Adobe Max 2021 Guide

School of Motion

Adobe MAX is back with a free virtual conference, but where should you begin?

Adobe MAX is kicking off October 26-28th, 2021. It's three days of info sessions, exploration, and updates from some of the biggest names in the industry. Best of all, the virtual conference is completely free. But with so many options at your fingertips, where should you begin?


There are so many amazing sessions, it can be hard to pick just one to start. That's why we've specially curated a list of these upcoming discussions so you get a full dose of motion graphics mayhem. Some of these are exclusive events that won't be available on-demand afterward, so choose carefully.


Adobe MAX 2021 Guide

You can build your schedule here!

October 26, 2021

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MTT23 - The Adobe Substance 3D Collection1:30 PM - 2:30 PM ET

Create state-of-the-art 3D designs with Adobe’s new ecosystem of powerful apps and content. In the Substance 3D ecosystem, smart creative apps and high-end content give you everything you need to make inspiring art. Meet the team responsible for building the 3D apps, ask questions, and learn how the products will evolve.

S613 - Designing for First Glance Attention2:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET

You design for a purpose — to evoke inspiration, thought, emotion, or action. Attracting viewers to your visual in the first few seconds, or at first glance, is critical to increasing the likelihood that your target audience will engage with your content. Join Martine Sticha, 3M senior consumer brand designer, and Sean Springer, 3M VAS application engineer, to explore vision science research about the different stages of vision, the visual elements that universally attract attention, and how powerful AI can be used to analyze your design to evaluate performance.

S557 - Kick-starting Your Motion Journey: Decoding Motion Design3:00 PM - 3:30 PM ET

Designers who use layers, blending modes, masks, and more in Photoshop or Illustrator can also easily create motion design projects.

S552 - Demystifying After Effects: Motion Graphics for Video Editors6:00 PM - 6:30 PM ET

Adding motion design to video projects is becoming more critical every day to make your videos stand out. Join veteran multimedia professional Kyle Hamrick to learn basic motion design techniques in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects that you’ll put to instant use. You’ll also explore how to efficiently work between the two apps. Led by Kyle Hamrick, Senior Motion Designer, School of Motion.

S616 - Entering the Flow State: Boosting Creativity and Productivity6:00 PM - 6:30 PM ET

Create, make, and do like never before. Join Logitech’s Head of Design for the MX Series Marcel Twohig to learn methods to tap into the state of flow, get totally immersed in the creative tasks at hand, and forget that time is flying by. Discover the best processes and tools for working with Creative Cloud, getting immersed in a seamless workflow and enhancing creativity.

S206 - You Are Here, for Now: Passion, Purpose, and Finding Your Way6:00 PM - 6:30 PM ET

While working a mix of graphic design day jobs, artist Adam J. Kurtz, aka Adam JK, built a career on personal projects and founded a sustainable business along the way. Join Adam for a fun, fast-paced pep talk for creatives across all disciplines — or anyone trying to connect the dots from where they are to where they want to be. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to pivot, this session is crammed full of practical advice and empathy from someone who’s been there.

L573 - Beginning Motion Design: Must-Know Techniques6:30 PM - 7:00 PM ET

Dive into After Effects — it’s not that scary. In this beginner lab led by award-winning teacher Nol Honig, you’ll explore the fundamentals of motion design and learn basic After Effects tips and techniques to get you going on your own. Starting with a drawing made in Illustrator, you’ll step through a simple motion design project — from setting keyframes to rendering. Led by Nol Honig, Designer Animator Director Teacher Person, The Drawing Room.

S479 - Augmented Reality: How It’s Transforming the Space Around Us7:00 PM - 7:30 PM ET

Join Adobe Aero community manager Carrie Gotch for a roundup of the Aero team’s favorite 2020 AR experiences and the unveiling of new experiences exclusively for MAX, which you can try out in your own space (download the free Aero app for your iOS device before the session for an optimal experience). You’ll discover how AR creators are building robust interactive scenes that promote deeper connections with the world around us. You‘ll also get a peek into how creators author in AR using Aero.

