Our designers test drive Photoshop CC’s Touch Bar integration

Our designers test drive Photoshop CC’s Touch Bar integration

When Apple launched the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, Adobe were one of the first software vendors to announce support for the new Touch Bar technology, demoing Photoshop integration live onstage at the launch event

Now that we have both the 13″ and 15″ models in stock, and Adobe have released a list of all the shortcuts that will be available on Touch Bar, we thought we’d set our designers loose on a Touch Bar MacBook Pro and see how they found using the new shortcuts.

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Liana, Graphic Designer and hand model

To begin with it does feel a bit strange forcing yourself to use the Touch Bar rather than keyboard shortcuts, but I imagine it’s like when you first start using a Wacom Cintiq – once you get used to using it, it’s really useful.

The shortcuts I used most were definitely the ones to change layer properties. The brush options are a lot more intuitive on Touch Bar, as they increase and decrease in much smaller increments than they do when you use the keyboard shortcuts, so there’s a nice gradual slide that allows you to get exactly the size you want. The bar is very good at sliding, generally; each slider expands when you click on it, so if you’re changing colour options you have a nice wide range to get the exact hue and brightness you need, and you have a lot more room to edit the opacity options than you do when you edit them directly on your Wacom.


The favourites bar has a nice range of common shortcuts that you can add to your Touch Bar. Having full screen mode just a tap away is useful if your art director is hovering over you and wants a clean preview of your work. From a non-design point of view, I really liked having tiny previews of all my open tabs in Safari, which made searching for images far easier.


Jamie, Web Designer

I hadn’t used one of the new generation of keyboards before and the lack of key travel feels weird at first, but the larger key area certainly makes the keyboard easier to type on. The one complaint that I would have is that the keys are perhaps a bit too noisy for the amount of travel they have.  The light touch makes me a feel like a hacker, the loud noise makes it sound like I’m mashing buttons on Street Fighter.

Touch Bar looks nice; it’s vibrant and sharp, and the matte finish allows fingers to just slide over the surface, which is nice when there are a few apps that have tabs or slides that require you to interface this way.

In Photoshop, Touch Bar initially feels a little redundant, as keyboard shortcuts can be used for a lot of the same tasks, and don’t require me to move my hands from the keyboard or move my eyes away from the screen. As time goes on though, it does have its advantages. For example, controls for brush size and opacity are easily within reach. I could imagine using a Wacom with my hand hovering over the Touch Bar, drawing with my right hand and dynamically updating the size, flow etc along the way.


There are some features that are nice with Touch Bar too. In Photoshop again, having the blending modes and layer transparency readily available is nice. I haven’t learned the keyboard shortcuts for blending modes yet, so this feels pleasant. It’s easy to see that Touch Bar would be a hit with those who aren’t privy to the dark magic of keyboard shortcuts and those used to touch screens as a primary interface.

One nice touch I did like was dialogue boxes, and that their options are readily available on the touch bar. I don’t have to move my mouse to get to the buttons to quickly dismiss pop-ups.

Thierry, Graphic Designer

I can see Touch Bar being really useful for designers who don’t use a pen tablet as part of their normal workflow. The quick button options mean the left hand can be used to adjust Touch Bar controls while you use the touchpad with your right (or vice versa for lefties).


The options that are usually stuck in Menu Options are the most useful to me. Having options like horizontal/vertical flip and new layer on the bar is a huge time saver as they’re now in easy reach and don’t require me to temporarily break my train of thought to navigate menu options. Hopefully as time goes on, the customisable options available on the bar will expand, and then it’ll be a great tool for tweaking your workspace to suit your preferences.

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Tried the new Touch Bar? Let us know what you think in the comments. You can browse the new MacBook Pro range here, or get in touch with our Adobe team to update your Creative Cloud subscription on 03332 409 251. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Bringing Zebedee the zebra to life with Adobe Creative Cloud

Bringing Zebedee the zebra to life with Adobe Creative Cloud

We’ve loved the cracking Christmas ads from Apple, John Lewis, H&M and Sainsbury’s this year, so we decided to join in the fun and create a festive-themed feature of our own. 

