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RIP Creative Suite
May 6, 2013 1:42 PM   Subscribe

After 10 years Adobe is retiring it's Creative Suite, and boxed versions of Photoshop, InDesign and other CS programs along with it. it will be replaced by the subscription only Creative Cloud.
posted by Artw (239 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy OMG!
posted by Mister_A at 1:45 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


As I posted on HackerNews on the piracy of Adobe products:
I always thought that part of Adobes dominance in this market was to allow some piracy of their product because that's how teenagers learned how to use it.

Adobe then made their money from actual business users who MAKE money from the tools and therefor must have legit licenses. And those businesses use Adobe because their workforce learned it already, and it became the defacto-standard because of that.
posted by wcfields at 1:45 PM on May 6, 2013 [40 favorites]


Update: Fireworks has been killed off.

I won't be shedding a tear, just because it means the designer I work with will be moving over to Photoshop. I could never get a handle on Fireworks.
posted by brundlefly at 1:46 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The cost of doing business just went waaaay up. How long will you be able to buy copies of the current boxed products (which you can use forever - I'm still on Photoshop 7.0 myself, and CS4 at work)? And what happens when Adobe's servers can't be reached (such as when you are on the road and the hotel room's wifi is crap)?

Going to drive a lot of people to look at Paint.Net/PaintShopPro/Gimp even more closely.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 1:47 PM on May 6, 2013 [17 favorites]


I guess this is the push I need to move to Manga Studio. I guess this also explains why they didn't patch stylus pressure sensitivity into the MS Surface pro (because, seriously, that would be amazing)
posted by hellojed at 1:48 PM on May 6, 2013


OTOH, Old'n'Busted, 30 bucks a month is waaay better than $1500+ for indy designers just getting going.
posted by Mister_A at 1:49 PM on May 6, 2013 [14 favorites]


Wake up the GIMP.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:51 PM on May 6, 2013 [66 favorites]


And those businesses use Adobe because their workforce learned it already, and it became the defacto-standard because of that.

Whatever the reason for it becoming the standard, right now it is really the only game in town for almost anything advanced. There's no other software that can compete with Photoshop for things like 16-bit per channel color, CMYK support, color profile management, etc.

If you are doing more than making graphics for the web, you've really only got one option, and Adobe would prefer you pay for it.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 1:51 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wonder if this will be the straw that really does push people heavily away from Adobe. Anyone have any idea if Darktable is good or not?
posted by themadthinker at 1:52 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Practically, because me work pays for it, counts the beans and keeps track of that sort of thing, it won't affect me much. I hope!

But, boy does it BUG me. I don't want to help you stabilize your income stream, and I don't care about instant upgrades. I want my shit to work, the way I work with it, because I have one of those apps open and in active use for probably half of my work life.

I will certainly be keeping track of my most recent CS DVD and serial numbers, though. Just in case.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:54 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Batshit insanity.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:55 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The begs the question what is wrong with the Autodesk model (standalone with optional* subscription)? Is it just that Autodesk's products are sufficiently outside the mainstream piracy consumption zone?

Also. Gut feeling says I'll find this impractical in the long run.

*optional as long as you can handle the lack of backwards compatibility in their BIM software file formats between point releases that is..
posted by Ravneson at 1:59 PM on May 6, 2013


In other news Acorn 4 just released and is looking pretty good, though regrettably I think it still lacks some of the pro features of Photoshop (16 bit, CMYK, etc...).

That said I have yet to find any vector drawing app that works as well as Illustrator on a modern platform.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:59 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Fans of Adobes 1 DOLLAR = 1 POUND exchange rate will be pleased to see it still continues, though now it will be harder to get around.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


So we're all being forced to live in clouds, but still no jetpacks? This future sucks.
posted by oulipian at 2:01 PM on May 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


What does "cloud" mean in this context? The applications will be downloadable? Will we be required to upload our documents to a cloud in order to work on them? We sign NDA's with clients that uploading to a third party's cloud could conceivably violate. I routinely use Lightroom to work with hundreds of photos at a time, and some people in my office use Photoshop quite intensively. If the CS programs can't be used unless you have an online connection, or if they're going to require us to upload images to a cloud for any reason, that's really going to screw us over.
posted by zarq at 2:01 PM on May 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


I just purchased CS6 at a substantial discount through work. I wonder if they will have other options for educators than the ones mentioned in the article, which don't strike me as a particularly good deal based on what I paid for the software with two licenses last week. I also wonder what will become of Elements?
posted by TedW at 2:01 PM on May 6, 2013


zarq, I'm already in the Adobe "cloud", as far as I can tell it's just DRM a la Steam. You do get a cloud storage from Adobe but I don't use it. Not sure if I can run PS and Illustrator while offline as I haven't had a need to try it yet.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:02 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Elements

[BASICALLY JUST SWEARING]
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oy, is their cloud subscription authentication as buggy as it is with their physical media? I look forward to yet more hours on hold with Adobe cust support while on deadline.

I'm not happy about the subscription model, I like to control when to upgrade the software I depend on day in and day out and Adobe has a track record of suddenly deciding to move my cheese without warning and rarely for the better. However, I'm glad that crashmonster Fireworks is getting killed off, I hate hate hatey hate using it however a few of my clients want all their mobile app deliverables in layered .pngs.

On preview:
What does "cloud" mean in this context? The applications will be downloadable?

From what I've read, the applications reside on your local drive but they require online re-authentication every 30 days to work.
posted by jamaro at 2:04 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doleful Creature: "as far as I can tell it's just DRM a la Steam"

Ah, thanks for explaining. That makes more sense.
posted by zarq at 2:05 PM on May 6, 2013


Oh how I'm going to miss Adobe installers.
posted by punilux at 2:06 PM on May 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


> How long will you be able to buy copies of the current boxed products (which you can use
> forever - I'm still on Photoshop 7.0 myself, and CS4 at work)?

For anybody who's hurt by this I'm sorry. For me it means I will never, ever, ever have to upgrade from CS3--which runs fine on Win 7 and therefore will run as long as I can make Win 7 last. (XP has lasted me from 2002 to present.) Whatever else the future holds for me, it just got that many hundreds of dollars cheaper.


> Going to drive a lot of people to look at Paint.Net/PaintShopPro/Gimp even more closely.

Up through Paint Shop Pro X at least, PSP has been three fourths of Photoshop at one fourth the price. I actually went and bought PSPX a while back out of gratitude. At startup, my copy of PSP 4 now says "You are on day 4,742 of your 30 day free trial."

GIMP is considerably better right now that PSP X, though, and the price is even more right.
posted by jfuller at 2:06 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


"as far as I can tell it's just DRM a la Steam"

Ah, so it won't actually affect the torrenting userbase at all then.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:08 PM on May 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


Bait and switch. This a real nightmare for businesses and IT professionals.
posted by Chuffy at 2:08 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is not a thing I was expecting to read.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:08 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is a big pile of horseshit. It's not like they're taking things "cloud based" in any hosted sense of the word. It's just Steam for business. It could be possibly justifiable if it meant you could do advanced/demanding work in a browser on a POS machine, but you still have to have some beefy hardware.

The cloud subscription works out to about 18 months of cloud = CS InDesign. We have InDesign copies that are 5 years old running just fine in our marketing department.
posted by lattiboy at 2:09 PM on May 6, 2013


GIMP continues to be the best argument against open source that thinks it's an argument for open source.
posted by Artw at 2:09 PM on May 6, 2013 [98 favorites]


I don't think this'll change much for Adobe. If it's just 30-day auth, cracks will still work, just maybe with a bit more busy-work thrown in. Paying clients will see nothing major change except for possible failures as with other drm (gaming provides some good example).

