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TRSmith
23rd September 2008, 05:17
Coming sometime in October, an upgrade for all the components of the suite. Various writers/bloggers around the web have had beta copies to play with and give it thumbs up (overall, with some caveats).

Read the official Adobe press release here: http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200809/092308AdobeCS4Family.html

LJL
23rd September 2008, 06:24
Tim,
Have any folks started to really document just how many upgrades or new/useful things are appearing in CS4? I recall reading about how CS4 will not be able to use the 64-bit processing on the Macs, only on the PC for now. So, I am trying to decide if there really is enough "meat" to warrant the upgrade from CS3, mostly for PS. (I too have many of the component pieces, all of which are doing fine in CS3.)

LJ

TRSmith
23rd September 2008, 06:44
LJ:

Here's a link to one of the early beta tester's reactions to the suite: http://www.creativepro.com/article/info-center-adobe-creative-suite-4

I'm sure there are others, and this reviewer is more design-oriented than photo oriented, but it is one set of reactions as well as a listing of some of the changes that can be found in the upgrade.

As for the 64-bit, I'm not an expert and while disappointed it won't be ready for the MAC, it won't prevent me from upgrading. I use the entire suite for my design business and will wait for the 64 bit advantages.

I did come across this little pearl though. It would appear that the 64-bit is only supported for Vista. The following is a direct lift from an Adobe Lightroom blog:

"Again, just to be clear, running Lightroom 2 as a 64-bit application on Windows XP x64 is not a supported configuration. The testing required to certify an additional operating system is a significant effort but there was not enough evidence to suggest that we should completely disable the configuration.

Why all the excitement about a 64-bit version of Lightroom? 64-bit capable operating systems and applications can take advantage of more memory than 32-bit systems. If you have a 64-bit environment with more than 4GB of RAM you're most likely to see improvement in the responsiveness of the Develop module where Lightroom is loading large amounts of information into memory. (A common misconception is that 64-bit systems will see an improvment in import or export performance. Those operations are largely disk-bound so they're dependent on the speed of your hard drive for performance improvements.)"

LJL
23rd September 2008, 07:08
Thanks, Tim. I had seen that about LR and 64-bit. I was more interested in PS being able to address more RAM, which may be the biggest gain I see for 64-bit processing. Would start to eliminate some of the constant page-ins and page-outs to the scratch disk while several GB of RAM sit by doing nothing ;-)

The other reason to consider CS4, at least the PS part for many, may be any added improvements to ACR, as that is where the focus will go, just as it did when CS3 came out and Adobe stopped supporting updates for ACR in CS2. That could be the kicker for most folks to upgrade.

LJ

Ben Rubinstein
23rd September 2008, 09:56
I've not needed any of the upgrades features in PS since CS2, what has been incredibly important and will be again is the Bridge and ACR where the majority of my work is done (don't like lightroom). If the new Bridge is faster then I will finally be able to stop having to use Bridge CS2 for sorting (far faster preview rendering) and Bridge CS3 (horribly slow) only for the newer ACR.

I can't wait for the new ACR, localised corrections will be a huge boon to this wedding photographer, was very jelous watching a friend work with LR2 and this function but hate the whole LR thang too much.

Jan Brittenson
23rd September 2008, 22:17
Supposedly CS4 makes use of the GPU(s), so should be a bit faster than CS3.

Jack
24th September 2008, 05:50
CS3 had several improvements in the image aligning and combining functions, and for my uses this was beneficial. If these even improve marginally in CS4, it will be worth the upgrade for me. True 64-bit would be awesome (and will be in CS5), but what we really need in the meantime is updated coding for existing surplus RAM usage and scratch disk I/O...

LJL
24th September 2008, 11:47
Jack,
That is primarily what 64-bit would be offering, rather than any significant speed in processing. That 64-bit addressing is the way to get the RAM expansion usage, where the present 32-bit tops out at 4GB, and PS imposes a bit of overhead onto that.

The other interesting thing with this latest version is 16-bit printer capability. That is essentially what a RIP does, and handles things for better output. This new version of PS will have that same 16-bit output capability, so good profiles for papers could see some even nicer results.

The other biggie is the localized adjustments in RAW, in my thinking. The more you can get done there, the better.

