design on the computer

Affinity V.S. Adobe

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign… These are our Industry Standard programs for design illustration, and layouts… but why? There are so many alternatives out there for cheaper, and that have better features. There are several companies that are constantly developing and improving their programs. So the question is: will Adobe be able to keep up and keep their users invested even with the high monthly or yearly fee? Or will they get ran over by competitors in the next ten years?

Adobe programs are taught in design and art schools for good reason. A very large portion of the creative media industry makes use of these programs everyday. There is a major discount for students and teachers which influences the continued use of it in schools. Adobe is professional, and has many good related services for licensing fonts, choosing the right color palette, and stock images. They’re all at the fingertips of anyone with a Creative Cloud subscription. But there are many downsides to Adobe.

Issues with Adobe:

If you’re using older versions of Photoshop, Adobe can sue according to an email many users with older versions received. I highly doubt they will sue every person, but nevertheless the intent is there. Let people use their ancient CD’s man.

Subscriptions partially make sense. They prevent piracy, makes getting updates for programs much easier, and lowers the price overall compared to their old box set says Adi Agashe. But what will they do when a competitor offers a one time purchase for every update? Affinity is around the corner, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Here’s why Affinity is charging in like a ox:

Within five years, Affinity has been catching up to Adobe’s tail, and excelling in some ways. The price point is a huge deal. All of Affinity’s programs are a one time cost of $69.99 for each. They only have 3 programs out at the moment; Affinity Photo, Designer, and the newest one, Publisher. These three are all comparable with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign.

Affinity Designer Interface

Most of the IMA students are aware of the great capabilities of the Adobe programs, but there are many great things in Affinity’s software as well.

A few features Affinity has over Adobe from the help of Photography-Raw, and Affinity Revolution:

  • Affinity has the feature that saves your undo history even after the app is closed, so you can go back to a version if need be
  • Live brush preview; so when you hover your brush over something, you can see the changes it will make
  • Live previews for blend modes and gradients
  • More customizable interface
  • Cheaper

Affinity is constantly improving, but Adobe is still a powerhouse. Both are great in their own ways. I think Adobe needed this competition to hopefully push them further, but I hope to see Affinity take the crown some day.

What are your thoughts on emerging programs in our creative field?

Experiencing Interactive Media Arts

When it started for me, I wasn’t sure if this course was something I was going to be interested in for the rest of my two year student life.

I was out of the province and a days drive away when I received the text, followed by what felt like hundreds of emails confirming I had been enrolled in the Interactive Media Arts course at Assiniboine Community College. But once I had found a place to live, I realized it was too late to go into hiding and pretend post-secondary education didn’t exist.

A Packed Suitcase
Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

The Start

Despite my doubt and anxiety I still decided to show up on the first day of classes (the orientation the week before didn’t really count). While getting to know my teachers was pretty simple, the people considered classmates took a bit longer to break the ice with.

The days quickly became weeks, and then evolved further more into months. As it stands I have now spent around 6 months in this program. While the coding work is a bit of a drag and struggle, the other courses have interested me enough to keep me invested and trying to succeed.

Code – From Pexels

The Work

Aside from some minor classes such as video editing and audio recording/manipulation, the main attraction of this course for anyone with an interest in design, would be the Adobe classes. Several classes are dedicated to teaching and experimenting with the Adobe suite of design tools, including Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and InDesign.

As stated above, this courses work load can be a bit of a struggle. Due to my lack of research into the materials and the workload, I had no idea this would involve as heavy work as coding. Coding is what I would describe as the bane of my courses workload. However, if it’s something that someone would want to pursue then I would recommend it, I personally know successful graduates of this program who excelled at it.

Photoshop Illustrator After Effects InDesign

Photo by Matan Segev from Pexels

The Outcome

Still enrolled, 6 months later, the doubts completely absent from the thoughts in my head, actually thinking I fit in for once in the education aspects of my life.