I guess we'll see, though.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:09 PM on May 6, 2013


Adobe can no longer rely on the growth of the customer base to maintain the revenues necessary to sustain the business. They also can't figure out how to invent new features for Photoshop to get you to upgrade to the latest version. The perpetual license model can't support their business anymore. This has become a common problem in the software industry. As products mature the next version becomes less and less appealing. At the same time costs don't diminish that much because of various software maintenance activities related to hardware upgrades, security and bug fixing. The result is that most mature products like Photoshop are now going to be sold as subscription offerings.
posted by humanfont at 2:10 PM on May 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


This makes it sound like it's really not anything revolutionary from the DRM perspective, just another "make Photoshop harder to crack" initiative that might slow it down but probably not permanently--which make me wonder more if this isn't about the fact that friends of mine who do digital art have said that recent versions have really not added much for them. New legitimate purchasers are no longer going to have that option of holding onto the old versions for as long as they're still working out just fine and only upgrading when something new comes along that they find worthwhile.

But they'll blame the pirates and hope that nobody notices the man behind the curtain.
posted by Sequence at 2:11 PM on May 6, 2013


At this point Adobe might as well take it one step further and make all the apps free, but then charge customers for each pixel they use.
posted by oulipian at 2:11 PM on May 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Well that's a bugger. We only signed up for a 500 seat school site licence for cs6 6 months ago, including the upgrade licence - finally had the funds and (staff driven) business case for it. Bulk deploying CS6 to the labs was hard enough with their activation setup. The cloud suite seems very targeted at downloads-as-needed to specific computers, tied to individual user accounts. Are all our staff and students now going to have to have, and login with their own adobe account to use it? How will that even work when they don't have rights to install software to the shared pcs?

I always thought adobe hated sysadmins. Between this, their general approach to enterprise installs, removing flash from ninite in favour of their per-pc-updater (complete with attempts to push fricking mcafee with every security patch), I think they're plumbed depths even I hadn't expected.
posted by ArkhanJG at 2:12 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


How much of the secret sauce is patented? I'm guessing content-aware fill and a few things like that, though would the essentials (colour management, &c.) be covered by patents owned by/exclusive to Adobe, or could a third party get their chance?
posted by acb at 2:12 PM on May 6, 2013


At this point Adobe might as well take it one step further and make all the apps free, but then charge customers for each pixel they use.

Sure, I'll take Illustrator for free.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:13 PM on May 6, 2013 [17 favorites]


Artw, is there anything in particular you dislike about GIMP, other than that it doesn't duplicate all of PS6's features?
posted by jfuller at 2:13 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Adobe is retiring its Creative Suite and boxed versions of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Premiere--all replaced by the subscription-only Creative Cloud."

not to be a jerk, but c'mon. that took 5 minutes.

For me it means I will never, ever, ever have to upgrade from CS3

I am still using Photoshop 5.5. To be honest, I use Paint.NET 99% of the time. I only bust out Photoshop for batch processing.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:16 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


jfuller: " For anybody who's hurt by this I'm sorry. For me it means I will never, ever, ever have to upgrade from CS3--which runs fine on Win 7 and therefore will run as long as I can make Win 7 last. (XP has lasted me from 2002 to present.) Whatever else the future holds for me, it just got that many hundreds of dollars cheaper."

It can be harder to avoid upgrades on MacOS if you're upgrading the OS. The new versions of the OS aren't compatible with CS2 or earlier. Photoshop CS 6, Premiere CS 6, and Lightroom 3 are the earliest versions that will work without problems. Some earlier versions won't even install.
posted by zarq at 2:16 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Still using Photoshop 7 here. Works fine.
posted by odinsdream at 2:17 PM on May 6, 2013


Hooray for rentierism.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:19 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


mrgrimm - if you've got a problem take it to Meta.
posted by Artw at 2:22 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


not to be a jerk, but c'mon. that took 5 minutes.

It took 5 minutes to add unnecessary links and bury the main story?
posted by brain_drain at 2:22 PM on May 6, 2013 [35 favorites]


So now, instead of downloading a pirated and cracked version of Photoshop ... everyone will just download a pirated and somewhat more cracked version of Photoshop?

Unless they are actually doing image processing on remote servers -- which would really be "in the cloud", as opposed to bullshit-always-on-DRM "cloud" stuff -- then it's going to be fairly straightforward for someone to just remove the checks or make a component that fakes out the Adobe software by posing as the remote end, just like the cracks for games with always-on DRM do.

It doesn't really make sense from an anti-piracy angle. I guess it might make some people who would pay $30/mo for a few months at a time (perhaps billing it to a client) but can't afford an upfront $1500 charge convert from using a pirated to using a legitimate version though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:23 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Artw, is there anything in particular you dislike about GIMP, other than that it doesn't duplicate all of PS6's features?

The horrible clunky UI. Yes, less clunky than it was, still more clunky than anything I'd want to use on a regular basis.
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on May 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


They also can't figure out how to invent new features for Photoshop to get you to upgrade to the latest version.

I would happily upgrade if they could figure out how to do anti-aliased text properly.
posted by Ratio at 2:24 PM on May 6, 2013


I'm with Artw on the GIMP-hate. To be fair it's been a couple of years since I tried it, but when I did, I wondered if it wasn't the front-end of some remote Skinnerian social experiment. Nothing is intuitive, everything is in precisely the wrong place, menus reach out through the screen and flick you really hard on the ear when you try to use them. It's a user-hostile interface.
posted by jbickers at 2:27 PM on May 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


I still remember how practically overnight my entire industry switched from Quark to InDesign - and most of the people I know who made that switch hated it - but Adobe's bundling made it financially crazy not to. If anything cheaper or sturdier that works almost as well is out there, people won't follow - there really is no brand loyalty.
posted by Mchelly at 2:28 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


This certainly insures that graphic designers will be raising their rates.
posted by asfuller at 2:29 PM on May 6, 2013


jbickers: "I'm with Artw on the GIMP-hate. To be fair it's been a couple of years since I tried it, but when I did, I wondered if it wasn't the front-end of some remote Skinnerian social experiment. Nothing is intuitive, everything is in precisely the wrong place, menus reach out through the screen and flick you really hard on the ear when you try to use them. It's a user-hostile interface."

There is a fork of it called "GIMPshop" that emulates Photoshop, but from as far as I can tell it's run by a company that is basically disguising Malware/Adware with it.
posted by wcfields at 2:32 PM on May 6, 2013


You know, Adobe, some of us can't get a good internet connection at any price.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:33 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


...it will be replaced by the subscription only Creative Cloud BitTorrent.
posted by markkraft at 2:34 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


"It can be harder to avoid upgrades on MacOS if you're upgrading the OS. The new versions of the OS aren't compatible with CS2 or earlier. Photoshop CS 6, Premiere CS 6, and Lightroom 3 are the earliest versions that will work without problems. Some earlier versions won't even install."

I run CS5.1 on the newest OSX no problem. It won't run my old CS2, which is languishing on an old pre-intel box in the other room. I have yet to have any problems, but I only really use photoshop. (I find, and have always found, Illustrator incredibly vexing.)
posted by klangklangston at 2:36 PM on May 6, 2013


Mchelly: "I still remember how practically overnight my entire industry switched from Quark to InDesign - and most of the people I know who made that switch hated it - but Adobe's bundling made it financially crazy not to. If anything cheaper or sturdier that works almost as well is out there, people won't follow - there really is no brand loyalty."

For Mac users, Quark was also extremely slow to update their software to OS X-compatible Cocoa, and then every software upgrade for a good couple of years afterwards was badly delayed. A bunch of users probably switched to InDesign around that time. I know we did.
posted by zarq at 2:38 PM on May 6, 2013


From their blog:
Using Adobe’s IT tools to deploy Creative Cloud for teams

Let’s say you are rolling out 50 seats of Creative Cloud for teams in your office. You may be involved with the actual administration of sending out invites. This is done through the admin portion of the Creative Cloud site. From the Invite Multiple option you can either copy and paste user’s email addresses (ouch! carpal tunnel) or import a .txt or .csv file of the user’s email address. Then you can send them an invite and they’ll login with or create an Adobe ID.

