April Update and What’s Next for Adobe XD


Creative Cloud

Header image includes work by Wen Tong.

The “Invisible” Cloud

We have been quietly working toward the vision we shared at Adobe MAX last November: delivering a best-in-class Cloud experience that enables real-time collaboration between designers and other designers, stakeholders, and developers. This experience will also seamlessly integrate our desktop and mobile apps with the Cloud, turning XD into an ecosystem that spans platforms.

Although we have made significant progress in building its underlying foundation, this progress is invisible to you, and it may appear that we are slowing down. We are happy to announce that you’ll start seeing Cloud-based features in the coming months, starting with Visual Versioning, which lets you access past iterations of a document within XD and reuse assets from older versions.

Momentum with Windows

Since we first introduced XD for Windows 10 last December, our monthly releases have focused on aligning features with the macOS version. Today’s update continues that approach with the addition of masking, Boolean operations, and expanded language support. Next month’s release will include Layers and the ability to update shared prototype links, with Symbols following closely behind.

As we mentioned earlier, XD is the first Adobe app developed for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), and also the first pro design tool of its kind for Windows. In addition to taking advantage of the next generation of Windows-based hardware and devices, our goal is to deliver a great experience regardless if you have a Mac or a PC.

What’s Next for Adobe XD

We are striving to address your input and improve XD every month, to help you create richer and more engaging experiences with the least amount of friction. Now that the gap between Windows 10 and macOS is closing and we have made major advancements in building the Cloud foundation, our team can now refocus on core design features. You’ll start seeing major new features for Mac and Windows very soon:

  • New Asset Panel – Quickly access symbols, colors, and character styles used in your project to change or reuse throughout your document
  • Creative Cloud Libraries – Reuse bitmaps, colors, and character styles from apps like Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign
  • The aforementioned Visual Versioning

We are also committed to your feature requests, which will be released month over month. For example, popular requests such as preserving interactions when copying and pasting and overriding specific instances of Symbols will be available soon. Balancing new features with our nearly maniacal focus on speed and quality are essential to making XD work and feel the way it does, but it sometimes comes at the cost of timeliness or having to release complex features in stages (such as Symbols).

What’s New in April?

Masking

Masking is here for Windows! Masking gives you precise control over both the shape of your mask and the objects you place within it. Masks are non-destructive, so you can make adjustments to both the mask itself and shapes beneath it by simply double-clicking. When you layer a shape on top of an object, select both objects and use a shortcut (Shift+Ctrl+M) to mask the image with the overlaying shape. You can also do this by right-clicking to access the context menu. Once you mask an image with a shape, double-click the masked object to reposition the image.

Boolean Operations

Create and experiment with complex shapes by simply adding, subtracting, intersecting, or excluding existing shapes. Boolean operations are also non-destructive, so every element in the combined shape can be individually accessed and modified. We find it especially helpful when creating icons.

Bring in Images From Your Browser

Found the perfect image online? Simply drag or copy and paste them from your browser into your artboard. If you drag an image into an existing object, the image will automatically be resized to fill it.

Support for Japanese and Korean

XD for Windows is now localized in Japanese and Korean, with French and German to follow.

Your Feedback

From our first beta release on one platform thirteen months ago, your voices have shaped XD by helping us validate and prioritize features. You have shared insights into everyday challenges you face as designers, and what your expectations are from us to alleviate pain points. Whether your feedback is posted on our discussion forums, UserVoice, Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere on the web, we make every effort to read each and every comment.

Continuing the Conversation

Your ongoing dialogue is essential because our success depends on your success. We can’t wait to release the improvements you’ve been asking for, as well as the features we’ve been quietly working on. Please continue letting us know what you want from XD, and if you find these types of blog posts helpful.

Thank for you all of your support!

Social

You can follow our handle @AdobeXD for updates or reach the team on Twitter using the #AdobeXD. You can also talk to us using Facebook, where we share videos and updates as well as answer questions during live sessions.

Meet some UX designers who have used Adobe XD. Learn how they got started in UX design and their creative process; check out some of their work and listen to their favorite tunes.

#MadeWithAdobeXD

While sharing your prototypes on Behance, don’t forget to tag them with #MadeWithAdobeXD and select Adobe Experience Design under “Tools Used” for the opportunity to be featured in the Adobe XD Newsletter.

The Latest (and Greatest!) for Premiere Pro CC and Media Encoder


Creative Cloud

Today we’re super excited to be announcing and making available the very latest versions of Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Media Encoder CC, which are accompanied by brand new releases of After Effects, Character Animator, Audition, and Team Projects. Creative Cloud members and trial users will be able to download and install these applications TODAY using the Creative Cloud desktop application, or online from here.

Dive deeper into what’s new for all Creative Cloud video and audio tools here.

This release contains a host of extremely exciting features including a modern, intuitive way to create titles and motion graphics with Motion Graphics Templates, the new Type Tool and the Essential Graphics panel, the Essential Sound panel, Destination Publishing to Adobe Stock, Ambisonics audio for VR, HLG support for High Dynamic Range workflows, and a number of small but super useful improvements for your day to day work with Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder.

There’s also news for Team Projects, our hosted collaboration technology for Team and Enterprise customers – as well as being fully integrated with the new release, the update now supports Dynamic Link between After Effects and Premiere Pro – one of the most effective workflow features in collaborative workflows. In addition, Team Projects now supports Adobe Media Encoder. Adobe Media Encoder allows you to browse Team Projects in the Media Browser and encode media in a Team Project such as file media, Premiere Pro sequences and After Effects compositions, directly in Adobe Media Encoder.

We’ve also restructured the Help and Learn content for Premiere Pro, you can now find the best content for getting started with Premiere Pro by choosing the track for beginners, or look for tutorials on advanced subjects by choosing the track for experienced users. Following NAB, Jason Levine will kick off a 6-week series on best practices for creating stellar video content. Join him every Friday at 9am PT on the Creative Cloud Facebook page to learn start-to-finish video workflows for beginners and anyone who wants to bring their skills to the next level.

