Adobe Creative Cloud 2016: What’s new?

Adobe Creative Cloud 2016: What’s new?

It’s hard to believe that a year’s passed since Adobe unveiled Stock, Artboards and a whole load of cool new features in their desktop and mobile apps. Now, they’re at it again, with the 2016 update to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. This comes replete with a whole arsenal of new creative tools and improvements across Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects and more, as well as always-welcome performance improvements.

Our pick of the new features

With dozens of new features available for desktop apps as well as mobile and Adobe Stock, we’d be here all day talking about every one, so we’ll concentrate on the main apps that our creative team use day-in, day-out (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro and After Effects, mainly), and some of the tools and workflow improvements they’re most excited about.

Photoshop. With every new iteration of Photoshop, there are always one or two big crowdpleasers, and this time round is no different. The Content-Aware tools were a real game-changer when they were originally released, and the new Content-Aware Crop, which fills in the gaps when you rotate an image or expand your canvas, looks very handy indeed.

The one that we’ve had the most fun with so far, though, is Face Aware Liquify, a very clever tool for detecting and magically making adjustments to facial features in images. Graphic designer Liana had a play with an unsuspecting subject’s face below, and had this to say: “On first play, it’s really good, detecting faces straight away and very accurately. You can use the sliders or grab the various facial features, and to be honest I wasn’t expecting there to be so many options, eg eye tilt or distance. Obviously these examples are the extremes, but I think this would be very useful in making subtle changes.” Cheers, Li…

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 15.10.49

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 15.09.23

Another new Photoshop feature of interest is Match Font, which identifies Latin fonts in images. “It’s recommended to get a straight-on image, so I did a quick Perspective Warp because the photo was at an angle,” Liana said. “It did seem a bit hit and miss (just nudging the box along could make it come up with different results even though the text was still in the box). But even though it didn’t find the font that we’ve used here, it did come up with similar suggestions. I love the fact that it searches Typekit too, which is obviously really handy. I think this is a good tool to get a similar style font and various options, but maybe not if you really need ‘that exact font’.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 15.42.37

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 15.42.25

Illustrator. No silly faces in this one, unfortunately, just cold hard workflow improvements. The latest update for Illustrator features Fast Export of assets and artboards. When you need an icon scaled for multiple screen sizes, instead of exporting each size configuration individually, now you can export the icon across all the required size configurations at the same time with just one click, which is going to make life a lot easier for our design team.

Premiere Pro and After Effects. Earlier this year at NAB 2016, Adobe made a big announcement about upcoming updates to their core Creative Cloud for teams (CCT) video apps. They promised VR video capabilities and faster than ever media ingest and editing workflows in Premiere Pro CC, as well as a more responsive After Effects (as well as the usual performance and stability enhancements across all the Adobe video and audio applications). And with this update, they’ve made good on their word.

New Virtual Reality features have been added to Premiere Pro, including a ‘field of view’ mode which makes it easy for editors and filmmakers to preview media and see what the viewer will see. Then there’s the new Character Animator in After Effects, which makes it easy to match an animated character to a real-life actor’s speech and movements in real time. If you’re a Simpsons fan, you’ll be interested to know that this latest update was recently tested by The Simpsons’ animation team when they used it for Homer Simpson’s live Q&A session in the 15th May episode.

Creative Cloud Libraries. Creative Cloud Libraries was a big hit with our design team when it first came out, meaning easier access to key tools, colours, fonts and more. And now it’s even better, with read-only library collaboration, followable Libraries with a Send Link, an updated Libraries panel for Photoshop CC, Dreamweaver CC (Beta), Adobe Muse CC and Animate CC, and new asset type support for InDesign CC, including gradients, colours, styles, tints and swatches.

When can I get them?

As always, if you’re a current Creative Cloud for teams subscriber, you get all new updates immediately for free. A notification should have pinged up in your Creative Cloud app. If you don’t currently hold an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription though, you can of course get in touch with us, as the UK’s leading Adobe reseller, to get it all sorted.

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

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.

Chasing auroras: An interview with photographer Jamen Percy

Chasing auroras: An interview with photographer Jamen Percy

Jamen Percy is an international, award-winning photographer, designer and Adobe Stock contributor (check out his Stock portfolio here). He’s also got a bit of a thing for the Northern Lights, winning Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015: Aurorae Category and setting up his own Arctic Circle photo tour group, Aurora Chasers (see more on Jamen’s Instagram). We quizzed him on his photography workflow, selling for stock services and why you shouldn’t get between a mother bear and her cubs… 

Jamen Percy

How did you first get into photography? 

I was at the ripe old age of 26 when I was in need of a fresh change in my life, so I relocated from my home town in Sydney to London. There I soon became addicted to travelling abroad and this gave me that extra reason to invest in a proper SLR camera. The two went in hand, and it was wanderlust at first sight.

What kind of work and styles do you specialise in? 

I cover quite a variety of subject matter – I started with travel, specialising in the Aurora Borealis up in the Arctic circle, but then branched out as my lust for wildlife and nature adventures exponentially expanded. I would then do small studio shots in my London home for technique practice, which also helped pay for all the gear I ‘just had to have’ for my next trip.

