Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, so rather than take these (admittedly thorough) benchmarking tests at face value, we thought we’d get our Senior Designer to face off against herself in an arcade-style design-off. It may not be as scientific as a benchmark test, but it is marginally better soundtracked.
We caught up with typographical designer, art director and author Stuart Tolley to find out what he gets up to while plying his trade at Transmission, his Brighton-based studio. He’s got years of experience working on magazines, a passion for minimalism (he even wrote a book about it!) and prefers to do things the old fashioned way. So we asked him all about how he’s adapted to changes in the creative industry since beginning his career, his work, the technology he uses, what keeps him inspired, and his predictions for the future of design.
What have you been working on today?
Today I’ve been working on typographical experiments for the covers of a forthcoming book series. I’ve been picking apart the headline type using Adobe apps to typographically represent complex theories about psychology, sociology, economics and creativity. I mainly use InDesign, which I combine with Photoshop and Illustrator for other parts of the work.
You’ve authored some books of your own; what were they about?
The first one was called Collectors Edition: Innovative Packaging and Graphics, which is about the renaissance of vinyl records and limited edition publications. My second book, MIN: The New Simplicity in Graphic Design, is about the rebirth of minimalism in graphic design.
Could you tell us a bit more about your work on minimalism?
Well, MIN has been out for about a year and is published by Thames & Hudson. There have previously been books about the history of minimalism, but no one has published an up to date book about it, particularly in the last 5 years.
We’ve become accustomed to the stripped back designs of contemporary technology and this is really important to me, as I didn’t want the book to be a historical look at the style. I think people are really aware of minimalism now, particularly with the stripped back user experience and product design of Apple devices – this is all part of a decluttered lifestyle, which is something I wanted to tap into. The reductive nature of the book has informed a lot of my studio projects too, because I like working with quite abstract concepts and then stripping them down to their barest form.
What are the biggest challenges you face in keeping the studio up and running?
The main challenge is balancing all the [on-going] design projects we have coming through the studio. We’re a small studio and I take care of all the creative work – I like to do everything myself as well, which I suppose is a bit controlling.
What technology were you using back in the 90s, at the start of your career?
I graduated from university in 1999. There were a small amount of computers within the university, but at the time I was using the photographic dark rooms to enlarge my negatives and creating a lot of photographic work. We were on really basic versions of editing software back then – I think I might have used Photoshop a handful of times.
The thing is, I was right on that cusp. Magazines were produced using a cut and paste layout system, with lots of rulers and measuring grids. Of course, I missed all of that and started work when Quark was the main publishing tool. Before I left university, I was using the photocopier all the time to print stuff, cutting and pasting, using lots of tape to stick it all down – really hands-on work. Then as soon as I started work people were like “Right, now you need to use QuarkXpress”.
What technology has had the biggest impact on your studio?
I use a lot of Adobe programs. I really am a slave to Apple and Adobe at the minute. A big change was when InDesign overtook Quark, which was the industry standard. I think the biggest change for me personally is how social media and marketing have developed. The internet is now the mainstream form for viewing information, especially since the explosion of smartphones.
There was a period, maybe a decade ago, where I was working on print and magazine projects, but nobody was interested in print at all. Just a constant stream of “nos”; people were demanding apps and stuff for tablets instead. But magazine apps haven’t really taken over as much as people predicted, and instead we’re witnessing a golden era of independent magazine production that’s targeted at very specific audiences.
How did you adapt to the latest trends, whether it was online, video or animation?
I didn’t. The rise of digital design and user experience has exploded really in the last four or five years, all while I was making my books. I was kind of blissfully unaware and then popped out the other side of it. That’s when I realised the design industry had changed quite a bit. But, for me, it’s quite important to just stick to your guns and say, “You know what, this is what I love to do and they’ll be an audience for it.” I think once I realised that, that’s when I decided I didn’t need to be making loads of apps or websites just to keep up, because there are so many people that are doing that anyway.
When did you get your first Mac?
My first Mac was a big old [Power Mac] G4 desktop, which had a great big screen. It was all that was available at the time and I got it almost as soon as I left university and had enough money. I was working at Sleazenation magazine at the time and used it to create freelance work on the side. I now have an iMac with a Retina screen, the highest spec I could get, which I use as my main computer.
