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By GEORGE MAESTRI DCC Adobe CS5 Master Suite I n April, Adobe updated its Creative Suite 5 (CS5). Every Creative Suite update is a massive undertaking for Adobe, because every one of its core products gets updated—from the venerable Photoshop to Web design software such as Dreamweaver and Flash, to graphic design products such as Illustrator and InDesign, to video products such as Af- ter Effects and Premiere Pro. Tis creates a lot of new features in a lot of different packages, so this review will focus on Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro— applications most commonly used in CGI production. All these applications offer increased speed and stabil- ity, as well as a number of innovative new features. Te good news is the key applications in CS5 are now 64-bit native. Photoshop still works on 32- and 64-bit systems, but After Effects and Premiere Pro have gone totally 64-bit. In order to use these appli- cations, a 64-bit operating system is required: either Snow Leopard on the Mac, or Vista or Windows 7 on the PC. Sadly, Windows XP is no longer supported. Te switch to 64 bit is mostly to increase perfor- mance, allowing for faster data processing as well as larger memory spaces, which allow you to work with larger images and process them faster. Te switch to 64 bit only also seems to have increased stability. Photoshop Photoshop is really the core application of CS5, as it is used through- out the suite for everything from Web design, to publishing, to mo- tion graphics and special effects. Tis version of Photoshop has a number of new features used in CGI production as well as increased performance. Probably the most interesting and powerful new feature in Photoshop CS5 is that it is now aware of the content within an image and can use this to create intelligent fills, often eliminating the need for the clone or healing brush when retouching images. Tis allows Photoshop to auto- matically do things like use the surrounding content to fill in an image. If you want to delete an object out of the scene, for example, simply lasso it and hit “delete.” Te re- sulting dialog box will allow you to use the surrounding content to fill in the deleted pixels. A few tests found that the con- tent awareness features work quite Creative Suite 5 $2599 Master Collection (Mac or Windows) Adobe 46 August/September 2010 well but can be dependent on the type of content it is replacing. Delet- ing some rocks out of grassy field, for example, worked quite well; Pho- toshop filled in the grass fairly seamlessly. Deleting an object against a wood-paneled wall didn’t work so well because the pattern of the wood panels wasn’t matched. Te more you work with the tool, however, the The Mercury Playback Engine speeds up Premiere Pro CS5 considerably, allowing it to handle multiple HD streams in real time. more you’ll understand how it works. When it does work, it makes things go much faster. People who do illustration or retouching in Photoshop will appreci- ate improvements in Photoshop’s brushes, which allow for much more realistic painting. Brushes now support wet edges and much more real- istic brush strokes. Of course, these are all tied to pressure sensitivity, so those who use tablets can paint with more freedom than ever. Puppet Warp, After Effects Puppet Warp is another interesting tool, which is pretty much bor- rowed from the Puppet Tool that has been part of After Effects for some time. Te tool allows you to use puppet pins to deform an image. Tis is particularly useful for repositioning objects, like a person’s arm. You could place puppet pins at the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, then use these to manipulate the arm, much like a puppet. After Effects CS5 also benefits from the 64-bit switch, and the added speed and increased memory space certainly is welcome, particularly for those working with large files, such as HD and film projects. Riding the wave of HD video adoption, After Effects CS5 has added support for some of the more popular professional HD formats. Tese include RED

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