Taking some solid inspiration from John Lewis’s popular ‘Buster the Boxer’ campaign, I took to my favourite Adobe Creative Cloud apps to bring our very own trampolining critter to life – Zebedee the zebra! 

Zebedee enjoying a popular zebra pass time – trampolining!
Zebedee enjoying a popular zebra past time – trampolining!

I use Adobe Creative Cloud for all my animation work because it’s easy to use. App integration allows you to switch between programs without worrying about file compatibility or loss of progress, making the transition from design to video nice and simple.

When I began the initial design, I booted up Illustrator and created each scene in 2D, making sure to keep any component I wanted to animate independently on a separate layer. Once I’d finished the 2D design, I imported the layers for each scene into After Effects and enabled them for 3D. From there I added a camera and lighting, providing some depth to the artwork.

Zebedee makes a friend...
Zebedee makes a friend…

Adobe’s neat animation tools allowed me to fine tune the basics of the design, animating the camera and other moving parts, including clouds and the hedgehog. I did this using basic layer variables like position and rotation, and made use of a few expressions when I needed items to loop or react to components from another layer (expressions are a feature of Adobe After Effects, allowing you to create relationships between layer properties, using the keyframes of one property to dynamically animate other layers).

One of the great things about Creative Cloud for animation is that it supports a whole load of different plug-ins. These can be utilised to provide new tools that increase the functionality of your apps, which is great for continued efficiency and productivity, and saves you having to use other design programs entirely. When it came to animating Zebedee the zebra, I made use of After Effects’ puppet tool and a third-party rigging plug-in called DUIK. DUIK allows moving parts to be controlled ‘realistically’, keeping  appendages attached to the appropriate body part – in this case, hooves to legs and legs to body.

"YouTube are gonna love this..."
“YouTube are gonna love this…”

I wasn’t too happy with my first attempt at texturing the snow in the garden using a vector texture brush in Illustrator, and ended up finishing the job with a third-party brush in Photoshop. Thankfully, replacing all the layers in After Effects was quick and easy and didn’t affect any of the animating I’d already done (thanks, app integration!).

Once I’d completed each scene, I imported them all as After Effects compositions into Premiere Pro. From there, I arranged them on the timeline, edited the transitions and added the music. Then I used Media Encoder to export each cut for approval (I exported at a lower resolution until the finished version was fully signed off), which allowed me to continue working with Premiere Pro in the meantime.


You can check out Zebedee the zebra’s Christmas debut below:

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud? Give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


A spotter’s guide to Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps

A spotter’s guide to Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps

Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps are the gold standard in professional software for creatives of all stripes. But whether you’re a graphic designer who uses Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator day-in, day-out, or a videographer who knows Premiere Pro and After Effects like the back of your hand, there’s a wealth of apps you have access to under a Creative Cloud All Apps subscription that, while you may not be that familiar with, could be a very welcome addition to your creative workflow.

So here we’ve put together a quick spotter’s guide to all Adobe’s fantastic desktop apps, and where to find them. How many have you tried?

Design tools

Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop CC is your common or garden digital imaging app, the number one choice the world over for photographers and designers. It lets you enhance, retouch, and manipulate photographs and images in any way you can imagine, with clever content aware technology and powerful design tools like editable shapes and vector layers. (Also available as a Single App.)

Lightroom. Often spotted in the same habitat as Photoshop, Lightroom lets you organise, edit and share your all photos from anywhere, whether that’s on your computer, on the web, or on your iPad, iPhone or Android devices.

Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator CC is the industry-standard vector graphics software. Create compelling vector art and illustrations using advanced, precise drawing and typography tools, and work quickly and intuitively on everything from brand identities and marketing materials to graphics for the web, video, and film. (Also available as a Single App.)

