Paint like a master: Adobe brings to life the 100-year old brushes of Edvard Munch


Creative Cloud

Classic pieces of artwork are treasured for thousands of years; Mona Lisa, Whistler’s Wife, Starry Night, the list is endless. These iconic works can transcend time in the ideas they provoke and stir in the observer.

The unsung heroes of these famous paintings are the tools which created them. Many museums keep the brushes used to create such masterpieces out of sight, and in many cases, some artwork is also hidden away to avoid light or UV damage. To increase the accessibility of these classic pieces, prestigious museums like The Met in New York and in The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam have started to release their collections online.

To celebrate digital preservation of masterpieces, we at Adobe have teamed up with The Munch Museum in Oslo and award winning Photoshop brush maker Kyle T. Webster to recreate digital versions of the more than 100-year-old original brushes used by Edvard Munch, painter of the famous artwork ‘The Scream’, in order to make them available in Creative Cloud for Photoshop and Sketch users worldwide.

This world-first collaboration, which we call The Hidden Treasures of Creativity, will open endless possibilities to a new generation of artists and allow them to use the forgotten tools of an iconic artist in today’s digital age.

Edvard Munch: An icon of modern art

Edvard Munch is regarded as one of the greatest artists of all time. ‘The Scream’, arguably the most famous painting from his oeuvre, is one of the most recognisable in the world. It is also one of the most valuable paintings in history, sold at auction in 2012 for nearly $120 million. Imagine if one day a digital piece of art was valued at the same price!

Born in 1863, Munch painted for more than sixty years until his death in 1944. His exceptional craftsmanship and ground-breaking techniques have made him an icon of modern art. Today, his legacy lives on, continuing to influence and inspire artists around the world.

When Munch died, he willed all of his artworks to the city of Oslo and today many of his paintings can be admired in The Munch Museum. Munch’s tools were also donated and are now preserved in the highly restricted museum archives where they have lay until now.

Transforming Munch’s brushes into Photoshop brushes

To celebrate sharing these important tools with the world, we’ve set out to digitally recreate seven of the original brushes in the museum. This was done by carefully photographing each individual brush in 360 degrees using ultra-high-resolution cameras to document all angles and details to create an accurate three dimensional representation.

Munch’s artistic style and brushwork was closely analysed by art historians, and combined with data about the brushes’ attributes, including physical properties such as flexibility and bristle type.

These insights were then combined with the knowledge and expertise of Kyle T. Webster, who is known by many as the world’s foremost authority on Photoshop brushes. His illustrations and brushes are admired across the world. In collaboration with the museum experts, Kyle transformed all the data into digital representations of Munch’s brushes, capturing the exact shape and performance attributes of each brush in digital form and in minute detail.

Download the brushes & enter the #MunchContest!

As of today, you too can paint like one of the greats with our unique set of Edward Munch brushes available in Photoshop and Sketch, all in digital form. Download the brushes for free here, and don’t forget to check out our supporting tutorials on YouTube!

But not only this – we will also be running a contest over the next four weeks, 15th June-14th July, to encourage Photoshop and Sketch users to make use of these exclusive brushes to create their own versions of Munch’s most famous and iconic painting, ‘The Scream’. Edvard Munch made four different versions of the artwork and 80 years on, so we are challenging you, the community of artists worldwide, to create ‘The 5th Scream’.

Think you’ve got what it takes? To enter, submit your masterpiece by uploading your artwork to Behance with the tag #MunchContest. By doing so, you will be in with a chance to have your work of art displayed alongside Munch’s greats at The Munch Museum in Oslo and as part of a special Behance collection. In addition, the winner will receive a cash prize of €6,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Adobe MAX taking place in Las Vegas from 18th-20th October 2017. All entries will be judged on originality, artistic composition, consistency with the theme, and creativity by a dedicated panel of judges. The jury will consist of Russell Brown and Michael Chaize from Adobe, Zach McCullough Lead Designer at Behance, Andy Sandoz former president of D&AD, and leading artists Kyle T. Webster, Therese Larsson, Suzanne Helming and Sebastien Hue. Winners of the contest will be announced on 28th July 2017.

Tune into Adobe Live

Don’t miss out on our series of live sessions on AdobeLive.com from 20th-22nd June (from 6pm CET daily), featuring Kyle T. Webster, Suzanne Helming, Sebastien Hue and Therese Larsson. They will share their best tips and tricks to show you how to paint like a master in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Watch their creative process in real time as they give a whole new dimension to their images; learn how to use digital Brushes, CC Libraries and Adobe Stock. Register your interest to attend here.

We can’t wait to see what new masterpieces you will be creating using The Adobe Photoshop Munch Brush collection!

Read the complete contest rules.

Watch our tutorials on how to best work with the brushes.

Adding Delightful Details without Sacrificing UX: Top Tips from Dropbox’s Product Designer


Creative Cloud

Matt Armstong

A little delight in design can go a long way when it comes to creating websites and apps, but how much is too much? That’s the question Matt Armstrong tackles regularly. As a product designer at Dropbox, he spends a lot of time adding small details to delight users, while making sure those details don’t interfere with the user experience. We asked him for some of his top tips for designing right, and adding some ‘delight’ along the way.

What’s your best advice for striking a balance between ‘delightful’ design details, and a good UX?

