Now that it has been over two years since we made the move from Creative Suite to Creative Cloud, we thought we’d put together our top three features for both creative and IT users. Here’s what we came up with…
If there’s one thing we love about Creative Cloud, which we didn’t get with Creative Suite, it’s that we always get access to new updates as soon as they’re available. Adobe are constantly adding new features and productivity enhancements to core apps. For instance, in the 2015 update our favourite app, Photoshop, is now 120 times faster than Creative Suite 6 and now comes with new features like artboards and Device Preview to make it easier to design for different devices, so you can deliver your work at much better quality in quicker time frames.
Not only do we not have to keep our voices down in this library, but we can also store all of our custom images, brushes, text styles and colours (for quick access whenever and wherever we need them), we can even share libraries with the right people at the push of a button, so it’s easy to keep designs consistent. These can even be linked so if they’re changed they will automatically update across any projects they’re being used in.
When you take out a Creative Cloud for teams licence, not only do you get access to all the wonderful, newly updated apps, but you also get support thrown in too. You have access to a 24/7 support line, so if you run into any difficulties you can phone an Adobe Product Expert for advice. There’s also hundreds of online tutorials and product guides to follow and pick up new skills from.
Simplified licence management
Creative Cloud makes managing licences and keeping compliant far simpler for businesses. For a start, we can manage all our purchases under one agreement, rather than loads of individual licences, and an online Admin Console lets us easily add, assign and re-assign seats to users across the business. It all means we have greater visibility and better budget predictability.
Another feature that IT admins are going to love is Adobe Packager. This lets us ‘package’ all our Creative Cloud apps, or create customised subsets of specific apps for specific teams. The app packages can then be deployed to users across the organisation, either over the network, via external storage devices, or through mobile device management (MDM) solutions. Creative Cloud also lets us allow team members to self-install updates, or do it centrally, so we can install updates whenever’s convenient, and ensure version parity across all desktops.
Creative Cloud now comes with dedicated 24/7 technical support, so any admins needing help out of office hours can connect with an Adobe rep either over the phone or web to resolve critical issues, minimise creative downtime and keep teams running smoothly. To help with startup, Adobe also offer free live onboarding sessions as online webinars, which walk through the basics of Creative Cloud and VIP step by step.
We answer our most asked Adobe Creative Cloud questions and put the myths to rest…
Do I have to run CC apps in my web browser?
No. It may be called Creative Cloud, but you aren’t confined to cloud and web-based services. Certain aspects are web-based, like the online training tutorials and the cloud storage, but your core apps still run on your desktop.
Do I need to be constantly connected to the internet?
You will need to be connected to the internet when you install and license your software, but once you’re up and running you don’t need an internet connection. However, you’ll need to make sure you connect your CC-running devices to the internet once per month, just so that Adobe are aware that your membership is still current.
Do I have to buy a complete membership?
If you’re likely to use a range of CC apps then we’d recommend you buy Creative Cloud Complete, but if you know you’ll only need one or two applications, you can purchase single app subscriptions.
Do I have any control over updates?
As a Creative Cloud subscription holder, you’ll have access to all the latest updates as soon as they’re available. But you can download them at your leisure – they won’t automatically download. If you’d like greater control over updates, Creative Cloud packager allows you to centrally choose when applications are updated. You can even have access to archived versions of Creative Suite if you need them.
Do I have to use cloud storage?
As part of your subscription you are given 100GB of cloud storage – whether you want to use this is up to you. Your IT departments are able to set access rights for teams using Creative Cloud, so you can decide whether you’d like your users to have access to cloud storage or not.
Whether you opt for a Mac desktop like Mac Pro or iMac, or you decide on a class set of Mac notebooks like MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, managing your Mac estate and integrating it into the classroom can seem like a daunting challenge. But fear not, our 20 years of experience in the industry has taught us valuable skills, which we’ve turned into services to help educational institutions from primary level to higher and further education integrate Mac into their existing IT infrastructure. Here’s a rundown of how we can help you…
Control your Mac estate using Windows servers
If you’re currently running a PC environment, you might have your doubts about bringing in Mac, thinking you’ll need Mac-specific accessories to manage them. Where we can help is by setting your new Mac estate up to run off your existing Windows servers, so you’ll have the same level of control and safety over your new machines as you do on your existing PC network.