Then they’ll download and install the Creative Cloud version of the Adobe Application Manager and begin downloading and installing the full offering of Adobe’s Creative Cloud applications and updates. All of them. All of the apps. All at once. All 50 of the users. What? This is in your Portland office? The only office that hasn’t had the network upgrade yet. Better turn off your mobile stat and hide.

Now that scenario of course could be avoided if you used your existing deployment infrastructure by pushing out packages of the apps rather than using your office’s internet connection for all 50 users. But how do you package up a set of apps that come from the cloud? Ah, you need a work-a-round, a hack. Well my friend, as a former IT admin I am all about the hack. Here’s how you do it: The bulk of the applications they are downloading from the Creative Cloud are the CS6 installers and to be frank, are not exactly what I’d call svelte in the MB/GB department. So you could download them yourself from our FTP site as the CS6 Master Collection and then use AAMEE 3.1, our CS6 packager, to package them out and distribute them.

But wait, AAMEE requires a volume serial number, right? Well remember we also have a Trial workflow in AAMEE 3.1. And the Trial workflow is really an unlicensed version of the CS6 app, just waiting for licensing via a serial number or an Adobe ID login associated with a subscription or Creative Cloud membership. Get it? So once it is packaged up you can distribute using your deployment infrastructure and then have them log in after you send the invites. This turns the unlicensed CS6 app into a Creative Cloud app. Magic. More like magic hack.

A few caveats about this plan/hack are:
1) apps such as the Edge tools, Muse and Lightroom aren’t part of CS6 so the end-users will have to download those apps on their own. The Edge tools and Muse are quite lightweight in size though.
2) the updates that you package with AAMEE 3.1 will not fully get the applications up to date. Why? Because the Creative Cloud have their own special feature updates that are not part of CS6. Therefore they can’t be seen in the Updates screen with the CS6-based AAMEE 3.1. You could execute the Remote Update Manager (RUM) once the end user has signed into the application with a valid Creative Cloud account. Then when you run RUM it will recognize the install as a Creative Cloud app and then pull that Creative Cloud-specific update down and install it.

Of course, there's the enterprise version instead, where we have to licence all the staff and students individually - including preschoolers! - so now need 1800 licences, instead of 500 for our actual number of machines.

Fricking awesome.
posted by ArkhanJG at 2:39 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


As far as I know, GIMP doesn't support 16-bit-per-channel images yet. 2.10 was announced a year ago that was going to support it, but all I can find is 2.8.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:39 PM on May 6, 2013


Weirdly enough, I find GIMP easier to use than PS on some stuff, like doing batches of fixed-aspect-ratio crops. In GIMP, I also find it easier to do manual assignment keyboard shortcuts (kinda because you have to), and get a better granularity on RAW conversion decisions, though the PS auto works so much better.
posted by klangklangston at 2:39 PM on May 6, 2013


FWIW Quark was the worst-coded shit on the planet. I remember when the Mac GUI changed with the bump from System 7.x to System 8.x and I fired up Quark and lo and behold all of Quark's windows still looked like System 7 windows. Because it was drawing its own windows instead of relying on the system infrastructure. Why would you write a program that way?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:40 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


OTOH, Old'n'Busted, 30 bucks a month is waaay better than $1500+ for indy designers just getting going.
posted by Mister_A at 1:49 PM on May 6 [4 favorites +] [!]


Actually, it's not. Unless you're planning on being "an indy designer" for less than 5 years or so.

Stop thinking like a consumer and start thinking like a businessman. Your previous liability was $1500 but your new liability is now potentially infinite, bounded only by the length of your career.

That is a fantastically bad deal.
posted by Avenger at 2:40 PM on May 6, 2013 [30 favorites]


I've hated Adobe for awhile now and have been slowing breaking away from dependance on their software. My replacements:

Illustrator: Inkscape, Artboard
Photoshop: GIMP, Pixelmator
Acrobat: pdftk, Infix PDF, preview
HTML: Hype & Flux
posted by Brent Parker at 2:41 PM on May 6, 2013 [42 favorites]


Yeah, I pound on CS5 Illustrator and Photoshop 8-14 hours daily using the latest ver of OSX and neither have ever crashed. Max RAM is the key there, I think. Fireworks, on the other hand, wilts with a harsh look.
posted by jamaro at 2:43 PM on May 6, 2013


klangklangston: "I run CS5.1 on the newest OSX no problem."

Perhaps you didn't use functions that we depended on? A coworker had a bunch of droplets that became useless with the upgrade to Lion, which was inconvenient, but not insurmountable. But the software completely stopped communicating with one of our an older scsi scanners. It also kept crashing every time we used a couple of plugins, or opened a pdf whose file size had been reduced in Acrobat. Very frustrating.
posted by zarq at 2:43 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I could not possibly give less of a shit about anything but Photoshop...all these news blurbs breathlessly exclaiming, "You'll have access to the whole suite!" means, we'll all have to pay for a semi-truck even if all we need is a Fiat.
posted by notsnot at 2:44 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well there goes the incentive to imporve the application. They no longer have to sell new versions to make the revenue.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:45 PM on May 6, 2013 [14 favorites]


So when this computer dies I guess I'll be learning GIMP then. That's a damn shame. As a casual user I have no desire to buy the software more than once a machine/OS, even with someone else's money.
posted by maryr at 2:47 PM on May 6, 2013


Also, the upgrade to OS X 10.6.8 introduced some infuriating behavior to Lightroom 3. The damned app would crash if I was working with a gallery with >100 photos, every time I switched to the "Web" screen. And would often randomly crash in the "Develop" screen. While importing. While moving photos around on the film strip. Heck, if you breathed on it incorrectly it would crash.

When they came out with 3.5, we upgraded as quickly as possible. Solved everything. But man, that period of time sucked.
posted by zarq at 2:48 PM on May 6, 2013


we'll all have to pay for a semi-truck even if all we need is a Fiat

No no no, it's like you need a Fiat and you have to pay for two Fiats, an old-fashioned bicycle, a badly-repainted delivery truck, a solar-powered car from 1993, a bunch of unicycles, and a broken-down helicopter.
posted by oulipian at 2:48 PM on May 6, 2013 [49 favorites]


notsnot: They'll let you subscribe to a single app for $20/mo instead of $50/month.
posted by zsazsa at 2:49 PM on May 6, 2013


You don't have to pay for the full suite. Photoshop only can be had for $20/month. However, that's still a bad deal as far as I'm concerned. I only upgrade every other release, so that's maybe $200 every three years, compared to the 36 * $20 = $720 for the cloud subscription over that same period.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 2:50 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Truly this will finally be the year of GIMP on the desktop.

I never could get into PS, because I started on PSP, and I do a ton of shit with the built in effects, that I just don't know how on PS. Yes, it means I'm lazy and not skilled, but oh well. I don't like how bloated PSP has become. But GIMP as an alternative is even worse. :(
posted by symbioid at 2:51 PM on May 6, 2013


$20-50/month? You've got to be kidding me.

Ugh. I hate everything.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:54 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


So when this computer dies I guess I'll be learning GIMP then.

We were switched earlier this year (from an older version of CS). As we really only need it a few times per year for posters, buying monthly makes no sense for us. It's not a fun transition though.
posted by bonehead at 2:55 PM on May 6, 2013


Maybe someone could start a Kickstarter that will hire people to improve Gimp and add some of the most important functionality.


Also, whatever happened to increasing revenue by creating products that don't suck?
posted by mecran01 at 2:59 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


The big thing I'm not happy with here is that there is now no option to go ahead and buy either individual programs or the whole suite. When you do that, you can use it as long as your computer can keep up with it (I have a ten year old eMac that runs Photoshop 7 quite well, if a bit slow.) Now you have to pay every month, and if you don't (say you're low on cash in a given month) you can't use your files. I think this move may start to push users away to alternative products, because with this model you're not just paying every month for the software, you're in essence paying Adobe every month for the privilege of using your own files.

