4 Major Updates You Need to Know from Adobe MAX 2017

Over 12,000 creatives from all over the world are congregating in Las Vegas this week for Adobe MAX 2017 to rejuvenate their work, refine their processes, and develop artistically. Adobe MAX offers the perfect blend of information and inspiration.

The day jumpstarted with major announcements with the launch of Adobe XD, changes to Adobe Lightroom, and the future of Adobe being powered by artificial intelligence through Adobe Sensei. Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen kicked off the event boasting that this is the largest gathering of creative professionals any time in history.

Streamlining photography in Adobe Lightroom CC
What is arguably the biggest announcement from Adobe today involves big changes to Lightroom CC. Adobe believes the future of photography is a streamlined, integrated and cloud-based workflow. They’re acknowledging that photographers don’t want to be tied to the desktop and that the original Lightroom (now called Lightroom Classic CC), was developed with this in mind.

Presenter Bryan O’Neil Hughes unveiled Lightroom CC’s brand new interface which now allows you to make multiple graduated edits in full resolution on a raw file from your phone. Then you can seamlessly go back to desktop, continue editing, send a link around to collaborate, or download full resolution files. Lightroom Classic CC and the new Lightroom CC are included in your CC subscription and you can start using them immediately. As with almost all of the Adobe products, it will be powered by Adobe Sensei, a machine learning platform to help photographers better organize and keyword search their photos.

Adobe XD allows for rapid prototyping and collaboration
Another big announcement was on Adobe XD. Since it’s beta release last year at Adobe MAX 2016, Adobe has been testing and developing the application out in the open in partnership with the creative community. Today, the application has been integrated into the full Creative Cloud family. Adobe XD is a place to design, prototype and share all at once. It puts the experience first and seems to be built for performance and rapid prototyping. Adobe Principal Designer, Khoi Vinh, gave a great presentation that showed XD seamlessly integrate and sync with Creative Cloud. You can edit a photo in Photoshop and in less than a couple seconds it updates in an XD design. It also captures team and stakeholder feedback in the web interface for simple and efficient collaboration. XD is now part of the CC membership. You can download it now and it’s available for Mac and Windows.

Adobe Sensei will amplify creativity
Adobe Sensei is going to harness the collective creative knowledge of the entire Adobe community to amplify creativity. Sensei features reach broad across the entire CC ecosystem. Adobe is looking to transform the entire creative workflow with things like creative assistants using natural language and voice, where Sensei anticipates the next tool before you even search for it.

Sensei’s content and design intelligence will seamlessly integrate into your workflow. They blew some minds today showing that users will be able to make adjustments to their images with voice commands, similar to Siri. Images can be swapped, cropped, and masked in real time. Sensei can automatically analyze imagery and facial features. They demonstrated it can even analyze facial orientation, with a simple slider you can scroll through a collection of faces organized from a left-gaze to right-gaze.

Watch out for Adobe Dimension
Another new application to keep an eye on as graphic design expands beyond 2D and into 3D design is Adobe Dimension (formerly Project Felix). Adobe is calling it a next-generation 3D tool that extends your designs to physical products without having to hire a 3D designer or set up a photo shoot. It helps visualize your designs on a product in real life without the added cost of hiring a 3D designer or setting up a photo shoot. Of course, Adobe Sensei technology is driving Dimension as well.

Other new features and updates:

There was an exhaustive list of new features and updates. Here are some to name a few.

  • Illustrator CC 2018 can now support 100 art boards (up previously from 30) and puppet warp got a huge applause making life simple with complex illustrations. Character animator is out of beta and now part of CC.
  • Adobe hired Kyle T. Webster. We’ve been following him for a long time and are excited that his brushes will now be included in Photoshop and Photoshop Sketch. In Adobe Photoshop CC 2018, there were some updates to layer styles and libraries and the pen curvature tool now makes symmetrical shapes easy.
  • In Adobe Spark users can create responsive pages and stylized videos to share on social. Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC now have support for VR workflows and graphics. And Adobe has expanded its Stock and Typekit tools with new templates for motion graphics and visual search, which allows users to match fonts with submitted images.

And the best news, ALL of this is included with Creative Cloud today.


Brett Kirkpatrick