November 25, 2020
Every year since 2008, Adobe has held the Adobe MAX Conference to introduce its newest products and installments. Since we had to stay at home this year during the pandemic, Adobe MAX was (surprise, surprise) virtual. This had no effect on the outcome – there were 350+ sessions and hundreds of inspiring speakers.
Since it was free for Adobe members, I was lucky enough to attend during my first year in the design industry. I knew it was important for me to soak up as much knowledge as possible and spread the word. The key takeaways did not disappoint.
Artsy innovations for mobile
What it is: Adobe announced the long-awaited release of the vector graphics program Illustrator for the iPad. Now artists are able to draw and paint right from the iPad, instead of using a third-party system. They also released Adobe Fresco for the iPhone, which is a “Lite” software that allows users to create on the go when inspiration hits them.
What it means: As someone who comes from an art background, I know that this will be more of a natural workflow for people like me. Hand drawing will allow for detail and precision that artists can miss out on when working from a computer.
Fancy Photoshop features
What it is: Adobe revealed a series of AI-powered Neural Filters, which include Face Altering, Sky Replacement, and Style Transfers. Things that would normally take hours can now happen with a click of a button.
What it means: These tools seem impressive when demonstrated, but I am interested to see if these will be used in a conventional sense. For example, in what scenario would you need to tweak a model’s age, or make them smile? Is this really a time-saver, or will it only pose more of a challenge for the creator and affect the integrity of an image?
Intellectual property police
What it is: Since last year, Adobe has launched the Content Authenticity Initiative to protect artists and their work. During the keynote, they unveiled an important new layer of security in the Adobe Creative Cloud that will protect your work from being tampered with on social platforms. This will help prevent copyright infringements and deceiving content, while giving artists the credit and exposure they deserve.
What it means: Creative integrity is a challenge we face on a daily basis, and this initiative is just one of the things we can do to ensure transparency and trust in social media.
This year’s sneak peeks
In addition to the latest news and announcements from Adobe, they also introduced this year’s MAX Sneaks. Sneaks are top-secret innovations and future technologies that are revealed by Adobe engineers. They may (or may not) be in the upcoming versions of Adobe products. Things like Typographic brushes, where a tool can convert strokes into text. Advancements in the realm of AR, like scanning objects and uploading high-quality models to your computer. Tools that use gravity and physics to react like real-world 3D objects in their digital environment. This is out of reach now, but it shows the great potential of the future. Perhaps one day, these advancements will be the norm for designers and media creatives.
If there was ever a time to learn about new technology, it’s now. Adobe has taken big strides this year, and the 2020 MAX Conference proved that we may be house bound, but that doesn’t hold the creative community back one bit.