Adobe After Effects gets native Apple M1 support at last

Adobe has announced native Apple M1 silicon support, hopefully meaning faster launch and rendering times for motion designers and video creators. 

In benchmark tests released by the company, running After Effects on a high-end M1 Ultra Mac is now up to three times as fast, and those using the video effects software on standard M1-powered devices should see performance jump to double the speed.  

According to Adobe, the power boost makes it easy for motion designers, “to explore ideas and iterate more quickly on their compositions.” 

Adobe benchmarks for M1 support

(Image credit: Adobe)

 What else is new in Adobe After Effects? 

Native support for Apple’s proprietary chip is just part of a wider package that’s being deployed by Adobe as it looks to better supply users across the world. 

 – After Effects and Premiere Pro subscribers now get free access to the Frame.io remote video collaboration service , which comes built into both the VFX tool and Adobe’s much-loved video editing software

– With 3D making (yet another) comeback, Extended Viewer and Binning Indicators for 3D layers now make it easier for designers to visualize compositions and move through three-dimensional spaces in real-time. 

– Scene Edit Detection finally makes the jump from Premiere Pro to After Effects. Powered by Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and AI, the new tool intelligently detects cut points in rendered footage and adds markers at edit points for more efficient creations. 

 The need for speed

Adobe clearly feels the need for speed – only last year, the software house unveiled Multi-Frame Rendering, boosting speeds by up to four times. This latest update continues a drive to improve motion graphics software performance and delivery for VFX artists. 

However, Adobe warns that certain new features and functionalities will be limited or unavailable when using incompatible third-party plugins, or plugins that aren’t ported for Apple silicon, with users seeing a warning pop up when the VFX tool spots an issue at launch. 

Adobe also confirmed users can even use older versions of Adobe After Effects on M1 chips – but you’ll need Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulation software to get it running. 

The After Effects 22.3 update, which launches today (April 12 2022), is available to all users via a staggered roll-out from the Creative Cloud desktop app.

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Adobe After Effects gets native Apple M1 support at last

Adobe has announced native Apple M1 silicon support, hopefully meaning faster launch and rendering times for motion designers and video creators. 

In benchmark tests released by the company, running After Effects on a high-end M1 Ultra Mac is now up to three times as fast, and those using the video effects software on standard M1-powered devices should see performance jump to double the speed.  

According to Adobe, the power boost makes it easy for motion designers, “to explore ideas and iterate more quickly on their compositions.” 

Adobe benchmarks for M1 support

(Image credit: Adobe)

 What else is new in Adobe After Effects? 

Native support for Apple’s proprietary chip is just part of a wider package that’s being deployed by Adobe as it looks to better supply users across the world. 

 – After Effects and Premiere Pro subscribers now get free access to the Frame.io remote video collaboration service , which comes built into both the VFX tool and Adobe’s much-loved video editing software

– With 3D making (yet another) comeback, Extended Viewer and Binning Indicators for 3D layers now make it easier for designers to visualize compositions and move through three-dimensional spaces in real-time. 

– Scene Edit Detection finally makes the jump from Premiere Pro to After Effects. Powered by Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and AI, the new tool intelligently detects cut points in rendered footage and adds markers at edit points for more efficient creations. 

 The need for speed

Adobe clearly feels the need for speed – only last year, the software house unveiled Multi-Frame Rendering, boosting speeds by up to four times. This latest update continues a drive to improve motion graphics software performance and delivery for VFX artists. 

However, Adobe warns that certain new features and functionalities will be limited or unavailable when using incompatible third-party plugins, or plugins that aren’t ported for Apple silicon, with users seeing a warning pop up when the VFX tool spots an issue at launch. 

Adobe also confirmed users can even use older versions of Adobe After Effects on M1 chips – but you’ll need Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulation software to get it running. 

The After Effects 22.3 update, which launches today (April 12 2022), is available to all users via a staggered roll-out from the Creative Cloud desktop app.

