Today is one of those days that designers celebrate and dread: Adobe unveils its latest Creative Suite—Number 4—with new pro versions of Photoshop, Premiere, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, After Effects and more. Heavy users wait with bated breath to see if their desired tweaks have been added, knowing that if the answer is "yes," then somebody's going to have to spend some dough fast—full versions run from $US1,700 to $US2,500 for the full Master Collection. If the answer is "no," it could be another year before the problems are solved.
This year's updates, which number into the hundreds, mainly concern workflow, that is, when you work with objects in one program, how well those adjustments are tracked and understood by the various other apps. With a heady number of improvements to so many super hardcore apps, I decided to paste in the main press release below, a gallery of the best new Photoshop screens, and links to key What's New PDFs, and let you go on your own missions of discovery.
Adobe Introduces Creative Suite 4 Product Family
Radical Workflow Breakthroughs, New Levels of Flash Expressiveness and Integration Anchor Adobe's Biggest Software Release
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sept. 23, 2008 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 product family, a milestone release of the industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow. Delivering radical workflow breakthroughs that bring down the walls between designers and developers — and packed with hundreds of feature innovations—the new Creative Suite 4 product line advances the creative process across print, Web, mobile, interactive, film and video production. With new levels of integration and expressiveness for Flash technology across the entire product line, Adobe's biggest software release to date includes Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design editions, Creative Suite 4 Web editions, Creative Suite 4 Production Premium, Creative Suite 4 Master Collection, as well as 13 point products, 14 integrated technologies and seven services.
Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection CS4 combines virtually all of Adobe's new design and development applications, technologies and services in a single box — the most comprehensive creative environment ever delivered.
"Designers and developers are shaping the way that people consume information, share ideas, sell products, tell stories and create memorable experiences — in print, online and via mobile handsets," said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer at Adobe. "Whether you're creating a rich Internet application, a video or a best-selling magazine, Adobe Creative Suite 4 delivers powerful cross-media technologies that have the ability to elevate products, brands and ideas above the clutter."
Broad Integration and Efficiency Improve Creative Workflow
Adobe Creative Suite 4 offers unprecedented choice among editions and stand-alone products, with comprehensive support for the most cutting-edge workflows for virtually any design discipline. Customers can choose from six suites or full version upgrades of 13 stand-alone applications, including Photoshop® CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, InDesign® CS4 (see separate releases), Illustrator® CS4, Flash® CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver® CS4, After Effects® CS4, and Adobe Premiere® Pro CS4.
A simplified workflow in Adobe Creative Suite 4 enables users to design across media more efficiently by making it easier to complete common tasks and switch between mediums without leaving a project. InDesign CS4 includes a new Live Preflight tool that allows designers to catch production errors and a newly customizable Links panel to place files more efficiently. The revolutionary new Content-Aware Scaling tool in Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS4 Extended automatically recomposes an image as it is resized, preserving vital areas as it adapts to new dimensions. An expanded version of Dynamic Link in CS4 Production Premium enables users to move content between After Effects CS4, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Soundbooth® CS4, and Encore® CS4, so updates can be seen instantly without rendering. Designers using the Adobe Creative Suite 4 product family will be able to gain unprecedented creative control using the new expressive features and visual performance improvements in Adobe Flash Player 10 to deliver breakthrough Web experiences across multiple browsers and operating systems.
Adobe Creative Suite 4 brings 3D center-stage providing the ability to paint, composite, and animate 3D models using familiar tools. Flash CS4 Professional now offers the ability to apply tweens to objects instead of keyframes, providing greater control over animation attributes. Also in Flash, the new Bones tool helps create more realistic animations between linked objects. With a searchable library of more than 450 dynamically updated device profiles from leading manufacturers, Adobe Device Central CS4 (see separate release) enables users to easily test mobile content designed using many of the Creative Suite 4 products.
Adobe Creative Suite 4 significantly expands access to services* available to creative professionals and developers who want to collaborate online. Adobe ConnectNow, a service of Acrobat.com, can be accessed from InDesign CS4, Illustrator CS4, Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop Extended CS4, Flash CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver CS4, Fireworks® CS4, and Acrobat® 9 Pro, allowing real-time collaboration with two colleagues or clients. Designers can also share colour harmonies with Adobe Kuler™, which is now accessible from within InDesign CS4, Illustrator CS4, Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop Extended CS4, Flash CS4 and Fireworks CS4. Other online resources include: Adobe Community Help for technical questions; Resource Central for accessing video and audio product-related news and tutorials, as well as Soundbooth scores, sound effects, and other stock media; and Adobe Bridge Home, a customizable resource for tips, tutorials, news and inspirational content.
Pricing and Availability
Adobe Creative Suite 4 and its associated point products are scheduled to ship in October 2008 with availability through Adobe Authorised Resellers and the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/go/gn_store.
Estimated street price for the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium will be US$1799, US$1699 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Web Premium, US$1699 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium, and US$2499 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection.
Adobe plans to offer tiered upgrade pricing from previous versions. For a limited time, validly licensed customers of eligible versions of Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Production Studio and Macromedia Studio will be able to upgrade to Creative Suite 4 for the CS3 upgrade price.
For more detailed information about features, upgrade policies, pricing, and international versions please visit: www.adobe.com/creativesuite.
Adobe Flash Player 10 is currently available in beta as a free download from Adobe Labs at www.adobe.com/go/astro with general availability expected by the end of the year. Adoption of the previous update to Adobe Flash Player 9 set all-time records by achieving over 80 percent reach on Internet enabled desktops in less than six months and Flash Player 10 is expected to achieve a similar adoption rate.
About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information - anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.