Oh, and I'm sure the colleges that have to have a bunch of licenses for the software to teach aspiring digital artists are just tickled pink by this. By "tickled pink" I mean "red with rage."
posted by azpenguin at 3:01 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm still using my old company's 15 year old version of Corel Draw that I got when the office closed. As an amateur graqphic designer I can't afford to shell out the hefty costs to buy Photoshop just to try it out. I might be willing subscribe for a few months to test it and see if I really do want to commit. I have the feeling that if I had this option a decade ago I'd be a loyal user today.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:04 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


WTF?! I use PhotoShop every fucking today - my livelihood literally depends on it and now Adobe wants me to pay $240 EVERY FUCKING YEAR to use it?! I upgrade maybe every 2 years and generally only when I need the raw support for a new camera and it runs me $200.

Guess I'll be using PS CS6 forever from here on out. Unless clients start paying more (HAHAHAHAHA) how do I justify laying out an extra $140/ year just so Adobe can shove another 50 features I don't need into their software?

Hey Adobe: GO FUCK YOURSELF.
posted by photoslob at 3:09 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is the same issue all the packaged software vendors are having. Quicken worked fine years ago, but in search of annual revenue Intuit had to "extend" it and now actually cripples online access to our bank accounts every few years to force an upgrade. MS Office worked fine years ago, but Ballmer's minions needed someway to keep it generating revenue. (I'm still using Office 2007 and would have been happy to stay with 2003 if they hadn't forced an upgrade with some hassle whose details I no longer remember.) Unlike cars, pixels don't break down. I'd feel sorry for the software vendors except MY F-ING SOFTWARE WORKS FINE - LEAVE ME ALONE AND STOP FORCING ME TO PAY YOU MONTHLY OR ANNUALLY.
posted by twsf at 3:11 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, it's expensive preparing and distributing new 60 MB security upgrades to Reader every other day.
posted by Fnarf at 3:12 PM on May 6, 2013 [32 favorites]


GIMP isn't exactly the end-all be-all libre graphics tool. About GIMPshop: apparently the dodgy quasi-commercial behavior of the distributors bugged someone enough as to make a new one, GimPhoto.
posted by LogicalDash at 3:12 PM on May 6, 2013 [21 favorites]


photoslob: ...generally only when I need the raw support for a new camera and it runs me $200

You might know this already, but as someone who has CS3 and a new-ish camera, Adobe DNG Converter is a lifesaver. It updates completely independently of Photoshop with all of the Raw updates, and can convert your NEFs (or whatever) into native DNGs, which can run on an older version of the software.
posted by themadthinker at 3:12 PM on May 6, 2013


Wonder what happens to products like Elements. I moved most all my work to Pixelmator / GIMP / Paint.NET (depending on what system I'm using) a year or two ago, but I still have Elements installed for specific features I need now and then.
posted by mrbill at 3:12 PM on May 6, 2013


I can't say I'm shocked. People today look at short term cost and don't calculate long term cost. $50 a month is a lot more palatable to the average person than $2000 all at once.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:12 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm honestly flabbergasted that some of you are surprised by this. As soon as Adobe launched Creative Cloud, I knew the writing was on the wall for Creative Suite. It was just a matter of time when they'd decide to drop the hammer.

Wake up the GIMP
Fuck the GIMP. No CMYK means no use for me or anyone else working anywhere other than a strictly web shop.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:14 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't find myself wanting photoshop very often. When I do it's hard to find anything else that'll do the job though. When I do "need" it it's often for something dumb or small enough that it's really hard to justify spending even $20 on. But if photoshop were $5 a week, and it was easy to buy just a week, I would be thrilled. And I would use it and pay for it when I want, and not when I don't, and I wouldn't spend a bunch of time finding alternatives or kludging around to avoid feeling like I'm getting ripped off by paying $20 to make one fucking print or whatever.
posted by aubilenon at 3:14 PM on May 6, 2013


How this works for larger companies is that, while single users working for themselves can just stick with the version they have now for nearly forever, companies with multiple CS users need to keep their versions in sync for compatibility, and you can't buy older versions. If one person upgrades, everybody has to. What I'm looking at now is getting everybody to CS6 ASAP, and then locking it down for eternity.
posted by Fnarf at 3:15 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry for the people who really need the Adobe products but I can't help but suspect this is going to be a huge boon for anyone on the bubble and lighter-weight users. Twsf's complaint about other bloated junk software mirrors mine, but in my case every time I've finally tipped over the edge and moved to a new piece of software instead I have been OH SO MUCH HAPPIER.

Office? Please. Pages and Numbers do everything I need, boot notably faster, cost less in full than the educational discount deal that MS winkingly offers non-corporate buyers.

Photoshop I still use - and updated to CS6 not long ago, more because of Lightroom complaining about RAW file handlers when opening CS4 - but for everything other than RAW file editing I use Pixelmator.

Every time some piece of bloatware gets too big for its britches and my hard drive I find that there's another alternative that makes me way happier at a lower price point. No doubt there's a segment that doesn't hold true for but I'd wager it's going to be a smaller percentage than Adobe thinks.
posted by phearlez at 3:19 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The monthly subscription model is so twentieth century.

Coming up next will be the Freemium Creative Suite: Copy, paste, and lens flare are free, but all other operations cost a few cents. Extra layers? $0.05. Filters? $0.07 each. Undo? $0.01.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 3:20 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The only positive I can see from this change is they've finally adjusted pricing such that the AUD=USD. It might even be that it's slightly to our advantage given GST is included.
posted by michswiss at 3:21 PM on May 6, 2013


Not that I'm about to switch to PS myself. I use Pixelmator for anything beyond Aperture modifications.
posted by michswiss at 3:22 PM on May 6, 2013


GIMP helps me create new and interesting ways to swear.
posted by chillmost at 3:24 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't know how I feel about this. I use PS all the time and can regard it as a business expense...but I only upgrade once every other version, so I never get to take advantage of $199 upgrades...I always have to buy it new again. So for me the cost is pretty close to the same.

Things like premeire I use once per year, so having an option to use it for a month or two for $20-40 is very nice. Illustrator is a harder case; I use it about six times a year, really, so it puts me in a place where I need to crunch numbers and decide whether just paying $50 per month is worth it.

$50 isn't even an hour of my (or any of my colleagues') time, that's an easy-ish decision to make. My main concerns would be:

Device independence?
Reliability?
Whether there are hidden fees (like open Illustrator accidentally in a month you're not using it and you're hit for the $20).

Not thrilled by this, but not heartbroken.
posted by maxwelton at 3:26 PM on May 6, 2013


As a professional Adobe user since the 1980s, fuck you Adobe, fuck you very much. There are many big and little reasons why I haven’t upgraded like clockwork every time a new version has come out. Lack of new features I care about for the $$$ is a big part of it.

I primarily care about InDesign. The run of InDesign releases from version 2.0 (not CS2) to version 5.0 (in CS3) were great for me. Then the major sucking started to happen. I once found an article online about the development of CS4. If I recall correctly, some of the major people who worked on CS3 and earlier had been ousted, replaced by a new guy who changed their development process.
posted by D.C. at 3:27 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Perhaps you didn't use functions that we depended on?"

Probably. 99 percent of my usage is for retouching stuff/editing RAWs, and doing output to print or web. I'm a power user within a very narrow subset of PS capabilities.
posted by klangklangston at 3:28 PM on May 6, 2013


Adobe DNG Converter is a lifesaver

I actually do most of my conversions through Canon DPP or Camera One but I need the ability to quickly open raw images on the fly for a variety of reasons. To have to use another piece of of software to then open an image that I just need to quickly look at and then close is way too cumbersome a process.
posted by photoslob at 3:29 PM on May 6, 2013


That said I have yet to find any vector drawing app that works as well as Illustrator on a modern platform.

Inkscape isn't perfect, but it is pretty damn good for an open source app. Definitely worth looking into, if you can fit SVG into your workflow. With ImageMagick, you can turn SVGs into PDFs or PostScripts. Again, not perfect, and GIMP is still a bit of a bad joke, but Adobe owns the creative space increasingly less with each new version of OSS equivalents.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:32 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow. i can't speak for my employer (3000+ employee prepress company) but I'm guessing we're going to stick at CS6 for as long as possible, and buy only 1-2 "subscriptions" per location just to convert files back into CS6.