Jamen Percy Aurora Borealis

What’s been the hardest shoot you’ve been on?

Every subject is hard – if it’s easy, then it’s not worth it. You can bet many other people have done the same if it’s too easy. When it gets hard, you know you’re on to something good. It’s also when most people give up. In terms of stock photography, a unique picture is key. I love shooting wildlife and, although it’s not as profitable for stock as other subjects, I enjoy it so much it never feels like work to me.

Jamen Percy brown bear

The hardest shoot so far would have to be brown bears in the forests of Finland. Their behavior is so unpredictable; you can’t just come out of your hide and give them some creative direction. They are tough models to work with! Although they aren’t aggressive if they do see you, if you come between a mother and her cubs you won’t come out on top. It makes toilet breaks outside the hide interesting…

Jamen Percy brown bear and cub

You’ve shot some amazing pictures of the Aurora Borealis too – how was that?

Very cold! It’s extreme conditions and it can be very hard to chase them as the weather seems to be against you 95% of the time. But, that 5% is always worth it, even if you can’t feel your toes or hands and it’s 4am. It’s never the same and always awe-inspiring.

Do you have a photography Moby Dick you’re still on the hunt for?

Yes, there’s a list! Working with wildlife is a game of patience and persistence. I have a project in Central America photographing one of the world’s most elusive predators – wild jaguars. It’s been going for three years now, still with no shot yet, but I know it will come. And when it does…

So what’s in your kit bag? And what non-techy item are you never without on a shoot?

I’ve gone from owning every lens possible to having just the bare essentials. For day to day use, I have a super wide-Carl Zeiss 15mm lens, then an all-rounder Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L II, followed by the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L II. This gives me a full range and I rarely need anything else unless it’s really specific – telephoto or fisheye, for example – and for that I would hire the lens out. In terms of non-tech, I always have a soft cloth for cleaning the lens and a chocolate bar to keep my energy levels up. If you get tired and hungry you can’t focus and get lazy – photography can be surprisingly physical.

Jamen Percy

Can you describe your workflow for us?

I load my images straight into Lightroom, where I do a quick pass marking the ones worth keeping and deleting the rest, which usually reduces the collection to 25% of the original amount. From there I apply an overall lens correction and adjustments, then I go through each image and make local adjustments and tweaks to the lighting. By then I can usually spot the favourites and I keyword and export them to be uploaded. I try to avoid uploading similar images to keep my portfolio to a high standard.

Do you use any other editing tools such as Photoshop?

I only use Photoshop to do studio shoots where I remove infrastructure and tools used to position the subjects, combining images or changing colours of objects. Most of my photos stay in Lightroom though. It now has so many more features that I don’t need third party software for panoramic and such like I used to. I also use Adobe After Effects to compile timelapses.

Jamen_Percy_Aurora

You do a lot of stock imagery work – how do you decide what to give over to stock services?

If I think it will sell on Adobe Stock, then I will submit it, otherwise the photo will sit on my hard drive and cost money rather than make it. However, context does apply to stock – some images will sell at high prices as art prints but never sell at all on Adobe Stock – these tend to be more creative visions which are too abstract to sell commercially but highly prized as unique in the art world. It’s all about finding the right audience for each image.

Jamen Percy

So is there a balance between what you think will be commercially successful and still retaining your style?

No never, but I seem to always get some of my style in each photograph, regardless of the subject matter. I will photograph anything that will sell, as soulless as its sounds – the image selling industry has become so hardline for making money you cannot afford to exclude anything and often the subjects people don’t want to photograph are in demand because of this. You can always use different aliases to separate your portfolio into styles with most stock libraries however. Also, having a good variety of work will increase your opportunities. Every subject matter is a challenge and has lessons to learn.

What kind of thing do you receive the most interest in?

My timelapses and photos of the Aurora Borealis have always outsold any of my other work. To get all the conditions right for a good shoot can take many seasons to crack, as well as the aurora coming in 11-year cycles of strength, so for 5 years there are almost no chances to photograph strong activity – which adds to its rareness.

Do you have any advice you can give to up and coming photographers?

Always be unique if you want to sell. If you don’t, you’re just adding to the pollution.

Check out more of Jamen’s great work on his Instagram, and over in his Adobe Stock portfolio.

Want to find out more about Adobe Stock? Head on over to our Adobe Stock page to take a look at the full feature-set. You can also give us a call on 03332 409 259, email adobe@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below.

5 things to consider when picking stock images

5 things to consider when picking stock images

Picking stock imagery may seem like a chore, but when you’re working on a project and looking to find the perfect photo, the most popular or most artistic isn’t always going to fit the bill. Our team have put together a few tips to bear in mind when selecting the right image for your work.

#1 Get the most from your image

The key here is to think broadly. The last thing you want is to purchase an image for the email campaign you’re designing, only to find out that you need to adapt it into a dreaded skyscraper banner the week after. If you don’t know all the elements of the project right now, try and pick an image that can be easily adapted to different aspect ratios.

