Adobe's groundbreaking prototypes of new features and apps for Creative Cloud

Tiffandy Haddish and Paul Trani host Adobe Sneaks at Adobe MAX 2018

The best Adobe prototypes and works in progress unveiled at this year's Adobe MAX in LA, including animated brushes that reflect weather in real time.

Among the exclusive announcements, big concerts and star names that make up Adobe MAX, it's the Adobe Sneaks which always get us most excited - and this year proved to be no exception. 

At this year's MAX in Los Angeles we were treated to Adobe's latest developments being unveiled by none other than US comedian Tiffany Haddish, with the theme of the evening having a '90s themed 'Back to School' feel (new jack swing soundtrack included). These are the 'sneak previews' given an outing on the big stage, and that's where they'll stay for the moment - so obviously don't expect any of these tools to be included with the recently released CC 2019 also announced at MAX.

There's a good chance some of these innovations will make the Creative Cloud cut next year; for example Project Puppetron from last year's Sneaks made it to Character Animator this year in Beta form. For now, enjoy this taster of all the wonderful sights we saw on the big night, with videos of each one in action.

Brush Bounty 

This tool is wild. Imagine you want to animate rain falling onto an illustration of a city; usually you'd have to animate this movement frame by frame, but Brush Bounty lets you apply instantly falling rain upon a static scene - or snow, or stars twinkling in and out of the night sky; these were some of the brushes featured.  

Sounds grand enough, but then you can - for whatever reason - have your rain fall to reflect real time rain at any place in the world in that moment(!) By copy and pasting a URL feed to a weather site, you can have it rain as it's falling in, say, London or Seattle (but in a dry climate, the tool will simply turn 'off' the rain when mixed with such data). You can also adjust the density of your rain or snow drops, or even its speed.

Did we also mention you can have automated sounds effects with each brush? And that it already has a mobile version which lets you change the direction of a character's hair blowing in the wind simply by moving your phone from left to right..? Told you it was wild, and the applications are endless - you can have elements swerving in one direction or another, simply with a jerk of your phone.

Project Fast Mask

One for the video creators, and one which got a great reception at Sneaks, is Fast Mask, which allows you to set a selection mask in real time within any footage. Set boundary clicks on a moving figure in a video clip, and the mask will be applied instantly in every frame of the video. Fast masking indeed. 

Project Good Bones

Animators will love this tool, which lets you create a skeleton for a figure with a few additions of boundary clicks. Want your dinosaur to roar, or human to laugh? Good Bones allows that by animating an unseen 'skeletal' layer beneath the outer form, as created with those clicks.

Fantastic Fold 


Sneaks always can be relied upon to showcase tools for any sort of creative, and we were glad to see this fantastic solution for package designers.

Fantastic Fold is a side by side comparison of a 2D flat plan against a 3D model that will preview how the piece will look when all your die-lines are folded together.

No more mistakes with a logo showing upside down on a side panel as Fantastic Fold will preview the final package.

Project Smooth Operator

A nice one for social video makers. Using Sensei, this tool tracks your main subject in a video to make sure it doesn't get 'lost' through social app cropping parameters. Your subjects remain the focal object of attention as the border frame follows the things you want people actually to see, without getting lost in the corner.

Project Waltz

Waltz is a cool VR viewer that allows you to be a 'cameraman' walking through your VR scape, your phone the camera. It'd would make a fantastic phone app as it lets you control the views you want with simple gestures, exploring the VR model from angles like front on or sideways.


A great way to play around with type - edit one character, and then transpose those changes across all the text in your design. The same changes will then track if you add more letters to the sentences you already have, so there's no need to transpose the changes again.

Sounds good already, but Fontphoria also lets you generate glyphs from a captured photo. You see a good font on a road sign or restaurant front then take a snap, and the font is yours. It even generates a full alphabet for you instantaneously.

Even more impressive is you can edit text as part of a live video stream - stamp live video from an iPad with characters, and then resize them or colour them as you see fit while recording.

Moving Stills

Animate any photo so it looks like you're zooming into the actual image, like a video close-up as you loom towards the main focal point. Your photo becomes a looping GIF that looks exactly like video footage - amazing stuff.

We're just one step away from moving photos like in Harry Potter's Daily Prophet newspaper, right?

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