Whenever you add a detail to a design, it should enhance that specific element rather than overpower it, and ideally aid in making the overall experience more usable or comprehensible.

I’ve generally worked on products and tools that people spend a lot of time using day after day to get their jobs done; often repeating the same tasks throughout the course of an average workday. I think that context presents an interesting challenge in that any extra detail or flourish runs the risk of becoming annoying really quickly. This makes users feel like their time is not respected, which is pretty much the opposite of what these sorts of details are intended to do. In these cases, simple things like consistent and accessible navigation or good UX writing can be what makes the experience a little brighter.

Accessibility can be a great and often overlooked example of this. Let’s take one basic component like a button as an example. Designing a button that works well with a wide range of input devices (including things like screen readers), makes the experience of interacting with that element better for many users, and by extension elevates every flow or view that contains it.

I think the balance is a little different for anything you might be designing. It also varies depending on whom you’re designing for, as does the bar for what is considered delightful or charming. Probably the best way to figure this out is through talking with your users and understanding your audience.

What happens when you ‘over-design’ something?

When something is over-designed, it ends up feeling like a chore whenever you have to interact with that specific thing—maybe it even starts to get annoying or frustrating over a long enough time. It’s important to keep in mind that the perceived delight a user gets from any details you add will normalize over time. The best case scenario is that, with continued use, these sorts of things start to blend into the background, rather than continuing to require attention with each and every use.

The first time someone runs into a big flashy animation or transition, it’s surprising and probably pretty fun and cool, but that novelty wears off after you’ve seen it a couple of times. If these sorts of things block action, and essentially hold your time and attention hostage, that becomes a pretty negative user experience that can overpower the other, positive aspects of a product or feature.

That’s not to say there isn’t a time and a place for flashier moments that grab attention: onboarding and user education flows can be a great spot to introduce these larger, more surprising details. Generally users won’t see them terribly often so you can maintain that element of surprise. While we still try to keep things simple, onboarding is one of the key areas inside of the Dropbox product where we bring in some details like illustration in order to set a lighter and more fun tone.

What’s the best way to build and add details that ‘delight’ the user?

I think progressively enhancing the individual bits and pieces that make up the experience is generally a pretty good path (and also something a design system can help with). Little things like adding consistent state treatments on hover or touch or simple animations and transitions can pretty quickly start to make things feel richer, without overpowering the good experience you’ve already designed.

I also think an often overlooked path to this is good UX writing. Good copy gives you a huge opportunity to introduce a specific tone and voice to whatever you are designing and humanize your product (one example of this is the placeholder copy we include in Dropbox Paper when you create a new document).

What’s to gain in getting things just right and striking a balance between ease-of-use and delightful design?

Good user experience can be, in and of itself, delightful, so I tend to think adding these sorts of details should help make a positive first impression, but over time recede into the background and take up less of your attention so that the core experience can take the main stage.

Check out more of Matt’s work on his website or you can follow him on Twitter.

Learn and Network: A Round-Up of Some Great UX Conferences


Creative Cloud

Conferences are a really fun way to develop your UX career. You get the opportunity to learn both theory from speakers and practice in hands on workshops, meet like minded people, and discuss the challenges you are facing with people who have experienced similar ones! Above all, conferences are a lot of fun! Throughout my design career I have had the opportunity to participate in many conferences as an attendee, and more recently, as a speaker.

There are so many events that take place all around the world – and many different niches and levels of event production. The following round up is by no means exhaustive, but should give you a taste of some my personal UX event highlights that happen throughout the year! Most conferences occur on an annual cycle, with some staying in the same location every year and others making a call for host cities and happening in varying locations.

Summer

UXPA

The User Experience Professionals Association was founded in 1991, and has been running an annual conference since 1992. The conferences tend to take place in the USA (with some exceptions), sometime in June, July or August. The 2017 UXPA conference is happening in Toronto, Canada, June 6-8. The conference covers a range of UX related topics, this year’s schedule includes UI design, UX research, career development, analytics and more.

Side note: the UXPA also runs an annual salary survey, which is a great resource for UX designers! It is also the organization behind World Usability Day.

UX STRAT Europe

This year’s European UX STRAT conference happens in Amsterdam, June 15-16. UX STRAT focuses on a more experienced audience, in the fields of user experience, customer experience, product design and service design. The conference is a single track conference, with two days of talks, followed by a workshop day. The topics are targeted towards leaders, for example embedding UX in company operations, or strategic design approaches to creating eco-systems at Adidas or Deutche Telecom.

UX Week

Adaptive Path’s UX event, UX Week, takes place annually in San Francisco, and is in its 15th year. The four day conference aims to ‘deliver new tools you can put to use immediately.’ A single track conference that is expertly curated means this event has a reputation for high quality content. The 2017 event takes place from August 29 – September 1. Speakers this year include Roman Mars of 99% Invisible, and a responsive design workshop with Ethan Marcotte and Karen McGrane. UX Week tackles a wide range of UX topics, with lots of inspiration and practical learning.

While I haven’t attended UX Week itself, I have spoken at Adaptive Path’s Service Experience Conference, and that was an incredible experience. I can definitely vouch for Adaptive Path’s events – both the content they curate and the attention to detail paid to attendee experience. I hope to make it to many more Adaptive Path events, including UX Week! Side note: their vimeo channel is a treasure trove of past talks.

