April 12, 2010

Great video customer testimonial for CS5

I just saw the following unsolicited comment from filmmaker Linda Nelson & thought it deserved its own post:

If you are editing a film shot with the RED camera, you’d be crazy to use anything other than CS5. Straight from the camera to the timeline – no rendering required to preview – incredibly fast load and export. We are beta testing with our feature film, DELIVERED. Shot on RED. Here’s the trailer. Great job Adobe!

As BSN notes, “[C]ontent creators can now work with not just 4K files in real time, but with 4K files in much greater liberty than they ever were while confined in CPU-bound applications such as Final Cut Pro, Premiere CS4 or in Sony Vegas.” Macworld says, “The Mercury Playback Engine is 64-bit native and optimized for Mac OS X, multicore processors, and nVidia CUDA GPUs (graphics processing units) to provide fluid, real-time editing.”
So, Lightroom led the way among 64-bit Mac apps (beating Aperture to 64-bit by nearly two years), and Adobe has now converted three major Mac apps–After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop–from Carbon to Cocoa 64. Meanwhile Final Cut Pro 64 and the rest of the FCP suite remain missing in action. Maybe–just maybe–we can now put that “lazy” talk to rest.

Posted by John Nack at 9:03 PM on April 12, 2010

Comments

  • Nick Hampson — 10:42 PM on April 12, 2010

    RAM- check, GPU- Check, 64bit OS – Check, Excitement after seeing the features – Check. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme product :-)

  • tom — 10:50 PM on April 12, 2010

    maybe… just maybe you could stop ripping off international customers and equialize prizing for digital upgrade downloads across territories.

  • Mylenium — 2:42 AM on April 13, 2010

    Yeah, and then they can only manage to put the trailer on a Facebook page that refuses to use an otherwise perfectly working Flash player. *meh* Makes great fodder for the Flash haters out there…

  • drpepa — 4:11 AM on April 13, 2010

    John who designed the artwork for the backdrop of the CS5 launch and the cover artwork for master collection?
    Also i really like the dragon and pirateship on a map on the photoshop extended page..
    Would luv a tutorial on how he was made and how to make image like that:) cheers
    [Glad you dig it. I don’t know who made the imagery, but I can ask around. –J.]

  • Matt — 5:23 AM on April 13, 2010

    MUAHAHAHAHAHAhAA, you rock John.
    Yeah we see now who really is lazy. Not Adobe.

  • Jason Baldwin — 6:43 AM on April 13, 2010

    “Maybe–just maybe–we can now put that “lazy” talk to rest.”
    Maybe–just maybe–Adobe could produce applications that didn’t crash for no good or obvious reason every time I use them (Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Flash, and InDesign come to mind, all from an honest-to-God I-paid-for-it CS4 Master Collection) — I can’t even *quit* Premiere without it crashing.
    I’ve got my issues with Apple, too, but, come on, John. You can brag when the applications are stable.

  • Peter Baird — 6:51 AM on April 13, 2010

    I can’t speak to Premiere, not being a user of Premiere, but I know that Fireworks had a similar crash-on-quit bug (that may be the same issue) that was introduced by Snow Leopard after CS4 had long shipped, and my understanding was that it wasn’t considered a critical bug (didn’t need an immediate patch before CS5 would be released) because there was no actual data loss… the bug wasn’t that it was actually crashing, but that the bug was that it was reporting a crash after the app had successfully quit.

  • Peter Baird — 6:58 AM on April 13, 2010

    … but I do feel that sometimes perception is more important than reality when talking about customer service. The fact that (in this case Fireworks) appeared to be crashing every time you quit (even though, like I said, the bug was in the reporting of a crash, not in the actual crash), the perception could be more of a black-eye than reality… that said, Fireworks CS5 on the Mac is sweet! The primary focus for this release was stability and performance, and not only is the “crash-on-quit” bug fixed, but now, if it ever does crash, all data is saved in a “recovered” folder before closing down.

  • Chris — 6:59 AM on April 13, 2010

    I love the lack of basic logic and how it’s spat at Adobe: “A bunch of CS4 applications are crashing on MY system, why is YOUR software so buggy?”

