Watch: Jason Levine leads an Adobe Audition Masterclass

Happy new year!  It’s already well into 2016, and I’m halfway through my 5th David Bowie record of the mo(u)rning.  Only a dozen or so to go.  I know y’all could use some cheering up, so I’m really happy I get to share this video with you.  Almost a year ago, Jason Levine hosted several 90-minute classes on Audition for broadcasters at the BVE event in London, and with thanks to Matt Gyves, we were able to record one of those sessions.  I’ve finally gotten around to editing and posting the session on YouTube, so if you’re looking for a bit of training by one of the best in the business – and if you only know Jason as the extremely enthusiastic Adobe guy on stage, you’ll love this more subdued and embraceable Jason in educator mode – please set aside some time to learn and laugh as he covers everything from Premiere-Audition roundtrip, repairing distortion or “hot” recordings, mixing for surround, and more!
The whole enchilada can be viewed at

Some highlights:

Repairing distortion in dialog recordings
Sending a sequence from Premiere to Audition (Note: Shortly after this video was shot, we release Dynamic Link Video between Premiere and Audition, removing the need to render a reference video!)
Batch Volume Normalization (Note: “Match Volume” panel has been replaced with “Match Loudness” panel with additional Loudness formats and additional parameters)
Creating scripted Favorites
Remixing for surround
Remixing for surround using Frequency Band Splitter
Restoration in the Spectral Frequency editor

A Glimpse Beneath the Mask

Designers Paul Douard and Victor Vergana brought their distinct illustration styles together in a series inspired by voodoo and dark magic of the past. In Elemental Masks, they played with the disguising nature of masks to give earth’s primary forces a physical form. And the results were stunning.

It’s fun to visualize the celestial being behind the Arcanic Mask, glowing wisps trailing from a vaguely feminine face; or to picture what could have withstood the Metal Mask’s weight. Are wearing these faces a high privilege or a burden? Each mask is distinctly impressive, but the fan favorite may have been the time-weathered Vegetal Mask. We recently had a chance to chat with Paul about how he did it.
Can you tell us about your background as a designer?
I’ve been working as a product and graphic designer for a promotional product agency for three years, and I use Adobe Illustrator for product design and to create technical documents. Lately I’ve been trying out those very same tools and techniques for my freelance design. And now that’s what I really love doing.
What was the inspiration for this particular mask?
I wanted to create a piece that fell somewhere in between wood and vegetation, showing the strength of nature through the wood’s rough texture.

I looked at photos of wrinkled old men to help create realistic age indentations in the wood. I was also inspired by light, like the way rising sun falls on treetops in a forest. So I spent a ton of time on the glow that’s radiating from inside the wood. It symbolizes power and eternity.

Did you run into any challenges during your design process? How did you resolve them?
I started the Vegetal Mask after completing the Arcanic and Ice Masks, so I had picked up new methods while working on the first two. For example, when I first started working on the Vegetal Mask’s beard, I was tracing every shape with Illustrator’s Pen tool. Eventually I realized I could use the Brush tool and Eraser to work faster while producing this irregular and raw effect that I loved. By the end of the series, I had definitely learned to create light and shadow more efficiently.

How much time do you usually spend on a piece like this? What’s your favorite part of the process?
It depends on the project and the complexity of the illustration. But either way I’ll keep working until I am satisfied. I spent almost 100 hours on the vegetal mask alone from the first sketches in Adobe Photoshop to the full colorized illustration in Illustrator. I like spending time perfecting each detail in the drawing, but it won’t be final until I’ve traced it in vector.

My favorite part of the design process is colorization–especially the light. I think it’s the most important part. It’s the moment when the character takes life. When I give the illustration atmosphere. You can get a sense of that in my Behance tutorial before and after the glowing light has been added. I love the metamorphosis.

Any tips or tricks you can pass along?
 I don’t think I’m in a place to give tips because I’m a still a beginner, and I’ve been working in Illustrator for eight years. To get better, you’ve just got to be curious, patient, and experiment a ton within the app.  I also recommend using a “pen on screen” table. I use the Wacom Cintiq13HD daily.
Try new techniques, even when you think you’ve mastered a process. Behance is a good place to learn from the best creatives and get your daily dose of inspiration.

Drag and Drop to the Center of a Document in Photoshop

Holding the Shift key while dragging and dropping a layer(s) between two documents will place the “dropped” layer(s) into the center of the destination document.
If there is a selection in the destination document, holding the Shift key while dragging and dropping an image will drop it into the center of the selection.

Adobe Named a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs

For the second year, Adobe gets top marks for completeness of vision.
For the second time, Gartner positioned Adobe as a leader in its Digital Marketing Hubs Magic Quadrant. Adobe was positioned furthest in the leader quadrant for completeness of vision.
Leaders were assessed for their ability to embrace the integration of marketing tech, ad tech and analytics, and deploy a hub solution.
“When you read the report, Adobe demonstrates leadership across the board,” said Suresh Vittal, vice president, Strategy, Digital Marketing. “Adobe Marketing Cloud enables you to identify, understand, and engage your customers so you can deliver consistent, continuous experiences that matter. Personalized experiences so seamless and compelling, they feel natural and effortless.”
Read the full post on the Digital Marketing blog.
Read the press release.