Fall

UX STRAT USA

Boulder, Colorado will host this year’s UX STRAT USA conference, September 18-20, 2017. Like its European counterpart, UX STRAT targets seasoned leaders and practitioners in the UX, service and product design space. Many speakers this year are in house designers at companies like Capital One, Disney and Etsy. The workshops and talks focus on strategy and more advanced topics. Typically the conference involves one day of workshops with two days of talks. While I have never attended this conference, I have heard great things about it, in particular from a past manager of mine who found it was really good for more senior design leaders.

Fluxible

Fluxible is a smaller UX conference, and since 2012 takes place annually in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada. Fueled by the region’s excellent Universities and tech scene, Fluxible has sprung up as a “UX party disguised as a conference.” This year, it takes place September 18-24, with speakers such as Dave Gray and Aaron Irizarry.

This conference really knocks it out of the park when it comes to attendee experience – I’ve been to Fluxible several years running, and I’m looking forward to this year too! Amazing food (chocolate covered bacon! food trucks! taco bar!), a conference song, the festival of interstitial music, and a goat check… with real goats! All of this on top of great content and speakers mean I always have a really great time. If it sounds like I’m raving about this one, it’s because I am.

Midwest UX

Midwest UX has been running since 2011 in, well, the Midwest! It originated when people from the Columbus IxDA chapter and a UXPA chapter connected and envisioned an event together. Midwest UX aims to create a grassroots, community feel for their conferences, and the events pay lots of attention to small details. The conference tends to have a more accessible price tag than some of the larger global conferences, and tackles a broad range of UX themes. In 2017, Midwest UX takes place in Cincinnati, October 12-14.

I spoke at Midwest UX in Louisville, 2016, and it was a blast! The conference had a really fun, friendly feeling, all while delivering great content. I really enjoyed the conference keynotes, and the afterparty was fantastic. Definitely a great conference for making friends and learning about the UX scene that exists outside of San Francisco and New York. Highly recommend!

CanUX

This conference started life as UXCamp Ottawa, and became CanUX in 2011. CanUX is a multi-day, single track event that takes place in Ottawa, Canada. In 2017, the event runs November 3-5, with two workshop days prior. The event showcases an international and Canadian community of speakers on UX, including giants of the field such as Mike Monteiro, Dan Saffer and Dana Chisnell. The event includes a broad range of practitioners from academia and industry exploring topics such as robots, Hyperloop, and design research methods.

I attended CanUX last year, and loved the quality of the event and content. As a single track event with a larger audience, this conference delivers lots of energy, and the best conference MC I’ve ever seen! Attendee experience is well thought out – for example having lunch at local restaurants in randomized groups so that we got the opportunity to meet new people.

Winter/Spring

Interaction

The Interaction Design Association (IxDA) hosts annual conferences in Latin America and North America/Europe. Interaction, the global conference alternating locations between North America and Europe annually, has been running since 2008. It usually takes place in February or March, with Interaction ‘18 taking place in Lyon, France, February 6-8, 2018. The conference hosts a workshop day, as well as a student design challenge and the Interaction Awards. Attendance is up in the high hundreds, with Interaction 17 attracting 1,000 people to New York City.

The speaker alumni list is full of design luminaries, from well-known design agencies like frog and IDEO to product companies such as AirBnb, Microsoft and Google, as well as independent designers and academics. Attendees tend to be mostly industry practitioners. Keynotes tend to be curated, with an open call for speakers curated to round out the remaining speakers and workshops. This was one of the first big design conferences I attended, and it remains one of my favourites! Always full of food for thought, and an awesome community vibe.

IA Summit

The IA Summit takes place in North America and covers topics relating to information architecture, user experience and content strategy. The summit is now in its 18th year, and this year’s event will be held March 21-25, 2018 in Chicago. The conference attracts practitioners and seasoned speakers, such as Abby Covert, Donna Spencer and Peter Morville. In 2017, two days of workshops were followed by three days of keynotes, talks, and even a portfolio and resume review booth! This conference also includes poster displays. I haven’t made it to IA Summit yet, and it’s on my list for sure.

CHI

SIGCHI is the Specialist Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, a group under the Association for Computing Machinery, which was founded in 1947. Since 1983, they have been running a flagship conference simply called CHI. It takes place in April or May, with the 2018 CHI conference planned for April 21-26 in Montreal, Canada. The conference tends to be more academically heavy, with an emphasis on presenting CHI Papers – original research in the field. Other components of the conference include demos, or poster presentations of research. I attended CHI in 2014 in Toronto, and was struck by the huge overlap of the academic research world with the concerns of UX design practice. I made some great friends that I keep up with through Twitter, and they keep me connected to the pulse of what’s happening academically in our field.

Premiere Pro 11.1.2 available today – critical update, highly recommended


Creative Cloud

Today we’re releasing an update for Premiere Pro CC 2017. The 11.1.2 update contains important bug fixes as well as performance improvements. It also adds support for the 10 bit formats of the Panasonic GH-5. This is a critical update which is highly recommended for all users.

You can install the update through the Creative Cloud desktop application, or you can check for new updates from within any Creative Cloud application by choosing Help > Updates. Please note that it can take 24 hours or more for all of our global data centers to receive the update. If the update isn’t available for you right now, please check back later.