So how would you say the G4 you were using compares to the top-spec iMac you have now?
The new iMacs are much more streamlined. What you’ve got now is a screen on a stand, whereas before you’d have your [tower], hard drives and a massive monitor with a deep back to it, wires everywhere. Now it’s all part of the decluttering, minimalistic process. You know, the wireless keyboard and mouse, stuff like that – I just embraced it, it was fantastic.
Do you use any design tablets, like Wacoms?
Some of my friends swear by [Wacoms] but it’s just not something that I’ve ever tried or embraced.
How do your friends use them?
One of them has a huge one; it’s basically just a screen that he draws into. It’s an incredible bit of kit – but as they’re illustrators, they need the ability to draw and work freehand. Whereas I would say my work is more typographical, which I can handle on a mouse.
What Adobe apps do you use the most?
I use InDesign the most, but I do vector-based work in Illustrator too. I use Photoshop for colour correcting, retouching and things like that. I also use Bridge quite a bit for manipulating images in raw mode, but InDesign is definitely the one I use the most – all day, everyday basically.
What upcoming trends are you thinking about for the future?
I’ve just created a book about minimalism, so I’m quite interested in the opposite of that. The whole point of the book was that there have been these very ornate designs around for a long time, then minimalism comes along and it refreshes everything. But there will always be a reaction against a current design trends and you’ll probably see a reaction against minimalism in the next few years.
So what will the reaction to minimalism be then?
I think there will be a point where everyone gets bored of things looking really clean, and minimalism just won’t be doing its job anymore, because everything just looks the same. You see it within the independent magazine industry, which are all currently being produced in a minimalist design style. They’ve all got a little logo, top centre, and they all look exactly the same. There are magazines coming out that are totally different, really energetic, and they’ll stand out because they don’t look like everything else. That will be the biggest change; a style will come along that’s more playful and experimental.
How do you stay productive during busy, stressful times?
I go and sit on the beach. I’ll just take a sketchbook and go and make notes, draw and come up with ideas. It always works. Guaranteed.
What keeps you inspired everyday?
I often change career path and that keeps me inspired. I still work within editorial design, but I’ve shifted quite a lot. I think that’s something that I would like to continue doing, mixing formats and styles. I’ve just been commissioned to work on an exhibition in Brighton this September, so I’m already thinking of ideas for that in the back of my mind. It’s just about doing lots of side projects and changing direction every so often. It’s frightening, but it’s important to do it.
Transmission is a graphic design studio and editorial consultancy, working with clients in the cultural, commercial and charitable industries.
We’re celebrating our 25th year providing products that help everyone from studio managers to graphic designers to video producers stay productive and creative. As part of the festivities, we’re going retro and taking the plunge into a nostalgia pool filled with Zip drives, beige Power Macs, primitive social networks, old school design apps and more!
Creation and innovation can be a tough business, but it’s worth it. A quarter century of hard work has led to countless milestone moments and tech developments. See for yourself how far we’ve come…
– Roger Whittle founds Jigsaw24. The colour orange is never the same again.
– Animation gains a new dimension as classic horror game Alone in the Dark introduces us all to the joys of 3D polygon character animation, traumatising at least one member of the team so badly that they give up gaming forever.
– Neil Papworth wishes Richard Jarvis “Merry Christmas” in the first ever SMS message.
– The PDF is born (this may well be the least cool entry on the list, but the ‘compare document’ feature in the latest version of Acrobat DC is a lifesaver, and the new editing toolkit is properly brilliant).
– The internet is born. Cats everywhere shudder but don’t know why…
– NVIDIA is founded; gamers swear by their high-powered GPUs to this day.
– American telecoms company AT&T run the first ever internet ad banner campaign. A single bead of sweat trickles down the forehead of every person working in the print business.
– Photoshop 3.0 is released and introduces the world to layers.
– Iomega’s Zip drive is released.
– Apple launch their ‘Serious Business Computer’ ad, which we strongly urge you to watch:
– Sony releases the first PlayStation, beginning an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in children.
– Coca-Cola’s iconic Christmas truck advert airs for the first time. All together now: “Holidays are coming, holidays are coming…”
– The first CSS specification is published.
