Creative Cloud for Beginners – Part 1
For those of you who may not be familiar with Adobe Creative Cloud, this article explains what it is. In addition, I will give a brief explanation of the primary individual software applications that you get when you subscribe. I have been using Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash since they were owned by Macromedia in the 1990’s. It’s completely different today with the cloud. For example, I used to pay $2,500 for the complete suite of about 10 applications – a few of which are no longer used today by most professionals. Furthermore, I had to pay almost as much for upgrades. Today, I pay $52.99 per month which granted, adds up after a while, but I always have the latest versions of 24 applications.
The Creative Cloud Application itself is one Window with five tabs. We will use the Apps tab to install and open specific applications. (see fig 1)
Today, I am going to explain Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge and Acrobat Pro:
Photoshop is probably the most commonly used application in the creative cloud suite and the only app name that can be used as a verb as well as a noun. When you photoshop a picture, it’s implied that you manipulated it so that it is different from the original. For example, you can take wrinkles off an older person to make them look younger. You can also change colors, vibrance, exposure, and many more attributes to photographs or raster images. Many books have been written on Photoshop, and many on-line courses are taught on the application as well. If you are into photography, I would strongly encourage you to learn photoshop.
While Photoshop is excellent for raster images, Illustrator is what is used to modify and/or create vector images. This is where you can really get creative with illustrations which can then be implemented in other applications such as In Design, Photoshop and even Premier Pro. To create illustrations, you need to learn how to draw shapes and then manipulate and combine shapes create objects. I do know some people who can use Illustrator without taking a class or reading a book – they have a special talent as most people need to take a beginning class at least.
What is the difference between Illustrator and Photoshop?
So, the big difference between Photoshop and illustrator is that Photoshop is for Raster Images such as photographs (JPG GIF PNG) and Illustrator is for Vector Images such as drawings, cartoons and a lot of GIF Images.
Photoshop and Illustrator do not live by themselves. They interact with each other and with other programs such as In Design and Premier Pro. Therefore, Adobe created an application called Bridge. Bridge CC gives you centralized access to all the files and assets you need for your creative projects. For example, File manager shows a pic icon for photoshop files but not Illustrator vector files… Bridge shows pic icons for all files – vector and raster. You do many things with Bridge but the most common things to do is to manage your photos and illustrations. One thing you can do which is kind of cool is create panoramic images with photographs. In a nutshell, Adobe Bridge is ideal for creative professionals and photographers who need to deal with visual assets quickly and efficiently.
Another Application that is in the Creative Cloud Suite is Adobe Acrobat Pro. This is THE application to use if you create and modify PDF files. It works great with Microsoft Word in creating PDFs from DOC files as well. In addition, you can take a PDF and export it as a Word, Excel, or TXT file – manipulate it – and convert it back to a PDF.
These are just four application from the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Next, I will demonstrate some of the video programs such as Adobe Premier Pro and After Effects.