Adobe Max Keynote Highlights – 2021

Adobe Max is the worlds largest creativity conference and the 2021 event is now available to watch free and online via

This post features some of the highlights from the keynote session that relate to educators and other creatives.

Here is the YouTube link to the keynote …

watch from 1 min 14 sec in the keynote

Following an outstanding opening video, Adobe’s Chairman, President & CEO Shantanu Narayen shared his thoughts on the event, what has been achieved in 2021 and he provided an overview of some of the new Adobe Creative Cloud features to be announced during the rest of the keynote and the conference.

Under the heading of creativity is a catalyst for positive change, Adobe’s partnership with the Khan Academy was visually highlighted

In closing Shantanu said, if the past 18 months have taught us anything, it is that the power of creativity can unite and change the world … Keep telling your stories, learn from each other, inspire each other. The future belongs to those who create. Now let’s create tomorrow together.

Scott Belsky, Adobe’s Chief Product Officer and EVP, Creative Cloud hosted the keynote session and introduced a number of guest presenters.

watch from 9 min 34 sec in the keynote

Early in his opening dialogue, Scott said, it’s amazing how creativity helps us make sense of the world, keeps us inspired and heals us when we need it most. It is fueled by emotion and suffering but it yields healing and hope.

He looked back in history and reflected on how repeatedly, a period of despair spawns a creative rebirth. He said a new renaissance is a upon us,a resurgence of making and artistic collaborations using new technologies (watch from 10 min 38 sec).

Scott said that at Adobe we firmly believe got the coming years will be about renewal and invention for creative careers for broken industries in need of re-imagination and for society at large. He encouraged us all to rise to this occasion together.

Scott said that the Adobe Creative Cloud roadmap was created with three goals in mind, to:

  1. enable connected creativity
  2. unleash creative potential
  3. empower creative careers

Collaboration & connectivity

Adobe creative cloud is now as much about collaboration as it is about creativity. It is also now more accessible than ever via a web browser.

watch at 16min 18 sec in the keynote

Bria Alexander from the CC Design Team shared some new CC Libraries features such as next groups, team libraries all aimed to enhance collaboation. She also proved a sneak peak on versioning within librarian which will be a soon to come feature.

Adobe’s Principal Creative Cloud Evangelist Terry White demonstrated the new share document feature within Photoshop that allows users to share their work via a public web-link and open up live comments & mark-ups that pin directly to elements of the image design.

Terry also introduced the new Photoshop on the Web (Public Beta) that allows users to do a lot of Photoshop techniques on a browser.

This will be great for schools who are working with Chromebooks.

watch at 18 min 23 sec in the keynote

Adobe and Google

Google’s SVP for Android, Chrome, Chrome OS Play, Comms and Photos, Hiroshi Lockheimer was interviewed by Scott and he shared about the important relationship Adobe has with Google especially in the browser space.

watch from 23min 42 sec in the keynote

New apps for 2022 – Creative Cloud Spaces and Canvas – the next generation of collaboration

watch from 27min in the keynote

Adobe’s Director of Product Management, Zorana Gee introduced the world to the new Creative Cloud Spaces and Canvas apps to be launched early in 2022.

CC Spaces is a browser based collaborative tool that allows for all project content to be in one web-based location that can be shared and interacted with a team in real-time.

CC Canvas is an infinitive whiteboard that allows for assets to be seen and worked by a team in real-time on in one browser-based location.

Real-time co-editing with Adobe files.

It even has real-time audio & video communication functionality with anyone who is linked to the project.

Unleashing creative potential

Shambhavi Kadam, Director, Product Management – Adobe Stock shared some new features within Adobe Stock including a new AI engine that makes it easier to find music for any project, find the right footage shot you are looking for as well as teh right still image.

watch from 35 min 5 sec in the keynote
watch from 37 min 36 sec in the keynote

Terry White returned to the main stage to share some other new features from the Photoshop team. These included:

  • new AI additions like auto masking within the Object Section Tool.
  • inserting Adobe Illustrator project layers into Photoshop
  • improved new & imporved neural filters such as landscape mixer & colorize

Adobe Senior Experience Designer Jinjin Sun shared teh laters updates to Adobe Fresco including:

  • adjustment layers
  • perspective grids
  • new motion features for animating your drawings

watch from 42 min 19 sec in the keynote
watch from 45 min 12 sec in the keynote

Khoi Vinh, Adobe’s Senior Director of Product Design presented an overview of what’s new within Adobe XD including:

  • Support for the coming CC Spaces
  • importing Lahti (vector) animations
  • importing video into XD
  • interactivity with video

Adobe’s Creative Director Brian Yap shared some new and updated features in Illustartor such as:

  • new pen tool improvements to Illustator on the iPad
  • Vectorize, a new feature that converts any image into a vector graphic.
  • custom brushes into Illustrator on the iPad
  • improved 3D features with Illustrator for desktop
  • share Illustrator projects via the web and allow for feedback and markups via a browser
  • Illustrator on the web (private beta)
watch from 46 min 11 sec in the keynote
watch from 56 min 17 sec in the keynote

Adobe Lightroom Product Manager Katrin Eismann introduced the new Lightroom masking feature via the new select sky button.

Prior to the new release segment for video, it was great to see Adobe Education Leader from California David Dodds featured in a special video postcards sequence along side Hollywood film director David Fincher.

watch from 1hr 1 min 13 sec in the keynote
watch from 1hr 3 min 4 sec in the keynote

Adobe’s Principal Worldwide Evangelist for Creative Cloud/Video Tools Jason Levine provides an insight into some new features for Premiere Pro & After Effects such as:

  • a new import feature
  • automatic speech to text captioning
  • new multi-frame rendering for After Effects to speed up project creation
  • the acquisition to provide a while new set of video sharing and marking up options via a browser

Emery Wells, the Head of, was interviewed by Scott Belsky about Adobe’s new acquisition. He talked about the origins of the company coming out of the post-production industry and new coming features.

He claimed that the next version of will be the future of how video gets made.

Scott indicated that together & Adobe will be pioneering the future of video

Find out more about via

watch from 1hr 8 min 8 sec in the keynote
watch from 1hr 10 min 9 sec in the keynote

Technical Evangelist, Meenu Thind shared a presentation about new features in the latest version of Adobe Acrobat including the new liquid mode format of reading PDFs.

Adobe’s recent acquisition of the Substance 3D tools was highlighted by Scott and Wes McDermott (Creative Producer, Art & Development Team, 3D & Immersive at Adobe).

watch from 1hr 11 min 26 sec in the keynote
watch from 1hr 23 min 45 sec in the keynote

Scott Belsky was very proud to share the progress that has been made with the open source Content Authenticity Initiative during 2021.

This is to ensure that artists get credit for their work and ti help people know what content they can trust.

Scott announced that anyone can now turn on content creditials in Photoshop.

What’s new in the Adobe Creative Cloud

Summary of the new Adobe CC features

Have you downloaded the latest updates?

Adobe Sneaks

Adobe Sneaks is about getting a sneak peek into what’s brewing in Adobe Research. MAX Sneaks is where Adobe engineers give a first look at potential future technologies, which may or may not make it into upcoming versions of Adobe products.

Over 400 sessions

Check to view over 400 sessions from hundreds of inspiring presenters.

Take special note of these sessions from Australian presenters

Session S292 – Giving students a voice with Character Animator

S291 – Fostering Digital Literacy in the K–12 Creative Classroom

S807 – Transforming Education with Creative and Digital Skills