As someone who never sought out post-secondary I will wholeheartedly say it’s worth the experience, and you may end up enjoying yourself and the work given.

And best of all, you might get lucky like me and meet the friends you finally feel are worth keeping.

A Story from an IMA student

Working With Audio: Remixing

When working on a project, one of the most important parts of your production is making sure that all of the pieces that you are using work together properly.  This will usually require you to sacrifice some element of your project, whether it be in the visual, audio, or presentation sections. One such method of making your elements fit together just right is the remix tool in Audition.

 

The remix tool is used to alter audio, usually a song, so that the length is longer or shorter than the original composition.  In order to start this process, you need to put the audio into Audition. Once there, you can do the general cleanup (noise reduction, plosives, breaths) directly onto the waveform.  However, you will need to put the piece of audio into a multi-track mixdown in order to remix the track.

 

Once the music track that you want is in the mixdown, you can then go ahead and remix by simply going to the remix tab to the left and pressing “enable remix”.  Once said track is analyzed, you will be free to extend or shorten to your heart’s content.

 

However, there’s one last thing that you should remember about remixes: they will not be the exact length that you specify. Due to how the remixing works, chunks of the song are mixed into and taken out through the song, and since the remix cannot cut into these chunks, the song cannot be the exact time that you want.

 

While this might not be a problem for most projects, if the remix is paired with a visual portion as well, you may need to either cut down or expand the video in order to better fit the music.  Most of the time you’ll be able to cut down parts of shots in order to fit the time, so it won’t be a major issue.

Why Adobe Creative Cloud is so great

Are you tired of having to pay for individual Adobe Programs because of how expensive each application is? Do you ever think, “I wish there was a way to get more out of my money by just spending a bit more money for something bigger and better?” Well I have a solution for you! Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe Creative Cloud is an application which everyone in the Interactive Media Arts program whether Interactive or Media all have and all need to purchase in the beginning of the program in the first semester. This application has all of your graphic designer, video editing, web design and many other needs along with mobile applications.

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Photoshop Screenshot

What to expect from Digital Design in Interactive Media Arts.

One of the first courses you will take when you start the Interactive Media Arts (IMA) program will be Digital Design, and to many this is considered the “Adobe Creative Cloud Beginner” class. One of the first things you’ll learn is that the class will be the teaching you all the basics of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and After Effects. Thankfully, if you already have previous experience with some of the software, there are opportunities to take some projects further and expand your knowledge even more.

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Connect & Empower Your Creative Mind with Bēhance

Much like writers, designers and developers can experience a period of time when they can’t access their inspiration or bring themselves to create new work. This creative block can be brought on by a mental block, an emotional barrier, personal problems or even communication breakdowns.

Adobe has done their best to build their creative community with multiple mobile apps, allowing for easy access and shareable content between team members. They even have an app (and webpage), dedicated to inspiration and sharing projects between Adobe users.

Behance gives you the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the minds of other creatives in the Adobe community. With the capability to explore millions of design projects created by designers all over the world, Behance is the answer to my creative block and encourages me to try new projects every day.

Discover
Upon signing into Behance, you are encouraged to follow as many creative fields as you would like from the following list:

  • Graphic Design
  • Typography
  • Packaging
  • Branding
  • Editorial
  • Infographic
  • Poster
  • Exhibition & Signage
  • Logo
  • Music Packaging

All content posted is tagged under these categories.

Now that you are following different fields from the industry, Behance turns the landing page into a sea of innovative and inspirational posts from other creatives. As you browse through different projects, you can appreciate other artists content with the thumbs up icon and establish creative connections in the Adobe community.

You also have the option to search through content based on creative tools, by schools and organizations or through curated galleries.

Live
Behance offers a live video blog with scheduled tutorials and a live chat to encourage you to ask questions. Learn new ideas, techniques and trends from Adobe professionals on a daily basis. They keep an updated schedule available for you at all times, so you never miss an opportunity to better your skills.