  • Niklas — 7:51 AM on April 13, 2010

    Perhaps because many people experience that. I do experience that on multiple machines and different operating systems. Perhaps it is my software that is to blame but I doubt it.
    For example, two bugs that were never fixed in CS4 although I was in contact with customer service multiple times sending logs and doing all kinds of stuff. These bugs could be reproduced on multiple independent machines:
    • In Premiere CS3, export a Panasonic camera SD DV movie with any SD settings; it can not be opened in Premiere CS4 or Media Encoder without the applications crashing.
    • Export a CMYK InDesign document with about 250-300 objects to Flash and watch Flash choke itself to death as it tries to open the resulting file.
    Troubleshooting just these two bugs cost my company over 20 work hours before we gave up and used other software to get similar results.

  • Jeffrey Tranberry — 7:52 AM on April 13, 2010

    Well said, John. As someone who was a part of the Carbon to Cocoa 64 work on Photoshop, it’s a non-trivial task (i.e. a ton more work than ticking a compiler checkbox) as some would lead customers to believe. Photoshop has 20 years worth of code/history and many, many other pieces and components that needed attention. No doubt that other large legacy apps like FCP etc, require just as much work. Granted, FCP is baby at just 11 years old. ;)

  • Niklas — 7:56 AM on April 13, 2010

    John, I do not want to discredit anything you and the Photoshop CS team in general does, you are obviously working very hard and it shines through. However, I would like an interface that is optimized for a human the same way you optimize rendering for processors. The work flow has become more and more onerous over the last couple of suites and I want to love your apps! But I can’t and that makes me a sad designer.
    [Niklas, could you be more specific (ideally a lot more specific) about what interface changes you’d like to see? –J.]

  • Jason Baldwin — 7:57 AM on April 13, 2010

    How does my complaint lack basic logic? Every single time I use Flash, it crashes. Every single time I use Premiere, it crashes. Every single time I use InDesign, it crashes.
    I have a legitimately purchased copy of CS4 Master Collection running on a latest (until this morning)-generation 17″ MacBook Pro, Core 2 Duo running at 2.8 GHz, 4GB RAM. No menu extras, no other third-party applications, only fonts from reputable foundries like Hoefler & Frere-Jones and House Industries.
    If I pony up $2,500 for software, shouldn’t it run properly, or am I just supposed to bend over and take it when it crashes in the middle of a project? Can you honestly tell me an Adobe product has never crashed? Are you a daily user?
    Sheesh.

  • Thomas — 10:32 AM on April 13, 2010

    [Niklas, could you be more specific (ideally a lot more specific) about what interface changes you’d like to see? –J.]
    John I hear you asking this over and over again if someone tries to point onto a problem.
    [That’s because I want to know what *exactly* is bothering a particular person. Often the complaints come down to one or two things, and that gives us ammo for changing those things if necessary. Just saying “everything sucks” isn’t going to produce positive change. –J.]
    I’m very afraid that there is NOT A SINGLE proper expert for GUI design at Adobe.
    [That’s the kind of over-generalized unhelpfulness I’m talking about. –J.]
    I’m saying that because it’s the experts job to figure out whats the best and ergonomic GUI interface to make work more fun and reliable.
    There are so many (if not thousnads) of Applications out there to learn from.
    I presume you’ve never read articles and Blog discussions from “Joel on Software” expecially about UI Design.
    Seriously, there been enough discussions (Forums and Blog-Warfares) about GUI in Adobe Software in the last couple of years.
    As with the release of CS5, the core problems or lacking workflwows that still exist are just overshadowed (as always) by new features.
    Respecting your work, but irony here, 12th of April was a sad day for me as a long term Hardcore Adobe User.
    [Uh… why? You’re not giving me anything actionable. –J.]

  • BooneJS — 11:56 AM on April 13, 2010

    I wish Adobe had a step below Premiere Pro for consumers for OS X. I’m interested in advanced consumer, basic pro level editing of material from an AVCHD camera. Right now it seems Final Cut Express is the only game in town at that price point. Premiere Pro is very powerful (with a price to match) and is overkill for my skill level.

