Adobe wows Kerrie Hughes with four powerful new creative tools at Adobe MAX 2018
All the latest happenings from Adobe MAX 2018, Bath Digital Festival and The Typographic Circle
Gathering some of the world’s most brilliant minds under one roof, it’s not hard to see why the annual Adobe MAX conference has become a staple in the creative calendar. Last year MAX hit Vegas. This year, the Hollywood lights beckoned as it overtook the Los Angeles convention centre for 72 hours.
The event saw a record-breaking 14,000 plus creatives gather, and in Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen's keynote speech it was declared: “Design has never been more important, and we're living in a golden age of creativity.” Bold words, for sure, but backed up when Narayen went on to detail how over the past 12 months Adobe has taken its artificial intelligence technology – Adobe Sensei – and pushed it to the cutting edge.
Aimed firmly at the fanboys, Adobe's principal worldwide design and photography evangelist Terry White announced Photoshop will now come fully equipped with continuous undo, without the need to hold the option or shift key – then got the biggest cheer of the night for it.
Then the main event came with the announcement of four new Adobe apps. First, the audience was introduced to Premiere Rush CC, Adobe's all-new video editing app. If the demos are anything to go by, this video editing tool will mean even your gran can create professionallooking footage. However, grandparents on Android will get off lightly, with Rush only being available on iOS.
Next, Belsky revealed that Photoshop on the iPad was finally here. “This is not a watered down version, this is full Photoshop for the iPad,” product lead Jenny Lyell was keen to stress. Featuring all the core tools of Photoshop CC, this new app is fully optimised for the touch device, making the most of gestures, with a new modernised user interface that's been designed especially for the iPad and Apple Pencil. Frustratingly, there was very little news surrounding an actual release date or business model for the app, with Lyell saying no more than it being "available in 2019".
A tough act to follow, Project Gemini was the one app we knew very little about going into MAX, and so was the big surprise of the session. As Adobe's new painting and drawing app, there were murmurs of why Adobe might launch it when it already has
powerhouses Photoshop and Illustrator. Then illustrator Kyle T Webster began demonstrating its capabilities. He selected its watercolour and oil painting brushes, and covered the canvas in digital paint, easily mistaken for the real thing. Using Adobe Sensei technology and rigorous testing among artists, Gemini sets to be a remarkable painting experience.
Lastly, Project Aero, Adobe's forthcoming AR tool was announced. Adobe senior product manager Zorana Gee stepped into and started exploring a 2D illustration while presenting Aero. “AR is the next breakthrough medium for creative storytelling,” she simply said.
As with all events of its size and scale, there was plenty to enjoy outside of the major announcements, and wandering around the convention centre, it wasn't long before we bumped into some of the world's leading artists and designers, including Jessica Hische, and graphic designer Aaron Draplin. Day two's keynote included a two-hour-long session with comic book artist Nicola Scott, photographer Albert Watson and Hollywood director Ron Howard on the stage. Watson talked about his time spent photographing director Alfred Hitchcock ("beyond wonderful"), and Howard shared his experience directing a somewhat tricky Bette Davis, who refused to call him by his first name.
All in all, the 2018 Adobe MAX line-up, product and tech development and attendee record is going to be a tough act to follow. This year's event wasn't short of big announcements, leaving us already excited for MAX 2019.
Above: Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen kicked off MAX 2018 with a keynote as enthusiastic as it was revealing.
Above: Project Gemini combines vector, raster and all-new dynamic brushes.
Left: Improved optimisation between the iPad Pro and Apple pencil is a huge boon for Photoshop CC.