InDesign. InDesign CC is professional page layout software for print and digital publishing. Use it to design, preflight, and publish a broad range of content in print, online, and for tablet apps. You can create simple or complex layouts quickly and efficiently with precise control over typography, built-in creative tools, and an intuitive design environment. (Also available as a Single App.)

Experience Design (beta). Still a fledgling at the moment, the Experience Design app is designed to improve teamwork among workgroups who are prototyping apps and mobile content, and allows you to build and share prototypes, then collaborate and feed back on them in realtime.

InCopy. Adobe InCopy CC makes it easy to collaborate in demanding editorial workflows. With InCopy CC, writers, editors, and designers can work simultaneously on a single document without overwriting each other’s contributions. (Also available as a Single App.)

Video tools

Premiere Pro. Adobe Premiere Pro CC is a powerful, customisable, nonlinear video editor that lets you import and freely combine virtually any type of media, from video shot on a phone to raw 5K and higher resolution footage, and then edit in its native format without wasting time transcoding. (Also available as a Single App.)

After Effects. The industry-leading animation and creative compositing software used by a wide variety of motion graphics and visual effects artists, After Effects CC gives you powerful timesaving features like a Live 3D Pipeline with Maxon Cinema4D software and Mask Tracker, which lets you apply a mask and effect that travels frame by frame throughout your composite. (Also available as a Single App.)

Audition. Adobe Audition CC is a cross-platform audio editor that speeds up production for video, radio, music, games, and more, thanks to uncompromising sound quality and intuitive workflows. (Also available as a Single App.)

Media Encoder. Ingest, transcode, create proxies, and output any format – this powerful media management tool allows users to work with media in a unified way across applications, tightly integrating with Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and other apps for a seamless media processing workflow.

SpeedGrade. SpeedGrade is a colour grading application that delivers layer-based colour correction and look design tools to ensure that digital video projects are visually consistent and aesthetically compelling.

Prelude. Rapidly tag and transcode video footage and quickly create a rough cut with Prelude – a video logging and ingest tool designed for intuitive, efficient media organisation and metadata entry.

Story Plus. This service combines collaborative screenwriting, reporting, and scheduling tools with script metadata logging to help you edit video in Premiere Pro. (Also available as a Single App.)

Character Animator (beta). Create 2D characters in Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC and bring them to life in Character Animator. Act out movements and record your voice using your webcam and microphone, with realtime facial expression and motion tracking.

Fuse (preview). The new 3D modelling app lets you quickly create unique human characters for your Adobe Photoshop CC images, designs, prototypes and more.

Web tools

Dreamweaver. Build sites and apps with Adobe Dreamweaver CC – the all-in-one, industry-leading web design tool. Dreamweaver CC provides a robust and integrated solution to design, develop, and publish projects for any screen size. (Also available as a Single App.)

Muse. Adobe Muse CC lets you design and publish HTML websites for desktop and mobile devices without writing code. Design freely using familiar tools and shortcuts, easily add engaging effects and interactivity, and even integrate third party functionality like blogs and shopping carts. (Also available as a Single App.)

Animate. Design interactive animations with cutting-edge drawing tools and publish them to multiple platforms – including Flash/Adobe AIR, HTML5 canvas, WebGL, or even custom platforms – and reach viewers on broadcast TV or virtually any desktop or mobile device. (Also available as a Single App.)

Flash Builder. A development environment for building games and applications using the ActionScript language and the open source Flex framework. Flash Builder Premium includes professional testing tools such as profilers, network monitoring, and unit testing support.

Scout. Adobe Scout is a lightweight but comprehensive SWF profiling tool designed for Adobe Flash game developers. Any SWF file, regardless of whether it runs on mobile devices or in browsers, can be quickly profiled with no change to the code — and Adobe Scout quickly and efficiently detects problems that could affect performance.

PhoneGap Build. Take the pain out of developing mobile apps by simply uploading your HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript assets to the Adobe PhoneGap Build cloud service, and Adobe will do all the work of compiling for you while you put your feet up.

