As photographers, we are creative people with creativity transcending far beyond our cameras.
Some of our creative juices are satisfied by playing the piano, drums, guitar or even spinning some beats.
Others find tranquility in sketching or painting as a medium to express further artistic creativeness.
Now, before I go diving into this further, let me say this: for years you couldn't get me to let go of my Apple MacBook Pro.
They were cool, innovative, and had technology that kept you on your toes.
For me, the allure of MacBooks went spinning downward in 2012, right when Microsoft was picking up its game.
At that point, the quality of the components just seemed like someone in the engineering was snoozing on the job.
And don't get me going on the video issues...
Once 2014 rolled around, it was an okay year with nothing exciting from Apple (but still having overheating problems and issues with video).
When 2015 came about, everything was just vanilla with my new MacBook Pro. In other words, I was bored.
During this time, I picked up the new Microsoft Surface Book, and man was I immediately impressed. I mean, this thing was stinking cool!
Now, mind you, I had the Surface Pro 2, then the Surface Pro 3. These were great (especially the Pro 3).
However, I must say, the Surface Book really raised the bar, and really rocked my loyalty to the Apple MacBook Pro.
WOW... this is what I call a leap forward in innovation!
I picked up a Dial for my Surface Book (I ended up updating to the latest Surface Book with the Intel Core i7 and 16GB RAM at the same time), and I have to say the Dial was mind-blowingly cool.
I was hooked, and eagerly waiting to see what further 'goodies' the mad scientists at Microsoft would come up with.
Fast forward to yesterday, and now the wait pays off with Microsoft dropping a big old 'we have your interests covered' news release for all us creative peeps:
Today, Surface is thrilled to announce that partner applications like CorelDRAW, Autodesk’s SketchBook, Silicon Bender’s Sketchable, and Algoriddim’s djay Pro are adding unique capabilities to their software that enable Surface Dial offering customers a new spin on creativity. In addition to the great apps available today for Surface Dial, Adobe has produced a technology demonstration of Surface Dial working within their popular Adobe Premiere Pro CC software.
Let's break down what this announcement means for those of us that have creative outlets...
At its heart, this new suite of applications empowers my creativity (and yours too!) and allows you to achieve more with your Surface products.
I mean, with my Surface Dial, I can use Mental Canvas, BlueBeam, DrawBoard, and even Spotify to really expand my creativity beyond the realm of photography.
There's even support for Adobe products, like Premiere Pro CC, which all you videography lovers are sure to be excited about.
With my Surface Book, Surface Dial, and Premiere Pro CC, I can make some pretty sick videos, all without a huge learning curve.
I can shuffle through sequences of videos, select exact frames, and have immediate start and stop of playback, all right from the Surface Dial.
It's honestly made videography a much simpler process - and that's coming from someone with only minimal experience in making videos.
Just today Microsoft released support for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2017 on its Surface products.
Again, this application makes full use of the ease and precision of the Surface Dial, and with a new tool called LiveSketch, creatives get an even more natural and hands-on experience when developing their creations.
Get this - LiveSketch is powered by a neural network, so it's able to interpret and understand what you draw. And when using the Surface Pen in your dominant hand and the Surface Dial in your non-dominant hand, you can really bring your creations to life.
I mean, it's like living in Minority Report, except this is all too real!
And if you're a fan of music like me, you can use the Algoriddim djay Pro app and your Surface Dial to search through your music library, loop, scrub, and scratch music, and even have pinpoint adjustment control over knobs and filters right on the screen. See what I mean in the video below:
It's so powerful and easy to use that I might just become a DJ on the weekends!
Okay, me being a DJ is probably a bad idea...but you get my point. It's an incredibly fun app that's made even more fun by using it with Surface products.
Another great app that's now available is the Autodesk SketchBook.
I'm no artist, but even I feel at home using this app!
What's impressive about SketchBook is that it gives you so much control over the way you work.
If you're a digital artist, you'll appreciate how tactile the feedback is with the Surface Dial.
Beyond that, the Dial gives you control over the brush, the colors you're using, and the canvas itself, so it's like having a little command center right there at your fingertips. That's it at work in the GIF below:
And with an ever-expanding library of applications, the Surface line is becoming more and more like a well-oiled machine - one that can meet just about any creative demand that I ask of it.
In other words, with the Microsoft Surface line of products and partner applications, the possibilities for your creative pursuits really are endless.
Microsoft has really stepped up its game on all fronts, but as this new support for expanding applications with Surface products shows, Microsoft is quickly becoming the go-to for creative folks like you and me.