It’s hard to believe that a year’s passed since Adobe unveiled Stock, Artboards and a whole load of cool new features in their desktop and mobile apps. Now, they’re at it again, with the 2016 update to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. This comes replete with a whole arsenal of new creative tools and improvements across Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects and more, as well as always-welcome performance improvements.
Our pick of the new features
With dozens of new features available for desktop apps as well as mobile and Adobe Stock, we’d be here all day talking about every one, so we’ll concentrate on the main apps that our creative team use day-in, day-out (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro and After Effects, mainly), and some of the tools and workflow improvements they’re most excited about.
Photoshop. With every new iteration of Photoshop, there are always one or two big crowdpleasers, and this time round is no different. The Content-Aware tools were a real game-changer when they were originally released, and the new Content-Aware Crop, which fills in the gaps when you rotate an image or expand your canvas, looks very handy indeed.
The one that we’ve had the most fun with so far, though, is Face Aware Liquify, a very clever tool for detecting and magically making adjustments to facial features in images. Graphic designer Liana had a play with an unsuspecting subject’s face below, and had this to say: “On first play, it’s really good, detecting faces straight away and very accurately. You can use the sliders or grab the various facial features, and to be honest I wasn’t expecting there to be so many options, eg eye tilt or distance. Obviously these examples are the extremes, but I think this would be very useful in making subtle changes.” Cheers, Li…
Another new Photoshop feature of interest is Match Font, which identifies Latin fonts in images. “It’s recommended to get a straight-on image, so I did a quick Perspective Warp because the photo was at an angle,” Liana said. “It did seem a bit hit and miss (just nudging the box along could make it come up with different results even though the text was still in the box). But even though it didn’t find the font that we’ve used here, it did come up with similar suggestions. I love the fact that it searches Typekit too, which is obviously really handy. I think this is a good tool to get a similar style font and various options, but maybe not if you really need ‘that exact font’.”
Illustrator. No silly faces in this one, unfortunately, just cold hard workflow improvements. The latest update for Illustrator features Fast Export of assets and artboards. When you need an icon scaled for multiple screen sizes, instead of exporting each size configuration individually, now you can export the icon across all the required size configurations at the same time with just one click, which is going to make life a lot easier for our design team.
Premiere Pro and After Effects. Earlier this year at NAB 2016, Adobe made a big announcement about upcoming updates to their core Creative Cloud for teams (CCT) video apps. They promised VR video capabilities and faster than ever media ingest and editing workflows in Premiere Pro CC, as well as a more responsive After Effects (as well as the usual performance and stability enhancements across all the Adobe video and audio applications). And with this update, they’ve made good on their word.
New Virtual Reality features have been added to Premiere Pro, including a ‘field of view’ mode which makes it easy for editors and filmmakers to preview media and see what the viewer will see. Then there’s the new Character Animator in After Effects, which makes it easy to match an animated character to a real-life actor’s speech and movements in real time. If you’re a Simpsons fan, you’ll be interested to know that this latest update was recently tested by The Simpsons’ animation team when they used it for Homer Simpson’s live Q&A session in the 15th May episode.
Creative Cloud Libraries. Creative Cloud Libraries was a big hit with our design team when it first came out, meaning easier access to key tools, colours, fonts and more. And now it’s even better, with read-only library collaboration, followable Libraries with a Send Link, an updated Libraries panel for Photoshop CC, Dreamweaver CC (Beta), Adobe Muse CC and Animate CC, and new asset type support for InDesign CC, including gradients, colours, styles, tints and swatches.
When can I get them?
As always, if you’re a current Creative Cloud for teams subscriber, you get all new updates immediately for free. A notification should have pinged up in your Creative Cloud app. If you don’t currently hold an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription though, you can of course get in touch with us, as the UK’s leading Adobe reseller, to get it all sorted.
– Want to get the most out of Adobe Creative Cloud? For tutorials, tips and other resources, check out our Adobe Creative Cloud Hub.
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