New Media Cache Management

The most important change with 11.1.2 is addressing issues introduced with the Media Cache management feature (added in 11.1 and already updated with 11.1.1). While 11.1.1 restricted cache management preference to be applied to files within the Media Cache folder structure, 11.1.2 will only apply the preference to media cache files of a known file type (such as *.pek, *.ims and *.cfa). Only those files will be deleted according to the cache management preference. The folders they are in will remain on the system. Additionally, the Media Cache management will be off by default.

Here’s the full list of improvements and issues addressed with 11.1.2:

Improvements to Graphics and Text editing workflows

  • Move and position a layer’s anchor more precisely with anchor point snapping: You can now snap the anchor point to the edges and center of the selected layer, as well as to interesting points on other graphic layers or the video frame itself.
  • Position your graphic elements more precisely:  Holding Shift when dragging layers in the program monitor will constrain movement to one dimension (horizontal or vertical)
  • Keyboard navigation improvements when editing text
    • Add characters to a selection with Shift + Arrow
    • Support for Home and End keys
  • Bug Fixes for copying and pasting graphic and text layers between Premiere Pro and After Effects

Stability and Performance

  • Timeline and waveform redraw freezes on older mac systems with large projects
  • Certain clips (1000 fps) will crash if you scrub.
  • Crash during playback of some growing files
  • Audio is deleted from timeline when performing flatten multicam
  • Premiere hangs on quitting when using the Trim Mode source clips
  • Improved AVC-I export performance
  • Improve Dynamic Link Text Template performance

Formats and File Support

  • Importing FCP XML file fails if it contains a placeholder due to some synthetic item unable to be translated.
  • Canon XC10 file shows garbled image when moving through clip
  • Certain QT file will not import
  • Failure to import some QuickTime reference movies
  • When Import MP4 video clip shot by Panasonic AG-UX180, audio is truncated at the end of clip on the timeline
  • AVCI files show yellow bar in timeline
  • Failure exporting 25fps interpreted footage
  • Artifacting when paused on RED R3D Helium Stills
  • When Importing Canon C500 RAW file recorded in Odyssey 7Q, Screen divided into two parts with color changed incorrectly
  • “Conversion problem” is alerted when playing FCP’s multiclip sequence
  • When Import long recorded MXF, Red Frame occurs and audio is lost in the timeline
  • If a project file from a different platform is used, proxy-generation fails Media Cache
  • Media Cache delete warning dialog is not modal, on Windows
  • Only specific cache files should be deleted for Media Cache policy
  • Option to Save Media Cache files next to original does not persist

Effects

  • No realtime updates when modifying bezier handles or parameter line in Effect Controls panel
  • Lumetri: Reset color wheels affects other Lumetri instances
  • Effect keyframes are lost with partial Ingest
  • Edits to Effect Control Panel keyframe paths fail to update until you release the mouse
  • Black line appears through the Effect Control Panel
  • Effect keyframes fail to paste at the targeted point in time Captions
  • Ghost Caption Track Item comes back after being deleted
  • Importing an STL file does not allow to modify the resolution during the import
  • Team Projects: Editing text in captioning is not recognized as a change Audio
  • Audio effect parameter modifications are not properly serialized
  • Distortion during audio scrub
  • Audio effect parameter modifications are not properly serialized
  • Audio gain settings in Premiere get rendered to audio files
  • Hang on stop with no audio device (Win only)
  •  Audio Waveform is misplaced in specific zoom levels
  •  Audio channel settings reset after relink media
  • Adding an essential sound preset to a clip on the timeline will cause AME to hang when adding it to the render queue Export And Render
  • Unable queue export jobs to AME if Home Folder is mapped
  • File exported via the same export preset that it was created from will fail with error compiling movie
  • When multiple files are exported with the same name, they import with the duration of the first file
  • Exporting an AAF with a PSD file causes error and failure to play timeline in Media Composer
  • Rendering a timeline with default Mpeg I-Frame preview format results in media pending if sequence was changed due to clip mismatch
  • Publish to Behance crashes when exporting out of Premiere Pro without tags and description

General

  • Remove Attributes Resets All Intrinsic Effects
  • Import to floating bin doesn’t go into bin
  • Double-click clip, in Thumbnail View, will not open in Source Monitor.
  • License dialog appears and disappears
  • Cart icon should not appear in Project section when user drag and drop licensed stock video
  • Graphics menu has enabled options in Onboarding Media Browser (only visible to new users from the Welcome Screen)
  • Source panel playhead not updated when entering timecode values
  • Share button does not light up when changes are done in captions panel
  • Premiere Pro is getting blocked by QuickHeal anti-virus
  • Extra material required for transitions is not transcoded for partial Ingest.
  • Make Subsequence does not work for Sequence opened from Media Browser
  • Wrong Image position during scrub and playback with 1/2 playback resolution
  • NDF Clip in Source Monitor sends DF value to external SDI monitor
  • Dropped frames of 4k60p single stream timeline when there is a gap between clips
  • Import Project with Image Sequence In/Out instances will often result in AME failing to encode for partial Ingest
  • ALE Metadata column for description is incorrect
  • On Win HiDPI the Events popup window is not scaled and is too small
  • Match Source (Rewrap) presets fail to transcode matching clips
  • Multicam View gets disabled after using Trim Mode
  • ims accelerator cause issue with duration change
  • Ingest Settings dialog sometimes appears after opening 11.0 Project
  • Submix tracks are missing their name in the Track Header

 

A June 2017 Update to After Effects CC Is Now Available


Creative Cloud

Faster Motion Graphics templates and Illustrator file import

Earlier today, we released an update to the 2017 version of After Effects CC. This update, version 14.2.1, includes significant performance enhancements as well as bug fixes, and is recommended for all users.

