Originally, the idea of a “creative cloud” was difficult for many to grapple when it was first announced. When I spoke to him about a year ago, Photoshop mastermind Jeff Chien understood how we felt: Adobe couldn’t just put the software in the cloud and actually expect it to be an improvement. It had to mean more. Since then, Adobe has been trying to get to the point where the public would be on the same page as them in this regard. They might be getting there with today’s announcements, which are expanding the connectivity of your accounts in CC in ways that finally make the CC model begin to make sense.
It’s been a rough go for Adobe in the past year and a half since the previous Adobe MAX when CC was first announced. With what amounted to likely the worst general public opinion dip the company had ever seen followed by hacked accounts and downed servers keeping customers from accessing their own software, it’s been a bumpy road for them. But, as expected, Adobe has remained firm in their vision and those of us not blinded by emotions have been able to see the advantages of having a cloud-based platform… or at least we could see a future where the advantages mattered.
That future might be starting today, if what Adobe has announced works the way they describe.
Though the keynote and additional announcements where we have been promised the real meat of updates to the desktop apps is yet to come, we were briefed on part of what Adobe plans to discuss today at MAX: mobile apps and a connected creative interface. Mr. Sutton is covering the app market, so make sure you read his full breakdown if you’re interested in what Adobe has planned for your mobile devices. But stick around here if you want to know how Adobe is connecting you to all your projects, graphics, objects, texts, colors, fonts and even jobs.
The New “Creative Profile” Maintains Your Identity Within the CC Universe
Adobe has stated that workspaces and personal settings should already connect across different computers, but in my experience that has been a bit mixed. It never seemed to work quite right for me, and I’ve basically given up on trying to sync my workstations across computers are this point. In that regard, the new release includes what Adobe is calling the “Creative Profile” which links you to your work better, giving you a unique identity withing the CC world. This profile will connect you with your assets: Files, photos, colors, brushes, shapes, fonts, text styles, graphics, and anything else you sync with your profile will be readily available. Hopefully it will help keep us linked to our content no matter what workstation we are on. It also links to the new apps that Adobe has released, making your entire creative workflow seamless among programs and hardware.
Some New Features for Desktop Applications
Somewhat disappointingly, Adobe remained, at least so far, silent on anything groundbreaking in terms of advancement in their desktop software, instead focusing on networking and app development. However, there are a few touches that Windows users will enjoy.
Touch support on Windows 8 devices for key design applications is now supported, expanding Adobe’s apparent partnership with Microsoft and rewarding those who have stuck with the beleaguered operating system which is finally starting to carry its weight.
Other stuff: Adobe also has upgraded their Mergcury Graphics Engine performance in Photoshop CC, giving new 3D print features; interactive EPUB support in InDesign CC; SVG and Synchronized Text support in Muse CC; GPU-optimized playback for viewing high resolution 4K and UltraHD footage in Premiere Pro CC; and HiDPI and new 3D support in After Effects CC.
That is a rather short list, and we expect a lot more today at MAX. However, their choice to reveal this information to us now is indicative of Adobe’s move this year at MAX to focus on frictionless creative workflows, opting to spend more time on the networks then they have in the past.
A Smarter Cloud
Building on the networking and behind-the-scenes software advancements, Adobe also is adding a few new services (in addition to file sharing, Behance and Typekit) to the mix:
- Creative Cloud Market is a collection of high-quality, curated content that’s freely accessible to Creative Cloud members. Access and use thousands of professionally crafted files, including user interfaces, patterns, icons, brushes and vector shapes, to speed through desktop and mobile projects.
- Creative Cloud Libraries is a powerful asset management service that lets creatives easily access and create with colors, brushes, text styles, and vector images through Creative Cloud desktop, mobile apps and services. Creative Cloud Libraries connects desktop tools like Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC to each other -- and to companion mobile apps.
- Creative Cloud Extract is a cloud-based service that reinvents the Photoshop CC comp-to-code workflow for web designers and developers, letting them share and unlock vital design information from a PSD file (such as colors, fonts and CSS) to use when coding mobile and desktop designs.
This is all well and good, but unfortunately doesn’t address much of anything for photographers, and maybe has implications for large scale filmmakers or video teams. The real advancement here is the connected workflows, which is still more something that would appeal to visual designers, sketch artists and the like.
The most exciting update Adobe brought to the table thus far is, in my opinion, the new talent search connectivity within Behance: Creative Talent Search.
Adobe is capitalizing on the plethora of amazing artists that currently use Behance, and entering the talent search space, looking to connect creative across the globe with job opportunities from top brands and companies. They will be encouraging hiring managers to search Behance for specific experts and provide them with a body of work up front.
Custom algorithms will recommend candidates for roles and get smarter the more a recruiter uses the system. Also, public postings will advertise job opportunities to the millions of creatives on Behance. Additional information is available at: https://www.behance.net/talentsearch.
If you weren’t sure why you needed Behance at this point, the addition of Talent Search should now be the prime incentive. It remains to be seen how well Talent Search will literally pay off for artists, and I’m sure Adobe will be eager to show off the most successful Behance talent hookups in the months to come. However, it can’t possibly hurt to put your work on Behance now.
Talent Search is an excellent addition, but actually succeeding in a crowded, dated and stubborn hiring industry will take some work on Adobe’s part. Notice how Adobe mentions that the system will get smarter, but it will take use in order for it to get there. Hopefully Adobe can get that use, and get it quickly to help the ecosystem grow. Luckily the company is massive and holds significant pull in related markets. I think Talent Search can be a success, but how quickly it can compete with companies like LinkedIn remains to be seen. Personally I’m excited to get away from the traditional resume-based hiring platform and move towards a more talent-based acquisition system.
There isn’t a lot of sizzle so far to Adobe’s MAX updates, at least not yet. We will be bringing you everything they announce at the keynote as it happens. Keep your eyes on our Twitter feed for at-a-glance info. With regards to what we do know, what Adobe is doing may not be hugely exciting but it is important. For all of us deeply ingrained in the Adobe system, it is in our best interest to root for Adobe’s success. Today’s announcements should give you a good idea of where Adobe wants to take CC. Hopefully their goals for the future align with your expectations.
As I said, we will be covering more from Adobe in the coming hours and live-tweeting during the Keynote with anything and everything they held back in the pre-event briefings. For that, you’re already in the right place at Fstoppers.com.
It's been a year or more since this CC / Cloud thing came online.
I was a big opponent of it at the time, and just figured I'd wait it out. I mean..... what choice was there?
So after this year of evaluation and looking at benefit vs. costs vs. releases etc... I stand by my original take on this Adobe thing. They did very little to make believers out of people with a CC, and then, the 2014 release. And the filter / RAW / additions have been really....few and far between.
'The cloud' aspect is just that.. A cloud. I don't use it. I would have much preferred to have a major update once every 16 months with a small patch in there for good measure that this... a bill of goods that hasn't really lived up to the hype. But then again, what really does nowadays?
This thing is, if you're not an early adopter, you're responding to the marketplace and the movement of technological advancement. I'd rather Adobe pave the way for this ecosystem than to be playing catch up (granted there isn't a lot of competition to their product lineup).