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More features for editing PDF files finally arrive to Adobe Creative Cloud Express

In what is being boldly referred to as “the new way to PDF”, Adobe is treating users of Creative Cloud Express with new tools for working with the ubiquitous file type. When the cloud tool launched in December 2021, it included two 'quick actions' for creating and converting PDF files, but Adobe has announced three additional actions to help manage a PDF file.

One will allow you to edit the text within a PDF file, alongside the ability to resize and rotate images.

The remaining new actions will make it possible to easily combine multiple files into one document and also the ability to rearrange pages of an existing PDF file.

The ability to join several files into one is not only a great way to consolidate documents obtained from different sources, but also to ensure that different types of content are saved in a cross-platform, portable format.

While the page organization's quick action makes it possible to change the order in which pages appear in a document, it goes further than what you expect. The same quick actions also enable you to delete pages that are not needed and rotate any which are not correctly oriented. Adobe stresses that modifying PDFs in this way will not interfere with the formatting or design of the original files, so you can be sure that pages will look precisely as intended.

But wait, there's more

Creative Cloud Express PDF features

(Image credit: Adobe)

While both of these quick actions will be welcomed by Adobe Creative Cloud Express users, it is the third new addition that is likely to generate the most interest. The “Edit text & images” quick action does very much what you would expect from the name, making it possible to change and add text to existing PDFs.

It can also be used to rotate and resize images so there is no need to re-create pages from scratch if a minor tweak is needed.

Adobe states that the latest quick actions came as the result of listening to the feedback of creators. The company is keen to continue to give its users what they need and is looking for more suggestions via the Creative Cloud Express UserVoice page.

Via Adobe Blog

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Adobe announces Creative Cloud Express, a hint towards its freemium future?

If you're keen to use Adobe's powerful creative tools, but are less excited about their high prices, the company's new Creative Cloud Express app could be for you. Effectively a lite version of its software suite, the app is free to use on mobile devices or via web browser, with extra features costing $ 9.99 / £10.10 / AU$ 14.29 a month.

Creative Cloud Express is designed for students, small business owners, or for those who want to turn a hobby into a career. Instead of a collection of apps, here you download just one app that gives you features to edit photos, trim videos and create GIFs, while making content that’s relevant to your customers.

It’s the first freemium product from Adobe, and with Christmas fast approaching, it could be a great entry point for those who want to try out Adobe’s products on their new devices.

Who would want this?

Available from today, you can download Creative Cloud Express for free, from the Microsoft store, Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The free plan includes:

  • Create on both web and mobile.
  • Thousands of templates, design assets, and Adobe Fonts.
  • A limited collection of royalty-free Adobe Stock free collection photos.
  • Basic editing and photo effects including removing backgrounds and animations.
  • 2GB of storage.

You only need to sign up and you can use the above features straight away. It’s a new angle that Adobe is offering here, as you would have had to sign up for a free trial for Creative Cloud at least, to see if apps such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro were suited to your needs.

The paid plan includes a 3-month free trial with more images and templates to use, alongside the ability to export a project into PDF and other useful features. You can sign up and get a feel for whether Express or the full Creative Cloud package is best for you.

Its press release also stated that an Enterprise edition of Express is coming in 2022, which would help businesses offer the package to its employees in one go.


Analysis: A hint towards the future? 

So far the new offering from Adobe looks impressive, with its demos showing both tablets and web browsers using Express. With many users going through their favored web browser to use certain web apps, it could show what the future holds for Adobe and Creative Cloud going forward.

Express looks to be the start of this, and if its features expand to those that are inspired by Adobe’s other apps such as Illustrator and XD, this new package is an enticing and exciting start.

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Be quick, these Adobe Creative Cloud Cyber Monday deals saving 40% end soon

Adobe is continuing its deals for Cyber Monday on Creative Cloud, saving a big 40% on yearly and monthly plans, the deals are ending December 3. (Not in the UK or US? Scroll down for deals in your region).

There have also been other deals on Walmart and Best Buy where you can pay a one-off fee at a discounted price, but these may last after Adobe's own deals expire.