Spark. Are you a social butterfly? Create social graphics, web stories and animated videos with real punch, using Spark’s free graphic design app.

Workflow tools

Acrobat Pro DC. Keep a sharp eye out for the all-new Adobe Acrobat DC with Adobe Document Cloud, designed to change the way you work with important business documents. Do away with ink signatures and overnight envelopes, protect your important documents, work anywhere and edit anything.

Bridge. Bridge CC gives you centralised access to all the files and assets you need for your creative projects. Organise personal and team assets, batch edit with ease, add watermarks, set centralised colour preferences, and even upload your photos to Adobe Stock.

Creative Cloud. Where it all begins. The Creative Cloud for desktop app is where you can quickly launch and update your desktop apps, manage and share your assets, download fonts and assets, and showcase and discover creative work on Behance, all while staying conveniently out of sight.

To find out more about Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, get in touch with our team on 03332 409 251 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or like us on Facebook

Adobe reveal new Creative Cloud features at Adobe MAX

Adobe reveal new Creative Cloud features at Adobe MAX

Adobe have used their annual Adobe MAX conference to announce a raft of new features for Creative Cloud users, which we can expect to join the Adobe lineup between now and the end of the year. The new improvements are designed to make it easier for creatives to deal with the new challenges presented by virtual and augmented reality, and the rise in demand for 3D content.  

Adobe’s latest updates are designed to promote collaboration, mobility, a ‘cloud first’ philosophy (in which work lives primarily in the cloud and is then edited on various devices but not housed on them), and machine learning, which constitutes extending the kind of intelligent technology that powers Photoshop’s Context Aware tools into other apps.

Coming soon: Project Felix

Felix is intended to allow graphic designers to combine 2D and 3D assets to create their images without having to familiarise themselves with more complicated applications like After Effects.

The beta is going to be opened to paid Creative Cloud for teams members at the end of the year. Once you’re on board, you’ll be able to use Project Felix to develop photorealistic 3D images using a workflow that’s specifically designed for people who aren’t experienced 3D content creators.

Key features announced as part of the beta include a free library of models, materials and lights to help you get started straight away, realtime rendering so that you can view updates as you design, and machine learning features that include auto lighting and auto horizon positioning tools.

Based on user feedback so far, Adobe are already working to improve interoperability with Photoshop and Illustrator, make label/decal application easier, add GPU rendering support and more, so it’s well worth keeping an eye out for the start of the beta.

Now in beta: Adobe Experience Design CC

The Experience Design (XD) beta continues apace, with over 50 features added since March. The app is designed to improve teamwork among workgroups who are prototyping apps and mobile content, and allows you to build and share prototypes, then collaborate and feed back on them in realtime. Adobe say it’s now ready for everyday use on computers that are running macOS, so if you’ve been holding off on downloading XD until it became more stable, now’s the time to get involved.

Major new additions include the arrival of Layers, a slightly modified version of the layers you know from Photoshop et al that makes it easier to navigate between artboards and work with elements on each. The idea is that Layers will speed up your XD workflow by allowing you to focus on just the elements you want to modify (the Layers panel contextually displays only the layers for the artboard that you select).

To navigate to the artboard you need, just double-click its icon and XD will automatically pan and zoom to that artboard, fitting it into the application window. Double-clicking on groups allows you to explore and navigate to nested elements. You can also reorder, rename, show/hide, export, make symbols and lock/unlock layers quickly and easily.

Another addition is Symbols, aka objects that you use throughout your design, and which are all dynamically updated if you edit once instance. All you need to do to create a Symbol is hit Cmd+K. For ease of organisation, all your Symbols are stored in their own library, and you can drag and drop them from there into your prototype.

Once everything is added, your peers will be able to comment on it in realtime, and preview changes on different devices as they are made.

The XD beta is currently available on macOS, iOS and Android platforms, with Windows 10 compatibility coming soon.