  • Matt — 2:03 PM on April 13, 2010

    It’s not for the user to know what’s wrong with a UI, or to suggest how to fix it.
    We shouldn’t even notice the UI!
    That said, here’s my broad observation.
    There are too many indistinguishable, tiny icons, that hide very important/useful features. For example the ‘Shape Layers’ and ‘Paths’ icon on the Pen tool… you need to be a hieroglyphics translator to make any sense of them. I frequently find myself hovering over icons and waiting for a text descriptions. Somewhat defeating the point of icons.
    [As for the tininess, monitor pixel density keeps increasing, and to compensate we do need to implement scalable UI at some point. OS support remains a work in progress, and we’ve had other must-do work (esp. Cocoa) on our plates. –J.]
    I just watched the video you posted about the new brushes features, and the number of times the demonstrator said a feature is “really useful, but not many people know exists*” illustrates this perfectly.
    I’ve heard it said (possibly by you in fact) that most people only use 5%-10% of Photoshops features. This is also symptomatic of an app with a poor UI.
    [No, it’s simply symptomatic of a very rich, very powerful app that serves a very wide variety of users. The existence of features you don’t use is a problem only if it impedes your ability to get work done (by clogging the interface, slowing down performance, etc.). –J.]
    The UI should be dynamic. When I choose the path tool, all the options should appear somewhere on the screen for that tool. For example currently stroking a path is hidden either in the paths tab, or in the right-click (and probably in about ten other places too!). That feature should appear on the screen somewhere when I choose the path tool.
    [I agree that it would be better to reveal more options contextually. –J.]
    Crucially, if you’re thinking of telling me ‘yeah but you can configure it to behave that way’, or ‘that feature already exists’, you’ve missed the point entirely!
    Adaptive, dynamic, obvious!
    *I’m paraphrasing here.

  • Scott Valentine — 2:51 PM on April 13, 2010

    Don’t forget that PS has been around for 20 years, and has built up an amazing user base. Changing the UI is very painful – some will love it, others will hate it. That’s just a guarantee.
    When you get a chance to give feedback, it’s only fair to provide specific requests or observations for yourself and how you’d use the change. You can also give some thought to more general cases, but that’s really in the demesne of the UI/dev team.
    I was a DJ for a decade, and I can’t tell you how many times I would hear “Nobody likes this song” while the dance floor is (and had been) packed. There’s also “everybody likes my song” (statistically impossible), “play something I can dance to” (I guess this removes Gregorian Chant from the list), and “Do you know that one song that goes ‘boom-ch-chboom-ch-BOOM’?”
    Seriously – make the complaints about UI, but offer something to go on. “sucks” is not a checkbox on a usability study, but “discoverable”, “functional”, and “expected results” are. If you want better UI, be prepared to explain what ‘better’ means and how you see it implemented.
    Don’t forget that John also has been working on tools like Configurator and work spaces exactly for people like you and me – we need to customize our work space, and we want to do it easily. We want features and functions we use frequently close at hand, and perhaps we’d like to hide all the junk we don’t use.
    You can do all of this, and more, right now. But Adobe can’t read your mind, nor can they see your work flow. Even if they could, they’d be better served to build in the ability for you to make your own space, rather than build only your custom environment. And your environment is probably guaranteed not to look like mine, even if we do the same kind of job.
    Take advantage of the invitation to offer suggestions. Show us some mockups of what you’d like. Describe specific tools with great detail. You want them to put in some effort, you should do the same.
    And yes: I have. And it’s paid off.

  • Scott Valentine — 3:13 PM on April 13, 2010

    Good response, Matt. I do believe it is for the (educated) user to be able to communicate *why* a feature or UI doesn’t work for them. Now, it’s another matter to try and define the entire UI, but it’s not unreasonable to ask a user for more detail, especially on new ideas.
    I do take some issue with this: I’ve heard it said (possibly by you in fact) that most people only use 5%-10% of Photoshops features. This is also symptomatic of an app with a poor UI.
    I think this is wrong – part of the discrepancy is that there are tons of ways to solve any given problem in PS. The other part is that there are SO many different work flows and uses that many people never need other tools. It’s misleading to blame the UI for what may not actually be a problem. What if my 10% is different than your 10%?
    You do have a great point in making UIs dynamic. This has been brought up in many discussions, but it’s not quite so easy, especially with such a long-standing application. There are cases where this does happen, but a lot of that is restricted to modal dialogs. One case that drives me nuts is in the new Repoussé feature: you can select a material from the dialog, but you can’t add a new material. However, you can add a new material after you’ve completed the Repoussé dialog and opened the 3D result textures. Why? I have no idea… but the option is there in the Repoussé menu, and always results in a response box. Either take the option away (or gray it out), or let us create new materials there.
    Anyway.
    Thanks for taking time to explain what you’d like to see :)

