Adobe: Latest Creative Cloud Update Features ‘Hundreds of Improvements’

Adobe on Oct. 20 used the virtual version of its annual Adobe MAX conference to announce a major update to its Creative Cloud set of applications and services that it said includes “hundreds of improvements” designed to help users improve their skills, work more efficiently together, get more done and succeed in new forms of creation.

Adobe “checked in with the creative community over the past few months, both with a formal survey and through many, many Zoom calls,” the company said. In the process, “a few major themes have stood out,” it noted.

First, members of the creative community want to enhance their skills and learn new techniques, it said. Second, they need to now do much more remote collaboration to get work done. And, third, “the pandemic hasn’t decreased the demands for creative work – if anything it’s expanded them – and you need innovation that helps you be more efficient and master new techniques and mediums you may have never tried before,” Adobe said.

Adobe Max is kicking off after “the world as we have known it has changed,” Mala Sharma, VP and GM of Creative Cloud at Adobe, told reporters during a virtual news conference ahead of Adobe MAX.

“At Adobe, we believe that creativity is essential to human existence, especially in times of crisis,” she said.

Citing the findings of a recent study of the U.K. and U.S by Adobe, she said “the current environment is reinforcing this more than ever.” Among respondents, 87% predicted it will have lasting impact on creative businesses, 82% said it had forever changed how we create and 82% said it was more important than ever to expand creative skillsets, she said.

Turning her focus to Adobe’s latest Creative Cloud enhancements, she noted that, earlier this year, the company expanded Adobe Live programming and enabled the ability of livestreaming directly from the Adobe Fresco digital painting and drawing app. Since March, more than 15 million minutes of user streams have been watched and more than 1.5 million viewers have tuned in, she said.

At Adobe MAX, Adobe announced it expanded that ability to livestream from Adobe Photoshop on iPads and the new Adobe Illustrator on iPads, she said.

Adobe also extended Fresco to the iPhone after already being available on the iPad, several Windows devices and Wacom MobileStudio Pro.

Adobe, meanwhile, expanded Creative Cloud Libraries beyond core applications to Adobe Spark, its application for crafting social posts, web pages and simple videos. That enables teams of creative professionals to share assets with colleagues throughout a company, such as the social media team, ensuring that everyone is working with the same logos, components, colors and more, according to Adobe.

Design Systems in Adobe XD are now built on Libraries, another step that Adobe said makes it easy to get everyone working with the same assets. With Adobe’s open application programming interface (API), users can now access Creative Cloud Library assets in many of the other applications they use to stay organized, including Google Workspace, Visual Studio Code and Microsoft Teams, Adobe said.

The company is also using its Adobe Sensei artificial intelligence and machine learning layer for Adobe Experience Platform to make user experimentation much easier, it said.

With Photoshop’s new Neural Filters, users can make sophisticated changes to images in only a few clicks, according to Adobe. Neural Filters will be constantly learning and user feedback will make the results even better, it noted.

Calling Neural Filters a “breakthrough in AI-powered creativity,” Sharma said it is the “centerpiece that now makes Photoshop the world’s most advanced AI application for creators.”

With the pandemic making in-person photoshoots difficult or impossible, meanwhile, more people are using 3D creativity tools to produce video, catalog images or product shots for e-commerce, according to Adobe. A new 3D Design Space feature in After Effects makes working with 3D objects and scenes much easier and more intuitive, it said.

The company also extended Adobe Aero, its tool for creating interactive, augmented reality experiences, from mobile platforms to a newly launched desktop application in public beta.

Last, noting that it continues to help fight the spread of misinformation, Adobe noted that it founded the Content Authenticity Initiative with partners including Twitter and The New York Times. The initiative is creating an open platform that will keep track of essential information about content including still images and video that Adobe said will ensure creative people receive credit for their work and help people who encounter a piece of content judge whether it is trustworthy.

Adobe will soon be releasing the technology that it said will drive the Content Authenticity Initiative as a private beta within Photoshop. Users will be able to view information gathered about images on Behance.net and through a new application it will launch at contentauthenticity.org, Adobe said.