It's always the designers that drag us forward to new versions of Adobe apps, largely because they like all the bells and whistles and Adobe markets to that userbase. For the prepress shops, printers, etc. a new version of an Adobe app means at least a month of testing against real world files and plugins, RIPs, etc. from multiple different vendors. A subscription service? No, just no.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:34 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: "Inkscape isn't perfect, but it is pretty damn good for an open source app. Definitely worth looking into, if you can fit SVG into your workflow. With ImageMagick, you can turn SVGs into PDFs or PostScripts. "

Thanks very much for this. You saved me from asking a Q on AskMe.
posted by zarq at 3:35 PM on May 6, 2013


Ten years from now, this will be a B-School case study in "how to take your dominant market share and flush it down the toilet."
posted by deadmessenger at 3:36 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


I actually do most of my conversions through Canon DPP or Camera One but I need the ability to quickly open raw images on the fly for a variety of reasons. To have to use another piece of of software to then open an image that I just need to quickly look at and then close is way too cumbersome a process.
posted by photoslob at 4:29 PM on May 6 [+] [!]


I don't know about other formats, but on OS X, Preview will open NEF files with no fuss.
posted by azpenguin at 3:36 PM on May 6, 2013


We can only hope that this spurs some improvement in Free software like The Gimp and Inkscape, but unfortunately the intersection of Free software developers and people with knowledge to implement stuff missing in The Gimp (like CMYK as mentioned above) seems to be close enough to the null set that in the last decade there's been little to no movement on this front…
posted by jepler at 3:39 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ten years from now, this will be a B-School case study in "how to take your dominant market share and flush it down the toilet."

Interestingly Microsoft seem to be having a fair degree of success with this model, but they never retired non-subscription office.
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


As far as I know, GIMP doesn't support 16-bit-per-channel images yet. 2.10 was announced a year ago that was going to support it, but all I can find is 2.8.

IIRC, there's a high dynamic range fork of GIMP, created for use in the VFX industry (where they deal with a lot of HDR images, and have hundreds of seats and complex, semi-automated pipelines; it's probably the only place where Linux on the desktop is mainstream).
posted by acb at 3:40 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


This isn't surprising nor troubling, Adobe has clearly been moving in this direction for the past 4 or 5 years. Currently I use mostly Indesign, then Photoshop, with some Illustrater and am on CS5. That'll do just fine for quite a while. I know of someone still using Quark 5 on a PowerPC Mac, so I'm really not worried.

As a business expense, the price is fine. Not digging Adobe always checking up on me, but that's the way the world is going.

If you're looking for a page layout replacement, check out Scribus, it's open source, free and capable enough for the few light projects I tried it with.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:41 PM on May 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Zarq, good point. I knew there was another reason everyone was switching, and couldn't remember what drove it. It really did happen within a remarkably small timeframe, over a huge swath of people who largely missed Quark for a long time afterwards.
posted by Mchelly at 3:51 PM on May 6, 2013


Having joined Creative Cloud in the last few months, my Adobe hate is so well exercised I don't even get much catharsis out of expressing it any more, but:

1. The subscription (or as I call it the Adobe Tax) is, like all of their products, charged outside the U.S. at about 150% of the U.S. rate. So more like $70 a month.

2. The software is increasingly... flimsy. It'd difficult to describe, but for a long time they've used Java to make crossplatform code (you need to have Java installed in order to run Adobe apps), but it feels like they're using Flex a lot more now. It's difficult to describe, but like it's made out of cheap plastic.

3. Having to deal with them involves a customer interface process carefully developed by Franz Kafka. Get used to typing your Adobe ID over and over again.

4. Along with a tendency to stuff the software with unnecessary features (like using Photoshop to edit video or deciding that their page layout app is the perfect medium for developing mobile device apps), they also reverently preserve bugs from version to version, like they're treasured heirlooms.

They combine all the worst qualities of all the other companies.

Still, when I get some free time, I can learn After Effects, the program Cyriak uses, so there is that.
posted by Grangousier at 3:57 PM on May 6, 2013 [20 favorites]


jamaro: "I'm not happy about the subscription model, I like to control when to upgrade the software I depend on day in and day out and Adobe has a track record of suddenly deciding to move my cheese without warning and rarely for the better."

Yeah, stability trumps all other concerns when you're dealing with day-to-day workflow. Upgrading should be a choice, because it interrupts your work, sometimes catastrophically. If the choice to upgrade is taken away from the control of the user or admin, it forces them to deal with zero-day bugs and UI changes with no warning.

"However, I'm glad that crashmonster Fireworks is getting killed off, I hate hate hatey hate using it however a few of my clients want all their mobile app deliverables in layered .pngs."

I haven't used it since it was still owned by Macromedia, but I did find it incredibly useful back when I did a lot of animated rollovers in imagemaps for web navigation, so like at least a decade ago. Adobe's solution to this was the Photoshop helper ImageReady, which wasn't nearly as fast as chopping up slices and auto-coding rollovers with Fireworks at the time. Also, Fireworks could do raster and vector, and I didn't have Illustrator back then. Plus, it was full-featured shareware when Macromedia owned it, which saved my butt a few times when I had no other graphics software for a client job and I was just scraping by getting started. But I'm not at all surprised to see people's visceral dislike of Fireworks today, as I imagine Adobe didn't nurture it very much once they bought it and seemed far more interested in their Flash properties, and I'm more surprised they didn't kill it years ago.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:00 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh God, this is what people were talking about earlier on Twitter. Yeah...I absolutely need stability in my Adobe apps. It's bad enough when the largest story in an issue of my publication (a single file in InDesign) somehow balloons to 1.5 GB and beachballs every user who goes to open it, taking up four hours on ship day and putting us behind, when we'd been ahead of schedule the whole way... (Gosh, no, I didn't just have to deal with that last week, why do you ask?) I can only imagine having to deal with some sort of forced upgrade or outage or payment-related subscription timeout in addition to that noise. NOT HAPPY, ADOBE.
posted by limeonaire at 4:05 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


limeonaire - a single file in InDesign) somehow balloons to 1.5 GB

Do a Save As instead of a save. Frequently. Actually every time.
posted by nathan_teske at 4:07 PM on May 6, 2013


Yeah...I can't do that. I make updates to files in InCopy (I'm on the editorial side), so I have to just hit save every time (and a lot of "Check In All") and pray. In any case, the problem was most likely related to a complex Illustrator file that was on master pages in the document; somehow, InDesign wasn't dealing with it correctly. File setup issues are killer.
posted by limeonaire at 4:09 PM on May 6, 2013


"f*ck you, pay me."

When companies achieve a certain size and dominance, this phrase seems to inevitably become their ethos.
posted by nikoniko at 4:15 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hating on Fireworks because it's crashy now compared to Adobe's other apps is like hating on the red-headed stepchild because it's kind of scrawny and unsteady on its feet after years of only getting table scraps the other kids left behind.

Hating on Fireworks because you're used to Photoshop means that you, like most of the industry, got herded into a tool by a nearly unparalleled level of brand recognition that was and is pretty great for one niche... and is still fundamentally flawed for general screen design (as any tool constructed around raster layers is going to be). But it was just not completely broken enough that everybody managed to learn to wield it effectively anyway, an much like the web world managed to dance around IE for a long time.

In fact, I think that's probably the best comparison: Photoshop is essentially the IE of general design tools, and I'd go so far as to say it has cost at least as much in terms of designer and developer productivity as IE has. It's probably still the #1 obstacle to wider use of SVG.

The thing I dislike most about today's announcements is that Fireworks would have its best chance in an environment where there's no marginal cost (and low up-front costs) to trying it out, and where Adobe no longer has to worry about the success of one product eroding the share of another.