Please note that the newly released versions of Adobe Creative Cloud applications will overwrite prior installations by default. No parallel installs are possible as this is a patch release. Also, please be aware that projects saved in Premiere Pro 2017.1 cannot be opened with previous versions.

Here’s more info on some of the highlights, followed by a comprehensive list of what’s new with this release.

Type tool

The new Type tool in Premiere Pro makes it easy to add text directly onto your images in the Program monitor. Because it is based on the same framework for working with text familiar from Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects, getting started is easy. If you click on the new Graphics workspace, the new Essential Graphics Panel shows up to the right – much like the Lumetri Color Panel when you click on the Color workspace.

Once you start typing on the Program monitor, a new clip will be added to your sequence. You can add additional text, text boxes, shapes and graphics. Combine each element of your new title creation with effects such as fade in or blur from the Effects control panel; you can also add motion to breathe life into your titles.

Once you’re done, you can save your result as a Motion Graphics template for easy re-use or sharing with your team via Creative Cloud Libraries.

If you need to use the same style of title, like a lower third, numerous times throughout your sequence, create a master graphic from the graphics menu to keep everything in sync. Creating new graphics based on the master graphic lets you link iterations throughout your sequence. If you want to alter all iterations, like changing font, color or positioning, just make the change to the master graphic – changes to the master graphic ripple automatically through each iteration saving you time and effort.

Essential Graphics panel & Motion Graphics templates

The new Essential Graphics panel in Adobe Premiere Pro gives you all the tools you need for graphics in one place.

You can browse dozens of sample Motion Graphics templates we’ve included in Premiere Pro. They’re great as a starting point, and also give you a good idea of what’s possible for building your own. When creating your own templates in Premiere Pro, be sure to save them to your Creative Cloud Libraries, then they’re easy to access on all your machines and share with colleagues.You can also save Motion Graphics at the system level, just like any other file.

When you add a Motion Graphics template to your sequence, all the controls you need to customize it are revealed in the Essential Graphics panel. This is also where you can edit Motion Graphics templates designed in After Effects. The author of a Motion Graphics template in After Effects can make a whole range of properties available within the template, like the ability to make dynamic changes to text, color, size, layout, background image/video, position, and even sound. When the After Effects created Motion Graphics template is opened in Premiere Pro all those properties are revealed in the Essential Graphics panel, the editor can then adjust the content in Premiere Pro without time-consuming back-and-forth between the applications.

Please note: In order to work with After Effects-created Motion Graphics templates in Premiere Pro, you must have a current license or trial version of After Effects installed. Even after a trial expires the feature will continue to work as long as the expired trial remains installed on your machine. For more info visit adobe.com/go/mgt

Essential Sound panel

As video production schedules get shorter and budgets get smaller, editors often need to achieve professional-quality sound on their own. In addition to new powerful interchange capabilities between Premiere Pro and Audition, the Essential Sound panel is now available in both products. This panel provides an intuitive, powerful audio editing experience focused on creative intent, without requiring audio engineering expertise. Guided workflows for mixing and refining specific types of audio content cover Dialogue, Music, Sound FX, and Ambience.

To use the Essential Sound panel, start by defining the audio types for your sound clip or group of clips. This reveals the effect options and presets specific to working with each respective sound type, to help you achieve a professional-sounding audio mix fast.

Leveraging the power of Adobe Sensei, you can set loudness to the desirable level for all four audio types, making it easy to achieve a balanced mix and to ensure dialog has presence. Premiere Pro analyses each clip and automatically reveals critical tools like settings for loudness or changes in dynamics when necessary.

Once you have the sound you want, you can save it with your project, or send to Adobe Audition for additional finessing. Any adjustments applied in the Essential Sound panel in Premiere Pro transfer to Audition without any loss as soft effects so you can continue to make changes and retain the highest audio fidelity.

Integration improvements with Adobe Stock

When searching for Adobe Stock assets to incorporate into your project you can now preview video clips with Hover Scrub of Adobe Stock in the Libraries panel.

Editors looking to monetize their work and reach millions of creative buyers can now submit video content directly to Adobe Stock via Premiere Pro or Adobe Media Encoder. Contributing to Adobe Stock gives users the opportunity to earn royalties and gain added exposure for their creative work. When a submission is accepted, contributors can track sales in real time via the Adobe Stock dashboard. The Destination Publishing feature in Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder has added new destinations over the last few release cycles, now covering a wide range of targets including Behance, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube– all in one optimized and automated process, and now you can now submit work to Adobe Stock directly from Premiere Pro through Destination Publishing.

Adobe Stock is a great place to sell your video footage and the Destination Publishing pipeline lets you connect directly to your Stock Contributor account fast. Once you’ve set up your Stock Contributor account on the Stock website, simply login once with your Adobe ID through Premiere Pro and you’re good to go for all future uploads.

If you want to upload multiple videos in one go, you can simply queue your uploads via Adobe Media Encoder.

Once the upload is finished, you’ll get a link to your personal Stock Contributor website, where the footage will automatically appear. Once on the Stock Contributor site metadata tagging fields will be automatically populated related to your video, you can edit those fields to better market your content and finesse titling before submitting your work to the Stock team for review.

Ambisonic audio for VR

Expanding on its best-in-class native support for VR, Premiere Pro now supports ambisonic audio export, enriching the VR experience with positionally-aware audio for VR enabled platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Additional New Features at a glance:

Color Workflows: Lumetri Tonal Controls are adjusted to work with overbrights

if you’re working with sources using IRE values beyond 100 IRE, you can now bring them down using controls such as Exposure or Highlights or Whites.