– Apple encourage us to Think Different for the first time; science responds by cloning Dolly the sheep.
– IBM’s Deep Blue defeats chess champ Garry Kasparov. We know we’re not an IBM outfit, but credit where it’s due.
– Google domain name is registered. We could not have compiled this list without it, so feel compelled to include it.
– Wacom release the first Intuos tablet. There is much rejoicing. Graphic Designer Liana says “I remember getting my first job and being amazed by Wacom. I’d spent all of my time at uni huddled over an 11” MacBook, trying to do everything on the Touchpad, which obviously has nothing on a nice big Wacom.”
– First ever Google Doodle. Bit rubbish, to be honest.
– HDTV is introduced. Everyone becomes picture quality snobs.
– The mighty Nikon D1 becomes the first DSLR to challenge the market supremacy of film cameras.
– Budweiser asks “Wassup?”
– Post-apocalyptic horrors promised during the Y2K Panic fail to materialise.
– Everyone buys a Nokia 3310.
– Sony launches PlayStation 2, the best-selling video game console ever.
– Apple launch iTunes and OS X, ushering us into the modern era of Mac.
– Microsoft remove that Paperclip thing from Office. It is not missed.
– Wikipedia is launched. Students everywhere are elated, and nobody wins an internet debate ever again.
– InDesign becomes the first ever Mac-native desktop publishing tool.
– Gartner calculate that one billion personal computers have been sold since their arrival in the 70s.
– The first ever Creative Suite is released, including the all-new Premiere Pro.
– The Dalsa Origin becomes the first commercially available 4K camera.
– Skype is launched, making video conferencing several thousand times easier.
– Facebook beings its journey to world domination. People Poke each other.
– MySpace arrives, and manages to trick a generation of teenagers into learning HTML by letting you customise your profile.
– iPhone arrives, and promptly shifts 1.4 million units in its first year.
– CS3 arrives, meaning you can finally use Photoshop on a modern Mac without having to go through Rosetta.
– Cadbury rehabilitate Phil Collins’ image with their classic drumming gorilla ad, which none of us can believe is really ten years old.
– Nikon’s D90 is the first DSLR to introduce video recording.
– Artist Shepard Fairey creates the iconic Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster.
– James Cameron’s Avatar becomes the highest-grossing film of all time.
– Microsoft launches Windows 7, sealing the fate of Vista.
– iPad is released.
– The first commercially available jet pack is launched.
– Adobe introduce Content-Aware tools.
– Wacom introduce the Cintiq 24HD. It weighs as much as a not-so-small child, but we all want one anyway.
– The number of Apple devices sold in this one year is larger than the total number of Macs sold ever. We imagine a lot of people spent this year frantically working out how to make their website responsive.
– Steve Jobs passes away aged 56.
– The final boxed version of Creative Suite, CS6, is released, which we mention only because our marketing team won a prize for their campaign and have been insufferable ever since.
– Jony Ive gets a knighthood; rumour has it he commented witheringly on the maximalist design of the medal.
– The Hobbit is the first movie filmed at 48 fps. Viewers suffer eyestrain.
– The world doesn’t end. In your face, Mayans.
– Kenneth Grange scores a knighthood, joining Ive as Britain’s most decorated designer.
– Adobe launch Creative Cloud.
– Film Gravity uses the most complex lighting setup in film history, using a custom-built light box with 1.8 million high-powered LEDs to film zero-gravity footage.
– YouTube announce that they receive 100 hours of new video content per minute.
– Windows 10 is launched, if you’re into that sort of thing.
– Mobile browsing overtakes desktop for the first time.
– Harambe the gorilla dies and is memorialised forever in meme form.
– Carter Wilkinson makes a plea to Wendy’s for a year’s worth of free chicken nuggets. It becomes the most retweeted tweet of all time, currently standing at over 3.5 million.
