Adobe reveals its largest Creative Cloud update yet at Max 2017

LAS VEGASAdobe Systems Inc. is making it easier than ever for both graphic designers and those who are less creatively inclined to design eye-catching media of all kinds.

On the first day of its latest annual Adobe Max conference, being held in Las Vegas between Oct. 18 and Oct. 20, 2017, the creative software developer revealed what CEO Shantanu Narayen called the largest update yet to its signature Creative Cloud service, including four new programs – Adobe XD, Adobe Dimension, Adobe Character Animator, and Adobe Lightroom Creative Cloud (a program distinct from the original Lightroom, which will now be called Lightroom Classic) – and dozens of new features.

“At Adobe we’ve always worked to remove technology barriers to human creativity and connection, because we believe fundamentally that every one of us has a story to tell,” Narayen told the 12,000-strong audience during his opening keynote. “We’re entering a new era of art and invention that’s powered by technology that we think is staggering in its size and its scope, and we want to empower professionals like you to do things that were never possible before – faster, more intuitive, and with better results.”

“But we also want to make creativity more accessible and more intuitive to individuals who aren’t professionals, whether they’re students, whether they’re office workers, or people who simply are looking for a better way to communicate,” he added.

Many of the new features incorporate the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform, Adobe Sensei, including:

  • Performance and editing improvements to Lightroom Classic, including an enhanced Embedded Preview feature that allows users to quickly scroll through large sets of photos by arranging them in a video-like fashion, and machine learning-based search capabilities that allow users to narrow their criteria more easily than before.
  • Expanded photography support for Photoshop, including the ability for users to sync their Lightroom catalogues with the program.
  • A new properties panel for Illustrator, which intelligently organizes a user’s panels into one location so they can be more easily accessed (veteran users who don’t like the new feature can switch back).
  • Also mentioned in the above link: Illustrator’s new “Puppet Warp” feature, which is capable of both quickly repositioning vector graphic-based figures and detecting where to redraw the lines of lettering and icons you want changed as well.
  • The ability to add endnotes and annotations to, modify styles for, and incorporate paragraph borders, among other features, into InDesign documents.
  • 170 new features for Premiere Pro, including new collaboration features, workflows that support 360-degree video, and motion graphics controls.
  • A Sensei-powered Adobe Typekit feature that allows users to search for new fonts by shooting a photo of one they like. (Learn more here.)
  • The addition of hundreds of professionally-created motion graphics templates to Adobe Stock, which users can edit in Premiere and After Effects. Check out an example below, from designer Andrew Kramer.

“We’ve been focused on continuously improving all the tools and applications that you all rely on every single day,” Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis told the crowd during his portion of the keynote. “We are thrilled to be able to put these applications in your hands, and we can’t wait to see what you create with them.”

The new applications, the majority of which had previously been in beta (for example: Character Animator, a 2D animation tool which has already been used in The Simpsons and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert) but were officially released this week, include:

  • Adobe XD is an all-in-one cross-platform solution that web designers can use to build and test mobile app and website prototypes in minutes.
  • Adobe Dimension: In beta until recently as Project Felix, Dimension allows graphic designers to work in 3D objects by letting them add two-dimensional logos to 3D objects, 3D objects to images, and visualize photoshoots before picking up a camera, among other features.
  • Lightroom: An all-new cloud-centric photo service, distinct from what is now being called Lightroom Classic, designed to let photographers edit, organize, store, and share photos across desktop, mobile, and web. Photos uploaded to Lightroom are automatically saved at high resolution, with any changes made synchronized across multiple devices, and easily shared on social media. They’re even made searchable with automatic, Sensei-generated keywords that users can edit.
Adobe senior director Maria Yap shows off Lightroom and Lightroom Classic at Adobe Max on Oct. 18, 2017. (Image courtesy Adobe)

“Technology and photography continue to evolve, and even more photos are being captured across a wide variety of devices,” Adobe senior director Maria Yap said during her portion of the keynote. “Much as we love Lightroom, it was developed for a desktop-centric photography workflow, and we need a more flexible system across more devices.”

All Creative Cloud updates revealed on Wednesday are available now, and though Adobe mentioned a North American price increase for Creative Cloud subscriptions, an Adobe executive told the increase would not apply to Canada.

You can visit Adobe’s website for more details on the new Creative Cloud updates.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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