My office was kind enough to send me and my design team to attend an Adobe Systems special event in Hotel Capitol on the 10th of May where Adobe’s highly anticipated product, Creative Suite 3 (CS3) was released. Before I go into the details, just one word to describe CS3: AWESOME!
Adobe announced that there are 6 different versions of Creative Suite 3. The versions are the CS3 Design Standard, CS3 Design Premium, CS3 Web Standard, CS3 Web Premium, CS3 Production Premium, CS3 Master Collection. The Master Collection comes with everything but the price tag matches that (a whopping US $3,215 ex tax in Singapore)
The new version of Photoshop CS3 Extended is definitely going to be a hit among designers. From what Mr. Rajesh Patil (Application Engineer at Adobe, who gave an awesome presentation) told, the new tools that are being added are top notch and don’t take away from the overall use of the software. I for one cannot wait to see the full version.
Highlights of Photoshop CS3 Extended:
- New auto align feature that can help to align various images together if you are creating a collage or a panoramic view of a city or landscape
- Added a very similar feature called auto blend that can automatically blend colors into each other seamlessly if done correctly
- Easily render and incorporate rich 3D content into your 2D composites
- Makes all filters into adjustment layers that can be changed and/or removed at any time during the creation of a project
- Some changes to camera raw that allow you to use camera raw on TIFF and JPG (also on raw camera images)
- Has added a histogram to the curves color adjustment tool so that you can have a better visual representation of what you are changing and what needs to be changed
- Refine Edges that allows you to distort and change how the selection effects the image in amazing ways
As for Illustrator CS3, which is the indispensable vector drawing tool used by graphic designers world over, CS3 version has powerful drawing tools, unparalleled typographic controls, and much more. It has new tools in Live Color, enhancements to essential drawing tools and controls, improvements to the powerful Control panel, the new Eraser tool and Crop Area tool, to name a few.
Indesign CS3 will feature enhancements to the Transparency palette. In the past, adjusting the transparency of an object in InDesign affected all of the elements within that object. Now, however, each element can have its transparency adjusted independently, including fill, stroke and text. It also has the ability to adjust blending modes (overlay, multiply, screen, etc.) independently.
As with the new transparency options, the live effects can be applied to fills, strokes and text independently. Another new feature is the ability to assign fitting options to a picture box prior to importing the image. In this way, boxes can be assigned fitting (fit content to frame, fit proportional, scale proportional) and other options (such as crop), and these parameters can be included in object styles to simplify the process of creating multiple picture boxes whose content needs to be scaled.
A notable feature in Dreamweaver CS3 is Photoshop integration. You can now copy from Photoshop, make a selection or a layer, whatever you have in the Clipboard, and paste it into Dreamweaver. It’ll prompt you for a Save File dialog, an image optimization dialog, and then it will drop it right on your page, make the correct paths, and also maintain that link to the original PSD. Fireworks-Photoshop and Flash-Photoshop integration also looks great. Perhaps the most radical innovation in Flash CS3 is its vastly improved integration with Illustrator CS3. Flash CS3 includes Adobe’s new Device Central preview and testing environment, which facilitates development for Flash Lite devices.
We saw the power of Bridge CS3 which is easy-to-use media manager for visual people, letting you easily organize, browse, locate, and view creative assets. Bridge provides centralized access to project files, applications, and settings, as well as XMP metadata tagging and searching capabilities.
Soundbooth Beta is a brand new application built in the spirit of Sound Edit 16 and Cool Edit that provides the tools video editors, designers, and others who do not specialize in audio need to accomplish their everyday work.
Soundbooth Beta can:
- Quickly editing audio
- Clean up noisy audio
- Visually identify and remove unwanted sounds
- Record and polish voiceovers
- Add effects and filters
- Create customized music—without musical expertise
CS3 software of course comes with all of the popular programs and a few more. One of the features that is being talked about the most is the ability to export out of programs like InDesign or Illustrator into XHTML for use with Dreamweaver. This major innovation takes a giant leap towards seamlessly allowing designers to better develop web sites. Previously that feature had only been with Photoshop through slices. Hopefully we will get a chance to test this innovative idea out soon.
Finally a word about the icons. They all looked like elements names from the Periodic table. You can view them here.
Before ending, just a thought. When professionals from all over the city come and participate in such events, we expect the presenters to be upto the mark. The presentation after lunch on Flash, Dreamweaver and Fireworks was a damp squib. Most of the audience felt the presenter was not prepared for the event. Better luck next time, Mr. N.