L573 - Beginning Motion Design: Must-Know Techniques7:30 PM - 8:30 PM ET

Join SoM instructor Nol Honig as he dives into After Effects — it’s not that scary. In this beginner lab led by award-winning teacher Nol Honig, you’ll explore the fundamentals of motion design and learn basic After Effects tips and techniques to get you going on your own.

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October 27, 2021


S728 - Time Management: Either You Run the Day, or the Day Runs You7:30 AM - 8:00 AM ET

Feeling overwhelmed by work, family, and “stuff” in general is nowadays dispiritingly common. In French, an expression captures this idea well: “courir après le temps” or in English “to chase time.” How true. Having two companies to run herself, entrepreneur Pauline Laigneau knows this feeling firsthand and had to learn the hard way how to manage her own time to avoid burnout. Join Pauline as she takes you on her personal growth journey. In the past, she naively thought that through hard work and energy, she could force her way through anything. But then she realized “being busy” all the time was actually a sign of being disorganized. In this session, Pauline will walk you through the steps she followed to stop being “reactive” to everything and how she established a few simple principles to be able to start running her day — and her life — on her own terms.

L485 - 3D for Beginners: Introduction to 3D Painting with Painter8:30 AM - 9:30 AM ET

Discover how you can make your 3D objects come to life with Substance Painter. Take the next step into digital content creation with Valeria Gerontopoulos, product manager and 3D artist, who will guide you through the process of texturing with Painter, an app that combines the familiar feel of Photoshop with cutting-edge 3D painting and texturing tools. You’ll see what Painter is capable of and gain a solid foundation to advance your 3D journey.

S481 - Discover Why the Best Product Shots Are Often Made in 3D11:00 AM - 11:30 AM ET

3D introduces a fundamentally digital base for the creation of visual marketing content, opening up a new world of possibilities, business benefits, and strategies for winning the content race. Join Bastiaan Geluk, head of digital fashion at INDG, and learn how large brands and corporations have implemented CGI the right way.

L260 - Building an Efficient Design and Approval Workflow11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET

Creative teams need to deliver creative assets while using an efficient and secure workflow for approvals and signatures. Join Rafael Hidalgo, senior solutions consultant at Adobe, and Vanessa Cardozo, customer success manager at Adobe, to discover how you can easily and quickly create a secure approval workflow using Creative Cloud and Adobe Sign.

MB130 - MAX Sneaks with Kenan Thompson12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET

The Sneaks session is always the buzz of the show – new and improving technology shows up on stage before it ever gets integrated into the Adobe ecosystem of apps – and sometimes they even inspire tool developers for other software too!

S555 - Moving 2D Designs into 3D Animations in After Effects1:30 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Learn how to move your 2D designs into the next dimension with 3D in After Effects. Creative director and motion graphics trainer Ian Robinson will explore the latest tools and techniques to make your animations stand out quickly.

L488 - 3D Smart Material Design with Substance 3D Painter and Designer2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET

Learn how to reconstruct real-life materials in a smart way so you can reuse and share materials and masks between projects. Join Laurens Corijn, technical artist at Adobe, in this follow-along lab to discover how the smart tools in Substance 3D Painter and the parametric possibilities of Substance 3D Designer let you unlock the full potential of the Substance 3D Collection and achieve the look you want, from product design to realistic games and visual effects to projects such as stylized animation.

S203 - Creatives Are Not Robots: Letting Automation Do That for You2:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET

Eighty-one percent of creatives say they’re being asked to develop more content in less time. Discover how automation technologies can free up teams to do what they do best — being creative — rather than spending all night working through tedious, repetitive processes. Join Ben Vanderberg, principal technical product evangelist at Adobe, to learn more about Adobe’s automation technologies to free up more creative time using APIs for Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Services.

S480 - The 3D Asset Pipeline for Augmented Reality3:00 PM - 3:30 PM ET

Join 3D and AR storyteller Don Allen Stevenson III to learn the most effective ways to use the new Adobe Substance 3D tools to build your characters, props, and environments for an augmented reality (AR) experience in Adobe Aero. Discover how to optimize your creative pipeline for building 3D assets for an immersive AR experience.

