updated 11:15 am EDT, Mon April 12, 2010
To ship by end of April
Adobe has formally unveiled Creative Suite 5, the next generation of its flagship software collection. The new suite makes several major changes, perhaps most notably upgrading Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro to 64-bit code on Mac and Windows systems, improving speed on modern multi-core processors. Premiere Pro further supports acceleration from NVIDIA-based video cards, making it practical to edit in real-time or play back projects without rendering first.
Photoshop CS5 includes several new tools, such as Content-Aware Fill, which removes content from a scene while replacing it with material that matches in terms of lighting, noise and tone. The Mixer brush picks up several colors at once, and blends them with existing hues on a canvas. Some other additions include HDR Pro, for better HDR compositing; a Lens Correction filter, covering problems like chromatic aberration; and Ray Tracer 2.0, which can render selectively and re-render after a pause. The basic app will be $699 new; Photoshop CS5 Extended, adding extra 3D functions, is set to cost $999.
Illustrator CS5 gains the Perspective Grid tool, which makes it possible to draw in 3D or align to a particular perspective. Users can also align to the Pixel Grid, and break and merge objects using the Shape Builder. The Bristle Brush simulates realistic brush strokes, and users can now take advantage of as many as 100 artboards while working on a document. Full pricing will be $599.
InDesign has improved with various framing touches, such as a new Selection tool that lets users rotate, scale and position frames using handle controls; persistent frame fitting means that the relationship between images and frames remains the same even as frame dimensions and white space are adjusted. Headlines and crossheads can span two columns, and multiple page sizes can now be combined within a single document. InDesign CS5 will cost $699; InCopy, a companion writing and editing tool, should be priced at $249.
DreamWeaver's key addition is CSS Inspect, which displays CSS properties and hence lets people edit style elements. Authoring and testing support has been integrated for platforms like WordPress and Joomla, and a Dynamically Related Files tool provides access to a webpage's necessary content.
Flash has received the most attention in the suite after Photoshop, with the central ability to output projects as iPhone apps, or code for other portable devices. Two new connected programs in the suite are Flash Catalyst CS5, which can be used to produce desktop apps, and Flash Builder 4, which is focused on the AIR platform. A Text Layout Framework component for Flash enables more elaborate formatting. Flash Professional CS5 will be $699, with Flash Catalyst costing $399. Flash Builder 4 Standard is set to be $249 versus the Premium edition's $699.
Premiere Pro has gained broader format support, and increased metadata capabilities such as integration with the Adobe Story script development tool, and OnLocation live metadata capturing. Speech Search and Face Detection features make it easier to locate a particular piece of footage. After Effects' upgrades include the Roto Brush, an Auto-Keyframe mode and better color management including a new custom Color Look-Up Table to ensure consistent cross-platform appearance. Premiere Pro should cost $799.
Several different editions of the suite will be shipping within a month, beginning with the $2,599 Master Collection. Following in price will be Design Premium ($1,899), Web Premium ($1,799), Production Premium ($1,699) and Design Standard ($1,299). Various cheaper upgrade options will be available for individual apps as well as the bundles.
Adobe is simultaneously launching CS Live, a set of five online services integrating with each of the CS5 apps. These include BrowserLab, CS Review, Acrobat.com, Adobe Story and SiteCatalyst NetAverages. The two most important may be Story, for collaborative scriptwriting, and Review, used to go over designs.