LJ

Don Libby
24th September 2008, 18:51
I just ordered my upgrade which is normally $199 however with the NAAP discount of 15% it brought the total with shipping and taxes to $185.42 sweet deal. Iíve been running 64bit on my studio machine (8BG RAM) for close to 2 years and just made the move to Vista Ultimate 64 late last year; Iím really looking forward to trying this out. I also just finished viewing a short preview of some of the bells and whistles CS4 has and it appears this baby is going to be very good indeed.

don

Jack
24th September 2008, 21:17
Just watched all the NAPP videos. I'll do the upgrade, though many of the improvements are marginal for my uses. However, three that stand out are the addition of LR type non-destructive adjustments to ACR, the overlay on the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush (allows perfect alignment of patches) and best of all, automated focus blending. This last one is timely for me and probably justifies the upgrade price by itself.

Ben Rubinstein
25th September 2008, 05:45
I'm desperate for the dodge/burn tools for ACR as you can imagine as a wedding photographer have wanted that forever, I've also wanted post crop vignettes for the longest time. Bridge looks more user friendly for fast and efficient sorting. I rarely use PS, processing and sorting proofs is done completely with Bridge/ACR, only use PS for the large print orders or album design, etc. The ability to do more in ACR quickly so that I can batch everything through PS ready for print is a huge plus. Can't wait.

TRSmith
25th September 2008, 06:14
Don: thanks for reminding me about the NAPP discount! I forget about that little perq. Since I ordered the whole design premium suite upgrade, I ended up saving over $80. Almost enough for one tank of diesel!

And by the way, if you're a photoshop user, I highly recommend a membership in NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals). Some terrific tutorials and examples of great work. Well worth the fee.

Tim

robsteve
25th September 2008, 11:20
I got all excited to order CS4 and when I went to the Adobe site, I see it is a month or two away from shipping :(

Jack
25th September 2008, 12:03
October 15th it should be available for download. If you pre-order now, it puts on the first train and you are not charged until they deliver.

woodyspedden
25th September 2008, 13:14
I'm desperate for the dodge/burn tools for ACR as you can imagine as a wedding photographer have wanted that forever, I've also wanted post crop vignettes for the longest time. Bridge looks more user friendly for fast and efficient sorting. I rarely use PS, processing and sorting proofs is done completely with Bridge/ACR, only use PS for the large print orders or album design, etc. The ability to do more in ACR quickly so that I can batch everything through PS ready for print is a huge plus. Can't wait.

Ben

If it is implemented as well as the retouch tools in Lightroom 2.1 it will be great. I understand you don't care for Lightroom but the technology from Adobe, which of course will be parallel implemented in both Lightroom and ACR is just wonderful. Saves so much time by allowing selective edits without masking etc. I just love it.

CS4 will be a winner, as has been all the iterations of Photoshop

JMHO

Woody

Guy Mancuso
26th September 2008, 05:29
Just noticed some improvements here
There are many other new features in Photoshop CS4. Here are a few of them:


Improved Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools help preserve tonal and color quality

Photomerge now has enhanced blending and stitching for better panoramas

Auto-blend can now combine images for better lighting and depth-of-field

The Rotate View tool can rotate the canvas onscreen for easier painting and drawing -- a great addition for tablet artists

Increased motion graphics support and compatibility with After Effects and Flash

LJL
26th September 2008, 07:30
I'm desperate for the dodge/burn tools for ACR as you can imagine as a wedding photographer have wanted that forever, I've also wanted post crop vignettes for the longest time. Bridge looks more user friendly for fast and efficient sorting. I rarely use PS, processing and sorting proofs is done completely with Bridge/ACR, only use PS for the large print orders or album design, etc. The ability to do more in ACR quickly so that I can batch everything through PS ready for print is a huge plus. Can't wait.

Ben,
Realizing that you and many others would like to have all the tools done easily in one place for better workflow, these may help some. In the meantime, you might want to take a look at some of the Nik Software tools (Viveza and Color EFEX Pro for starters). They are plug-ins for PS and Aperture that give you amazing localized control, and whole bunch of other features that one just cannot get in ACR/LR or without a lot of layer and mask work (which the Nik tools do automatically). Not trying to push their software, as I have no affiliation, but I now use much of if quite a bit, and get results that just are not easy any other way. They are not cheap, and that is a bit of problem, but I recovered the costs on all their stuff from a single portrait session by creating more and different looks that the client loved.

