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Creative Integration at Adobe
The increasing integration of Adobe and former Macromedia products continues with Creative Suite 3
By: Roger Strukhoff
Jun. 2, 2007 05:30 PM
The increasing integration of Adobe and former Macromedia products continues with Creative Suite 3, which is available in a version targeted specifically to Web developers and designers. Designers today - whether they started in an era of X-acto knives and border tape or have recently graduated with a degree in digital design - must have at least a nodding acquaintance with the various strains of code that underlies their work. Yet the tools have long been powerful enough that they don't have to consider themselves to be programmers.
Striking the balance between sheer ignorance of coding details on the one hand and programming mastery on the other is the essence of creating professional software. CS3 is not a toy. It doesn't necessarily shield its users from what is going on underneath. It's designed for the most sophisticated pros, yet is accessible enough for even non-designers who wish to learn the rudiments of the craft.
Does CS3 create better work, though? Answering that question properly requires taking the really long view. I mean really long.
The discovery of perspective by Renaissance European artists has long been recognized as one of the turning points in the history of creative arts. No more were artists constrained by the flat, non-realistic two-dimensional images of people and places found in earlier Medieval works. Yet was this necessarily an improvement?
As many critics and historians have pointed out, the integration of perspective into painting meant that most work was now a mere snapshot, an image frozen in time. By contrast, the 2D viewpoint showed motion and time. Works as diverse as the Bayeux Tapestry in the Middle Ages, and the art of the ancient Mayan and Egyptian civilizations, show societies in motion. Looking at an ancient two-dimensional work brings to life the everyday hustle and bustle of society in a way that a mere 3D snapshot cannot. It wasn't until Picasso began experimenting with multiple perspectives in the 20th century that the idea of kinetic energy expressed in art was fully reborn.
So the question of whether something as modern and powerful as CS3 creates better work can only be answered by the work that is, in fact, created. Powerful tools in inept hands do nothing. The ability to "Photoshop" something quickly, for example, is not worth much if the user has no eye.
For those who have the eye - a group that presumably includes all the readers of this publication - the idea of returning to less powerful tools, less tight integrations, slower systems, and longer processing times, etc., is something not to be desired. Adobe continues to do its part to push the envelope for its audience of creative professionals. For creative professionals, the time-frames required to create and re-create continue to get smaller. This is something that should never be underrated in the 24/7 Worldwide Web era. The ability to design superior work and get it posted quickly is of premium value to the individual designer, the small design firm, the medium-sized company, and the global enterprise.
But in the end, it's always all about the work. I would expect the work to be created with these tools to be nothing short of tremendous.
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