Secondly, while I know it seems obvious, you’d be surprised just how many times I’ve seen stock images purchased and used once, only to then disappear into the abyss of a server, never to be seen again. Get your money’s worth, people! Where you have licensed an image for multiple uses, be sure to keep it in the back of your mind in case another campaign crops up where it can be used. We may use the same image in an education piece of marketing as in a business piece, for example.

#2 What’s the best before date?

OK, we all know that some stock photography looks like it’s been lifted straight out of the 80s, but we aren’t just talking about whether or not the models are sporting fetching mullets and a tache here. It’s important to take a good look at the items in shot to make sure that they aren’t going to date too quickly. As an example, we’re always on the lookout for computers or tablets that are about to be superseded by newer models. For some projects, as long as the photo is current, it’ll be absolutely fine. But the last thing you want to do is to put something in print that will result in a reprint in a couple of months.

#3 Don’t be stung by approvals

It’s the rule we all live by and all get caught out on: don’t download the high res version until all key stakeholders have seen the project. Preview versions are there to prevent you from wasting your budget or stock credits, so be sure to use them. And if you’re the kind of person who likes to download and take the hit on the budget so that you don’t end up duplicating work once the high res version is approved, take a look at Adobe Stock. The built-in integration between Adobe Stock and Creative Cloud means that you can use the preview image when designing your visuals and, once it’s signed off, a hit of a button will swap out the linked asset – a massive time saver!

#4 Make the image your own

Most stock image licences allow you to adapt the original photo to some degree, and if you want your project to have something unique about it, it’s good to make the most of that flexibility. Inevitably there are going to be certain images that are more popular than others, so if your heart is set on using them, do something a bit different to make it your own. Take a look at the cover of our brochure of retail solutions, in which we replaced the standard brick wall behind the female shop assistant with a busy store.

Adapting Stock Imagery - Jigsaw24 Retail Brochure

#5 Have a few ideas in your back pocket

The last one is to make sure you have a few ideas stored away in your back pocket. While we all like to think we get it right first time, there are always occasions where the client has other ideas! So be sure to pick out a few image options when you’re searching, so that if they come back with the red pin, you’re ready with some alternatives that you already approve of.

Want to find out more about Adobe Stock? Head on over to our Adobe Stock page to take a look at the full feature-set. You can also give us a call on 03332 409 259, email adobe@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below.

How does Adobe Stock stack up?

How does Adobe Stock stack up?

Wondering whether or not it’s time for you to switch to Adobe Stock? Sick of hearing us banging on about the incredibly awesome workflow benefits that come with the integration into Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? OK, well how about some cold hard facts to help you make up your mind about how Adobe Stock stacks up against your current provider?

Here’s a quick guide that pits Adobe Stock against the big boys: iStock, Shutterstock, Bigstock and depositphotos.

Who has the most assets?

While I’ve always been told it’s quality not quantity, if you’re drawing blanks and want something to inspire you, having plenty of images to look through is always a bonus. But how do the stock providers compare to each other?

Adobe Stock – Adobe Stock has 45 million assets and counting. Since it’s launch in autumn last year, an additional 5 million have already been added to the pot! 

Big Stock – Despite the name, this is by no means the largest library on the list, with a relatively respectable 32 million assets.

depositphotos – While we’ve struggled to get a definitive number for this one, the last source we can find put this at about 12+ million items, making it the second smallest on the list.

iStock – Last reported, iStock had about 10+ million assets on its books, making it the smallest stock provider on the list.

Shutterstock – Definitely one of the largest databases on file, it has over 70 million stock assets. 

Verdict: While Adobe Stock doesn’t have the largest number of assets within its library, it is by no means the smallest, and is a big jump for anyone using iStock, depositphotos or Big Stock.

What assets are available?

Of course, it’s not all about imagery. Many stock websites also offer video and audio for more complete multimedia provision.

Imagery – As expected, all of the providers on the list offer creative and editorial imagery. Well, you’d hope so…

Illustrations and vector images – Illustrations and vectors aren’t always a given on stock services, but depositphotos, Big Stock, iStock, Shutterstock and Adobe Stock all include both though.

Video – Another big area for stock services is video. Adobe Stock has only recently added it to its arsenal, and all of the other providers on the list are advocates.

Audio – Audio is always a bit of a wild card for stock services and, of the full list, iStock and Shutterstock are the only ones to include it.

Verdict: For the most part, all of the services are fairly evenly weighted. Just bear in mind that if you’re after audio, then only iStock and Shutterstock are viable options. Adobe Stock is a good option for the non-audiophiles out there.

Who has the best assets? The zebra test…

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Jigsaw24 mascot is the elegant animal that is the zebra. Naturally, we find ourselves looking out for the very best zebra photography all the time. So how do the different stock providers look in terms of their zebra libraries?

depositphotos – A search on here returned 16,162 photos. Unlike others on the list, there’s much more of an emphasis on masked images of zebras on white backgrounds, and those that are photos aren’t always of the highest quality.

 deposit photos – the zebra test

Big Stock – Another with a focus on natural photography. The quality of the images is nice, although considering this has the fewest results (13,335 in total) a lot of the assets seem to be variations of the same image. Also, note that the search doesn’t seem to be able to distinguish between a zebra and a zebra crossing.

