WOW! Its been some time since I’ve updated this but several weeks ago I picked up the CS5 Design Premium Suite. I’ve been rocking CS2 for several years and figured now is time to get myself updated. At work I use CS4 and so my home copy was missing out on some key features already. At work my station was updated to CS5 as well so I not only got some professional quality time with the software and personal time with it.
There are some new features in CS5 that I now use almost on a daily basis already!
Adobe Illustrator is one of my favorite programs and Adobe has made some cool improvements. My most favorite feature is the variable width tool. IT’S AMAZING! It has made vectoring much easier and the tool is quick and easy to use. For those of you unsure of this tool. Here is a graphic to illustrate my point:
Here I whipped out a spiral and duplicated it 3 times. Each spiral is the same. I applied a 2pt stroke to each spiral. On the first spiral I did nothing. On all the other spirals I went around using the variable width tool to change the stroke size! Cool huh!?
Aside from the variable width tool, I use the new multiple artboards and love the quick access to changing the artboard size. I was also impressed by the new Perspective Grid Tool but haven’t had a good reason to experiment with it yet.
I was not impressed with the shape builder tool. Either I’m doing something wrong or my brain is easier using the pathfinder instead… not sure. All in all the variable width tool is a life saver and has saved me a considerable amount of time on certain projects already.
Lately I’ve been using the Puppet Warp tool on a regular basis which surprised me because at first use I figured it more of a more gimmicky feature but with more and more use I’m finding this to be a useful and rewarding tool. I’ve been updating some lanyard images at work for www.iPromo.com and this tool has helped me straighten out certain lanyards the slightly curled while photographing the products. This tool has saved me a considerable amount of time because I would have had to re-shoot many of the lanyard pictures. The puppet warp tool takes a little practice but once you get the idea its a breeze.
I didn’t have good example with me while writing this out but this Elephant picture should illustrate the tool well. When you activate the puppet warp the image gets triangulated and you can stab these pins into the mesh and slide them to warp the image.
I haven’t had a chance to work with the brushes as my tablet is acting up. For some odd reason the pressure sensitivity isn’t working and that makes for a sad useless tablet. I don’t use my tablet much anyway…
The Content Aware Fill isn’t that impressive or practical on many projects. I am more comfortable with the healing patch tool anyway, but the content aware fill seems to only work on flattened-locked layers, and when used it doesn’t do that great of a job depending on your subject material.
There really isn’t much in Photoshop that I’m super impressed with aside from the puppet warp. I am disappointed that they changed the hot key “R” to rotate the canvas (which is a cool feature) instead of it activating the blur tool. I know I can change the hot key settings but I’m kind of lazy.
Aside from that I haven’t had too much time to play with Flash or InDesign. Dreamweaver I don’t really care about the new features as I only use it to hard code html/css. I haven’t found a good reason to implement Adobe Fireworksit into my daily routine yet. Anyone out there use Fireworks? Have you had the chance to use CS5? I’m curious to hear what everyone else thinks.