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Adobe Ships Creative Suite 5.5

Adobe has released Creative Suite 5.5, a major mid-cycle update to its flagship digital media production suite. For educators and students, Adobe is supporting the new version with professional development, learning resources, and educational pricing.

The version 5.5 update is the first under Adobe's newly adopted policy of providing significant updates in the middle of its regular development cycle, a cycle that will now be increased from 18 months to 24 months.

New Features: Mobile
Creative Suite 5.5 incorporates several new tools for developing for the Android, iOS, and BlackBerry Tablet OS mobile platforms. These include Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 Premium, which is be a part of the Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium bundle. Flash Builder adds support for mobile Flex projects via the new Flex 4.5 framework for mobile devices, which lets developers build apps that run on iOS devices, Android devices, and BlackBerry tablets. It also includes new mobile support for ActionScript and HTML5 emulation for testing HTML5.

Other enhancements in the area of mobile development include:

  • A new scripting engine in Photoshop that allows developers to "interact with Photoshop from Android, BlackBerry and iOS devices";
  • Improved support for HTML5 in Dreamweaver;
  • Expanded device support in Adobe Device Central;
  • New mobile development tools in Flash Professional (including content scaling on the stage);
  • Mobile emulation;
  • On-device debugging; and
  • 20 code snippets for building AIR apps for mobile devices, including specific technologies like accelerometer and multitouch gestures, as well as saving and loading data.

New Features: Design, Video
Creative Suite 5.5 also adds enhancements InDesign, Adobe's page layout and publishing tool, and After Effects and Premiere Pro, its motion graphics and video editing tools.

Adobe InDesign adds new Folio Producer tools for building interactivity into their magazines for use on Android- and iOS-based tablet devices, as well as e-book readers and BlackBerry tablets (via a forthcoming release of AIR for BlackBerry Playbook). This includes support for audio and video; interactive overlays; HTML5 elements; and interactive objects with pan, zoom, and rotation. Development can be tested in directly within InDesign.

Adobe's non-linear editor, Premiere Pro, adds more precise trimming and editing tools; overall improved performance; workflow enhancements; and a new Merge Clips for synching video with audio recorded on a separate device.

After Effects CS5.5, the new version of Adobe's visual effects tool, also adds several new features, including Warp Stabilizer (for steadying shaky footage); Camera Lens Blur (for creating depth of field blurs); and Light Falloff (for emulating natural light in 3D scenes).

Other new digital media production features include:

  • Automatic image resizing on e-book readers for content designed in InDesign;
  • Support for HTML5 video and audio tags in InDesign;
  • A new 64-bit Adobe Media Encoder that has support for background encoding and new formats, including AVC-Intra and DPX;
  • New watch folder support in Media Encoder for drag and drop export to multiple formats;
  • Expanded device support (including laptop GPUs) for the Mercury Playback Engine;
  • Enhanced support for Final Cut Pro project exchange and enhanced enhanced OMF support in Audition and Premiere Pro for exporting to Pro Tools;
  • Enhanced support for tapeless cameras, including RED, with a new RED Source Settings dialog and native support for RED Epic camera media up to 5k (via a freely available extension on the Adobe Labs site); and
  • An improved audio engine in Audition.

Creative Suite 5.5 is available now. Education pricing is available and varies with the bundle and license type.

For student and educator single licenses, the prices are about a third to a quarter of the regular retail price, as follows:

  • Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection: $899;
  • Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium: $449;
  • Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium: $449;
  • Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium: $449; and
  • Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard: $299

Volume licenses are also available for K-12 organizations and higher education institutions. Pricing varies widely by bundle and license type, from $8,999 for 250 seats of the Production Premium bundle under CLP to $16,999 for 500 seats of the Master Collection under the TLP. Further information about licensing can be found here. Further details about Creative Suite 5.5 can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

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