1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Creative Cloud

An Introduction to Adobe Capture CC

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Adobe has launched a suite of mobile apps to support its Creative Cloud mainstays like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. I’m going to introduce you to one of my favorite mobile apps, Adobe Capture CC.

It sure is a nifty little app, allowing you to ‘capture’ images, colors and patterns while on the go, and transform them into vector assets ready for using in your designs.

Here, I’ll give you a whirlwind tour of the main features of the Capture app, and take it for a test ride.

1. Overview of Capture’s Main Features

Capture is free to download on Android and Apple devices. 

adobe capture cc

The app transforms your phone’s camera into a sophisticated scanner, allowing you to pick up shape, pattern and color from the world around you. 

The app divides into five main features:

  • Shapes—pick up a shape with your camera and Capture will transform it into a vector image.
  • Patterns—take an image or section of an image and repeat it to create intricate, geometric patterns.
  • Colors—pick up color palettes from a photo and save them as a color theme, in the same way as you would with Adobe Color CC.
  • Brushes— Use a photo as a starting point for creating brushes in a range of styles, using either your finger or an Apple Pencil. This also works alongside the Sketch app if you have that too.
  • Looks—A feature designed for creating video content, this allows you to capture color and light from images and save them as ‘Looks’ to use in your projects.

Once you’ve created a shape, pattern, color theme, brush, or look, you can save these to Creative Cloud libraries. You can then access your saved items in other Adobe mobile apps, or on your desktop computer. You can also send patterns over to Photoshop to use as fill in your designs.

Capture gives you the power to share your saved assets quickly and easily with friends or colleagues too, which means logo brainstorming just became a whole lot easier over your lunch hour when inspiration suddenly hits.

I’ll show you an example of Capture in action, using the Shapes function to create a logo concept quickly and easily.

2. Taking Capture for a Test Drive

Step 1

I install the Adobe Capture CC app onto my Android phone, and take it for a walk. It’s pretty grey and rainy outside, so I’m not feeling in the mood for taking pictures of interesting trees today. Instead, I browse the house for items which grab my interest. This wooden fox head soon catches my eye. 

wooden fox

I open the app and click on the Shapes tab to activate the scanner. Hovering over the object, Capture picks up the strong silhouette and texture. Dragging the bottom slider across to the right allows me to pick up even more detail.

capture image

Step 2

Pressing the camera icon opens up the image in a new window, Refine. Using the Keep in Shape or Remove from Shape buttons, you can highlight areas of the image with your finger and choose to include or exclude them from the image.

refine window

I hit the top right-hand arrow to confirm I’m happy with the image. Capture begins a minute-long process of smoothing the shape...

smoothing shape

... I head off to put the kettle on while the app continues to process...


... until it saves the shape as a beautiful, sharp vector image.


Step 3

Now I can choose to save the shape to a library for editing later in Illustrator. I create a new library, named ‘Fox Logo’, hit Create, and save the shape to this library.

new library

I can also share this shape with a friend if I want to, directly from the mobile app.

After a cup of tea, I head back to my desktop and open up my Creative Cloud Assets. You can either do this online or open up the asset library in the Adobe CC application of your choice.

vector image

Step 4

Opening up the shape in Illustrator CC allows me to scale and edit the vector shape, and develop a logo design. 

final logo

The font I’ve used here is the free-to-download Jauría.

logo on canvas


It really is as simple as that! Adobe Capture CC is a fantastic little tool for speeding up the design process, allowing you to take full advantage whenever you’re hit by a lightning bolt of inspiration.

capture logo

The photo-to-vector technology is truly impressive and represents a more professional-standard evolution from the Image Trace function of old. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts about Adobe’s new mobile apps. Have you used them? Do you like their functionality? Think anything can be improved? Let me know in the comments below.

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