Setting up virtual Windows desktops on Mac machines
If you’re going to be using Mac and PC, you’ll be happy to hear that you can run Windows on your Mac. Your Mac computers will come with the Boot Camp function built in, which allows your students (or staff) to select which operating system they’d like to run when their machine starts up. It’s worth noting though, that if you wanted to switch between operating systems you’d need to reboot your computer. So, if you’re looking for something a little more robust, our engineers can set you up with software like Acronis Access Connect, which ensures students on either platform can see the same files and access the same printers.
Readying your current IT infrastructure
Before you even start thinking about integrating new technologies, it’s vital that your existing ones are able to deal with the change. We can send a member of the team round to scope out your servers, WiFi and the rest of your existing setup and estates to make sure you’re ready for the arrival of your shiny new Mac computers.
A final note…
While it’s all well and good having shiny tech, it seems almost redundant if your staff don’t know how to use it. We offer a range of Apple education training to get your staff up to speed on their tech in next to no time. Head on over to our Apple in education training webpage to see how we can help.
Want to find out more about our Apple for education services? Visit our webpage here, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.
After over a month away, we’re back to our creative best and paying homage to the quintessentially British sporting event gracing our television screens for the next two weeks, Wimbledon. So while we marvel over why a pineapple sits proud atop the Men’s Singles trophy, here’s a look at our tennis inspiration for the week…
For our next piece of Wimbledon inspiration we’ve selected this concept design for a Wimbledon app. We love the clean layout of and think it strikes a great balance between design, branding and user experience.
Originally created for the 2015 French Open, this set of cute animations were part of IBM’s interactive campaign for the tournament. There were eight animations in total, that were displayed via large-scale advertisements around Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Roland-Garros stadium. We’d love these to make an appearance at this year’s Wimbledon – especially if a strawberries and cream animation could be made!
If you’re like us, and are not the most athletic of people, you’ll love this racket designer we came across on Head.com. Rather than having to do actual physical activity, we can spend our afternoon designing our own racket and feel quite sporty doing it. Worth a look, right?
axle release new camera workflow software, axle Cam, which automatically detects, imports and organises camera media. Here’s the press release…
“ORLANDO, Florida- June 17, 2015- axle Video, developer of media management tools for video production, broadcast, news-gathering, and other applications that are easy to install, use and afford, today announced the release of a groundbreaking new product that resolves elegantly and cost effectively – the most persistent problem faced by videographers today: managing complex camera media. Shown for the first time at InfoComm 2015, axle Cam is a low-cost camera ingest application that streamlines the process of acquiring, organising and sharing media from today’s most popular video cameras and DSLRs.”
axle Cam resolves organisational issues caused by multiple file formats, bitrates, file wrappers and folder structures. The software automatically detects, imports and organises camera media. Users are then able to instantly access, edit and share files through a simple user interface that leverages axle’s radically simple media management technology. The product supports DSLRs and HD cameras made by Sony, Panasonic, Canon, JVC, Nikon and GoPro. The company is developing specialised modules to support higher-end cinema cameras, though release dates have not yet been announced.
axle Cam is an ideal solution for news organisations, sports broadcasters, professional videographers, schools, governmental organisations, religious groups and others who deal with large volumes of camera media. It provides a simple path between production and editorial, and makes it easier to share camera media with other parties for review and approval or collaborative editing.
“axle Cam is the missing link between the camera and the computer,” says axle Video CEO Sam Bogoch. “It eliminates the countless hours video professionals now spend in processing and organising camera files before they can be used by others.”
With a cost of just $995 for a two user licence (UK pricing TBC), axle Cam is priced far below competing solutions, making it a compelling choice for a range of professional users.
axle Cam is a comprehensive and versatile solution. During ingest, camera files are rewrapped with no reduction in image quality, and low resolution H.264 proxy versions of camera media are created for use in editorial and review. The application also features a suite of integrated media management tools, including an interface for displaying media in browsers or mobile devices, a search function for technical and other metadata, and a dashboard grid layout that makes it easy to designate sources and select actions.
