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Author Topic: CS4 VERY NICE!  (Read 60689 times)
dwdallam
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« on: November 22, 2008, 12:10:57 AM »
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I've been working with CS4 for a few hours now throughout several days, and here is my initial impression:

1. This is the version we've been waiting for. Everything is smooth and streamlined.

2. Smooth installation, everything works. Remember the problems people were having with CS3's original print to Acrobat, among other bugs? Well there isn't any of that nonsense now. CS4 is smooth, really smooth. It loads, it works. No bull.

3. Real world upgrades that really matter, mainly navigation oriented. This results in a more fluid work flow, at least for me. For instance, all windows are undockable and float even over the borders of the PS windows. The tool tabs are better designed and more intuitive, and now we also have Adjustment tools as a panel also. These tools, when you use them, automatically create an adjustment layer.

Things are just easier to find, and they feel like they are just "right there" when you need them. There is a new concept called a sticky button, and you'll use it automatically because it's part of the system now. You click down on it and when you release it reverts back to the original BEFORE adjustment. So if you make an adjustment, and I'm not sure where this button is, but that's of no concern because I remember using it, and you want to see what it looked like before, you click down on the button, which show you a "before" layer and then when you release it, the adjustment you just made come back, so you don't need to "UNDO" "REDO". Now that is slick. It's just full of those little things like that. Another one, and maybe I'm mistaken about his, but if you right click a layer, you have Merge functions available as the last choices. So you don't need to go to the top of the tool bar>Layers>Merge Down any longer. There is a TON of this stuff in CS4.

4. The entire PS desktop is pretty much configurable, unlike CS, CS2, CS3 where for some reason Adobe confined us to a static workplace. The first thing you'll notice and say to yourself is something like, "Where are the borders and all the other clutter I'm use to?" This version is really streamlined as far as interface goes. I just don't have the ability to explain this aspect of PSCS4. How about, NON INTRUSIVE to a point of fine detail and NIMBLE? It's as if PSCS4 isn't even open.

5. 64 bit!!! YEAH! Although even working with RAW files from the 1DS3, with 4GB of RAM I have yet to run out of physical memory, even with Lightroom, PS, and other programs running in the back ground (I like to convert music while I work for my car stereo, and other things  ). More importantly is that if you need more than 4GB of RAM, you're in business. With a 64bit OS, PSCS4's 64bit, and LR2's 64bit capabilities, you can use infinite amounts of RAM for those three programs. If you don't have a 64 bit OS, Adobe conveniently coded a 32 bit version of PSCS4 also, which loads on install. The two share the same settings. If you have a 64bit CPU, it gets even better, although I haven't noticed a huge speed increase. What I have noticed  is that everything feels much punchier and more crisp. I get no mouse lag at anytime that I've noticed. PSCS4 is probably taking advantage of my dual core 64bit CPU, even though it's a first generation AMD x64. (I'm just now getting to really USE this CPU I bought in 2005.)

Although Adobe may charge far too much for their software, because they can, at least I feel like I'm getting exceptionally refined and top level, SOLID software. This version runs on jet turbine power.

I would like to see an expansion of the tabbed tools that Adobe has started. Like I said above, Adobe has put more tools there, mainly adjustments, such as levels, color, photo filters, etc., which really speeds up work flow and reduces mouse movement and clicking. I'd like to see Layers there too, such as Layer Mask>Reveal all/Hide all. They may be there but I've yet to discover them.

So I have this to say--so far regarding PSCS4+DWCS4+LR2 -- WAY TO GO ADOBE, EYES WIDE OPEN! Nice piece of work. I don't know if they fired people and rehired or hired better programmers/developers, but something has changed. The changes Adobe made this version are not seemingly the decision of one or a few people experimenting, but more like calculated, complex computer generated human interface engineering modeling put into real world use.

For those of you who might think this is a "fan boy" post, those of you who know me would not agree. If you look at my posts, you'll see I'm extremely analytical and critical of bugs and defects in both the hardware I use and the software--sometimes to a fault.

Hope this helps people in some way. That's what this forum is all about, right?

Have a nice day, night, cup of coffee, an so on.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 12:25:37 AM by dwdallam » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2008, 04:53:21 AM »
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First hours of usage seem to indicate that it is an OK upgrade, I would personnally not call it great. Many useful additions going in the right direction, but I don't think that my workflow will be significantly improved. This only shows that CS3 was already a good product.  

