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Professional Imaging Tools

(June 2011) posted on Tue Jun 07, 2011

Software for image editing, manipulation, and illustration.

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Other features include an enhanced user interface as well as expanded support for a variety of file formats including PDF/X, Macromedia Flash, and SVG. In addition, it includes: Live Trace, which converts scans of hand-drawn sketches and digital photos into fully editable and scaleable Illustrator artwork; Live Paint, which enables users to color artwork quickly and intuitively based on how it appears on screen, rather than how it was constructed; and the new Control Palette allows users to access selection-based tools from a single location, eliminating the need for multiple palettes. Price: $599. Upgrade: $199.

Freehand MX is a vector-based drawing application for creative design, storyboarding, document production, and editing. Freehand’s design and illustration features allow users to create editable vector graphics that can be scaled and printed at any resolution. Freehand features include Multiple Attributes to apply unlimited stroke, fill, and effect attributes to a single vector object; Object Panel, which can inspect and change image properties—such as stroke, fill, font, or effect in one centralized location; and Life Effects, which applies complex distortions and effects without altering the original object. Freehand does not work with Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. Price: $399.

In addition, Adobe’s Lightroom 3 is designed for professional photographers, where users can import, select, develop, and showcase large volumes of digital images. Images handled by Lightroom are editable in Photoshop CS5. New features include: lens correction, which automatically reduces lens defects like geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting with single-click profiles; support for video files from most digital SLR cameras; image watermarking; perspective correction; and more.  Price: $299.

Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 includes the latest CS5 versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and more. Price: $2,599 (Premium edition), $1,899 (Standard edition).