Output Workflows: Preference to not pause AME queue during playback. If this is enabled, you can make sure creating output is the top priority, but there’s still opportunity to do further work in Premiere Pro.

And lots more:

* Improved Playback Performance for XAVC 4K 60p

* In and Out Points can be used for partial ingest

* Three Axis rotation for VR Workflows

* Batch edit function for captions

* MacBook TouchBar support – with great options to customize

* Microsoft Dial support

* AME as a Windows Service

* AME auto relink of assets

* AME support for Team Projects

* Support for Dynamic Link with Team Projects

* Media cache expiration policies

* New audio effects & improved integration with Audition

* Match frame from subclip

* Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) for HDR workflows with output to XAV

* New formats (including Avid XDCAM OP-Atom, ProRes MXF, Panasonic LT, AVC-Ultra LongG export)

Stay tuned to the Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Creative Cloud Video & Audio Facebook channels for live streams from the NAB show floor. Watch replays, interviews, and overviews on our YouTube playlist.

On April 21st at 10amPT, Jason Levine will walk through the top features of this release LIVE on YouTube. Subscribe to the Creative Cloud YouTube channel to get a reminder for this event.

Learn more about what’s new in the latest release of Creative Cloud video and audio tools, Premiere Pro and Media Encoder, After Effects, Audition, Character Animator, and Adobe Stock.

Dive deeper into what’s new for all Creative Cloud video and audio tools.

Download the latest release of Creative Cloud applications

Attending NAB Show 2017? Come to the Adobe booth (#SL4010)

Watch presentations, interviews, and overviews on the Adobe at NAB 2017 video playlist.

Efficiency and Optimization at the Core of the Latest Release for After Effects CC


Creative Cloud

I’m pleased to announce the Spring 2017 update to After Effects CC is now available. This release has something for everyone, including a whole new way to collaborate with editors and the addition of some of our most-requested features from users.

To learn more about all the new features in our Spring 2017 video releases, check our Creative Cloud video and audio tools blog. You can download the latest updates of the Creative Cloud applications from our website. Update your current version of After Effects or download a trial if you are not currently a Creative Cloud member. Please note: The newly released versions of Adobe Creative Cloud applications will overwrite prior installations by default. No parallel installs are possible as this is a patch release.

Feature highlights

Essential Graphics panel

The Essential Graphics panel acts as a control panel for your composition. Drag and drop frequently-used properties into the panel for easy access without having to twirl into layer parameters or open precomps. When you share the composition as a Motion Graphics template, the controls you added to the Essential Graphics panel are accessible in Premiere Pro. When working with editors, this will speed up your workflow and prevent you from having to iterate on the same composition over and over again.

Collaborating with editors is easy. Output your composition as a Motion Graphics template and share it via Creative Cloud Libraries, or install it to Premiere Pro CC’s Essential Graphics panel for direct access. The same parameters you added in After Effects are accessible and editable in Premiere Pro, enabling you to retain stylistic control while enabling your colleagues to easily customize the text, color or layout of your graphics. For example, allow others to edit a composition’s text content and background image transparency, while ensuring the rest of the motion graphic remains unchanged.

This release of After Effects also includes a set of 25 beautiful, professionally-designed Motion Graphics templates to get you started in Premiere Pro. To see this in action, check out this Motion Graphics templates tutorial.

Lumetri Scopes

You’ve seen them in Premiere Pro. You’ve asked for them (loudly) in After Effects. We’ve listened and added a great new way for you to evaluate and accurately color correct your compositions and layers. Choose from vectorscope, histogram, parade, and waveform scopes, easily switch between preset configurations, or build your own custom set and display up to five scopes at once. When combined, Lumetri Scopes and the Lumetri Color effect give you a powerful color correction workflow.

Camera-Shake Deblur

Ever successfully stabilize a shaky shot, only to have to throw it away because of unwanted motion blurred artifacts? The new Camera-Shake Deblur effect rescues that previously unusable footage by automatically identifying sections of a clip containing motion blur, then using optical flow technology to blend the sharp frames on either side across the blurry region. When you combine this feature with the Warp Stabilizer VFX effect, you really will find yourself throwing away a lot less bad footage.

Simplified Effect Organization

Simplify complex compositions and reduce the need to precompose by including masks and effects when referencing a layer in another effect. Effects that use layers as inputs, such as Set Matte and Displacement Map, can now target the input layer’s masks and effects, instead of only the source of the layer. This means that in many cases you won’t need to precompose solely for the purpose of being referenced by an effect.

RTL and Indic text support

Work with right-to-left scripts, such as Hebrew and Arabic, as well as Indic text. Design graphics that can reach more of the world, without resorting to hacky workarounds.

Dynamic Link support in Team Projects (Beta)

Team Projects (beta) is a collaborative service for Creative Cloud Teams and Enterprise customers that lets video creators work together on shared sequences and compositions in real time smoothly and securely. Features like version control and conflict resolution are built right into Adobe Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, and Prelude CC, so teams can easily work on projects simultaneously. We added the ability to save a Team Project back to an .aep earlier this year, and this release brings Dynamic Link support for cross-app collaboration. Work in After Effects, Premiere Pro, or Prelude, all in the same Team Project, and ensure everyone on your team is always up to date and able to access every step of the project at any time.

Additional GPU-accelerated effects

Work faster with GPU versions of some of our most-used effects, including Drop Shadow, Fractal Noise, Gradient Ramp, Levels, and Offset. The new Fast Box Blur effect offers the look and controls of Fast Blur, Box Blur and Gaussian Blur (Legacy), now on the GPU.

Other cool stuff:
  • Native support for high frame rate footage and compositions, up to 999fps
  • The Solids folder can now be organized and renamed like any other project item
  • Mask mode editing keyboard shortcuts and higher limits for Mask Expansion and Mask Feather
  • Character leading and Team Projects features are now scriptable
  • Colored markers:

More:

Stay tuned to the Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Creative Cloud Video & Audio Facebook channels for live streams from the show floor. Watch replays, interviews, and overviews on our YouTube playlist.

