Design programs are constantly adapting and innovating which is why it’s critical to add new tools to your design toolkit on a regular basis. New tools can often provide innovative features to bring ideas to fruition more efficiently which attributes to an expedited project completion. Our team loves testing new tools that help us to accelerate our performance and succeed in client work. Check out our list of the top new graphic design tools to help take your projects to the next level.

  1. Adobe Photoshop - Refine Edge Brush Tool

Adobe Photoshop is well known as the world's most influential graphic design program. Adobe has introduced and improved a number of its features, which help designers save time and elevate their designs. One of the improved features worth noting is the Refine Edge Brush tool for masking. Masking, which is a method that allows you to merge two or more photos into one image, cut any object from an image, erase the background of any image, and more, is an essential tool for designers because it allows you to create customized content by cutting out objects from photos. There are many ways to mask objects including Background Eraser Tool or using the RGB Channel, however, it can be challenging to erase the background with fine details such as hair or fur. Regardless, the Refine Edge Brush Tool saves valuable time by masking these complex features with a simple drag of a brush.

Designers frequently use masking to adjust the background and compose custom compositions. A great example of how this tool can be effective is through the Zero NYC Branding Agency NYC Pride Campaign. They introduce LGBTQ+ individuals layered on top of colourful pride backgrounds to deliver impactful messages in a direct and innovative way.

Recently, we have used the feature at Blue Door to create better-customized content for our clients. For example, we developed a series of branded Fresh Restaurants’ email newsletters, social media content, and branded design projects with this feature for several events, including new location openings, Pride, Feature Menus, etc.



  1. Adobe After Effects - Roto Brush

In addition to easily erasing backgrounds from photographs, we can also mask selected moving objects in videos. The Roto Brush is a tool that allows us to cut out objects and erase the background from videos in After Effects. Adobe released the AI-powered Roto Brush 2.0 in 2020 with Adobe Sensei. The new update helps us to select and mask more complex objects by using the same Refine Edge Tool which intelligently analyzes and tracks a foreground object. In the past, video producers would erase backgrounds from videos by using a Chroma Key with green screens. Chroma Key is a visual-effects and post-production technique for layering two images or videos together based on colour hues. Today, we no longer require a green screen for the Roto Brush tool and we can use any video footage to erase backgrounds and cut objects out with ease.

The Roto Bruch tool is predominantly used by video creators, specifically those who do VFX (Visual Effects). For example, Sidlee developed and launched a campaign for DAZN (Global Sports Entertainment Platform) wherein they cut objects out of videos to launch the exclusive NFL streaming service. Set to compete with expensive cable TV packages, Sidlee cut out the football players from video footage and made them break SMPTE TV colour bars that represent the competitor cable TV services. The creative idea is straightforward, but it’s a very effective creative technique to deliver a key message.

Recently, we used this feature for a digital campaign to generate awareness for Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. During this process, we cut out sea creatures and placed them in colourful virtual spaces instead of water to develop an innovative creative campaign that engages users in a new way.


 

  1. Procreate

Procreate is a drawing app for digital painting and illustration on iPads and iPhones. The UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) are designed for tablet, mobile environments, and it works flawlessly with Apple Pencil and iPad. The UI and UX of Procreate are very similar to Photoshop, so designers don't need to invest a lot of time learning the nuances of the program. This app allows designers to illustrate and draw anywhere with seamless connectivity between Mac and iPad. It gives you the ability to save artwork in any format you want, such as .PSD, .SVG, .PNG, and airdrop them to a Mac to be finalized. It has a new notable feature that is worth highlighting called Reference. This tool enables us to make an AR (Augmented Reality) filter for Instagram with a real-time live cam. It is excellent for conducting innovative influencer marketing content development.

Ogilvy Australia has created a series of illustrations for Coca-Cola's Real Magic Meals campaign to celebrate special occasions in 2022, such as Mother's day, Thingyan Festival, and Songkran Festival. They analyzed and sufficiently showed the usage of Coca-Cola's time, place, and occasion with customized illustrations. Furthermore, we can see how Deeez Agency combined the illustration and AR filter for the Chaarbaan granola bar. The potential of this packaging to be uploaded by users using the Instagram AR filter is its distinguishing point. Customers can share images of themselves with the illustrations by scanning the QR code on the product, allowing the packaging to become viral and get more exposure.

At Blue Door, we recently created digital illustrations for a Chefs Hall digital marketing campaign. With playful customized graphics, we launched a stunning digital campaigns to drive awareness and foot traffic for the brand. We developed adorable character illustrations based on the food that Chefs Hall offers to interact with customers in a unique way.



  1. Blender

Blender is becoming one of the most favoured 3D tools in the design industry. The best attribute about the program is that it's free and open software, which means everyone can use, share, and change the sources other users make freely. 3D rendering is used in many industries, including product design, game modelling, VFX (Visual Effects) art, animation, figure art, and architecture. The tool supports everything from modelling to texturing, rendering, sculpting, compositing, animating, and rigging.

Publicis Italy recently launched an Ad for Heineken with Platinum production. They recreated the city to have a stadium shaped like a Heineken bottle with Blender. The creative was well aligned with the key message of "Cheers to All Fans" which Heineken wanted to communicate to its consumers.

3D work can be used in every industry, such as tech, hospitality, automobility, architecture, entertainment, etc. With the unlimited possibilities of the 3D world, Blue Door is ready to jump into 3D priojects for our clients. 


  1. Frame.Io

Frame.io is the newest product from Adobe and it is a collaboration tool designed to communicate feedback on video projects more effectively. For example, you can upload your video and storyboard to the platform for projects and invite your internal team or client to comment on the project. Team members are able to draw directly on the specific video frames where changes need to be made rather than wasting time describing the context of the frame and causing unnecessary confusion. Also, by just by the click of a button, users can easily let team members or clients know if a project has been approved, and it will notify the individuals in real-time.

The world's leading creators and specialists trust using Frame.io to power their video processes, including Disney, Snapchat, BBC, TED, and Google.

The program is postured to be the best collaboration program for creators to communicate efficiently with influencers and or clients for video digital marketing ad campaigns. This tool is especially handy for influencers who make video content, such as Tik Tok and Instagram Reels, as we can communicate with them more efficiently to produce engaging content.


All these tools and platforms help us successfully execute engaging, innovative, creative campaigns we develop and carry out for our clients. We are always ready to try new features/products to increase performance and satisfy our clients. Please stay tuned for the latest and fantastic work produced by Blue Door Agency. 

 


Blue Door is a public relations, digital marketing, and design agency based in Toronto. We pride ourselves on being a modern agency with a sophisticated approach to marketing. As an award-winning agency, we have earned the trust of major organizations across the country in virtually every sector from hotels to healthcare. Check out our Services Page to learn more. Is your business in need of a brand but not sure where to start? View our capabilities deck here and connect with us at hello@bluedoor.agency or 1 855-854-5594.