By Jennifer Farley

After The Frenzy, What Are The Really Cool New Features To Look Forward To In CS5?

By Jennifer Farley

Now that the dust has settled and the hype has died a little on the CS5 launch of one week ago, here are five features that I’m really looking forward to trying out. (Note: I didn’t include the Photoshop Content Aware Fill in this list because I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago, but it too looks absolutely amazing.)

Flash Catalyst

Not so much a “feature” as an entire program, Flash Catalyst is an alternate development framework for Flash designers which should hopefully endear designers to Flash again. When Actionscript 3 came along, I believe many designers lost interest in Flash because. let’s face it, it became very difficult to use if you didn’t have a programmer’s mind and were not too hot in the coding department. Flash Catalyst allows you transform designs created in Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Fireworks into interactive designs. You can read more about it and download a Beta version here.

CMS Support In Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver didn’t seem to get quite the same triumphant showcase during the launch of CS5 as Photoshop, but one of the features I’m very excited about is the “live view” option. This allows you to browse pages populated with postings from your database from inside Dreamweaver. Designers will now be able to work on CMS themes including WordPress from within Dreamweaver. Previously, it was a bit of a messy operation where you would have to download a page from the browser and the re-attach the style sheet locally to see how the changes affected it or use something like XAMPP to run a local database. This will be a major time saver.

Integrated Browserlab In Dreamweaver

Browserlab is a service that has been available online that allows you test your website in a variety of browsers. This service is now fully integrated in Dreamweaver

Puppet Warp In Photoshop

With Puppet Warp you can choose control points and warp objects around them. You really need to see the video below. It looks like a huge amount of fun but I can think of practical applications where it would be a huge time saver. Photography will never be the same again. If you added a timeline here, you’d nearly have Flash.

Natural Media Brushes In Illustrator

If you’re interested in digital painting but love your vectors, the Bristle brush in Illustrator might be just what you’re looking for. You can paint with vectors that resemble real?world brush strokes and define bristle length, stiffness, and shape. This is very impressive.

What do you think of these features? Would they influence you into upgrading or buying CS5? Any other features that you’ve seen or read about online that you find interesting?

  • Nice to hear about some of the new features, but I just bought cs4. I don’t have the budget to keep shelling out more money for a few features each time they release a new version. Adobe must really need the money badly.

  • LittleLalu

    I like the sound of the new Flash and the puppet warp in Photoshop looks amazing! At the moment I only have a very old version of Photoshop (CS) as it is so I can’t wait to get my hands on the CS5 version! Won’t know myself so yes, the new features have already influenced a very near future rush to the Mac store! When will it be released in Australia?

  • Martin

    Yes, Catalyst is reason enough to upgrade. The integration between InDesign and Flash will really change things too. Very exciting!

  • Danny

    Dude, no mention of the flash inteactions in InDesign?!

  • Jake

    I appreciate this distillation of the latest version of Adobe’s Creative Suite. You are absolutely correct that there is a lot of dust (and smoke and mirrors) surrounding Adobe product announcements. I’m disappointed that we don’t really have much outside the Flash product. And designers should really consider whether they should continue to code on a proprietary format.
    >>hopefully endear designers to Flash again<<
    *Hopefully* designers will realize that Flash is tying them to a proprietary and outdated product. 15 years ago when the web was young, Flash was a big deal, but today a host of open source (read: no upgrade cost) products can do anything that can be done with Flash – and without the need for additional client support.
    If coding concerns you, do as I do: design the front-end and engage a coder for the back-end. I spend less time, deliver projects faster, and make more money. Do what you're good at and farm the tough stuff out. Either way the client is paying for it: either dozens of hours of YOUR time or 3-4 hours for a competent coder.
    Another concern: Did Adobe work on any of the performance issues? It's nice to have a new set of brushes in Illustrator, but unless Adobe is tuning the underlying applications, the brushes are just one more thing to slow down an already slow product.
    Just more feature-itis, not a real upgrade-worthy product.

  • sebgreen

    I can not wait for cs5, just need to persuade work to buy it. Flash catalyst and browser lab are my two big selling points.

  • Type0 you will have more than enough features in CS4 to keep you going.

    Littlelalu, not sure when it ships in Oz. It will probably only be a few weeks after the announcement, so pretty soon.

    Martin and Danny I completely missed the new stuff in InDesign, will have to go and check that out.

    Jake you make some very good points and I certainly like the idea of just doing the nice front end stuff in Flash and getting someone else to do the hard bits : ) I have to admit I am an Adobe fan and I will upgrade because of my work as a trainer. As a designer though, I probably use most of the features that have been there since waaaaay back which sometimes people overlook in favour of the new bright and shiney bits.

  • I am wondering how they will modify the Adobe Certified Expert training track for CS5? I am getting a bit frustrated that Adobe is not doing a better job in this process. Does anyone else the ACE track worth it?

  • @Austince Adobe Certified Expert certification expires 90 days after a new exam is published for a designated product upgrade.

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