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Adobe CS4 Announcement Recap

As one might have guessed, the blogosphere and twitterverse have both been overwhelmed with CS4 info about today's official feature announcements (note: NOT release!). I semi live twittered the event while watching it, and you can check out all those tweets at twitter search.

Despite the let down of non-US pricing being 1.6 times the US cost once again, and also some comments on the CS4 logo, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I'd have to agree, but I also think that not too much new information was provided today other than pricing. At least for Flash CS4, I had seen and/or heard about all but one of the features discussed today at various conferences over the past year or more. The one new feature to me: Procedural modeling with Deco and Spray Brush. Nice small surprise feature addition.

While the enhancements across all of the CS4 apps are worth noting, I mainly work in Flex and Flash, so the rest of this post will focus on Flash CS4. There are some great posts out there already this morning, so I'll link to those instead of regurgitating the same content:

Keith Peters - I like Flash CS4
Keith does a great job going over some features as it applies to developers, and describes how some minor changes (aka the not-hyped ones) have really solved some of his pain points while working in the IDE. Keith has also posted some screenshots of the new interface.

Jen deHaan - Flash CS4: The photo tour of features
Jen has re-started her blog, now focusing it on Flash CS4 and the new motion model for animation. This post has the most thorough collection of Flash CS4 screenshots. I would also say the most official seeing as how Jen works for Adobe. If you can't wait until the release to check everything out, this is the blog post to read.

Jen deHaan - The new way of tweening in Flash CS4 (or: New motion in Flash CS4 makes your animations better, faster, stronger)
Winner of the longest blog post title, this post does a very good job of describing everything that has changed in the new animation model. If you are a designer and/or animator and work with the timeline much, you should read this post. Good for developers too, as we all end up working with the timeline a bit at some point in a project.

With that, let the waiting until the -actual- release begin!

Adobe to announce CS4 on September 23rd

According to Flash Platform Evangelist Lee Brimlow, Adobe will announce the CS4 suite on September 23rd via a web broadcast that you can register for today. The news is also posted on Adobe.com, so it is safe to say this is official.

Lee is careful to mention, however, that this is not the release date for CS4 -- just the announcement of new features and what one can expect when CS4 is available for purchase. I'm guessing that, like Adobe did with CS3, they will post additional betas such as Flash CS4 to Adobe Labs for everyone to play with after the announcement on the 23rd. Dreamweaver CS4, Fireworks CS4 and Soundbooth CS4 betas are already available for download on Adobe Labs.

You can’t spell crash without CS

Came across http://unexpectedlyquit.com today and found it somewhat comforting. The premise: "Every time an Adobe application misbehaves I upload the error message."

I'm not one to bash Adobe Creative Suite - it does after all make me a living. But this site, in all its simplicity, makes for some great humor. Especially when, as someone who spends most of their working day in Flash and other CS3 applications, I have seen my fair share of CS error messages.

Converting Objects to Grayscale in Illustrator

Illustrator CS3 IconA few weeks back I needed to convert some objects in Illustrator CS3 to grayscale, and it took me a while to figure out how to make it happen. Today the issue came up again at work with a co-worker and after I learned she had searched Google without finding an answer, I thought I would post and maybe it would help someone else out.

After initially searching Google for a bit, I noticed everyone was suggesting that the whole document color mode be changed from CMYK or RGB to grayscale, but I only wanted to change a few objects. The solution, which I believe is only in Illustrator CS3, is to select the object or groups on the artboard you want to convert, then under the "Edit" menu choose "Edit Colors" then "Convert to Grayscale". Simple, yes, but hidden in the menus in a very unintuitive spot.

One thing you should be aware of, however, is that doing this removes all the color information from that object/group. This means that any CMYK values will no longer be present. You can, however, always undo the action immediately after converting.

Adobe CS3 Trials Available for Download

I had previously posted about the CS3 trials not being available, and according to Google Analytics, it is one of the most popular posts. So I thought I would let those coming from Google and MXNA know that it looks like the wait is finally over! Adobe CS3 package trials are now available for download on Adobe.com (http://www.adobe.com/products/#creativesuite_family). This includes Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, InDesign, etc. Enjoy!

“Did You Know” Presentation Sequel at XPLANE

At XPLANE one of the projects we're currently working on is a new version of the popular "Did You Know" video from Karl Fisch (read Karl's post on the upcoming sequel) and Scott McLeod (...and Scott's post on the sequel). If you haven't heard about this video, the gist is that it provides you with some extremely provoking thoughts on the world economy, education, and general globalization. The original has been viewed over 2 million times on various video postings around the web, including YouTube.

We're taking what was a PowerPoint presentation (turned video), updating the content with new stats and thoughts as provided by Karl and Scott with some consulting help from us, and then redoing the graphics/design. Instead of limiting ourselves with PowerPoint we're designing in Illustrator, animating in Flash, then exporting to QuickTime. That said, I'm excited to have a project that will allow me to try out several parts of the new CS3 workflow so quickly.

I believe the original video has been accepted to a film festival in Telluride, Colorado, and the organizers will be taking a look at the new one once completed and possibly presenting it. So keep your eyes peeled to Karl and Scott's blog, YouTube, and of course here for more information as we wrap up this sequel.

This is an exciting project, and I'm glad to be a part of it!

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