Creative Refresher: Capture Transforms Your World Into Design Assets

Eagle by Andreas Preis

Some of life’s most delightful moments happen away from your desk: when you’re taking a break from work, on a destination vacation or simply taking a walk in your neighborhood. But what do you do when you find something out in the wild that could influence your work? Enter Adobe Capture, a mobile app (and now desktop extension) that lets you take those fleeting moments of inspiration and turn them into concrete digital assets to use on your favorite Adobe desktop apps. Capture lets you turn images into vector shapes, patterns, brushes, 3D materials, color palettes, and even type.

Did you miss Capture’s latest feature release? We got you. Let’s break it down, so you can bring back the excitement into your creation process with the latest Type and Materials features. We’ll also recap all the other cool things you can create with the app, and outline a few favorite desktop workflows.

Capture product manager Maria Perez shares her thinking behind Type and Materials. “Capture is really about solving problems. By adding Type and Materials, we’ve introduced new ways to solve the unique problems built into graphic design and 3d design. Type gives you Typekit font suggestions, and Materials lets you take textures from reality and bring them into Adobe Dimension’s 3d model world.”

Now, let’s get a grasp on what exactly Capture does, and how you can connect it to your desktop and mobile workflows with Creative Cloud Libraries.


If you’ve ever wanted to turn your hand-drawn illustration into an infinitely scalable graphic, this your tool. No more scanning, no more live trace…just take a photo of what you want to vectorize, and Capture does all the work for you. You can access your Shapes in the CC Library panel located in your most-used desktop apps like Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, and now Xd. Read more about Xd’s latest vector graphics feature release.


Say you’re walking around the city and see a poster that has this wonderful slab serif header you’d like to apply to your own project, but you don’t want to scroll through an infinite list of fonts online to find something like it. Capture solves that problem by giving you access to thousands of Typekit fonts and using Adobe Sensei to match fonts to your image. Also, fun fact: all Creative Cloud members get access to Typekit! Check out this quick tutorial to see it in action.


The magic of Capture’s Color feature lies in its ability to harmonize palettes for you automatically. You can edit the individual colors you grab or pick other color systems like LAB, CMYK, HSB and RGB—then, you can grab these colors to use in Xd, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and even our mobile apps like Illustrator Draw and Photoshop Sketch. The palettes magically sync and appear in your CC Libraries. Pretty neat huh? You can explore tons of color themes online today.


Materials is for people who want to take their work into the 3D realm with Adobe Dimension. Imagine being able to take a photo of your dog’s luscious fur coat and applying it to a character design concept. Or maybe even the texture of your favorite wool coat to a 3D model of shoes you’re currently designing. And even if you’re not a 3D modeler, this is the perfect way to get started.


Now, this is a trippy one. Your mobile camera instantly turns into a kaleidoscope, and the patterns you create can be infinitely remixed and edited to your heart’s content. Bring these into Photoshop or Illustrator as repeating pattern files, or export them as images to share. If anything, you’ll enjoy turning your friend’s face into a geometric work of art.


For all you illustrators out there, this one is for you. Or, for everyone else who wants to make a fun, customizable painting tool to use in Photoshop, Photoshop Sketch, Animate, and more. Think big: take a photo of a tree and make a tree brush to cut down the time of your illustration, or make brushes inspired by traditional mediums and take a photo of a fresh blob of paint to have as a brush. The possibilities are there. Check out some of Jenean Morrison’s work for inspiration; she regularly makes brushes from Capture to use in Photoshop Sketch.

Watch for Looks in a new form

Many of you may have noticed something went missing from the app a few months ago. The color grading feature called Looks was removed due to low usage numbers. However, thanks to your vocal feedback, we realized pretty quickly that the few of you who do use it, use it religiously, so thank you for telling us. We’re sorry if you felt left in the dark, but we have some good news: we are actively looking at new ways of incorporating the Looks component back into Capture in a more meaningful way. Updates on this soon.

We love hearing about how you use Capture. If you have more ideas on how to improve the experience, want to share your work, or just came by to say hello, please comment below! We’re excited to take Capture even further this year, with much more to share in upcoming months. Stay tuned.