Changes We Wish Adobe Would Make to Creative Cloud

Changes We Wish Adobe Would Make to Creative Cloud

Adobe is known as being the creator of Photoshop. Then, they went and bought Macromedia in 2005 which changed the game a lot for the creative industry. Since then, apps were bundled, we’ve moved to a subscription model with  Creative Cloud, and all the apps now work together intuitively. I have a great respect for the company that makes the software I use every day. But there are certain workflows that I think can improve. And, being a photographer and videographer, my advice and opinion stretches across most of the apps they have. Let’s go through each one of them, and hopefully get some input with regards to the changes you'd like to see them make.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Renders with Adobe Premiere apparently take a lot longer than renders with Final Cut Pro. According to the guys using both, 4K footage in Final Cut is a breeze, as the app is optimized for the Mac. “It’s like magic!” is not something you hear from the Premiere camp very often unless you have built some sort of super computer. I’m ok with waiting for it, my Creative Cloud subscription gives me more than Apple’s Final Cut will. But I hate wasting time. Adobe can surely start using the mobile Creative Cloud app to send through notification when my Mac is finished rendering the video. It's all connected anyway, so let's make use of it Adobe.

Adobe can also make it possible to record a screen with Adobe Premiere Pro. Editors can then include their screen into the video they are producing with ease. It is a video editor, I get it, but we as videographers use the media online more and more in our work. This can be a great add on to Premiere’s capabilities.

And finally, the ability to edit multi-cam footage as it plays through. So you can play four or 6 compositions simultaneously and select which one best suits the video at that specific moment in time. I imagine it to be something similar to the editing of a live news or sports feed where the editor chooses which camera to switch to to best show the sports or news to the viewer as it happens.

Adobe Bridge

It's a file management App. I get it. But, you can also import files from cards, apply raw develop settings to a batch of images, and filter through your 5-star rated images. So if I can import, why can’t I tether? It’s a form of importing is it not? I must be able to select where the files must go, and also give a second location for backup. I don’t use Lightroom because I always go through Photoshop with masking, duplicating layers, and using adjustment layers that I rather go to it directly. Bridge’s tethering will make it even better.

Secondly, I want the ability to select a few images and click a mood-board key which creates a mood-board for me where I can move and scale the images around. The ability to add text must be there too, as well as the ability to choose the paper stock size. This isn’t for production. This is for planning, pre-production, where I go to see clients with ideas and I add a lot of production value to my meeting and client experience if I can have a printed mood-board to indicate the ideas I have for the shoot. It can even be built on the back-bone of InDesign.


Can we add the raw module as an adjustment layer already? Instead of having to duplicate the layer, add the effects and not being able to go back unless it’s a smart object really isn’t the most intuitive, and things can surely be different.

When making a selection with the Pen Tool, I want to be able to Select and Mask there and then. Currently, I right-click, make the selection, go to the Magic Wand Tool or the Marquee tool to get the option to Select and Mask at the top. This used to be the Refine Selection, but it’s a step forward for me.

With regards to the interface, if you press F once you get a gray full screen background that you can spacebar-click to get to where you want to be on the image. If you press F again, all the tools disappear, making me believe there are certain people in this world who know all the shortcuts. I'm not one of them. Make the menus on the top, the tools on the left and the layers panel on the right appear when your mouse touches the edge of the screen, the same way the Mac's dock pops up when you hover the mouse at the bottom of your screen.


Now audio has never been Adobe’s strong point, but this year they showed some real developments with regards to the editing of this medium. What I think will integrate it more within the workflow eco system is to give it the Premiere or After Effects editing screen like you can with Apple’s Logic and Final Cut Pro. It’s a great workflow, and surely something I think they can focus on.



Behance was acquired by Adobe a couple of years back. Since then it’s grown a lot and Adobe gave us a way to present our portfolios in a custom domain using the Behance backend with They also brought out two mobile apps. One, to view your feeds of the people you follow, and the other to display your work in a presentable way.

What I believe the next step is, is to develop a way to connect teams based on location. An example of it’s use would be arranging of a shoot. If I can get the stylist, videographer, make up artist all by using this new app, it can be a massive advantage for me as photographer. Now I know there is almost no incentive for them to develop it, but their API is out there for a third party developer team to take a crack at it.  People will pay for it, and actually subscribe. Behance’s costs are too high though.

After Effects

After Effects is an amazing app. It is intuitive, has all the capabilities you need to produce great motion graphics. One of the things I think can improve is the timeline. It’s bars. In Premiere we can scroll up and down and get the pen tool in there to fade out from one shot to the next. It’s also "messier" and doesn’t line-up as intuitively as Premiere does. This is definitely something they can improve on.

