How are tools for Designers going to evolve? Response from Michaël Chaize, Adobe Creative Cloud evangelist.
In October 2014 we were all impressed by this video combining ‘Kinect’ and advanced ‘gestures’ on a tablet with instant sharing on different Microsoft devices. So when is this all going to happen?
I love this video. It unveils some avenues of development for touch use on our applications like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro. I think that what left an impression is that all the functions seem very natural. We think that mobile devices and touch technology are going to allow for tangibility to be brought back into digital creation and for a natural bridge with traditional techniques to be created. As for availability, certain features introduced require more development, but others are already ready in our labs and should be available by this year.
In this regard, does Adobe have a vision for the next ten or twenty years? A kind of integrated lab for designers that’s always ahead of future technologies?
We have several research centers. One center focuses on technological innovations, where new image processing algorithms are born, for example. Another team focuses on usage. With each new interaction technology (like Kinect, Leap, or Oculus Rift), we try to understand if it can improve the creative process. If we find a use that allows our users to be more efficient or to better express themselves, we push the research to the development of new features. The latest versions of Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC have new tools and shortcuts for touch use, for example. These innovations arose from these laboratories’ studies.
Adobe doesn’t really offer a blogging platform like “medium”. Do you think there will be access to this type of solution one day?
Yes, of course. What’s important to us is providing tools that are simple to use, particularly on tablets, which allow you to creatively tell a story. Our new site “Standout.adobe.com” offers two tools today, Adobe Voice and Adobe Slate, which allow you to easily conceive and share stories, all with an attractive design.
Adobe released its first hardware product, “Ink and Slide”. Is this new type of gateway combing a connected object and creative software proof that touch technology is a critical topic?
A stylus on a touch surface is still the hand’s most natural extension. Ink offers great precision and a direct connection with Creative Cloud. One of the Cloud’s contributions is the fact that, at any time, it can connect “Desktop” and mobile applications and the individuals among them. The next step was to connect objects like a stylus or a ruler for an iPad and to integrate them into the creative process through Creative Cloud. Ink is a stylus that transports its brushes, colors, and shapes through the Cloud. You can work on another designer’s iPad all while conserving your design elements.
You cover practically all areas of creation – web, video, sound, design – but not 3D. Do you foresee a day in which you will offer a real 3D software? A “C4D” integrated into the Cloud?
Many designers are awaiting us on this subject, which is, in fact, already present in our tools: Photoshop CC allows you to manipulate and print 3D models, and you can create 3D scenes in After Effects. It is true we don’t offer modelling tools, as we prefer to partner with publishers like Cinema 4D. The development of a 3D tool is not on the agenda. However, we are working more and more closely with Cinema 4D and its integration with After Effects. Workflows are now used in large productions, such as Iron Man and Oblivion.
Today, Photoshop joins together twenty or so professions. Many beginners speak of it as a complicated software to use. Why not make versions of Photoshop adapted to each profession?
We are working on an experimental project that allows you to add a minimalist interface to Photoshop. The current interface, called Design Space, is destined for UX Designers. It reduces the number of tools and creates new shortcuts to easily create “wireframes” and switch to the “visual design” stage. A bonus to this approach is that, at any time, you can switch back to standard mode with all the tools. We’re in the stage where we’re gathering user feedback, it’s a promising technology.
There’s more and more talk of designer being directly in the browser. Is this a concept that Adobe’s developing? Is the purchase of aviary a sign that it will happen?
Aviary was purchased for its familiarity with mobile applications and its SDK policy with third party applications who wish to enjoy its image processing features. Launching tools in the browser has become technically possible, but we must take into consideration issues of GPU (graphic processing unit) acceleration, memory management with high-resolution files, and compatibility between browsers for a user-benefit that remains small. Even so, we are looking into the possibility of streaming our applications in the browser. A test called Photoshop Streaming was created for the education sector, which uses Google Chrome notebooks. The total experience of our “Desktop” products is also an avenue we’re looking into, but with calculations made on the server side.
Adobe is more and more present on tablets and mobile devices through dedicated mini-applications. Do you see a day where, as a professional, you could do away completely with “desktop” applications?
What matters to a creator is being able to express himself/herself quickly and easily with the tool. If one day touch devices allowed for better precision and productivity than “Desktop” applications, why not. But that’s obviously not the case today. I personally believe that mobile devices and tablets are going to become a bigger part of the creative process, for specific tasks such as color search or creating shapes and brushes, for ending “Desktop” work. Certain creators, such as David Mascha in Berlin, already use these creation processes.