What’s new in… desktop design apps

The biggest overall change is to your in-app searching capabilities. The new Universal Search in Photoshop not only lets you search all panels, menus, libraries and assets from a single pane (great for finding a command you’ve forgotten the location of), but includes a Visual Search component.

A bit like Google Images, Visual Search allows you to find an image that’s almost right in a library or Adobe Stock, and then search specifically for images that are similar to that one. In a nice additional touch, you can add text descriptors to the image you’ve searched, so if we were to have found a particularly noble picture of our mascot, the zebra, but wanted it to be standing against a setting sun, we could search “[selected image] + sunset” to see pictures that feature similar zebras against the sunset, or ask for a zebra with water in the foreground and mountains behind. This will also work when searching for textures and shadows to add to 3D objects.

Both Photoshop and Illustrator are now going to include template libraries to help new users (or experienced users who are short on time) to get started on common document types. Additional templates will be available in Adobe Stock, and should you download one that you don’t have the right fonts for, Typekit will automatically source and download them for you.

Photoshop also benefits from tighter SVG integration, an enhanced Properties Panel, and support for SVG fonts.

As well as templates, Illustrator is poised to receive font, text and glyph enhancements as a result of Adobe answering 81 common user requests in this update.

Dreamweaver is going to get a new, streamlined interface with a fast, flexible coding engine, but we haven’t managed to get a peek yet – we’ll let you know more when we do.

What’s new in… video apps

The emphasis here is on preparing video and animation workflows for the influx of 3D and virtual/augmented reality projects that are expected to hit the pipeline as everyone attempts to develop the next Pokemon Go.

A new 3D rendering engine in After Effects allows for the creation of extruded text and shape layers, and handles CPU rendering of 3D elements up to 20 times faster than the current version.

As part of their push to integrate more machine learning elements into Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro is getting a new auto-aware virtual reality feature that auto detects the kind of content you’re creating, and a new Social Publishing Panel (released in beta at MAX) will optimise the publishing of content you create in Premiere Pro across multiple social channels, so you achieve maximum impact.

There were two other key beta trials launched at Adobe MAX: Team Projects and Character Animator. Character Animator is designed to improve the connection between Photoshop, Illustrator and video apps to speed up puppet creation and animation – you might have seen it in action during The Simpsons’ live episode or when a cartoon version of Donald Trump appeared on the The Late Show. By mapping characters’ movement patterns onto an actor’s features, Character Animator lets you see your animated creations walk and talk in realtime.

Team Projects allows Creative Cloud for teams and Creative Cloud for enterprise members to co-edit video files simultaneously in Premiere Pro, After Effects and Prelude, so multiple users can be working on the same frame at the same time, but all accessing it from different machines.

What’s new in… mobile apps

The big news is that Photoshop Sketch, Comp and Photoshop Fix are now going to be available on Android. There have also been a number of workflow improvements, including automatic creation of mockups, universal copy/paste within and across documents (hooray!) and enhanced font support in Comp.

Photoshop Brush is also going to be supported in Sketch, and both Sketch and Draw are going to gain new layer blend modes.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise now available under VIP

Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise now available under VIP

Great news for enterprise customers wanting to move to Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe’s enterprise-specific version, Creative Cloud for enterprise, is now available under the Value Incentive Plan (VIP), offering business customers advanced content protection, deployment and access control – all through a flexible licensing programme.

Here’s everything you need to know about what you get in Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, how it stacks up against Creative Cloud for teams, the different licensing options, and that all-important information – how much it’s going to cost you…

What is Creative Cloud for enterprise?

Just as Creative Cloud for teams is tailored towards creative teams, and Creative Cloud for education is the option for educational institutions, Creative Cloud for enterprise has been specifically designed for enterprise organisations. You of course get access to all the top creative apps you’d expect, including Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and the rest, but also some nifty enterprise-only features.