As Adobe Creative Cloud runs natively on Apple's M1 Macs, alongside the newest M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, it's a great opportunity for Mac users to consider a purchase to Adobe's suite of apps. 

Adobe Creative Cloud also offers a wide range of services. Beyond Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro, there are tens of other creative apps and 100GB of cloud storage to easily store your content.

For all the Adobe Creative Cloud discounts as Black Friday winds down and Cyber Monday ramps up, read on below.

Today's best US Cyber Monday Adobe deals

Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps: $ 599.98 $ 360 a year
Save £239.98 –
Get a huge 39% off a subscription to Adobe’s full bundle of creative apps for the first year. The All Apps suite includes over 20 apps, including Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom and Illustrator, plus 100GB of cloud storage.

Adobe Premiere Pro 1-year plan: $ 239.88 $ 191.88 at Best Buy
Save $ 48 –
A big saving for an app that you’ll most likely be using every day. For 365 days you get the latest updates of Premiere Pro, while taking advantage of the features out now, such as better M1 Mac support, better syncronization of audio and merged clips, alongside more.

Adobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements: $ 149.99 $ 89.99 at Best Buy
Save $ 60 –
For a one-off fee you get the full version of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements in one, for a cheaper price. You can take advantage of the new features out now, such as better .RAW support, native M1 Mac support and more.

Adobe Premiere Elements: $ 99.99 $ 59.99 at Best Buy
Save $ 40 –
For a one-off fee you get the full version of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements in one, for a cheaper price. You can take advantage of the new features out now, such as better .RAW support, native M1 Mac support and more.

Today's best UK Cyber Monday Adobe deals

Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps: £49.94/mo. £30.34/mo
Save £19.60 –
Available until December 3, the Creative Cloud plan includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro and 20 over apps from Adobe to use across your devices. This also includes 100GB of cloud storage, alongside Adobe fonts and the latest updates as soon as they’re available.

Adobe Creative Cloud for students: £16.24/mo. £13.15/mo
Save 19% –
The Creative Cloud plan for students gives them an additional 19% off. This includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro and 20 over apps from Adobe to use across your devices. This also includes 100GB of cloud storage, alongside Adobe fonts and the latest updates as soon as they’re available.

While Adobe will be one of the first to wind down some of its deals for Black Friday, that doesn't mean other vendors will. Best Buy and Walmart look to be ending deals once stock has run out, which has happened already.

We're in full swing with Black Friday, but Adobe hasn't confirmed as yet whether there will be other deals coming with Cyber Monday coming on November 29.

In the meantime, however, there probably won't be another time where you can sign up to Creative Cloud at a 40% discount, so be quick.

More Adobe deals

No matter where you live, you'll find all the lowest prices for Adobe deals from around the web right here as Cyber Monday ramps up, with offers available in your region.

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Which Adobe Black Friday deal should I get in 2021?

When it comes to Adobe, Black Friday is a great time to look for a deal if you want to finally try out Photoshop or another of the Creative Cloud apps.

With a push from the company this year to make sure all of its apps work with Apple’s M1 Macs, there’s no better moment to see what offers Adobe may bring out.

In previous years, there’s been deals up to 40% off the Creative Cloud subscription. When you factor in $ 599 / £508 / AU$ 871 for a yearly subscription, it could be a significant discount for Cyber Monday as well, especially if you’re looking to use the suite for a project or a student assignment.

But there could be a bunch of deals that you may be interested in but not sure which one to go for. With this in mind, here’s a few deals we’ve come across in recent years, and which ones to look out for, just in case.

Which deals usually appear?

Adobe Photoshop running on MacBook Pro 2021

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Being able to save on the following plans can make a big difference in the long run, especially if you’ve decided to add Photoshop, Lightroom, or other Adobe apps into your workflow.

With Adobe’s improvements to Apple’s new MacBooks, alongside Photoshop coming to the web, it looks to make that subscription more justified if you’re still wavering.

