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Adobe Capture CC review: Four great design asset apps rolled into one

J.R. Bookwalter | Nov. 13, 2015
Adobe Capture CC unifies four disparate apps into one, retaining all of the previous functionality offered by each.

adobe capture cc ios icon

More than two years ago, Adobe expanded its online color theme service Kuler (from the Mauritian creole word for “color”) into an iPhone camera app capable of capturing every hue of the rainbow and converting them into digital palettes that can be applied to projects created with the company’s industry-leading desktop applications.

As the scope of Creative Cloud expanded, mobile devices soon joined in the fun, so Adobe rebranded to the more straightforward Color CC name, adding a triple threat of additional capture apps—Brush CC, Shape CC, and Hue CC—with similar functionality.

While each is a fantastic creative tool by itself, taking up four spaces on the home screen became a bit redundant. (I chose to stick them all in one folder, but that still wasn’t enough to appease my OCD.) I’m happy to say Adobe has now come to its senses with the arrival of an all-new app that performs multiple tasks from a single icon.

adobe capture cc ipad color themes
Adobe Capture CC makes it easy to create color themes that can be used across the entire Creative Cloud lineup.

Fantastic four

Adobe Capture CC unifies four disparate apps into one, retaining all of the previous functionality offered by each. Like other Adobe mobile apps, signing in with a free or paid Creative Cloud membership is required, and necessary for syncing captured data with other desktop and mobile software.

adobe capture cc iphone color capture
Capturing a color theme is as easy as point and shoot from any iOS device.

The four modes—Colors, Shapes, Brushes, and Looks—are displayed as tabs across the top of the screen for hopping between them with just a tap, while a menu above can be used to switch between different libraries for organizing assets. One addition I’d love to see is a 3D Touch shortcut for diving directly into any one of the four modes from the home screen.

Colors and Looks operate in much the same way, using on-screen dots and bubbles to extract color information from the camera sensor. Once captured, themes and filters can be refined prior before saving, or tweaked at any time using the Edit button. By default, Capture CC saves the source image to the device, but this can be turned off under iOS Settings, rather than inside the app itself.

Shapes use the device camera to capture sketches, artwork, or entire photographs, turning them into vector graphics like those created natively with Illustrator CC. Brushes does the same for graphics, instead creating ribbon, scatter, or vector-style brushes used for sketching or painting. Both offer control over the final results, although Shapes lacks the more comprehensive editing features of the latter.


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