Duplicating Layer Groups in Photoshop

Here are three easy ways to duplicate a Layer Group in Photoshop:
1) With a Layer Group targeted in the layers panel, Select Layer > Duplicate Group.
2) Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the Layer Group in the Layers panel until you see a heavy black line between the layers and release.
3) Use the context sensitive menu – Control -click (Mac) | right-mouse click (Win) on the Layer Group and select Duplicate Group.

AEM Technical Webinars 2015 Wrap Up

Welcome to 2016! I hope everyone’s year is off to a great start. We have some great technical webinars planned for Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) in 2016, starting with next week’s GEMs session on Oak Lucene Indexes, presented by Chetan Mehrotra and Alex Parvulescu from Adobe Engineering. But before that happens, I wanted to take a look back on last year. As a reminder, we run two separate Experience Manager technical webinar programs: GEMs exposes developers and users to cutting edge features from the engineers and product managers creating and defining the latest release. The Ask the AEM Community Experts series brings in a wider group of speakers and is orientated towards getting the most out of your current AEM implementation projects.
In January, Gabriel Walt and I kicked off the year with a sneak peek of some of the features targeted at developers which we were going to be announcing as part of the AEM 6.1 release. We covered everything from some of the repository enhancements in Oak through to new capabilities in the AEM Brackets plugin and beyond. The next week we had two great sessions. First Scott MacDonald, Gabriel Walt, and Feike Visser did a Sightly deep dive which walked through a variety of Sightly component development topics. And then Dominique Pfister from AEM Engineering and Andrew Khoury from AEM Support presented some great content around some new Dispatcher features for caching and optimization.
February included the release of a Feature Pack for AEM Forms and to start off the month, Steve Monroe and Girish Bedekar presented some of the new features and some great new samples included in this feature pack. A bit later in the month, David Catalan from the Adobe Quality Engineering team presented on how Adobe uses SonarQube to track software quality and how our customers can do the same on their AEM projects. Finally, I did an Ask the Experts about Login Based AEM sites in which I tried to answer some of the questions I’ve seen come up over the years on the AEM Forums.
March’s Ask the Experts was lead by Adobe engineer Will McGauley did a deep dive into AEM Workflows. This session answered some burning questions about using the AEM Workflow engine and is definitely recommended for advanced AEM developers.
In April, Sreekanth Choudry Nalabotu from Adobe Consulting led an AEM technical webinar on Touch UI components session with support from Scott MacDonald. Sreekanth has been documenting his adventures with AEM for some time on his blog which has been required reading for AEM developers. Sreekanth started with some comparison of the Classic UI and the new Touch UI and walked through some of the steps that he has personally used to debug and troubleshoot Touch UI components.
In May, Lokesh BS from Mindtree and Scott MacDonald took a step down the stack in their Ask the Experts session on Apache Sling. If you wanted to learn more about Sling Selectors, Default Sling Post Servlet, Sling Models, and the Sling API, then this was the session for you.
June brought us a Tips & Tricks session from Gabriel Walt all about the Touch UI Sites interface. (You may need to enter a passcode for this session, it is AEMSitesUI) With the release of AEM 6.1 in the spring, this was a hot topic and there was a lot of interest in using the new user interface. Also that month, Tyler Rushton, who manages the AEM Documentation team, and Scott MacDonald presented a session where they walked through how the AEM Documentation is updated and maintained. It was a fascinating insight into how Adobe internally uses AEM.
The dog days of summer may start (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) in mid-July, but we packed in three great AEM technical webinar sessions in the latter part of July. First, AEM Product Manager Bertrand de Coatpont presented a Gems session on some of the new AEM Communities features in AEM 6.1 which enables the creation of online community sites with no development effort. Then Scott MacDonald and AEM community member Jaisan Sunny did as Ask the Experts session on some advanced component development topics. Finally, Tobias Bocanegra, Adobe Principal Scientist, did an indepth presentation on the Oak External Login Module which represents a significant change in how AEM integrates with external identity management systems like LDAP directories.
In August, Dan Klco from 6th Dimensions presented a really interesting session on the integration between AEM and Adobe Campaign. And then I returned to the AEM Gems stage with a presentation on ACS AEM Commons & Tools. It is a topic near and dear to my heart and there was some great feedback on the session.
September started with a Gems session by Martin Buergi and Markus Haack from AEM Product Management and Engineering, respectively, introducing a new integration between AEM and IBM Websphere Commerce. A bit later in the month, Adobe Super Hero and prolific blogger Joerg Hoh did an Ask the Experts session on Dispatcher caching.
October had two great Gems sessions. First, Christanto Leonardo and Christian Meyer from AEM Engineering presented on how to create custom widgets for Touch UI dialogs. As more of our customers move to a Touch UI-first approach, implementing more complex dialogs has become more and more common so this was definitely a welcome presentation. The following week,  Bertrand Delacretaz and Tomek Rekawek did a deep dive into the AEM upgrade process explaining common scenarios and gotchas. Incidentally, this was Tomek’s fourth month at Adobe (although he’s been using AEM/CQ for over 4 years) and it was great to see him jump right into our webinar series. The month ended with an Ask the Experts session conducted by Scott MacDonald and Russell Whitchurch about AEM integration with other Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions.
The last Ask the Experts session of the year was presented by Ken Beaton, Simon MacDonald, and Bruce Lefebvre from AEM Engineering on AEM Apps. Mobile is obviously a huge focus area for Adobe, our customers and partners, so it is great to see how developers can translate their existing AEM skills into the mobile application world.
Our last Gems session of the year was presented by David Catalan as a follow up to his presentation from February on SonarQube. This time David did a deeper dive into using SonarQube for JavaScript quality metrics. It was a highly illuminating session and a great way to end the year.
Looking back, 2015 was a great year for the AEM community, but we’re just getting started. If you missed any of these sessions (or maybe just forgot about them), now is a great time to catch up. And remember to come to the first AEM Gems session of 2016 on Wednesday, January 20 to learn more about Oak Lucene Indexes.