When importing a PSD into After Effects, you can either import a flattened image, or you can import a layer. It can surely be possible to import the layers all as is, as layers into After Effects.  


These are some of the changes I reckon will improve the general workflow of the photographer, videographer, and general creative person using these tools. If any of the changes are possible already, please share it in the comments. Also, if you have any changes that I haven’t mentioned, please share that too! If you're not an Adobe user, and you want to find out more, you can find out more on their site.



Wouter du Toit's picture

Wouter is a portrait and street photographer based in Paris, France. He's originally from Cape Town, South Africa. He does image retouching for clients in the beauty and fashion industry and enjoys how technology makes new ways of photography possible.

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We just realized after updating Premiere Pro CC 2017 that Adobe has removed many of the graphics cards it allows for Mercury Playback Engine. They also removed the CUDA file you used to be able to hack to include many graphics cards not on the list. In many cases the gfx cards we have are even more powerful than the ones included in the list but now you cannot add them to the CUDA_Supported_Cards.txt file

I kind of wish we never updated to 2017 and stayed with 2015 :(

where is the link to this info?

Plus if you go to the programs/adobe/premiere cc 2017 folder you can see the CUDA file isn't even in there anymore.

You can roll back your installation. Just uninstall and cancle when it reaches about 90%. The last 10% is usually the update package. There may also be an option to install previous versions.

The problem is we pay for 4 adobe accounts and have up to 8 computers running Premiere for various video projects. The second any one of those computers has a different install it becomes an absolute nightmare opening the files.

Obviously you can't open new projects with older software but the stupid thing I've seen Adobe do is sometimes the latest software can't open older projects. It drives me NUTS! 95% of the time the latest install will simply say it needs to save a new version because the file is from an older install but 5% of the time it will act as if the older file is corrupt and won't open it at all.

Nothing causes a bigger argument in our office than when someone updates premiere to .1 or .2 without asking and suddenly no one can open their project. I think the entire Fstoppers office actually skipped the entire CC 2016 version and only recently updated from 2015 to was a stressful 2 months :(

Luckily I haven't had this issue often with Photoshop and older psd files.

this has led me to go back to doing quick turnaround jobs in CS6 because render times are quicker with my non-listed nVidia card

Ah, here is another issue I remember finding a few days ago. In Premiere CC 2017, if you drag jpegs into your project, Premiere fails to recognize the orientation embedded into the exif. So if you are trying to place a vertical image, it will import sideways. I've seen this on Nikon files, Canon Files, Phase One files (those are fun in Premiere), and iPhone files. Even if you batch them through lightroom or bridge to try to embed the orientation again, Premiere still fails to adjust them.

The only solution I've found is to open them in photoshop and resave them. For some reason this works despite every other software opening them up correctly. Some people would say you can just add -90 on the rotation in Premiere but if Premiere ever starts working correctly again I worry all those images will rotate the additional 90 degrees and mess everything up.

you can edit multcam in real time, you need to open de multcan editor ("button editor" (+ icon in the program window) {shift+0} keyboard shortcut

This feature has been there for quite a few years now. 10 years maybe.

I have a lot more requests but you did a good job and I don't like to "pile on."

Share it Patrick, we'd love to know.

Adobe Lightroom
I'd like to see support for .psb files (large photoshop file format). I'm working with a 42mp camera, and in commercial photography, it's not uncommon to get into large format files. Lightroom should be able to read those files, but Adobe currently doesn't support it...Also, tethering support for Sony would be great without the use of the work around "watched folder."

Lightroom Mobile
Lightroom Mobile is pretty great. But I would really like to see tethered capture integrated into this mobile platform and the ability to work on a calibrated monitor using the xrite software Color True with the i1Display Pro.

Adobe Bridge
I agree, it would be nice to see tethered capture in Adobe Bridge. I actually enjoy using it as a file browser for various adobe files. Much better than using the finder window on a mac.

Adobe My Portfolio
I really like what Adobe did with the recent update. Responsive design is the way to go. I think having the ability to have a dedicated blog, seo, video home screen and maybe a way to sell your prints are license images could sway me to leave my current website platform, especially since it's included in our creative cloud subscriptions.