  • Matt — 4:35 PM on April 13, 2010

    What I’d like to see is five or six preset UI options offered when you create a new document.
    Heck you could even automate the preset based on the document type chosen (TV/film, print, web, illustration).
    These presets would optimise the toolset and windows for the given project.
    You could start two new documents. Say a ‘photo retouch’ document and an ‘illustration’ document. When you choose the photo document window the tools and windows optimise for that task. When you click on the ‘illustration’ window, the tools optimise for that task.
    [This suggestion comes up from time to time, but I have a hard time accepting the idea that people want the UI flipping around every time they click between documents. I’ve never seen any app behave that way, and probably for very good reason. –J.]
    Then if Adobe aimed to get say 80% feature usage for each preset.
    RE: the 10% thing… I’m not convinced. If you offered one brilliant and obvious way to do a task people would use it. Even if they’ve spent 15 years doing it a particular way… make the ‘new’ way obvious and easy and they’ll use it.
    [You’d be surprised. Pre-Adobe I used to show my coworker (a terrific illustrator) things in PS (e.g. how to set area type & avoid hitting Return over and over) all the time. He’d be profusely thankful and excited, but when I came back a couple of hours later, he’d have forgotten & gone back to the old way. Even if it was less efficient (and believe me, it was), it was comfortable for him. That’s just how it is for many people. –J.]

  • imajes — 5:24 PM on April 13, 2010

    Scott, I also DJ and some people are so oblivious to the fact other people even exist and may shock horror, have different tastes to them,
    An apt analogy to the perils of UI design/feature sets particularly when people talk about bloat. When what they really mean is features they do not use.

  • imajes — 5:30 PM on April 13, 2010

    “What I’d like to see is five or six preset UI options offered when you create a new document.’
    You can already set up optimised workspaces with the tools you need in a way that suits your workflow.

  • Matt — 5:36 PM on April 13, 2010

    Read my first post.
    Or this section of it:
    “Crucially, if you’re thinking of telling me ‘yeah but you can configure it to behave that way’, or ‘that feature already exists’, you’ve missed the point entirely!”

  • Matt — 5:54 PM on April 13, 2010

    I think if your app has been developed over 20 years and the UI hasn’t changed radically you’re either a genius or have a broken UI.
    Another company in a similar situation is NewTek with their Lightwave app. Similar age (20 years) and has a clunky UI.
    The difference? NewTek have developed lightwave core. A new version of the app with a radical new UI.
    “But Adobe can’t read your mind, nor can they see your work flow.”
    This is where the real work in UI needs to be done. Thats should be the goal. A UI that is so adaptive, dynamic, obvious that it appears to read your mind.

  • Jeffrey Tranberry — 6:18 PM on April 13, 2010

    Matt, you could achieve what you want using the Script Events Manager. When you create a new document, the Script Events Manager could have Photoshop configure your workspace based on your document preset.
    For every request we get like yours to “Do it my way because it’s the right way” we get hundreds of requests to do something completely different based on “My way, because it’s the right way.” That’s exactly why an application like Photoshop is so configurable with presets, workspaces, keyboard shortcuts, scripting, and extension panels via Adobe Configurator.
    There are so many different kinds of users from a wide range of professions that we simply can’t make a unique version for every person who has specific request.

  • Matt — 6:39 PM on April 13, 2010

    This rationale is probably why Photoshop is so labyrinthian. I get it. I just think there is a better solution.
    When new ‘speed-up-your-work-flow’ features are hidden in the middle of drop-down menus, or behind multiple key command short-cuts I think it’s time to have a rethink.
    For example, the new ‘quick’ color picker. What is it? Shift + Cmd + HELP + MONKEY then click three times while patting your belly :) .
    Then to change between the Hue and Saturation click, then space, then something else then BAH!
    [Yeah, it’s all so easy and obvious, and we keep effing it up. Damn do we suck… –J.]

