Adobe Creative Cloud Guide

In May of 2013, Adobe walked away from selling boxed-versions of software and moved exclusively to selling subscriptions to software such as Photoshop and InDesign. What does that mean for you?

What is Creative Cloud?

Adobe’s Creative Cloud, CC replaces the old model of Adobe “CS.” Users pay a monthly fee to access Adobe’s entire software library, cloud storage and more. You are able to install the software on 2 computers, Mac or Windows.

  • Full versions of the Adobe desktop applications: Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and more
  • Services to help create mobile-ready websites, content and apps
  • 20GB of cloud storage
  • Access to Béhance ProSite for portfolio development and hosting
  • 1 Year commitment billed monthly (yearly billing also available)
Guide to Adobe's Creative Cloud Software

Guide to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Software

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I use Photoshop, does that mean Photoshop is “in the cloud” like Google Docs?

No. The software is installed on your computer, but a license check is performed every 30 days. Photoshop and your files reside on your hard drive, just like before. You will need internet the first time you install CC.

If I cancel my subscription, do I lose my files?

No. You will need to make sure you save your files as compatible formats with earlier versions.

What exactly do I get with my subscription?

Acrobat Professional
After Effects
Audition
Bridge
Digital Publishing Suite (DPS)
Dreamweaver
Edge Animate
Edge Inspect & Edge Code
Edge Reflow
Edge Web Fonts
Flash Professional
Ideas
Illustrator
InCopy
InDesign
Kuler
Lightroom
Muse
PhoneGap Build
Photoshop
Photoshop Touch
Prelude
Premiere Pro
Scout
Speed Grade
20 GB Cloud Storage
Béhance Online Portfolio
Adobe Typekit

Any other benefits?

This is a big change for those in creative communities. One real benefit is that this model helps facilitate team-based workflows. If you have multiple people working at an organization, Team Licenses is the way to go. Team licenses give management the ability to add users, transfer software to a different user, or revoke licenses. So if someone quits, it’s very easy to transfer their license to the replacement employee.

 

Photoshop CS6 at your fingertips

Being a designer means working to deadlines – which means time is always of the essence. Working quickly and efficiently within Photoshop is essential and there comes a point when your poor mouse just can’t scurry around the screen fast enough to keep up.

Adobe have always included keyboard shortcuts to reduce the little guy’s workload, but one issue with these is that they have been tweaked and moved around over the years, and it can be a little irritating to have to go against muscle memory, established over countless hours of working, to learn the new shortcut for something you have always used. My fingers still seem to be reminiscing about the good ol’ days of Photoshop 7: holding down cmd+Z to start the ‘undo’ time machine. I still forget to press shift every time!

Another, less trivial drawback has been that shortcuts have never taken into account that a tool as incredibly diverse as Photoshop allows (nay, encourages) us to pursue our desired results in a plethora of different ways. We all have our favorite tools and no two users work exactly the same way – so why do we all have to use the same shortcuts? If I constantly use smart objects, then I’m going to want my keyboard to be littered with ergonomically friendly shortcuts for adding and editing them. Someone else may never use smart objects and would make better use of those same convenient keys for, say, zooming controls.

Well, CS6′s answer to the problems with shortcuts was to give us another shortcut:

cmd+opt+shift+K

(ctrl+alt+shift+K in Windows)

…which opens the new keyboard shortcuts customization menu:

Photoshop CS6 Keyboard Shortcuts Customization Menu

This new feature for CS6 allows you to optimize your shortcuts for exactly the way you like to work. You can overwrite default shortcuts that you may have a grudge against, bring back retro shortcuts that your fingers still try to use, or you can introduce entirely new ones to save yourself even more time.

Through this menu you are able to edit shortcuts for menu commands, tools, and palette menus. More than one key command can be assigned to one action, and Photoshop will tell you if you have any conflicting commands and show you the duplicates so you can fix them.

One very useful feature, especially if you often use Photoshop on multiple computers, is the ability to save your configurations and export them as a handy .kys file. Being able to save means that our preferences can now survive version updates and the obsessives amongst us can now gradually build our dream set of optimal shortcuts (some dreams are cooler than others) and keep them forever!

