Take a deeper dive with preconference courses.

Join us for a day or two of focused learning before the main conference starts. Choose a preconference bundle or sign up for a preconference course on October 12 and 13.

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:
Expand Your Creative Boundaries

Add new techniques and best practices to your existing skillset. Explore new apps and leverage the power of generative AI to drive efficiency, productivity, and innovation.

Russell Brown@MAX:
Le Cirque Galactique

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 futuristic circus poster design.

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

Sunday, October 13: 9am–5pm

  • Join Luisa Winters, an Adobe certified trainer and subject matter expert on motion design, for this deep dive into After Effects. You’ll learn how to incorporate After Effects into your creative workflows and gain hands-on experience creating in the app. This all-day pre-conference lab lays the foundation to pass the Adobe Certified Professional exam for After Effects. You will have the option of taking the exam during the main conference days or after MAX with the use of a voucher code provided at the end of class.

    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

    Type: PC lab

    Technical Level: Beginner to intermediate

    Instructor: Luisa Winters, Adobe certified trainer

  • Back by popular demand: Spend a day with Aaron Draplin of the Draplin Design Co. and make the logo you’ve always wanted to make for yourself. 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. Learn a mountain of actionable items from the DDC graphic design universe. All skill levels are welcome. 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.

    Type: Mac lab

    Technical Level: General audience

    Instructor: Aaron Draplin, founder of Draplin Design Co.

  • Join accessibility expert Dax Castro for this full-day lab and master the accessibility features of Adobe InDesign to produce more accessible PDFs. Unravel the power of key accessibility tools and discover simple ways to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, making your PDFs accessible for all users.

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

    • Set up your templates for success
    • Learn the new accessibility features of InDesign
    • Leverage key tools like the Articles panel and Styles
    • Understand potential accessibility barriers to watch for
    • Develop best practices that result in more accessible PDFs

    Type: Mac lab

    Technical Level: Intermediate to advanced

    Instructor: Dax Castro, accessibility trainer/advocate, Chax Training & Consulting

  • Learn how to unleash the power of the Creative Cloud ecosystem and Adobe’s generative AI technology in this in-depth, full-day lab with Bart Van de Wiele, head of solutions consulting and tech evangelism at Adobe, and Rob de Winter, Adobe Certified Expert, author, and designer.

    You’ll uncover various techniques for using Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Firefly, and Adobe Express together to save time, simplify workflows, and create impressive content. Discover how to seamlessly roundtrip native file formats to speed up production workflows. Learn how to properly link, embed, import, and combine assets across all apps like a true pro, using online, offline, and AI techniques.

    Bart and Rob will show you that the power of AI can not only speed up your workflow, but also fuel your creativity. Master faster ways to build fantastic composites in Photoshop with type, special effects, lighting, high-quality AI selections, and Firefly. Create your own artistic, atmospheric brushes with Generative Fill to bring images to life. And that’s not all! You’ll also see how to easily import your designs into Adobe Express, add stunning animations, and share them with colleagues.

    In this inspiring and practical hands-on lab, you’ll learn:

    • Various ways of importing Illustrator art into Photoshop
    • Why Photoshop layer comps and nesting native file formats are amazing
    • The hidden power of Creative Cloud Libraries
    • How to make your workflows more flexible and gain valuable time
    • Inspiring, creative examples of how to use AI and Generative Fill in Photoshop
    • How AI in Photoshop can boost your creativity
    • Surprising Generative Fill applications you didn’t think were possible
    • How to add animations in Adobe Express and share your work with colleagues

    Type: Mac lab

    Technical Level: Intermediate


    • Bart Van de Wiele, head of solutions consulting and tech evangelism, Adobe
    • Rob de Winter, Adobe Certified Expert, author, and designer

  • Spend the day creating portfolio-quality photos (and videos) on the camera that’s always with you, the one in your smartphone. Join photographers, authors, and educators Katrin Eismann and Seán Duggan, as well as Adobe team members Chris Ayers and Mat Hayward, for this high-energy, on-your-feet preconference lab and photowalk that combines in-depth instruction with hands-on practice. We provide models, lighting, creative compositions, and knowledgeable instructors to set you up for success. All you need to bring is your phone and enthusiasm.