Profile
Your Behance Profile is more than just a picture and a short ‘about you’ section. Behance offers you the opportunity to show off your skills, your work experience and even your references. You are able to create a shareable portfolio and even apply for jobs. The profile tab also gives you access to statistics of views and appreciations of your projects.

Behance gives you the freedom to showcase your designs and imagination while feeding your creative inspiration. Check out the Behance website today or download the app below.

App Store

Google Play

From the Beginner designer to Intermediate one – Part 2(Tips for Sharing)

Last week, I introduced the first tool : The colours. Miranda asked some questions about how to share with other Adobe registration or non-registration users, here I would like to answer her concern.
First, only the Adobe registered users could share and use the colour swatch.
Secondly, the created colour swatch could export as ASE(Adobe Swatch Exchange file) and images; it could create a link to share with others.
Thirdly, the colour swatch can share the message, mail, facebook, iCloud, Google Drive and work software or app for both PC and MAC or non-Adobe registered users.
As an interactive media designer who needs to draw on software and using the colours tool, buying an Adobe suite is necessary.

Back to today’s topic, I would like to introduce one more  tool in Adobe Capture CC which is brushes.

The purpose of the brushes tool is to let users record the patterns, images or a little doodles as brushes and used in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch.

The way to create brushes is similar to the colours tool, click on “+” again, and it will turn on the camera. There is a white dot shown in camera screen, drag it to your pattern area and take the picture. Crop the brush pattern capture area and then choose the styles you like in different Adobe software. Please notice that the brush styles are black and white in Photoshop and Illustrator, but it is colour brushes in Sketch brushes style. Under the presets menu, users can adjust the brushes attributes differently, and it’s different attributes settings between different software.

Finally, users can edit, duplicate, share brushes and upload to users library or template.

This brushes tool is quite handy when you try to draw complex symbols as a background pattern, and then merely repeating brushes will make your job easy and unique.

For the next post, I will elaborate the ultimate handy tool: patterns.

Inspiration in Your Pocket: The Subtle Art of Adobe Capture CC

As a Graphic Design student, Adobe Capture CC has quickly become my most reliable ally. Capture is part of Adobe’s mobile App family and easily the most beneficial for designers on the go. In 2016, Adobe combined four of its mobile asset building tools into one, forming a single app that can capture colours, patterns, materials, brushes, and shapes.

Adobe Capture CC opened the door to unlimited possibilities. With a few simple clicks on your mobile device, you can now create project assets from anywhere that are accessible all across Adobe’s mobile and desktop apps.

 

Shapes

Originally, the shapes function was the reason I downloaded this App. Capture takes your sketchbook doodles and instantly turns them into vector shapes, you can also create shapes from high contrast photos.

Quick tip: Make sure to outline your doodles with a dark coloured marker before using the app, it will pick up the lines and curves easier.

 

Colour Themes

It’s so simple, just point and shoot for colour themes. Pulling colours from the real world has never been so easy. Snap a picture in the moment or use a picture from your camera roll on your phone and let Capture do the rest. Six movable circles will show up on the screen, once you’re happy with the colours picked, you can save your colour theme and use it over and over from your CC Library.

 

Patterns

Create new and authentic patterns using the digital kaleidoscope with the Pattern tool. Select one of five geometric real time templates at the top of the screen and move your camera around until you find exactly what you’re looking for. The app prompts you to refine your pattern before saving it to your CC Library.

Furthermore, Capture goes above and beyond by building  textures and materials in seconds and also allows you to create customized brushes, forever creating original and authentic designs.

To top this digital sundae off with the perfect cherry, all assets created in Capture are instantly saved to your Creative Cloud Library making them accessible in all of your Adobe mobile and desktop apps. Creating genuinely original designs has never been so simple.

Adobe Capture CC is a designers dream and it fits right in your pocket.

There is more information available on Adobe’s website:

https://www.adobe.com/products/capture.html