September 23, 2008


CS4 is due to ship around the middle of October, with availability through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store (

Creative Suite 4 includes CS4 Production Premium, CS4 Master Collection, CS4 Design editions, CS4 Web editions, as well as 13 point products, 14 integrated technologies and seven services. There are six suites or full version upgrades of 13 standalone apps, including Photoshop CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, InDesign CS4, Illustrator CS4, Flash CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver CS4, After Effects CS4 and Premiere Pro CS4.

Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium features Speech Search within Premiere Pro CS4 and Soundbooth CS4. Essentially transcription in a box, it makes spoken dialogue within a video recording searchable, reducing the time spent looking for clips and creating rough cuts, and it makes content searchable when delivered online. Powered by XMP metadata support, the production workflow is simplified, resulting in online content that gives viewers new ways to interact with and search for video.

Premiere Pro CS4 features over 50 general editing improvements, many coming directly from Adobe’s partnership with broadcasters like the BBC. “One of larger features is support for Photoshop video layers,” says Adobe’s Simon Hayhurst. “This means that you can pull a movie clip into Photoshop as a video layer, making it very easy to do frame-to-frame clean-up and just pull the PSD with those adjustments right into Premiere Pro rather than having to save it out as a movie clip first.”

Adobe also supports Photoshop blend modes on all clips in the Premiere Pro timeline. This allows customers to match the looks that they create in Premiere and After Effects.

After Effects CS4 has enhanced support for Flash CS4 workflows providing new paths for creating interactive content. Also within AE is the new Cartoon Effect, Bilateral Blur and Turbulent Noise, all of which take advantage of GPU acceleration.

An expanded version of Dynamic Link in Production Premium allows users to move content between CS4 versions of After Effects, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth and Encore, so updates can be seen instantly without rendering.

For those working in 3D, CS4 provides the ability to paint, composite and animate 3D models. Users of Flash CS4 Pro can apply tweens to objects instead of keyframes. In Flash, the Bones tool helps create more realistic animations between linked objects. Adobe Device Central CS4 allows users to easily test mobile content designed using many of the CS4 products.

Phil Price of NY’s Price Digital was one of the lucky few who got his hands on an early version. “In beta testing CS4, I’ve found Adobe has put a major emphasis on making the programs like Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, etc. more streamlined and integrated. I really appreciate the little additions that make things less repetitive and easier to use. There’s also a few new blockbuster features, like Inverse Kinematics in Flash and the Speech Search tool in Premiere, which allow the editor to search the audio dialogue for words and phrases.”

CS4 Production Premium costs $1,699. Other products in the line are priced this way: CS4 Design Premium is $1,799, CS 4 Web Premium is $1,699 and the CS4 Master Collection is $2,499.