May is off to quite the exciting start as Adobe brings us several huge updates. This time it’s not just updates as usual; their development team has been hard at work on new products and even new ways for all of their great software tools to be purchased and used by businesses. Aside from taking a look at the new HTML5 programs like Adobe Edge and Adobe Muse – which finally ditched its beta boots for a 1.0 version – we’ll also go over the new features of the main Adobe products as well as explain how the Adobe Creative Cloud will work.
Adobe Creative Cloud
First things first. What’s Adobe Creative Cloud? Well, Adobe defines it as “a digital hub where you can explore, create, share, and deliver your work using any of the Adobe Creative Suite desktop tools” but a simpler description would be that it’s a subscription based edition that includes every program in the Creative Suite 6 collection, and also has a lot of perks for businesses in the areas of collaborating and publishing.
David Wadhwani from Adobe summed it up with “Adobe Creative Cloud members receive full access to the entire portfolio of Creative Suite 6 tools, integration with our touch tools, file storage and sharing services and Web hosting – everything they need to go from idea to finished work, at a breakthrough monthly subscription price.” So it probably won’t be something most individuals will have a need for, but its $50 a month price tag is very appealing to businesses.
New Adobe Products
Adobe Creative Suite 6
Okay, let’s get to the juicy details for all of the individual artists and designers out there. Here are some of the most important new features to Adobe’s most famous and most popular programs on the market.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 saw improvements to the Mercury Graphics Engine that’s used with tools such as Liquify and Puppet Warp. I haven’t tested this yet, but seeing as how Liquify used to be an incredibly laggy processor hog, this is great news. Another big update is a video creating tool (yes, in Photoshop) that’s very similar to Windows Movie Maker. Two of my favorite updates are the new cropping and blurring tools, which will be used quite often. Photographers will be ecstatic to play around with the new adaptive wide angle tools, improved auto corrections, and other content aware tools that help keep your scenes clean and professional looking. As usual, enhanced user interfaces mean simpler workflows to help us achieve quicker results, and Adobe Illustrator CS6 saw many UI updates as well.
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 also saw improvements in its Mercury Engine. Other features include customizable monitor panels, new adjustment layers, expanded multicam editing, dynamic timeline trimming, and a warp stabilizer effect. Adobe After Effects CS6 impressed with its 3D camera tracker controls, ray-traced extruded objects, and variable mask feathering. With updates like those it’s no surprise that it now has integration with Adobe Illustrator. Lastly, just because Adobe is putting time into developing Adobe Edge doesn’t mean that they’re skimping on Adobe Flash CS6. It now has sprite sheet generation, new support for HTML5, more platform and device support, prepackaged Adobe AIR mobile simulation, and Stage 3D targeting to help render performances.
You can check out the other new features for each product as well as all of their pricing programs through the Adobe buying guide page. I haven’t updated Adobe products too often over the years, but both CS5 and CS6 have both been pretty impressive, and I’m definitely looking forward to CS7 in the future. Another year brings another great update.