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Friday, January 21, 2011, 01:10 pm PT (04:10 pm ET)

Documents appear to offer sneak peek at Adobe's plans for Creative Suite 6 [u]

A series of documents tied to a recent Adobe client survey suggest the next generation of Creative Suite (Adobe CS6) could include 64-bit versions of Illustrator and Flash Professional, as well as new image enhancing additions to After Effects. [Update: the existence of this survey has now been corroborated several times over.]

The documents provided to AppleInsider this week accompanied an online survey conducted by Adobe this month, in which some features of the next-gen Creative Suite 6 were discussed.

Adobe's Creative Suite software is typically updated every 12 to 18 months. The previous release, Creative Suite 5, shipped last April with 64-bit support for Photoshop, Premiere Photo and After Effects.

Parts of the survey, shown below, included descriptions of Adobe's entire line of Creative Suite products, though much of the material provided is marketing speak identical to previous version of the software. However, certain specific items labeled as 'New Features' in CS6 were also a part of the material.

The portions of the survey that claim to offer a summary of new features in CS6 have been summarized and included below.

Illustrator CS6

The documentation claims that Illustrator CS6 will include 64-bit support for the software, though it does not indicate whether that support is for Windows machines only, or if it will be extended to the Mac.

The new Illustrator would also allegedly include various user interface enhancements, such as scrubby sliders, the ability to edit layer names directly in the panel, and a "dark" mode similar to After Effects.

Other features listed in the documentation include:
  • New Pattern Creation mode which simplifies pattern creation and editing.
  • The ability to apply gradients to strokes in 3 different ways.
  • A new vectorization tool that creates clean vector artwork from images
  • Automatic corner generation for pattern brushes.
  • Faster, more fluid workflows for web and interactive design.
  • Integration with Maestro and CS Review.

CS6 1


Flash Professional CS6

The documents claim that a new Flash Professional for CS6 will bring 64-bit support to the Mac, bringing the software up to speed with its Windows counterpart. Other features claimed in the documentation include:
  • Usability and performance enhancements on a wide range of platforms and devices
  • New properties to visually create complex, real-world timeline animations that are editable in Flash Professional.
  • Tooling improvements for optimizing content creation.

CS6 2


Photoshop CS6

"With new breakthrough capabilities in Adobe Photoshop CS6 software, you can push your photography in new directions, design across screens, and increase your productivity," the alleged survey reads. It lists features of Photoshop CS6 as;
  • Infuse your stories with motion using DSLR video together with Photoshop. Transform video and stills in ways that were impossible before.
  • Design across screens and get more accurate results than ever before with reinvented drawing and graphics tools.
  • Get your work done in record time thanks to major productivity boosters leading to fewer steps and more workflow efficiencies.

CS6 3


Premiere Pro CS6

The new version of Premiere Pro will allegedly include faster performance and stability with the enhanced Mercury Playback Engine. Adobe promises that the update will allow users to open projects faster, scrub through HD and higher-resolution more fluidly, and playback complex long-format and effects-heavy projects with more reliability.

Premiere Pro for CS6 also allegedly includes user interface enhancements designed to simplify everyday tasks, making it easier for users more familiar with Apple's Final Cut Pro, or Avid software, to make the switch.

Premiere Pro CS6 also reportedly includes native tapeless workflow, saving users from having to transcode or rewrap a file. It also adds closed captioning support, with easy-to-create captions and subtitles that meet Section 508 standards.
CS6 4


After Effects CS6

Features of Adobe After Effects CS6, according to the documentation, will include:

  • Warp Stabilizer - Transform shaky hand-held footage into shots that look like they were shot on a dolly or using a Steadicam.
  • Persistent Disk Caching - Minimize the need to re-render frames and see previews more quickly as you work by saving previews to disk on a per layer and per comp basis.
  • Enhanced Stereoscopic 3D workflows - more easily set up stereo camera rigs inside of After Effects and render from multiple cameras without duplicating the comp.
  • Source timecode support - More easily communicate frame-accurate information with others using the same project footage in other post-production tools.
  • Small changes that make a big difference to your daily workflow.
  • New support for importing and exporting tapeless formats.

CS6 5


Other details

While the survey suggests that some applications will be seeing 64-bit upgrades, there is no indication that its Web designing software Dreamweaver will be 64-bit in CS6. The new version promises to help users "stay on the cutting edge of best practices, web standards and related technologies - including HTML5 and CSS3."

Also described in the documentation is the ability of Device Central to allow viewing of mobile content in HTML in addition to Flash. Device Central CS6 also allows the use of features like geolocation, accelerometer and multi-touch.

The survey also makes mention of a new tool in CS6 dubbed Adobe Helium. It will reportedly allow interactive designers to "create animations, interactions, widgets and interactive content using HTML5, CSS3 and other evolving web standards."

Released last April, Creative Suite 5 updated the applications that allow creation of content for Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2. It also added integration with online content and digital marketing measurement and optimization capabilities for the first time. Creative Suite 5 shipped with 15 products including Photoshop, Flash Professional, After Effects, Acrobat 9 Pro, and Encore.

Months before the release of the software, in February 2009, AppleInsider offered an exclusive peek at Adobe Creative Suite 5 for Mac, including the news that Photoshop CS5 for Apple hardware would be a full-fledged 64-bit application.