It includes all the necessary licence management, deployment and content protection capabilities required to safeguard your organisation’s valuable creative assets, and it’s now available under the VIP programme, so you can access all these features without being tied into a multi-term contract.

Is Creative Cloud for enterprise for me?

If you have a dedicated IT resource and are looking to streamline management and have more control over your environment – including identifying and authenticating users, and protecting assets and documents – then Creative Cloud for enterprise is going to be ideal for you. Already a Creative Cloud for teams customer? If you want to upgrade to the enterprise version and receive all those extra features, you’ll just need to wait until your renewal window (30 days before and after the anniversary date).

What do I get?

As mentioned, with Creative Cloud for enterprise you get everything available in Creative Cloud for teams (essential creative apps, automatically updated at no extra cost, along with connected mobile apps, cloud storage, and online collaborative tools and services), plus:

Advanced licence management

– Integrate with existing corporate identity system single sign-on (SSO).

– Remove users or reassign licences individually or by group.

– Automatically remove users who leave the company when federated ID (SSO) is enabled.

Advanced security

– User authentication via federated ID (SSO) or Enterprise ID.

– Dedicated encryption key for at-rest assets (with domain claiming).

– Ownership of assets stored in the cloud.

Ability to turn on/off cloud services

– Limit non-core services for certain users or groups.

Enterprise-grade support

– Dedicated onboarding call.

– 24/7 support for IT and end users.

– Ability to open and track support cases.

– Unlimited expert services sessions.

How does buying under VIP compare to ETLA?

Creative Cloud for enterprise is available through either a VIP (Value Incentive Plan) or ETLA (Enterprise Term Licence Agreement).

Perfect for… Dynamic organisations. Large organisations who are stable or growing.
Licence type Subscription. Term.
Commitment Annual (option to extend up to three years). Three years.
Purchasing Transactional – buy and pay for users as needed. Consolidated – you can ‘true up’ your balance, but not down.
Minimum purchase No minimum. Approx 60 seats.
How much does it cost?

For customers on T1, the pricing costs £840 per user, per year for the All Apps package, and £360 per user, per year if you just opt for the Single App version. Under VIP you can access volume discounts the more licences you purchase, and you also have the option to sign up for a three year commitment to access an even higher level of discount. Find out more about Adobe VIP in this guide.

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise? Give us a call on 03332 409 259, email adobe@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below.

Adobe offer 15% discount on Acrobat DC subscriptions

Adobe offer 15% discount on Acrobat DC subscriptions

Been eyeing up Adobe Acrobat DC? If you’ve been sitting on subscribing, now’s the time – Adobe are offering discount on purchases of five or more licences of Acrobat.

Bag a bargain before 2nd December 2016 when Adobe Acrobat users will receive 15% off their initial subscription term. Adobe Acrobat DC is a world-renowned PDF application, designed to view, create, manage and print PDF files. If money off isn’t enough to persuade you, take a look at some of the benefits of Adobe Acrobat DC…

Top notch security and application sandboxing. Acrobat was engineered with security in mind, providing enterprise-class application sandboxing that prevents interference from troublesome outside forces like malware and other intruders, while prohibiting system resources and outside applications from interacting with protected apps. It also features system-level mitigations, JavaScript whitelisting and blacklisting, cross-domain access control, as well as regular updates.

Support for a multi-device workforce. Whether your team are working on their desktop computers, smartphones, tablets or laptops, Acrobat DC supports them all so you don’t have to worry about your PDFs working from one device to the other.

Integration with Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive and more. Adobe Acrobat DC works in conjunction with some of the most popular productivity applications around so you won’t have any compatibility issues.

Access to the latest features as soon as they’re released. Whenever Adobe drop a new update, you’ll be the first to get your hands on it.


Adobe Acrobat DC for Teams licensing tier 1 (per user per year):

– Acrobat DC Standard – £97 (usually £114).

– Acrobat DC Pro – £113 (usually £133).

Adobe Acrobat DC for Enterprise licensing tier 1 (per user per year):

– Acrobat DC Standard – £130 (usually £152).

