Thursday, March 29, 2007

Adobe CS3 - looks good and is good for you

Last night, my inner-nerd drowned in its own drool. What caused this messy metaphor? I went with my confrere, Tim, to an event at the Hilton for the release of Adobe Creative Suite 3.

I’ve been to quite a few of these new release events, which usually turn out to be disappointing affairs. If you are lucky, there’s a GUI tweak here, a new filter there, or a tool that does something slightly different to existing tools. Nothing that’s thrilling enough to equip you with the mental fortitude to convince your overlords of the oft costly upgrade. However, CS3 has restored my faith and given me some arsenal in the battle of the purchase.

Adobe
did a Godzilla to Macromedia’s
Tokyo, and engulfed it in 2005. Since then we’ve all been salivating at the thought of what these hitherto powerful enemies would do when combined. As hoped for, there are some neat cross package integrations.

One particular integration feature that “engaged” (one of the current over-used verbs spewed out by the bestial Morlocks involved in marketing) me was the ability to export InDesign page layouts as XHTML or XML and what seemed, at first glance, quite tasty CSS.

Flash

You can now import a PSD file into Flash, and a dialog box will appear, revealing the entire layer hierarchy of the Photoshop file. You can then choose which layers you want to import, and can also choose from a variety of settings for each individual layer. For example, you can retain Photoshop text as editable text in Flash, convert Photoshop layers or layer groups to movie clips, and even specify publish settings.

Tasty time saver.

Photoshop
The grand dame of photo manipulation, Photoshop, is still looking good. One particular new tool I liked was Photomerge, which provides an easy way to convert a series of images into a panorama.

There are plenty more new things that I’ll get my teeth into over the next month.

Bridge
They have even improved Bridge, something I never used because it was so damn sluggish and, I thought, pointless. Now that it is “all newer and faster” and offers "many features to render the process of sorting, and ranking images more efficiently", I might give it another whirl.

Adobe Device Control
Of particular interest was the Adobe Device Central, a very cool little package which enables you to design, develop, preview, and test content made with the Adobe family for a wide range of mobile and consumer devices. Therefore, you can easily see if your itty-bitty web site works in a facsimile of your very own cell phone before sending it out into the ether. It currently has many mobile device skins already and promises to regularly update device profiles.


The ADC will actually work like the mobile device does. Say you have a NOKIA N73, you can download a file that looks and acts just like the phone does, so the buttons that you use on the actual phone to access information need to be pressed on the virtual one in order for it to do stuff. It apparently also emulates the performance of your file, giving you a feel of how your miniature extravaganza will perform; even how much juice it will suck from the battery.

Conclusion
This little breakdown of the new suite was all gleaned from a choreographed demonstration by Mike McHugh, in an action packed hour. It is only the tip of the iceberg. The next task is finding the time to play with the trial versions, and seeing if all my dreams of ease and integration will come true. Can’t wait!

1 comment:

Mike said...

Love your work Mike. Excellent wrap up. Ive jut changed my site, might put you on the Blogroll soon.