Adobe Student Plan

While there’s a Student deal that saves users over 65% for a Creative Cloud subscription, in the past there’s been Black Friday deals that have offered monthly discounts of up to 30%, and yearly discounts of up to 45%.

The yearly subscription of $ 599 / £508 / AU$ 871 could be a big dent in your bank account, while a monthly charge of $ 52.88 / £49.99 / AU$ 76.88 can be as much as an iPhone 13 Pro contract for three years.

Adobe Photography Plan

This plan offers Photoshop, Lightroom and 20GB of cloud storage for $ 9.99 / £9.99 / AU$ 9.99 a month.

If you want to only edit photos and only photos, it's an ideal plan for this.

Last year for Black Friday, this plan was 16% off the above pricing, so we may see something similar appear in the coming weeks from Adobe.

Adobe Creative Cloud Plan

The most common plan that many go for, where every essential app from Adobe is included in the plan.

Priced at $ 52.99 / £49.99 / AU$ 76.99 a month, you'll be able to use the apps on your Mac, your PC, and your iPad if you wish.

All of the apps can be downloaded and updated from the main Creative Cloud app, so you can pick and choose which apps you want to install at certain times.


Are subscription plans the new normal?

There was a time where you could buy Photoshop for a one-off fee, and you could use it as many times as you wanted for that specific version before a new one would be announced.

However, as devices became more powerful and the alluring choice of having more than one device, there was a reason for Adobe to replace one-off payments with subscriptions.

Microsoft was one of the first to do this with Office 365, and now it’s a common trait. Apple with iCloud and other services, alongside Microsoft and Game Pass, and much more.

But Adobe doesn't just offer one plan, several are offered to better help your needs. Some that you’ll most likely go for may be the Photography plan that offers Photoshop, Lightroom and 20GB of cloud storage for $ 9.99 / £9.99 / AU$ 9.99, to the Dreamweaver plan for $ 19.99 / £19.99 / AU$ 19.99.

We aren’t far from seeing what Adobe will offer for Black Friday weekend. But if you’ve recently upgraded your PC or Mac, and you want to get the best out of Adobe’s apps, you’re going to be in a great position once the deals are announced to help save you a significant chunk of change.

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Adobe Max 2021: the 5 best new features coming to Lightroom

Adobe Max is the software giant's equivalent of Apple's WWDC, and some of the event's most exciting announcements have been for its popular photo editing package Lightroom.

Photoshop is likely the more famous app of the two, and has just stolen some of the Adobe Max headlines with the arrival of Photoshop for Web. But Lightroom is the organizational and editing bedrock of many photographers' workflows, and all three versions of the app – mobile, desktop and Classic – have just received some great-looking updates.

We’ll bring you a full review of the latest version of Lightroom as soon as the updates roll our into our Creative Cloud subscription – look out for Lightroom Desktop version 5.0, iOS version 7.0 and Android version 7.0 any day now.

But whichever version you use – or are thinking about stumping up for – here are the five biggest new features coming to all versions of Lightroom.

The 5 best new features coming to Adobe Lightroom

1. Proper masking and selection tools

For the longest time, 'masking' has been a solid answer to give when someone asks why you would round-trip an image to Photoshop. Sure, Lightroom has always offered masking – we could barely function without its excellent and easy-to-use gradient filter – but now, for the first time, we'll get proper, adjustable and refine-able masks. 

Lightroom will also get two new types of mask, joining the gradient, circular, and brush options, with Select Sky and Select Subject both making their AI-powered way over from Photoshop. Masks can be inverted as well – this was possible before with gradient and circular masks, but not with masks that you’d applied manually with the brush tool. As you’d expect, you can create multiple masks.

Image 1 of 2

A screenshot of Adobe Lightroom's new masking tools on a landscape photo

(Image credit: Adobe)
Image 2 of 2

A screenshot of Adobe Lightroom's masking tools being used on a photo of a horse

(Image credit: Adobe)

Another power-user feature of the new masking and selection tools is the ability to name masks, which is another useful feature that Photoshop users will like. All in all, the new masking and selection tools make Lightroom significantly more powerful – in a lot of ways they become de facto adjustment layers, and in our experience, will save on round-tripping images out to Photoshop pretty often. That’s not to be sniffed at – round-tripping images is expensive both in terms of time and storage.