– Acrobat DC Pro (£154 (usually £181).

For more information, give us a call on 03332 409 251 or send an email over to Adobe@Jigsaw24.com.

(15% discount applies to new and additional commercial and government licence purchases only. Licences must be purchased all at once, and discount pricing does not apply after the first year. It is not applicable to years two or three of Adobe’s optional three-year commit.)

Video – Get documents e-signed

Video – Hello, Adobe Document

For anything else, remember to give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com and one of our team will be in touch. For everything else, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24.

Why use animation (and Adobe Creative Cloud) for marketing?

Why use animation (and Adobe Creative Cloud) for marketing?

With the way people respond to advertising changing (Newscred report that 87% of buyers say digital content has a large impact on their purchasing decisions), I’ve found myself increasingly using animation as part of my video workflow. 

Why animation for marketing?

There are a few reasons we might decide animation was the best way to communicate a message – it can help make abstract or complex concepts easier to understand than a paragraph of text or a voiceover, or it can help to make dryer subjects more interesting and fun just by adding some graphics with a bit of movement. It also allows us to keep multimedia campaigns visually consistent by reusing spot illustrations that might have been created for a print campaign and turning them into motion graphics for video content.

We find we get some really good response when we incorporate animation, but creating it obviously takes time. Adobe Creative Cloud – a staple of my video workflow – helps ease that a bit.

Why use Adobe Creative Cloud?

Creative Cloud was an obvious choice for me when starting out in animation. For a start, I already had a CC subscription for all the other web and print work I was doing, so I had instant access to After Effects, and when I first went to use it a lot of the features came intuitively from being used to working in Illustrator and Photoshop etc. Keeping everything within Creative Cloud has other benefits too – there are dynamic links between all of the apps that I use for animation that keep my workflow totally non-destructive and any aspect of the final product is easily editable at any point of the process.

It’s great for organisation. I keep the bits I need to move independently of each other on separate layers in Illustrator, that way I can have them as separate layers in After Effects too. It means I don’t have to make loads of separate Illustrator files.

If you make any changes to your work, it’ll automatically update in Premiere Pro, taking out the hassle of going back and forth, saving different components multiple times every time you make a change. Creative Cloud gives you a more integrated user experience that’s brilliant for animation. App integration provides me with all the tools I could need to take an animation from initial illustration right the way up to final export.

Adobe Creative Cloud from Jigsaw24

I really would recommend making the move to Creative Cloud if you don’t already have a subscription. Or, indeed, if you’re looking at bringing video and animation in-house for the first time. The Complete package gives you access to all Adobe apps (After Effects, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, plus your standards like Photoshop, InDesign and more), or you can just opt for a Single App subscription too. Find out more about buying options for Adobe Creative Cloud here.

Oh, and you can see some of my animation work here at the Jigsaw24 YouTube channel.


– Want to get the most out of Adobe Creative Cloud? For tutorials, tips and other resources, check out our Adobe Creative Cloud Hub

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud? Give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Thanks for coming to our SEO Social!

Thanks for coming to our SEO Social!

Thanks to everyone who made it to our fourth Digital Creatives event, the SEO Social!

Thanks in particular to our DC regular, Iain Seers from Watershed Consulting, for getting the night started in style, Bing Ads’ Adela Popilkova for her insights on SEO layering, and Stephen Kenwright from Branded3 for sharing their success stories.

If you want a refresh of the key points (or if you couldn’t make it), you can always email events@Jigsaw24.com to request a copy of the night’s presentations.

If you were wowed by the reps from Extensis and Adobe but have sadly misplaced their cards, you can always get in touch with sales@Jigsaw24.com to request more information on any of the solutions you saw.

For those of you who were taken by Acronis’ Mac PC integration solutions, we offer free trials of  Acronis Access Advanced and Acronis Access Connect.