S614 - Type Trends: 2022 and Beyond4:00 PM - 4:30 PM ET

How do brands use type to connect with their customers and stand out from their competitors? Join Monotype Studio type experts Charles Nix and Phil Garnham as they talk type, highlighting current type trends and offering predictions.

S600 - Creating Your First Short Film — You Can Do It4:30 PM - 5:00 PM ET

For many aspiring filmmakers and social media content creators, an important step in their journey is making their idea a reality and delivering their first film. Join filmmaker and popular YouTube creator Ryan Connolly of Triune Films.

S204 - The Superpower of Creative Collaboration4:30 PM - 5:00 PM ET

Learn the four keys to successful teamwork. Collaboration is our greatest superpower as humans. Although fraught with risks, when it works it can boost the innovation, creativity, and quality of our work. Join Brian Barrus, creative director at The Stoke Group, and explore how to foster a team environment where good ideas win, contributors feel inspired, and teams operate productively.

S478 - AR Design Principles: How to Create Immersive Experiences7:00 PM - 7:30 PM ET

Join AR/VR artist and musician Heather Dunaway Smith as she shares her process for combining illustration, animation, interaction, and audio into augmented reality (AR) artwork. She’ll outline practical tips for designing engaging immersive experiences using Adobe Aero and cover the unique design considerations and opportunities in this exciting, new medium.

MB144 - Hannah Brontë: Creative Inspiration11:30 PM - 12:00 AM ET

Spark something — hear from creatives taking inspiration to new places. Speakers include:

Hannah Brontë, the Brisbane artist who’s inspired by the natural environment, Hip Hop, and the empowerment of Indigenous, Black and Brown women to create work spanning photography, textiles, and video.

Tune into a performance from Grammy Award winners, Imagine Dragons. In just a half-decade, this genre-bending band from Las Vegas has been embraced by millions and has become one of the most compelling rock bands on the planet. A band beyond description, their sound is distinctive and their often introspective lyrics are uplifting and inspiring.*

*This performance will not be available on demand.

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October 28, 2021


S715 - In Pursuit of Wonder: Augmented Reality as a New Creative Medium7:30 AM - 8:00 AM ET

Join Dr. Helen Papagiannis, leading expert in augmented reality, as she shares her 16-year journey exploring AR as a new storytelling medium. Showcasing past and current creative work — including commissions for Louis Vuitton and Adobe, created with Adobe Aero — Helen will discuss her inspiration, motivation, and process. Watch this session to discover a pioneering retrospective of her artistic practice alongside AR’s evolution.

FT11 - First Takes from the Community: 3D9:30 AM - 10:00 AM ET

Tune in LIVE to the virtual Community Lounge to explore what’s new in 3D from Adobe. Chat with our visual artist Nadine Kolodziey, and connect with the creative community.

S193 - Intellectual Eye Candy: Do Before You Think3:00 PM - 3:30 PM ET

What if the idea isn’t always the most important thing? What if the visual arrives way before the idea? Meet the founder of Man Vs Machine who admitted that this was the recipe for some of their most celebrated work.

MTT20 - What’s New in Adobe Aero3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET

Join us to learn what new features are available in Adobe Aero, a free augmented reality mobile and desktop tool that lets you edit, iterate, and publish interactive experiences into the physical world around you and your audience. With Aero, you can add interactivity to your own 2D and 3D assets without coding experience to easily animate your objects. New features will help you focus on speeding up the time to iterate on placing assets and adding interactivity.

L575 - Creating Motion Graphics for Social Media4:30 PM - 5:30 PM ET

Take your skills to the next level. Learn how to animate graphics using Creative Cloud apps you already have. During this follow-along lab, veteran educator Luisa Winters will demystify After Effects by showing how to add animations.

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We hope this helped point you in the right direction. What sessions are you most interested in? Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #TakeItToTheMAX

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