I would probably be more positive if I were on PC, the lack of 64 bits support on Mac remains difficult to swallow, even if Apple is the main culprit.

I would personnally probably not have upgraded to PS CS4 alone, but there is good value in the overall Creative Suite Premium.

Cheers,
Bernard
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dwdallam
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2008, 05:27:38 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
First hours of usage seem to indicate that it is an OK upgrade, I would personnally not call it great. Many useful additions going in the right direction, but I don't think that my workflow will be significantly improved. This only shows that CS3 was already a good product.  

I would probably be more positive if I were on PC, the lack of 64 bits support on Mac remains difficult to swallow, even if Apple is the main culprit.

I would personnally probably not have upgraded to PS CS4 alone, but there is good value in the overall Creative Suite Premium.

Cheers,
Bernard

Yeah the MAC version might not be as good as the PC version. I'm working with it right now and it's just sweet. Here's another tidbit: The working windows now support "flicks" where you flick the cursor, using a tablet pen, and the image spools in the direction you flick it. Tap the cursor to stop the motion where you want it. It's very fluid and nice to use. It's tight too in like REALLY crisp.

I wish the "H" key had the option to Toggle the Hand tool. You press it down and you get the hand tool, release it and it reverts back to the tool you were using.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 11:32:04 PM by dwdallam » Logged

DiaAzul
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008, 06:55:42 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
I would probably be more positive if I were on PC, the lack of 64 bits support on Mac remains difficult to swallow, even if Apple is the main culprit.



Cheers,
Bernard

I am a PC, and it's pretty awful. I don't agree with anything written in the original post. A lot of functionality I used previously has been chopped and/or change. The user interface is slow. I constantly need to wait for the screen to redraw when changing between layers, Brushes are a lot slower. The Adjustments panel is of fixed height and takes up 50%+ of the vertical real estate in the tool panel. There are more hooks and locations where subtle advertising is starting to creep in (or at least the opportunity is their for Adobe and their partners to start pushing more crap onto the desktop).

As stated earlier the hype versus the reality of CS4 is widely divergent and I wouldn't recommend it above CS3.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2008, 09:41:15 AM »
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First, anyone know of any streaming/downloadable VIDEO tutorials on CS4?  Not Bridge, but CS4.  Also I'm on a Mac and really miss 64 bit.  I've had CS4 "hang"  several times necessitating a "force quit" and loosing all the work I've done on my image files.  In addition I get  "can't complete task" due to low RAM or something like that.  I'm on a high end quad core Mac with 8 gb of ram.  Eleanor



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Tony Beach
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2008, 09:55:17 AM »
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Quote from: dwdallam
"Where are the borders and all the other clutter I'm use to?"

With CS2, they are on my second monitor.
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Wolfman
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2008, 12:02:10 PM »
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Quote from: eleanorbrown
First, anyone know of any streaming/downloadable VIDEO tutorials on CS4?  Not Bridge, but CS4.  Also I'm on a Mac and really miss 64 bit.  I've had CS4 "hang"  several times necessitating a "force quit" and loosing all the work I've done on my image files.  In addition I get  "can't complete task" due to low RAM or something like that.  I'm on a high end quad core Mac with 8 gb of ram.  Eleanor


Eleanor,

Do you have an empty hard drive dedicated to photoshop as a scratch disk? That might help if that isn't the case yet.
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kjkahn
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2008, 01:09:37 PM »
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Quote from: eleanorbrown
First, anyone know of any streaming/downloadable VIDEO tutorials on CS4?  Not Bridge, but CS4.  ....  Eleanor

Shortly after registering my upgrade to CS4, Adobe offered me a choice of complimentary registration benefits, including 30 days of access to [a href=\'index.php?act=findpost&pid=0\']www.lynda.com[/a]. I'm working through the CS4 video tutorials, as I did with CS3.

Ken
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 04:17:28 PM »
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Ken, nothing comes up with this link.  Could you please repost.. Many thanks, Eleanor

Quote from: kjkahn
Shortly after registering my upgrade to CS4, Adobe offered me a choice of complimentary registration benefits, including 30 days of access to [a href=\'index.php?act=findpost&pid=0\']www.lynda.com[/a]. I'm working through the CS4 video tutorials, as I did with CS3.

