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Adobe Creative Suite 3

A True Multimedia Experience

By Kim Crowley

Adobe Systems Incorporated, founded by former Xerox researchers Chuck Geschke and John Warnock in San Jose, CA, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The mission of these men—to bring text and images from a computer and have them reproduce perfectly in print—has been met through many innovations. The company employs over 6,000 people globally and 2006 revenue was $2.757 billion.

Adobe’s first groundbreaking development was PostScript, which revolutionized and standardized the world of print. From there, a stream of Adobe creative software became the industry standard for the creation of and collaboration on print, video, film, Web sites, and more. Adobe customers span the enterprise and government; high-end consumers and digital enthusiasts; designers, photographers, and other creatives.

In December 2005 Adobe extended its corner of the market when it acquired Macromedia, Inc., developer of Flash dynamic Web and digital content software. The launch of the new Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3) creates a fluid integration of the core Macromedia line and gives users a true multimedia creation platform.

Adobe’s mission for the CS3 launch is, "to revolutionize how the world engages with ideas and information." From traditional print to video, the Internet, mobile device media, large format graphics, and dynamic media, CS3 is designed to support the development of truly rich media experiences.

Adobe Creative Suite Design Editions include Design Premium with CS3 versions of the InDesign layout program, Photoshop Extended for image editing and creation, Illustrator artwork program, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver Web tool, and Acrobat 8.0 Professional. Design Premium is compiled as a toolkit for print, Web, and mobile publishing. Design Standard is an essential toolkit for design and print production, and it includes InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat 8.0 Professional.

The Adobe Creative Suite Web Editions feature software for Web design and development. Both Web Premium and Web Standard include Flash Professional, Dreamweaver, Fireworks Web development tool, and Contribute Web and blog update tool. Web Premium also includes Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, and Acrobat 8.0.

CS3 Production Premium is a post-production collection that includes After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro for video and audio production, Flash Professional, Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Soundbooth audio editing tool, and Encore for DVD and Blu-ray work.

Finally, the Creative Suite 3 Master Collection is a mega-library that marries a group of software for creation across all media. Included in this CS3 package are InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop Extended, Acrobat 8 Professional, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, After Effects Professional, Premiere Pro, Encore, and Soundbooth.

In addition, the Photoshop family broadened into Photoshop CS3, Photoshop Extended, Photoshop Lightroom for streamlining photography from shot to finish, and Photoshop Elements 5.0.

Advances
A number of advances were added since the 2003 launch of the first Adobe Creative Suite. The CS3 Master Collection, for example, includes a series of interactive tools designed to work content smoothly from one application to the next, including an Adobe-standard Pen tool for drawing. Layered Photoshop files can be imported directly into Illustrator, InDesign, Fireworks, Flash, After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Encore. InDesign files can export as XHTML or XML into Dreamweaver Web designs.

Adobe Photoshop, which debuted 17 years ago, is used by over 90 percent of creative professionals today. Perhaps the most significant enhancement to the program is speed. Adobe tells us that beta versions of Photoshop CS3 perform 40 percent faster than Photoshop CS2. Among the new features are preset capabilities that let users store more favorite settings for reuse, improved color-correction, and a maximum zoom setting of 3,200 percent. Tools now appear in a space-saving single column. The Photomerge engine adds ease to creating a panorama from a series of images with automatic layer alignment and blending technologies. Nondestructive, re-editable Smart Filters now offer the ability to experiment with different effects without having to backtrack to the original image.

Among the highlights of InDesign CS3 layout and design software are an improved find/change feature, a customizable interface, advanced text wrap, and the ability to make document-wide changes to table and cell formatting.

In addition to integration with Photoshop and Illustrator, Flash CS3 offers advanced QuickTime export, ActionScript 3.0—a new programming language based on universal programming concepts, and Adobe Device Central to simplify the creation of mobile content.

Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional allows users to improve collaboration, review and signoff, and automate and deliver press-ready output. Although previous versions could preflight so problems in PDF files could be found for manual repair, Acrobat 8 Professional can now fix and report back on a number of common problems automatically. With the aid of settings in a JDF file, Acrobat 8 Professional enhances print workflow by automating key interactions such as launching InDesign, opening a document, exporting to PDF, validating, preflighting, correcting, and submitting the final print job.

Available in all six editions of CS3, the Adobe Bridge CS3 asset manager is upgraded to perform faster. Bridge includes a new filter panel for fast file selection, improved workspace customization, stacks for organizing and batch processing files, a loupe tool and SWF/Flash video preview, a hub for purchasing images through Adobe Stock Photos, Acrobat Connect for Web conferences, and Version Cue for workgroup file management.

System Requirements
The Windows version of CS3 Design Premium requires Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows XP, at least 1GB RAM, and 5 GB hard disk space. QuickTime 7.1.2 is needed for multimedia features in Windows. The Mac version requires Mac OS X, version 10.4.9, running on an Intel or PowerPC processor, at least 1GB RAM, and 6.3 GB hard disk space. Adobe Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, Encore, and the Dynamic Link and Capture In After Effects features require an Intel-based Mac. Both platforms require a DVD-ROM drive and 1024x768 monitor resolution with 16-bit or greater video card. Some 3D features in Photoshop Extended require a graphics card with 64 MB of VRAM.

In Summary
Adobe takes care to track users of their software components and find out what does and does not perform for their needs. The new Adobe Creative Suite 3 collections recognize and are strengthened by a number of comments from consumers, improving on software that is already industry standard.

Jun2007, Digital Output

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