The Future of Our Digital World: Why You Should Care about the EU’s Digital Single Market Strategy

Posted by John Jolliffe, Head of EMEA Government Relations
“A Digital Single Market is one in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured and where individuals and businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition, and a high level of consumer and personal data protection, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence.”
Launched amid much fanfare in May 2015, the Digital Single Market Strategy laid out the European Commission’s vision for digitally driven economic growth in the EU. As someone who has worked on technology policy issues for over 13 years in Brussels and other European capitals, it’s reassuring to see the EU at last recognise that “(ICT) is no longer a specific sector but the foundation of all modern innovative economic systems.”
But the idea that “Achieving a Digital Single Market will ensure that Europe maintains its position as a world leader in the digital economy, helping European companies to grow globally” reveals a deep-rooted inward-looking mindset which, if not carefully monitored, risks undermining the DSM’s ability to enhance Europe’s international competitiveness.
In the end, what’s missing is any sense of the connectedness and dependence of the European economy on the rest of the world. The implicit message from the European Commission is clear: if only we can get our house in order, the EU can lead the global economy.
This feels like political wishful thinking. And studies such as the recent work by Erik Van der Marel from Brussels-based economy think tank ECIPE on “The Importance of Complementary Policy for ICT in the EU” confirm that things are a little more complicated. In his well-written analysis of the impact of the software industry on the EU economy, he points out the clear inter-connectedness of the European economy with the rest of the world. It’s a timely contribution that puts the DSM strategy into a wider international trade context, and makes clear that if “digital” is really to generate, as the Commission claims, “up to EUR 250 billion of additional growth in Europe,” then it will need to maintain a global mindset.
Van der Marel reminds us that an economy is like a machine, with inputs and outputs. In an era of global supply chains all economic actors big and small need access to software and a policy framework that enables them to use it if they are to increase productivity and add economic value. “Policy rigidities slow down the endorsement and therefore the use of new technologies of ICT in the wider downstream economy.” He cites a number of complementary policies that can hinder use of technology and, by extension, European competitiveness: labour market policies, IPR protection, product market regulations, and restrictions on the free international flow of data. The entire DSM programme and related policies – from geoblocking and digital signatures to copyright reform and data protection – can be linked to one of those broad categories. But, as the grueling debates over data protection and Safe Harbour have shown, that sense of inter-connectedness is often in short supply.
Will the DSM Strategy help the EU address these important challenges of international competitiveness? We are about to find out. The first formal legislative proposals were published just before the Christmas break, and will enable us to begin to take the real measure of the DSM strategy. Another 14 new pieces of legislation are expected by the end of this year. It’s our hope that in attempting to remove barriers within an EU internal market – a very worthwhile objective – it doesn’t create new policy rigidities, or lose sight of the inherent interconnectedness of the global economy. We’ll be looking at some of those proposals in future blog posts, starting with the Commission’s proposed new contractual regime for the supply of digital content.


