Take a deeper dive.

Join us for a day or two of focused learning before the main conference starts. Choose a MAX bundle or sign up for a preconference course on October 8 and 9.

Preconference bundles

Take advantage of focused, extended courses of learning. Bundled with a full conference pass, they run from one-and-a-half to three days.

Creative Cloud@MAX: Boost your Creative Capacity

Learn how to put your creativity to work and take advantage of the power and precision of Creative Cloud tools and services. Master best practices in the tools you use every day — Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

Doc Brown's Wild West Show

Russell Brown@MAX: Welcome to the Wild, Wild West

Adobe Principal Designer Russell Preston Brown and his creative instructors will teach you advanced digital imaging techniques within a real-world project. Capture, edit, and create compelling visuals to be used in a Wild West–themed packaging project.

Preconference courses

Preconference courses give you the time to explore a product, skill, or workflow in more depth. They are full-day courses with all equipment and supplies provided. Preconference courses are an additional fee to the conference fee.

Full-day preconference courses

Monday, October 9: 9am–5pm

  • Join Luisa Winters, an Adobe Certified Instructor and subject matter expert on motion design, for this full-day introduction to Adobe After Effects. You’ll learn how to incorporate After Effects into your creative workflows and gain hands-on experience creating in the app. You’ll leave with the confidence to use After Effects to produce your best work.

    Luisa will cover:

    • Critical concepts for working in the motion design and VFX industry — from working with colleagues and clients to crucial legal, technical, and design-related knowledge
    • Best practices for setting up and organizing projects
    • How to create and modify visual elements, including text, footage, and more
    • Techniques for animating using effects, presets, and keyframes
    • Guidelines for saving and exporting to various outputs, including social media
  • Music inspires everything, and the gig poster genre has created a long history of amazing art. Learn about new ways that illustrators are creating music visuals with products like Fresco, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Join multistyle illustrator and Adobe Creative Director Brian Yap and special guests — award-winning illustrator Rob Generette and design duo Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman from LA creative studio DKNG — for this full-day lab where you’ll explore sketching out concepts, vector versus raster, and mixing cross-app workflows to get different effects, all while having fun creating your own band poster.

    In this hands-on preconference lab, you’ll learn how to:

    • Sketch in Fresco, discovering why working digitally is way more advantageous than just being able to undo
    • Set up your compositions, use perspective tools, draw over images, and take advantage of many more tips and tricks
    • Capture your subject’s likeness and create a vector portrait with Fresco as your basis for a show poster
    • Approach creating and executing concepts like the pros
    • Mix and match Creative Cloud apps to capture different popular styles and move seamlessly between them
    • Add textures in Photoshop and create cool images and effects with Capture
  • It seems harder and harder to find time to make things for ourselves, right? Come spend a day with Aaron Draplin of the Draplin Design Co. and make the logo you’ve always wanted to make for yourself in a loose, lighthearted, constructive, and fun environment. Learn the finer points of his logo-making process, from inspiration-gathering to sketching to iterations to jumping into Adobe Illustrator to make it all come to life. Along the way, learn a mountain of actionable items from the DDC graphic design universe. All skill levels are invited. A working knowledge of Illustrator is recommended.

    Aaron will cover:

    • His logo process from start to finish for you to try out in the moment
    • His DDC Top 20 tips, tricks, and techniques to improve Illustrator workflows and execution
    • Practical alignment hacks and color refinements
    • Crucial typographic tips and tricks
    • File setup and handoff efficiencies
    • Tactical, actionable items to improve how you make what you make, backed up by a comprehensive overview PDF
    • A handy guide to use as you apply your workshop learnings to your own design work

    Bonus: Each participant will get a DDC Starter Merch Kit to get the day going.

  • You know you could be better at using Adobe InDesign — if only there were a convenient time to learn. Now there is: Join InDesign guru David Blatner in this deep dive into your favorite page layout app. Whether you’ve been working with InDesign for nine months or nine years (intermediate to advanced users), this full-day preconference tutorial will help you take your skills to the next level.

