Does Adobe support FIRST?

AutoDesk, PTC, and Solidworks all support FIRST by providing teams with free education licenses to their professional grade software packages. Does Adobe support FIRST in this way?

Our team has historically used PowerDirector for our video editing. Lately, we have had some students with Macs joining our multimedia team, and we are interested in possibly moving to Adobe because of its cross platform compatibility. Adobe’s subscription pricing model, however, makes buying their software cost prohibitive. Does anyone know if Adobe supports FIRST?

Like we can with PTC Creo, we would want to install the software on any number of team, student and mentor laptops and desktop computers so work could be done at the school, in the shop, at home and on the road at competitions and demos.

Have you looked at educational discounts? Adobe does have 60% off pricing for students and teachers. That’s for their full Creative Suite (Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, inDesign, “and more”). It comes out to $20/month.

Seeing as you can get tremendous worth out of all of those programs (Photoshop and inDesign for sponsorship packages, flyers, and promo materials, Illustrator for robot decals and team logos, and Premiere for everything video editing), it is a great value for the price.

It doesn’t hurt to email adobe explaining your a robotics team and such and seeing if/what kind of discount they can give you.

It also doesn’t hurt to say that if anyone from the Kit of Parts team is watching this thread then Adobe’s Creative Cloud would make a great addition to the virtual KOP. :wink:

A big problem with CC, which the PNW A/V crew encountered, is that you can only install it on 2 devices at a time from a single account. Personally, I would like to have at least 5 installs.

This is a bit much. The software costs a lot because it is meant for the professionals. You can take the educational discounts and if you find it worthy you can buy more accounts, but wanting infinite installs will likely not happen. However, you could always try checking the internet for some help with that.

So is Solidworks, Inventor, and many other programs teams use. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask Adobe, given the example set by other companies with expensive, professional programs that offer their software for free with many licenses.

Agreed. CAD seat licenses aren’t cheap! I’d love to see Adobe get on board with FIRST. Even if it’s initially just recognition for FIRST teams for the educational discount, it would be very beneficial to teams.

One thing to remember about the CAD licenses is they are all restricted in some way to just educational use (Creo can’t open commercial files, and commercial versions of Creo can’t open educational files), Inventor (used to???) print a big banner on anything that said it was educational, and I’m not sure what Solidworks does.

I’m thinking that with most Adobe products that would be pretty hard to do. But I agree that it’d be great if they could recognize FIRST teams as eligible for the educational discounts (though the student members already are…)

Not to nitpick, but you can install on up to 6 machines (I think), but can only be active on 2 at a time. My office has CC installed on 2 machines actively using it, 1 laptop, and 2 backup PCs.

As others have said, Students and teachers get a discount making it $20/month. You can also purchase single apps on a month-to-month basis for $30/app/month, so depending on how your students use it this may be more cost effective.

It all depends on how you use the software. Let’s assume your students found a cheap equivalent to Illustrator and Photoshop, and only need Premiere (editing), After effects (motion graphics), and Audition (sound editing). If you only use it for say, 4 months a year, that’s 3 x 30 x 4 = $360/year.

HOWEVER, if you only need premiere, that 1 x 30 x 4 = $120/year.

The full suite can only be purchase with an annual commitment, and that’s $240/year (though that’s only for the first year).

There’s also Premiere Elements, which I’ve never used but understand to not be much more powerful than iMovie.

Of course, the full CC suite has most software need to produce any range of marketing materials for your team. You just need students and mentors willing to learn it/use it properly (remember, professional grade tools are only as good as the person using them).

I would start by identifying exactly what your needs are, how often you’ll be using the software, and how confident your team feels with learning Professional grade software.

I have refused to get on the Adobe indentured list.


These opensource tools will enable you to do what you need to do with any and all FRC promotional material. Adobe probably can do more, but the students rarely will go beyond the basics. And if you do happen to have the 1 in 10,000 student that simply runs into a creative roadblock, then buy them and only them a copy of the Adobe software that unlocks that creative genius.

Also, check with your school. Maybe they already have a site license for Adobe.

To add onto this list, FireAlpaca/CloudAlpaca as well as Paint Tool SAI are also great. Adobe recently released their cs4 line for free I believe.

Access to software is one of the big advantages to running a team based out of a school. That said, it would be great if Adobe had the same level of educational support as Autodesk has.

Out of curiosity, are there any decent open source video editing programs?

You can see if the school you are affiliated with has a site license for Adobe. The school I used to work at had a license for Adobe and I paid $10/mo for CC. Now I pay the full price but the cost is worth what you are getting. Teams pay a ton of money to give their engineering students the tools they need to excel in the work force. A $300 investment in the marketing program to give those students the tools they would use in the future seems minimal. FIRST prides itself on real work engineering experience, why not provide marketing and business students with the same opportunity.

It would be fantastic if FIRST had a partnership but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Kdenlive is one open source Linux-only alternative, but I find Sony Vegas Pro to be a great value and very powerful tool. I got my copy on sale for $150 around Black Friday and is well worth the money. My previous experience with Kdenlive was that the software was rather unrefined and unstable. I haven’t tried the version 15 and I believe the last version I used was 13 so things may be improved.

In the past I have used gimp for all my photo editing, graphics, and designs for promotional materials. However, I recently switched to Photoshop and I find the interface and workflow to be MUCH cleaner. However, I would only consider it worth it for the team to buy an photoshop license AFTER they have a student who is proficient in GIMP or Photoshop. Without a skilled user, Photoshop is not much more powerful than MSPaint.

I have been all over the board with NLEs for videos. I started in movie maker, then learned Final Cut, I’ve used PowerDirector (I hated the workflow) and now I’m learning the workflow for Vegas. So far, I have been most comfortable with FCP, but maybe thats just because I’ve had the most practice in it. If you have some mac users on the team, I would highly recommend using iMovie for video editing instead of dropping money on Primere

Don’t forget about Elements line

Currently (until June 16, 2015), Premiere Elements is $69.99 and Premiere Elements + Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements is $119.99. Regular price is $99.99 & $149.99 respectively

Techsoup lists the products available through their donation program:

Not a lot of free in there, but you could get four Acrobat ($45) or Photoshop/Premiere ($22) licenses.

Another reason for your robotics booster club to be a 501©(3) charity at the IRS.