Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe’s annual creativity conference, kicks off today in Los Angeles. Headlining the week are updates to Creative Cloud Mac apps, powerful new iPad software, and entirely new cross-platform experiences built on Creative Cloud. 9to5Mac is in attendance and will be bringing you continued coverage and deep dives of everything new this week. Let’s take a closer look at today’s Creative Cloud updates.
According to Adobe, today’s release was inspired by three creativity trends: multi-surface creation, collaboration, and new mediums. Since the introduction of Sensei in 2016, Adobe’s machine learning platform has become a key foundation for new features. The trend continues this year with Sensei-powered enhancements touching virtually every application. As iPads and iPhones become continuously more powerful, cross-device workflows begin to offer consistent experiences between the desktop and on the go.
First previewed in June, Premiere Rush CC is an entirely new video editing app designed to speed up quick turnaround workflows for online distribution and offer seamless syncing across devices. Those familiar with Creative Cloud will find it closer to an easy-to-use version of Premiere Pro than a more powerful version of Adobe Premiere Clip or Premiere Elements. Users of iMovie for Mac and iOS will likely note its similarities and flexible syncing compared to Apple’s own offering.
Optimizations have been made for publishing to social media, including the ability to switch between common video aspect ratios with one click. All edits and clips are synced with Creative Cloud, meaning that you can start a project on your Mac and pick up right where you left off on your iPhone. The same options, effects, and experience are preserved across all devices. We’ve been trying our Premiere Rush and will be exploring it in more depth separately.
Premiere Pro CC for macOS and Windows has also been updated with selective color grading, new motion graphics workflows, and the ability to open Premiere Rush projects, among other features.
Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic
After introducing an all-new version of Lightroom last year at Adobe MAX, the company has been continuously adding features to bring it up to par with its legacy counterpart. While some users were initially dissatisfied with the new direction of application, Adobe has doubled down this year prioritizing new features for Lightroom CC and offering mostly performance updates for Lightroom Classic.
Apple Photos users can use a new migration tool on the desktop to move their libraries into Lightroom. A new Sensei-powered People View, improved search, and new sharing options will make the transition more familiar.
Adobe’s experience design tool, XD, has iterated more quickly than other Creative Cloud apps over the past year. UX tools are a competitive space, and popular solutions like Affinity Designer, and Sketch offer compelling alternatives.
This fall, Adobe is adding voice capabilities to XD. The feature will allow designers to prototype interfaces that that include voice commands. A new UI Kit created for Amazon Alexa will also be available. As we previously detailed, third-party plugins are now supported.
A full version of Photoshop will finally arrive on the iPad next year. The application is designed to seamlessly sync with the existing desktop version. We’ve detailed the full announcement in a separate post. Stayed tuned for more details as the application gets closer to release.
Complementary to Photoshop, Project Gemini will land on the iPad in 2019. The early-stage project aims to offer a consistent drawing and painting experience across “all surfaces.” Details are scarce, but Adobe says the application will combine raster and vector drawing with classic Photoshop brushes and new, dynamic brushes. Professional illustrators can apply for a closed pre-release on iOS by filling out this survey.
Other Creative Cloud apps and services
In addition to the above major updates, nearly every other application Adobe actively develops has received feature enhancements at Adobe Max. We’ve extracted a few highlights, and full feature lists can be found on Adobe’s blog posts (linked in titles.)
Dimension CC: Improvements to Illustrator and Photoshop workflows and a new native rendering engine will speed up content creation.
Animate CC: Auto Lip Sync has been ported from Character Animator, and Animate CC projects can be opened in After Effects.
Character Animator CC: Characterizer has been integrated after being unveiled last year as a sneak peak. The tool transforms artwork into animated characters.
Audition CC: New Intelligent Audio Cleanup and a refreshed user interface. 128 tracks of playback or 32 simultaneous record tracks are now supported with suitable hardware.
Illustrator CC: Freeform gradients allow points of color to be placed and turned into complex color blends. Global Edits can change multiple objects across artboards simultaneously.
InDesign CC: Sensei-powered Content-Aware Fit repositions images to highlight the best parts of photos.
Users of any Creative Cloud applications will notice that Typekit has been renamed Adobe Fonts. With the change comes the removal of sync, font page view, and domain limits. All fonts will now be available for use on the web and desktop. Every Creative Cloud plan now also includes full access to Adobe’s font library.
Creative Cloud subscriptions begin at $9.99/mo for a Photography Plan, $20.00/mo for a Single App Plan, and $52.99/mo for all applications. Free plans are offered for Adobe XD and Premiere Rush CC. Unless noted differently, the updates described here should begin rolling out today as Adoba Max kicks off.
For more information on today’s announcements, check out our exclusive first look at Adobe’s new Creative Cloud illustration style, and follow along this week for more coverage of Adobe MAX.