If you need anything else, just give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Five things you didn’t know about Creative Cloud for teams

Five things you didn’t know about Creative Cloud for teams

With all the updates they release, it can be difficult to keep track of the features that Adobe keep adding to Creative Cloud for teams. In case you’re not quite up to speed, here are five of our favourite lesser known features in the current version of Creative Cloud…

1. Libraries

“Libraries are probably one of the things we actually use most as a team.” says our graphic designer, Liana. “As well as having our own libraries, the group library lets everyone in the team share graphics, pictures and colours, so we can make sure we all stay on brand. The other week our photographer Simon was on a photoshoot and he was sending example compositions, which we could immediately see in an InDesign document/webpage mockup and feed back with other options, so it’s great for making sure we capture the right sort of content.”

As well as accessing locally stored assets, you can use the library pane to search Adobe Stock for imagery, so there’s no time consuming back and forth between your stock site and your creative app, and you can preview quickly, easily and without having to fork over any (extra) cash.

2. Creative Sync

Creative Sync joined Creative Cloud in 2015, and allows you to start your creative work on any device and then pick it up on another. You don’t even have to have the entire original file on your device.  You can also capture a shape as a vector graphic on your phone and edit it on your desktop, or make a change to a logo used in your project, and have everyone on your team instantly get the new version, and all the documents where it’s used, updated.

If you want to know more about the science behind this, and how you go from having an unwieldy file to having a asset that can be edited non-destructively, shared easily and updated across the board, take a look at this Adobe blog.

3. Creative Cloud Mobile App

As well as the Creative Cloud app itself, there are also a range of Adobe mobile applications that will sync with Creative Cloud and speed up your day to day workflow, as ably demonstrated by Simon in the video below:

These apps are free, and allow you to extend your workflow in really helpful ways – for example, Capture lets you, well, capture an image of a particularly inspiring object or pattern, and then turn it into an asset such as a shape, brush or colour theme, while Comp transforms natural drawing gestures into crisp, layout-ready graphics for faster mockup creation. You can then use Creative Sync to connect files on your desktop and mobile devices, so work you do on the go is accessible in-office.

4. Creative Cloud Market

If you ever need high quality illustrations, vectors and images, try Creative Cloud Market. It’s a collection of assets curated by Adobe users in the creative industries and made available to all paid Creative Cloud users (except those of you who are on the photography plan, sorry). You can access the Market from the Creative Cloud app on your desktop or mobile, click on Assets and then click on Market, and you’re in.

Your Market asset limit is 500 downloads per month, although once an asset is downloaded you can use it in any number of web and and graphic design projects. Find out more about Creative Cloud Market here.

5. Typekit

Typekit is a subscription service for fonts which you can sync to your computer or use on a website. “Typekit is extremely useful when you’re working with unknown fonts,” Liana wants you to know. “If someone’s used an extra font on a project, finding it in Typekit saves so much time compared to Googling it and downloading it.” Fonts in Typekit are synced across all your Adobe applications, so if you’ve used a font in one, it’s available to you in others.

A Creative Cloud subscription gives you access to the swanky Typekit Portfolio package as standard, which includes over 2000 fonts that you can sync to your computer and over 5600 you can use on the web. This package sets non-Creative Cloud users back a tidy sum, but those of you with CCft licences, however, get access to it free of charge. Find out how to link your Typekit and Creative Cloud accounts here.

To find out more about Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, get in touch with our team on 03332 409 251 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or like us on Facebook

Video: Our design team on… Adobe Creative Cloud for video

Video: Our design team on… Adobe Creative Cloud for video

For anyone looking to bring video production in-house, Adobe Premiere Pro in Creative Cloud is the first port of call. Here, graphic designer Simon runs us through his basic shooting and editing workflow with Premiere Pro, while the rest of the marketing team show off their (frankly shocking) pool skills…

– Want to get the most out of Adobe Creative Cloud? For tutorials, tips and other resources, check out our Adobe Creative Cloud Hub

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? Give us a call on 03332 409 251, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.