The thing I like most about today's announcements is that I'm sure more than a few devs are going to smell blood in the water, and now they don't have to worry about as much competition from a product that's on life support.
posted by weston at 4:17 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Adobe has been moving away from focusing on a "creative" audience for quite some time. Their current CEO has more of an engineering background than creative and the previous CEO was sales/marketing guys and the days when the company was led by someone who could tell you what a counter or stem in a typeface are long gone.

The purchase of Omniture (an analytics company) for 1.9 billion in 2009 was a watershed moment. That was when they doubled down on becoming a "digital marketing and digital media solution" powerhouse. On any given day (not today of course!) you might go to their home page and see multiple links to marketing whitepapers on analytics, mobile platforms, etc, and very little having to do with creative tools.

The subscription model has been in their playbook for many, many years. Microsoft has something do with that, having convinced these biz and marketing guys that the MSDN subscription model is the way to go. (If you're laughing because Microsoft is passé these days, I refer you to paragraph 1: the part about the CEOs being sales/marketing and engineering guys.)

The creative market is simply not Adobe's priority any more. The whole concept of a creative "suite" was a bit of a misnomer anyway. A suite implies that there is cohesion and integration between products, but for example the development teams of Photoshop and Illustrator have had very little to do with each other. The core engineering team for Illustraor has been based in India for a few releases now, they are not just wandering down the hall in San Jose to check on their Photoshop buddies.

As far as the whole Cloud thing, I see it as an attempt to cut costs by streamlining development cycles (and development teams), doing away with packaging and production costs, stabilizing their quarterly revenue, etc. It is a purely economical decision or at least one that came from the top down, not organically based on consumer preference. This is now more like a health club model, you pay a recurring monthly fee until you actively cancel, except a health club is a fringe benefit for most, Photoshop or InDesign may be the core of your business.

They may end up losing a bit of business from working pros from this, but the name Adobe still has huuuuuuge name recognition value for millions of corporate and other customers. They simply need to get a certain chunk of those people on board, throw the Pro users a bone now and then, and turn their attention to the other arms of their business that has a greater chance of increasing their market cap.
posted by jeremias at 4:18 PM on May 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


for a long time they've used Java to make crossplatform code

I've been down that road before and I won't do it again. Leaf used to code their raw workflow software in java and it was the worst hunk of shit I've ever used. You've got to be kidding me. Someone please slap me and wake me up because if this isn't a nightmare it will do until it gets here.
posted by photoslob at 4:25 PM on May 6, 2013


"Ten years from now, this will be a B-School case study in "how to take your dominant market share and flush it down the toilet."

Not so sure. I still think backlash from the publishing, advertising/design and educational business might turn it around, but there are really no other options. Everyone mentions Photoshop, but its really all about the ID/AI/PS triumvirate in my business of Graphic Design and Art Direction. GIMP might be an option for web or amateurs, but not for pros. Quark is an option for ID users, but most of us hated Quark with a burning passion. There is no option close to Illustrator that I'm familiar with.
posted by Mcable at 4:26 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


My favorite "feature" of Creative Cloud is that it locks you out if it can't phone home to Adobe. This may not be a problem for the average American office-worker, but it's a deal breaker for people like Bailey, who was leading photo workshops on Antarctica trips and cannot plan on having a reliable internet connection to check in with Adobe at precise intervals.

It's bad enough if you can't play Sim City offline, but not being able to use your critical (and expensive) business software is a far more significant problem. Add in the chaos when Adobe's servers go down (or is attacked), and it's a recipie for disaster. I'd love to be a giant customer asking these questions of my Adobe sales reps.
posted by zachlipton at 4:26 PM on May 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


2. The software is increasingly... flimsy. It'd difficult to describe, but for a long time they've used Java to make crossplatform code (you need to have Java installed in order to run Adobe apps), but it feels like they're using Flex a lot more now. It's difficult to describe, but like it's made out of cheap plastic.

Gods, yes, this. The last "solid" release of Illustrator was v.8. When 9 came out, it just felt...a bit delicate. Then came the CS era and, with each release, the software just felt more and more flimsy. Like, if you clicked your mouse too hard, the panels would shatter. It's a weird thing to try and describe.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:29 PM on May 6, 2013


They may end up losing a bit of business from working pros from this, but the name Adobe still has huuuuuuge name recognition value for millions of corporate and other customers.
The really cool part is that each individual user needs to create a Creative Cloud account in order to use an Adobe product. Think about that for a moment - Adobe will now know everyone who uses their products. And they will probably also be downloading usage metrics. So now Adobe could spin up a headhunting group that picks out the 'best' users and then sells their names to companies that are looking to hire.

Look for a "I hate my boss" button in the next update of your favorite Adobe products. Press it, and you might just get a better job!

(in other words, those corporate customers won't be happy about this at all)
posted by b1tr0t at 4:31 PM on May 6, 2013


Mcable Not so sure. I still think backlash from the publishing, advertising/design and educational business might turn it around, but there are really no other options. Everyone mentions Photoshop, but its really all about the ID/AI/PS triumvirate in my business of Graphic Design and Art Direction. GIMP might be an option for web or amateurs, but not for pros. Quark is an option for ID users, but most of us hated Quark with a burning passion. There is no option close to Illustrator that I'm familiar with.

And worse most high-end users have built business critical workflow structures around the Adobe suite, not to mention tens of thousands of pickup files in Adobe formats. There really aren't any viable alternatives outside of completely scrapping our existing workflows, converting files flawlessly and moving ahead on an entirely new platform. The creative software community is far more locked-in than the Excel/Word userbase ever was, largely because our files are many orders of magnitude more complex.

b1tr0t -- I don't have that button in Illustrator yet, but using my work email address for "Fuck you Adobe!" posts is always fun.
posted by nathan_teske at 4:36 PM on May 6, 2013


You guys should have started using FOSS software ten years ago. By now it would have grown to meet your needs (instead of meeting our needs). But now, you're stuck with Adobe, Microsoft, et al. and they own you. <nelson>HA HA</nelson>
posted by zengargoyle at 4:48 PM on May 6, 2013


Adobe confuses and depresses me because many (or even most) of their actual developers seem to be passionate, hugely intelligent people who have made genuine advances in their various areas. But the company as a whole is so petulant, defensive and lumbering that I've watched it starve Fireworks, piss all over all of their own useful inventions, and spurn any supporters to the point that the only thing keeping me spending money is their proprietary file formats.

I suppose I'm grateful that personally I can switch to a relatively open workflow with regards to AS3 and Fireworks, but I still hope this will result in more publicity for good InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop alternatives.
posted by lucidium at 4:56 PM on May 6, 2013


You guys should have started using FOSS software ten years ago.

Ten years ago there was no opensource software that could do what we needed it to do. There were paid alternatives, but Adobe bought them up or they were just as bad as Adobe if not worse (I'm looking at you Quark).
posted by nathan_teske at 4:57 PM on May 6, 2013


You guys should have started using FOSS software ten years ago. By now it would have grown to meet your needs...

Baloney. Just to use the GIMP, again, as an example, people have been hounding the GIMP devs for CMYK capability practically since it was first launched. Any movement on growing to meet our needs yet? I've used the thing several times over the years, just to see how it was doing, and each time my feedback was the same...CMYK? I'm still hearing crickets.

There's no logic to using software that doesn't do the job you need it to, in the off-chance the devs might actually someday make it something that actually works for you. It's like buying a scooter and hoping the makers will turn it into a truck some day.

I'm not happy that I'm tied to Adobe ware, but that's how things go.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:57 PM on May 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


>> Blazecock Pileon: "Inkscape isn't perfect, but it is pretty damn good for an open source
>> app. Definitely worth looking into, if you can fit SVG into your workflow. With
>> ImageMagick, you can turn SVGs into PDFs or PostScripts. "
>
> Thanks very much for this. You saved me from asking a Q on AskMe.

zarq, it may wind up being important to you to know that Inkscape does lots of things that can't be saved in a plain vanilla SVG, and that therefore there is a thing called an "Inkscape SVG" that only Inkscape understands. If you're going to start your vector work in Inkscape and finish it in inkscape you're safe but if you want file interoperability with other software, that calls for some testing.