“DSLRs and video cameras generate dozens of files and folders, which for the majority of users, are needless clutter,” notes Bogoch. “It leads to more workflow steps, more errors and misplaced shots, and less time for creativity. axle Cam provides an elegant, automated solution, it cleans up incoming files, makes H.264 proxies, grabs the metadata, and displays it in a browser/mobile interface.”
Media Files Supported:
– MOV/MP4 – Samsung NX1 H.265, any format playable by QuickTime Player or plug-ins.
– M2T – HDV-style M2T streams (MPEG2 video with MP2 audio).
axle Cam was demonstrated at axle Video’s booth at InfoComm2015 in Orlando, FL on June 17-19 (Booth 490) and will ship by the 1st July. The software is priced at $995 for a two user licence, and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s available to order in the UK!
AJA have announced the release of five new Mini-Converters, the HB-T-HDMI, the HB-R-HDMI, ROI-DP, FiDO-4T and the FiDO-4R. We’re expecting them to arrive later on this summer – here’s what we know about them so far…
ROI-DP is AJA’s newest region of interest Mini-Converter, allowing high quality conversion and realtime region of interest scaling of computer DisplayPort outputs to baseband video over SDI.
Convert computer signals to professional video with region of interest scaling.
User adjustable “region of interest” with interactive on-screen controls via supplied AJA MiniConfig software for Mac and PC.
Frame rate conversion.
Automatic input detection and configuration.
SDI output support for common SD and HD formats.
4:3/16:9 conversion modes supported.
Embedded SDI audio output.
3.5mm analogue audio input embedded into SDI output.
Easy user control via USB.
Loop-through DisplayPort connector.
5-20VDC power via supplied international power adaptor.
New HDBT Minis
The HB-T-HDMI and HB-R-HDMI offer easy extension of ultra HD or HD HDMI signals over ethernet cable, utilising the industry standard HDBaseT protocol for a variety of scenarios such as fixed installation AV, digital signage, live events, post production/network/studio environments and on set.
Use the Mini-Converters to extend HD and ultra HD HDMI signals over existing Cat5/6 or 7 cables. These new Mini-Converters also allow for the extension of bi-directional IR and RS-232 for device control.
Extend uncompressed ultra HD or HD HDMI signals up to 100m over ethernet cable.
Support for deep colour, 3D, EDID, HDCP.
Extends bi-directional IR and RS-232 for device control.
Support for PCM 2 CH, LPCM 5.1, LPCM 7.1.
Support for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS Digital Surround and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Wide Support for VESA (computer) formats and DVI compatibility (via adaptor).
HDBaseT Certified “4K” UltraHD signal extender.
Compatible with AJA DRM frame for rack installations.
5-20VDC power via supplied international power adaptor.
The FiDO-4T and FiDO-4R expand AJA’s family of fiber optic converters. FiDO-4T is a 4-channel 3G-SDI to Single Mode Fiber converter, and FiDO-4R is 4-channel single mode fiber to 3G-SDI. This pair of converters will allow conversion of 4K SDI using 4x 3G-SDI transport onto four fiber cables, using a single conversion box at each end. The FiDO-4T is ideal for conversion of 4K cameras to fiber.
Each channel is fully independent, so the devices can also be used for four independent 3G-SDI streams. The FiDO-4T and FiDO-4R use LC connectors on the fiber side, with dual SFP cages. The FiDO-4T and FiDO-4R complement the recently introduced FiDO-4T-ST and FiDO-4R-ST, which offer the same solution in ST connectivity.The FiDO-4T and FiDO-4R expand AJA’s family of fiber optic converters. FiDO-4T is a 4-channel 3G-SDI to single mode fiber converter, and FiDO-4R is 4-channel single mode fiber to 3G-SDI.
This pair of converters will allow conversion of 4K SDI using 4 x 3G-SDI transport onto four fiber cables, using a single conversion box at each end. The FiDO-4T is ideal for conversion of 4K cameras to fiber. Each channel is fully independent, so the devices can also be used for four independent 3G-SDI streams. The FiDO-4T and FiDO-4R use LC connectors on the fiber side, with dual SFP cages. The FiDO-4T and FiDO-4R complement the recently introduced FiDO-4T-ST and FiDO-4R-ST, which offer the same solution in ST connectivity.
