Right out of the gate for 2017, Adobe is offering a pair of applications featured at the Adobe MAX 2016 conference–a Windows version of Adobe Experience Design CC (XD) featuring real-time collaboration, and a new 3D product shot composer for graphic designers named Project Felix. They’re focused on accessibility (which we’re strong proponents of here at SolidSmack), making it easier for you to both mock up ideas in 2D and 3D, whether it’s a website or a product design.
Project Felix features some handy tools targeted at graphic designers that have little to no 3D rendering experience, allowing them to create and manipulate images using assets such as object materials, models and lighting. The desktop-based software allows you to drag-and-drop library models, or import an external 3D model, into the scene to instantly view it in a 3D environment. For import, only .3ds, .dae, .kmz, .obj and .ply is supported.
Felix displays the scene with baked lighting and shadows, with a small real-time preview window available in the lower left of the window or the option to toggle a full screen preview. All controls are quite basic with simple settings for Camera and Image Based Lighting on the right and Scene and Library options on the left. There’s no right-click context menu available in the scene and to access materials, you need to traverse through the Scene tree.
Adobe also listened to Felix beta users and opened-up a stock asset page where you can grab anything from complete models to materials to incorporate into a design, including licensed 2D and 3D objects, which can be saved to your Creative Cloud library. If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription you can already download and try Adobe’s Project Felix or get more info on it here.
Adobe also updated and previewed a Windows version for their Experience Design (XD) app–an end-to-end platform making it easy to prototype websites and mobile apps, without messing with code or platform quirks. In fact, according to Adobe, you don’t really need to know how to code at all to get things up and running, thanks to a tool set that includes Repeat Grid–a powerful tool for patterning and editing items quickly.
XD features two modes–Design and Prototype. Design provides prebuilt UI kits to get you up and running faster with projects designed for several platforms including iOS, Google Material Design and now, Windows 10. It also includes artboard templates (or you can create your own) and a workspace with drawing, text and image manipulation tools.
Prototype allows you to bring together artboards and content, complete with flow and transition options. A Preview button makes it easy to view your creations in action or how they would appear and function online. What’s more, you can upload everything to the Creative Cloud, share with all interested parties, and garner valuable feedback. Adobe XD was initially only offered for Mac OS with the initial Beta release in March 2016, but is now available in beta for Windows through your Adobe CC account or for more information visit here.
We transitioned to Adobe CC at SolidSmack a few years ago now. Though we stick to a specific set of software most of the time, the subscription model with access to all Adobe products has opened up the use of programs we wouldn’t otherwise have considered. An interesting effect, and something we keep coming back to admire with how Adobe has set up their Creative Cloud subscription platform.