Motion Graphics templates now render up to 4x faster, and Adobe Illustrator and PDF file import are much faster as well, especially for complex vector graphics. 14.2.1 also fixes several key issues, including “2 or more frames to play back” memory errors, Camera-Shake Deblur effect rendering above 8bpc, and copy-paste of Premiere Pro graphics objects into After Effects.

You can install the update through the Creative Cloud desktop application, or you can check for new updates from within any Creative Cloud application by choosing Help > Updates. Please note that it can take 24 hours or more for all of our global data centers to receive the update. If the update isn’t available for you right now, please check back later.

If you want to ask questions about these new and changed features, come on over to the After Effects Forums. That’s the best place for questions. Questions left in comments on a blog post are much harder to work with; the blog comment system just isn’t set up for conversations. If you’d like to submit feature requests or bug reports, you can do so at this page.

Performance improvements

  • We fixed the “Cached preview needs 2 or more frames to play back” memory allocation errors, caused by an incorrect estimate of free memory when After Effects attempted to render or preview frames. (Note that you will, however, still see this message if you attempt to preview a single frame.) These fixes should also enable you to preview longer stretches of your timeline.
  • Text rendering has been optimized. As a result, Dynamic Link rendering performance of After Effects compositions, including Motion Graphics templates and legacy text templates, is now significantly faster, up to 4x faster depending on the composition.
  • Importing Illustrator or PDF files, or opening a project containing those files, is now 3-4x faster for files with many layers or a very large number of vectors to parse.

Miscellaneous bug fixes

  • The Camera-Shake Deblur effect now renders correctly when the project color depth is set to 16-bpc or 32-bpc.
  • Buttons in ScriptUI panels have been reverted to the rectangular appearance seen in After Effects 14.1 and previous releases.
  • The Lumetri Scopes panel no longer displays at a reduced size on Windows when HiDPI display scaling is enabled.
  • Overbright pixels in 32-bpc compositions no longer lack a color cast, when appropriate, if the Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels preference is enabled.
  • Opening a project that contains a missing JPEG sequence footage now reports the missing sequence correctly instead of “file ‘<folder name>’ cannot be imported this ‘????’ file is damaged or unsupported.”
  • The CINEMA 4D renderer no longer fails to render the frame or give an error, “CINEMA 4D Render Failed (5070::0)”, if you enable motion blur when the Composition panel is set to an orthographic 3D view.
  • Changing Brightness in Preferences > Appearance no longer leaves some parts of the user interface at the previous brightness until you restart After Effects. Note that CEP panel tabs, such as the Libraries panel, still have this problem; we are investigating this remaining problem for a future release.

After Effects – Premiere Pro interoperability improvements:

  • The sample Motion Graphics templates installed by After Effects have been updated so that they no longer fail to render correctly in Premiere Pro if After Effects is installed in a non-English language.
  • Text layers in a Premiere Pro graphic object now include tracking, kerning, and tsume values when they are brought into After Effects. Also, vertical text is no longer changed to horizontal text.
  • Shape layers in a Premiere Pro graphic with the fill attribute disabled no longer have a red fill when they are brought into After Effects.
  • Premiere Pro graphic objects that have effects applied between graphic object layers now replicate the effects on adjustment layers when they are brought into After Effects. A similar problem with masks is solved by replicating the mask as a track matte. Also, keyframes at frame zero in the graphic object are no longer adjusted forward one frame.
  • Premiere Pro graphic object layers with their visibility eyeballs disabled no longer have their visibility re-enabled when they are brought into After Effects.
  • Bars and Tone and HD Bars and Tone clips in a Premiere Pro project are now replicated as a placeholder footage object instead of a solid layer when they are brought into After Effects. (Note that the audio tone is still not included, you can add the Tone effect to manually replicate that.)

Team Projects fixes

  • Team Projects no longer prevents footage from being deleted from the project if a composition or sequence has a dependency on the footage.
  • Team Projects no longer flags a footage item as needing to be shared if the only change was that the footage was relinked to the same source media.

Scripting and Expressions fixes

  • The AVItem.setProxyToNone() scripting method no longer fails with an error message, “After Effects error: AEGP trying to add invalid footage”.
  • The system.callSystem() scripting method now waits for all tasks called by the command to complete, instead of failing when the command takes a long time to complete.
  • Enabling expressions for a property on macOS 10.12 using the Option+Shift+= (equals sign) keyboard shortcut no longer replaces the default expression with the ± (plus-minus sign) character.

