Adobe MAX, “The Conference for Creatives”, will go virtual this year from October 20 to 22. The live version in the past, depending on the options you chose, could have set you back close to $2,000. Virtual is never as much fun as being there, but it’s free. You are required to have an account at Adobe.com, but that’s free, too.
Most people associate Adobe with Photoshop, but it, and MAX, go way beyond that. Past editions of Adobe MAX shook up my creativity, exposed me to new ideas, and made me laugh till I cried (or maybe cry till I laughed, not sure.) Past editions featured sit-downs with Nick Offerman, Quentin Tarantino, Jordan Peele, Kumail Nanjiani, and Baz Luhrmann. This year’s virtual version will have celebrities in its matrix (hint) as well.
More than Photoshop
Although Photoshop is the heart of Adobe, the company provides a wide variety of tools for every aspect of visual creativity. From making feature-length movies, such as Deadpool, to the next cat video you want to post to Facebook, Adobe has you covered.
The Adobe toolbox, called Creative Cloud, includes tools for more static projects, too. I have used it for everything from birthday invitations to billboards. Making music is beyond my creative talents, but Adobe has an app for that. And then there is 3-D, artificial intelligence, website design, and animation.
As with all online events, networking opportunities suffer. In the past the conference has taken advantage of its surroundings in amazing ways. Those things will be missed, but the virtual lineup Adobe put together does have me looking forward to this year’s event.
As with live versions, MAX 2020 will include the Sneak Peak session, a demonstration of possible future products. Sneak Peaks usually include celebrities to provide inspiration and laughs. My favorite Sneak Peak involved Jordan Peele using a deep-fake voice emulator to make it sound like his former partner, Keegan-Michael Key, was saying some “colorful” things.
So far, the list of speakers numbers over 250 and includes Academy Award winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay, that Matrix guy Keanu Reeves, world famous photographer Annie Leibovitz of Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair fame, and recording artist Tyler the Creator. The Conference promises it will add even more speakers.
At past live events, some of the most helpful sessions came from young creatives participating in Adobe Creative Residencies. You never know who will provide a breakthrough or inspire you.
Getting on Board
The conference will include over 350 sessions, spread over 56 hours. By registering to participate interactively, attendees will have access to live Q&As and downloads of instructor presentation materials and tutorial files.
You can search by subject matter or speaker. The scheduling software shows you the time slots, in your local time zone, and alerts you to conflicts.
You can register and set up your schedule, and if you don’t already have one, get an Adobe ID from the Adobe MAX main website. Adobe will translate various sessions and keynotes or have closed captions in French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Brazilian Portguese. Check the FAQ on the site for details.