Orange County Digital Arts—Adobe #CS6 Preview


On Friday, June 1st, I attended a preview of Adobe’s Creative Suite (CS) software (version 6) which was recently released. It was hosted by Scott Trodick, the facilitator of Orange County Digital Arts (OCDA).

Below is a summary of the preview that was given by Scott and other members of OCDA. Besides food and prizes, which made the evening fun, there was a great chance to see practitioners of the Adobe Creative Suite demonstrate the new features of version 6.   I have had two classes with Scott Trodick that he taught at Santiago Canyon College:  one on Adobe Acrobat Pro and the other on  Adobe Photoshop, and I love his infectious enthusiasm for the visual arts.    The only criticism I have about the evening is that OC Digital Arts needs to get together with an Audio Arts group to improve the constant feedback that the microphones were giving off through the evening.   It wasn’t enough to loosen my dental fillings, but it was unfortunately a distraction.   Otherwise, it was a wonderful, informative evening and I hope to start joining some of OC Digital Arts’ user groups now that my classes are done!

A. Tablet Apps—Scott Trodick

One of the new directions that Adobe is going in version 6 is to enable people to create content not just for the Web, but for various mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

In particular, Adobe is releasing the following tablet apps to be used with the various applications of its CS6 software.

Tablet App

Purpose

1 Collage Design
2 Debut Showing presentations
3 Ideas Digital sketchbook, creative companion
4 Kuler Picks color themes
5 PS Touch Social tool
6 Proto Wireframe markup for web designers

B. Adobe Illustrator (Ai)—Jaqui Miles

Jaqui said the following were improvements in Adobe Illustrator in CS6.

  • Menus are more intuitive—now it is not just the tool you choose, but the type of selection you make which adjusts the menu
  • Line trace à Image Trace—this makes it easier to move shapes whose components intersect each other
  • Gradients can now be put on a stroke (thick borderline) or even text

C. In Design (ID)—Frank Martinez

Frank said that, in addition to web mock-ups of traditional magazine content, you can now choose to view that same content in several digital formats, including those for smartphones and tablets, such as Nook, Kindle, Android 10, iPad, etc.

This is important because of the explosion in publishing of e-Books, which you now need to be able to produce in several different (and not always compatible) formats.

D. Adobe Special Project—Bill Vallely

Scott Trodick introduced Bill Vallely, a freelance illustrator who in recovering from a terminal illness had suffered from a condition called “dry eye” that was a side effect of one of the medicines he had been taking. He produced a web cartoon on the subject of dry eye using the Adobe Creative Suite which can be seen at the site eyetoon.com. The web cartoon was important for him for two reasons: one was that it showed that web cartoons are a great medium for discussing medical or otherwise “heavy” information in an entertaining, engaging way.

And speaking of engaging, his web cartoon is interactive in that, if you choose to get more information by clicking on one of the panels, the cartoon changes after you’ve returned from the digression. This multiple storyline format is something that is yet to be exploited, according to Bill.

E. Photoshop—John Haverstick

Here are the new features which John mentioned:

  • The new menu is darker and less intrusive for those who don’t want to be distracted from the image they are working on—this is consistent with the interface in the Lightroom software made specifically for photography
  • Content aware technology—if you move a subset of the image to another area, you can use “content aware technology” to fill in the image that you left behind in a manner consistent with the surrounding space
  • Chromatic aberration, an effect which sometimes occurs in the boundary between areas with high contrast (i.e., black and white), is now something you can adjust by filling in one checkmark rather than having to adjust sliders as before
  • 3D functions have all improved

F. Dreamweaver—Scott Trodick

As people go from shared hosting to cloud hosting, Dreamweaver now makes it easier to create websites by blending the HTML language, which handles content, and CSS language, which handles design elements.

The idea is that when you create the content, you then can use Dreamweaver to not just view the site on the web, but now on several formats for mobile devices.

Using Dreamweaver allows you to have the 4 Cs,

a) clean code,

b) consistency (both logically and semantically),

c) complete keyword searchability, and

d) compatibility for cloud servers,

which optimize your website for search engines such as Google.

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