Adobe CS3 needs improvement

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Kwill, May 24, 2008.

  1. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Scattered new features were nice add-ons but Universal Binary support in CS3 alone is what made this upgrade important to Intel Mac users. Nevertheless, using CS3 for complex jobs reveals a by no means exhaustive list of omissions.
    1. More unified menu between Photoshop and Illustrator required.
      Filters and palettes use different names and have inconsistent locations.
    2. Illustrator needs Photoshop-like folder and masking (compound path) options from layers palette.
    3. Support for Photoshop clipping paths in Illustrator (not just InDesign).
    4. Illustrator should inherit FreeHand object style options (fill and stroke) by including editable gradient angles.
    5. Illustrator needs to enhance charting dialog for real-time previews and multiple marker shapes.
    6. Support transparency within TIFF, not just PSD files in Illustrator.
    7. Within Photoshop and Illustrator, support a "spot color" color space in addition to CMYK or RGB.
    With 32 years of graphic design, technical illustration, traditional and digital prepress production I consider Adobe CS3 to be the most professional graphics package available. It does nearly everything I need it do. Yet it still requires cumbersome workarounds for spot color jobs in both Photoshop and Illustrator. This was necessary in 2000 and I am surprised to run into the same obstacles 8 years later.

    Recently, there was a need to use Photoshop to prepare artwork intended for four spot colors plus foil and embossing. Ultimately, the customer wanted art that could be dropped into Illustrator to layout with other elements. (Initial attempt to create artwork entirely within Illustrator was impractical.)

    Because Illustrator offers only two color space options, CMYK or RGB, the document had to set up as CMYK. Illustrator recognizes additional spot colors added within the native application or imported from channels embedded within a Photoshop file. However, registration marks and color bars anticipate and include CMYK even if a document is entirely spot colors. To keep from generating excessive blank plates, color substitution was used.

    For client approval art was first prepared on layers in colors to simulate spot colors. For actual print production, art had to be prepared a totally different way. Spot colors were moved to solid CMYK+2 alpha channels (green=c, red=m, gold=y, black=k).

    In order to place other objects behind the Photoshop artwork within Illustrator, a clipping path was saved. Alternatively, art was left on a layer with Photoshop transparency intact. When the file was saved as a TIFF, it was possible to select and use the clipping path within InDesign; clipping paths are ignored in Illustrator. Eventually, it was discovered that art needed to be saved as PSD for Illustrator to recognize inherent layer transparency. If this is a "suite," why does InDesign support art formats that Illustrator does not?

    Rather than resorting to these non-intuitive color channel shuffles, Illustrator should support a spot-color document setup (similar to CMYK) that provides spot-specific color bars and registration without generating extra plates. Alternatively and perhaps more appropriately, Illustrator should intelligently support spot color when CMYK is selected.

    "Fixing" the inadequacies listed, would require a full suite upgrade. My concern is that Adobe charges a hefty fee for eye candy without polishing its production tools for the real world of graphics.
  2. jerryrock macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2007
    Amsterdam, NY
    Illustrator Help Menu:

    Importing artwork from Photoshop

    You can bring artwork from Photoshop (PSD) files into Illustrator using the Open command, the Place command, the Paste command, and the drag-and-drop feature.

    Illustrator supports most Photoshop data, including layer comps, layers, editable text, and paths. This means that you can transfer files between Photoshop and Illustrator without losing the ability to edit the artwork. For easy transfer of files between the two applications, adjustment layers that have visibility turned off are imported (though inaccessible) into Illustrator and restored when exported back to Photoshop.

    Spot colors (up to 31 spot channels per file) import as a single N‑Channel raster image, which is placed over the process color image. The spot colors are added to the swatches panel as custom colors with the same name as in Photoshop. Imported spot colors separate correctly.

    Duotone PSD files import as flat raster images with a 256‑indexed colorspace and an N‑Channel colorspace containing all of the duotone inks. Because Illustrator uses an N‑Channel, blending mode interactions set in Photoshop may appear differently in Illustrator. Ink colors from old color libraries are set to gray.

    In cases where Illustrator must convert the Photoshop data, a warning message appears. For example, when importing a 16‑bit Photoshop file, Illustrator warns you that the image will be imported as an 8‑bit, flat composite.

    PDF is the preferred file format for export and saving artwork as it preserves transparency and editable layers.
  3. Kwill thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Thanks for sharing the Help menu. I didn't consider using a PDF within Illustrator. However, the preview within Illustrator is better with the PSD I did use.

    There are still inconsistencies in the way Illustrator and InDesign handle various Photoshop file formats. And when using multiple spot colors (not duotone), converting to process allows imagesetter rips to adjust angles so they are not all 45°.

    Point of clarification. Photoshop and Illustrators do include support for spot colors. However, the assumption of the developers (which is correct in most instances) is that spot colors are used in addition to CMYK. Issues arise when attempting to use only spot colors and there is a need to utilize filter effects which are rendered as process.
  4. wrongrobot macrumors newbie


    Nov 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    my no. 1 wish for Photoshop is, as my buddy calls it, a 'singular user need'... a way to hotkey the color picker. I finally found some ways to accomplish this on the PC side using global hotkey automator apps and assigning a left click at the exact location of the center of the foreground color in the toolbar, which was pretty much insanea,d further complicated by the fact that every monitor assignment changed that location, rendering it fairly useless.

    On the mac, I've had no success.

    For my illustration needs, I use the color picker constantly. MEH!

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