Ideal for remote 4K camera installations.
Transport of SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI over single mode fiber.
Autodetection of video format.
All SDI ancillary data including embedded audio is passed.
LC fiber connectors.
All inputs, either SDI or fiber, are equalised and re-clocked.
Useful for eliminating ground loop problems.
5-20VDC power via supplied international power adapter.
“Melbourne, Australia – 17th June 2015: Harnessing the latest recorder, monitor and playback technology with class leading Atomos usability and affordability, the Shogun Studio reinvents what is capable within a 3RU rack product.”
The world’s first all-in-one 4K/HD, 2ch, dual 7″ 3RU rack recorder, monitor and playback deck, designed from the ground up with the rack environment in mind, the Shogun Studio has an extensive recorder, monitor and playback deck feature set, making it perfect for the live event, studio, on-set and broadcast environment.
“Combining recording, playback and monitoring with tremendous ease of use, it unleashes powerful and unique feature combinations never seen before in a 3RU dual channel product,” says Jeromy Young, CEO and co-founder of Atomos. “Customers will not believe the time, cost and space savings the Shogun Studio offers for event, broadcast and pro AV professionals, allowing fast migration to 4K and seamless integration to legacy HD infrastructure.”
At its core, Shogun Studio delivers:
– A future-proof path to 4K and 1080p60, recording to popular professional codecs like Apple ProRes, Avid DNxHR and Cinema DNG all in 10-bit 4:2:2 quality.
– Utilise the two channels for dual codec, dual resolution recording. Record simultaneously (4K ProRes on one channel, 2K/HD DNxHD on the other) or convert or duplicate files (create a 4K ProRes version of a 4K DNxHR file).
– Powerful scheduled playback and record via Ethernet, Serial and On-screen. The combination of playlist generation and dual channel playout in 4K or down-scaled HD can be used to schedule synchronised play out for video walls, signage, projection or broadcast.
– Class leading monitors and test measurement for perfect 4K viewing and setup. The 7″ 325ppi monitor offers an array of scopes, 3D LUTs, 2:1/1:1 zoom, 179 degree viewing area, safe area grid lines and can be calibrated using the optional Spyder unit.
– Powerful and intuitive Atomos offers one touch simplicity for any operator.
– The Atomos Master Caddy for reliable, affordable open standard media – the new digital tape.
– Built in continuous HDMI and SDI down-conversion and down-scaling from 4K to 2K/HD to any infrastructure.
– Dual redundant power supplies, for mission critical reliability.
The complete set of specifications combined, leads to unique advantages for each of the Shogun Studio’s intended environments.
For pro AV integrators, the play list functionality and control via RS422, Ethernet or on screen, offers an affordable 4K and HD playout engine for video walls, signage and projection.
For event professionals, Shogun Studio solves many of the problems faced by multi-camera events with long run times. Master Caddy delivers affordable and reliable media while features like time lapse, pre-roll cache and 4K/HD simultaneous recording make this the perfect choice for event professionals.
In mobile production, the tight squeeze on rack space and rising recording resolutions mean that Shogun Studio will be welcomed for the ability to record, monitor, test, measure, convert and play out from a single 3RU device integrating two channels of record and playback with dual 7″ monitors.
For on-set and DIT carts, Shogun Studio offers the fastest path from acquisition to editing by recording direct to 10-bit 422 ProRes, DNxHR or RAW all housed within a world class monitor with test measurement for the highest quality 4K/2K/HD viewing and setup.
For security applications, a wide angle lens on a 4K camera can mean a single camera replaces the equivalent of four HD cameras. The Studio Shogun, with its long record time, time lapse, record scheduling and monitor zoom capability makes it perfect for 4K security applications.
“Melbourne, Australia 4th June – Atomos announce their latest range of add-on accessories designed to make the popular 4K Shogun monitor/recorder even more battle-ready in the field.”