Photoshop Express – Photoshop for the iPhone/iPad!

Yes, Adobe has made a version of Photoshop for iPhones and iPads, and the best part? IT’S FREE! Here is a link to a video that demos this new app: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hui0p_qI-Q

This is a great application for photographers looking to edit their photos on the go or for casual user who would like to edit or enhance their photos. Not only does it allow simple editing and enhancement all by touch, but also gives you the option to upload directly to Facebook and Picasa or share to friends via email.

Photoshop Express, I’m sure, will have photographers and graphic designers very excited, but another reason this app is so significant is that it is a precursor to having full desktop applications that have gone completely  mobile. This very well could be the beginning of the end for desktop computing in general.

Quick Tip from Jerome – Dropbox

If you have a Flash or InDesign project that you are putting time into both at work and at home or just have files that you access and edit frequently from multiple machines, then Dropbox is a tool that you should look into. Dropbox is available for essentially all platforms, mobile, Mac, Windows, and even Linux. Once you have installed Dropbox and logged into your account, it creates a Dropbox folder in your home directory. Anything you put in that folder from then on is synchronized over the internet to any other devices on which you have Dropbox installed. For mobile devices you merely open the Dropbox app and you then have access to these files as well. Bear in mind that Dropbox is completely free for up to 2GB of storage, not a bad deal at all!

Now if you are feeling saucy and really want to take full advantage of this great tool, you can further its usefulness by using symbolic links or “symlinks”. What these symlinks do is to redirect anything you put into a folder into another folder. For example, if I created a symlink between my Documents folder and a folder on my Dropbox, then anything I put into my Documents folder will go right into my Dropbox. Pretty slick. Just know that it will remove the original folder from your system. In the case of our example, my Documents folder would disappear unless I removed the symlink. So be sure to back up. (It wouldn’t be a bad idea to know how to remove this symlink either.) Are any other ActionScript 3.0 developers salivating over this besides me? What this means is that you can have all your 3rd party or home brew libraries and classes stored in the ‘clouds’ and any updates you make on one machine goes to all. Now that’s better living through technology.

Need help with this symlink business? Here’s a link:
Symlink Tutorial

Adobe Photoshop CS5′s Repoussé for Text

Many of us remember a great little application called Adobe Dimensions. It created an easy way to create 3D from vector images. The 3D pieces of Dimensions has been incorporated in Illustrator for quite some time, but now we have the same features in Photoshop CS5 with Reproussé!

  • Create a blank image using the preset for web at 1152 px by 864 px.
  • Choose 3D > Repoussé > Text Layer.
  • Set your Depth to 3, and Scale to .3.
  • Choose the 3D Rotate tool  and  either drag straght downwards, or on the Control Bar type in 44 for Orentation X.
  • Click OK and choose Window > 3D.
  • At the top of the 3D window, choose Filter by: Materials.
  • In the top part of the 3D window, choose Ascend Extrusion Material.
  • If you click on the Material Picker  in the bottom half of the window, you can choose existing materials to apply to your text.
  • Diffuse: The color you are applying to the 3D object.
  • Opacity: How opaque or transparent the material is.
  • Bump: Creates a deeper 3D affect by increasing the contrast of raised areas. In Photoshop Extended, you can paint your own. Basically Bump increases depth.
  • In the bottom part of the 3D window you will see a color that is being applied to the text. Next to that is a PICT image that allows you to choose an image.
  • Click on the Edit Diffuse Texture icon  and choose the texture you want to use.

  • If you click on Edit Properties, you can edit the way the texture is displayed.
  • Target Determines whether settings apply to a specific layer or the composite image.
  • U and V Scale resize the new mapped textures. To repeat your pattern, decrease the values.
  • U and V Offset repositions the new mapped textures.

The new 3D features in Photoshop CS5 offer a whole new realm of options to users. 3D is covered in Ascend Training’s Photoshop CS5 Level 2 class at our Chicago and Deerfield training facilities, and online. All Adobe Photoshop Class Offerings. Our Photoshop classes at our facilities feature small class sizes of 10 students or less with individualized attention.