Engage More Users More Often With In-App and OS Messaging

You’ve created your app, managed to get it on your audience’s device, and now the big question: how do you keep them coming back for more? The first step is making sure you are delivering compelling, always up-to-date content that your audience cares about and that keeps your app relevant. It’s also critical to provide an experience—look, feel and navigation—that is designed for mobile and takes full advantage of the device’s capabilities. Once you’ve achieved this, the best way to make sure your audience consumes your content and deeply engages with your app is through consistent, attention-getting messages delivered to your users whether they are inside or outside of your app.
The Adobe Digital Publishing Solution (DPS 2015) offers several powerful capabilities to help you communicate directly with your audience and get them to spend more time with your content. Let’s take a look.
To grab your audience’s attention and inspire them to launch and open your app, you can use both Mobile Services Push and DPS 2015 Notifications to display OS level push notifications.
Using In-App Messaging you can target alerts, deep links to content and other important information to users that have launched the app. In-App Messaging is independent from the device’s OS, delivering messages via an Adobe API.
To deliver messages to a targeted set of users, Mobile Services Push and In-App Messaging provide ways to easily segment your messages. For instance, you can easily send a different message to phone (or tablet) users; North American (or elsewhere); or, active (or not).
Segmented Messaging
Highlight an important or compelling article
Suppose you wanted to ensure that your sales force reads a specific article in your app. You could use marketing tools like email and push messaging to create awareness about the article and drive people to it. After allowing your audience time to take action, you could deliver a second, segmented message with further information. For instance, you could send a message to all those that did read the article and suggest additional related content or you could send a message to those who did not read the article and remind them to do so.
To get started, use Mobile Analytics to create the proper segment. As an example, you can choose “Top 10 Articles,” select the article of interest and then select the “Message” option.

This segment will be preloaded into the Audience selector and provides an estimated audience size (0 in our example).

As no one has read this article over the past 90 days (this is my sample app after all), we can change the audience to be those that have NOT read it. We change this is in the Custom Segments and make it “Article Title NOT EQUAL to ‘DOWN AND DIRTY….’” You will see that our new audience size is updated (2!).

Message about a new Collection
For a new collection, make sure to mark the collection as ‘downloadable’ and then push a background download notification. This will automatically push the content to all authorized users. Push the content at a time when the app is not likely to be in use, as background downloads do not work if the app is in the foreground. After this process has completed, use either DPS 2015 Notifications OR the above Mobile Services Push to message the user about the new collection (that should be on their devices). With DPS2015 Notifications you can select an action to bring your consumer to a specific article within the new collection when tapping on the push notification.

