Harnessing the Power of the Creative Cloud (Grade 4)

I had in my head for a long time an idea to have a project that starts from a photo, worked on with an iPad, and finished off using a desktop computer – and using a variety of Adobe tools to show the power of the Creative Cloud.

The lynchpin to all of this is the app Adobe Capture. This recent app is an amalgamation of various Adobe mobile apps like Adobe Color, Adobe Brush, Adobe Hue and Adobe Shape. Essentially it’s a way to capture a photo and create a shape, a pattern, colours or even a look (essentially a colour graded filter) to apply to other images.

Ok, so here’s what I asked the kids to do. I told them to go out and take two photos. One photo that you will use to create your own custom brush, and one photo to create their own custom pattern. Although I had showed them what a custom brush and pattern looked like before they went out, I saved showing them how to do it on the app until they all came back in. By the end of the first session, they had all saved their brushes in a creative cloud library on the iPad.

The second session was using the app Adobe Sketch and choosing their custom brush from the creative cloud library. Using that brush, they were free to draw whatever picture they wanted. Those pictures were then saved into their creative cloud libraries.

The third session they got on the computers in Photoshop to open up a template I created. The template (see below) basically has a transparent background and a lower third on top with some text to write over with their names. They needed to access the creative cloud library and bring in their sketch and then their pattern and put that as their background. Finally, they needed to put their names on the lower third.

So, you can see, plenty of fun to be had, and lots of creative choices along the way. I should say, there are a couple of issues using creative cloud libraries. Let’s go through them and what I did about them.

1) You need to have an Adobe ID to login to creative cloud, and you need to be 13 years or over to have one.

Ok, so my kids are younger than that. So I do what every other teacher does, and that’s create class accounts. I have 13 iPads and 13 computers. Each computer and iPad (say # 1) are linked to the same account. So you can create an Adobe account like yourschool+1@gmail.com and link the iPad and computer to that. Not 100% kosher, but not illegal by any means. I know plenty of educators that do this for their classes.

2) You need to have a license at your school that supports Creative Cloud libraries.

Check to see what your license includes, because many do not allow connections to the creative cloud.

Having said that, this was a fantastic project and I loved what the kids came up with. Below are three videos (one for each session) that goes into the workflow, and below that are a few examples from the students.

** Apologies for the sound. I wasn’t at my usual recording locations **

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Honing Skills Using Adobe Sketch (Grades 2 & 6)

The mobile apps Adobe Draw and Adobe Sketch are almost identical. Both are drawing programs, both have the same interface and the same layering functionality. The difference mainly lies in what they are meant to be used for. Adobe Draw is supposed to be for creating vector artwork. The kind of artwork that can be scaled up and down without degrading the quality.

Adobe Sketch offers the same kind of tools but with the idea of – as it says – sketching artwork with built in or custom brushes. I touched on Adobe Sketch when the grade 4s did their project using Adobe Capture, Adobe Sketch and Photoshop. In that activity, the students created custom brushes out of photos they took using Adobe Capture.

Here I used this app with two year levels. The grade 2s were asked to sketch two objects – a living thing and a non-living thing. This related to their inquiry unit in their classroom. To do this, I allowed them to search for images on Google. What I wanted was for them to try and sketch an object they see in front of them, not one from a picture in their head. I wanted them to pay attention to the little details, and try and get proportions right. Some students chose something challenging like a horse or a tiger, and some went for something quite basic like a tree. I was quite strict with students choosing something “easy”, they had to get all the details right. For instance, when doing the non-living thing, two students wanted to do a soccer ball. The first time they came to me, it was just a circle. I sent them back saying I need to be able to tell it’s a soccer ball, not just a circle.

Really, that line was something I repeated again and again to the students. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it needs to look something like what you have in front of you to sketch. If I’m confused by what you’ve done, maybe have a go at something easier. Many students reevaluated what they needed to do and looked for other pictures.

Once they were done, I collected the pictures, and made them into posters in Photoshop, labeling living and non-living things. Here are some examples:

With the Grade 6s, we went back to the idea of tracing artwork like I did last year with the Grade 1-2s, but gave these older students a challenge in trying to sketch Manga characters. In this case, I gave them some images in a library to choose from and gave them a couple of sessions to get it done. I chose Manga images because of the difference in style. One way of learning how to draw in this way is to follow and copy an example. The eyes are a big element of the style, as is the exaggerated expressions. I had some boys and girls in my library of examples, as well as a few Manga creatures (yes, I did get Pikachu). This proved to be a very popular lesson and produced some lovely work. Unfortunately, even with a couple of lessons, not everyone got to finish.

Here are some of my favourites:

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The process of bringing an image into Adobe Sketch and using it as a background to trace over is practically the same as using Adobe Draw. You can find the post on that process here on my lesson on tracing with Adobe Draw.