 Big stock – the zebra test

iStock – Now powered by Getty Images, it’s interesting that iStock returns very different results. A total of 18,133 assets for a search of ‘zebra’ with quite a nice mix of decent photography, zebras on white backgrounds and the odd quirky image thrown in.

 iStock – the zebra test

Shutterstock – The largest number of results came from Shutterstock, with a whopping 33,662 images! Quality is a mixed bag overall, with plenty of stylised photos as well as plenty you wouldn’t look twice at.

 Shutter stock – the zebra test

Adobe Stock – Like iStock, Adobe Stock has a nice mixture of assets and returns 18,786 results, making it the third largest in quantity. Oddly, Adobe Stock seems to return a large number of other objects (rhinos, birds, cake…) masquerading as zebras.

Adobe Stock – the zebra test 

Verdict: They all have their own specialities which makes it difficult to directly compare, but when it comes to variation and range Shutterstock, iStock and Adobe Stock come up trumps.

Which is the most expensive? 

It’s the all-important question and ultimately what helps sway the decision in many businesses, so what’s the difference in price?

First off, a slight caveat in that direct comparisons between different stock providers can be difficult because of the sheer number of options out there. However, for the purposes of this piece, we’re approaching it from the angle of needing an annual subscription for a team with a standard licence.

iStock – iStock only advertise for single users, and for a team subscription you would be looking at a higher cost. Their pricing is split between ‘Essentials’ subscriptions (which includes basic images only) and ‘Signature’ subscriptions (which includes access to all imagery.). For an annual Signature subscription, you can get 50 images per month for £119 (£2.38 per image) up to 750 images per month for £199.92 (27p per image).

Shutterstock – Shutterstock do offer team packages, with prices increasing as the number of users does. For a team of two users, they offer a 750 images per month package for £179 (24p per image).

Big Stock – Unfortunately there’s no mention of a teams package or an annual subscription, but monthly packages are available. For 25 images per month it’s £45 (£1.80 per image), and there are options up to 200 images per month for £112 (56p per image).

depositphotos – Team packages are available with an annual subscription through depositphotos. For 50 images it’s £51 per month (£1.02 per image) and options are available up to 500 images per month for £171 (34p per image).

Adobe Stock – The big thing to bear in mind here are that pooled imagery amongst teams does not cost more with Adobe Stock, so there’s no increase price as your team grows. A 10 image per month subscription will set you back £20 per month (equivalent to £2 per image). For 750 images per month, it’s £120 per month (or 16p per image).

Verdict: Adobe Stock is the clear winner in price when looking at team subscriptions. Ultimately, across all three services, the more images you’re buying the cheaper it’s going to be, but in terms of cost per image, Adobe Stock is the most cost-effective.

And one more thing… productivity

Stock imagery and productivity might sound like an odd combination, but the fact is that where Adobe Stock is in a very unique position is in its integration with your Creative Cloud applications. As well as being able to search for imagery directly within the app without having to jump back to the Adobe website, preview images can be saved and manipulated within your projects, then when it comes to buying the final version, you hit a button and it swaps out the preview for the final high res image, retaining any adjustments you made to the preview. Basically, it eradicates the need to duplicate work, so in theory, Adobe Stock makes you twice as fast.

And in regards the other stock providers? Oh, is that tumbleweed we see…

Buy Adobe Stock at Jigsaw24

Want to find out more about Adobe Stock? Head on over to our Adobe Stock page to take a look at the full feature-set. You can also give us a call on 03332 409 259, email adobe@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below.

*Prices correct at the time of writing.

Using the Canon XC10 in Biological Photography MSc

Using the Canon XC10 in Biological Photography MSc

As Canon’s latest wonder, the compact, 4K XC10 video camera is in high demand among image specialists. The Biological Photography team over at the University of Nottingham got their hands on the XC10, so our very own Anthony Corcoran and Liz Sunter sat down with David McMahon (Director of Photography & Imaging) and Steve Galloway (Taught Course Specialist) for a chat to find out their thoughts on the camera, and how they’ve been using it on the Biological Photography and Imaging MSc course.

AC:  Do you find it’s students who already have a degree in science that want to do more media type stuff coming to the course?

DM: We get students who’ve come straight out of doing their degree, but we also get a large percentage of students who’ve been out in the working world as well who are coming back to do our course, so they might decide on a career change. So our youngest student would be 22 just coming out of their undergraduate programme, right up to… we had a student who was 65, was she?

SG: I think she was, yeah.

DM: Anyway, getting the budget to buy the kit and so on is a big problem. We ask them to bring along a basic kit, which is a DSLR with a basic lens, flash, some other bits and pieces, and then we supply them with extras to top that kit up, like a 70 – 300mm lens, macro lens and things like that.

AC: So traditionally you’re using basically photography based kit and these days you’re doing bits of video production on DSLRs?

