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Announced June 18th, Adobe launched new features across the board for Adobe Creative Cloud. Let's take a closer look at the changes to the Adobe products for designers and illustrators: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Adobe Photoshop CC 2014
Video Overview for Designers
Linked Smart Objects
Link Smart Objects within a document, allowing the file size to remain smaller. Users can also share the folder across the cloud when sending documents to clients so Photoshop files remain smaller and easier to send. Additionally, users can convert embedded Smart Objects to linked Smart Objects.
Better integration with Typekit including live font previews when you have a text layer selected in the Layers panel. Typekit will also check on what fonts you have, if opening a file from a client or stock, and match them accordingly, saving the hassle of having to hunt down the font within the document.
Updated Smart Guides
Better smart guides allowing users to align objects quickly in relation to one another including real-time measurements displayed while moving objects around.
Live Shape Update
In the properties panel, users have control over the rounding of a live shape's corners by inputting the corner's radius via four fields. More and more, the live shapes of Photoshop are starting to resemble Adobe Illustrator's shape tools.
Generate Image Assets
Designers can hit the Generate Image Assets command and a new folder will be created housing the assets within the active image, ready for distribution (especially useful for printing, web design, and other applications).
Easily edited and navigable from the Layer Comps panel. Update positions of layers for all of the comps within the panel or change attributes of layers, visible layers, and position for a select amount of Layer Comps. Users can also place Layer Comps within controllable smart objects.
Path Blur Effect
Motion Blur Effects
Motion effects are easily added along a path with the new Path Blur effect. The filter being added is non-destructive and can be edited after applied. The path set by the filter determines the blur's direction.
Users can adjust the direction, speed of the blur effect, and how the blur tapers at the end of the path. These are global settings that can be edited at any time and will be applied to other Path Blur effects. Dragging the midpoint, or added points, of the path curves the blur along that path.
Users can change the shape of the blur itself by dragging the center point of an endpoint adding additional curved and bubbling to the motion blur.
Additional effects can be applied to the Path Blur, including adjusting the Strobe Strength and Strobe Flashes in order to mimic a rear curtain sync within the image, or other photographic effects.
Spin Blur Effect
This non-destructive smart effect applies an ellipse over an image that contains the Spin Blur. Users can edit the ellipse's size, shape, and rotation, as well as the amount of blur applied to the area.
Feather Handles allow the user to change the range of distance from the blur to the edges of the ellipse which either gives a seamless or stark application of the effect.
Like the Path Blur effect, strobe effects and flashes can be adjusted in Motion Blur Effects, in order to make the blur seem like a photographic effect rather than a Photoshop filter.
In order to copy the blur effect over, hold down Alt-Control and drag the effect to another area.
The Focus Mask makes selections based on the depth of field of an image. In the command's options, users can manually define the amount of the photo that is in focus or use automatic settings in order to get an accurate selection.
Users can employ the Add Tool or Subtract From Brush in order to denote areas as either in or out of focus, allowing the mask to include or exclude those portions from the final selection.
Adjust the edge selections by turning the Soft Edge option on or off, depending on the style of edge you want to see from your masked selection.
Enhanced Type Tools
Type Menu Changes
With the type layer selected, users can preview their fonts from the type menu, live within their document without having to select the type and confirm a font change. This speeds up the process of searching for the right font for the file in play.
Furthermore, users can search through their font gallery based on type attributes or names such as "bold italic" or "narrow", allowing the search process to speed up when hunting for something more specific.
Allows users to access their Typekit account and search for new fonts to download and use immediately within Photoshop.
Content-Aware Fill, Move, and Patch have all been updated so areas in an image that contain gradients, such as a sky, will easily blend for seamless, realistic results.
Expanded 3D Printing
3D models made in Photoshop can print directly from the program to a 3D printer. Easily repair 3D meshes within a 2D model and preview 3D models within the program, for easy editing of accurate renderings.
Improved Stylus Support for Windows 8.1
Previously, Photoshop CC was a bit choppy on Windows 8.1 devices (including graphics tablets). Now users can enjoy smoother lines from brush strokes due to higher-frequency sampling within real time.
Adobe Illustrator CC 2014
With last January's release of Live Corners, the option to quickly manipulate rectangles and other shapes dynamically is soon to follow. In the Transform panel, users will be able to input the dimensions of closed shapes, change corner radii, change corner style, and more with precision. It's a fantastic update from Live Corners, which only allowed a limited amount of editing dynamic shapes.
