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Adobe: “the next generation of creative tools will be designed for mixed environments”

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“It’s good to see each other again in person”, repeat Adobe executives to the press gathered in Paris, during the second leg of their first European tour since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s good to see each other again in person… to talk about synthetic photography, the web version of Photoshop, and creating content for the metaverse. A paradox that does not scare Scott Belsky, chief product officer from Adobe, which assures that it is the “future of creativity”.

Scott Belsky. Adobe/iGeneration image.

The paradises of artificial creation

Scott Belsky embodies the policy of Shantanu Narayen, president of Adobe since 2005 and general manager since 2007. The company acquires new skills by multiplying acquisitions, such as that of the “community of creators” Behance, founded by Belsky in 2006. The suite of apps coalesced into the Creative Cloud, which convinced Belsky to return to Adobe in 2017 when he seemed destined for venture capital.

“Our business has changed drastically”explains the one who now leads the development of the company’s products, “many new clients have creative ambitions without having the professional experience”. Content creators who juggle Google Docs and Tweetdeck before launching Photoshop, junior graphic designers thrown into the deep end by ESNs who no longer want to be software houses, and freelancers who are their own salespeople are asking new questions.

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After some trial and error, Adobe Express offers artificial intelligence as the answer. “It’s becoming the fastest growing product”said Belsky, “It’s really exciting to see these people working who are building their small businesses, who are using social media, content creators, influencers who want to create things without going through the learning curve of a product like Photoshop. »

AdobeExpress. Adobe picture.

Adobe assures that this “creator economy” will accept to lose “a little bit of creative control” for the benefit of “lots of power”. At the risk of running the risk of standardizing an already largely industrialized production? Photoshop’s neural filters show how individual choices give way to collective preferences, even retouching faces to better conform to canons of beauty.

But after all, “we could already do it, but it took much longer”. Artificial intelligence makes it possible to “free professionals from mundane and repetitive tasks”concludes Belsky, who dreams of a future “where creativity will be like the predictive keyboard of our phone. We will be able to observe your first three or four steps, and show you what we think you will do twelve steps later, and can simply click to skip steps in the creative process. »

The future belongs to the employees

This future will also be collaborative, insists Adobe, which can say nothing else after having paid 1.275 billion dollars to afford Frame.io. The collaboration platform designed for videographers still integrates with Final Cut Pro and DaVinci Resolve, but “forms the heart of the collaboration functions of Creative Cloud applications”, starting with After Effects and Premiere Pro. Instead of exchanging messages with time-stamped comment lists, collaborators can comment directly on the video feed, and validate files throughout the workflow.

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