Adobe CS4 – First Look!
I realize this sounds terribly geeky of me, but I’ve been squirming in anticipation of receiving the latest upgrade of Creative Suite (CS4) for some time now. Adobe’s raison d’etre has now finally arrived, so naturally I wasted no time installing it on my aging MacBook Pro. One of the primary reasons for wanting Adobe’s latest is the fact that though Creative Suite 3 would run on the Intel Mac, the applications had never been completely optimized for the Intel processor. This translated into unpredictable and sluggish performance, especially when working in Photoshop CS3.
Photoshop 11.0 (CS4)
The new Photoshop CS4 launches quickly and displays a streamlined and snappy interface. Adobe has been paying a great deal of attention in recent releases to interface design and appear to be taking up Quark’s mantra of improving productivity through intelligent layout of tools. Minor display tweaks show promise for improving the editing environment. For example, if you view an image at the pixel level, Photoshop CS4 displays a thin, neutrally colored key line between the pixels, making it much easier to see the boundaries between like colors.
More significant (and mysterious) is the Content-Aware scaling tool for resizing images. Somehow Photoshop is able to identify key elements in an image and protect them from distortion when the image is scaled non-proportionally (as shown in the examples). Naturally this works quite well with images provided by Adobe, but any user is able to create masks to “protect” any elements in an image from distortion when scaling… Sorcery! Witchcraft, I say!
My first impressions of Photoshop are positive, the application seems much speedier than its predecessor. Of course, the first thing I checked was whether Adobe had included the developers code-name for the build… and they did – just hold down the modifier key (Mac – Command, Win – Ctrl) and select “About Photoshop” and see for yourself.
Next post: A quick peek at InDesign CS4