Max is the creative software giant’s forum for introducing new photo, video, and other software technologies, and there are plenty of things to look forward to in 2020.
Adobe’s Max conference, where the company shows off its 2020 roadmap, attracts more than 15,000 designers, photographers, videographers, and artists every year, plus nearly 1 million viewers online. Creativity for All is this year’s theme, and the company is embracing that credo by making several apps available at no cost for the basic feature set.
Also on tap is Adobe’s Sensei AI and machine-learning technology, which touches its spectrum of applications from painting, illustration, and photo to video, 3D motion graphics, and AR and VR applications.
Moving powerful creative apps to mobile is another big trend. We’ve been hearing about Photoshop for the iPad ( full Photoshop built anew for touch devices), for years, and it’s finally ready. But we’ll also get an iPad version of Illustrator in 2020, and a new app called Photoshop Camera.
The entire Creative Cloud suite of apps also get a boost. Read on for these and many other announcements at the show, including updates to Premiere Pro and Lightroom.
Photoshop on iPad
Adobe touts the new Photoshop for iPad as, “an intuitive, more accessible entry point to Photoshop for new users as well as a great companion app for professional creators.” Compositing and retouching workflows will benefit by having this new tool in their bag of tricks.
As with Fresco, creatives no longer need be caught in the eyeball-hand weirdness that happens when the hand draws in a different place (the tablet) from where the image is located (the monitor). Photoshop on iPad doesn’t yet offer total feature parity with the desktop program, especially for things like export formats and working with raw camera files. It’s more complementary to the desktop app for heavy lifting in image work. You do get full PSD compatibility and all the layers, drawing, and typography designers have come to know and love. According to Adobe’s press materials, however, “There’s so much more to come.”
Photoshop Camera App
A real surprise at this year’s Max was the Photoshop Camera app, which
“can instantly recognize the subject in your photo and provide recommendations, and automatically apply sophisticated, unique features at the moment of capture (i.e., portraits, landscapes, selfies, food shots), while always preserving an original shot,” Adobe said in a blog post.
“It also understands the technical content (i. e., dynamic range, tonality, scene-type, face regions) of the photo and automatically applies complex adjustments,” Adobe said. Creative “lenses” also embellish photos using Adobe’s Sensei AI technology.
You can request access on iOS and Android ahead of a 2020 launch.
Reframe in Premiere Pro
The hottest among new features in Premiere Pro is Auto Reframe. This uses Sensei AI to determine what’s important in a video frame when you change aspect ratio — say for vertical mobile screens from widescreen. Another Premiere updates extends time remapping to 20,000 percent, and performance improvements mean ProRes HDR runs 10x faster.
Lightroom Gets More Export Options
Adobe offers Lightroom in two flavors: the professional’s go-to workflow Classic and the more prosumer, modern, syncing app known simply as Lightroom. One drawback in the new Lightroom has been its severely limited export options — it only offered JPG or original output with an edits sidecar file, and didn’t even offer printing.
New for this year’s Max is TIF export, and an option for sending your images to the high-quality photo printing service White House Custom Colour. New Lightroom also gets the integrated tutorials from working pro photogs that previously only graced the mobile versions.
Lightroom Classic updates include a Panorama Fill Edges options that uses Content-Aware fill to give panorama merges straight edges. The new Multi-Batch Export options lets you create multiple photo output options at once, and Export Presets and Preset groups let photographers consistently apply their custom edits and share them with others.
TikTok Posting From Adobe Rush
Adobe Rush is a mobile app that makes for quick social video posts. Now you can share a creation from it directly to the hot video social network du jour: TikTok. Adobe claims Rush is the first third-party app with this capability.
Illustrator on iPad
Another wonderful surprise is a tablet version of Illustrator coming next year that leverages the tablet-Apple Pencil interface. There is a Snappy Pencil tool and new Symmetry, Radial Repeat, and pattern tools that sound thrilling — and are not available in Illustrator for the desktop yet.
On the desktop, in addition to loads of speed and performance enhancements, Illustrator also adds the option for automatic spell check, which I appreciate.
Fresco on Windows
Adobe Fresco, which arrived on iPad earlier this fall, is now available for Windows on Surface Pro X devices and Wacom MobileStudio Pro hardware. This drawing and painting app, built specifically for touch- and stylus-powered platforms, offers a true-to-life painting experience made possible with the magic of Adobe Sensei-enabled natural media emulators. Although free to all, Creative Cloud subscribers have the additional benefit of Fresco’s round-trip workflow with Photoshop and vector layer integration with Illustrator.
Adobe XD Interactive Component States
Every month, Adobe releases updates, new features, and enhancements for XD, but it’s outdone itself at Max. A sampling of new goodies include real-time co-editing (with the safeguard of a complete document history in case your colleague makes an edit you detest); component state representation of hover-overs and various click interactions; many enhancements to prototyping and interaction features; and a plug-in manager overhaul.
Aero Brings AR to Non-Coders
Adobe invites us to “step into a new reality.” When it’s this fun and easy to marry digital content with the actual world around you, why not? Immersive experiences are on their way as mainstay mechanisms to play, shop, learn, and more. Aero allows AR creativity to designers who may have neither coding nor 3D prowess, and in-app instructions build confidence from the start. Your hands and phone or tablet become your tools to animate, place objects, and indicate interactive triggers. Digital assets (2D and 3D) are handy in Creative Cloud and sharing your creations are a breeze. Also announced is a desktop version in the works.
Adobe Character Animator 3
Adobe Character Animator, which lets you animate drawings using your webcam and microphone, may put thousands of “tweeners” out of business. Those are the diligent folk who draw all the in-between images for animated features. Animator 3 adds preset Scenes, offering wide, close-up, and zoom views, with camera moves between them. It also adds key-framing for both character and background and audio triggers for things such as applause and laughter.
Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com on November 6, 2019.