Shifting to Illustrator CS5- Is that a Great Option?

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Adobe Illustrator is vector graphic tool developed by Adobe. It is used by design professionals worldwide. Adobe Creative Suite (CS) is a collection of graphic editing, video editing, and web development applications made by Adobe System. The latest version CS5 was officially released on12th April 2010. Since then, it has become hot topic in the world of design. Long discussions are taking place on whether we should shift to different applications of CS5 or not! Till date, details comparisons are being made between different applications in CS5 and the CS4. In this, we will do the comparison of Adobe Illustrator CS5 and Illustrator CS4.

Why you need to upgrade to CS5:

Adobe Creative Suite 5, the newest release of Adobe’s creative toolset, enables new creative possibilities and smarter workflows, allowing you to deliver your ideas more naturally across a broad range of media. With more than 250 new and enhanced features and dramatically improved integration across products, Creative Suite 5 gives you the freedom and control to realize your ideas more completely and quickly than ever before. With Creative Suite 5 your work can impact more people in more places.

The launch of Creative Suite 5 brings with it the introduction of an exciting new product, Adobe Flash® Catalyst™ CS5. Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5 is a professional interaction design tool for creative professionals who want to create expressive interfaces and interactive content without writing code. To learn more about Flash Catalyst, visit the Flash Catalyst CS5 product page.

Creative Suite 5 is also the first version of Creative Suite to integrate with new Adobe CS Live online services. Adobe CS Live is a set of online services that significantly enhance how your work flows, allowing you to focus on creating your most impactful work. There are currently five online services included with CS Live: Adobe BrowserLab, Adobe CS Review, SiteCatalyst® NetAverages™,, and Adobe Story. CS Live online services are complimentary for a limited time. To learn more about Adobe CS Live online services, see the CS Live section of this FAQ and visit the CS Live services page.

Adobe Illustrator CS5 software provides precision and power with sophisticated drawing tools expressive natural brushes, a host of time-savers, and integration with Adobe CS Live online services CS Live services are complimentary for a limited time. Let’s explore the features needed for

a) Design Projects: From ideas to output, take advantage of the power and precision of Adobe® Illustrator® software. Create beautiful and effective vector artwork using sophisticated drawing tools, expressive natural brushes, a host of time-savers, and integration with Adobe CS Live online services.* CS Live services are complimentary for a limited time.

New Features—

Beautiful Strokes: They, very interactively adjust stroke width using new width handles. Precisely position arrowheads and symmetrically align dashes. Once you control stretch at any point with the scaling art brushes on a path, the patterns can be observed behaving beautifully at corners.

Perspective Drawing: It makes use of perspective grids to draw shapes and scenes in accurate 1-, 2-, or 3-point linear perspective, and create the look of realistic depth and distance.

Integration with Adobe CS Review: It enables to create and share online reviews for clients down the hall or around the world using Adobe CS Review, one of the new CS Live online services.

Bristle Brush: It facilitates paints with vectors that resemble real-world brush strokes and achieves the expressiveness of natural media with the scalability of vector graphics.

Shape Builder Tool: As the name suggests, it combines, edits, and fills shapes directly on your artboard without accessing multiple tools and panels.

Resolution-independent effects: It helps applying raster effects, such as drop shadows, blurs, and textures, that maintains a consistent appearance across media.

Enhanced Features—

Gradients and Transparency: Interact with gradients directly on your objects and control the transparency of individual colors in gradients and gradient meshes.

Multiple artboard Enhancements: Now, you can work on up to 100 artboards of varying sizes in one file— named, organized, and viewed the way you want.

Drawing Enhancements: Join paths with a keystroke, draw behind, and draw inside and get to work faster with everyday tools.

b) Web projects: Design websites, interactive experiences, and original vector graphics that developers will love with Adobe® Illustrator®. Create pixel-aligned artwork that stays crisp when rasterized and define up to 100 artboards in a single file.

Apart from having features like Resolution independent effects, multiple artboards for web and interactive, there are some new and enhanced features like

(New) Crisp graphics for web and mobile: Create vector objects precisely on the file’s pixel grid for delivering pixel-aligned artwork. Generate clean, sharp raster graphics by turning on Align To Pixel Grid and using text anti-aliasing options for individual text frames.

Enhanced Features:
Integration with Adobe Flash Professional: Import Illustrator files into Flash® Professional with type better preserved and symbol registration points supported.

New Document Profiles for web and mobile devices: Get access to new pixel-grid alignment from web and mobile device profiles, which also include relevant dimensions, color groups, and more.

Versatile slicing tools: You are now fully equipped to create vector-based slices from objects, groups of objects, or layers that are preserved when exporting your artwork as a SWF or PSD file.

c) For Video Projects: With the powerful vector drawing tools in Adobe® Illustrator®, you can design intricate and sophisticated artwork for video. Use multiple artboards with video-specific presets and create layers, masks, gradients, and effects that import beautifully into Adobe After Effects.

The features like beautiful strokes, multiple artboards for motion and effects. Gradients and transparency, sophisticated vector drawing tools, advanced typography have been specifically designed for the video projects.

Comparison between Illustrator CS5 and Illustrator CS4:
There are 3 aspects, the grounds on which the above two can be compared— Creative tools, Productivity and Workspace features, typography and web, video and mobile support.
To the first part, CS5 incorporates new features like Perspective Drawing, Bristle Brush, Beautiful Strokes, where as features like transparency in gradients, clipping masks, tablet support, Adobe Photoshop raster effects have been enhanced.

If we consider the productivity aspect, there are some new amazing features in CS5 like Integration with CS Review, Shape building tools where as the features like Multiple artboards, Adobe Bridge, control panel, selection tools have been enhanced.

If we talk about the third area, to enhance typography, Clean, sharp text for web and mobile devices has been introduced. For supporting web, video and mobile in a better way, clean and sharp graphics for mobile and web has been facilitated also providing with the support for roundtrip editing with Adobe Flash Catalyst. Not just this, the already present features like multiple artboards for web, mobile, Adobe device central have been modified to a better ones.

A few things that we would have liked to see in the release of Adobe Illustrator CS5 went untouched by Adobe. For instance, gradient swatches do not save gradient angle and placement. Similarly, copying a gradient from one object to another using the Eyedropper tool resets the gradient to the default angle and placement. That can be frustrating, as can working with 3D Extrude & Bevel because Adobe seems incapable of improving that feature to eliminate the frequent occurrence of self-intersections.

The blending modes in Adobe Illustrator CS5 still have not been updated to match the more fully featured set introduced in Photoshop CS2 (Vivid Light, Color Dodge, and others). For years, users have been asking for enhancements to long-standing Illustrator features like blending, charts and graphs, 3D effects, and others, but CS5 once again ignores those requested refinements.

Conclusion: Thus, closely observing each and every aspect very closely, we do find no difficulty in shifting to Adobe CS5. Obviously, as we have already said that humans are bound to change, and with the change in technology repeatedly, we ought to remain open to changes.

About the Author

This post is shared by PixelCrayons, a creative web design and development agency that specializes in custom web design & development, markup services, CMS & ecommerce solutions.

About Andrew Smith

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