a recap of the adobe max conference

For those of you just tuning in to the Adobe MAX conference that has been happening in Los Angeles this week, get your geek glasses on. Adobe announced several exciting new developments that any designer, artist, or technology enthusiast will be interested to see. Even those who don’t use creative software on a daily basis can appreciate how these advancements will start to influence and shape the world of advertising, web design, and more.

Project Animal is Here

Adobe and Microsoft have teamed up to bring us “Project Animal,” a new animation software that combines touch screen technology with Adobe innovation for an intuitive and streamlined animation experience. Animal uses kinect technology with your webcam to recognize facial features and movements, so that your animations are more lifelike. (They can even pronounce vowels!) While the program isn’t available quite yet, you can apply to test it before it is released to the public. Why this is so exciting: Project Animal is not only a giant step for animation, making it more accessible to more people, it is also a huge step away from the traditional idea of design software being Mac-centric. Animal has been designed for use on a Surface Pro tablet – a Microsoft device. Another exciting part of this is that Adobe is making the transition from desktop applications to mobile ones that can be used on tablets and other devices. Pretty soon, we’ll be able to grab a Surface Pro and go to the park to get work done, instead of being limited to an office or home environment. Get ready to design on-the-go.

Surface Pro 3

More about that tablet we were talking about. Microsoft gave us a preview into the new Surface Pro 3 – and to say the least, we want one. Why? The Surface Pro 3 goes beyond a normal tablet, allowing the user to run full programs like Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and more. Your move, iPad.

#AdobeMAX

Have you been tweeting about the event like we have? Adobe announced yesterday that for everyone that tweets with the #AdobeMAX hashtag, they will donate $5 to The BULLY Project. Keynote speaker and filmmaker Lee Hirsch explained more about this yesterday, and unveiled a digital mural that any artist can contribute to in an effort to show support for the project and end bullying in America.

Keynotes

Speaking of those keynote addresses, Adobe MAX also introduced us to Ami Vitale and Jason Seiler, two pretty amazing artists.

Ami Vitale is a photographer, who does work for National Geographic, and travels all over the world to capture the lives of everyday people.

Her advice for creatives: Beware of tunnel vision; pay attention to what’s happening all around you or you might miss the point. Empathy is the key to creativity; Sometimes you have to suffer a little to get to the root of the thing you’re trying to capture.

How this applies: Even if you’re not a worldwide photographer, you can still apply these principles. Often, especially as designers, we get stuck in a cubicle mentality and miss the point. Sometimes, we need to get out and explore a little to get the whole picture. This includes empathizing with our clients. This is a pretty basic concept, but it still gets missed a lot. Clients give us their problems, and want us to find solutions. As creatives, we have to dig a little deeper so that we can understand these problems and supply a solution that matches the challenge presented.

Jason Seiler is an incredible illustrator. His keynote address gave us a glimpse into his process as an artist. Having made the transition to digital painting, he explained how he uses digital software to create masterpieces that are just as detailed and have just as much depth as a traditional rendering.

Our Takeaway: Just because digital work can be faster, doesn’t mean you should cut corners. In fact, using your knowledge and duplicating your process as a traditional artist can make your digital creations more authentic, captivating, and successful than ever before. Maybe you’ll even get a Time cover someday.

So far the conference was everything we have come to expect from Adobe – innovative, inspirational, and fitting of the brand that has become synonymous with creativity. As a creative agency, we feel it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends in design and on the front edge of new technology so that we can continue to provide the best services for our clients. If you have been watching, let us know what you think!