We’ve been doing this for 25 years, and there’s no one out there who gets creative workflows the way we do. And, in the past quarter of a century, there’s been a huge amount of technological advancement. So we caught up with our design team on the game changers they’ve seen in the creative industry, and how they couldn’t do their jobs without them…
Xenia, Graphic Designer
“The Wacom Intuos Pro has changed my life. It makes everything so much easier and is always invaluable throughout all stages of a project – I’d never go back! From quickly drawing out ideas in Illustrator, to easily zooming in or rotating an image, to using the Expresskeys customised with my most-used Creative Cloud shortcuts, I’ve found the Intuos Pro to be an essential piece of tech. And with the wireless kit, working on the go is as easy as moving to another room – I just keep the adaptor plugged into my MacBook ready to go.”
Jamie Shaw, Web Designer
“Back in the day, I remember trying to get PC and Mac to work together was very laborious. Now saving and opening things on both and passing work between them is seamless, and saves so much time! Where getting Windows and macOS to work with each other used to be a headache, everything is much easier now that Macs support SMB, and I’m excited for APFS.” (If you’re not quite as prepared as Jamie, we can run through where you are with your kit and where there’s room for improvement to increase your overall productivity – ask us about our Strategy & Discovery Sessions for more details).
Thierry, Graphic Designer
“A biggie for me is having a notebook and tablet, and the mobility that brings for working both in the office and at home. For example if I’m working away from my desk, I can mock up a more refined document using Adobe Comp on iPad Pro as easily as sketching on paper. And when I move back to my desktop, I can seamlessly pick up exactly where I left off without the hassle of emailing files across or swapping software. Very quickly, I’ve got a clear idea of how things are looking and a design that can be presented for approval.”
Liana, Graphic Designer
“Creative Cloud is great because I can work from home, and have files readily available rather than getting people to email them across. I’m able to cut out a lot of steps in the image searching process, so I can spend more time designing and less time trawling the web. Being able to search and share images, styles and assets among different applications and computers, as well as with other team members, has really impacted my productivity.”
Simon, Graphic Designer
“On a day to day basis, I often find myself swapping between print and web work. A colour calibrated display, such as the Eizo ColorEdge series, is great for this because at the click of a button I can change the colour mode needed for the current project I’m working on. I know the finished product will look how I want straight away instead of battling unwanted hues by trial and error. I can be confident that colours on screen will reflect the end product, and get more out of my day by not having to waste time on avoidable colour edits. And not only does the colour and tone of imagery look better when working on it, but it translates to the screens of other devices much better as well.”
The presence of Apple Macs in business is growing and IT administrators must take special steps to ensure that Mac users can effectively utilise basic services like network file access, searching, sharing, and printing.
These basic services become even more important when employees using Macs are highly collaborative creative professionals like designers, publishers, and video editors who perform much more frequent network-based files-related activities than the typical worker, and often on much larger files.
The unique IT requirements of creative professionals include software (e.g., design application suites like Adobe Creative Cloud), hardware (e.g., Apple desktops and tablets, and more scalable storage), high-performance search capabilities through large-scale file libraries, and the ability to easily share files with Windows servers and desktops.
Anyone who has worked in a mixed Mac/Windows shop knows that the two environments have significant compatibility issues. Creatives on Macs often suffer server performance and usability handicaps that severely and adversely affect their productivity and satisfaction with their work environment.
Problem 1: Connecting Macs to file-sharing systems
A first-response solution might be to use an Apple solution. However, the problem with this approach is that Apple servers have severe scaling limitations and they struggle to accommodate businesses with anywhere near 100 employees. A useful discussion of this topic can be found here. Worse, Apple discontinued the Xserve in 2011 and it is inevitable that Xserve product support will be discontinued eventually, too.
The only real solution to accommodate large heterogeneous Mac/Windows workloads is to use a Windows File Server, in combination with network-attached storage (NAS) or a storage-area network (SAN). This requires the use of Microsoft’s file-sharing protocol, Server Message Block (SMB), which presents significant compatibility issues in mixed Mac/Windows environments.
Apple has its own protocol for network file sharing – Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) – but most NAS devices and Windows file servers natively communicate only via SMB. The vast majority of businesses rely on SMB, SAN, and NAS for file sharing and storage.
Problem 2: Editing files directly on file servers
Creative organisations and departments share a common need to edit files directly from a server. Adobe does not support direct volume mounting. However: “Adobe Technical Support only supports using Photoshop and Adobe Bridge on a local hard disk. It’s difficult to re-create or accurately identify network and peripheral-configuration problems.”