On April 21st at 10amPT, Jason Levine will walk through the top features of this release LIVE on YouTube. Subscribe to the Creative Cloud YouTube channel to get a reminder for this event.  

Following NAB, Jason Levine will kick off a 6-week series on best practices for creating stellar video content. Join him every Friday at 9amPT on the Creative Cloud Facebook page to learn start-to-finish video workflows for beginners and anyone who wants to bring their skills to the next level. 

Learn more about what’s new in the latest release of Creative Cloud video and audio tools, Premiere Pro and Media Encoder,  Audition, Character Animator, and Adobe Stock.

Dive deeper into what’s new for all Creative Cloud video and audio tools

Download the latest release of Creative Cloud applications

Attending NAB Show 2017? Come to the Adobe booth (#SL4010) at NAB 2017 schedule Watch presentations, interviews, and overviews on the Adobe at NAB 2017 video playlist.

It’s Here! What’s New in Audition CC


Creative Cloud

Multichannel workflow magic, new hardware interfaces, gorgeous metering, and so much more. What’s new in Audition CC?

The latest update to Adobe Audition CC unveils brand new features, improves upon some of your favorites, and expands support for the third party hardware you’ve told us you love.  Take a look below at everything new in this release.

Please note: The newly released versions of Adobe Creative Cloud applications will overwrite prior installations by default. No parallel installs are possible as this is a patch release.

Multichannel Workflows

Gone are the days when a video file would have no more than a mono or stereo audio track.  Modern formats like MXF can store dozens of unique audio channels, capturing multiple microphones and real-time mixdowns right in the camera, which is a boon to keep all content synchronized and consolidated.  But managing this in the DAW can be tricky as editors often need to pick and choose which channels and streams to use when mixing.

This release introduces fast and flexible channel separation and organization features in Audition’s multitrack environment at the touch of a key.  When dragging a multichannel clip into the timeline, hold OPTION (MacOS) or ALT (Windows) to separate each channel to a mono clip on each track.  Or split based on the target track channelization by adding COMMAND (MacOS) or CTRL (Windows) to create stereo elements or properly handle standardized formats, like 5.1, keeping Center and LFE channels mono, but pairing the Front and Rear pairs.

Editors can also pick-and-choose their channels by twirling open an item in the files panel, selecting the channel(s) they wish to use, and drag these right into the timeline.  And if you change your mind or need to compare two different recordings, easily adjust channel assignments right in the Properties panel.

Improved Premiere Pro Interchange

With the introduction of the Essential Sound panel in Premiere Pro, we’ve made transferring sequences to Audition more transparent than ever before.  All audio work applied in Premiere Pro comes across unscathed in Audition including any Essential Sound editing, 3rd party effects, clip and track automation, submix and adaptive track routing, and timeline metadata like comments, clip color, track names, and more.  Don’t worry, you can still stream your video via Dynamic Link without rendering or waiting.

Effect Updates

Audition has also added smooth frequency spectrum displays to our Parametric EQ and several Filter effects.  Identify frequency imbalances or craft the perfect polish using your ears AND eyes.  And our classic Dynamics Processing effect adds realtime input level and gain reduction metering, so you can see how your clips are being compressed and expanded and fine-tune to perfection.

PreSonus Faderport support

The PreSonus Faderport is an incredible, affordable desktop control surface, smaller than a mousepad but packing loads of power at the touch of a finger.  Use the Faderport with Audition to adjust and automate track levels with a buttery-smooth motorized fader, and adjust mute, solo, and record states.  Transport buttons make it easy to navigate playback and shuttling, and a matrix of user-customizable buttons means you can configure the device with your favorite tools and commands, making you more productive than ever.

Visual Keyboard Shortcut Editor

But don’t stop there when customizing your workflow.  Audition now supports the Visual Keyboard Shortcut editor as introduced last year in Premiere Pro and After Effects.  Quickly locate shortcut keys for oft-used commands, or find available keys for your favorites.  Drag-and-drop commands to your preferred keys, or see at-a-glance every key-combination available.  And if you’re one of the many users who are coming to Audition from Avid Pro Tools, don’t let your training and muscle memory go to waste!  Select the new Avid Pro Tools preset to migrate your experience and education into Audition, and get started immediately.

Bits and Pieces

Several small-but-handy features have been introduced such as assigning a keyboard shortcut to Ripple Delete Gap – you told us loud and clear you needed this, and we delivered!  New preferences enable halting the playhead when stopping playback AND jumping back to the starting position by pressing stop (or “K”) again – literally the best of both worlds!  New tutorials available in the Audition Learn panel, located in the Help menu, help new users learn how to perform common tasks like removing noise, using the Essential Sound panel, or adjusting music with Remix.  Many bug fixes and performance improvements continue to make Audition one of the most stable and productive digital audio workstations for broadcast, post-production, and recording.

Update now in the Creative Cloud desktop application, or by visiting adobe.com.

Learn more about what’s new in the latest release of Creative Cloud video and audio tools, Premiere Pro and Media Encoder, After Effects, Audition, Character Animator, and Adobe Stock.

Dive deeper into what’s new for all Creative Cloud video and audio tools

Download the latest release of Creative Cloud applications

Attending NAB Show 2017? Come to the Adobe booth (#SL4010)

Watch presentations, interviews, and overviews on the Adobe at NAB 2017 video playlist.

UXperts Weigh In: Designs We Love, April Edition


Creative Cloud

Whether you’re looking to up your exercise game, plan a trip, or just send some greeting cards this April, our UXperts have some top recommendations for you. We’ve asked them to share app and web designs they’re loving right now, and tell us why they’re great examples of UX done right.