The best example I can think of may apply to nobody in the world but me but here's the sort of interoperability contortions Inkscape may involve you in. A lot of my stuff starts life as black line art done in technical pen on bristol board. I clean the scan up and feed it to autotrace.exe, a command line open source app that will do centerline traces. Autotrace writes a real genuine SVG file full of paths. I have the autotrace command line parameters set to preserve every last little wiggle and jiggle of what I drew, so it creates paths with a vast, monstrous number of nodes. Inkscape, however, has a "simplify path" function that I consider absolutely magical. In place of autotrace's straight-segment paths Inkscape makes nice smooth beziers with fewer nodes by a factor of ten or twenty, and these beziers still do a very good job of following what I drew.

Here's the gotcha. Once I have smoothly curved paths I'm happy with, I want to continue in PS. I want to stroke these paths with the PS brushes I've made--often with simulated pressure turned on.

Inkscape will NOT write to ANY kind of path-supporting file that PS can open.

Inkscape also will NOT copy paths to the standard Windows clipboard, it uses its own special snowflake whatthehell-izzit kind of buffer space when you copy for pasting. So. We gots to have an intermediate file, and some intermediate software. There was once a vector graphics app with the wonderful name of Creature House Expression. MS bought Creature House, made it into Microsoft Expression, and for a time (maybe still) gave the older Creature House version away free as teaserware. Inkscape will write Enhanced Metafiles (.emf) which can contain paths. Creature House Expression will open .emfs and find the paths therein if there are any. Also it will copy paths to the standard Windows clipboard. Once they are copied to the clipboard thanks to Creature House, now at last I can open my work file in PS, do Paste As/Paths and get my paths into PS and work my wicked will on them.

AI is annoying in many ways. Inkscape is also annoying in its own ways. At least it's annoying for free.
posted by jfuller at 4:57 PM on May 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


The new icons are INSANE.
posted by Artw at 4:58 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


You guys should have started using FOSS software ten years ago. By now it would have grown to meet your need

Really? GIMP would have done that? I've been using GIMP again a lot lately (since my ancient version of PSE won't run on Mountain Lion) and I find this amusing.

<hibbert>unrestrained chuckles</hibbert>

I've had better luck with Seashore. And prayer.
posted by jessamyn at 5:02 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still get unhappy little eye-twitches whenever anyone mentions Quark. I last used it in 2003. STILL. TWITCHES. Y'all shut up about Quark.

I just (as in, last week, though I'd downloaded them earlier) upgraded from my old PS6 and AI9 to the 'free' versions of the CS2 suite. The only difference I can see, really, is that instead of there being three ways to do anything in Photoshop there are now six. (And some fun new actions in Illustrator.)

I use Photoshop for photo adjusting, mostly, which may be hammering in a nail with an excavator, but damnit, if I want one of the fifty-nine billion bells and whistles tools, I have them. I use Illustrator for screwing around with rotoscoping NASA photos by hand, and occasional design/layout stuff.

I think I'll make a backup copy of all this CS2 installation stuff for future use. I don't swap computers often, I am not interested in the latest and greatest OS, and I will quite fucking happily take something that's a little older and clunkier than something that will not go on when my internet is down. I am pretty good at kludging old software to work on newer systems. I am not at all good at obeying DRM. So it goes.
posted by cmyk at 5:07 PM on May 6, 2013


I think this is a bad thing.

Upon reflection: I think this is a fucking bad thing.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 5:07 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I've ever seen a legit copy of Photoshop. At pretty big company I worked at, about 3k people, we even had a malware issue because of people torrenting photoshop.

This is the kind of future we wanted right? Isn't the desktop dead? I know this is some unholy hybrid that amounts to native code and DRM, but isn't this a step in that direction? Issues like the fact that you need always on Internet and to fork over every month are not going away. We love google for enterprise right? That shit locks up for me because chat and phone applets freak out when I lose my wifi.

In 2 years this will be the new normal, we've already forgotten the days when you ordered a CDROM of photoshop. Discrete versions and one time payments to "buy" software will fade away too. We will eventually forget there used to be versions and patches and downloads, ere will just be photoshop, and it will be the same for everyone.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:12 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


> You guys should have started using FOSS software ten years ago. By now it would have grown to meet your need.

The real true inner-sanctum FOSS attitude about features users want is "You want feature X in package Y? Learn to code. Learn to code real good. Offer yourself as a dev on the package Y team. Code feature X yo'self. If the other more senior devs like it (and you) maybe it'll get picked for inclusion, in version = (current + 6.5)."
posted by jfuller at 5:15 PM on May 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


Ugh. I'm the only graphics guy at my workplace, so every time I need a piece of software that isn't Microsoft it has to go to the head office for special approval. I just know someone's gonna do the math on the cost over a few years and give me a stern talk, but what can I do? Guess I'll keep wringing as much life from CS4 as I can.
posted by echo target at 5:20 PM on May 6, 2013


I've been down that road before and I won't do it again. Leaf used to code their raw workflow software in java and it was the worst hunk of shit I've ever used. You've got to be kidding me. Someone please slap me and wake me up because if this isn't a nightmare it will do until it gets here.

Not Java's fault. Java can be used to build very robust, excellent software... the problem being that it's the most common programming language in the world1 and therefore it's also really easy to find crappy software written in it. The problem with Adobe lately is that they aren't using a real language, they're using Flex. And Flex, just like most of the other specialized proprietary languages and development systems, sucks.

1 probably
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:21 PM on May 6, 2013


Just fork it and never submit patches or pull requests. Of course then you are stuck paying a dev 100k a year to maintain your own gimp when you could just pay X a month and never have to worry about it.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:22 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually prefer GIMP, but I am a very lightweight user and I learned most of what I know about working with images using GIMP. When PS users complain about everything in GIMP's UI being in the wrong place or not working right? That's exactly my experience of using Photoshop.

I'm sure if I were to actually work with images in a professional or more extensive context, learning PS would be a good idea, but right now it's that balky thing with the weird interface that doesn't do things the way I think they should work.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:24 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


God only knows how this will affect my community college Mac-based graphics lab. I'm not NOT NOT looking forward to it.
posted by cccorlew at 5:25 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yep, it doesn't work on the "you build it and I'll come" principal. It works on the "you come and we build it together" principal. That's why you get stuck with what we need instead of what you need. You need to become We before We can have what We need. Instead, you are a Me... take My money.. give Me what I want... cater to My whim. You deserve what you get. But anyway, going back in time there was a point where it was all MS Paint and whatever that horrid Mac black and white pixel program was called. Had you taken the other path then you wouldn't be trapped under the thumbs of the people taking your money now.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:27 PM on May 6, 2013


Something just occurred to me: how are they going to handle student discounts? Adobe has traditionally offered big discounts on edu copies sold through campus bookstores. Are you going to have to fax them a bursar's receipt every year or something?
posted by deadmessenger at 5:28 PM on May 6, 2013


Yep, it doesn't work on the "you build it and I'll come" principal. It works on the "you come and we build it together" principal.

Meanwhile, in the real world, where writing code at a production level is something maybe a percent of the population can do...
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:29 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, I guess I better get used to CS6, because the penny-pinching corp. I work for will take forever to get on board with this.
posted by freakazoid at 5:29 PM on May 6, 2013


Wait, so how am I going to put my face on Scarlett Johansson's body while playing The Passenger at max volume to cover the sobbing until the police come to pull me out of my studio apartment in all my Blue Man Group painted glory? I'm paying enough money to court settlements, fines, and blue paint dealers to want to pay another fee.

THANX FER NOTHING OBAMASHOP
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:32 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, in the real world, where using Photoshop at the production level is something maybe a percent of the population can do...
posted by zengargoyle at 5:33 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Had you taken the other path then you wouldn't be trapped under the thumbs of the people taking your money now.

