the entire creative suite. These assets comprise everything from application icons, to packaging, and splash screens. Much to my surprise, I found out there are now 5000 shared branded assets. That’s right 5000, and it takes a year to produce all of them.

With software refresh cycles happening every 12 to 18 months, you can bet money that the marketing design team for Adobe is well underway with the branding redesign for CS7. The entire article is on the Adobe Blog and well worth the read if you are a designer, or simply use any of these tools.

“It takes well over a year to design, execute, deliver, and ensure the proper implementation of the roughly 5,000 or so assets it takes to get a CS release out the door (we’re already thinking about CS7). Along the away, there are innumerable institutional, technological, and political hurdles to overcome. It can be daunting, but we do everything we can to get it made with as few design compromises as possible.”

Adobe Max, Day One.

I am in Los Angeles for the Adobe MAX conference for the next three days. Most of my posts from now until Wednesday, will probably focus on the conference. This is great for people that use Adobe software, and designers. Probably not so great for those that don’t. Sorry this is part of my job, so I am blogging about the conference.

First up this morning is the keynote session featuring Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch talking about the convergence of screens used to distribute content, how we create it, and how we interact with it. Should be interesting, with loads of live demos, and insights.