I have yet to see any one tool be able to "do it all". So as long as one has to drop back into PS for something, might as well use some really great and fast tools there to help workflow and provide more easy options than most of us can ever learn to do in PS alone.

LJ

Ben Rubinstein
27th September 2008, 11:03
I think with this new ACR I won't have to use PS period LJ, at least for preparing proofs, the clone tools are weak in ACR. Looking forward to it! Thanks though.

TRSmith
28th September 2008, 09:16
Lots of reviews and info about the new CS4 products out there. Here's one that does a terrific job of summarizing the new features of the Photoshop component of the suite:

http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2008/09/cs4_sweating_the_details.html

Best
Tim

Jan Brittenson
9th October 2008, 09:52
I'll do the upgrade for sure.

Now that PS CS4 uses Core Image it'll be interesting to see benchmarks on some of the slower filters (like Smart Sharpen) - hopefully these are a bit faster now. It'll also be interesting to see if they can be sped up by adding another or a faster graphics card.

TRSmith
17th October 2008, 09:00
I just received and loaded the CS4 upgrade. Since I'm in the middle of several client projects using the apps in CS3, I decided to just load Photoshop for now. With only a few minutes in, it feels like a nice upgrade. I very much like the new adjustment layers arrangement. It seems a lot cleaner and it's a welcome change to not have those dialog boxes pop up directly over your image every time you add an adjustment.

So, it's here and now the fun/work begins to learn all its new capabilities. Coupled with the new C1 software, I am once again starting the learning curve towards the bottom. Yeehaw!

simonclivehughes
17th October 2008, 09:12
I suspect with Adobe holding us over the barrel with no further updates to ACR version 4 engine (4.6 is the last) that many of us will eventually have to update to get new camera support in ACR (version 5.1 and up). This is a really poor move on their part for anyone content with what CS3 offers IMHO.

Having just bought a new LX3, I guess I'm going to be forced to move to CS4 to get RAW support. Arrgh!

(Lightroom 2 users already have the ACR version 5 engine.)

Cheers,

TRSmith
17th October 2008, 09:24
I agree that CS3 was pretty darn fine and can understand anyone who wouldn't want to have to shell out the bucks for the CS4 upgrade.

My own philosophy (and I consider myself lucky to be able to follow it) is to always stay current with the latest software versions. Sometimes the changes are incremental and sometimes they're monumental. The investment in time and money has been worth it for me since I have always learned something new and improved my product in the process of upgrading.

Or maybe it's an indication of how boring I've become that I get excited by a software release. ;)

Jack
18th October 2008, 16:42
I dunno... Playing around with it and while nothing earth-shattering new outside of the content aware scaling, the package does contain a lot of nice refinements, especially for adjustment layers and masking... The improvements to photomerge are also impressive, so if you use adjustment layers and masks, and create the occasional stitch, then IMO this is well worth the upgrade.

My .02,

Jack
19th October 2008, 06:55
Okay, finding more reasons to upgrade LOLOLOLOL!!!

* We now have focus blending directly in CS4 -- find it under Edit > Auto-Blend Layers :thumbs:

* Dodge and Burn HUGELY improved! It now protects tones (finally!). No more need to do selective D&B on a layer via masks. You can now for example do a quick dodge of bags under eyes or burn a hot forehead directly.

* Intelligent tool keys: Say you are using the brush tool and make an error. Before you went back in history and eliminated that step or swapped to the eraser, corrected the error and swapped back to the brush --- usually all for some minor error. Now all you have to do is press and hold the E key and the eraser pops up, make your correction let go of the E key and you are back to the brush. Sweet :)

* Graphics is greatly improved. I had heard that CS4 utilized the GPU more efficiently, but wasn't sure what the real benefit would be on an already fast system. Well, it's pretty big! Screen performance is notably improved on both my laptop and desktop machines; zooms are faster and so smooth as to be seamless, and re-draws are almost instant.

More as I find it!

Jack
19th October 2008, 07:00
I posted these shots in another thread to demonstrate the new "Content Aware Scaling." Not sure how much I'll use this, but for sure it will be beneficial to all of you who shoot to a specific layout.

