AeroTrain Trains the Next Generation of Aircraft Technicians with Help from Adobe Sensei
Aircraft technicians are in high demand. As mechanics reach retirement age, they’re leaving the profession faster than new technicians are entering the field, according to the Aviation Technician Education Council. Boeing estimates the aviation industry will need more than 750,000 new aircraft technicians in the next two decades. (cnbc.com)
Because technicians could quickly start earning an annual salary of $72,000, it’s an attractive career option. However, thorough training is a critical, and before technicians can start working, they must be certified to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Air Safety Agency (EASA) standards.
AeroTrain Corp is one of the few organizations providing comprehensive training courses and systems for aspiring aircraft technicians. The company creates multimedia computer-based training (CBT) modules covering everything from math and physics to aeronautics and aircraft mechanical systems.
“We try to bring the FAA and EASA standards to life by offering a highly visual curriculum,” says Steve Carpenter, lead graphic designer at AeroTrain Corp. “The goal is to make the coursework interactive and entertaining, helping students grasp concepts more fully and understand the equipment they’ll be working with.”
Integrating rich visuals with Adobe Creative Cloud
Visual elements appear on every screen of AeroTrain’s large library of training modules, which number around 40,000 pages—many of which need to be customized and updated on a regular basis. That means there’s a lot of work for Steve and his fellow graphic designers, Jason Whitehead and Brian Overton, who have also used Adobe Creative Cloud for years.
They primarily use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for editing photos of specialized training equipment or creating graphics for learning modules. But Steve and his team are enthusiastic users of the whole suite, from Adobe InDesign and Animate to After Effects and Audition.
The tools make them more efficient as they manage a growing content library, and more features powered by Adobe Sensei help them shed mundane tasks so they can produce more and higher-quality content.
“We stay up to date on new features, especially those that help us work smarter and faster,” Steve says. “For example, the Select Subject feature in Adobe Photoshop has really made a difference in how we mask images.”
Many of AeroTrain’s images depict training systems, such as a physical model of an aircraft engine. These images usually start with a photo of the equipment sitting on the shop floor. To use them in a CBT module or on the AeroTrain website, designers must first remove the background. In the past, that meant using the Lasso tool or Magic Wand tool to select the equipment and refine the edges by hand. The task was tedious and time consuming.
Now, using the Select Subject feature, powered by Adobe Sensei, the process is highly automated with a single click, making it quick and easy to produce quality images.
“Select Subject enables me to remove a background in about 5 minutes rather than 20 minutes,” Steve says. “It gives me time to be more detailed and make images even sharper, increasing the quality of our courses.”
That’s just one way new automation transforms the creative process, allowing designers to spend more time creating and less time working through tedious tasks. For AeroTrain, as Adobe Sensei continues to infuse artificial intelligence into daily design work, designers can spend less time on tedious, repetitive tasks and more time creating engaging, higher-quality training content for a new generation of aircraft technicians.