This presents an obstacle for users of popular Adobe design applications, notably Photoshop. The alternative to pointing Photoshop at a mounted server volume (a controversial practice) is copying files directly to the Mac to edit. This turns out to be an untenable solution when dealing with many large files. Though not officially supported, many companies want Adobe’s software to point at mounted volumes, as this approach streamlines work processes and enables multiple users to work from a centralised storage location.
Problem 3: Macs searching through file shares
Creative professionals rely heavily on Apple Spotlight and its ability to provide fast, sophisticated filename and content searches through multiple servers containing thousands or even millions of files. They expect and need this network-based file search function to work the same way it does on their local hard drives.
This is a big problem, as Spotlight’s search functionality is not supported when Macs connect to NAS devices or Windows servers through SMB. As a result, content search from Macs does not work on Windows servers and most NAS devices, and ordinary file searches can take minutes or hours, instead of seconds. This greatly diminished search functionality has a hugely adverse effect on a Mac user’s productivity.
How Acronis Access Connect solves these problems
Acronis Access Connect allows Macs to connect to Windows file shares using AFP – Apple’s native file sharing protocol – by acting as an AFP file server running directly on a Windows server.
With Acronis Access Connect, organisations can quickly install a simple solution that eliminates these stubborn incompatibility problems, enabling Mac users to exist harmoniously and work productively in a Windows-based environment. Apple Spotlight search works properly. Problems with file naming, file access permissions, network printing, unreliable file transfers, and slow server performance disappear.
Consider the examples of two companies that overcame their Mac/Windows compatibility issues by using Acronis Access Connect:
Quad/Graphics’ Media division faced compatibility issues that impeded its ability to share files across the organisation. It sought to integrate a mixed Mac/Windows environment of 600 Mac desktops and 50 Windows Servers, but the systems struggled to communicate. Quad/Graphics implemented Acronis Access Connect to give its Mac users fast and immediate access to Windows file servers. Acronis offered the only Windows-based AFP server solution to support all Mac versions.
The results were extremely positive, and later, Quad/Graphics had expanded its print operations to 30 sites worldwide. Their IT infrastructure was able to develop and expand, free of any Mac/Windows compatibility restrictions.
Phoenix Printing Plates Ltd.
Phoenix Printing Plates initially opted to create a Mac/Windows environment without Acronis Access Connect. They suffered from the common misconception that Apple/Microsoft compatibility issues had dwindled over time and that Apple’s official support of Microsoft SMB had eliminated the old incompatibility problems.
They quickly discovered that this was not the case. Mac to Windows Server connections were possible, but they suffered from a range of stubborn problems: long delays, the inability to rename or move files, time-consuming and inaccurate searches, and overall slow performance. Phoenix Printing Plates had looked to a new Windows server infrastructure to improve productivity and enable their team’s objectives, but it wasn’t until deploying Acronis Access Connect that they were truly able to do so. Restoration of full Spotlight search functionality and performance and fast, trouble-free file sharing with Windows servers made Phoenix Printing Plates’ Mac users productive and happy again.
Our birthday twin Premiere Pro has turned 25 this year (both us and Adobe’s industry-leading NLE began life way back in 1992). And while we’ve been building our modest creative technology empire, Premiere has managed to seduce the Coen Brothers, David Fincher and a small army of editors, as evidenced by their birthday video, below.
Obviously all of these people are just as excited by our birthday, and the gifts they definitely sent us are merely lost in the post.
It’s easy to see why Premiere won people over, though – its earliest iteration was the first software-only editing system that you could run on a normal computer, and by 1994’s version 4.0 it was hitting full screen broadcast quality with 60 fields per frame. By 1996, it was offering a 4K frame size for use with digital signage, and has continued to push resolution limits, with the current version maxing out at 16K x 10K.
Since 2006, a Dynamic Link to Adobe After Effects connected traditional editing timelines to motion graphics and visual effects production, and cross disciplinary support has only increased since the move to Creative Cloud.
