I went to the Adobe CS3 Creative License conference yesterday at the Hynes convention center in Boston and was splendidly surprised at all the whiz bang of it. Aside from the presentations, they gave us a whole month’s worth of training from Lynda.com. Plus, the people at On1 software gave us $400 worth of plug-in software for Photoshop CS3! In our little Adobe bags they also included a DVD version of the video workshop which includes video tutorials for all of the products in the creative suite. Well worth the $79 price for attendance.
First up, Terry White gave us an overview of the entire suite. He got a lot of oohs and ahhs from the audience by showing the new Quick Select tool in Photoshop, Smart Filters, and the ability to load and play video files. There were some cool new features in Contribute that allow you to edit and update a blog. Terry took a couple of snapshots of the audience and then posted live to his own blog. I was impressed with the new version of Premiere and the ability to drag and drop After Effects comps directly into Premiere.
Terry and the next presenter Sebastian, spent a lot of time extolling the goods of Bridge. The new Bridge home has some video tutorials that you can view online. Sebastian then went into all of the cool new features of Camera Raw 4.1 like, parametric curves, clarity and vibrance, and split toning. The wildest thing that he showed though was the Auto Align and Auto Blend features in Photoshop. You can align images on multiple layers. The Auto Blend features works well when stitching together panoramas.
Sebastian then went into Kuler and talked about how you can use it with the Live Color feature in Illustrator. The ability to manipulate colors in a smarter way with color groups in the Swatches palette and the new color guide are going to improve the non-color savvy designers creations. InDesign has some great new transparency and effects. Now you can have transparency for fills, stroke, type, and object. InDesign CS2 only allows object transparency, so this is big.
The web portion of the presentation was particularly weak. The presenter (Kyle) had a lot of difficulty getting anything to work and within a few minutes he had blown his demo completely. It was hard for me to pay any more attention to him because he kept mucking things up so badly. People in the audience had to help him remember things and Terry white had to help him through his demo on FireWorks. He fumbled through the Spry Framework in Dreamweaver, which was a particular bummer. He was able to recoup though, during the Flash portion, showing us the new primitive objects and native Illustrator/Photoshop support. Copying and pasting motion tweens from one object to the next is really great and, of course, copying a tween as ActionScript is even cooler.
Towards the end of the day, it was all about video and Kevan showed us some awesome features in Photoshop. Yes, that’s right, I said Photoshop. You can now export from Vanishing Point an image in a special 3D for After Effects VP Exchange format. Once in After Effects, you can treat the object as a 3-D element and do pans and motion. There’s an awesome and hilarious new feature in AE called the puppet tool. Kevan took a live action shot of a person doing kung-fu and rearranged the kick of the person to reach out to different locations, kicking away a piece of text. Finally, he showed us some very cool features of SoundBooth, which has some really remarkable audio clean up tools.
All in all, it was a great day of learning and I am very excited about the possibilities. I’m really excited about Flash and After Effects especially.