CS5 Is Here

The highly anticipated Adobe Creative Suite CS5 is here… well, kind of. Adobe has been publicizing a “release date” of April 10, 2010, though at the moment, it looks like certain beta releases are available for trial, not actual purchase. Nonetheless, Adobe is not wasting anytime advertising the latest features, tools, and enhancements for their new product.

I wasn’t able to browse through the entire site but I did catch a glimpse of some cool new features in After Effects. A new tool that immediately caught my eye is something called the Rotobrush. It essentially allows you to isolate foreground elements in your video footage by clicking on it. Imagine being able to key out an actor or object and have total flexibility as if they were in front of a green screen. This process would usually require days of intricate rotoscoping and mask animation that, in the end, isn’t usually worth the time. If this tool works the way Adobe claims it does, it will open the floodgates to whats possible in motion graphics.  Here’s a short video that demonstrates how it works. It’s a dream come true for motion artists, right? Quite honestly, it’s almost too good to be true!

After Effects CS5 will also come with a new plug-in from Digieffects called FreeForm, a powerful new 3D mesh warp that allows you to turn 2D objects or textures into any 3D shape. This would be helpful if you need to composite objects with different perspectives. With all of the compositing and 3D environment interaction we do at DDA Medical  and DDA Video, this might become a pretty useful tool as well.

There’s a whole slew of small software enhancements like the ability to import effects and adjustment layers from Photoshop stills, a dedicated keyboard shortcut to point/focus the camera to a selected layer, the ability to align layers to compositions, and last but not least, a beefy RAM preview enhancement allowing the user to preview longer comps in real-time.

DDA Video is always on the cutting edge of technology whether it’s developing new Virtual Medical Simulations (VMS), creating interactive DVDs and CD-ROMs, or programming custom flash websites with rich content. New advancements in software like this can only make things easier for our talented media artists!