Tips for delivering effective messages

Make it relevant. Be sure to stay away from generic messages like “The July Issue is now available” and instead, send specific, compelling messages with a clear call to action. Detailed notifications like “Explore San Francisco restaurants for your upcoming trip” or “Read this article about upcoming changes to the commission structure” will result in much more traffic to your app.
Segment your audience and send them targeted messages. Mobile Services Push allows you to use Mobile Analytics to create audience segments and send them messages. For instance, you can message those that have (or have not) read a specific article.
Use Text alerts to increase content downloads. Using DPS 2015 Notifications for background downloads is great, but you should also use text and in-app messaging to instantly alert your audience about the new content that is available.
Measure the results. DPS 2015 integrates with Adobe Analytics and will allow you to filter and measure response rates to your messages.

For additional help on using in-app and OS messaging, check out this video:

Best Practices for Designing in Groups

Teamwork makes the dream work, but the only way this can work is if teams work together in a truly collaborative way.
There is no room for egos and unwavering minds in the world of design. Yes you have a product to deliver and you want it to be as aesthetically sound and contemporary as possible, but at the end of the day each website and experience is a portal to deliver a business objective. And it is this business objective that comes first.
“It’s not about what idea has to win, it’s about what we have to win as a team,” said Scott Hooten, Creative Director at Voltage, based out of Colorado.
As leader of Voltage’s design and user experience team, Hooten works with individuals from several departments everyday and he’s learned a thing or two about what makes a team run smoothly. He took some time to share his tips with us about best practices for collaborating on designs.
Culture Comes First
“You need to hire and foster the right kind of culture and the right kind of people because if somebody is just out for their own interest at the expense of the team, they want to have this project in their portfolio and they want to be able to say that they did everything on it, it’s not going to work. It just kills the dynamic,” he said.
Hiring people who understand that design plays a key role in delivering a business objective, and that meeting that business objective is crucial to the success of the agency, is key.
Define the Mission or Objective
Right off the bat, make sure you know exactly what the problem is that you’re trying to solve. “If you don’t have a clear set expectation of what the problem is that you’re trying to solve, you’re not going to have a very effective brainstorm,” Hooten says.
Understand Your Team
If you work with the kind of team that is introverted or contains a handful of dominant personalities, Hooten recommends relaying the problem to the team and then encouraging them to come to a brainstorming meeting equipped with a set number of ideas to encourage participation. He also recommends bringing non-designers into the brainstorming process to foster ideas that people close to design may not recognize.
“We like to do as much brainstorming as possible at the beginning of the project to bring in different perspectives, so we try to get account people, developers, designers all in the same room to share ideas,” Hooten said.
Assess What Constitutes A Great Idea
Brainstorming sessions can make teams excited and lose track of the business objectives. Hooten recommends defining what constitutes a good idea. At Voltage, they take a three-prong approach:

Is it new?
Is it useful?
Is it feasible?

An idea must meet those requirements in order to be considered a great idea.
Establish Clear Responsibilities
“The other thing when you’re collaborating is to make sure everybody is clear on their responsibilities,” Hooten said.
After these brainstorming sessions, it’s crucial to assign tasks so that each deliverable is accounted for, especially when multiple designers and developers are working on the same project. A hierarchy may need to be established. This will ensure nothing gets missed or lost in ambiguity over whose job it was to complete a certain task.
Encourage Communication
At Voltage, they’re all about that face-to-face connection.
“We try to keep people within the same room so it’s easier to slide your chair over and get their thoughts on something,” Hooten said. “If somebody is across the office, people are inherently hesitant to get up and go. You really need to check in and prompt people even if it’s for five minutes or less. I think people tend to get stuck in silos, designers and developers, and it’s good to prod people and say, have you checked with a developer on this to get their feedback?”
If engaging with people in a different office, Hooten says to make it more personal. Invite them to a video conference rather than engaging in an email chain or chat. This not only speeds up the process, but it encourages teams to work more closely together.
Embrace Project Management Tools
To make sure everybody is on the same page, Voltage uses productivity and project management tools like Basecamp and InVision.
Adobe Experience Manager may also be helpful here as it allows you to assign tasks and streamline processes, while storing things in Adobe Creative Cloud makes accessing design work easier and more fluid, especially when multiple people are working on the same project.
“If you don’t have that and stuff is just locked up in emails and different versions and nobody knows who has the last version, tools like that are critical,” Hooten said.
Bring Design Conflicts Back to Business Objectives
If one designer takes a particular stance on a design element, or multiple designers are conflicted, it’s always about bringing it back to the purpose for the design in the first place: the business objective. It’s not about whether something should be one shade or the next; it’s about redirecting the conversation so it’s centered on how that aspect of the design can help achieve a certain objective.
Assess and Evaluate
When the project is wrapped, take a step back to look at how everything worked across the board from a project management standpoint. Look not just at the design, but also at the development, the budget, the interactions with the clients, and whether or not deliverables were executed on time. What could the team do next time to make the next project even better?
Encouraging teams to work together from beginning to end helps to create a culture where everyone understands how their work contributes to making each project a success. That’s a win for the entire company.