    You’ll learn basic photographic essentials about lens choice, lighting, and how to work with models. Then, we’ll put it all into practice during intensive, small group photography sessions. Throughout the day, we’ll focus on fashion, studio, still life, creative, and editorial photography and video, and practice working with professional models on location and in the studio. This full-day preconference is packed with essential information to uplevel your photography game – and we’ll have a lot of fun, too!

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

    • Understand and apply essential photographic principles that will set your work apart
    • Experiment with light, composition, and working with professional models
    • Edit images to make them stand out using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile
    • Share photos with clients, family, and friends, and more broadly on social media

    Type: Lab and Photowalk — Participants should bring a mobile device with Lightroom for mobile installed.

    Technical Level: Beginner to intermediate


    • Katrin Eismann, product manager, Learning & Inspiration, Adobe
    • Seán Duggan, photographer and photographic educator
    • Chris Ayers, Senior Engineering Manager, iOS
    • Mat Hayward, senior contributor evangelist, Adobe Stock

  • Dig deep into Premiere Pro and learn how to incorporate the app throughout your creative workflows in this preconference lab taught by Adobe Certified Trainer Abba Shapiro.

    In this full-day, hands-on lab, you’ll learn new skills and build the foundation to use Premiere Pro with confidence. This lab lays the foundation to pass the Adobe Certified Professional exam for Premiere Pro. You will have the option of taking the exam during the main conference days or after MAX with the use of a voucher code provided at the end of class.

    Abba 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 and audio using effects and keyframes
    • Guidelines for publishing and exporting to multiple formats, including social media

    Type: PC lab

    Technical Level: Beginner to intermediate

    Instructor: Abba Shapiro, writer, producer, director, and Premiere Pro certified trainer

  • Advance your design skills with 3D technology from the Adobe Substance 3D Collection in this full-day, hands-on lab. Discover how to enhance designs with 3D concepts and create amazing looks that are impossible without 3D. Join Adobe 3D & Immersive experts Louise Melin, 3D technical artist, and Laurens Corijn, head of Substance Learn, to gain techniques that allow you to confidently use 3D in your creative workflows.

    Learn how to accelerate your creativity with camera, lighting, and material editing tools, leverage photorealistic textures, and combine 3D techniques with traditional design to add depth, volume, and new perspectives to your creative output.

    Laurens and Louise will show you how to:

    • Create textures and 3D models from photographs of real-world objects and surfaces using Substance 3D Sampler
    • Interactively paint materials onto 3D models to create unique textured looks using Substance 3D Painter
    • Leverage 3D assets to visualize your designs in context and output photorealistic images with Substance Stager

    Type: PC lab

    Technical Level: Beginner to intermediate


    • Laurens Corijn, lead technical artist, 3D & Immersive, Adobe
    • Louise Melin, technical artist, 3D & Immersive, Adobe

  • In this hands-on workshop, Goodtype co-owners Ilana Griffo and Katie Johnson will guide you through the process of identifying and refining your unique creative voice. Discovering your voice not only makes you feel more confident and authentic in your work but also helps keep you top of mind for your dream clients. First, you’ll work through a series of self-evaluations and fun creative prompts to uncover the building blocks of your distinctive artistic identity. Then, you’ll learn how to convey that identity by applying it across your artwork, brand, and marketing.

    Ilana and Katie will help you:

    • Uncover the traits, perspectives, and influences that make you unique as an individual and a designer
    • Define an artistic style that is centered on those characteristics
    • Remember why you chose to be a designer in the first place
    • Outline a passion project with actionable next steps to help you attract the clients you want

    At the end of this workshop, you’ll walk away with a reimagined creative identity to support you on your way to affirming your new personal brand.

    Type: Workshop and BYOD (bring your own device) lab

    Technical Level: General audience

    Instructor: Ilana Griffo and Katie Johnson, co-owners of Goodtype

At MAX, I’ll gain practical experience with new tools and techniques. This hands-on learning will be invaluable for enhancing my skills and applying them to my work.”
— Henry O., MAX 2023 attendee