DM: Yeah, we used to use the Sony 1000Es, which we got from Jigsaw24 years ago, but the problem was they were tape-based, so there was a lot of time spent importing the tape into the system and stuff like that. And then we went on to the Canon 7Ds, but then we saw the XC10s at the Rutland Bird Fair.

AC: Good to know Canon are nailing absolutely every possible market.

DM: Steve said “I want to show you this camera.” And as soon as I saw the camera – terrific.

AC: I thought the same, because of the small form factor and the little flip out screen. And in fact I quite like the fact that you can’t change the lens. Just having the large sensor and fixed lens means you can move quickly. And then also things like, the five axle stabilisation system’s pretty smart, and it can do 4K or HD, all at a 1200 quid price point.

DM: In terms of education kit, and the reason one of the bits is really good is the actual restrictions it puts on you as well. You can’t change the lenses, so the student is actually stuck with what you have to give them, and they have to learn to work with what they’ve got, [whereas] instead of being like, “Ooh, I need to get closer” they’ll put on a longer lens, and then vibration will start coming into it and they’ll go “Well why is it vibrating?” So give them a piece of kit that is very restrictive and first of all it does mess about with their heads, but secondly they start to learn how to get round these problems.

AC: So what was in the shooting kit?

SG: It was the camera and accessories, and then we gave them a tripod with a video fluid head, sound kit, so they had a field recorder, an on-camera microphone and a shotgun microphone in a blimp and a boom pole. They had some sliders, some tabletop dollies and some jibs. And they were all trained up on that, they did a practice exercise first. They have to learn the motions themselves.

DM: The first part is more about how you’re going to be working together as a team. They don’t know who’s going to be working with who, that’s put together at the last minute, so it’s getting them to work with someone that they haven’t necessarily worked with, bringing other people into it – they might have to find a voiceover artist – they need to then communicate with outside organisations to arrange filming and such. And it’s all done over a really short period of time, so it makes them really sit up and think about what they need to do. The video aspect is actually secondary to what we’re trying to teach them – to think on their feet and arrange things, working together, coping with the stress of editing and learning how to edit.

AC: There are so many factors. Traditionally editing was a craft done by only an editor, and I know it’s kind of more simple now doing it on a computer [but] at the same time you’ve got a million more different types of codecs, a million more different types of plug-ins, a million more different types of software, so you could argue it’s more complicated in some respects. A guy could have spent years at the BBC learning that craft and that camera inside out, but that’s not going to happen today. There’s all sorts of stuff, whether you’re doing After Effects or Photoshop, tweaking it, and also mixing media inside your films, using bits of stills or bits of photography –

DM: Again this is what they had to do, they had to bring in their own kind of animation into the film as well, so it’s not only about filming on the XC10s but also using other Adobe programmes like Photoshop and Illustrator to actually do animations and to use that within the films as well. So there’s a whole mixed bunch that we actually give them to do in a three week period. The photography side of their learning is quite laidback. The video side is quite an intense programme that we throw at them.

LS: And lastly, how was your experience working with Jigsaw24? 

DM: I think that Jigsaw24 is a fantastic company, I really wouldn’t shop anywhere else for computer equipment or things like that. We’ve had issues before with other companies, but with Jigsaw24 you know they’re going to deal with any problems properly.

Want to know more about the Canon XC10? Get in touch with the team on 03332 400 888 or email sales@jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘Like’ us on Facebook


Review: A day in the life of iPad Pro

Review: A day in the life of iPad Pro

When iPad Pro was announced in September 2015, we couldn’t quite imagine how it’d fit into our creative workflow. But after getting our hands on one for a couple of weeks and letting the team put it through its paces, we’ve come to understand Apple’s vision for this super-sized, yet super-portable and powerful tablet.

We placed iPad Pro with our in-house creative team, to see how they used the device as part of their creative workflow. iPad Pro seamlessly integrated with our Mac computers and Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Here’s how the team has been using iPad Pro this week… 

Monday:

“I kicked things off by taking iPad Pro with me to our weekly creative team catchup. It was great for making quick notes, annotating and sketching out ideas. Initially I thought it would be too big and heavy to take to meetings and brainstorming sessions, but on closer inspection I found it to be quite the opposite and a great portable device. It’s particularly light and thin with a beautifully sleek 12.9” Retina display making it ideal for sharing ideas with the team in meetings and on the go. Being able to handwrite notes using the Apple Pencil was a real bonus, and was a great addition during brainstorming sessions.” – Becky

IMG_9830

Tuesday:

“This week I’ve been working on a new illustration to front an event invite. I used Adobe Creative Cloud mobile application Photoshop Sketch to create my initial artwork ideas. Photoshop Sketch mimics the same visual effects you get when painting and drawing on paper, so using iPad Pro with Apple Pencil felt really natural. I’ve been working with the water colour brush today, which is really responsive, I can watch the colour spread and develop much like the real thing would.