We have questions. What will happen to masks if you create them in Lightroom and then attempt to open an image in Photoshop? Is there a limit to the number of masks you can create, and does the inclusion of “select sky” presage the development of the “replace sky” tool currently in Photoshop proper? These questions should largely be answered when the upgrade touches down.

The new masking feature is coming to all versions of Lightroom, plus Adobe Camera Raw. The sky and subject selection tools, meanwhile, are coming to all versions, with the exception of a currently-unannounced list of unsupported mobile devices. Are we jazzed about this one? Embarrassingly so.

2. Crop shop

The other main improvements to Lightroom are constrained to the cloud-based Lightroom (rather than what we refer to as 'proper' Lightroom Classic), as well as Lightroom Web and its mobile iOS and Android versions. 

These include the 'strange it wasn’t there at launch' inclusion of crop overlays – you know, the ability to see gridlines on your images when you crop them.

A screenshot of Adobe Lightroom's new crop overlays on a laptop screen

(Image credit: Adobe)

These will include traditional grids and rule-of-thirds guidelines, as well as golden ratio and spiral guides to go alongside the already-included ability to crop to a particular aspect ratio. 

A little strangely, this one’s only coming to the desktop version of Lightroom, with keen-to-crop mobile and web users left out in the cold.

Adobe is continuing to lean into cloud computing and AI with recommended presets, a feature that's coming to Lightroom (not the Classic version), as well as the mobile and web versions of the software. 

Described as a “springboard” for those looking for editing inspiration, Recommended presets will look at the image in question and suggest a preset that might suit it. Impressively, this won’t be restricted to the presets you have stored locally, but will include presets released (presumably) for free by the community.

A screenshot of Adobe Lightroom's new recommended presets

(Image credit: Adobe)

This could be a really great way of finding appropriate presets, and for those stuck without a clear vision for how an image should look, a great way of getting started without the trial and error. 

On the subject of presets, Adobe is continuing its foray into the world of paid-for presets, with another pack of eight preset packs to be released soon and available for all versions of Lightroom.

4. Community Remix

The question of creating a successful social network that appeals to photographers has been a vexed one for some time. With Instagram increasingly focusing on video to counter the threat caused to its numerical supremacy by TikTok, Adobe fancies it can see a gap in the market. Consequently, give a warm welcome to Community Remix, coming to the desktop versions of Lightroom initially, with rollout to other platforms coming “soon”.

A screenshot of Adobe Lightroom's new Community Remix feature

(Image credit: Adobe)

The premise is simple – share an image online and the community will be able to open it locally, edit it, and upload the results to the applause (perhaps) of the masses. You’ll also be able to do that the other way around, of course, opening the work of others to provide your own interpretation of their image. 

It’s a really interesting idea, particularly for those starting out photographically and looking to do justice to their images in post-production. A useful way of learning new skills, looking at your images differently, and stretching your knowledge to the limits? It all depends on how warmly the new feature is greeted by the community, but it’s a promising idea to say the least.

5. Lightroom Academy

On a similar educational theme, the web version of Lightroom will also be branching into photography education with a new resource called Lightroom Academy.

The aim is apparently to teach learners some of the fundamental concepts of photography in an interactive way, starting with a series on composition. You can work through the lessons at your own pace, and they looked nicely laid out if not exactly revolutionary.

A screenshot of Adobe Lightroom's new Lightroom Academy site

(Image credit: Adobe)

The images come from the Lightroom community, while the quiz-like challenges and 'On Your Own' exercises bring a crucial interactive element, although it's a shame these don't take place within Lightroom. Still, it's entirely free (including non-subscribers) and Adobe is promising to update Lightroom Academy with new classes and resources in 2022.

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