Sheldon Rennie, Senior UX/UI Designer and Art Director at Sheldon Rennie

Pick: Nike+ Training

Like most things that come out of everyone’s favourite shoe company, the Nike+ Training Club app is gorgeously designed. On the workout listing screens clean typography and bright images are used alongside glanceable notes of difficulty level and workout length. Featured workouts are served up alongside personalized picks based on your past workouts. Of course, everything is easily sortable using the filtering controls.

What I’m most impressed with is the in-workout experience. Nike has put a lot of thought into accommodating someone who is working out with their phone, and utilizes sound and video to make this much less awkward than it could be. The majority of the screen is taken up by a large, looping multi-angle instructional video that shows you exactly what you’re supposed to — and not supposed to — do. Voiceover prompts explain what to do for each move and encourage you to push harder. The main call-to-action is a bright green checkmark button that advances you to the next move. The workout ends with a satisfying completion screen that summarizes your efforts.

The design is so thoughtful you could almost forget you’re doing four reps of burpees. Almost.

Joan Lafferty, Senior Product Manager at Adobe XD

Pick: Ink Cards by Sincerely

No one sends paper cards anymore. But when you do get one, doesn’t it give you a lot of warm fuzzies? Ink Cards makes it really easy to get back into the habit of sending people personalized messages. With the app, I can quickly choose an occasion, upload photos to use in one of their templates, view my card, and then add a personalized message. The best part is that Ink Cards completes the workflow. They will also send the card for you (at a small fee, of course).

The first time I sent one, there was no confusion over how to choose a card, add photos or messages. I was in and out of the app within 15 minutes. My senators received personalized messages from me and I never had to get out a stamp, just my credit card.

Darren Jones, Creative Director at Elevation Marketing

Pick: Cuberto.com

Cuberto’s site is a breath of fresh air. Its clean design and white space allows the user to enjoyably explore projects the agency has done for their clients. They do a really great job utilizing video and smooth transition movements, giving the user a great, simple experience. The use of the consistent letter in the middle of the screen, which is the first letter of the client’s name, creates a simple visual element that doesn’t move and carries through to every client project. That simple design element ties back to the home page revealing the letter C for the agency itself, Cuberto.

Not only does the site look great on desktop but its responsive design for mobile keeps the experience the same. Here are some key highlights:

  • Design – Clean, simple typography, great use of videos
  • Content – Focused strictly on their variety of work and straight to the point
  • Navigation – Easy to get around the site with good use of scrolling to reveal more information. I love how they handle the next project at the bottom of the page transitioning into the next piece of work.

I’m so inspired by sites like this one.

Kira Butler, Senior UX/UI Designer at Luxury Retreats

Pick: Hopper

Hopper is a mobile app that tracks the best prices for flights around the world and provides recommended travel times for users with an easy to understand, elegant UI. It leverages push notifications to alert you when pricing variations occur for your watched trips. Handy if you’d rather focus on other aspects of your vacation planning.

They’ve bolstered their feature set in recent months to include travel tips, and increased the amount of filtration on search results to include layovers, direct flights, and other finicky details that impact a user’s planning. For those of us with wanderlust, this is a real asset.

I’m a huge fan of the at-a-glance color coding, in-app animations, and the overall tone of the experience. The sign-up flow was also a delight, but the granular details are the big win for conversion: how much you save, how many seats are left, and you can close the sale in a couple of taps. On mobile devices, I expect a wicked simple checkout experience and Hopper delivers.

What websites or apps are you loving right now? Let us know in the comments!

One Background Image, Endless Options: Creating More Efficient Workflows in Project Felix


Creative Cloud

In 2016, Adobe asked a group of designers to use a pre-release version of Project Felix in their work. Their feedback allowed the Project Felix team to better meet users needs. In this editorial series, we share the experiences of some of those designers, what they learned, what they accomplished, and what they can do with Project Felix that they haven’t done before.

When the Beta version of Project Felix was released to the public in late 2016, it was quickly picked up by users like Victoria Pavlov, a commercial photographer and designer. Victoria’s clients depend on her designs to sell their products and services, so her tools must give her maximum flexibility to create what she wants, how she wants, quickly.

“Victoria has such enthusiasm,” says Chantel Benson, Project Felix product manager. “From day one, her images really have embodied what we love, which is creatives who feel empowered to make a whole new genre of work.”

We reached out to Victoria after seeing work she created using Project Felix on her Behance profile to talk to her about how Project Felix is helping with her design.Victoria began painting and taking photos at age 7. Since experimenting with her first camera, she has always relied on light to make her work come alive. Using Project Felix Victoria was able to simplify her workflow without sacrificing quality, specifically when it came to manipulating light.

Victoria uses a Beta version of Project Felix to create a scene for a coffee shop client. View the latest release of Project Felix here.

How does Project Felix fit into your current workflow?

Because I’m a photographer and digital artist, my primary applications are Adobe applications, for both mobile and desktop. It is easy for me to keep track of everything because it is all accessible on Creative Cloud. I can save a design in Project Felix and then open it in one of my primary applications, like Photoshop CC, and continue working on that platform. It is very, very flexible and enhances my production workflow. It is just very easy and very effective. I love it.

Victoria leans heavily on light manipulation to realistically modify 3D objects within a setting. In this version of Project Felix, she has added texture and color to her 3D object so it will reflect light with those properties. View the latest release of Project Felix here.

On your website, you say, “I spent about two years finding the lighting technique that I love.” How have you been able to use Project Felix to simplify your workflow but remain true to your signature lighting style.

In Project Felix, I can create light from a background image. I open Project Felix and import my background. Then, I add a 3D object, and using the Auto-IBL (image-based light) feature, I can use the light in the background image as the IBL — original light. It’s not complicated. With Project Felix it is easy; it is very, very easy. Everything looks natural and high quality.