Available to purchase individually or as part of the ‘Shogun Action Pack’, the new accessories include:
– Shogun Armor case. A custom bumper which gives extra protection to the recorder/monitor from knocks and scratches. – Matte LCD protection panel which reduces reflections, protects against scratches and diffuses light, eliminating polarization. – Lightweight and durable travel case. The perfect size for a camera bag for when you need to travel light. – Custom fit Shogun sun hood (available in yellow or black) which maintains LCD clarity even in bright sunlight.
Available to purchase separately or together as the Action Pack, Atomos are also sweetening the deal by offering the $240 Action Pack for free to users who purchase and register the fully accessorised version of the Shogun during the month of June.
“One of the advantages of having sold over 15,000 Shogun units is that we have passionate end users telling us what they need,” said Jeromy Young CEO of Atomos. “The Action Pack accessories are a direct result of Shogun users reaching out to tell us what they want, and of course we listen and act.”
The Atomos Shogun Action Pack is available now to registered purchases up to 30th June 2015, see www.atomos.com/shogun for details.
About the Atomos Shogun
The latest 4K cameras are arming the pro video world with amazing sensors, but falling short when it comes to recording and monitoring capability. Shogun completes the solution for professionals, combining advanced record, play, monitor and edit capability that can be added to existing cameras. Shogun delivers 422 10-bit ProRes and DNxHR/DNxHD for Apple and Avid workflows, a 7″ 1920 x 1200 IPS 320ppi monitor with an advanced suite of setup tools (3D LUTs, 2:1/1:1 zoom, focus assist, vectorscope, false color and more), XLR audio monitoring with 48V phantom power, playback capability on screen or out to a larger TV, and editing capability on the fly with cut in/out points and favourite/reject tagging.
After the mania caused by last week’s Eurovision themed design inspiration, we’ve gone for a more serious theme this week. A nice general one, we’ve been sharing our favourite pieces of work from the field of photography. Here’s our roundup, featuring a virtual cave tour, yellow trees and a man being chased by a bear…
Taking the perfect shot
We’re starting off by looking at just what photographers have to go through to capture that perfect shot. It turns out these pros have all kinds of athletic ability and apparently no fear. Why anyone would suspend themselves from a building or risk being chased by a bear (we still aren’t sure if that picture is real) in the name of photography is something we’ll never understand!
Now, some landscapes. We were all massively impressed with these stunning scenic shots from photographer David Keochkerian, in particular his infrared series. We’ve picked out our favourite three pictures from his online portfolio, but we’d strongly recommend you to all take a look at the rest of his work.
We really like the effect created from double exposure photographs and have picked out a couple of lovely examples to share with you. We love the striking effect in these images and the combination of textures with strong shapes.
Now, to the 2015 Sony World Photography Travel Awards, where we’ve been admiring the work of this year’s winner – Bernhard Lang. The German photographer was a deserved winner for his stunning patterned aerial shots which we just can’t get enough of. Our favourites are the parasol beach shots, but we also love the car park series.
360 degree cave panoramas
We’re finishing off this week in Vietnam, in the Son Doong cave, and showing our appreciation of this Google maps style 360o image. Courtesy of National Geographic, this interactive image allows you to venture around the various chambers of the Son Doong (which is large enough to comfortably house a Boeing 747 airplane). Who needs to catch an eleven hour flight to visit this place when we can get it up on our Apple TV and enjoy the view from the comfort of our 70s themed meeting room?
Grafton Primary School is a large four form Primary School in Dagenham, a suburb of East London, with approximately 950 students between Nursery and Year 6 on the roll. Although the school is in the top percentile for deprivation, the teaching and managerial staff have created a well organised, positive and safe learning environment for the children, who are flourishing under their care.
Committed to the introduction and improvement of ICT within the school, Stephen Hawke, Assistant Head and ICT Coordinator at Grafton began overhauling the school’s IT resources two years ago shortly after joining the school. Impressed with new software and apps that can enhance children’s learning experiences in line with the curriculum, Stephen worked to upgrade the school’s server and install new PCs, robust interactive front-of-class touchscreens and iPads into the classrooms.
Clevertouch talked to Stephen recently about ICT at Grafton and how it has changed since he joined the school in 2012.