Stock Like Only Adobe Can: Adobe Stock Brings New Search Features and Editorial Partnerships to Creatives Worldwide 


Creative Cloud

Since introducing Adobe Stock in 2015, we’ve continued to rapidly grow our collections and innovate our offerings. Beyond expanding Adobe Stock to over 90 million assets, we’ve gained a deeper understanding of how you as creatives operate and we are committed to providing visual content that not only reflects authenticity, but provides powerful story telling. We intend to further push the boundaries in which you work by revolutionizing how stock assets should, and now through Adobe, can be searched.

Today, Adobe is excited to announce Aesthetic Filters, a new search technology powered by Adobe Sensei, and several new partnerships with Reuters, USA TODAY Sports and Stocksy.

Need to Find the Perfect Image Quickly? Adobe Sensei Has You Covered

Adobe recognizes the challenges you face as creatives on a day to day basis. We’re all too familiar with how you can spend endless hours scrolling for the perfect image. Driven by this, we brought you Visual Search in November 2016 – simply drag any still image into your browser to find similar ones that fit exactly what you’re looking for. Taking matters into our own hands again, today we’re bringing you Aesthetic Filters – an entirely new way to search for images using aesthetic characteristics starting with Depth of Field and Vivid Color. The faster you find exactly what you need, the more time you can focus on what you love – creating.

Stunning New Editorial and Premium Content at Your Fingertips

2017 has already been a big year for Adobe Stock and partnerships. We welcomed 500px and Pond5 earlier this year, and with today’s announcement, we’re arming our creative arsenals with even more phenomenal, highly curated assets to amplify your creative storytelling. I’m thrilled to have Reuters, USA TODAY Sports, and Stocksy join the family, and what this will mean for our users everywhere. Editorial is a critical component of modern storytelling, but getting the rights to photos and videos of buzzworthy moments can be challenging. Imagine what stories you’ll tell now that you have access to these powerful news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle images.

Adobe Stock at The Center of Creative Workflows

From the start, Adobe Stock has always uniquely and natively integrated directly within Creative Cloud, saving you time, and enabling uninterrupted creativity. I’m pleased to share that starting today, this integration will go beyond Adobe. Users everywhere now have access to Adobe Stock directly within Microsoft Office PowerPoint.  Thanks to our unique Visual Search technology, we make it simple for you to find exactly what you’re looking for – using images instead of words. Download the free Adobe Stock Add-In for PowerPoint and incorporate beautiful visuals right into your presentations anytime.

We’re Here to Ease Your Creative Roadblocks

Whether it’s been significantly growing our collections and contributor community, or adding a multitude of assets such as templates, videos and 3D, our top priority has always been you – the creatives. We invite you to experience Adobe Stock and let us know what you think of the latest search features, as well as our newest editorial and premium content.

Header Image: Hamad-I-Mohammed/REUTERS

Show Dad You Care


Creative Cloud

Celebrating the fathers – and the father figures – in your life can be easy when you learn how to combine Adobe Stock elements with your own personal touches. It’s easy to customize a ready-made template from Adobe Stock in your favorite Creative Cloud app to suit your needs. See these next fun examples that you can try this Father’s Day.

This simple cartoon design for Illustrator CC is sure to give dad a good laugh.

WAVEBREAK MEDIA / ADOBE STOCK

Or customize this more traditional template for InDesign CC with your favorite image and a special note.

SCOTT CITRON / ADOBE STOCK

Think your dad deserves a party? This poster template for Illustrator CC is great if you’re organizing an event and want to be bold.

WAVEBREAK MEDIA / ADOBE STOCK

And if you love expressing yourself with images, try one of the eight photo collage layouts included in this template for Photoshop CC and combine your own collection of meaningful memories.

CREATIVEDASH / ADOBE STOCK

See more template ideas on Adobe Stock.

Designing for The Great Outdoors: Solving The UX Challenges of Outdoor App Use


Creative Cloud

Ashley Agellon

As June hits, more of us around the world are getting outside and getting active, and you know we’ll be bringing our favorite devices and apps with us. But what does it actually take to design an app successfully for use outdoors? All of a sudden weather, movement, and completely different use patterns take hold.

Those UX considerations are all of top of mind for Ashley Agellon. She’s the UX designer for RunGo, a mobile voice navigation app designed to take runners and hikers on guided runs and walks. We asked her about some of the unique challenges she faces designing for outdoor use, and asked her to share some of her solutions.

What’s the best way to design an app for outdoor use?

Listen to your users and test with users when they are on the go, outside. Understand and resolve the areas where they struggle and make what they’re ecstatic about gets even better. Simplicity is the key. Get rid of the clutter and display only what is needed when they are performing the activity.

At RunGo, we ran with people who never used the app before, and we watched what they did on short runs and long runs. Use cases were key in identifying outdoor issues and figuring out solutions, as people used the app differently and had different challenges depending on how long they spent outdoors.

What are some of the major UX challenges when users are taking the app outside, and being active?

One of the biggest challenges was wet weather and touch screens, especially with our Apple Watch app.

On the Watch app, everything was tappable. You had to tap whether you want to pause or stop your run navigation. We’re based in Vancouver, Canada, and it rains a lot. The screen often wouldn’t work when you tapped, so the challenge was how can the user continue using the app in these real-world conditions.

We redesigned the UI so you could use the digital crown, the dial on the side of the watch, to stop, pause, or restart your race navigation. Sometimes our users were running for long periods and they’d just want stop for a bit, and pause their time tracking. With Apple Watch, you weren’t able to do that, but we were able to overcome it by rethinking the actual physical interaction and using the digital crown, instead of a touchscreen.