Upcoming Adobe Photoshop Training Classes:

Photoshop CS5 Level 2

Chicago Dates

Sep 13 – 14
Oct 21 – 22
Dec 13 – 14

Deerfield Dates

Aug 12 – 13
Nov 18 – 19

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Content Aware Scale: Magical Transformations!

- by Jori Curry

One of the slickest new features of Adobe Photoshop CS4 is Content Aware Scale. If you’ve ever wanted to turn a horizontal image into a vertical, without damaging key parts of the image, this is for you!

Step 1: Open your image and double-click on Background layer to turn it into Layer 0.

Step 2: Go to Image > Canvas Size to add space where you want to scale to. 
Step 2: Adjust the Canvas Size

Step 3: Go to Edit > Content Aware Scale and transform the image into the empty space.

When skintones become distorted, you need to choose Protect Skintones from the Control Panel (formerly the Options Bar)

When skintones become distorted, you need to choose Protect Skintones from the Control Panel (formerly the Options Bar)

Step 4: You may notice that some areas aren’t working well, so Undo (or press ESC) and go back to Edit > Content Aware Scale. Now  on the Control Panel (formerly the Options Bar) click on the icon that looks like a Mens’ room icon picture-21 and now transform your image. 

Step 5: If this still isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for, you can take it a step further by creating an Alpha Channel. Make a selection out of the area you don’t want scaled. Go to Select > Save Selection, which will give us an Alpha Channel we can use to protect this area.

The Alpha Channel allows you to designate specific areas not to be transformed.

The Alpha Channel allows you to designate specific areas not to be transformed.

Step 6: Choose Edit > Content Aware Scale, and from the “Protect” pull down menu on the Control Panel, select the Alpha Channel you just made.

Step 6: The "Protect" pull down menu allows you to use an Alpha Channel to keep areas from being transformed.

Step 6: The "Protect" pull down menu allows you to use an Alpha Channel to keep areas from being transformed.

Step 7: Drag the handles, and decide if you need to go back to the Alpha Channel and add more white (the protected area) to that channel.

 

Finished Product

Finished Product

And voilà ! Photoshop transforms the areas that aren’t part of the channel! Not every photo works well with this technique, but when it works, it’s a lot of fun! 

Learn More About our Photoshop CS4 Level 1 Hands-On Class
Learn More About our Photoshop CS4 Level 2 Hands-On Class 
Learn More About our Adobe Photoshop CS4 Digital Photography: Digital Photography for Commercial Use Level 2 Hands-On Class 
L
earn More About our Photoshop Quickstart Training: 1 Day Photoshop CS4 Introductory 
Learn More About our Online Photoshop 1 Class 
Learn More About our Online Photoshop 2 Class 

Adobe Photoshop Marketplace

A community based resource for all things Photoshop!

 

A community based resource for all things Photoshop!

 

- By Jori Curry

Adobe has launched “Adobe Photoshop Marketplace this week to present a comprehensive collection of Photoshop related services, products and communities. The goal is to offer a variety of rescources including learning opportunities, User Groups, plug-ins, or tips.

The goal is to create an online Photoshop community in which users can:

Search for products, offerings, services related to Adobe Photoshop, Share offerings directly from the marketplace and Empower users to rate and review postings.

    Photoshop Marketplace is a free offering for the Photoshop community to better connect with offerings that involve Photoshop. Registering on Adobe Photoshop Marketplace creates a profile that helps users promote their offerings that creates links and keywords directing users back to your website.

    In my opinion, this is a stellar outreaching by Adobe, to create more communities within the Adobe website. in addition to this Photoshop Marketplace, there is also an Adobe AIR Marketplace. One can only assume that a “Flash Marketplace” is not far behind.

    Ascend Training offerings are listed on this marketplace, such as Chicago events, online classes, and hands-on classes.

    Questions may be directed to: photoshopmarketplace@adobe.com.