Basically, CAS figures out what elements are important and should not be scaled if you alter the aspect ratio of an image. So you can now squeeze a rectangular capture to square, and not distort the key elements as they are automatically recognized and protected. Here is a simple example with a recent landscape shot, original, then squeezed. Note that this took like 3 seconds, whereas before it would have been at least 15 or 20 minutes of masking, transforming and blending to get a result probably not anywhere near as good. (Advanced note: This tool used an automatically-generated mask for the protected areas, but you can edit the protective mask or create your own to control exactly what you want protected! :thumbs:) I used only the auto mask for this example:

Jonathon Delacour
23rd October 2008, 15:34
I'm about to upgrade from Photoshop CS3 to CS4 and am not sure which version I should choose: the standard Photoshop CS4 (AU$299) or CS4 Extended (AU$525)?

I've looked at the feature comparison chart and can't see anything compelling (the Extended version seems to be of most use for animation or 3D rendering). But I'm wondering if there's something (worth $226) that I'm missing.

Is anyone using a CS4 Extended feature that they regard as absolutely essential? (I already have Nik's Viveza, Dfine, and Sharpener Pro.)

Jack
23rd October 2008, 16:21
The main thing extended gives you is enhanced scientific and 3-D functionality. For most 2-D imaging work, the standard version should be fine. IIRC, you can also upgrade your std version to extended at a later date.

LJL
23rd October 2008, 19:42
I have the Extended version in CS3 (as part of a larger suite). Honestly, I have not really noticed if there is that much difference, unless, as Jack points out, you are into animation graphics, 3D stuff and medical rendering type things associated with that. The Adobe descriptions and comparisons between products is a bit lacking. Unless you have used the Extended features in your work with CS3, it may not be worth the extra costs on the CS4 upgrade. I was not sure if the things like the CAS Jack demoed here were in the regular or Extended version at first.

LJ

P.S. There may be more filters and effects available, as that does seem to be a thing in CS3, but I thought Adobe was going to address that part. On some of the CS3 stuff, it is also 16-bit in the Extended version, where as it was either not accessible or was an 8-bit filter in the regular version. Would be nice if there was a bit more detail available to compare.

Jonathon Delacour
24th October 2008, 20:46
The main thing extended gives you is enhanced scientific and 3-D functionality. For most 2-D imaging work, the standard version should be fine. IIRC, you can also upgrade your std version to extended at a later date.


The Adobe descriptions and comparisons between products is a bit lacking. Unless you have used the Extended features in your work with CS3, it may not be worth the extra costs on the CS4 upgrade. I was not sure if the things like the CAS Jack demoed here were in the regular or Extended version at first.

Thanks guys. I realize now that I was looking at the wrong feature comparison chart (which compared Extended CS4 with Extended CS3). There's a much more useful chart that compares Standard CS4 and Extended CS4 here (http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/compare/).

All the really useful stuff for 2D imaging (including content-aware scaling, enhanced auto-blending of images, and extended depth of field) is available in the standard version so I'll get that.

Thanks also for the content-aware scaling demo, Jack. That's extremely impressive.

Cecil
26th October 2008, 11:24
Hey all, I just joined the site so forgive me for being kind of clutzy early on. This has probably been asked, and I have not scanned all the posts yet...so first Mia Culpa...I am currently using PS CS3 and wanted to know if CS3 will allow me to upgrade to CS4 Extended and take advantage of an upgrade price? Thanks in advance. I am really glad that I found this site. I am a freelance photographer and concentrate mostly on PhotoArt using PS. If I have posted this inappropriately (place and process), please direct me on the game rules...I take direction well...
Cecil

Jack
26th October 2008, 11:44
Hi Cecil and welcome!

As I understand it, you have one upgrade path from CS3 std to CS4 std, then a second upgrade path from CS4 std to CS4 extended. So bottom line is you can buy CS4 extended via upgrade paths from CS3 for less than what the full new retail cost of CS4 extended would be.

Cecil
26th October 2008, 11:50
Thanks Jack, at least it will be some savings.

Jonathon Delacour
26th October 2008, 12:26
As I understand it, you have one upgrade path from CS3 std to CS4 std, then a second upgrade path from CS4 std to CS4 extended. So bottom line is you can buy CS4 extended via upgrade paths from CS3 for less than what the full new retail cost of CS4 extended would be.

