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Adobe Creative Suite 5 (CS5)

Apr 14, 2010 12:00 PM, By Dan Ochiva

Individual apps benefit from GPU processing.

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Adobe Creative Suite 5 (CS5)

Expanded tapeless support includes the latest DSLR cameras. Price: $2,599 (Master Collection); $1,699 (Production Premium); $1,799 (Web Premium); $1,899 (Design Premium); from $899 (Master Collection upgrade); from $599 (Production Premium, Web Premium, or Design Premium upgrade)

As has been the case over the past few years, Adobe chose NAB to announce its latest Creative Suite, now in version 5 (CS5).

Expected to ship by the end of May, the full package includes reworked versions of its leading design, video, and animation tools, along with two new products aimed at the Web: Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder.

As always, Photoshop rules as probably the most popular graphics app in the world, and it gets new tools such as the Repoussé feature, which looks to make it even more useful. Only available in Photoshop CS5 Extended, the tool allows you to create 3D shapes and text directly within the program, forgoing the usual hassle of relying on an external program. Extrusions can be created from either vector masked or text-based layers.

After Effects and Premiere Pro now run in full 64-bit mode (Mac and Windows), while Photoshop for the Mac now joins the Windows version in also running in 64-bit space, which allows access to more memory and also gives a speed boost.

While Adobe Bridge has proven itself useful in arranging and manipulating files, it's always been a separate program that you had to leave to go into one of the main apps. Now, version 5 introduces Mini Bridge, a smaller version of Bridge that works within Photoshop CS5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, and InDesign CS5.

As part of Premiere Pro, the new Mercury Playback Engine is garnering attention. Paired with one of Nvidia's high-end Quadro FX graphics cards, the software now greatly speeds up renders on 4K Red camera files, which previously could only be matched by a separate, dedicated, and pricey graphics card.

Other features include Mixer Brush (a "wet canvas" method for picking up multiple colors on a single tip, and mixing and blending them with the underlying hues on the canvas); Content-Aware Fill tool (removes parts of images while filling the space with matching lighting and tone); an updated Lens Correction filter (provides camera- and lens-specific correction for three common lens-related aberrations); and Adobe Ray Tracer (ART) 2.0, which progressively renders 3D scenes with an option to re-render after a pause, or perform selective renderings.

This is just a minimal listing of all the many improvements of what is turning into one of the very best, most inclusive tools ever. As before, you can buy most applications individually, as a bundle (Web Premium, Production Premium, and Design Premium bundles), or as a Master Collection, featuring just about everything.

 Related Links

Adobe Creative Suite 5 First Look

New Performance Features in Premiere Pro CS5

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