Pen Tool Update
January's update saw changes to the Pencil Tool. This update it's the Pen Tool's time to shine. Users will be able to preview paths between points before placing the new anchor point. Drag out handles, curve the path, lengthen the path line all without committing to an anchor point, speeding up workflow and making the Pen Tool all the more easy to use.
Additionally, when snapping has been enabled, anchor points align to the user's choice of pixel, grid, or point. Handles remain unrestricted, giving the user freedom when drawing with snapping enabled so paths can be edited easily, aligned easily, and the user's workflow isn't stunted as easily as it was before.
Anchor Point Update
A frustrating component of anchor points tends to be equal handles: pair anchor point handles and they remain equal in length. With the latest update, users can hold either the Control or Command key in order to keep them paired, but manipulate the length of each handle without affecting the rest of the path.
Another update includes the ability to quickly changing anchor points from corners to smooth curves. While this has been possible with the Convert Anchor Point Tool, it changed the path, causing users to rework it when switching the anchor point back to a curve. Now, users can use the Anchor Point Tool while holding down Alt or the Option key and switch back and forth between curve and corner without bothering the paths you've already drawn.
Pencil Tool Update
Additional levels of Fidelity were added to the Pencil Tool's options with Creative Cloud 2014, allowing for greater control, smoother lines, and the option of toggling toggling the Smooth Tool.
Typekit Integration Update
Similar to the features that now exist within Photoshop, there's been an update to the Typekit integration in Illustrator: missing fonts will automatically be searched for in Typekit, speeding up your workflow when using documents on a different computer or sharing files with co-workers or clients.
CSS and SVG Export
Now Illustrator will easily generate CSS code for users, faster than before, allowing users to copy and paste the code into their web editor. Additionally, users can export SVG files that are scalable, dynamic, and adapt to different screen sizes and various resolutions when implemented into web pages.
An experimental feature for users with Windows 7 or 8 and a compatible NVIDIA graphics card, offers a new preview mode that allows the user to render Illustrator artwork on the graphics processor, for rapid execution and faster performance when working within the application.
The Hello Screen is found under Home > Welcome and displays information relevant to your Adobe Illustrator application use and subscription. It displays Illustrator-related tutorials, videos, help content, and more. Perfect for new users or experienced users getting acquainted with new features.
Adobe InDesign CC 2014
When designers work with tables, they can move entire columns to the left or right within that table by clicking, dragging, and dropping. Previously, copying and pasting was the method of transferring information around tables, which could take ages to complete, depending on how much information needed to be transferred, and stunted the designer's workflow.
Like the updates seen in Photoshop and Illustrator, InDesign will have the same automated search for missing fonts within a document that has been shared or may be from a different computer. This speeds up the designer's workflow and further puts Typekit to use by downloading necessary fonts quickly.
EPUB Fixed Layout Option
Specifically created for publishing eBooks for iPads, the EPUB Fixed Layout option allows designers to tailor book designs to iPads without it being a flowable design for multiple devices. This is key for image-heavy, meticulously designed magazines and books that are meant for iPads or need each device to have a different setup in relation to its design. Designing that flow from one device to another can be great, but sometimes a designer wants to create something with a specific presentation in mind.
Much like those found in Illustrator, InDesign now includes folders within the Swatches panel, allowing users to group colors and easily organize colors. Additionally, users can import or export groups from other applications.
New to this version of InDesign? No worries. Finally, users can import their setting from previous versions, making the process of updating simple and less jarring (especially when dealing with getting a handle on new features).
Previously users searching for text, glyphs, or GREP were only able to move forward through the feature. With "find previous" and "find next" added, users can move forward or backward, speeding up the time spent hunting for the right components for documents and files.
Users can save directly from InDesign into their Behance profiles, allowing users to share completed projects or works in progress, similar to the integration seen with Photoshop and Illustrator.
Any effects added to an object or text, such as drop shadows, will automatically scale along with the text or object that's changing scale.
The QR Code Creator has been updated to automatically create QR codes, rather than being created manually. Footnotes have been enhanced and will support the containing text frame by allowing footnotes to wrap within the frame and in relation to external page items. HiDPI support has been optimized for Windows users. Files can be printed directly to PDF Print Engine via the PDF Passthrough Printer without forcing users to save files as a PDF first. And finally, when creating a package from InDesign, users can include PDF IDML files so the document can be opened on different versions of the program.
Missed the Keynote Event?
Not to worry if you missed the launch event and announcements. You can catch up with everything Adobe is adding to Creative Cloud 2014 and what's to come on their website or by watching the keynote event here. If you're a Creative Cloud subscriber, don't forget to download the new versions of the updated programs so you can explore all of the new features today and let us know what you think about the updates.