Jack, perhaps the Adobe store in Australia does it differently, though I can't imagine why that would be so. But when you click to purchase Photoshop CS4 Extended, then choose Upgrade rather than Full, a Version menu shows three options:
* UPG from Photoshop Elements
* UPG from Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3
* UPG from Photoshop Extended CS3.

So (down here, at least) it's a straight upgrade to CS4 Extended, no matter which version you're upgrading from.

Cecil
29th October 2008, 09:43
Thanks all, I called Adobe and spoke with a very helpful person...he confirmed that as a CS3 user, I could upgrade to CS4 Extended...at $349.00 US. With my NAPP 15% discount, it was easier for me to say yes. In the afternoon I had another question, so decided to call Adobe Help back. Got a different person, so just to confirm I posed the same CS3 to CS4 Extended upgrade question and got the exact same answer...so it is on its way to my house as I type.

Jan Brittenson
1st November 2008, 15:13
I just ordered my upgrade... I had CS3 extended but got CS4 standard this time. I don't think I ever used any extended feature.

Jan Brittenson
8th November 2008, 15:37
BTW, I also discovered Adobe won't let you upgrade from CS3 Extended to CS4 Standard. Fortunately I could upgrade from CS2. The upgrade installer won't find CS3 Extended and won't accept the serial number. (Took me a while to figure out why it kept telling me it's not valid for the product chosen.) Yes, it's utterly retarded.

Guy Mancuso
18th November 2008, 04:39
Just a FYI. When I was in Carmel i ran into a major Adobe issue with a Raw download it must of got interrupted and all that and spilled over from my laptop to my desktop somehow and been fighting some battles ever since. This is what I assume at this point anyway . I went into my desktop after buying the upgrade and completely stripped my system of ANYTHING Adobe and i mean anything related to adobe even Acrobat 7 which has been a cluster ...... since I bought it. Anyway after ridding the system I installed CS4 and the nice thing is all I needed was the serial number from Cs3 to do the upgrade. CS4 loaded very clean and got rid of stuff that I do not use like LR and a few other programs. So basically I cleaned up my system very nicely. Than i got a external drive used Super duper to to clone the desktop than proceeded to replace the whole laptop system with a nice clean copy that I did on the desktop. Not sure folks know you can do this. The only nit is mobile me and need to reregister the laptop and go through the sync process. It automatically changes the name of the computer and also if you use Quark you have to reactivate it on the laptop. CS4 i did not have to do that which was nice, in the past I had to deactivate a copy than reactivate. So moral of the story is you can do a completely clean install of Cs4 without previous PS versions. Just make sure you copy your actions and plugins first in a separate folder or another drive so you can load them back in CS4. Obviously this is on a Mac and beware Adobe puts files everywhere on your system ala PC style. So you have to go in a lot of places and find there stuff. Applications, application support, Users , cache, preferences and several other places. Even there uninstaller does not get this much out of the system so you have to take the time and go everywhere on a witch hunt to get it all.

TRSmith
18th November 2008, 05:03
I agree that the installation of the suite was much cleaner and more straightforward than the last time with CS3. I only had to enter the serial number printed on the case once and everything fell into place. The transition was by far the smoothest (in terms of installation) to date. And one small thing which seems like a stress reliever, the new suite installs as separate files and does not overwrite the previous suite versions. You can even run copies of the same software side by side if you like!

Overall a very smooth transition and I'm enjoying the new software. Granted, there are some changes that take awhile to discover and some of them seem to go against habit, but overall very nice. Also, InDesign is da bomb! I use Quark and bought the upgrade to version 8 but since the new CS4 suite, I'm not going to return to it, InDesign is just too good and way more stable.

Guy Mancuso
18th November 2008, 05:08
I know i really need to move on to InDesign. HATE quark

TRSmith
18th November 2008, 05:32
Guy: it's not initially an intuitive transition. You can do some small things like specifying that the keyboard shortcuts mimic those from Quark, but still, it takes a little time to adjust to the layout of the controls. But that investment of time is more than made up when you realize that you're not crashing every other day as I seem to do with Quark, and all the time spent problem solving to figure out why. Plus, it plays nice with PS. Go for it!

Guy Mancuso
18th November 2008, 07:07
BTW found Cs4 plug-ins
http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=4047



Yes Tim getting a client to pay for it too hopefully