Adobe Creative Suite 5: an in-depth guide

Adobe CS5 features new tools to improve your art and mundane but useful productivity aids

Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 has just been announced, and here we have all you need to know about the new collection of creative tools, including step-by-step guides to the main applications. It's expected to be on the shelves by the end of May, featuring revamped versions of its leading arts, design, video and animation tools – plus two new web-design applications, Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder.

The suite features new tools to improve your art (such as Photoshop CS5’s new 3D extrusion tool Repoussé), and mundane but useful productivity aids (such as InDesign’s Gap tool) that make using the suite that bit smoother.

Behind the scenes are some seriously ramped-up components – such as 64-bit After Effects and Premiere Pro to make animating and editing faster than ever – and at last a 64-bit Photoshop for Mac (Windows went 64-bit with CS4). In today’s time-sensitive workflows that means more than any amount of whizzy features.

With each new version, Adobe tweaks Creative Suite’s interface to make the applications work more smoothly, both on their own and together. In version 5, these include a new Mini Bridge – a slimmed-down version of Bridge that works within Photoshop CS5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, and InDesign CS5, providing image access and management.

As before, you can buy most applications individually, as a bundle (Web, Production, and Design bundles), or as a Master Collection, featuring everything.

Photoshop CS5

1_Adobe_Creative_Suite_5_a_n_depth_guide

Photoshop seems to introduce a ‘wow’ feature with each version. This time round there’s more than one. Digital artists are well served with the Mixer brush, a new paint system with a ‘wet canvas’ method for picking up multiple colours on a single tip, and mixing and blending them with the underlying hues on the canvas. The Content-Aware Fill tool removes elements from an image, magically filling the space with matching lighting, tone, and noise.

The Refine Radius tool makes creating accurate selections of intricate elements such as hair more achievable.

More than ever, Photoshop is a tool for digital photographers. The Lens Correction filter provides quick camera- and lens-specific correction for three common lens-related aberrations: geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting.

For 3D workflows, there’s the Adobe Ray Tracer (ART) 2.0. This progressively renders 3D scenes with an option to re-render after a pause, or perform selective renderings.

Another significant feature is Repoussé, which lets you quickly extrude text to create logos and 3D artwork. Once a model is created, you can use new tools to easily load a material and drop it into different meshes. Also new, the Shadow Catcher feature lets you easily generate and adjust a shadow on the ground plane of a scene.

For further realism, you can use an HDR image to light your scene, or create depth-of-field effects by adjusting the zone of sharpness with the new Distance and Blur controls.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Adobe Creative Suiteadobe

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Digital Arts staff

Digital Arts Magazine
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?