Why is good ICT so important in schools?
Because society relies so heavily on instant connectivity these days, schools have a responsibility to prepare children for the future and ensure that they have the necessary skills to join a digital workforce when the time comes.
What technology do you have in the classrooms?
The classrooms at Grafton Primary School have PCs running Windows 7, which are used with Clevertouch 84” interactive touchscreens at the front of the class. We also have a few 70”, 65” and 55” screens in the library and break out spaces. The students also have iPad and the school uses a variety of software and apps on both the front-of-class screens and the iPad devices.
In addition to the classroom technology, we have an ICT suite for specific ICT lessons and our code club, which takes place before school on a Tuesday morning and is very popular with our older students.
How do the children at Grafton surprise you?
When it comes to IT, the children here surprise me in a number of ways. Often as an adult we expect children to use things in a specific way because that’s what we do. Children pick a new device up and engage with it in their own way, they don’t need to be taught and navigate technology intuitively, coming up with their own solutions and uses.
What was it like when the children got to use to the touchscreen for the first time?
Their faces light up when they use them. It was amazing seeing them run in to class the morning after the Clevertouch screens had been installed saying “have you seen our screen, have you seen our screen?” They were really excited.
How has the touchscreen helped the staff to lesson plan?
Quite often the Clevertouch screens will be the starting point of a lesson plan. The teachers often look at the ways in which they can get the children to interact with the screens as part of the lesson to make it more interesting and engaging so that the children can access learning in a more stimulating way.
Has technology improved or enhanced the learning experience of kids with learning difficulties?
I think the technology in the classroom has improved the learning experience of the children across all abilities. For example, teachers can set different levels on the apps that the children are working with on their iPad without it being obvious to their peers.
Clevertouch screens work with the software Snowflake and Lynx, which enables teachers to change the background colours on the screen – great for dyslexic children. Snowflake also enables you to split screens so that children can work side by side or collaborate on work together.
The early-years team use the Clevertouch screens, iPad and other resources such as recording devices to help children thoroughly explore words so that they really know them inside out.
Ultimately, technology helps the children to access and engage on a more sensory level, which makes it more enjoyable and it helps information to penetrate.
What’s the main difference in the classroom since bringing in interactive touchscreens and iPad (e.g. more collaborative, interactive)?
One of the benefits of introducing iPad and the 84” interactive Clevertouch touchscreens into the classrooms at Grafton is that they have directed learning back to the front of the class and encouraged greater interactivity between teachers and pupils. Before we had Clevertouch screens we had projectors with visualizers, which often shadowed and required greater attention and input from teachers, keeping them behind the desk rather than in front of the children.
The old projectors would over-heat often and weren’t as robust as our new Clevertouch screens, which have been made for education and can withstand hard knocks. If the old visualisers were knocked or bashed by accident you had to recalibrate everything, which took time away from teaching and the pace of learning.
Has classroom technology assisted with the assessment process?
The Clevertouch touchscreens and iPad have improved the efficiency of the assessment process in Early Years, where the teachers use the 2Build a Profile app from 2Simple to capture observations on the move.
Every teacher has an iPad which allows them to make informal observations and record oral and visual work by taking photos and videos of the children. These can then be used as evidence for Ofsted and provide a great showcase for parents to actually see what the children have been doing in lessons.
Clevertouch had the robustness behind screen, they had the software and now they have apps that are scaled for large screens. Clevertouch haven’t just built a good presentation touchscreen, they’ve built a screen for education and the software reflects that because it’s so easy to use and adaptable.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
The best part of my job is that I’ve had a positive impact on the 950 children that attend this school through our improved ICT – not just the children in my class.
Is it a good time to be working in education?
It’s a very exciting time in education at the moment, the technology is really pulling things together to enhance the learning experience in schools. When I first started teaching you had your Smart boards and could perform basic functions like writing on them, watching videos and moving a few shapes around but not to any degree of quality. Now we have 84” 1080 P HD touchscreens in classrooms, which you can mirror iPad to and pull in all sorts of online resources that you just couldn’t do five years ago. Learning should be a fully interactive experience for both teacher and learner. Technology today makes this easier and far more exciting.