Photoshop Sneak Peek #3 - Dotted and dashed vector lines
Adobe have responded to a 'long time ask' from Photoshop users to improve vector functionality by adding dashed and dotted lines.
Illustrator has always been Adobe's primary vector design software but this development shows that more users want to combine elements from both tools.
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Here is the video in full from Photoshop Product Manager Zorana Gee:
It is interesting that Adobe are choosing to combine two previously separate tools - Bitmap and vector editing. However, it is clear from comments on the video that Photoshop users who clamour for these changes don't really understand the differences between Illustrator and Photoshop - it is likely a lot of them only own Photoshop and not the full Creative Suite package.
This latest feature does improve Photoshop but does not improve Creative Suite as a whole as it is already present in Illustrator. Does this give an insight into Adobe's future?
The Future of Adobe Creative Suite
So far there have been three announcements to Photoshop - all called 'Sneak peeks'. An entirely new interface in the videos gives us the impression that all these features will be present in Adobe Photoshop CS6 - set for a 2012 release.
What is interesting about two of the new features is that they are elements of other Adobe products. Firstly, the Camera RAW functionality in Sneak Peek #1 is already being used in the latest Beta release of Lightroom, and dashed and dotted vector lines have been present in Illustrator for a long time now.
Adobe have always tried to link their products together so that they work in unison. The sole purpose of Adobe Bridge is to allow you to work on the same graphics within a number of different products.
However, do these new changes take this a step further and hint that in the future (a long way off), Adobe will release one product that does everything. Actually that is already a reality in Creative Suite. As long as your computer is fast enough, a CS user can use products simultaneously - creating vector graphics in Illustrator and then working on them in Photoshop for example.
Users who have only own one product do not realise this and so are left wondering why they don't have access to features that they see as simple additions.
Why is Creative Suite Not Already One Product?
If the public wants a complete single graphics tools - all Adobe Products in one window - they're in for a long wait and will probably upset a lot of designers.
There are three reasons Adobe release separate products under a single package:
Each product serves an individual purpose. Photographers only want/need Photoshop and Lightroom, graphics designers use Photoshop and Illustrator and so on. Most people don't want to pay for 10 tools when they are only going to use 2 or 3. Adobe must sell products separately or people will be put off by the high asking price of the single package.
Imagine a single tool that combines all the functionality of different Adobe products - it would be completely unwieldy. Navigating through toolbars and menus would be a nightmare.
If they were only trying to please their most loyal users instead of the mass market Adobe would have stuck to their guns and said 'if you want dashed and dotted vector lines then use Illustrator', but that's not the best business strategy.
Adobe products demand a lot from computers. All their products require a high processing speed and a lot of RAM. Not to mention a high-end graphics card and more.
A tool that combined every Adobe product would not work on the vast majority of home and work computers.
Money, money, money
The most obvious reason for fragmenting products is that Adobe can still sell them separately to those who don't want the full package. Somebody who only wanted Photoshop would not want to buy everything else as well and would instead choose a rival.
The Future for Photoshop
As full Creative Suite users, we would like to see Photoshop expand as a photo editing tool, not a vector design tool. We already have Illustrator for that.
Hopefully the next Sneak Peek will feature something that makes Creative Suite better as a complete package - not just the addition of a tool from one program to another.
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