Adobe CS3 – sneak peak
Here comes Creative Suite 3! Adobe has been working on CS3 for the past 18 months ever since Apple stunned the computing community by announcing that the Macintosh computers would switch to Intel chips. Additionally Adobe acquired itâ€™s competitor Macromedia back in 2005 which left many wondering what would happen to products like FreeHand and Flash. Well, when Adobe releases CS3 all will be revealed.
A bit of history first: Years before PhotoShop was debuted, Adobe Illustrator competed with Aldus FreeHand. Aldus were the makers of PageMaker, which along with Appleâ€™s Macintosh, LaserWriter and Adobeâ€™s PostScript spawned the desktop publishing revolution. In 1994 Adobe acquired Aldus, unfortunately FreeHand went back to its creators Altsys. Macromedia acquired Altsys and develop FreeHand up to its eleventh version, FreeHand MX.
On the web development side Adobe developed SVG, scalable vector graphics, which is a similar technology to Macromediaâ€™s Flash. It is commonly believed that Flash is installed on 90% of all Internet browsers â€“ and Flash video is rapidly turning the Internet on its ear with sites like Youtube.com and other video sharing web sites. Macromediaâ€™s Dreamweaver is a leader in webpage development rivaled by Adobeâ€™s GoLive.
Adobeâ€™s upcoming release of Creative Suite 3 will merge these products into a series of packages. A few months ago, Adobe released PhotoShop CS3 in a public Beta, after spending months rewriting their flagship applications to run in native format on Appleâ€™s Intel Macintosh computers. With this version they have also introduced new look interface. The application logo is a simple white â€œPsâ€ in a blue background. Similarly, Adobeâ€™s Bridge is a â€œBrâ€ on a brownish background. The whole of the Creative Suite logos will be simplified and color coded based on their function.
The packaging has also been revamped to and grouped into suites. There will be three suites in five configurations: Design Premium, Design Standard, Web Premium, Wed Standard, Production Premium and a Master Collection which combines all thirteen programs together. The Design Suite combines InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustraor and Acrobat Pro. The premium version adds Flash CS3, Dreamweaver and PhotoShop Extended. The Web Standard aimed at web developers will be made up of Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Contribute. The Web Premium will add PhotoShop Extended, Illustrator and Acrobat Professional.
Production Premium is best suited to video and film producers and includes Premier Pro (re-introduced at Macworld San Francisco), After Effects, Flash, PhotoShop Extended, Illustrator, Soundbooth (a new sound editing program), Encore (Intel only – for DVD authoring) and OnLocation (formerly DV Rack). The Master Collection combines all of the above and will take up approximately 50 gigabytes to install. Adobe GoLive will continue to be developed but as a separate product â€“ much the same way that PageMaker was after InDesignâ€™s introduction.
Photoshop comes in four separate offerings, with the standard version as seen in the PhotoShop CS3 beta, PhotoShop Lightroom (currently shipping as the final version of Adobe Lightroom), PhotoShop Extended (with features for digital imaging – with tools for architects, engineers, medicine and science) and PhotoShop Elements (a consumer level product). The public beta release shows the new interface with streamlined tools and floating pallets â€“ which provides grater cross-product support.
A new feature in PhotoShop is â€œworkspacesâ€ which optimize the pallets and tools to workflow specific configurations. Choose a â€œWeb Designâ€ workspace and the menus become colorized to assist the user. The magic wand is replaced by a much more sophisticated â€œQuick Selectâ€ tool, which lets users paint selections. The Extended version supports 3D objects â€“ allowing the imported object to be manipulated and maintain the 3D metrics as it is scaled, rotated and colored.
Illustrator includes a new tool called â€œLiveColorâ€ which aids designers (and non-designers) by simplifying color harmonies. Colors are grouped so that as a color is modified it applies across the artwork. If the set is changed then the entire group of colors changed universally. Live Trace quickly converts photographs into illustrative color renderings wih the use of an intelligent paint bucket. Flash will of course be able to support native PhotoShop files. Flashes Actionscript will resemble XML which should make it easier to work with.
Adobe will be developing an upgrade strategy and hereâ€™s our best guess of the pricing of the Suites ( in US Dollars): Master Suite $2,499.00, Design Premium $1,799.00, Design Standard $1,199.00 (this is the equivalent of CS2 Premium), Web Premium $1,599.00, Web Standard $999.00 and Production Premium $1,699. Donâ€™t forget to budget for an Apple Macintosh Pro to take full advantage of enhanced speed gain.