Adobe Sweetens CS3 With Cross-Platform Tools

Adobe Systems released two suites of software — Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium and Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection — representing a major step for the company as it integrates its recent acquisitions.

“They promised and they delivered,” Melissa Webster, program vice president for content and digital media technologies with IDC, told TechNewsWorld.

Among those acquisitions, Macromedia was by far the most important. Now, the video and audio production tools of that company are combined with the graphic design tools of Adobe’s older product line to create a “whole that is greater than the sum of the parts,” Webster asserted.

Video on the Move

Production Premium is a collection of integrated, cross-platform, post-production software tools targeting video professionals working with film, broadcast, DVD, Web and mobile devices, the company said.

One of the most useful applications added to the suite is Sound Booth, noted Webster. In the past, videographers looking to integrate sound into their visual material had to use higher-end audio production tools. Now, they can use a more intuitive, less technical program oriented more toward their needs and integrated better into their natural workflow, she said.

In addition, the video applications include features that enable videographers to view their footage in the field and assess its quality. This goes a long way when shooting video in temporal or remote locations. Learning after the shoot that the image quality or composition is not up to par can be frustrating and expensive.

Multipurpose Design

Master Collection combines 12 of Adobe’s design and development tools, software traditionally used by graphic design, marketing and Web professionals. However, these designers increasingly are being asked to work either in multiple media at once or with a view toward repurposing content, said Webster.

For example, an advertising campaign originally designed for a print publication might be transferred to the Web shortly after its launch. That transfer involves much more than simply resizing images or recoloring a background, Webster stressed. The fact that the Creative Suite line provides much closer integration among design tools will help teams of designers that must cope with a variety of outlets.

No More Platform Wars

Adobe’s software applications have been at the center of the operating system wars for decades. The Creative Suite line, though, is available for both Windows and Mac OS platforms — a big step in the right direction, Laura DiDio, research fellow with Yankee Group, told TechNewsWorld. “The operating system is, and should be, a moot point,” she said.

However, the operating system has been anything but moot to the users of Adobe software in the past. The video production tool Premier, for example, now runs on Macintosh computers for the first time in the software’s history. That’s a big deal to video production shops that had to use other programs for video production in order to stay with the Mac platform for other design applications.

Similarly, graphic designers historically have clung to their Macs despite the fact that popular illustration and design applications have been available in Windows versions for some time. Now, design studios that have felt pressure to switch to one platform or another will make those decisions based on the merits of the operating systems, not the applications that run on them, noted DiDio.

Both suites are available immediately. The estimated retail price for the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection is US$2,499. The estimated retail price for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium is $1,699.

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