Fun with Adobe Capture CC

For the past two years I’ve enjoyed using the Adobe Creative Cloud photography plan. As a rule I tend to hate software subscriptions, but the photography plan hits a sweet spot between value and features 1.

Cross on a steeplePart of the benefits of the photography plan is full access to Adobe’s set of iOS Creative Cloud apps. These are meant as add-ons to contribute value to the suite as a whole, but can do some rather remarkable things on their own. Aside from Lightroom Mobile, the tool I’ve been most enjoying as of late is Adobe Capture CC. For the past few years I’ve been using the terrific open source app Inkscape to trace bitmaps for use in logos and other fun projects. As my workflow has shifted more towards my iPad, however, I’ve found myself looking for an alternative. Capture has become my go to tool. Using the app I can import a photograph, adjust the settings it uses to trace it’s outline 2, and then remove elements I don’t wish to include in the final output. The resulting traces can be saved to my Adobe CC library for use in it’s myriad 3 of applications. A recent update has also permitted users to save their traces as a SVG, making it’s results infinitely more useful for my needs on the iPad. Several of my most recent “featured images” for posts on this blog have elements generated by this app. In fact, as I personally benefit from the site, I’ve uploaded most of my output from this app to Open Clipart 4.

Adobe Capture CC color palette generatorCapture is more than a way to trace bitmaps. It’s also able to generate color palettes, repeatable patterns, and brushes directly from images. As with bitmap traces, the results of these different functions can be saved to a user’s Creative Cloud library for use in other Adobe applications. As I don’t own a drawing tablet for my MacBook, I’ve not played much with the brush creator. The color palette and pattern generators, on the other hand, I find quite useful.

I’m particularly fond of the color palette generator. With a few taps I’m able to create a complimentary color palette for use in projects, and can even change the tone of the generated palette to a number of pre-sets 5. This would be especially helpful in indesign, where a color palette for a printed page would come in quite handy, but it’s also useful for Photoshop projects. I can also save the colormaps as color values 6 to set up in other applications, or just save a bitmap to make use of the eye-dropper tool. Using the export features in Capture CC, I could easily set up a custom color palette for a web-site using one of my own images as the base! I’m quite intrigued by the possibilities this presents me.

If you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber Capture CC needs to be part of your tool-set. Even if you aren’t a subscriber, the apps are still free to download but are somewhat limited in functionality. This is a tool with great possibilities.


  1. I do wish, however, I could add a single app for maybe $10 more a month instead of $20 a month for the year up front or $30 for month to month. 
  2. High contrast apps without clutter work best. 
  3. Dime word count for 2017, +1. Or, for geeks, “$Dimeword++;” 
  4. Any submission from New Year’s Eve or after were generated by Capture CC. 
  5. Or even set up a completely custom palette by shifting some focus points. 
  6. Hexadecimal, RGB, and CMYK values are created. 
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