Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended review: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended

More on Adobe Photoshop CS3
For more detail on Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended's new features, click the image.

In addition to the enhanced Vanishing Point capabilities in its cheaper sibling--the ability to create linked planes at odd angles--Extended allows you to measure the planes and angles as well as export the meshes to DXF or VPE (After Effects). You can import a few popular formats of 3D models and edit any embedded texture maps; there are some basic rotation controls, coarse rendering options, and some odd lighting presets (it will load lights from the file, however).

However, if Adobe intends this to be a useful tool for creating presentation materials using 3D objects--can you say Acrobat 3D?--it needs more high-quality renderers and light presets, plus better visual feedback as to whether you're manipulating the camera or the object. The cross-section view is nice, but a reference axis floating in the object space would be really helpful. You can apply filters to 3D objects via Smart Filters, which I have to admit is very cool for producing "artist's rendering" views of a model.

Extended also contains some refugees from the now-defunct ImageReady, including its frame-based animation tools. Adobe has expanded the animation to include a timeline for basic keyframing of video effects and individual frame edits; it's certainly no replacement for After Effects CS3 Professional, but will serve in a pinch. Though I can understand the development reasons behind splitting the motion capabilities into a separate package, it's a shame to deny Web or mobile designers the ability to, say, animate the movement of a drop shadow via the Global Light setting, unless they fork over the extra $300 bucks.

Though based on the veteran 10th-generation Photoshop CS3, Photoshop Extended feels like a version 1.0 product tacked on. If you have the budget and want to experiment with the new tools, it's certainly worth a try. But if you're looking for the same streamlined, high-productivity tools for technical analysis, 3D imaging, and video/animation that Photoshop brings to traditional imaging, you'll need to wait a version or two.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Don't Miss

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended (single user full package, Mac)

Part Number: 19400084

MSRP: $999.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility Mac