October 15, 2008
PSCS4 extensibility: Flash, 64-bit
Now that Photoshop CS4 is shipping, let’s talk extensibility.
- By and large, your existing plug-ins should work just fine with CS4. Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes reports that when it comes to PS on the Mac and PS on Windows running in 32-bit mode, "Our in-house testing proved early on that with very rare exceptions, ‘if it worked in CS3, it works in CS4.’" Developers like onOne and Digital Anarchy have already issued statements of CS4 compatibility, and I expect more to follow.
- If you’re running Photoshop in 64-bit mode on Windows (Vista 64 or XP64), you’ll need updated, 64-bit-native versions of your plug-ins. (The 64-bit version of Photoshop can’t host 32-bit processes, and vice versa.) We’ve been providing documentation to plug-in vendors for many months, and the 64-bit-savvy CS4 SDK is publicly available for download. I expect vendors to be trying to gauge the level of interest in 64-bit versions of their tools, so if you’re in that camp, you might want to give them some friendly encouragement.
- Photoshop on Windows consists of two binaries (one 32-bit, one 64-bit) which can be installed in parallel as completely separate applications. This means you can use the 32-bit version to run older plug-ins while waiting for them to go 64-bit-native.
- Support for running SWFs as panels represents a development renaissance for Photoshop & the Creative Suite. It’s never been possible to create panels for Photoshop in the past*, and developing for other apps meant learning different APIs and writing different code for each. Now you can create cross-platform, cross-application, non-modal, vector-based, network-aware extensions using Flash or Flex. This is going to kick serious ass, and the Photoshop Developer Center now features the Photoshop Panel Developer’s Guide. Look for more examples and documentation soon.
If you’re a developer and have questions, feel free to drop Bryan a line so that he can point you in the right direction.
*Unless you were a really clever developer like the guys at Nik Software–and they’re the first to say “Oh yeah, that was awful”; now it’s possible in an easy, reliable way.
XD responds to user feedback
A brief note: A number of folks have questioned the XD team’s decision to render their new INSPIRE publication through the Flash Player. I passed the feedback along to the design team, and now XD manager Ty Lettau has replied.
InDesign + Flash goodness
As noted recently, one of my longest-held wishes has been for Flash (the authoring tool) to play better with other apps, enabling much richer exchange of documents. Now, thanks to the new XFL format introduced in CS4, we’re seeing that vision become more real. In a new segment on Adobe TV, Flash evangelist Paul Burnett demonstrates how InDesign works with Flash.
In a nutshell, you can choose to export your pages as either SWF (ready to go right into a Web page with animation, no tweaking required) or XFL (ready to go into the Flash authoring environment with content intact*). The beauty is that InDesign can offer rich direct-to-Web publishing without trying to replicate every conceivable authoring option. (Oh, and members of the InDesign team helped build the rich new text support in Flash Player 10, enabling higher fidelity hand-off between the apps.) [Via]
Next up, look for demos of After Effects leveraging XFL export to bring projects to Flash.
* One subtle detail is that Flash Player 10 now supports basic color management–more than a little important when you’re working across media and want to keep your images looking good. I plan to share more details about this support soon.
Quick notes on Camera Raw 5
Tom Hogarty has posted some brief notes about Camera Raw 5, now shipping as part of Photoshop CS4. He writes,
One important note is that the new camera support added in the last Camera Raw update for CS3 is not currently available in Camera Raw 5.0. We’ll be providing a Camera Raw 5.1 update next week that will include additional camera support.
Camera Raw 5 offers:
- Local adjustment brush
- Graduated Filter
- "Post Crop" Vignetting
- Opacity for the cloning/healing tool
- Improved Auto Adjustment
- Support for the new Camera Profiles that are still in beta form
Oh, and Thomas Knoll & co. just might have a couple of additional tricks up their sleeves–things one might see in an update due soon. (I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’…)
CS4 is out the door!
Happy Ides of October: I’m delighted to say that Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS4 Extended, along with the whole Creative Suite 4, are now shipping. The product tryouts haven’t yet been posted to Adobe.com, but you can sign up to be notified when they’re available. In the meantime you can grab the new Flash Player 10 to enable all kinds of good new stuff (Pixel Bender, 3D, etc.).