Adobe Premiere
I think the new Proxy workflow for working with 4K footage is fantastic. Maybe even with a high end Mac, lets say Final Cut exports a little faster. At least we know Adobe isn't going to stop making Premiere Pro any time soon. Apple has been known to stop development of their "pro" apps, which sucks for people who rely on those workflows

Downloading Creative Cloud Apps
Has anyone else had issues with downloading new versions of any of these apps? I had a Lightroom issue recently where I kept getting an error when I would try to download the update. The LR wouldn't work at all. I ended up having to delete a file; following the path of the error message to get it to properly download the update.

I absolutely love Premiere compared to Final Cut. Even if exporting is slower, thats a 1 step process, and should be outsourced to Media Encoder anyway. Virtually every other element of Premiere is faster than FCPX.... importing, rendering, playback, scrubbing, and the project management tool for file sharing with other users is absolutely superb.

And 360° editing in photoshop, thats for sure!

I'm surprised you don't seem to be asking for a whole lot from Adobe.
I'm mainly Lightroom and Photoshop
My overall comment would be how about getting some users into a room and see what baffles them about Photoshop and learn some lessons on how it could be more intuitive to use.
For Photoshop
A tool that intelligently selects a person and their hair from the background would be a great step forward.
Have some of the Camera Raw Tools as tools on the Desktop. eg Simple graduated filters, adjustment brushes, clarity etc
Give us some wow - look at all the plugins developed by Photoshop and ask why are we provided these tools to our subscribers
For Lightroom
Can we have a content aware eraser like Photoshop - this would reduce the trips to Photoshop

"My overall comment would be how about getting some users into a room and see what baffles them about Photoshop and learn some lessons on how it could be more intuitive to use."

I don't think PS is hard to use as such. I can teach someone the basics of PS pretty quickly. What is hard is the almost infinite options/combinations you have available to you.The only way to make PS easier in that respect is to remove functionality.

You actually can have the tools when in Full Full-screen mode, just press TAB.

Thank you very much!

Shift+tab hides panel only.

I was so desperately hoping that the new update of camera raw a few days ago will finally bring updated profiles for Fujifilm. But nothing..Instead they include go Pros. Lightroom has serious interface issues that have to be updated and made more intuitive Adobe monopolized the market for RAW processing for a while and got lazy. Now the concurrence overtook them. Too bad. They should definitely support more cameras.

I just get affinity photo for 40 Euro ... so bye bye adobe . what was enough was naught ..

In Bridge, it's constantly making thumbnails. Could be because I'm opening folders full of 4000 images, but every time I switch the camera raw defaults, it decides to re-do all the thumbnails.

So on an average work day, about 80% of my processor power goes to making thumbnails. Opening a raw file takes forever. Because bridge is in the background. Making thumbnails. Always. So much processor power.

Tip: enlarge your dedicated cache space for Bridge and/or purge it:

When I do that, it's got space to make more thumbnails. That actually makes it worse.

You can also enable 'use embedded thumbnails' and see the jpeg version stored in raw file. YOu won't be able to see your raw edits, but if you just want to make a quick cull it's handy. Then you can filter to your selects and let Br render the raw file version.

That's not an option I can see.

2017cc is riddled with bugs and bullshit, it was clearly launched too early with no development testing.

I agree, Premiere has quit on me over four times on one day. This never happened before the update to 2017.

Fstoppers skipped CC 2016 altogether but I haven't had any trouble with 2017 yet....fingers crossed, knock on wood. The only problem I've had is some of our beefier graphics cards aren't recognized by Mercury Playback anymore which sucks. I'm sure issues will pop up eventually but 2015 def gave us problems from time to time. Anyone had the issue where the preview screen goes black but the audio plays and you have to solve it by rebooting?

Hmmm, unless these features have changed recently (I'm a few versions behind right now!), some of the things listed here are already possible...
Premiere: add the Multi-camera Record button to your toolbar
Bridge: select the desired photos and go to Tools - Photoshop - Contact Sheet
Photoshop: press F for full screen then use TAB to toggle the tool windows
After Effects: import your .psd as a Composition

Thanks for this. I think the contact sheet is great, but it lays it out in Photoshop. I would like to be able to choose from a selection of layouts, and be able to do it in InDesign. But this might be too Apple-style template-based thinking right?

Here is an adobe forum link where everyone is complaining.

Here is another little thing that drives me crazy and it's been in every Premeire release AFAIK. When your effects control is scaled within a certain size, the keyframes hide behind the position numbers. They really need to make it so that the numbers push closer together or something so that they keyframe isn't hidden behind the numbers. I know this seems insignificant but I have to resize my effects control panel all the time when this happens. It drives me crazy

It's the small things that count forsure. Does it happen in the edit or effects workspace? I mainly do keyframing in AE, but this will make me crazy too. Maybe a larger monitor will stretch everything out and solve the problem?

