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CS4, is it worth it?

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2009, 04:01 PM
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pavel123 pavel123 is offline
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CS4, is it worth it?

I am using PS SC2 at the moment.
I would like to get user opinions, is it really worth the effort (and price ) to upgrade to CS4? One thing I know for sure, it has much higher requirement for computer resources. I mostly do photo post processing and photo art.

Thank you in advance.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2009, 05:47 PM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: CS4, is it worth it?

I'd say go for it. CS4 is improved in many ways over CS2.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:15 AM
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pavel123 pavel123 is offline
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Re: CS4, is it worth it?

Lurch, thank you so much. Pavel
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2009, 05:57 AM
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Chain Chain is offline
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Re: CS4, is it worth it?

I remember the upgrade from CS2 to CS3 was a really great improvement. Those improvements are carried over into CS4 (except the CS3 interface). Most notable are:
- A lot better Curves dialogue. You will never again need levels as curves now have a histogram.
- Black and white conversion adjustment layer
- Better Photomerge (further improved in CS4 again)
- Smart filters (non-destructive filters on smart objects!)
- Quick Selection tool
- Better print dialogue
- CS3 is actually quicker than CS2! :o

The main things I've noticed when going from CS3 to CS4 are:
- New shiny (flash-based) interface
- Adjustment layers panel eat a lot of screen space when open
- Requires more resources (maybe due to the interface changes?)
- After a while it gets sluggish and have to be restarted (quite quickly for me)
- Smart-objects can finally be linked with their masks (Yay! Finally!)
- Content-aware scaling (I was waiting for this last-minute addition. It is cool, but I admit I haven't needed it yet).
- Hardware-acceleration of the interface (OpenGL, activate from preferences). For me the hardware-acceleration did not give me any noticeable speed improvement (and I am unable to turn off the animated zoom in/out transition so zooming using shortcuts is not as quick).
- With Hardware-acceleration your image now looks smooth at all zoom-levels (yay, finally it looks ok at 66,6% zoom)
- If you use a digital drawing board the fact that you can rotate the view of the canvas is useful to get it into the most comfortable brushing position at all times.
- Masking has become easier, with a dedicated panel with useful tools (like sliders for nondestructive fading and feathering of the mask)
- Option for "Localized color clusters" in the color range selection dialogue (surprisingly useful!)
- Save for web and devices now have easier-to-use color management options

Note: on the machine with CS4 i run Windows. Most other people might not be experiencing the problems I've had as it varies depending on the machine.

So my summary is:
Upgrade from CS2 is highly recommended. There are many new and useful things. The change from CS2 to CS3 added more useful stuff than the change from CS3 to CS4, but if you upgrade today you might as well grab the newest version to stay up-to-date. Download all updates once you have it installed
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:22 AM
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pavel123 pavel123 is offline
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Re: CS4, is it worth it?

Chain,

Many thanks for detailed answer. Greatly appreciated.

I usually try to avoid upgrading if I can, 'cause typically any given upgrade would have a few new features I may or may not need while inevitably requiring a deal deal more computer resources....

In PS case, CS3 definitely sounds like a must have....CS4 still considering.

Pavel
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2009, 07:24 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: CS4, is it worth it?

I have seen a video of PSCS5 and looks damn good. Wait till that version, it has a lot of cool improvements and new functions.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:28 AM
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Re: CS4, is it worth it?

Aside from the new features, the interface upgrade is fantastic. And that is very important when you spend so much time in the software. When I tell you that when you pan around on the image you throw it around and there's a little decay like on the ipod touch it might sound like an insignificant feature but it really makes a difference when paning all the time. I love the birds eye view when you are very zoomed on part of the image and want to jump to another part. Resizing and changing the brush hardness on the fly is fantastic as well.
the use of open gl is really great. zoom looks good on all sizes, rotating the canvas to paint is a must, once you try it you will always use it. images stacked as tabs, custom swf panels etc etc...

just for the interface upgrade it's worth it.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:49 AM
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KarimNassar KarimNassar is offline
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Re: CS4, is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum3 View Post
I have seen a video of PSCS5 and looks damn good. Wait till that version, it has a lot of cool improvements and new functions.
I remember reading something around april 2010?
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:13 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: CS4, is it worth it?

Karim is right when he said about the panning feature. I was working with CS3 few days ago and I just panned the image the way I do it in CS4 and I was like "Ugh!?". Definitely, the panning in CS4 allows a very fast editing, the same with the birds eye that Karim says. I don't use that feature so much, but it's quite handy when needed and again, is another great feature that I missed in CS3, even if I used it just few times, is extremly handy when needed. Also, the clone and heal tools shows you a preview of what you sampled which is really useful for reconstruction or taking out elements.
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:14 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: CS4, is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarimNassar View Post
I remember reading something around april 2010?
Oh, April 2010? I saw a link in around PR and I saw some of the features... really impressive things, such the improved content aware scale and some techniques to clone out stuff which are speechless.
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