Victoria’s coffee bag progresses as the bag is now behind other objects in the scene and also reflects lighting from her selected IBL in the Beta version of Project Felix. View the latest release of Project Felix here.

For example, Victoria shared how a client needed photos of pastries for a bakery. Weeks after she took those photos, the client wanted to promote a coffee line. Victoria uploaded one of the  images from the pastry shoot and applied it to the scene as the background image in the above examples and selected Auto-IBL to make sure the lighting from the background image matched the scene she was building in Project Felix. Then, Victoria added the coffee cup object to the scene.

Project Felix is helpful for my business because I can reuse background images and the Auto-IBL feature to create an image-based light to any scene.

You’ve been designing in one way or another nearly your whole life. How has your use of technology changed over the years as you embrace it into your design process?

Technology — I love it, I love it, I love it. With all of the innovation and advancements, I feel like I can do anything right now. Since Project Felix is part of the Creative Cloud family, I can create any project. I can jump between my applications. I can start even using my mobile application, jump back to Project Felix and from Project Felix to Photoshop, and to Premier. Technology makes my work so much easier, without losing things — like light — that make my design unique.

More samples of Victoria’s work with Project Felix can be found on her Behance profile and website. Stay tuned for more stories from designers who are discovering the possibilities that exist with photorealistic digital imaging.  

See what Project Felix can do for you.

Get creative with Project Felix by downloading the beta version and using it in your own projects. Then tell us about your experience and give us your feedback by visiting the UserVoice forum.

Behind the Scenes of Abstract: The Art of Design with Paula Scher


Creative Cloud

Netflix’s stunning eight-part docuseries, Abstract: The Art of Design, has started conversations about design around the world — and, we want to continue those conversations. In this editorial series, we sit down with some of the artists and designers featured in Abstract to go behind the scenes and gain a deeper view of their passions, their creative processes, and the role technology plays in their designs.

Paula Scher has been called the “most influential female designer in the world.” A principal at the New York office of international design firm, Pentagram, Paula has earned awards and renown for her work with design — specifically typography —since the 1980s. Her client list includes companies like Tiffany & Co., Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Citibank.

 

Our Q&A With Designer, Paula Scher

We caught up with Paula to talk with her about inspiration, process, fame, technology, and her episode of Abstract.

 

Have you watched your episode of Abstract?

I have. I actually had to watch it twice. The first time through, I think I was a little too self-conscious about being on the screen. I was paying too much attention to what I looked like and what I was saying. The second time through, I realized that they had actually done a pretty good job with it — especially with the animations. I really have to compliment them on what they did.

Paula gained design notoriety for the season posters she designed for the Public Theater, a project she continues to this day.

Have you watched other episodes? Did you gain any surprising insights from learning about other designers?

I was really interested in the differences between Christoph Niemann (the illustrator spotlighted in the first Abstract episode) and myself. For instance, he finds inspiration alone in a room, but I have to get out and interact with people. Further, it was interesting to see not only the similarities between graphic design and illustration — especially since my own husband is an illustrator — but also how different the two ways of life are.
I also enjoyed the episode about Platon and how he draws inspiration from his children for his photography. I thought it was great to watch the other episodes and learn more about where other creatives receive their inspiration. I can see how some of their methods would work for me and others wouldn’t.

Outside of her work at Pentagram, Paula paints a map series in her free time. Each map features a different theme like US interstates or median home prices. The maps keep her creative juices flowing.

Speaking of your methods, have you ever had a creative block? What did you do to get through it?

I think blocks are common to all creatives. For me, the solution is to get up and get moving. I can’t just sit there and puzzle my way through; I need to get up and find new inspiration. I can do that by talking to the team, looking at a book, watching a movie — just about anything can turn into inspiration.

 

That’s one of the things that is so amazing about living in New York. I can go outside, take a walk, and see so many different things. Every building is different — even down to the numbers on the fronts. There is so much to see, so many people. I draw inspiration from all of that.

 

Do you find that technology helps with your creative process? Is it easier to do your job now than it was 40 years ago when you first began?

Technology is a critical tool in what I do. Many times, I’ll sketch something up on a scrap of paper and show it to my team. Then, they put it in the computer, allowing us to go back and forth, fixing little things in a way we never could have done before.
This is especially true with 3D work. The technology makes everything so much faster, and it really helps with visualizing things. Rather than having to just imagine stuff, you can use the technology to reimagine it in new ways.

A poster from Paula’s 2016 series for the Public Theater.

What do you think is the biggest advantage of technology today?

Designing typography is a big thing for me, and recently, some new technologies have really helped with that. I think that’s the biggest advantage of the technology for me — it helps me correct my mistakes — sometimes, even before I make them. It’s great to dream something up and then see it instantly in space.

 

We once had to build 3D miniatures to get a feel for how things were going to look. Now, we can just put designs into the computer to get the same benefit — but without all the extra work. It’s much faster than it used to be.

 

Let’s say that a scrappy, young designer is watching your episode of Abstract. What is the primary message you want them to get from it? What inspiration do you hope they receive?

I think the biggest message is that you have to love what you do and stay positive. When you’re just starting out, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but those accidents are the things that will generate discoveries. As you get older, you’ll kind of learn what works and what doesn’t, but in a way, you’re also learning to restrict yourself. Starting out, you don’t have that. You can do anything — and that’s where the really creative stuff comes from.
So, you have to really love what you do to stick with it through the mistakes and come into your own. You’ll have bad days and crummy clients, but the design space is really getting better every year. The technologies — and, of course, the people — are making some really amazing things. I look forward to the future and what we’ll see there.