I wasn’t expecting iPad Pro to replace my iMac setup and desktop Creative Cloud applications, but I could certainly get used to switching between the two and would benefit greatly from having the freedom to work on the go, knowing that my projects would synchronise across devices and apps so I could keep picking it up wherever I’m working.” – Xenia

IMG_9812

Wednesday:

“I find that I’m just as productive working on iPad Pro as I am on my MacBook. Although the multitasking Spilt View feature is available across iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4, using it on iPad Pro was brilliant. Today I was writing up my work in Pages using Split View with Safari open on the other side. It’s a great way of working and such a time saver not having to flick between applications.” – Shariff

IMG_9817

Thursday:

“I’ve just finished working my way through an Adobe training clip. I like to keep on top of Adobe updates, so today I was working in Split View with half the screen displaying Adobe Comp and the other half open with Safari so I could follow the tutorial.” – Thierry

Friday:

“Today I’ve been finishing off the projects I started earlier in the week. I really enjoy being able to pick up iPad Pro, tap into Adobe Creative Cloud applications and pick up sketches and graphics I’ve been working on, on my desktop in mobile form. I like how weighty the Apple Pencil is, it doesn’t feel like it’s about to fly out of my hand across the room and there’s minimal lag! When I’m sketching on iPad Pro it feels like a completely natural drawing experience, Apple Pencil is thinner than the stylus I usually use with my Wacom tablet, but it was very easy to adjust to.” – Jamie

Additional thoughts from the team:

“The Apple Pencil is awesome, and the iPad Pro is a good size, but it’s not really necessary when you have a MacBook. I can see the appeal if you’re working on an iMac and need something portable though. If the iPad Pro could run the Photoshop desktop app like a Mac did with OS X, it’d be on to a winner.” – Liana

“While iPad Pro impresses most when drawing – the Apple Pencil is a real pleasure to draw with, being incredibly responsive, and also much more natural and comfortable than some graphics tablet pencils – for me, as a copywriter, it’s the screen size that’s the winner. When it was first announced, some balked at the idea of a 12” iPad, but actually using the iPad Pro, it makes perfect sense. You have an almost full-size keyboard at your fingertips, so word processing is a realistic option. I’d still prefer to type on my trusty 13” MacBook Air – I would miss the feedback and clickety-clack of a real keyboard – but I would definitely consider iPad Pro as a tool for word processing on the move.” – Liz

The pros

– It’s far lighter than you expect, which makes it a very portable option despite its larger size than other models.

– The added size just makes everything a little bit easier to do (without going too big!) – everything from multitasking to typing to sketching ideas and making notes is natural.

– The Apple Pencil is a joy to use! Sketching is so much more accurate than comparable tools we have used and very quickly it becomes as fluid as using pencil on paper.

– Split-screen makes sense on iPad Pro, as you basically have two full sized apps running alongside each other in a way that’s not been possible until now.

We’d love to see…

– There’s really only one thing: more heavy duty creative apps that would give it the ability to be a realistic alternative to the notebook. At the minute the Adobe tools available are great for developing ideas and working on the fly, but you’re going to have to have your MacBook with you if you want to do anything more than sketching and basic comping. But that’s more about the tools than the hardware, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on developments in that area.

Want to find out more about iPad Pro? Options start at the 32GB model up to 128GB, and it’s available in Silver, Gold and Space Grey, with prices from £547 ex VAT. Get in touch with the team 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.

Free trial of Adobe Stock for Creative Cloud for teams members

Free trial of Adobe Stock for Creative Cloud for teams members

Adobe Creative Cloud for teams members can now redeem a thirty day free trial of Adobe Stock per account. Stock allows its users access to a vast library of stock images available to purchase directly in Creative Cloud apps. Manage your content and experience seamless Creative Cloud integration for yourself.  

Adobe are inviting members to visit the Adobe Stock website and sign in with their Adobe ID to claim ten free stock images that teams will have thirty days to download. The offer is restricted to one use per Creative Cloud account and is not available to those who have already used their test run or already have an Adobe Stock subscription.

Adobe Stock’s library of images is always growing, giving its users a vast array of content to play and create with. With over 45 million images available, the image archive has quickly become the go-to stock photo source for designers and artists. Any images purchased within Adobe Stock can be accessed by the entire team at no extra charge.

Here are a few thoughts from our design team:

Xenia: “Adobe Stock makes it really easy and quick to search for images and add them to your library straight from Photoshop. The imagery is constantly being updated too.”

Simon: “Once you’re browsing, the interface feels cleaner and simpler than other libraries I’ve used.”

Thierry: “I find Adobe Stock really useful for mocking up how a project can look by placing in preview images without having to leave the application.”

You can find our full review of Adobe Stock here.

Unclaimed Adobe Stock trial licences expire after 30 days from the date they are awarded so if you’ve got one, what are you waiting for? Make the most of it today and get creating!

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

Adobe Stock review: Our design team give their verdict

Adobe Stock review: Our design team give their verdict

It’s been just over half a year since Adobe announced their very own stock image service, Adobe Stock. And in that time, there have been significant updates, plus a load of new images added to their library.

