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Auckland Adobe CS5 Roadshow

Under the slogan of design without boundaries, work faster, and streamline critical processes, the CS5 Roadshow kicked off at Skycity Convention Centre in Auckland today. The hosts for the day were Michael “Stod” Stoddart, Mike McHugh, and Paul Burnett. The event covered a broad-range of tips, tricks, and new features of CS5. Questions could be asked in real-time by sending twitter questions to The Question Room”.

Some highlights:

Production Premium

  • Utilizing 64 bit processing, Adobe Premiere and After Effects have greatly increased performance compared to previous versions.
  • The rotobrush feature in After Effects looks like a great time saver when rotoscoping video elements (cutting them out from the background).

InDesign (feature tour)

  • Much smoother workflow when moving an object inside of its frame. There is now a “donut” area that when clicked allows the internal object to be moved. Also an “autosize” checkbox has been added to allow an object to resize to its frame when the frame is resized.
  • A caption text field can be created that will pull metadata out of an image when it is near to it. Great concept!
  • There is a new tool called the “Gap tool” that allows the gutter (gap) between elements to be easily resized and moved.
  • InDesign CS5 can produce simple interactive presentations that can be exported as a SWF or FLA.

Illustrator (feature tour)

  • There are three new tools: the Perspective Grid tool, the Perspective Selection tool, and the Width tool. The first two provide guides for creating artwork along a 3-dimensional perspective, while the last tool—the Width tool—always the manipulation of the width of a stroke along its length.
  • There are two new drawing modes: draw behind and draw inside. These, as might be expected, streamline drawing behind and inside shapes respectively.
  • The dashed line feature has been to improved to ensure a part of the dash appears on corner points. This eliminates the ugly problem, for example, of having the points on a star disappear when using a dashed stroke.
  • Joining two paths has been improved, allowing paths to join by their nearest points.

Photoshop (feature tour)

  • The much hyped Content Area Fill is present in many forms throughout the fill and brush tools in Photoshop CS5.
  • There is a new sharpening and noise reduction engine that can be utilized in the RAW photo dialog box.
  • There are new HDR features, such as a new HDR Toning menu under Adjustments.
  • Settings in the effects menu now have a “make default” button, allowing the setting of user-defined defaults.
  • The old extract filter for extracting hair has returned in the form of the Refine Edge option of a selection. This is a great time-saver for cutting out hair from a background.
  • The new Puppet Warp feature allows for the creation of a mesh that overlays a image that then can be distorted along a set of points.
  • Color mixing brush, which allows colors to be blended together (at first glance it appears similar to the Smudge tool).

Of particular interest in this release is the heavy integration of the Flash platform among the Adobe products. Brand new in CS5, Adobe Catalyst is integrated with InDesign and Illustrator, each of which can be used to create Catalyst layouts. Catalyst allows the creation of simple interfaces and interactions without the use of any code.

Not all products were shown that I’m aware of (although I missed about an hour of the event during midday) such as Flash Builder and Sound Booth.