April Visual Trend: No Man is an Island

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Creative Cloud

As we celebrate Earth Day this month, we’re thinking about how we’re bound together by our relationship to the earth and our responsibility to care for it. This is not a novel concept – in 1624, John Donne published the famous words, “No man is an island.” He was recovering from loss and illness, and grappling with the meaning of interconnectedness:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

HIKOLAJ2 / ADOBE STOCK

With environmental crises in the headlines, and corporate environmental responsibility becoming more critical than ever, designers and marketers are seeking a balance between the two worlds, as well as nature images that inspire awe. We wondered how visual representations of nature might be changing, so we dove into our data from Adobe Stock to compare searches for nature versus urban settings.

GRACETHANG / ADOBE STOCK

Are we searching for nature or cities?

Our initial hunch was that far more designers and marketers would be searching for nature shots over urban images. After all, nature imagery can speak to our longing for balance and connection — it seems like a perfect match for marketing to our desires. But according to the Adobe Digital Insights (ADI), it turns out that over the last year, searches for both urban and natural settings grew, but urban scenes outgrew nature by 32 percent.

So was our original theory way off? To get more clarity from the data, we used natural language processing and some old-fashioned human expertise to look deeper into the natural and urban images people were searching for. That’s where we found something really interesting — the majority of urban images that people searched for (62 percent) embraced a balance between urban settings and nature. These were images like parks, gardens, bridges over rivers and streams, and lush landscaping surrounding man-made structures. Only 25 percent of the most-searched urban images were entirely man-made — subjects like a building, a concert venue, or graffiti on a wall.

We think this visual trend — images that show man-made structures in balance with natural elements — speaks to our growing urbanization. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 97 percent of the nation’s land area is rural, but only 19.3 percent of us live there. We are overwhelmingly urban, and as we separate ourselves from wild nature and open spaces, we’re searching for images that show there’s still a connection between the natural world and all that we’ve built.

READYTOGO / ADOBE STOCK

Is nature a respite or a threat?

Even with the surge in searches for nature-infused urban scenes, there are still a lot of searches for nature, so we took a deeper look at those — what are designers and marketers after? We wondered if they’re searching for the terrifying side of nature, or for nature as a peaceful respite from our stressed out daily lives. Our ADI team reports that searches for the gentle side — images that inspire awe and a sense of rejuvenation — grew two times faster than destructive images like fires, floods, and ruins. Only 13 percent of the nature images people searched for showed nature reclaiming what humans have built.

AMENIC181 / ADOBE STOCK

It’s a balancing act.

Our overall takeaway, after our deep dive into the data, is that designers and marketers are looking across the spectrum for images of urban and nature scenes, but there’s a strong desire to find the shots that show balance and positive co-existence between nature and our urban lives. And while there’s some demand for images of the dark side of nature, it’s a peaceful interconnectedness — the reminder that none of us is an island all alone — that drives the bulk of searches for nature imagery.

JACOB LUND / ADOBE STOCK

We’ll be thinking about nature and photography all this month, taking a closer look at conservation photography and trends in travel imagery. In the meantime, take in some inspiration through our dedicated gallery.

Introducing: The Make the Cut Judges


Creative Cloud

To be the best, you have to be judged by the best. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of a star-studded panel of judges for our Make the Cut video editing contest. Not up-to-speed on Make the Cut? Read here about the groundbreaking contest with Imagine Dragons to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Adobe Premiere Pro.

If you’ve entered the contest, chances are you’re patiently awaiting the final results. In the meantime, learn a little bit more about the judges who will be making the final call.

  

IMAGINE DRAGONS, the band, are originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, and are the chart-topping rock artists and winners of two American Music Awards for Favorite Alternative Artist, a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance, five Billboard Music Awards, and a World Music Award.

Consisting of lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, lead guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman, the band first gained exposure in 2012 with the releases of their debut studio album “Night Visions.” They were ranked at the top for Billboard’s 2013 “Year in Rock” and were named “Breakthrough Band of 2013”.

MATT EASTIN is not only the creative genius behind Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” video, he also directed and edited the band’s hit videos for “Roots” (2015) and “On Top of the World” (2013). Eastin is an accomplished editor working in music videos, films and TV and has brought music to life through video for popular artists including Mindy Gledhill, Joshua James and Neon Trees. 

BILLY FOX has lent his editing talents to a number of projects from television dramas and mini-serieses to feature films. Fox was co-producer and editor on the award-winning HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, co-produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

Fox’s feature credits include Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan, Straight Outta Compton and the 2011 remake of Footloose.

Fox is the recipient of 15 major awards and numerous nominations, including seven Emmys Award wins, two BDA Awards, The Monitor Award, The Peabody Award, The Golden Laurel and Humanitas Awards. He is currently editing Granite Mountain with director Joseph Kosinski.

KIRK BAXTER is a two-time Oscar winning editor with film credits including Gone Girl, House of Cards, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Baxter has worked with award-winning director David Fincher and editor Angus Wall – another one of our luminary judges for Make the Cut – on several occasions.

For his and Wall’s work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, they were nominated for the Academy Award for Film Editing, the BAFTA Award for Best Editing, and the American Cinema Editors Eddie Award. For their collaboration on The Social Network, Baxter and Wall won an Oscar and a BAFTA in 2011. The following year, they won their second Oscar for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

VINNIE HOBBS is an award-winning music video and film editor who has worked with artists including Kendrick Lamar, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, Drake, Kanye West and Skrillex.

For his work with some of the industry’s biggest stars, Hobbs was nominated for the MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing, and MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year for Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.” He received the MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video for Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”

ANN LEWNES is Adobe’s Chief Marketing Officer. Her creativity and passion for design and media shine through in her leadership of Adobe’s award-winning campaigns and industry-leading events, making Adobe one of the world’s most innovative, fastest-growing technology brands. She is a relentless champion of enabling creative expression among youth through communities such as Project 1324 and partnerships with organizations like Sundance to ignite filmmaking among next-gen creators. Ann is personally an avid supporter of independent films and was most recently an associate producer of Five Nights in Maine, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015.

Ad Age named her to The Creativity 50, a list honoring the most creative people of the year in 2015 and Business Insider named her one of the most innovative CMOs in the world in 2016. Ann serves on the boards of Mattel, the Ad Council and the Adobe Foundation.

ANGUS WALL is a Two-time Academy Award winning editor with credits including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network, and Fight Club.

Wall and fellow film editor Kirk Baxter – another one of our illustrious contest judges – won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for the 2010 film, The Social Network. The following year, they also received another Academy Award for their work in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Outside of film, Wall’s title design work on the HBO television series Carnivàle and Game of Thrones both received Emmy Awards in 2004 and 2011.

Accolades aside, our judges’ passion for creativity is enough to inspire fresh and seasoned filmmakers alike. We hope learning about these industry pros will inspire you to get out and keep creating, while they pore over the thousands of Make the Cut entries.

How to Land Your First UX Speaking Gig


Creative Cloud

A guide to landing your first speaking gig—whether it’s at your local meet-up, your alma mater or SXSW, here’s what you need to know.

There are hundreds of opportunities for UX designers to share their insights with others in the industry, and turning notes on a page into lessons on the stage is often easier than you might think.

Whether you’ve been sitting on a particular idea for a while or this is something that is completely new to you, this guide will walk you through the steps it takes to not only land your first speaking gig but to make an impact while you’re there. It is one thing to get up there and say something and another to do it with grace, passion and confidence.

If you’re an experienced communicator looking to shift from the boardroom to the conference room, feel free to skip a few steps. But if you’re new to this, read on to learn more about professional communication.

1. Practice Makes Progress

Very few people are natural-born communicators and commanders of the stage. Most of us need practice, and like anything else, the key to becoming a dynamite public speaker is to get as much of this practice as possible. This often includes creating your own opportunities to begin harnessing the power of your voice.

A few ways to practice public speaking include:

  • Speak up at work. One way to begin stepping outside of the comfort zone is to simply start speaking more. Whether it’s in the meeting room or to a member of your team, start vocalizing your approaches to a design, for example, and sharing your opinions. Seize these tiny opportunities.
  • Volunteer to present your research, prototypes or projects at your next team/company meeting. Find out what opportunities exist on both company and client sides so you can begin to experience speaking to a variety of audiences.
  • Talk to your leadership team about your desire to share your insights and find out what professional development opportunities exist at your company. Depending on where you work, there may be workshops or courses in place to aid employees in the development of leadership skills, or other opportunities to promote this growth.
  • Join an organization like Toastmasters to further develop your public speaking skills while also learning how to capture your audience and stop saying unintentional things like “um” and “ah.” These expressions can rob us of our impact in the public forum. Many workplaces have their own internal Toastmasters club, so find out if there’s already one in place at your company or partner up with a few others and consider starting one of your own.
  • Meetup.com is another avenue of opportunity. Find out if there are any events or workshops in your area geared to help you hone the art of public speaking.

2. Conduct User Research

You’re a designer, which means you likely have some experience with research. Use this to your advantage by applying this practice to your budding speaking career. Start going to industry conferences, meet-ups, workshops and events and take notes on how others communicate with their audiences. Do they combine visual components, use humor, or other cues to engage their audience? How does the audience respond?

More importantly, what is the speaker talking about? Are they presenting trends or findings, sharing stories of their experiences, motivating or inspiring others in the audience? What is it that brought them to that stage? Do you find their story compelling? Also, who is in the audience? Try to get a feel for the types of people who are interested in the style of content you want to share. How do they respond and what tools can you incorporate from other speakers to help keep your audience inspired and engaged? Don’t be afraid to take field notes.

3. Identify Your Hook

Start thinking not just about how to become a speaker with more conviction, but a speaker with something to say. What topics are you passionate about and why do you feel this desire to share them with others? Have you discovered something unique about your process, products or users that you can’t stop thinking about?

This is what’s called “a hook,” or a niche, that you can leverage to land your first speaking gig. Offering a take on something others haven’t seen before is one way to get your foot in the door. What can you provide that is worthwhile or beneficial to your audience?

4. Network, Network, Network

Speaking opportunities rarely manifest out of thin air, especially at the beginning. Most speakers have to work their way up to the level of a keynote speaker; so don’t be afraid to start small. Be proactive by actively seeking an opportunity rather than waiting for one to come to you.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Reach our to your college or university to find out what speaking opportunities exist there. Academia is always looking for alumni to return to campus to share their lessons and success stories.
  • Look to panel discussions. Joining a panel as a panelist will give you experience in the public eye without the weight of the presentation falling solely on you. Ask your company if they are participating in any upcoming conferences or events to see if there is an opportunity for you to step in.
  • Connect with colleagues that have spoken at events and get their advice on who to connect with about related opportunities.
  • Reach out to organizing committees of meet-ups, industry events, mixers, tradeshows and so on. Find out how you could potentially become involved in sitting on a panel or presenting your own work.
  • Ask Google. Use search terms like “call for speakers,” “speakers wanted,” “panelists wanted” and so on to see who is actively searching. Geo-target the search to your location to improve your results.
  • Be active in the community. Being engaged online through social media, writing blog posts, or by attending in-person events gives presence and exposure to your ideas. When organizers are booking speakers and panelists, they like knowing that person is involved in the industry and connected with the community.

5. Let Your Speaking Career Take Flight

That first speaking gig doesn’t have to be a mind-blowing TED Talk; it’s more about getting experience in the public eye.

Though it might be ideal if it’s related to your career or the topics that you want to talk about, if that seems unrealistic at this moment don’t fret. Dig into your hobbies and see what opportunities exist there. Perhaps you can speak to your local bird-watching group about where to spot the elusive Snow Goose, or whatever else niche interest you may have.

Remember, all of this comes back to the simple principle of having something say.

The worst speech you’ll ever give will be far better than the one you never give.

~ Fred Miller