Incoming – Adobe CS3

It looks like the Macromedia deal brought new ideas for Adobe, so after CS2 controversial version, the company has a brilliant come back with the next version. Code name MJOLNIR (thunderstorm God Thor’s hammer) brings lots of improvements, the most visible is the performance boost, because the performance was the main flaw of CS2. There are also some interesting options about the way in which the control over image parameters is redesigned. The old way of adjusting the contrast and luminosity was improved by new algorithms , bringing significant differences – the final images have now a new, improved realistic look.
From Adjustment option the Curves together with Levels command were redone, offering now a better image control. Curves and Levels allows now black and white levels control and real time view. Important differences can be noticed at black and white conversion , a new option Black&White offers now an excellent control, with presets saving if necessary.
A step further is done at non-destructive image edit level. Now one can convert a usual layer in a Smart layer, a subset of well-known smart object from CS2 version. User can apply filters, make changes, and still came back to original image with a click of a button. Anyway, this facility comes with a price: the editing process takes place in a separate window, with lots of images recalculations, and filter applying consuming resources, a process that can last a little bit longer.
A new way of selection (apart the classical ones) is introduced: Refine Edge You can set in a visual way the selection’s parameters like feather, contrast and radius. An useful option of background changing was introduced also.
A better replacement for Magnetic Lasso, named Quick Select was also designed, bringing a more accurate selection than the older tool.
Clone Stamp tool was also the subject of improving, a new feature was added: pre-visualization. So before applying, one can the actual effect of this tool, and so he can take the correct decision.

But the most fascinating news brought by CS3, is the opening for the 3D world. Now Photoshop is capable to import 3d formats files, like 3DS, U3D, KMZ, or DAE, converted to Smart Objects. Later the user can edit this layer, rotate, adding illumination, even changing textures. Of course, the original 3D structure remains unchanged. This new feature will allow easy blending of 3D models with 2D backgrounds without any supplemental renderings. All these, together with a new improved version on Vanishing Point tool, makes me think that Photoshop designers just took a serious option about making the famous 2D program an important player on 3D graphics market.

June, 02, 2007


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