Adobe has launched its new range of Creative Suite 3 products, introducing new application bundles alongside standalone tools.

There are six new configurations of Adobe Creative Suite 3, including: Creative Suite 3 Design Premium and Design Standard editions; Creative Suite 3 Web Premium and Web Standard editions; and Creative Suite 3 Production Premium. There's also the Creative Suite Master Collection, which offers all the individual applications the company has introduced.

Upgraded applications include Photoshop CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, InDesign CS3, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, and After Effects CS3. Adobe Bridge CS3 has also been improved, while the Adobe Stock Photos Service has been expanded.

Creative Suite 3 Design Premium

Creative Suite 3 Design Premium (£1,409) introduces new Universal versions of InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver and Acrobat 8 Professional.

Adobe also announced Creative Suite 3 Design Standard (£895) software for designers and print service providers focused on professional design and print production.

The integration of Flash CS3 Professional means designers and developers can import native Photoshop and Illustrator files into projects.

Web integration also debuts. Dreamweaver CS3 automatically optimises for the web when designers copy and paste Photoshop files into layouts. Designers can also repurpose print content for the web by exporting InDesign selections or documents as XHTML files and then opening them in Dreamweaver.

Designs on the web

Adobe CS3 Web Premium holds true to the web tradition the company acquired with the Macromedia takeover, offering tools developers can use to prototype, design, develop and maintain websites, applications, games, presentations, and mobile content.

John Loiacono, senior vice president of creative solutions at Adobe said: “On top of barn-storming versions of Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, and Contribute, we’ve integrated major upgrades to flagship design tools, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, to radically simplify web design and development.”

Adobe Creative Suite Web editions will be available as Universal applications for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

Included applications are: Dreamweaver CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Fireworks CS3, Contribute CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, and Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional.

Integration is key in this release: designers can import native Photoshop and Illustrator files directly into Flash and Fireworks with full fidelity for the first time. Designers can then specify how layers, organisational hierarchy, text, styles, formatting, and other attributes are handled following import.

Users can copy and paste directly from Photoshop CS3 to Dreamweaver CS3 to quickly build pages from website compositions.

Dreamweaver CS3 introduces integration with the new Spry Framework for AJAX, a pre-built, cross-browser compatible library of widgets and effects that makes it faster and easier to build rich interactive websites.

Estimated street pricing is £1,195 for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium and £705 for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard. There are numerous upgrade paths available for customers who own prior versions of Adobe or Macromedia products.

Photoshop CS3 doubles up

As previously announced, Adobe has introduced two versions of Photoshop within its CS3 range, Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 is £485 while Photoshop CS3 Extended costs £755, both ship in the US and Canada in April.

Either edition represents a significant upgrade to the industry-standard imaging software. Both of these Universal software solutions are available in Adobe's various creative tool collections and as standalone applications.

Aimed at the most demanding professionals in architecture, engineering, medicicine and science, Photoshop CS3 Extended offers all the imaging power of Photoshop, and adds new tools for 3D, motion graphics, and image measurement and analysis.

Photoshop CS3 Extended also includes video-format and layer support to edit video files frame by frame.

Photoshop CS3 offers new features for advanced compositing, so designers can automatically align multiple Photoshop layers or images using the Auto-align Layers command.

This intelligently analyzes details and moves, rotates or warps layers to align them perfectly. The Auto-blend Layers command blends the colour and the shading.

InDesign CS3

InDesign CS3 will be made available as a standalone application, as well as being a component of Adobe's Creative Suite 3 Design Premium and Standard editions.

The Universal application offers a slew of improvements to workflow and performance. Productivity features including Multi-file Place, expanded Quick Apply, Advanced Find/Change, and fast frame fitting. The application also supports visual effects borrowed from Photoshop, such as bevel and emboss, as well as satin. Full support for blending modes, opacity and finer transparency support also feature in the release.

Table and cell styles allow users to quickly format an entire table or apply design to a regional area, such as a header or footer. Standards-based XHTML export to Dreamweaver CS3 enables print content to be repurposed for web publishing. This export feature also lets publishers quickly produce their titles in a format usable by Adobe's Digital Editions software.

Adobe InDesign CS3 and Adobe InCopy CS3 will begin shipping in April 2007 to customers in the United States and Canada. Adobe InDesign CS3 Server ships in the second quarter of 2007.

Adobe on video

Adobe is back on video for the Mac with the release of Adobe CS3 Production Premium (£1,409), its complete integrated post-production solution. The suite ships in the third quarter 2007.

The release – which supports Intel Macs as well as Windows – includes After Effects CS3 Professional; Premiere Pro CS3, Encore CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended; Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professinal and Soundbooth CS3. The suite also offers to facility to deliver titles on both DVDs and Blu-ray.

Flash integration has been improved across this release to help producers deliver their creations to multiple devices and online as well as to video or for TV.

Better slow motion and speed effects along vast improvements in After Effects CS3 feature in this release. After Effects CS3 now offers the Puppet tool for stretching and manipulating 2D images as lifelike animations; and the Brainstorm tool for interactively generating and previewing animation variations.

John Loiacono, senior vice president of creative solutions at Adobe said: “We’re back on the Mac with a great cross-platform suite that will enable new levels of expressiveness and productivity over multiple mediums."