« Nouveaux départs » : fans de Photoshop, participez à notre concours #MakeItLayered !

Appel à tous les artistes et fans de Photoshop ! Nous avons une proposition qui va vous intéresser…
Que vous soyez un petit nouveau ou un vieux loup de mer dans l’univers fascinant de la composition, montrez-nous ce dont vous êtes capables en participant à notre concours #MakeItLayered. Ce concours est pour nous l’occasion unique de découvrir et de faire connaître la crème de la créativité en Europe dans le domaine de la composition.
Pour tenter de gagner un abonnement d’un an au Creative Cloud, il vous suffit de créer une œuvre d’art originale sur Photoshop en piochant dans notre Bibliothèque Creative Cloud, sur le thème « Nouveaux départs ».
Notre jury est composé d’artistes de talent, de graphistes, de spécialistes d’Adobe et de maîtres de la composition : vous l’aurez compris, ce sont des experts de premier choix qui examineront votre travail.

Experts Adobe

Sven Doelle: Photographe et Responsable du développement commercial de Photoshop et Creative Cloud chez Adobe (Allemagne)
Richard Curtis: Photographe de voyage, passionné d’imagerie numérique et Principal Solutions Consultant, spécialisé en Imagerie numérique chez Adobe (Royaume-Uni)
Michael Chaize: Photographe et Community Engagement Strategist

Graphistes et artistes professionnels

Lewis Moorhead: graphiste numérique britannique, dont les compositions racontent des histoires
Alexis Persani: graphiste numérique français, amateur de typographie

Blue Visions de Lewis Moorhead
Nous voulons aussi en savoir plus sur vos sources d’inspiration en composition, ainsi que sur les processus de création : c’est pourquoi nous vous demandons d’accompagner votre œuvre d’une phrase d’explication et de détailler quelles ressources de la bibliothèque vous avez utilisées.
Comment participer :

Choisissez, dans notre Bibliothèque Creative Cloud, au moins trois ressources que vous intégrerez à votre travail – que ce soit des pinceaux, des images, des palettes de couleur. Vous devrez les mentionner en soumettant votre œuvre.
Utilisez Photoshop pour votre création, qui doit répondre au thème « Nouveaux départs ».
Soumettez-nous directement votre travail via Twitter en utilisant le hashtag #MakeItLayered, ou chargez-le directement en commentaire du post annonçant notre concours sur notre page Facebook.
Vous pouvez nous soumettre votre proposition dès maintenant et jusqu’au 31 janvier 2016.
Notre jury sélectionnera sept gagnants issus du Royaume-Uni, de France, d’Allemagne, des pays nordiques, du Benelux, d’Espagne et d’Italie. Pour cela, il prendra en compte le savoir-faire technique sur CC reflété par le travail, mais aussi la compréhension et l’interprétation des consignes, ainsi que l’esthétique globale de l’œuvre et la créativité déployée par l’artiste. Les gagnants seront annoncés le 12 février 2016. Chacun d’entre eux remportera un abonnement gratuit d’un an au Creative Cloud.
Pour toute autre question concernant le concours, vous pouvez consulter les conditions de participation en cliquant ici.