What about more complicated interactions, like interacting with big route maps on a mobile device?

Creating a big route on the fly on a mobile device becomes complicated as we have the ability to add custom voice messages, points of interests, along with the potential large number of turns or the route may include trails a user might make for a given route. We’ve augmented the experience to leverage the web based app for complex mapping as it is hard to create the entire route on your phone.

We knew we needed to make this web app to make it easy to accomplish what you can’t when you’re outside and actually ready to run.

We then made it easy to load these long races on your phone or Apple Watch with one touch. This way, you don’t have to worry about doing it when you just want to get running and conditions make it difficult to plan a route on your touch screen. No one goes outside to just stare at a screen.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for UX designers building an app for the great outdoors?

Keep it simple. We make it very easy to access your routes on the fly. Also, with geolocation, the app just tells you the top three routes in your area so all you have to do is click on the route you want and you’re ready to go.

We also have a simple ‘start run’ button, which is really key. If you just launch the app and press it, you can start running and charting your own course instantly. You won’t have any audio navigation, obviously, but it will tell you the information you’ll likely want to know. You’ll hear the elevation you’re running at, the calories burned, your pace, distance, etc.

This also extends into our social sharing. Designers should make it really easy to interact with social media accounts (in our case, your distance, pace, and elevation can be overlayed when you share the route you ran or a picture). You are be able upload and share on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with just one click.

All of this came out of our use cases, from looking at our users’ journeys–how they’ll be starting the app and how they’ll be using the app on short or long distance runs, to understanding the features they’ll likely use for each run.

What’s to gain from adjusting to outdoor circumstances and creating a solid user experience?

Well for us, our primary goal is to stop people from getting lost. Audio navigation on their runs is really crucial because if you’re trying to run a certain pace or you don’t want to get lost, our app helps guide you to the next turn. Various maps apps are not accurate with their voice direction, or they lead you to unsafe roads or crossings, so achieving our primary goal by using perfectly timed audio is key.

Beyond that, the end result of our app and other outdoor apps is that the user should enjoy their activity and the scenery when they are on the go. What we develop must be seamless with their activity, with the aim to enhancing their experience outside and complementing their natural surroundings.

You can learn more about RunGo on its website.

Challenges To Overcome When Designing for International Audiences


Creative Cloud

Today, we are more connected and intertwined than ever before. The internet has served us with a priceless opportunity to reach international audiences within seconds, opening the doors for new business opportunities and challenging new markets.

The key to successfully harnessing this opportunity lies in translation and localization. However, the challenges faced when designing for global success go beyond the common mistake of simple translations. Not all templates will be received positively in different cultures and designers that have abandoned text expansion and contraction in the designed stage will end up with a butchered end result when translated in a different language.

International audiences will demand undivided care and attention, so what are the challenges and common mistakes to avoid when designing for global success?

Keep in mind that translation does not just mean translating the words, you must recreate the same meaning, intent and context in every language you serve. Photo credit: Frankie Guarini/Unsplash.

The World Speaks More Than English

Although Mandarin and Spanish surpass English as the world’s most common languages, we continue to design, write and curate our websites in English. In fact, 70% of all internet users are not English speakers and sites that translate to 25 other languages reach 90% of all internet users in their native tongue.

Facebook in Urdu. Urdu is a persianized and standardized register of the Hindustani language. It is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan, and an official language of five states of India. Image credit: Facebook.

The most common mistake with website translations is failing to consider every language in the design stage. Although text length and word count are strict in design, allow 40% text expansion for translations to ensure enough space for texts in other languages. Think about how translation will affect widgets installed on websites, such as the Facebook like button. It can expand from one line in English to three in Japanese, so ensure you allow enough space to avoid text getting clipped.

Keep Flexibility in Mind

A single most important lesson in achieving a global template that functions well across the world is by listening to your global audience and their needs. Many issues arise from trying to force a template that is popular in the West to succeed somewhere else, like the Middle East. For example, using images of people don’t always work well – the ethnicity, pose, and clothing can be offensive and lead to unintended negative consequences.

Although most languages read LTR (left-to-right), your design must work just as well with RTL (right-to-left) languages. Use building blocks in your design stage for easier website flipping and avoid overcrowding the pages. Straightforward and clutter-free websites will allow flipping with fewer changes.

Understand Audience Needs by Researching Culture

When designing for a global audience, ensure you research and understand the cultural differences and the impact your content, choice of color and design might have. Some cultures have a much higher tolerance for ambiguity and others prefer a more direct and straightforward approach where it is clear what they are expected to do.

In France and Germany, an individual is usually the core of the subject, but in Japan, the group they are in provide their identity. Use images of groups rather than individuals for more group-oriented cultures as they will resonate better. Also, research which browsers and operating systems your Asian markets are using. Koreans and Chinese are notorious for using outdated browsers due to their reluctance to upgrade, long after the West has moved on. In fact, Internet Explorer has around a third of the Asian market, so ensure your website is optimized for the right browsers to provide great user experience.

Avoid Political and Strategic Discussions

One example is the “O.K.” symbol one can make with their hands. It is regarded as just meaning “O.K.” in the American culture. In Brazil however, this is seen as a very obscene gesture. It is equivalent to giving the middle finger in America.