In the latest iteration, previewed at NAB, new media managerfeatures in both Premiere Pro and Media Encoder give you much greater control over the handling of your files during the ingest process, and allow for more flexibility when working with very large media. You can set Premiere Pro to copy media to a specific location on your machine as it imports, and even begin editing immediately while your media copies in the background. If your workflow requires a transcode, you can easily set Premiere Pro or Media Encoder to handle that step for you too.
You can also generate proxies on ingest, and toggle between these and your full-res media at one click, in order to better support 6K and 8K workflows. There’s also support for advanced Lumetri scopes and the Rec2020 colourspace.
And when it comes to the workflows of the future – VR, for example, Premiere is ready: VR Video mode allows you to use pan and tilt controls to preview the experience inside the sphere. You can even click-drag directly on the video clip and freely pan around so you know what your viewer would be seeing when looking in a given direction. When you’re ready to share, you can easily add a metadata flag to ensure you’ll get the full panoramic experience on supported sites like YouTube and Facebook.
If you’re using the enterprise versions of Creative Cloud and Document Cloud, chances are you’ve noticed Adobe’s new Admin Console. This is designed to help large organisations protect valuable content, secure their Adobe environment, and manage large groups of users from one central location.
In the video below, Adobe’s Jerry Silverman shows you just some of the ways Adobe’s Admin Console makes it easier for you to provision and track licences. It supports three types of identifier, including federated ID, allowing IT teams to manage all users from a single, central console, while still supporting a self service IT philosophy.
Ahead of the National Association of Broadcasting (NAB) conference, Adobe today announced a major update for video in Adobe Creative Cloud to help filmmakers and video producers collaborate and streamline video workflows.
The Creative Cloud release, available today, delivers new features for graphics and titling, animation, polishing audio and sharing assets; support for the latest video formats, such as HDR, VR and 4K; new integrations with Adobe Stock; and advanced artificial intelligence capabilities powered by Adobe Sensei. Announced at Adobe Summit 2017, Adobe Experience Cloud also allows brands to deliver connected video experiences across any screen at massive scale, while analyzing performance and monetizing ads.
Technology advancements and exploding consumer demand for impactful and personalized content require video producers to create, deliver and monetize their video assets faster than ever before. From the largest studio to next generation YouTubers, a scalable, end-to-end solution is required to create, collaborate and streamline video workflows with robust analytics and advertising tools to optimize content and drive more value.
“I’ve been using all of the Adobe creative programs as part of my visualization process since the early days in movies including ‘The Aviator,’ ‘Avatar’ and ‘Hugo,’” said Rob Legato, a three-time Academy Award winner and VFX supervisor of “The Jungle Book.” “Over the years, technology has improved steadily, largely due to Adobe’s groundbreaking innovations such as Dynamic Link between Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, Cinema 4D integration with After Effects, and native workflows. I rely on Creative Cloud to help me pre-visualize and freely experiment on all my films, creating an opportunity to take our creative process to the next level.”
“Our heritage is taking complex challenges and simplifying them so you can concentrate on storytelling and professional, quality work,” said Steven Warner, vice president of digital media at Adobe. “The newest Creative Cloud video release integrates the advanced science of Adobe Sensei to make common tasks faster and easier. All video producers – whether they’re part of the major media companies or up and coming YouTubers – can now bring their creative vision to life without having to be motion graphics or audio experts.”
Attendees at this year’s NAB can get a closer look at the newly available features and hear from industry experts at the Adobe booth (#SL4010, South Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center) and at over 140 partner booths from April 24–27.
New Capabilities Power Creativity From Start to Finish
The new capabilities in Creative Cloud video tools include:
Motion Graphics Templates now bring the power of After Effects to Premiere Pro through easy to use templates, allowing creators to add beautiful titles, animations and lower thirds to their videos and create custom motion graphics templates which can be shared via Creative Cloud Libraries.
Essential Sound Panel in Premiere Pro lets users make audio mixes and sound improvements that in the past would have required a dedicated session by an audio engineer.
Camera Shake Deblur in After Effects rescues unusable footage by reducing motion blur that often occurs with camera shake.
Character Animator (beta) continues to invent the future of live animation with new technology that now animates multiple puppets created in Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe Illustrator CC, and embraces full body animation with new walk cycles.
Team Projects (beta) allows Creative Cloud for teams or enterprise members to have a secure cloud-first collaborative workflow with new support for Dynamic Link and Adobe Media Encoder to streamline collaboration.