Sculptural alphabet d’Alexis Persani
Besoin d’inspiration ? Rendez-vous régulièrement sur le blog Creative Connection, où vous pourrez lire des articles écrits par deux graphistes de talent membres de notre jury, qui disposent chacun d’un style unique en composition : Lewis Moorhead et Alexis Persani.
Vous pouvez aussi vous inspirer du travail de Mario Sanchez Nevado. Récemment, l’artiste a utilisé Adobe Capture CC pour créer une œuvre incroyable mettant en scène des prises de karaté et des explosions de vases !
Captivez-nous, surprenez-nous, impressionnez-nous ! Nous avons hâte de découvrir vos talents !
Bonne chance !

Application Adobe Capture CC (AppStore)
Application Adobe Capture CC (Google Play)
Vous n’avez pas encore Adobe Creative Cloud ? Essayez-le gratuitement

Sprout Course Standout, AYV Alum and Educator, Ismail Swati

Receiving Provincial Youth Peace Network Award
AYV Alum and educator, Ismail Swati is a 25-year-old social activist and founder of Optimistic Youth Network, an organization focused on social issues and youth empowerment in conflict-affected Swat, Pakistan. For 6 years Ismail’s organization has worked with youth who are drawn into radicalism and offered them alternatives to joining these movements. Ismail has used social media campaigning to create community awareness and advocacy to redirect these youth. His organization also builds social cohesion and tolerance in a tribal society suffering from ideological differences and a sense of deprivation. Ismail has trained over 600 youth and implemented more than 100 social actions that have resulted in youth leadership, community development and entrepreneurship. The European Union awarded him with a gold medal in recognition of his activism for youth and peace.
What compelled you to found Optimistic Youth Network?
Sixty-seven percent of the Pakistani population consists of youth who face extremism, unemployment, drugs, and other activities which are harmful for them and society. While in college, I observed in my community the trauma and youth involvement in these destructive activities as well as child labor and marginalization. I founded Optimistic Youth Network with friends for the purpose to empower the youth and to make them the agents of social change.
Since then, I have conducted training on active citizenship for the British Council and other organizations. Through my project, Youth Action for Governance and Democracy, funded by National Endowment for Democracy and implemented by College of Youth Activism and Development, my team and I have trained more than 400 youth on leadership, good governance and democracy, and taken 50 social actions towards the latter. We have also worked on the participation of women in the civic and electoral process and conducted consultative meetings and public forums to advocate for peace, social harmony and election manifesto.
How has your work impacted your culture and your community?
After getting proper training the youth become active in the community as responsible citizens who identify issues and resolve them by using dialogue and mediation. Governance level issues are being advocated by youth leaders on social media. Some are involved in short video making and journalism. While the culture of Swat has high values which promote peace, respect and hospitality, we are challenged by the era of extremism.
What methods have you used to inspire youth to build their social and economic capacities?
First there’s youth development where we provide education, leadership training, active citizenship, counseling for job preparedness, and awareness of human rights. For community development, we facilitate youth’s social actions in areas of their interest; community services, establishing partnerships, and collective efforts in community peace building and advocacy. We engage youth by creating and strengthening digital platforms for exchange and dialogue, for peace and education. We also encourage and evolve culture of dialogue and interaction amongst them. Lastly, for youth employability, we work with government institutions to create opportunities of internship, professional placement, fellowship, and volunteerism.
You mentioned that your programs help to divert youth from joining extremist movements. How are you able to do that?
As a trainer I have worked with national and international organizations including the British Council. Yet, diverting radical youth is always a challenge – I apply my motivation skills while working with these marginalized youth on self-assessment, identity development, and what their role is in the community as active and responsible citizens. We develop a way forward. It is a comprehensive 5-day course which can change the life of a person from extremism to volunteerism.
Tell us about a particular student that stands out as an example of the power of community cohesion and empowerment.
Three years ago, my trainee was disappointed from his life due to high unemployment in his community. He could not get a job so he was going to take his own life. But when he went through the five-day youth leadership training, he struggled first, then after trial and error, he became employed by the government. Another youth, was involved in militant activities, but after proper counseling he become de-radicalized through sports activities. He left his militancy and became a sports man that arranges cricket matches and tournaments for the youth in the valley.
 Ismail’s Blog, Twitter, Facebook
Patricia Cogley is manager, Adobe Youth Voices.

