The Adobe MAX Creativity Tour shed light on how to creatively empower ourselves

Bringing some of the UK’s most creative minds together into a bubbling line up, the event delved into Adobe's latest updates which enable creativity on the go.

9 December 2019
Reading Time
5 minute read

Last week, on the evening of Tuesday 3 December, creatives around the world tucked into an evening of innovation on screen or in person for The Adobe MAX Creativity Tour. For a lucky few hundred, the team at It’s Nice That and other industry professionals flocked to an iconic London venue to hear the latest from the tech giant and its newest tools. The sparkling event, bathed in a deep shade of purple, brought some of the UK’s most creative minds together in a bubbling line up.

Fresh off the back of Adobe MAX in LA, the event was all about how to take creativity to the next level so that, wherever we can, we can reimagine the creative process. With new updates for programs such as Adobe XD and Adobe Fresco, not to mention major advancements in user experience, the evening’s talks invited us to empower ourselves and enable creativity for all. You can watch all the latest updates in the videos below.

As an active foundation for the art and design industry, Adobe’s latest applications hope to further enable creative literacy across all manner of disciplines. The key highlights see Photopshop now available on iPad, the launch of Adobe Aero, and innovative updates across InDesign and XD, all enabling creativity on-the-go. Highlighting the importance of creativity as a vehicle for social and political change, Adobe’s latest developments allow its users to express themselves more easily and more freely than ever before. Sitting at the intersection of imagination and technology, the computer software company took us through its latest developments in detail, cementing its place for decades to come at the heart of technology.

As the lights dimmed and the talks unfolded, first to the stage was principal Creative Cloud evangelist Rufus Deuchler who welcomed the physical and virtual audience in their thousands. “I love Adobe MAX because it’s a tremendous opportunity for our incredible global community to come together and get inspired and celebrate creativity itself,” he began. Of the multitude of topics covered, it’s the evolution of Adobe’s AI, Adobe Sensei, that powers much of the latest, intelligent tools. Creatives now also have access to a great number of video tutorials to deepen their knowledge of new tools. Another new feature allows creatives to live-stream their working methods on Behance and on top of all this, Adobe Stock now offers over 180 million stock assets, 30 million video stock assets and there are now more than 17,000 fonts available for use on mobile devices.

In one of many of the exciting announcements at the event, Rufus additionally introduced us to Adobe Aero, which allows designers to build AR experiences without coding, and Adobe Fresco, a new illustration app for digital painting and drawing. Notably, one of Fresco’s central features is its live watercolour and oil brushes that blend and blossom with touch. Rufus was then joined on stage by Octavia Bromell to demonstrate the tool. An illustrator from Dorset, Octavia’s work tackles themes of anxiety and depression by highlighting the joys of everyday life.

For Octavia, Fresco is the perfect tool to bring her colourful, maximalist illustrations to life. She demonstrated the smooth blending tools to create an effect that feels hand-rendered, but with all the benefits of a digital editing process. “And there’s no smell from the oil paints,” joked Rufus as Octavia carefully wielded the pen tool. As Octavia left the stage, Rufus was joined by Adobe’s XD evangelist Stephanie Maier to discuss the new collaborative features within Adobe XD. Essentially, the new advancements mean multiple parties can work on the same document at the same time, co-editing, changing and typing away in a single document all at once to enhance team creativity.

Next, Leo Burnett and Passion Animation Studios took to the stage to discuss the behind-the-scenes action of this year’s McDonald’s Christmas ad. Focusing on one of its humble yet tasty products – the carrot stick, the London-based ad agency tapped into this “reindeer-ready” snack, reimagining it as a reindeer treat. With strong, loveable characters at the heart of the campaign, the creative team went onto discuss the narrative of teenage angst that carried the storyline through the one-and-a-half minute film. Cramming as much emotion as possible into the screen time, characterisation was key to getting the message across in this family-focused ad.

After shedding light on the animatic, set design, animation process and final rendering, the three creatives intricately discussed how they made the film with a touch of British realism and a distinct amount of craft. Fleshing out realistic facial expressions on the animated characters, Passion Animation Studios finally unveiled the ad, and the effortless mix of live action and animation that culminated from their intricate technical process.

Headlining the event was Jamal Edwards MBE, the renowned founder of the multi-channelled online music platform, SBTV. Inspiring a new wave of digital entrepreneurs, the born and bred London creative talked us through his journey from first holding a camcorder aged 15, to becoming an internationally-acclaimed distributor of topical content. Charismatically, he took us through his lo-fi, ad hoc methods of growing SBTV from a side project whilst at school to creating films that now capture a global audience. He inspired the audience with the sheer amount of effort and hard work he put into securing a Google partnership (basically hanging out in front of the building for ages) and reassured the viewers that whoever you are, or wherever you come from, creativity can be a force for change.

It’s a common thread that unites stories like Jamal’s with Adobe’s creativity-driven ethos. Despite all the money he poured into his business at the beginning, and all the hours he put into publicising his startup, fundamentally, it was Jamal’s creative prowess that enabled him to succeed. Now, he’s set up four youth centres in the London area he grew up in, Acton, to influence the next generation of creatives to pursue their potential. For Jamal, it’s always been about “using the tools you have” to push boundaries and learn more, and in a similar vein, Adobe also wants its users to do the same with its extensive range of products, empowering creativity for all.

The technology company’s largest annual conference will take place again next year at Adobe MAX, where the latest in creative technology with be revealed. Excitingly, the first MAX event in Europe will take place before this in Lisbon between 15-16 June 2020. No doubt, there’ll be more compelling updates and announcements soon. Watch the full stream of the event here.

GalleryMAX Creativity Tour

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