Ken
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madmanchan
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2008, 04:44:19 PM »
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Bernard, in the meantime on the Mac you can use a ram disk to use more real memory instead of going to swap. Not as convenient, but better than just using disk.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2008, 09:04:36 PM »
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Quote from: madmanchan
Bernard, in the meantime on the Mac you can use a ram disk to use more real memory instead of going to swap. Not as convenient, but better than just using disk.

There used to be an optional library on CS3 that managed automatically at the cost of some short time freezes when painting.

- Is this now standard in CS4 or does it still have to be applied on top of the standard install?
- Where can it be found if it still isn't standard?

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard
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kjkahn
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2008, 09:25:47 PM »
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Quote from: eleanorbrown
Ken, nothing comes up with this link.  Could you please repost.. Many thanks, Eleanor

Eleanor,

Sorry, I goofed.

Try www.lynda.com

If you register, the Photoshop CS4 videos are in four sections:

Photoshop CS4 for Photographers 15
Photoshop CS4 Essential Training 8.25
Photoshop CS4 Getting Started 2
Photoshop CS4 New Features 1.5

The numbers are the durations in hours. The total is almost 27 hours of video. (You won't need the basic stuff).
You also have access to video tutorials for dozens of other progams by Adobe and other vendors, e.g. Final Cut Pro, Mac OS, AutoCad, Dreamweaver CS4, etc. As I look through the list, I realize one could spend as much time watching tutorials as one can stand and more than any of us can spare.

Ken
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 09:48:25 PM by kjkahn » Logged
eleanorbrown
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2008, 09:06:21 AM »
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No I don't but I keep my 500 gb boot (application) drive half full or less so there is lots of open space.  Also I checked the ram allotment in photoshop and it was less than 2 gb (I have 8 gb of ram on my mac quad core). eleanor

Quote from: Wolfman
Eleanor,

Do you have an empty hard drive dedicated to photoshop as a scratch disk? That might help if that isn't the case yet.
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jani
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2008, 04:28:45 PM »
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Quote from: eleanorbrown
No I don't but I keep my 500 gb boot (application) drive half full or less so there is lots of open space.  Also I checked the ram allotment in photoshop and it was less than 2 gb (I have 8 gb of ram on my mac quad core). eleanor
"Lots of space" does not necessarily imply "lots of speed".

Ideally, you want your scratch (or swap) disk to be used exclusively for that purpose, and of course on a dedicated channel.

If it's parallel ATA (PATA, IDE), that means it should be the only disk on the same cable.

If it's FireWire, SATA, SCSI, SAS, FC-AL, no worries.

If it's USB, worry.

Regarding your RAM usage, see the advise on trying to set aside a part of the memory as a RAM disk and use that for scratch, that might help (it will probably not help for swap).
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Jan
madmanchan
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2008, 07:06:26 PM »
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Hi Bernard, sorry, I'm not familiar with that library. Here's what I do. I open the Terminal on OS X and type:

hdid -nomount ram://4194304

That will create a 2 GB ram disk. If you want a 4GB ram disk, for instance, just double that number.

You then open Disk Utility and can format the new ram disk. It then shows up on the desktop. You can then configure PS to make this your primary swap disk.

Sounds like a pain, but it's not because you can just leave it that way (unless you reboot frequently ...).
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dwdallam
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2008, 11:58:52 PM »
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Quote from: DiaAzul
I am a PC, and it's pretty awful. I don't agree with anything written in the original post. A lot of functionality I used previously has been chopped and/or change. The user interface is slow. I constantly need to wait for the screen to redraw when changing between layers, Brushes are a lot slower. The Adjustments panel is of fixed height and takes up 50%+ of the vertical real estate in the tool panel. There are more hooks and locations where subtle advertising is starting to creep in (or at least the opportunity is their for Adobe and their partners to start pushing more crap onto the desktop).

As stated earlier the hype versus the reality of CS4 is widely divergent and I wouldn't recommend it above CS3.

I would recommend it above CS3 for all of the reason I've posted. The adjustments panel does not take up 50+% of MY screen because I operate at 1900x1200 on a 23"monitor. It takes up a tiny corner at that resolution. But your point about it being a static size is right on and something I missed--that's unacceptable. But you can simply click the right arrow and shrink it down to a postage stamp size anyway. You can also undock it and move it wherever you want it. Move it off all the way off the screen if you want. Then simply grab it and drag it back over to use it. The ability to simply click on the adjustment panel and toggle before and after is priceless too.

