Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Things I Like About Adobe CS3 Master Collection: My Quick, Mini Review

This could be known as my first review of Adobe CS3 Master Collection. I have already posted several times about how excited I was for the launch of this suite of software and now it has been out for six months or so.

Graphic Design

I am very excited about the many features this suite includes. The biggest thing I like the most is the integration they all have between each other. An example of this can be found in Flash. In previous versions of Flash (before Adobe bought Macromedia) you would have to export all your design elements from Photoshop and Illustrator and then import them one-by-one into Flash. Now you can just save your Photoshop or Illustrator file and then bring it into Flash. It will allow you to preserve all your layers and layer names that you created in Photoshop. A lot of the time I would be laying out my Flash websites/animations/ads in Photoshop and Illustrator and then have to one by one migrate each element into Flash and then organize each thing on top of one another in the appropriate sequence in the layers. Now I just save one file, open it in Flash, tell it to preserve my layers, and BANG... it is done. This feature can sometimes save hour of work. On Flash ads I would create, it could save me up to 80% of the time it was originally taking me. Dreamweaver also has some great Photoshop integration and many of the other products do as well. Just using elements from Illustrator into Photoshop has gotten a bit more advanced with what you can do more with the Smart Objects.

The video applications are amazing in CS3. Final Cut is great, and so are a lot of the other leading video editing tools, but I have found that the video tools inside CS3 are the most dangerous because of the great integration they have with each other. I can take an animated title I made in After Effects (motion graphics software) and just save the project file. I just import that project file into Premiere (video editing software) and it acts just like a video file that I had rendered from After Effects. Not only is this great because it saves rendering time, it is also great because I can make further edits to that same After Effects project file, re-save it, and then it automatically updates inside Premiere with out any rendering or exportation of a video file. This saves tones of time and makes for a much more efficient work flow. Of course, Photoshop and Illustrator have great integration with the video tools as well. I also like Sound Booth. Sometimes there is a car horn or a hum from an overhead vent that is not that noticeable when recording. Sound booth allows you to edit out that sound frequency with out hurting the audio you are trying to preserve. This makes for crisp, clear, and clean sound that you can directly edit by a click of a button while inside Premiere and when you save it, it updates the sound inside your existing video you are working on within Premiere.

These are just a few things that blew my mind after using this software the past months. Adobe CS3 Master Collection is the most mind blowing software suite I have ever seen and used and every creative professional who is as well rounded as me, dabbling in design and video, should most definitely have it. It is a bit pricey but worth every penny. It costs $2,500 for the Master Collection but if you are a student you can get it for around $1,500 or even upgrade if you own an old Adobe Creative Suite or a Macromedia suite. They also have five other types of suites for creative professionals (geared toward graphic design, web design, and video) and the Master Collection has all of that software included.

The Master Collection comes with everything found in the other five versions of CS3 which include: