Lots of great free alternatives to Photoshop exist, but for a hardcore photo editor it is still the gold standard. The last major revision came with the release of creative suite 5 in April 2010, so an update is long overdue. Photoshop CS6 features a ton of new features such content aware filling, vastly improved performance, and the ability to streamline several of the design tools. If any of the above catches your interest you should probably head on over to the download page and grab yourself a copy of the beta.
Don't expect Adobe to give up on its Flash platform any time soon. Adobe is as enthused about Flash as it ever was, but that doesn't mean the company is going to ignore the whole HTML5 thing, either. On the contrary, Adobe just went and released an add-on pack for its Illustrator software that converts it into an HTML5 authoring tool. Here are some of the highlights:
Export named character styles as CSS
Export artwork appearances as CSS
Included selected Graphic Styles as CSS in SVG
Created parametrized SVG (vector graphics tagged with variables)
Create multiple-screen SVG (leveraging media queries to serve up design variations)
According to Adobe, most of the creations designed with the add-on pack will work in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and will probably be compatible with Internet Explorer 9.
"I'm curious to see whether this news makes it onto the Mac sites that've beaten Adobe up for a perceived lack of enthusiasm about HTML5 (tough, as it just doesn't fit that sterile, stupid narrative)," John Nack, Principal Product Manger, Adobe Photoshop, wrote in a blog post. "The funny thing is that these changes build on the SVG support that Illustrator has been shipping for ten years. Sometimes it just takes a while for the world to catch up."
We guess that Apple-induced chip on Adobe's shoulder is still there.
After 9.5 versions of Photoshop (Windows wasn’t supported until PS 2.5) it’s easy to become jaded about Adobe’s stalwart photo editor. Fortunately, Photoshop CS5 gives us something to get worked up about all over again.
Packing more than 250 new features, Photoshop CS5 is an amazing upgrade capable of performing a wide range of tasks we’ve never seen before, while simultaneously simplifying the trademark tasks we’ve come to know and love.
Adobe released Photoshop Camera Raw 6.1 today, so you can carefully disect and manipulate every pixel on your 12 megapixel image. 6.1 brings "new lens correction functionality and adds raw file support for 10 new popular camera models for Photoshop CS5 customers," according to an Adobe rep.
Updated lens correction and chromatic aberration features will allow photographers to transform their images more than ever before, and the addition of customized lens profiles will allow users to utilize Adobes new Lens Profile Creator, which is available on Adobe Labs.
Newly supported Camera Models include the Canon EOS 550D, Kodak Z981, Leaf Aptus-II 8, Aptus-II 10, Mamiya DM40, Olympus E-Pl1, Olympus E-600, Panasonic G2, G10, and the Sony A450.
Alright, Adobe Creative Suite 5, here's the deal: I really, really want to put my hands on all the neat features and general awesomeness you offer. That's not an admission of a fanboy, it's a gentle acknowledgment that this is the industry-leading suite of software for those that dabble with multimedia across a variety of formats.
That said, not all of us have a stock portfolio to dump off in an effort to raise the funds to purchase said Creative Suite. And this is the weekly Freeware Files column after all. Which leads us to a grand proposition: Can one recreate the best of Adobe's CS5 with freeware and open-source applications?
Adobe today officially announced its Creative Suite 5 bundle, calling it a "breakthrough release" with full version upgrades of flagship tools.
There are over 250 new features introduced in CS5, including native 64-bit support for Windows and Macs (Photoshop, Premier Pro, and After Effects), new stroke options, better edge detecting technology, and a nifty addition called Content-Aware Fill. Adobe previously posted a demo of its Content-Aware Fill technology (see here), which allows users to quickly remove an object or element from a photo without worrying about filling in the empty background space. With Content-Aware Fill, Photoshop CS5 automatically replaces the removed object with background elements in a matter of seconds, a process that would take far longer if performed manually.
There's a lot included here, such as enabling content and application creation for Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2; tighter integration with Nvidia 3D graphics cards, specifically with the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine so CS5 users can open projects faster, refine effects-rich HD sequences in real time, and play back complex projects without rendering; and better online support with Dreamweaver CS5 now supporting Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress.
CS5 products are scheduled to ship within 30 days. Pre-order and pricing information here.