#CreativeFriday – Levels in Curves (Photoshop CC)

Most image editors will work with Levels and Curves on an image to :-

Levels – Set the white and black point
Curves – Decrease the values of black and increase the value of white

Both of these in combination will help create contrast in the image, and ultimalty more interesting to look at.
These operations are typcially performed using an adjustment layer for Levels and independently a curves layer.
Actually Photoshop can perform both of these operations just on the curves adjustment.
Let’s take this image. It’s a bit flat, so by working on both Levels and Curves on a Curves layer, we can make it more interesting, just in a single step.
First thing is to create a new Curves layer, using the menu item, Layer, New Adjustment Layer and Curves.
When working with Levels, it’s beneficial to show the clipping points, this will make it really easy to see where the black / white points start to clip to black or white. The clipping indicators are available on the curves panel, by turning it on in the fly out menu. Once the curves dialog box is open, click on the fly out menu (marked in red), and select ‘Show Clipping for Black/White points’.
Now the clipping points have been turned on, when the left hand slider is moved towards the right (marked in red below), at some point the black points will show (as below) when they clip to pure black. The outcome of this, is that the details in the shadow will evetually be erroded away and detail will be lost (can be used creatively, but this type of precision will help control the black point).

The same can be applied to the highlights area, by moving the right slider to the left (be carefull with the white clipping point, as it will clip to white and can be offputting for the viewer when shown on a backlit screen).

Once the white and black points have been set, then the curve can be applied, in this case an ‘S’ curve.

That’s it. Photoshop levels and curves, just saved me an extra step. This can also help when used on a mask, or a clipping mask , as all operations are on a single layer, which in turn will make the document simpler with less layers to adjust and think about.


Updated Flash Player 20 available on Adobe Labs

Updated Flash Player 20 betas, code named Rankin, are now available on Adobe Labs. This beta release includes new features as well as enhancements and bug fixes related to security, stability, performance, and device compatibility for Flash Player 20.
Learn more about Flash Player 20
Download Flash Player 20 beta
As always, we appreciate all feedback. We encourage you to post in our beta forums or create bug reports or feature requests on our public bug database.
Flash Player Beta forum
Bug database

How to Enable Users to view the Seminar Calendar

Some Adobe Connect customers have a very large user base that requests daily access to use Seminar Rooms by checking the seminar calendar for availability. Prior to 9.5, users could login and see the Seminar Calendar even if they weren’t Seminar Hosts and then they could request permission to use the Connect Seminar room from a Seminar Hosts or Administrator of the Connect account who would then assign them the necessary resources.
Many customers with a large user base may not want to enable all of their potential Seminar users as Seminar Hosts without any screening or prioritization because they may run the risk of multiple Seminar Hosts competing for resources that may be limited.
Solution: If you turn off all permissions for the Limited Administrator group and enter those potential Connect Seminar users who are not in the Seminar Hosts group into the Limited Administrator, they will be able to see the shared seminar calendar:

How to Remove a Course End Date in Connect

This solution is only applicable to only on premise customers; hosted much-tenancy customers are not able to edit the needed file.

On the Connect server, go to:
Search for:
<xsl:variable name=”disable-date-closed-sel”  select=”boolean(/results/sco/date-end or (/results/params/param[@name=’date-end’] and /results/params/param[@name=’date-end’]!=’unset’) or (/results/nav/@style=’wizard’) )”/>
Remove the section highlighted in bold italic: or (/results/nav/@style=’wizard’)
Restart the Connect Services
The course end date is removed.

How One Artist Started a Daily Creative Practice


Writer and artist Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist, encourages every creative to regularly share their work in his latest book Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered. Kleon’s best seller has sparked a movement of sorts, inspiring the hashtag #ShowYourWork, in which artists, writers, and creatives fearlessly reveal their drafts and finished pieces on social media in order to tame the productivity-killing voice inside that questions, “Is this good enough?”
Slate user Darren Randle has taken the #ShowYourWork notion to heart with his goal of drawing everyday and sharing the work in his informal Sketchblog. A painter and cartoonist who took a 16-year break to start his own web design business, he recently started using Slate to share his daily sketches and he says it’s helped him make his way back to his passion.
“My eroded skills, my ego, and the fear of failure held me back for the first few weeks of my artistic reboot,” Darren told us. “So I made a plan to just sketch and draw everyday, and post my work through social media, no matter the response, hoping to tame my fears, and ego. It’s working.”

Once a week Darren publishes excerpts from his sketchbook–mostly cartoons of people that catch his eye–in his Slate. The result is an ever-evolving glimpse into his progress and a space to stay accountable to his daily artistic practice. “I draw everyday now,” he says. “I keep a sketchbook with me 24/7, and wherever I find inspiration, I draw.”
Darren recently sold his company to return to a life as a full-time artist and began looking for the platform to showcase his journey back to his art. “I turned to Slate hoping to find the perfect blog for my work and my story,” he says. “I love the sleek, clean look of Slate and the parallax scrolling.”
Check out Darren’s Sketchblog for inspiration to start your own daily artistic practice. And don’t be afraid to #ShowYourWork to us with the #MadeWithSlate hashtag on Twitter.