I'm sure a larger monitor would solve the problem but this is already with 2 24" monitors. The problem gets even worse on a laptop.

do you maximise the effects control panel by hovering mouse over it and pressing "~" It can be pretty quick to do with all panels as needed then another press to take back to normal...only way I can edit on a 14' laptop when necessary

I didn't know that shortcut but that's a great little tip!

Maybe it is already possible (and I just haven't figured it out yet) but I would like to be able to write Photoshop actions in a simple text editor. Using the recorder is a bit awkward.

With a graphic design background I use inDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom every single day and how I WISH that the Adobe teams would talk to each other. Why does one thing in Photoshop have to look and act different in inDesign or Illustrator. Simple, stupid things like the swatch pallet. Why can't it be the same across all apps – why can I drag a swatch to the fill or stroke in Illustrator but I can't do it in inDesign, I can only drag a colour to either the stroke or the fill dependent on what is selected as the front swatch?

Why does Illustrator have such a terrible find and replace fonts tool which looks and acts like its a leftover from 10 years ago where-as the same tool in inDesign is amazingly good, well designed, works easily without making the whole computer system slow down.

Why can't I create a document in Photoshop with the option of making the document have a bleed area of a specified size like I can in inDesign and Illustrator – and on that point why has the 'Create New Document' dialog box been updated in Illustrator and Photoshop to be the same (minus the option of bleed in Photoshop) but inDesign has been left as is.

Lightroom really needs to have better options to create PDF contact sheets, introduce the 'Export to PDF' function from inDesign or Illustrator, most of my clients want to see a PDF contact sheet anyway as it can just be emailed off very quickly – and on that why do I have to Export to PDF from inDesign but in Illustrator I have to 'Save as' or 'Save a copy'?

It's just stupid little things that it seems as though every team treats their app as a seperate entity instead of bringing them all together as a cohesive unit.

I'd give this post 100 likes if I could! I've been saying the same for years now on the Adobe Forums about the disparate panels, functions, features that do the same thing... just different... in all of the CC Suite programs. Thanks for reminding me of how much time and stress for not even bothering anymore.

It's because the teams are all separate. Which kind of negates buying a suite of products in many ways. It also means they keep having to reinvent stuff that already exists.
However compared to even just 10 years back they are way, way more cohesive than they used to be. Products looked like they were designed by different companies - which they were.

an FYI for creating selections from paths in Photoshop, if you have the paths pallet open simply hold down the command key (on a mac) and click on your path in the pallet and it makes a selection instantly, no right clicking, no having to enter a feather number. I didn't even know there was another way to do it that took that long! It makes a different looking cursor over the path once the 'Command' key is pressed. You can do the same thing with a mask in PS too by holding the 'Command Key' and clicking a mask it automatically brings up that same cursor and then clicking will instantly select the mask.

This is a great tip.

Nice old trick... however I find that using the path on a vector mask and adding a 0.5px feather from the Mask Panel is far better for some things. The hard edge from a simple, no-feather path select will come back to haunt you later when sharpening and/or dropping into a different layout/resizing etc.

I always feather my initial selection before creating the mask by either using a simple 'select > feather' function or the refine edge or more recently the select and mask tool before committing to the mask, the quick select is just the initial convenience. I rarely use a non-feathered, hard mask as a finished mask – it's only ever the quick first step.

Me, I need my license to allow for 3, not 2 stations. I have a work station, a home desktop and a laptop. All serve a purpose. Im happy to pay for an upgrade thats somewhere less than a second licence.

Lightroom: I work with 4+ other creatives that need access to my images. Both near real-time and an archive of some 60,000 that are fairly well ID'd and can be searched. I havent found a practical solution other than giving the access via LogMeIn.

I'm a little confused by these requests because many of them already exisit in the Adobe products and have for some time. Multi-Cam editing in Premiere. Import Layers retain layer size in After Effects.

I get the impression a lot of your requests come from not knowing the software.

Yeah, sounds like we need some articles on how to do these things. Multicam has been in Premiere for at least 4-5 years although it was really confusing to implement. The second I figured it out, I would forget how to do it again and just started manually cutting from my 3-4 cameras.

A big problem with tools/techniques is that if you only use them very occasionally then you tend to need to have to relearn them each time. The best thing to do is with each new process or technique you learn [in any kind of situation] is do it several times shortly after learning so it becomes ingrained.Trying to recall how to do something is you can fix things in your memory.

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