What You Can Learn from Testing Multiple Sign-In Areas


There’s a lot of trial and error on our team. We’re constantly performing experiments on our products in an effort to land on the magic formula that will delight and compel our customers. In this series, we pull back the curtain on what our data scientists are up to–and extrapolate what that can mean for your business.
The Problem: When a user reads a Slate the only point of entry to creating their own lived at the bottom of the page in the bumper with a button that asked users to “Get Slate.” Under that experience the conversion rate was only .8%. We wanted to see if we could convert more Slate readers into Slate creators by adding an additional call-to-action in a more visible area, without intruding on the content.

The Experiment: We added a subtle top bar on Slates that appears when the user scrolls and prompts the reader to “Create Your Own.” 50% of users got both the top bar and bumper call-to-action, while the other half got the original experience. The test has been running for a couple weeks, and the early results are promising. The test will continue to run to weed out any environmental variables, and to also get feedback from our users.  

The Results: Readers who got both the bottom and top buttons converted (i.e. signed in) at more than twice the rate of readers who did not. In general we saw a lift of 130-175% under the new experience. Adding just this single button in a more discoverable location could result in anywhere from 50-150K more signups in the coming year. Now that we know the top bar performs, next we’ll test different prompts in order to land on the call-to-action that compels the most readers to start creating.
The Takeaway for You: Give your customers or users multiple points of access to perform your desired action whether that’s signing up, sharing your content, or buying your product. “We found different people responded to different things and were able to double our clicks,” says Director of Product Brian Nemhauser. “So don’t be afraid to add a button, especially higher up in your story where more readers will find it.”

Joke Productions Cuts New Series with Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Joke Productions, founded by the husband and wife team of Biagio Messina and Joke Fincioen, creates and executive produces unscripted TV shows, documentary series, and reality television for major networks. Like many people in this industry, they started working in a one bedroom apartment. Today, they operate a 7,000 square foot studio located in Hollywood, California near Universal Studios.
After working with Final Cut Pro 7 for years, the company switched to Adobe Premiere Pro CC to edit its new Oxygen series, Snapped: She Made Me Do It. Joke Productions workflow is now 100% Adobe Creative Cloud and the team has declared Premiere Pro CC “reality ready.”

Adobe: Tell us about Snapped: She Made Me Do It.
Messina: Snapped: She Made Me Do It is our latest crime re-creation series airing on Oxygen. Joke had the idea for the show early one morning while driving to LAX. We immediately cut a sizzle tape that described the show: crimes committed by people who fell into a female mastermind’s web.
Fincioen: A few days later we were on our way to Real Screen, a large unscripted TV convention, where we pitched the show to the female networks and crime networks. There was a lot of interest and our agents ultimately agreed to make the deal with Oxygen. The process from that point took two-and-a-half years, but resulted in the series premiering on Oxygen on September 9, 2015.

Adobe: What is your editing background?
Messina: I’ve been editing for nearly 20 years, and I’m the lead and sometimes only editor on all of our TV pilots and pitch tapes. I also do everything from lead editing to polishing on our TV series.
Fincioen: I’ve always edited from a story producer perspective, doing string outs and using editing timelines as more of a workbench. When we got our first gig as showrunners we had to use Avid, but after the show got picked up we convinced the network to let us use Final Cut Pro. That’s how we started building our careers.
Adobe: How did you start working with Adobe software?
Messina: We’ve always experimented with software to make shows look like they are bigger budget productions than they really are. Early on, we realized that we could make our shows look much better by combining Final Cut Pro with Adobe After Effects to composite titles and graphics.

