Have you joined Adobe’s Creative Cloud, or are you waiting for a "must have" tool before you make the leap? More than 1.5 million creatives have joined. Perhaps something in the following updates will convince you that now is the time.
Adobe has released major updates for its three Creative Cloud (CC) print applications: Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC and InDesign CC. Here’s a look at the top new features — you need a Creative Cloud subscription to take advantage of them.
Photoshop CC 14.2
Perspective Warp — This new, photo-editing feature allows you to change the perspective of an object without grossly distorting other scene details. It’s great for straightening architectural images, and also, handy for compositing objects photographed from multiple points of view.
Linked Smart Objects — The link allows you to share an asset across multiple designs. Previously, Smart Objects were embedded into a Photoshop document, with no reference back to the original art (see ST, February, page 34). With this update, you have the option to either embed or link an object.
3D Printing — It’s now possible to print a 3–D model straight out of Photoshop, which is probably the most significant and exciting upgrade in years. Everything you need to control the 3-D output is in Photoshop’s print dialog. It analyzes the model for size and structural durability, makes any required mesh repairs, and provides an option to generate support structures. This should open the door to 3–D design for artists of all skill levels.
I predict a sharp increase in the demand for 3-D printing to follow this new release.
Illustrator CC 17.1
Illustrator CC has several upgrades that may significantly change how you draw custom shapes:
Live Corners — This feature should eliminate your use of rounded rectangles. After selecting an object, you’ll immediately notice round handles at every path-segment angle. These handles allow you to manipulate corners with a click-and-drag move. You can control the corners independently or as a group. They can be curved, inverted or straight. With Live Corners, you can draw simple straight-line shapes and add the curve later, which reduces your need to learn Bezier curves for custom drawing.
Enhanced Pencil Tool — This tool is a valid option for freehand drawing, honestly, and for the first time. The original Pencil Tool draws clunky, sharp-angle path segments that require time-consuming refinement to create a clean, curved line. The new tool allows you to adjust the line fidelity on a sliding scale, which starts with behavior that matches the original pencil tool and ends with a fidelity that returns a clean curved line. You can draw clean curves and perfect, straight-line segments within the same shape. It may replace the Path Tool as your go-to option for drawing custom shapes.
Path Segment Reshape — The Pen Tool anchor option is now enhanced to work on line segments, not just anchor points, so you can now click-and-drag directly on a line segment and automatically add curves to corresponding angle joins.
Perspective Tool — This upgrade allows responsive changes to drawings created on a perspective grid, without having to adjust individual objects to match.
Custom Tool Panel — It’s now possible to create your own custom-tool panel with only the tools needed for a particular project; further, you can create multiple custom-tool panels for all your workflow scenarios.
InDesign CC 9.2
InDesign continues to move in the electronic-document creation direction. Upgrades include simplified Hyperlink creation and many electronic-publishing (EPUB) enhancements.
Adobe reports Typekit fonts are now available to all CC subscribers, at no additional cost. Adobe added full Typekit font integration to both Illustrator CC and InDesign CC in its latest update. You can install and directly access Typekit fonts within each application, automatically, without a font-management application. All subscribers should have access to the fonts.
Adobe unveiled the CC in October 2011. In May 2013, it announced the end of upgrades to its perpetual-licensed software, with future upgrades only available through the CC. Adobe promised to roll out CC updates as soon as new features were available. In just over six months, it has delivered on this promise. It now boasts enhanced features and greater user-friendliness. Since its introduction, CC has grown in all measures except price.
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