Just after its release, our design team made the move over to Adobe Stock from the service they were previously using. While changing the tools you use day-in, day-out, is never without its wobbles, they managed to transition from Adobe Creative Suite to Creative Cloud and remain relatively unscathed, so as Adobe Stock plugs directly into CC apps, and uses a familiar Adobe interface, it was a doddle. Now they’ve had a while to get to grips with all the functionality and features, we thought we’d ask for their verdict on Adobe Stock, how it ties into their daily design workflow and whether they’d recommend making the move from any other stock service. Take a look at how they’re using it in the video below, and read on to find out their thoughts.

What’s new in Adobe Stock?

First of all, it’s worth pointing out some of the new updates since Adobe Stock‘s release. The library of assets is constantly growing, with 5 million new images and videos being added already (taking the tally from 40 million to 45 million). Adobe have also introduced Pooled Images, whereby if any member in your team purchases an Adobe Stock licence, all the images that the user then buys will automatically be shared with your creative team.

Our design team’s verdict

So what do our delectable designers think of Adobe Stock, six months on? And would they suggest making the move from your current service? We collared a few to pick their brains on everything from the layout of preview images to search options and prices…

Xenia: “The first major bonus for me is that Adobe Stock makes it really easy and quick to search for images and add them to your library straight from Photoshop. The imagery is constantly being updated too. The difference is obvious from just a few months ago when I searched for “tablet device” to now – there are more of them, and the quality of the images, taking composition and content into consideration, has improved greatly (as opposed to the sometimes cheesy ones you can come across!).

“Another thing I like is the simple pricing. Other photo stock sites use credits, meaning you have to figure out how much a credit is worth and, as each photo can have different credit values, it can get confusing. But Adobe Stock just has a simple, flat price plan. For us the ten images a month plan is perfect – at £19.99 it works out at really good value, and you can even roll over unused images for up to a year. It’s easy to manage the subscription too, as it’s through the same Admin Console we use for our Creative Cloud for teams licences.”

Liana: “There are now more options on the search tools drop-down menu, which is great. I especially like the extra long landscape size option on the orientation search tools, which is very useful if you’re looking to use images as headers or backgrounds on websites, for example. The only drawback at the moment, and this really is a minor quibble, is that you can’t uncheck a box – you have to clear them all, which means having to enter all the options again.

“The way the images are laid out is great too, as you get larger thumbnails because of the way that they’re stacked. The hover options are intuitive and ‘Find Similar’ option is also really handy. I quite like how it expands on the page when you click on an image, rather than taking you to a new page, as I often end up with loads of windows open.”

Thierry: “I find Adobe Stock really useful for mocking up how a project (especially brochures or magazine layouts) can look by placing in preview images without having to leave the application. If an image is then going to be used for print, I can simply click to purchase and the image in my project is updated to the highest quality available.”

Simon: “I really like how I can access Adobe Stock in the same place as Typekit, up in the toolbar. And once you’re browsing, the interface feels cleaner and simpler than other libraries I’ve used. It’s actually really nice to just have assets in Libraries ready to drag into any of the apps.”

– So, are you using Adobe Stock? Let us know what you think of the stock image service in the comments below. If you’d like to know more about the service and pricing for licences, click the banner or get in touch with the team on the details below… 

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Want to know more about Adobe Stock? 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.

Last chance to save when you move to Adobe Creative Cloud!

Last chance to save when you move to Adobe Creative Cloud!

We really mean it this time. If you’re still on old versions of Creative Suite, you only have until 27th November 2015 to migrate over to Adobe Creative Cloud (and save a cool £543 over three years). After that, you’ll only be able to buy new, full price seats, so it’s definitely time to make the move!

Adobe have been offering discounted migration pricing ever since they first launched Creative Cloud (way back in 2012!), so the fact that it will no longer be available is a really big deal for anyone who hasn’t moved over to Cloud yet. And they’re making migration an even more enticing prospect by also reintroducing their three year price lock.

Calculating Creative Cloud costs

Now for the money bit. Adobe migration pricing costs £455 ex VAT per seat for a 12 month term, but with the three year price lock taken into account, seats purchased now at £455 will be locked in for the next two renewals – which all saves you a whopping £543 per seat. After 27th November, however, new licences can only be purchased at the standard cost of £636 ex VAT for a 12 month term. It’s a massive opportunity for anyone who hasn’t yet migrated, as well as anyone who is looking to expand their estates, especially when you consider everything you get in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams

Why migrate to Creative Cloud?

We don’t really need to tell you that using legacy versions of software means you’re missing out on all the new features and workflow improvements that have come out since Adobe moved to Creative Cloud, not to mention the issue of file compatibility. For more info on how it works, check out our handy Adobe Creative Cloud infographic here, or for more on the new features, Adobe tutorials, customer stories and tons of other Adobe resources, head to our Adobe Creative Cloud hub.

Migrate to Creative Cloud now

To migrate to Adobe Creative Cloud and take advantage of this limited time offer, you’ll need to get your orders in before 27th November. Just give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com and we’ll sort you out!

Interested in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? 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.

Adobe drop new 2015 Creative Cloud features and updates

Adobe drop new 2015 Creative Cloud features and updates

In what’s become a bit of a yearly tradition, Adobe have unveiled major new 2015 updates for all Creative Cloud desktop apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and more.

