The Creative Cloud Chronicles: Creative Cloud is Here to Stay
By Chris Dickman, Founding Editor, Graphics.com
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Creative Cloud is Here to Stay
Well, one of the most significant barriers to abandoning the traditional perpetual license approach and jumping to the Creative Cloud is trust. CC members become entirely dependent on Adobe to maintain and update the service. So if the company stumbles, subscribers would take a serious hit. But it would seem as if Adobe's gamble has paid off — CC is here to stay. There are other very real reasons not to subscribe to CC — such as there being no exit strategy — but having Adobe or the service fade away is simply not going to happen.
Photoshop Gets a Boost
So what's new in Photoshop 13.1? Let's start with Smart Object support for Blur Gallery and Liquify, an extension of Photoshop's non-destructive editing. Next we have CSS support for web design, which allows users to easily export CSS code for text and objects, and also import color codes from HTML and CSS files to Color palettes, to help in web design projects. Conditional Actions can speed up image processing, with these commands using logic to automatically choose between different Actions based on user-defined rules. And then there are Crop tool refinements and 3D enhancements including improved live (OpenGL) previews of shadow effects, additional control over illumination using a 32-bit color picker to create glow effects, image-based lighting enhancements and enhanced details for textures. The clips below cover what's new, with all the Creative Cloud-exclusive features listed on the Adobe site.
This was all welcome new functionality but, as announced by Adobe in October, those with less than 512 MB of vRAM suddenly found themselves unable to tap any of Photoshop's 3D functionality whatsoever. Which served as a wakeup call that while it's great to receive new functionality as a Creative Cloud member, the flip side is that subscribing also requires keeping your hardware and OS up to date — as Windows XP users also recently found out. This is in contrast to perpetual license customers, who have the option of running older versions on aging hardware. While I'm happy having access to Creative Cloud for my desktop Windows 7 system, for example, which can handle Photoshop CS6, my aging Windows Vista laptop will continue to run the CS4 version.
Muse Goes Mobile
The latest version extends this approach to allow designers to create tablet and smartphone versions of Muse sites, again without any of that pesky coding. Adobe's approach is quite robust, combining mobile layout options, content and style options, touch-enabled interactivity and gesture-enabled widgets. All in all a significant step forward to evolve Muse from being an interesting experiment to that of a production tool.
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