  • Chris — 9:47 PM on April 13, 2010

    Of course Adobe software has crashed on me before, but your example is a bit extreme. The fact that multiple apps in the suite are crashing points to some shared resource that is crashing them on your system. I have no idea what could be causing it, but even if the fonts are reputable I’d start there by taking them all out and seeing what effect that has. Then adding them back one-by-one. Which I imagine you might have already tried. Are these crashes seemingly random or can you reproduce them? It could be an entirely different program (by a different vendor) causing the issue.
    I can understand your frustration, I’ve dealt software issues at various times too (MS, Apple, Adobe…) but it’s not like everyone’s CS4 crashes all the time like it does on your system. It gets a bit painful reading some of the unjustifiably negative and slightly imbecilic comments on here at times – no I’m not grouping yours in that btw, but I guess I just felt like reacting for once.
    I hope it gets sussed, the software is pretty cool when it works… :)

  • Matt — 5:24 AM on April 14, 2010

    I didn’t say that you suck, nor do I think redesigning the UI would be easy. In fact, it shouldn’t be easy. It should be exhausting.
    For a long time now a similar discussion has existed between Windows and Mac users. Macs only appear simpler because they do less. Less is expected of them.
    This might have been true in early OS X incarnation, but Snow Leopard is now as feature rich as any OS. It’s still beautiful and intuitive. Compare Macs ‘System Preferences’ with Windows ‘Control Panel’.
    Boil it down. Make it Object Oriented (not the code, the UI). Photoshop consists of Tools and Created Content. The Tools effect the Create Content.
    For example. Currently if I want to make a layer fade to transparent, I mask it, then use the gradient tool. That is not intuitive.
    Now if the gradient tool had a contextual menu that appeared when I chose it, and that menu had a check-box called ‘Gradient Dissolve’ – well that would be amazing!
    I choose the tool, then I tell it what I want it to do to my content.

  • Mike V — 6:07 AM on April 14, 2010

    You probably should let go of the Apple hating, it’s kind of getting old.
    [Hating? For real? Playing human/corporate punching bag for months on end, and then pointing out in passing that we’re frankly running circles around Apple when it comes to 64-bit app support on their own platform–using those dreadful cross-platform frameworks, even–is “hating”? I call that good clean competition. It’s funny what people can dish out but just can’t take. –J.]

  • drpepa — 6:41 AM on April 14, 2010

    If you could ask around the adobe community and find out who did them artworks, and a tutorial on that dragon maybe,would be well chuffed..cheers.
    il keep an eye out.. great site btway, although it attracts alot of nutters;)

  • Jeffrey Tranberry — 6:59 AM on April 14, 2010

    I think John was just countering the alleged Steve Jobs quote saying that Adobe is ‘lazy’ by presenting evidence to the contrary. I don’t see how that is Apple hating.

  • Jason Baldwin — 7:52 PM on April 14, 2010

    That’s why I’m so frustrated. It’s happened from the first day I installed it, so I started checking all the usual suspects (bad RAM, bad hard drive, bad font file, bad third-party software, etc.), and everything checked out. Just to make sure I wasn’t going insane, I cloned the drive for backup, wiped it clean, installed Snow Leopard, allowed Apple’s software updates to run, then installed CS4, with absolutely nothing else on the system. I opened some project files that I’d copied to a flash drive in various applications, and had the same problems as before. Crash after crash, with no rhyme or reproducible reason. Files of all sizes, all complexities, CMYK, RGB, LAB, Flash files with Illustrator images in the library, InDesign files with CMYK photos and illustrations, you name it.
    It’s a black eye on some otherwise wonderful and powerful software. If I can’t rely on it to make my living, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. I’m at my wits’ end.
    I have observed this, and all the caveats apply (it’s my perception, no scientific basis, etc.): 95% of the time an application crashes on my system, an Adobe product is involved, whether it’s a CS4 app, or a browser hung up on a Flash movie embedded in a web page. I don’t have anything approaching the same frequency of problems as I do with Adobe software. Maybe it’s because I spend so much more time using them, but it’s still frustrating as hell.

  • Lazy Adobe — 11:51 AM on April 15, 2010

    Adobe is lazy. We could have had Photoshop 64bit 2 years ago if Adobe actually bothered to do the work and switch to Cocoa.
    Flash crash bug still unfixed for well over 2 years. Not lazy? HAHA.
    http://flashcrash.dempsky.org/
    “This page exploits a bug that I reported to Adobe in September 2008, and has affected every release of Flash on every platform since then.”

  • mga — 3:01 PM on April 17, 2010

    man… i loved this comment (dj here also)

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