Adobe's Creative Cloud 2014 conference in sunny Los Angeles today saw the announcement of a slew of new features for the company's Creative Cloud customers.
While some improvements have been made to Adobe's desktop apps, communication between apps, both on mobile and desktop, seems to be one of the key things Adobe is focused on.
A completely revamped mobile apps line-up has been designed to speed up workflows, allowing more time to be creative, and allowing you to work wherever inspiration strikes you without coming up against barriers.
Plus, with the launch of the public beta of Adobe's Creative SDK, third-party apps that connect to Creative Cloud should begin popping up in app stores.
Here, we've listed the top 12 announcements from Adobe Max, including a sneak peek of a fun new character animation tool codenamed Project Animal. We'll be bringing you more news, interviews and inspiration from Adobe Max over the coming week, so stay tuned.
1. Creative Profile
Adobe's new Creative Profile means that all of your assets go with you wherever you go. Your files, photographs, colours, brushes, shapes, fonts, textstyles, graphics and more are collected into your personal Creative Profile to enable you to move between apps, whether you're using a desktop or a mobile device, smoothly and more efficiently.
2. Revamped mobile apps line-up
The Creative Profile feature joins a slew of new and revamped mobile apps from Adobe. The new app line-up consists of Illustrator Line, Illustrator Draw (formerly Adobe Ideas), Photoshop Sketch, Photoshop Mix, Lightroom Mobile (both now available on iPhone as well as iPad), Premiere Clip, Brush, Shape and Color (formerly Adobe Kuler).
All of these apps are available to download on iOS from today, and Adobe's Scott Morris has said that the company is working to add Android capabilities to its Creative SDK to allow it to create Android versions of some of its apps, though which apps will become available on Android is still to be decided.
3. The new Premiere Clip app
Adobe's new Premiere Clip app lets you edit videos on the go. You can grab video clips, drag and drop them in any order you like and cut out the bits you don't want, all on your iPad and iPhone. You can also add effects including colour correction, and then bring them back into Premiere Pro on your desktop if you choose to.
4. The new Adobe Brush app
This one really grabbed our attention. It's the brand new Brushes app, which lets you turn photographs into brushes super quickly. These brushes will automatically save to Creative Cloud, which you can then use within Photoshop and Illustrator in your work. These sorts of brushes used to take hours to design, but now they can be created in minutes.
5. The new Adobe Shape app
Shapes is a new Adobe app that lets you turn the shapes around you into vectors. Whether it's an object you spot while you're out and about or some interesting typography, you can use the Shapes app to capture that shape and turn it into a fully customisable vector that you can bring into the Illustrator apps (both mobile and desktop) to use in your work.
7. Creative Cloud Libraries
This is probably one of the most useful announcements from Adobe when it comes to improving your workflow. Creative Cloud Libraries allow you to collect all the assets you'll need for a project in one place that can be easily accessed from within all of your Adobe applications.
8. Creative Cloud Market
There's also a new Creative Cloud Market, which gives you access to more than 20,000 pre-made assets that you can use in your own designs.
9. Project Animal
During the main Adobe Max 2014 keynote, the company gave us an early sneak peek at its Project Animal, a new character animation tool that is available to try out in beta form from today, by signing up here.
It's been designed by Adobe's Advanced Product Development team and the After Effects team, to enable animators to directly control characters they've created and bring them to life by directly dragging its body parts and recording those movements.
You can even use your webcam to track the movement of your own face, including your eyes, mouth and eyebrows, and those movements will be replicated on screen by your character.
11. Creative Cloud Extract
The cloud-based Creative Cloud Extract feature is a streamlined way for designers and developers to collaborate. It allows users to extract assets easily in many different formats with important design information included, such as CSS, fonts and colours. The Extract service is also integrated into Dreamweaver with an Extract panel for use when coding mobile and desktop sites.
12. Behance Talent Search
This one is going to be a real boon for both employers and creatives looking for work, as it allows any hiring manager to use advanced discovery tools to find talent on Behance. The hiring manager might be looking for a Photoshop expert living in London or near London with experience in automotive design, for example, and the new Talent Search will allow them to search for candidates that fit those requirements within minutes.
From what we saw during the Adobe Max keynote, the Talent Search engine is really clever. Hiring managers can search for similar projects to those they've seen and like. Behance currently has more than four million users, but we can imagine that number growing now that this new feature is available.
In addition to all of the new features we've listed in our top 12, Adobe's desktop apps (which already had a major update in June of this year) have seen some improvements, too, though Adobe didn't talk much about them in its keynote. They've all got the Creative Cloud Libraries and Extract Assets we've already mentioned, and integration with the new suite of Adobe Mobile apps and new Touch capabilities on Windows 8.1 and the Microsoft Surface, they've also got new features as listed below. We'll have more on these new features soon.
Photoshop CC: Improved Guides, Mercury performance boosts
Illustrator CC: New Curvature tool, new Join tool, area-type auto sizing
InDesign CC: Colour Theme tool, Interactivity in fixed layout EPUBs, EPUB interactivity preview panel
Muse CC: SVG import, Synchronised text, Secure FTP support, Find and replace
Premiere Pro CC: Search bins, Consolidate and transcode, multiple project workflows, GoPro Cineform support
After Effects CC: Enhanced 3D pipeline, enhanced Anywhere collaboration, usability enhancements
Dreamweaver CC: Live View updates, Live Guides, Starter template, 64-bit support
Flash Pro CC: Improved WebGL support, Custom brushes, Import SWF, Animation Guides, Custom platform support
Edge Animate CC: Optimised project output, asset organiser