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Adobe Creative Suite 3: New Launch Throws in the Kitchen Sink, Too

3D integration. One of the primary features of Adobe’s new Photoshop CS3 Extended is the ability to integrate 3D objects into Photoshop, merge layers on to the 3D object, and then output the merged composite to Premiere, After Effects, or Flash. While this doesn’t have direct applicability to streaming–and one could counter-argue that 3D integration is best handled in a 3D program that imports textures from Photoshop–Photoshop has become a tool that many content creators use like a Swiss Army Knife for a variety of tasks. Photoshop’s ability to handle 3D files means that it’s an easy way to create video wraps of objects, which could lead to some interesting streaming implications if Flash also begins to handle 3D objects with live video overlays. This might not be as far-fetched as it first sounds, since the Serious Magic acquisition yields additional streaming tools, evident in CS3 as On Location and Ultra.

Expanded markets. Adobe’s placed its CS3 Production Premium squarely at the cross-section of traditional static web media and more dynamic rich media. A look at Adobe’s targeted customers on its website includes corporate and event videographers and independent filmmakers–both groups that use small crews on tight deadlines–as well as motion graphics professionals and interactive designers, encouraging the latter to integrate video into traditional static websites. Adobe also targets the educator with the intent to "prepare students for working with a wide range of file formats on both Windows and Mac platforms" while delivering work via multiple media types including Flash, PDF, QuickTime, and other streaming formats.

Mac support for Premiere Pro, and practically every other Adobe tool. Speaking of cross-platform, Adobe has launched all its CS3 bundles on both platforms, including tools that it had removed from the Mac platform such as Premiere. According to Adobe officials during pre-launch interviews, this is due to two factors: first, demand from Macintosh customers who used Macromedia and Adobe products for print and web, but wanted the option of also using Adobe video products as they worked to combine their end results into Flash (and who currently lack roundtripping workflow options because they were split across two platforms). Second, the growing number of Intel-based Macintosh users allowed Adobe to create a single code base that could be easily ported between Windows and Macintosh machines.

In summary, Adobe has placed a Herculean effort behind integrating the Macromedia and Adobe products together into a cohesive set of product offerings. The company has also returned to its roots in the creative class, moving away from the ill-fated attempt to push its video products like Premiere as corporate alternatives to other product suites. And the move back to cross-platform guarantees Adobe remains at the forefront of innovative tools regardless of the content creator’s choice of workstation.

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