Creative Cloud 2015 also brings new updates to mobile apps, including the brand new Adobe Hue for iOS, as well as new improved libraries and the new Adobe Stock asset marketplace. Of course, if you’ve got an ongoing Creative Cloud membership, all the new stuff comes at no extra cost too. We’ve picked out our top new updates and features below.

 

Desktop apps get a sprinkling of magic

All 15 Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps get updates in the 2015 release, with Adobe adding what they call their ‘Adobe Magic’. Just some of the new features to look out for include:

Photoshop CC. 2015 sees the introduction of Artboards, an easy way to create and preview multiple layouts of different sizes in one Photoshop document, and Device Preview, so you can check how they’ll look on different devices. An interesting workflow addition is the new Photoshop Design Space interface which lets users create their own tool layouts based on just the tools they need to do their work. Performance-wise, the Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush and Patch tools have been boosted with Mercury Graphics Engine enhancements, so you get results up to a massive 120 times faster than in CS6.

Lightroom CC. Lightroom, as well as Photoshop, gets a new Dehaze feature which eliminates fog and haze from photos, including underwater shots, for startlingly clear images. Haze can also be added to a photo for artistic effect.

Illustrator CC. Illustrator has also had a speed boost – it’s now ten times faster and ten times more precise than CS6. Thanks to a new Mercury Performance System boost, you can pan, zoom and scroll faster and more smoothly, and zoom into your artwork to create and edit with incredible precision (magnification can now reach up to 64,000% instead of 6400%). A new Chart tool lets users create custom charts and graphics.

InDesign CC. Mercury performance has also come to InDesign, meaning you can now zoom, scroll and page through complex documents twice as fast. Other new enhancements let you place images directly into cells of tables, add colour or shading to paragraphs, and publish and distribute documents with a single click.

Premiere Pro CC. Video users get spoiled with some big new improvements in the 2015 release. The new Lumetri Colour panel simplifies colour workflows with better colour correction tools and intuitive sliders. For editing interviews, the new Morph Cut feature smooths out jump cuts and sound bytes in talking-head shots to create a cohesive, polished sequence.

After Effects CC. New tracking features give you exceptional accuracy by managing the level of detail you track, and simple mask tracking lets you quickly apply effects only to a face, such as selective colour correction or blurring. You can easily animate 2D characters from Illustrator or Photoshop with Character Animator, which tracks your facial movements, records a voiceover and even triggers bodily movement with simple keyboard actions and automated features. Newcomers will also benefit from the new Simplified Preview mode which helps users get to grips with motion graphics and visual effects.

Dreamweaver CC. It’s now easier than ever to create mobile websites in Dreamweaver, with support for responsive design to create production-ready websites that dynamically adapt to various screen sizes. You also have the ability to preview and test websites on multiple devices in realtime. Quickly turn Photoshop comps into code-based designs with Extract, and work more efficiently with Code Editor tools like code completion, built-in validation and site management.

Muse CC. With instant access to premium fonts in Typekit from the Adobe Muse font menu, and the ability to integrate blogs, shopping carts, radio buttons and more using new widgets downloaded from the Library panel, it’s now much faster to create dynamic, engaging web designs.

 

Libraries get Linked Assets

Creative Cloud Libraries has always been a favourite feature of our team, giving easier access to key tools, brushes, colours, fonts and more, in Photoshop and InDesign. Now in the 2015 release, that functionality is extended to more apps, with support for Premiere Pro and After Effects. Adobe have also added support for Linked Assets, which lets you make an amend to an asset and then have that change automatically incorporated within every document or project.

 

Adobe stock up on assets

Adobe Stock is Adobe’s new asset marketplace, home to some 40 million quality images and graphics. It conveniently integrates into CC desktop apps like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and more, letting you save images to your Creative Cloud Libraries and then access them directly from inside your apps. You can work with watermarked images directly in comps, then when you’re ready to purchase, any edits you made to the watermarked image are magically applied to the purchased full-resolution image via CreativeSync.

You can buy Adobe Stock with new Creative Cloud for teams purchases or simply add it to your existing membership, and we’ll have full pricing and availability soon.

 

New and improved mobile CC apps

The Creative Cloud mobile app lineup keeps getting stronger, with updates to Adobe Comp CC, Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Sketch, Illustrator Draw, Brush CC, Shape CC and Color CC for iPad and iPhone (Shape, Color and Photoshop Mix are also now available for Android).

Adobe have also released new mobile apps Adobe Hue, Preview and Comp which are designed to make it even easier to capture inspiration and create from anywhere. Hue lets you capture colour palettes from photographs to create ‘Looks’ that can be uploaded to your Creative Cloud Library. You can then use these as creative references and to improve video footage in apps like Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Premiere Clip for iOS devices. Adobe Preview CC gives Photoshop CC designers precise, realtime previews of their mobile designs, while you can use Comp CC to draft your layouts using natural drawing gestures.

 

– The 2015 updates to CC desktop and mobile apps are available to download immediately for all Creative Cloud members as part of their membership at no additional cost. If you want to know more about Creative Cloud subscriptions, get in touch on the details below.

Adobe Creative Cloud hub on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.