Culturally sensitive sites consider the possible political and strategic discussion that may arise from the design and context distributed on the site. Different cultures will dictate the functionality and design of your site in the most surprising ways, so carefully consider the navigation, organization of information, icons, and colors. Imagery is another balancing act – bear in mind the different connotations they might have in different cultures. For example, the A-OK gesture is vulgar in Brazil, even though it has positive connotations in the West.

Leave Space for Localization

Loading speeds are critical regardless of your audience, but to reach an international audience consider the varying internet connections your audiences may have and how you serve your content. Increase loading speeds by using a collection of web servers around the world (Content Delivery Network) to serve your international audience faster. Also, improve the shopping experience by providing localized shopping through your cart by allowing buyers to check delivery and taxes charges before checkout, multiple payment options and the option to convert the total into their currency.

Choose Typography Wisely

Kanji or kan’ji, are the adopted logographic Chinese characters (hànzì) that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana and katakana. Photo credit: Lindie Botes/Unsplash.

Your selected font and size may not travel well between different languages, so ensure you understand and test how the font works with various scripts. Latin-based fonts are easier to work with, and there are far more options to choose from, however, opt for the standard size ten font for all Latin-based languages and a point or two larger for all Asian scripts. Avoid major setbacks by incorporating this aspect in the early stages of your design to see if your website requires changes to accommodate the different texts. There is a limited selection of fonts that work well with the Japanese language, but the Kanji used online is an excellent choice of well descriptive symbols.

Be Careful With Color Meaning

When going global or wanting to hit the international waters with your web design, you must consider every detail of your site. Tread carefully with the color yellow – although it’s associated with joy in most of the Western countries and Egypt, in Germany it’s the color of jealousy and envy. Although the color white is associated with purity and peace in the West, in Korea it is traditionally worn at funerals and is associated with death and bad luck. Even though, don’t get too fussy with the colors you use – identify your target and market and go from there.

Conclusion

Remember, first impression counts and you don’t get a do-over when things don’t work out. Although designing with an international audience in mind will require more work, your audience will appreciate that.

Keep in mind that translation does not just mean translating the words, you must recreate the same meaning, intent and context in every language you serve. Every culture has its own richness, so carefully research how your content will contribute to those cultures. Make your users comfortable and you’re halfway to success.

Artist Spotlight: Kervin Brisseaux


Creative Cloud

Kervin Brisseaux is no stranger to Adobe, having worked previously with us as part of our Make it on Mobile series. His clients have included Nike, Pepsico and Atlantic Records and his bright, bold use of color paired with modernistic sci-fi illustrations have become his trademark, making for one of the most vibrant portfolios. As our June featured artist, we spoke to him to learn more about his work, his take on stock assets and what he’s got in store for the future.

ADOBE STOCK: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background?

Hey! My Name is Kervin Brisseaux. I’m an artist and designer from NYC. My educational background is in architecture and I worked in the field briefly until making the transition into illustration and advertising. I’m currently an Associate Design Director at www.vault49.com and also have the fortune of doing freelance work for some amazing clients!

AS: So how did you get started in digital art professionally?

I started freelancing while still in grad school for architecture along with doing fun work for various art collectives back in the day. So I was always drawn (pun intended) towards illustration even before making the transition full-time into that industry a few years later. About a year after graduating, I got myself an agent and was eventually working for a variety of design agencies throughout NYC before finally landing a full-time gig at Vault49.

AS: What are your perceptions of stock images, and do you think the perception is changing?

I think the usefulness of stock imagery varies depending on context. I’ve personally used stock for both commercial campaigns and mock-ups for ideas. A sort of ‘litmus test’ for stock images to get used is, ironically, “does it look like a stock image”? What I mean by that is, for example, how does the quality of this stock hold up to actually doing a photoshoot? What that answer is depends on the tastes and needs of who you are talking to. I don’t know if this perception has changed, but, I think the accessibility of stock has greatly improved and that makes it easier for designers, like myself, to find the right images that meet their standards.

(Above: Kervin’s exclusive artwork created using Adobe Stock images for the June theme “Documentary Reality”)

AS: How would you describe your style?

I tend to play with a few digital mediums, but ultimately my style tends to be an heterogeneous mix of sci-fi elements with ‘neon-acid’ colors and shapes. Over the past few years, I’ve adapted this style to create fashion illustrations that play on augmented reality using photography and illustration elements.

AS: Where do you find your inspiration?

I tend to be on tumblr A LOT and post my findings on a blog as a result  – www.dechinkos.com

Other than that, just being in NYC has been a great source. There are a variety of exhibitions, locations and music scenes you can go to in this amazing city.

AS: What are you excited to work on in 2017?

I finally a have an idea on an exhibition that I can’t wait to get started on. Don’t wanna reveal anything just yet, but it’ll definitely draw on some of my key inspirations and youth culture, but with a slight twist. Hoping to get this done within the next couple of years!

AS: What music do you currently listen to whilst working (if any!)?

What don’t I listen to would be easier to answer. I used to DJ back in the day so I definitely have a deep crate of tunes that I cycle through. My favorite genres usually being deep house, soul, funk, RnB and hip hop.

You can discover more of Kervin’s work on his website, Behance or on Instagram.