Adobe has really outdone itself with Creative Suite CS6; the products are nothing short of stellar. Many more of the applications support 64-bit processing, which Photoshop has had for some time, but Illustrator sorely lacked, until now. Adobe reports it will keep moving toward 64-bit which is great for Mac users, but not so good for users still rafting on their trusty copy of Windows XP.
Probably the most impressive changes are (insert shocked face here) in Photoshop. Adobe has taken 3D to wholly new levels in Photoshop with true mesh axis manipulation and some other cool controls that I've yet to figure out, but hope to. The whole suite benefits from Adobe's jaw-dropping Mercury Graphics engine that makes this suite a five-star offering. Photoshop gets a host of new image manipulation tools that are in a word: awesome. New blur tools are impressive and often many more options and precise control not available in previous versions of Photoshop. In all, there are 65+ major new features in Photoshop alone.
For web designers and developers, Dreamweaver CS6 gets true HTML5 and CSS3 page building; ah – finally a good HTML5 tool for rapid page development and app building. Sure an old guy like me will probably still prefer hand-coding, but a little help is never a bad thing. In addition, Edge, a new HTML5 animation tool, makes Flash for web an outdated proposition.
Adobe has also done something very crafty in the way that it licenses the suite by offering a new Creative Cloud license to current Creative Suite users. In short, rather than fork out hundreds of dollars for a sliver of the suite's products, users can opt for a $49 a month full license ($29 a month for education/academic). As a previous Creative Suite owner, I had a decision to make, shell out another $449 to upgrade the suite (Design & Web Premium) I had from CS5 to CS6 or move to the cloud license. Ultimately the better bargain, for the long haul, is the cloud. Not only does Adobe promise Creative Cloud users access to future upgrades, but you get access to the whole
Master Collection suite of products. They also provide some value-added cloud storage for files and connections to third-party print services.
While most of my work is web and image related, having access to the Master Collection of CS products is a nice thing. I often do print projects on the side, so having access to InDesign is a huge plus. One thing I don't do much of is video editing, and it’s nice to know that I can use high-end products like After Effects without having to buy the full Master Collection suite upgrade which often rivals a beefy mortgage payment. This pricing matrix gives you the lay of the land:
My only beef – and this is slight
– and maybe even fussy: Adobe uses raster
pointers instead of vector
pointers. Bad, bad … bad, bad, bad
. On very high-resolution screens, Mac pointers are simply too small, which means increasing the default pointer size. Sadly, raster pointers on such a high-end software suite are a bit of a disappointment, something for Adobe to consider in future releases.
About Tim Staney
has more than ten years (since 1997) of web development experience building enterprise-grade web applications for Fortune 500, small business and not-for-profit enterprises across the United States and Canada over a wide-range of industries. Tim specializes in information architecture, content management with a keen focus on user experience, and social media integration. Tim Staney
is a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida and active member of his community. Staney
regularly presents to professional and community groups, speaking on social media, social marketing, web content management and web strategy.
Tim Staney is a member of the American Marketing Association and <uwebd />, University Web Developers as well as the St. Peter's Episcopal Cathedral Communications Task Force. Tim is the Web Content Manager at St. Petersburg College working for the Marketing and Public Information department managing content in the college's Ektron content management system. Tim also teaches courses like Social Marketing for Small Buisness and Designing Effective Websites for St. Petersburg College's Learn to Earn program.
Except where otherwise attributed, the statements, thoughts, views and beliefs in this blog post are solely those of the author.