graphicxtras.com for plugins and presets
New features and notes on Creative cloud Adobe CC update October 2014 .2 Photoshop and Illustrator etc. Creative cloud October 2014.2 update had a lot of useful new features added. One of the joys of the creative cloud is that every couple of months there is a new update and in this release there were many new features added to Photoshop, Illustrator and the other parts of the creative cloud. One of the best features of the new creative cloud update from Adobe has to be the powerful CC libraries feature which enables you to safely store and re-use content and images and projects. The Creative cloud 2014 update also includes flame renders, Illustrator curvature update, Illustrator join tool update, Photoshop guide layout updates and much more. The article below shows all the details of the creative cloud update.
A number of new features to report this time around. I have created a few videos on the subject via my graphicxtras channel. The videos show many features about the updates and I will be adding more over the next few weeks as I discover more and use the tools more.
All the brushes and shapes etc work fine as before though it should be noted that if you have an iPad (I haven't) then you can now obtain a useful tool to generate these based on images seen by your phone - really useful (though the images still actually need to be something that you own the copyright of or perhaps a tree or outdoor scene where there is no copyright. I would love to see this extended to Android as well as just tools for the mac and PC, why are they intristically mobile apps as I could just pass the photos to my PC and MAC and then use those features to tweak and develop new resources which can then be passed onto Photoshop and Illustrator. Nice to see they exist but I hope they also move to other OS
PS and AI are the main updates this time with creative cloud update 2014.2 and the key thing Adobe is selling are the libraries which means you can share resources between apps so a brush can be used in one and dragged over to another without the usual pasteboard / clipboard. This is a very handy feature and is finally the library I have been waiting for for ages and ages. I still think there is some work to do with the libraries and I am certain things will be tweaked for another release. It is a fine update though and seems to work reasonably smooth though it does need (for the loading of the resources at least) an internet connection. It does mean you can work on one machine and the resources can then be accessed quickly on another instead of a fiddly copying via a USB stick. It also means you can create sets of resources which you can re-access at any time, perhaps related to a particular color or perhaps to a particular theme or perhaps you are just rapidly working up an idea and you wish to keep a store of all the changes as you work (you can just drag any images etc to the library and keep repeating this for all the variations of work and as they stored in the cloud, you can be sure that the first or 50th variant is still there for possible re-working); you can also use it store a particular project; all the elements for a book cover or a record sleeve and so on.
Other additions of interest are the changes to the Photoshop patterns: picture frame and tree are now (along with flame) in the render menu. Some new trees have been added and the filter is far more responsive, the picture frame seems to be fairly slow still (especially the latter ones). The picture frame comes with a vast range of options / leaves / branches etc and I doubt if I have explored even 1% of the possible combinations. One good thing about this update is that the renders are now in the main filter menu (render) and are now far more visible than in the previous edit menu pattern fill (had quite a few people e-mail me saying that they couldn't even find the patterns). The flame tool is truly awesome and I can see myself using that in many different projects and it comes with a vast range of features. Really hard to describe all the features of the flames as there are many different settings and styles such as turbulence, candle flame (love that one), opacity, width, length etc of flames. The flame tool requires a path, it cannot work without one. It also, I have found, works best on a layer as the layer can be moved, deleted, effects applied etc and this can take a flame and turn it into an awesome glow or plaster effect or just add some depth with a shadow / blur. I just hope we see a lot more 'flame' like additions to PS (sparkles, ice ??) Actually it feels a bit like a paint tool (I wonder if the flame sources can be tweaked to use something other than flames ? must investigate that - now that would be a useful additional if the tool allowed for any kind of image or image with transparency to be used as a source.
There are lots of minor Photoshop updates but then again, the flame feature is a single line in the update notes and so are the 3D printing supports and 3D PDF support etc. If you are a big 3D fan then perhaps these are an amazing new help in your work. Same with the 30 or so other additional minor updates for things such as layers and locking and the Adobe color themes panel, improvements to the styles values etc. I have mentioned things in PS and AI that I have found of interest but perhaps a single new update might be of mega use to, just for saving hours of time. Also there has been updates to touch devices such as Windows Surface Pro (I haven't got one) can't say much about those because of the lack of a touch device.
