First Look: Adobe unveils CS3

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Flash CS3 adds native Photoshop and Illustrator import

Adobe on Tuesday announced Flash CS3 Professional adding integration to other applications in the Creative Suite. Flash also includes options for advanced QuickTime export and a common interface with the rest of Creative Suite.

“One of the main things we focused on was integration — specifically the interface and intergration with Photoshop and Illustrator,” Richard Galvan, Flash Product Manager, told Macworld.

Of particular interest for Flash users is the integration the application now has with Photoshop and Illustrator. With CS3 you can import native Photoshop (PSD) and Illustrator (AI) files directly into your Flash CS3 layouts.

When you import a Photoshop file into Flash, a dialog box appears giving you the import options. You can choose to import the entire layer hierarchy of the Photoshop file or you can choose which layers you want to import and choose from a variety of settings for each individual layer. For example, you can retain Photoshop text as editable text in Flash, convert Photoshop layers or layer groups to movie clips, and even specify publish settings.

Flash can also set the stage size of your project to match the canvas size of the Photoshop file, and can also ensure that layer content appears in position.

“This one feature is really going to save people a lot of time,” said Galvan.

Users will go through a similar process when importing Illustrator files. While this may not have looked so good in the past, Adobe said that Flash CS3 maintains a much higher level of object fidelity, meaning that Illustrator objects—and text—brought into Flash now look just like they did in Illustrator.

Flash now has a redesigned user interface with the same workspace panels and interface options as the other Adobe applications. In fact, this unified user interface is now consistent across Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, and Soundbooth.

Flash is integrated with Adobe Bridge where files can be opened, saved, and dragged and dropped into projects. You can also manage and track versions of your files with Version Cue CS3.

Flash CS3 introduces an advanced QuickTime export feature that captures exactly what Adobe Flash Player plays back. That means complex nested symbols and all ActionScript will export exactly as you would have seen and heard them in Flash Player.

Longtime users of Flash will appreciate ActionScript 3.0, a new version of the programming environment. According to Adobe, ActionScript 3.0 scales easily to meet your expectations and is easier to use than you would expect.

Built as a Universal Binary for Intel Macs, Galvan said the company has seen 40 percent to 60 percent performance increases under certain tasks.

Adobe Flash CS3 Professional will begin shipping in April 2007 to customers in the United States and Canada. Adobe Flash CS3 will cost $699 — upgrade options are available from the company’s Web site.

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