What is the Creative Cloud and why do I need it?
There has been a lot of controversy over this. Prior to May 2012, if you wanted Adobe software, you either had to fork out for the individual applications you wanted, or you bought a Creative Suite. Now if you need more than Photoshop or Lightroom the price started adding up, You could get the Adobe Master Collection which was almost all of their products for about $2600. Upgrades ran about $899. Pretty pricey.
But I don’t want to work on the Cloud
This was confusing for many people. How was this new program going to work? Were we really running programs from the Cloud? Well the simple answer is no. The only thing that was happening was your programs were being authorized on the Cloud. I’ve been using it since it launched and have never looked back. The first year I was paying $29.99/month for EVERY ADOBE APP. So $360 for my first year and I had everything. No more upgrade fees, always have the most up to date version. And I could run it on 2 machines. After the first year the price went up to $49.99/month. $600 a year is still cheaper than I was paying for upgrades. The applications check in with the Adobe server every so often for authentication, I believe its around 90 days.
But I don’t need or use all this extra applications
Initially you could get individual applications if you wanted them. You could even get a monthly license for $9.99, or you bought the full suite. Then last year they came out with a temporary offer, Creative Cloud for Photographers. It was going to be a limited time offer. $9.99 a month and you could get Lightroom and Photoshop. That’s about 2 large latte’s a month to always have the most up to date versions of Lightroom and Photoshop. Not too shabby. Earlier this year they made that a permanent program. Pretty much made Photoshop and Lightroom affordable for anyone. Of course there are still those out there that do not agree with Adobe’s decision. I think its a fantastic program, has saved me money and probably has stopped a lot of the piracy that Adobe was dealing with.
Do I lose my old versions?
No. Currently you have the ability to download Photoshop CS6, Photoshop CC, and the current version Photoshop CC 2014. I have all 3 versions installed.
If you have the full Creative Cloud then you can get all of the other software Adobe has. I do a lot of video work as well so I now have access to Premiere Pro and After Effects, Illustrator for Design work, Dreamweaver for building web sites. The list goes on. And it is continually being updated with new features.
Adobe has also been pushing heavy into the mobile app market and have some pretty amazing tools available now. At this time these are mostly iOS based apps designed around iPad and iPhone. Lightroom Mobile is one of those new features. It lets you sync collections from Lightroom up to the Cloud and onto your iPad. You can do quite a bit of work on your files and they will sync back up to your catalog.
Versions and new features
As I mentioned you can have versions all the way back to Photoshop CS6. At one point you could still download Lightroom 4, but with Lightroom 5.6 there is really no reason to run the older version. With Photoshop there are some reasons you may want to keep an older version around. With the latest version of Photoshop CC 2014, Adobe removed the ability for third party programmers to create dashboards and panels using Adobe Flash. Yup that’s right, they killed their own technology. Photoshop CC, the previous version still supported Flash panels as well as the new HTML 5. This has left some still hanging onto CC or CS6 to be able to run earlier plugins and Extensions. One particular extension I use frequently, the Kubota Dashboard, is still working on their new version. Last I heard it was in Beta and should be out soon. It’s an integral part of my workflow so I’m still using PS CC for most of my work.
There were many new features introduced in CC and in the newer CC 2014. They have been constantly improving it. Smart Filters is a huge improvement. You can now run various filters and they will be linked to the existing layer in Photoshop. You can then turn the filter on and off, apply layer masking to it and the coolest part, you can re-edit the filter. Remember when Liquify was a permanent adjustment? Not anymore, its is now fully editable at any point in time if you convert the layer to a Smart Object first.
In the latest version that was released we now have Creative Cloud Libraries. From a design standpoint it is awesome. From Adobe’s site “Creative Cloud Libraries is a powerful new feature that lets you create, categorize, and store your favorite colors, brushes, text styles, graphics, and vector images in one easily accessible place. Then you can access them anywhere: Assets you create under the same Adobe ID will be visible across different computers—in a variety of applications like Photoshop CC—wherever you sign in. ”
So if you are not into design and you are simply editing your Boudoir images in Photoshop, what can this do for you? Well probably more than you think. First off, if you are watermarking your images, you can put your logo into the library, it is now instantly available to you without having to search for it and Embed or Copy/Paste it on your image. I think the bigger benefit will be in the custom brushes and colors. If you do much skin or makeup retouching you could keep a collection of colors that are readily available and selectable in any document. Now the brush function is not quite what you would think. You can’t create a brush or load a brush into the Library from Photoshop. Currently you can create custom brushes in the Mobile App Adobe Brush CC. So definitely many more uses for designers but there are some cool things we photographers can take advantage of. It will only get better.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Creative Cloud. If you are looking for specific training feel free to check out my new site training.davedoeppel.com specifically for Lightroom and Photoshop training.