Have to say this has been of minor interest to me but it is a nice Photoshop feature and now has a nice dialog that makes it a lot easier to generate 1x 2x SVG etc output from layers / assets. It is an interface for the Adobe Generator. Seems to work fine but a key thing to remember is to create a folder for the output. If not, you can easily fill an entire desktop with the output of all these variant PNG etc files. Guess it is very useful for web work which leads onto a related update
A couple of new guide features have been added: new guide layout and new guides from shape. The new guide layout feature is really good as it means you can create 8 columns, 12 columns, 3 rows etc with gutter and margins (as well as save them as a new preset) in seconds and you can clear any previous guides. This is a very useful addition. You can, of course, still manually edit the guides but it makes it a lot faster than carefully adding them one at a time as well as adding in gutters etc. The guides from shape feature is also pretty useful feature of the creative cloud 2014.2 update as you can select a shape layer in Photoshop and then create a guide around the layer (top and bottom and left and right) and you can also select multiple layers and create a grid of guides from those. Again, very useful for all kinds of web work as well as any other layouts.
It is a much nicer startup now, gives you instant access to some great tutorials and new update information as well as blogs and much more. Not the quickest load though.
Other parts of the creative cloud have been updated in the October 2014 release and that is After Effects and Muse. I don't use them as much so but looking at the notes there seems to be some really decent 3D additions in AE
Illustrator has libraries as well so now you can save brushes, type, paths, symbols, etc all to the library and use them in Photoshop (though the swatches etc are not swatches once they get into PS nor are the brushes converted to PS brushes (how nice would that be). The libraries means you can set up all kinds of groupings of paths for future projects, reference, color themed work, work based on a certain client etc. You can use one library or multiple libraries. Have to say, I found the libraries work a little better on the PS side, they seem a little slower on the AI front. Still, they are a wonderful addition and perhaps for all kinds of creative work. You can also tie them in with your mobile apps (if you have an iPad / iOS)
Again, without a surface pro etc this is of no use for me but I am certain it is a wonderful feature and it comes with some additional features such as stencils / french curves - which sound intriguing. Perhaps something for the main application at some point ?
This is an interesting tool. I am certain it will split opinions about its use. Perhaps one of those tools that you might use once or twice and perhaps never use again. Yet, it is a neat tool and can be used to create some really lovely abstract curved paths as well as straight line paths. The curves can be manipulated in many different ways, such as removing points, turning corner points into smooth and so on. You can also apply all kinds of effects to the curvature paths (such as 3D) and also in the end, expand them via the expand command to use as normal paths. You can also combine them with beautiful strokes / width profiles as well as brushes and much more. You can use it as a closed path (it seems to force this at times) as well as open paths. Comes with a preview option (changed via the preferences) / rubber band as with the pen tool. The only thing for me: I wish there was a few additional control features as well as shift constrain etc and also a way to convert existing paths into curvature ones. The name could do with an creative cloud update, I prefer something like curve tool (the icon is too similar to the pen tool for my taste)
This is a useful tool. Does it work everytime ? hmm, open to debate but for most of the paths and combinations of open paths, this is a really quick and easy way to close a path with a nice elegant finish. To use it, select paths and apply at the end points - you can also use it without selecting the paths. If you have two open paths crossing them the paths are trimmed. If you have a path approaching another then one path is trimmed to join with the other and two paths can approaching another and a join is generated to the point where the line / curve ends for both. This is where it occasionally gets a little messy as if the lines are parallel (or close to) then the join tool will not work. I wish it would at least offer the option just to join the two end points as a straight line without trying to go off to infinity. There are times when the path combos should join Visually they look they will meet say 1000px in the distance) but don't. A visual indicator to show the join (perhaps in red or dashed lines) would be a big improvement. At least then you can agree or disagree with the join before it actually performs the operation - guess in that case, it would only be for paths selected otherwise you could have 50 paths on the screen and the join lines would be filling the screen. Still, for that minor issue, it is a really useful addition.
Rarely use area type. Perhaps I should but I don't. Still, this is a useful addition. Instead of manually re-sizing area text, you can now just click the bottom of the area type box and it will be set to auto-size so you will never see the overflow icon again.
A really decent new release of the CC from Adobe. Of course it could have more, it could always have more but then perhaps you might just overload people with lots of new tools that they never have a chance to bed in with and before you know it, you have to work on the next update and all the next changes. The number of new features are great and some of them are really useful additions (ones I think, like the libraries, should have been in the apps 100s of years ago). You can find all many video links below - I say many, as I am always adding new ones and will probably add some more by the end of the afternoon.