CS4 is not "widely divergent." It has not confused at least me in one single way. If you don't want to use the new stuff, you can simply click the tool panel on the above bar and choose "Basic," "Essentials" and 12 other windows layouts, or create your won, sort of like choosing Classic over Vista Aero in  Windows Vista.

Also, the working image panel now supports tabs, so you never have work underneath, just tabbed in the main work window.

My user interface is snappier than it ever has been, but then again I have the hardware for it too.

The fact that you're work flow was interrupted doesn't mean the upgrade is not an improvement. However, I do feel for you. Just give it a chance.

My brushes are faster. The entire program is faster on my rig: AMD X2 4800 64bit, BFG 7800 GTX graphics card. 4 GB Corsair Extreme RAM overclocked to 200Mhz. Western Digital Enterprise level RE2 16MB cache hard drive.

You might try updating your video driver. CS4 does incorporate changes to speed up redraws in teh video department. If you're seeing a slow down, that may be the culprit.

« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 12:03:00 AM by dwdallam » Logged

dwdallam
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2008, 06:22:23 AM »
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I think I might have discovered a PSCS4 memory leak. It may be my system, but I'll have to set it up and watch the memory tomorrow. Shame, shame--lol. Ah hell I jsut started monitoring it anyway right now. It looks like LR2 might be the culprit . It's taking almost a GB of RAM just sitting there.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2008, 08:03:23 AM »
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Quote from: madmanchan
Hi Bernard, sorry, I'm not familiar with that library. Here's what I do. I open the Terminal on OS X and type:

hdid -nomount ram://4194304

That will create a 2 GB ram disk. If you want a 4GB ram disk, for instance, just double that number.

You then open Disk Utility and can format the new ram disk. It then shows up on the desktop. You can then configure PS to make this your primary swap disk.

Sounds like a pain, but it's not because you can just leave it that way (unless you reboot frequently ...).

If you make a specific partition on a hard disk solely for scratch disk use will that be faster than using a secondry hard disk as scratch IF the secondry disk is in constant use?

I have a 500 gig HD which is used to store my photos that I'm working on. I use this as scratch as it's larger and free'er than the boot HD with PS on. Should I create a partition on the 'working' HD rather than just use it normally as scratch or won't I see a difference?
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jani
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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2008, 08:50:46 AM »
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Quote from: pom
If you make a specific partition on a hard disk solely for scratch disk use will that be faster than using a secondry hard disk as scratch IF the secondry disk is in constant use?

I have a 500 gig HD which is used to store my photos that I'm working on. I use this as scratch as it's larger and free'er than the boot HD with PS on. Should I create a partition on the 'working' HD rather than just use it normally as scratch or won't I see a difference?
Hard disks are nearly single-task, task-switching devices.

That means that if you use a disk for several tasks simultaneously, the competition for resources may be detrimental to performance.

Sometimes, this works out okay, because the tasks aren't heavy enough to matter. Other times, the next simultaenous task will bog the entire computer down.

The question that must be answered to answer your question is therefore:

Q: Will the scratch space compete with other disk intensive processes on the same disk?

If so, the answer is

A: You ought to keep these on different disks.

In your question, it's a bit unclear what you mean with "constant use". If the hard disk is chirping constantly, that is constant enough use that you shouldn't put a scratch space on it as well.

Partitioning can be relevant to the extent that you can choose where on the disk your scratch partition resides. Usually, performance is better at the beginning of the disk, so that is usually where you want your streaming performance sensitive disk accesses to go.

("Streaming performance" means essentially performance for large, contiguous files.)
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Jan
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2008, 10:51:09 AM »
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Quote from: DiaAzul
I am a PC, and it's pretty awful. I don't agree with anything written in the original post. A lot of functionality I used previously has been chopped and/or change. The user interface is slow. I constantly need to wait for the screen to redraw when changing between layers, Brushes are a lot slower. As stated earlier the hype versus the reality of CS4 is widely divergent and I wouldn't recommend it above CS3.
you probably have a low level video card, and the program is unable to utilise that effectively. either upgrade your video card, or disable OpenGL support (in Preferences)

I find CS4 an amazing upgrade. hallelujah for 64bit at last. no more cache disk. ever. am saving close to 2 hours a day on big files. just great.
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