A Quick Look At Adobe MAX 2017

12,000 creatives all in one place.  It’s called Adobe Max and it happened last week.  Let’s take a look at what went on!

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Adobe Max is a weeklong conference put on by Adobe, of course.  This year, the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas was home to Max.  What a great venue!  I’ve walked through the Venetian before, just to see the canal, but this place is enormous.  The rooms are all suites, and huge.  The number of rooms is crazy.  The convention/conference area had so much space.  Plenty of restaurants to choose from (more on that later).  I would definitely stay there again.

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The first two days, Monday and Tuesday, consist of longer format classes and presentations, a 1/2 or full day.  I showed up mid-afternoon on Tuesday.  Registration was quick and easy.  Don’t lose your Max ID.  They charge you $150 to replace it.

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In the early evening, Adobe Stock held a small reception for a number of Adobe Stock contributors at Mercato della Pescheria.  Saw some old friends, met some new people, and hooked up with a group of Stocksy HQ staff that were there.

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Wednesday opened with a two hour keynote kicked off by the Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen.  That led into a review of all the new releases to the Creative Cloud line, including some of the improvements to existing products.  Different project leads came out and revealed the release of the new products Adobe XD, an app for prototyping the user interface of an application or website, and Adobe Dimension, a tool to enable designers to easily do 3d renders.   You can find all the keynote presentations here: https://max.adobe.com/sessions/max-online/ The last part of the presentation was very heavy into their new computer learning AI system, called Adobe Sensai.  It is used across many applications to speed up processes without getting in the way.  More on that later.

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After the keynote, we were moved into a huge nearby room for lunch.  I was amazed at how smooth this process was.  12,000 or so people, just constantly fed to areas with empty lines and tables until it started to fill, and then the line was moved in a different direction.  Obviously, they’ve done this before.  Lunch was pretty nice – lettuce salad, root vegetable salad, eggplant lasagna, pork loin and roasted chicken, plus another thing or two I’m forgetting.

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When not in classes, there’s a large “community hall” with booths from all kinds of vendors, including DJI, Dell, Lumix, Moo, and lots more.  The Adobe Stock Booth had a video promoting Stocksy United, which was great, since we’ve been distribution partners with them since earlier this summer.

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After lunch, I headed to classes.  The first was “47 Things to Know About After Effects”.  I’m an AE beginner, so I thought I’d get some good tips here.  I found it a bit of a shotgun approach at things here and there in the program, and we ended up running out of time.  It was just ok.  The next class was great, though.  “Get Paid To Create: Motion Graphics Templates and Adobe Stock” was in a lab room with computers.  We took an existing AE file and learned the steps to create a MOGRT (motion graphics template) that can then be uploaded to AS.  It’s AE motion graphics mixed with expressions and user interface.  Lots of fun.  I’ll spending some time ramping up my AE skills to try this out.

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Late in the afternoon, I went to “Creative Cloud for Video: Tips and Tricks for Post Production”.  This was billed as a “whirlwind ride” on combining multiple applications to create videos.  While the instructor was sort of interesting, I found the actual content to meander a bit without a clear path.  I actually left a few minutes early to go to the “Welcome Reception”.  On the trade show floor, they had brought in various food tables, including some flatbreads, taco bars, asian food and a cookie dough bar.  I did see a vegetarian line with fruit and snacks as well.  There were also wine and beer bars.  Again, the staff fed everyone through the floor so that no line got too crowded.

That night we Stocksy United folk got together for dinner, and then headed downtown for a small party hosted by Vimeo, where they played an hour’s worth of their favorite staff picks.

Thursday morning I went to a class about Adobe Dimension.  Dimension allows you to take your vector or other graphics and easily lay them onto 3d models.  You assign materials to the model as well, and lighting simulations (HDR 360 image maps).  You can then run a render of your scene getting a pretty nice photo real image (after some work).  Models, materials and lighting are provided, some for free, and some to purchase through Adobe Stock (another way to make some cash!).

After that was the “creative” keynote.  It focused on four successful creatives, and told their stories through some Q&A.  Potter/designer Jonathan Adler, photographer Annie Griffiths, music producer Mark Ronson, and my favorite, actor/director/writer Jon Favreau.   Good thing I saw “Chef” recently, because he spoke about it frequently.

In the afternoon, I went to “Unlocking the Power of Photoshop CC” which was an advanced tips class.  This was well organized with a good speaker, and I learned a few new interface tricks.  Followed that with “Compositing Secrets Pros Use For Major Ad Campaigns”.  Not so much a tutorial or tips class, this was a train of thought presentation on various ads the speaker had put together, taking a quick dive into the Photoshop files to see how things were organized and how to work when designing a comp to doing the final.  She was pretty interesting.

That evening, was the Adobe “Sneaks” presentation, where the pull engineers from their dark little cubes underground to come on stage and present the crazy things they are working on.  By the way, the graphics and projection system was amazing.  A football field long, crystal clear video.  Prior to the presentation, they had people playing Nintendo games on the screen.

You can see more here: https://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2017/10/top-tech-sneak-peeks-max-2017-that-wowed.html, but just to mention two or three of my favorites … #projectscribbler allows you to create a simple pencil sketch, and the app then uses Adobe Sensai AI to scan the Adobe Stock database for information, which it then uses to colorize and texture your image.  It was pretty cool.

Another great idea was #scenestitch, which is like content aware fill, but instead of pulling pixels from other parts of the same image, the AI goes out to Adobe Stock for new content to seamlessly fill with.  One question here is how copyright on those images and royalty will work.

#projectcloak was also incredible, allowing you to do a content-aware fill on video over time, easily erasing elements from a scene.  This really looked great – they even removed people from a scene and you couldn’t tell.  Keep an eye out for that.  The presentation was followed by the Adobe Bash, which was out the hotel and down the street in a big parking lot.  They had about six food trucks and numerous bars and food lines aside from that.  There was a bit of a problem keeping the food lines full and the lines short as people showed up.  Needed more seating as well.  There was a band playing as well, that I think the speaker from the morning was part of.  It was all very cool.

Friday morning I headed to “Quick Tips to Create Videos That Get Clicks”.  This one had a great slideshow presentation, with inserted videos as needed to demonstrate what the speaker was talking about.  She covered all the material in the time allowed, and even was taking questions during the talk.  Really on target stuff, about different types of online videos and how to target towards your audience in the best way.

Followed that one with a class on color and Adobe Premiere.  It was more of a “big picture” look at color – how your brain sees it, how to set up your room for best results, how to work with clients, but there was a lot on how to work with Premiere, using scopes and other tools, to make it really useful.  It also gave a good look into the daily work of the instructor, which was nice to learn.

After that, I had to pack up and head out.  I was going to go to the Planet Hollywood resort to visit “Gordon Ramsay’s Burger”, but when I finally got there (a $15 cab ride from the Venetian), the line was half an hour long (at 1:20pm!!!!) and that wouldn’t have worked with my flight home, so I ate at another dining location there.  Some time later this week, I’ll write about the various places I ate, with some photos.  Just for fun.  Overall, though, the conference was great.  Run very smoothly, lots of good information, updates, and sneaks.  Congrats to Adobe on a successful week!

 

 

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