It's amazing how one can be turned from a decent cause by asshole behavior.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:34 PM on May 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


how are they going to handle student discounts? Adobe has traditionally offered big discounts on edu copies sold through campus bookstores. Are you going to have to fax them a bursar's receipt every year or something?

Only $19.99/month!
Your proof of eligibility must be a document issued by the institution with your name, institution name, and current date.** Types of proof of enrollment include:

• School ID card
• Report card
• Transcript
• Tuition bill or statement
posted by Thorzdad at 5:34 PM on May 6, 2013


> I'm sure if I were to actually work with images in a professional or more extensive context,
> learning PS would be a good idea, but right now it's that balky thing with the weird
> interface that doesn't do things the way I think they should work.

Dealing with both interfaces hasn't actually been that much of a trial to me. Whichever one you learn first, learning the other is like learning to code in your second programming language. First time around, you have to learn the language's vocabulary and syntax and also what sorts of things can be accomplished by programming. Second time around, just vocabulary and syntax.
posted by jfuller at 5:34 PM on May 6, 2013


For me - starting in high school with a pirated version of PS 3 or 4 (I forget which), Photoshop was totally intuitive. I'd been doing darkroom work at the same time, so when I loaded it up onto my groaning pizzabox shaped 1997 computer, it was a revelation: This is a darkroom inside a computer! I CAN DO THIS!

Then I got Illustrator and learned what it feels like to mentally gallop facefirst into a wall. That ain't a learning curve, it's a learning cliff.
posted by cmyk at 5:36 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


The new icons are INSANE.

In case anyone else was wondering what Artw was talking about: apparently these are the new icons. We should probably just start calling it Adobe Creative Clown.
posted by oulipian at 5:41 PM on May 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


these are the new icons

Jesus. My eyes are bleeding.
posted by Fnarf at 5:44 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


these are the new icons

They're a CAPTCHA!
posted by jessamyn at 5:45 PM on May 6, 2013 [24 favorites]


these are the new icons

Did nobody shrink them down to the size they'll actually appear at on a user's screen and go "Oooooohhhhhh, riiiiiiiight" and start over?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:45 PM on May 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


And those businesses use Adobe because their workforce learned it already, and it became the defacto-standard because of that.

And because it's usually great software.

As we really only need it a few times per year for posters, buying monthly makes no sense for us. It's not a fun transition though.

Under the new model you'd only have buy it a few times a year, which might work out as much cheaper in your situation.

I have no issue with the subscription model alongside the perpetual model but cutting out the traditional model is not going to be a pleasant fit for many people. If the subscription model is such a success, then why do they have to make it the only model?

And the new non-icon icons are hideous.
posted by juiceCake at 5:46 PM on May 6, 2013


Sorry Brandon, don't mean to be assholish. I started computing back when things were horribly expensive (pfft, you guys complaining about $200 a year) and have spent the last 20 years or so never having to pay for or pirate software. As a side effect, for the past 20 years I've watched over and over and over the fallout of new version of this, doesn't work with old version, why are they making me change, why does it cost so much, hate this but I have to use it, they broke this and now want me to pay for it again. Over and over and over. It's pretty much a racket now, get you hooked, withdraw a product and then force you to get a new one. And the curse and swear and keep coming back for more.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:47 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


In case anyone else was wondering what Artw was talking about: apparently these are the new icons. We should probably just start calling it Adobe Creative Clown.

I'm literally crying with laughter at those icons. It's as if they were done by those Reddit "MSPAINT.EXE" guys.
posted by odinsdream at 5:47 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


From that PCMAG link: "Part of the answer to this gaping productivity hole is Adobe's integration with Behance, a creative professional social network."

I thought this was just a new pricing model. It's actually a waystation towards Idiocracy.

I urge you all, fellow Mefites, to engage in a solid minute of laughter every time someone says the word "Behance" to you.
posted by Fnarf at 5:47 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think of the GIMP as being a programmer's graphic design tool, and Photoshop being a graphic designer's graphic design tool.

I'm a programmer, so I like using the Gimp and appreciate it's nice hooks to scripting tools. I also like the price. I'm sure I'd feel differently if I had heavier weight needs or were someone that really had design chops, but I'm not.

That said, if I were one of those people, I'd want Adobe to burn for this brazen gouge attempt. Maybe not all software can be free, but crazy expensive subscription model just for the right to create? UP. YOURS.
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:51 PM on May 6, 2013


I think the subscription model would be more appealing if the prices were attractive. I know a lot of people who subscribe to Netflix for example, because the price is right. Many are willing to pay what they consider a fair price for the value of what they are getting. The price is only right in Adobe's model if you are the type who always upgraded, each version, in which case this is cheaper (DRM issues aside). With lower prices it might appeal more to those who skip a version, as many seem to do.

It will be interesting to see if the model is adjusted depending on the response.
posted by juiceCake at 5:52 PM on May 6, 2013


Meanwhile, Bob Staake creates New Yorker covers using Photoshop 3.0
posted by Tom-B at 5:53 PM on May 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


Did nobody shrink them down to the size they'll actually appear at on a user's screen and go "Oooooohhhhhh, riiiiiiiight" and start over?

This is how I feel almost every time I visit a web page on my laptop with its sub cinema display. Giving your people the very best hardware may be a great employee retention and efficiency strategy but it is probably the worst design decision you could ever make.
posted by srboisvert at 5:55 PM on May 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Aw, man. This is going to suck.

I'm reliant on Illustrator to make figures for publication, and Acrobat for dinking around with PDFs in various ways. Acrobat is probably replaceable, but Illustrator's not -- I've tested every demo version of an indie vector app I could find against the GMT output it will have to be able to make editable, and Illustrator's the only acceptable solution.
posted by irrelephant at 5:57 PM on May 6, 2013


And here I was thinking that Creative Suite was the only software that would just continue to get better over time without people screwing it up.
posted by fifthrider at 5:58 PM on May 6, 2013


> Meanwhile, Bob Staake creates New Yorker covers using Photoshop 3.0

But then most New Yorker covers wouldn't stress up MS Paint all that bad.
posted by jfuller at 6:01 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just checked, and Krita does in fact have an option for CMYK color space.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:05 PM on May 6, 2013


Hypothesis:

"Adobe has been moving away from focusing on a "creative" audience for quite some time..."

posted by jeremias at 4:18 PM on May 6

Presented in Evidence:

"In case anyone else was wondering what Artw was talking about: apparently these are the new icons..."


posted by oulipian at 5:41 PM on May 6

posted by TwoWordReview at 6:05 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


> But then most New Yorker covers wouldn't stress up MS Paint all that bad.

Most of Cassandre's stuff wouldn't either.
posted by Tom-B at 6:07 PM on May 6, 2013


I can only see two ways that this will pan out:

First option is the "WordPerfect and lawyers" outcome: people continue to use the last good revision and make it work on whatever hardware they have for decades to come. Adobe loses relevance, and its contemporary offerings are regarded as a joke by the people who actually know what they're doing.

Second option: Qwikster. Remember Qwikster? Exactly.
posted by fifthrider at 6:07 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


They just lost the entire student and prosumer base. These are the guys who migrate into the mainstream, and the vector by which Adobe built its market dominance. Talk about throwing away the seed corn.

Rent-seeking behaviour, nothing more.
posted by unSane at 6:10 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Stop thinking like a consumer and start thinking like a businessman. Your previous liability was $1500 but your new liability is now potentially infinite, bounded only by the length of your career.

As a businessman, do you think you can run CS3 when pretty much everyone else on the planet has moved on? Of course not! You will have to upgrade every couple of years or else you get nasty surprises like missing deadlines because you can't open a file from another vendor. Your potential exposure there is also infinite, if you're going to think about it in such hyperbolic terms.

So while I do understand the irritation, I am also confident that the sky is not really falling.
posted by Mister_A at 6:10 PM on May 6, 2013


how are they going to handle student discounts? Adobe has traditionally offered big discounts on edu copies sold through campus bookstores. