Adobe Fresco: All-in at MAX 2020

The vibrant colors and motto, L'Union Fait La Force, of the Haitian flag enrich this comic-style portrait.

Art by Kervin Brisseaux.

MAX is a significant annual event for Adobe. It’s a time to show what can be accomplished both individually (as teams) and collectively (as a company). It’s when the effort, determination and passion that drives teams all year is put on display.

The Fresco team has been working relentlessly toward Adobe MAX and this most recent feature set. So open Fresco, grab a comfortable seat (there’s a whole lot here), and enjoy this first look at what’s in version 2.0.

Fresco on another, smaller, screen

Let’s momentarily set aside iPads and Windows PCs to focus on Fresco’s newest screen: The one that many people keep in their pockets. Yep, Fresco’s now supported on iPhone. It’s the same familiar interface. The same brushes. And, the exact documents you’ve been working on. So, although we’ve redesigned the app for the real estate of a smaller screen, it’s possible to show work, to share work and, because sometimes our best ideas occur when we’re busy with other things, to create and continue work.

Pink morning clouds hover over a secluded mountain lake as canoeists paddle across still blue water.

Fresco on iPhone. Art by Jinjin Sun.

Tell (more) powerful stories

We know that a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes telling a richer story requires adding words. And, now, with text support in Fresco, it’s easy to include words whenever they feel necessary. There are sliders for sizing, leading, and tracking, and access to thousands of Adobe Fonts typefaces. So, the next time the image doesn’t tell the whole story, add some words.

A faded-pink background frames the profile of a red-haired, red-lipped woman wearing a pale-yellow, feathered boa.

Text in Fresco. Art by Hsiao-ron Cheng.

It’s all about the strokes

Fresco has always been about the brushes. And with this release, brushes and brushwork are better than ever.

First, there’s a new tool that’s going to make a lot of people very happy: Smudge brushes. Use them to soften strokes, blend edges, and blur the linework of any pixel or Photoshop brush. Get started with a tap on the downward-pointing-finger icon (below the Eraser) in the toolbar.

Lanterns illuminate a night sky as a young man and a trio of ghost-like silhouettes gaze upward from the still waters of a lotus pond.

Fresco Smudge brushes. Art by Nandita Pal.

We also got some help from the Adobe Capture team to make all your unique, personalized ribbon brushes available in Fresco. Remember to look for those Libraries the next time you open the Pixel brushes menu. And, if you’re using Fresco on iPad, tap the + icon at the bottom of that same menu to launch Discover brushes, a new, easier, in-app way to import Kyle T. Webster’s brushes.

In this textured jewel-toned image, a gardener lifts the roof off a tiny greenhouse to nourish a plant yearning for room to grow.

Adobe Capture Ribbon brushes. Art by Jesse Zhang.

That’s not all. To give people more control over how drawing “feels,” we’ve added the ability to alter how the stylus responds to changes in pressure. Whether you want response to a light touch or a heavy one, you can make adjustments and test how they affect strokes in App Settings > Input > Adjust pressure sensitivity.

When it’s time to share

From the first mark to the final line, timelapse video records every stroke placed on a digital canvas. Now there’s more control over the quality and dimensions of that final video. Just remember to make those adjustments, before you start drawing, in App settings > General > Timelapse settings.

And if you’d rather share your techniques with a live audience, now you can. Open Fresco. Create a new document. Then tap Livestream from the Share menu. We’ll walk you through the steps to broadcast and Behance’s global online audience can watch over your shoulder while you draw. Not only do you never have to leave Fresco, but every tool you use is added to a timeline so knowing when and where each brush was used is easy for you and your audience.

Time to find out what your client (or your mom) thinks about the work? Send it out for comments without closing the drawing: Tap the Share icon and choose Share link. To read and respond to remarks tap the Chat icon in the taskbar. You’ll also notice, in that same Share menu, that Fresco better supports vector artists now with Send to (desktop) Illustrator.

Against a mountainous backdrop an armored and headdressed female warrior, part human and part machine, readies for battle.

Commenting in Fresco. Art by Zi Xu.

Don’t overlook these

Want to restore an earlier version of a document? Those versions are available now from the More actions menu in Recent and Cloud documents. To access the progression of any saved/synced file tap the ellipses icon (…) under the drawing thumbnail and select View version history.

Want to save without closing a drawing? We’ve added a Save now button in document editing mode. A tap on the document name at the top of the canvas reveals it, along with the date/time the drawing was last saved.

And, the next time you want to apply an action to more than one layer at a time, we’ve made that a breeze by tucking a multi-layer select action into the Layer actions menu: Tap on any layer thumbnail. Then tap it again and choose Select multiple from the pop-up menu. Select the layers. Then simultaneously delete, duplicate, copy, merge, or transform that content.

Finally, you’ve probably noticed that the Home screen looks a bit different. We’ve made some small changes to its organizational structure to make it visually consistent with other Creative Cloud apps: The subheads are Home, Your work (Cloud documents and Deleted files are here), Learn, and Discover; and we’ve replaced the App settings gear icon with your Adobe avatar (add a profile photo).

It’s easy to learn something new about Fresco

Since we want people to understand as fully as possible how to use Fresco, and we know that learning is easiest when it can be done right inside the app, we’ve added a Fresco livestream video tutorial. Give it a quick watch before you livestream for the first time.

That’s all for now

Until next time: catch Adobe Drawing on Instagram or Twitter; see how people are using our app in the Fresco Gallery and Fresco Streaming Gallery on Behance**;** and if you have a feature request post it to UserVoice.