Ambisonic audio in Premiere Pro expands on its best-in-class native support for VR with positionally-aware audio for VR enabled platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
Hundreds of third-party integrations including Apple Touch Bar support for MacBook Pro and new Microsoft Surface Dial functionality in Premiere Pro with shuttle control in the timeline as well as changing hot float and text values.
Powered by Sensei
Leveraging Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s artificial intelligence and machine learning framework, users can now automatically normalize audio loudness across an entire timeline with a single click in Premiere Pro or Audition. In Character Animator, Sensei applies complex algorithms in real time to ensure a puppet’s lip synch is perfect. Within Adobe Experience Cloud, a video recommendation engine learns from hundreds of billions of online video consumption points to surface for audiences the most relevant content.
Integration with Adobe Stock
Deeply integrated into Creative Cloud workflows, customers have access to millions of Adobe Stock video assets, including 4K and HD, and the ability to search and scrub through video directly in the application. New to this release, editors looking to sell their work can now effortlessly contribute to Adobe Stock through the Destination Publish workflow inside Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder, and reach millions of creative buyers. Adobe’s Destination Publishing already supports the world’s top social video sites, publishing to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Behance in one easy step.
“I have been shooting, editing and uploading stock footage for over a decade. The new ability to contribute to Adobe Stock straight from Premiere Pro is an incredibly valuable tool that makes uploading and selling stock much quicker and easier to do. This new feature is a true game-changer for stock footage producers,” said Robb Crocker, CEO of Funnelbox and author of “Stock Footage Millionaire.”
Introducing Pond5 for Adobe Stock
Additionally, Adobe today announced a partnership with Pond5 further expanding the video offering in Adobe Stock. Sourced from an international community of artists across a mix of modern, highly sought after content themes, such as lifestyle, recreation, sports, cinematic and aerial footage, the addition of Pond5 video library will give video producers and designers access to one of the industry’s largest and fastest-growing collections – all natively integrated into Creative Cloud applications. As part of the Adobe partnership, Pond5’s contributors will also be able to reach an even bigger market of creative buyers. (See blog post for more details).
Integration with Adobe Experience Cloud
As the needs of video creators – from creative agencies to media companies – change to reflect a data-driven future, Adobe Experience Cloud benefits the entire video journey, from delivery, to measurement and monetization across screens. Through Adobe’s TV Media Management platform, media companies and broadcasters can leverage analytics to give advertisers true audience-based targeting and more accurate forecasting. Adobe Analytics Cloud enables the measurement of performance video content published to social media channels within Premiere Pro and ensures video ads are targeted and forecasted with a high degree of accuracy.
Adobe Advertising Cloud bridges the gap between traditional TV and digital video advertising, streamlining the ad planning and buying process, enabling deeper collaboration with creative agencies through dynamic creative optimization (DCO), and ensuring maximum brand safety for video ads with the most third party integrations in the industry.
Pricing and Availability
The new features for Adobe Creative Cloud announced at NAB are now available with the latest version of CC 2017, which is available for £708 ex VAT per user per year. You can find out more about Creative Cloud here, and more about Adobe Stock here.
Choosing an Adobe plan can be a confusing process. Subscription or perpetual? Annual or extended term? Is it better for you to purchase in bulk or to purchase over time?
To try and make things a bit clearer, we’re going to break your licensing options down based on something you’re more likely to know: which apps you need access to. Knowing whether you need the full Creative Cloud suite, can manage with a stripped down version or just need to update your PDF workflow will go a long way to help you find the right plan for you.
If you need Creative Cloud…
You need to involve yourself in the VIP licensing program, which is the only one that can provide Creative Cloud Complete or Creative Cloud Single Apps. Called the ‘Value Incentive Plan’, this is a subscription model that gives you access to the software itself, any updates as soon as they are released, mobile apps, and an Admin Console for managing multiple licences.
Using VIP, you can purchase Creative Cloud for teams or Creative Cloud for enterprise.
Creative Cloud for teams is designed, unsurprisingly, for small work groups and design teams. Users get access to extra online storage and collaborative tools that are not available to individuals. Team licences can be assigned to an individual (named licensing) or a device (device licensing) if you are an educational institution. The licences are owned by the company, not the end users, and can be reassigned to new users as needed.