    Topics include:

    • Discovering “hidden” productivity features
    • Automating your document layouts and text formatting
    • Managing RGB and CMYK colors
    • Importing and cleaning up text stories the right way
    • Working more seamlessly with Photoshop and Illustrator
    • Adding easy-to-use scripts to your toolbox
    • Building and sharing amazing interactive documents
    • Making the most of fonts and libraries
    • The right way to check your documents before printing or exporting a PDF
  • Learn how to unleash the power of the entire Photoshop ecosystem and Adobe’s generative AI technology. Combine it with After Effects and Aero to create amazing images and an interactive, animated augmented reality infographic in this in-depth, full-day lab with Rob de Winter, Adobe Certified Instructor and top MAX presenter, author, and designer.

    PART 1: Create amazing images anywhere with Photoshop on the desktop, iPad, and web. Learn how to build a fantastic composite with type, special effects, lighting, selections, and Adobe Firefly. You’ll see how to create your own artistic, atmospheric brushes to bring your composition to life and use Creative Cloud Libraries and cloud documents to speed up your workflow.

    PART 2: Prepare a Photoshop document to craft a professional, interactive augmented reality infographic. Discover techniques to visualize information and convert your graphics for use in After Effects and Aero.

    PART 3: Use After Effects to add basic animations to your Photoshop graphics, and import all your static and animated assets into Aero to bring your infographic to life. Learn how to create moving/rotating graphics and to control animations and interactions. Export your design to share it with others. Experience with After Effects and Aero is not required.

    In this inspiring and practical hands-on lab, Rob will show you how to:

    • Control light with transparency, blend modes, and special effects in Photoshop
    • Use Adobe Firefly for a more imaginative start to your workflow
    • Make selections, adjustments, and masks
    • Create, synchronize, and use brushes across devices
    • Transfer images and assets seamlessly between your desktop and mobile devices
    • Add animation to your static images in After Effects for use in Aero
    • Craft an engaging, interactive, and animated augmented reality infographic in Aero
  • Dig into Adobe Premiere Pro and learn how to incorporate the app throughout your creative workflows in this full-day introductory course taught by Maxim Jago, Adobe Certified Instructor and author of Adobe Premiere Pro CC Classroom in a Book. In this hands-on lab, you’ll learn new skills and build the foundation to use Premiere Pro with confidence.

    Maxim will cover:

    • Concepts for working in the video editing industry, from collaborating with colleagues and clients to understanding crucial legal, technical, and design-related considerations
    • Best practices for setting up and organizing projects
    • Core tools and functionality for creating and modifying elements, including text, footage, and more
    • How to edit video, including how to add keyframes and effects
    • How to edit and mix audio directly in Premiere Pro
    • Techniques to create and edit motion graphics
    • Guidelines for publishing and exporting to multiple formats, including social media
  • Explore and experiment with different types of photography using the camera that’s always with you: the one in your smartphone. Join photographers, authors, and educators Katrin Eismann and Seán Duggan and Adobe team members Chris Ayers and Mat Hayward for this preconference course and photowalk that combines in-depth instruction with hands-on practice.

    We’ll start the day photographing three scenarios: natural light fashion photography, creative tabletop still lifes using studio lighting you can re-create at home, and environmental portraiture and video.

    In the afternoon, we’ll deep-dive into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile to learn finer points of how to edit different types of photos and videos to make them look their best, and then how to share your work to the Lightroom Discover edit feed and Adobe Stock.

    You’ll leave with new skills and insider tips and techniques for editing on the go, including how to:

    • Work with different Lightroom camera modes
    • Experiment with light and composition
    • Manage and edit images to make them shine with your unique look and feel
    • Share photos with clients, family, and friends, and more broadly on social media
  • Learn how Substance 3D tools can be seamlessly integrated into your creative process, giving you greater control and the ability to contextualize designs in a 3D workflow that complements your favorite Creative Cloud tools. This lab will start with techniques for creating and working with 3D assets through the power of Substance 3D Sampler, even if you don’t have experience working in 3D tools, and provide access to thousands of ready-to-use materials and models in Substance 3D Assets. Experience the power of the familiar layer-based painting workflow in Substance 3D Painter for applying textures to 3D assets, and then bring it all together in Substance 3D Stager where you’ll build and render a final photorealistic scene.

    In this practical, hands-on preconference lab, you’ll discover how to:

    • Turn photographs into tileable 3D materials and 3D models
    • Leverage 3D assets to see designs in context
    • Interactively apply materials and textures to 3D models
    • Create photorealistic 3D renders
Adobe MAX has been an essential part of my learning process as a designer and photographer."
— Previous MAX attendee