Adobe: Why did you start looking for a new NLE?
Messina: Networks trusted us to make our own TV shows and we were doing really well, but then Final Cut Pro X was released and it wasn’t what we were expecting.
Fincioen: In an industry that is already running based on a certain way to edit and organize projects, it isn’t feasible to make everyone change how they think, which is what Final Cut Pro X required. So we kept working with Final Cut Pro 7, with operating systems that were several versions behind. We knew our options going forward were Avid or Premiere Pro.
Adobe: Why did you end up switching to Premiere Pro?
Messina: Adobe told us that Premiere Pro could already do most of what we needed to support the intense work that we do. In addition to learning how we worked, Adobe implemented some of our suggestions, such as the “export selected to project” command, in the software.

Adobe: What do you like about working with Adobe?
Messina: Adobe cares about getting things right for the pro market. It’s clear that people who work at Adobe want to make a product they are proud to put out in the world. We started cutting all of our pilots and presentations on Premiere Pro. What I could do in half a day in Premiere Pro and After Effects would have taken twice as long on any other platform. I would fly through sizzle reels, pitch tapes, and cold opens for pilots.
Fincioen: After more than a year, we used it to cut a two hour special. It involved a few editors, a handful of people in post, and some compositing. After that success, we rolled into Snapped: She Made Me Do It for Oxygen and decided to go for it with Premiere Pro.
Adobe: Why are unscripted projects challenging from a production and post-production standpoint?
Messina: Unscripted projects are among the most demanding types of projects for most editing systems. We often work with thousands of hours of footage, up to 20 or more cameras, loads of graphics, heavy visual effects for our reenactment shows, and up to 50 audio tracks. We also have 20 or 30 people, including editors and story producers, connected to the content. With Premiere Pro, we can be more creative because it works the way we need it to work instead of forcing us into a pipeline.
Fincioen: Cutting an average scripted TV show is definitely less taxing on an editing program. We have heavy, complicated timelines so it was important to find a post solution and workflow that was right for us, based on the kind of TV shows we make.

Adobe: What other Adobe Creative Cloud apps do you use?
Messina: Several of our editors know After Effects and have a good time creating anything from muzzle flashes for guns to dramatic time-lapse skies and subtle lighting effects. They have the luxury to try new things and the show looks vastly better for it. The integration between Premiere Pro and After Effects is amazing.
We also use Adobe Prelude CC every day for ingesting footage. Every single piece of footage for Snapped: She Made Me Do It came in through Prelude. We’ve colored one pilot with Adobe SpeedGrade CC and we use Adobe Audition CC for some audio editing, including our podcasts.
Adobe: What did you learn working with Premiere Pro on the series?
Fincioen: We learned that Premiere Pro is officially reality ready. We’d now be happy to do any reality show or documentary series using Premiere Pro. Our investment in Adobe Creative Cloud has paid off in terms of both time and money.
Messina: The series had a ton of graphics, photo-real visual effects, multiple cameras, lots of editors and story producers, and crazy fast turnaround times. Building multicams is something of a joy in Premiere Pro. It’s very easy to swap in other camera angles after the fact if you missed one. The handoff process was also smoother than previous shows. If you like to go to town editing, building graphics, and doing your own sound mixing and color correcting, Premiere Pro is for you. We’ve tried to make Adobe Creative Cloud our base for everything, because the better we get to know it the more we get out of it.
Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud
Joke Productions actively reaches out to creatives who are aspiring producers, especially Adobe Creative Cloud users. Creatives can pitch unscripted film and TV projects through the Joke Productions blog and podcast, Producing Unscripted.
Follow Joke and Biagio on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jokeandbiagio

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