Creative Cloud for enterprise is designed for larger deployments, and comes with extra management and security tools, which you can read about here.
VIP offers three subscription term options – annual, extended and three year commit. The annual subscription is for 12 months paid upfront, so you’d renew annually. The extended subscription can be chosen when you sign up to VIP and allows you to pay upfront for up to three years if you are a business, or four years for education and government.
Finally, the three year commit option is available when you qualify for VIP Select, and means you pay a set price in return for maintaining your licence quantity over three years (commercial and government customers also get increased discounts). You achieve VIP Select status when you buy ten or more licences (fifty for education). As well as giving you the option to sign up for three year commit, it also gives you volume discounts on all purchases.
Adobe Acrobat DC
The best way to get Adobe’s all-conquering PDF program is through the ‘Value Incentive Plan’, a subscription model that gives you access to the software itself, any updates as soon as they are released, mobile apps, and an Admin Console for managing multiple licences. This is the same model used to purchase Creative Cloud, and like Creative Cloud, Acrobat DC it can be purchased for teams or for enterprise.
Opting for a VIP subscription is better than buying Acrobat outright, as the subscription model gives you access to extra services and features not available in the perpetually licensed version (i.e. the version you can buy outright), including support for syncing PDFs across mobile devices, electronic signing within business apps and the ability to photograph any document with your iPad camera and convert it instantly to a PDF.
If you only need the desktop version of Acrobat and think you can do without the extra features, you can buy a perpetual licence via Adobe’s Transactional Licensing Program (TLP) or Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP).
The TLP is ideal if you want to place a large, one-off order. There is no contract and no membership requirement. You simply make one large transaction, and get better pricing the more licences you buy.
The CLP is for organisations who make purchases on a regular basis. You sign a two year membership deal, and get points for every Adobe purchase you make. The more points you accrue, the better your discount. The only thing to bear in mind is that in order to be able to join the CLP, your initial purchase needs to be worth 5000 Adobe points (the equivalent of about 12 commercial Acrobat Pro licences).
Adobe’s latest release of Acrobat DC supports Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon and Microsoft App-V via the VIP named user model. Windows Terminal Server is restricted to perpetual.
If you’re a Creative Cloud customer you can choose to add an Adobe Stock subscription to your VIP membership. The VIP model is the only one that can provide Adobe Stock, and it is only available as a team option.
If you’ve not seen what you want here, you’re probably after something that’s only available on the TLP or CLP. The Elements range of apps (cut down versions of Photoshop, InDesign and Premiere Pro), Adobe Captivate, FrameMaker, FreeHand, PageMaker and ColdFusion, as well as tools like Adobe Meta Server, Tech Communications Suite and Font Folio, are all available on standalone perpetual licences, but not through any of the subscription options.
Virtualisation – the process of hosting applications and desktops on a server and then pushing them out to end users’ devices – is an increasingly popular way to make sure your end users have access to all the data and apps they need, on every device they use, whenever and wherever they’re using them.
CIOs and IT managers love this as it allows them to enforce permissions (based on your log-in, you can be shown a desktop with the correct apps and access for your role), distribute apps (they just update the server rather than updating every device manually) and generally save the IT department time, money and energy that could be better spent elsewhere.
But there has always been one dark shadow in the bright new world of virtualisation, and it has been this: a lack of proper PDF workflow support. So far, end users in virtual environments have had to work with a cut down version of Acrobat, stripped of many of the features available in the subscription-only version.
The full, subscription-only version, Adobe Acrobat DC, has added support for leading virtualisation platforms from Citrix and VMware. (It already supports Microsoft App-V.)
End users in virtualised environments can now enjoy the benefits of subscription licensing, including access to the latest product features and updates as soon as they are released, access to mobile and e-sign features, and easy licence management via the admin console.
But the brightest shaft in this sunbeam we call news is support for secure, named-user access to Acrobat DC via Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop and VMware Horizon. This means IT managers can deploy the software to multiple systems, but only specified, named users will be able to access the app or desktop at any given time. Admins will be able to track their Acrobat DC licences centrally, and add or remove named users at any time.