Following on from Kuler (now Color CC), Adobe Brush CC can convert anything an iOS device camera can see into a high-quality brush, which artists can then use for painting in Illustrator and Photoshop CC, or in the Photoshop Sketch app for iPad. The process is amazingly simple, and this clever app includes a full complement of features for refining a brush.
We tested Brush CC by scribbling on a scrap of paper using a standard ink pen. Once this was captured, we used the built-in Crop and Refine tools to remove unwanted areas and mask out the background. On repeating brushes, the head and tail can be adjusted for painting a mark that flows seamlessly, and within seconds our custom brush was synced to Creative Cloud.
Adobe Shape CC goes one step further, converting objects into fully editable vector shapes that can be tweaked in Illustrator Draw for iPad, as well as Illustrator or Photoshop CC on the desktop. It’s an impressive feat considering Adobe once charged nearly two hundred bucks for Streamline on the Mac, which did much the same thing.
While each app is loaded with potential, Brush CC requires you to first select a target device (Photoshop Sketch, Illustrator, or Photoshop), which makes it unavailable to the others. You can edit the brush to change this selection later, but we’d prefer a universal format that worked with all three apps. Likewise, Shape CC offers only basic cleanup tools, and relies heavily on a clean capture to produce good results. On a more positive note, both apps can be used without a paid Creative Cloud account — an Adobe ID (which comes with 2GB of cloud storage) is the only requirement.
The bottom line. These two apps open up a lot of creative potential, especially if you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber.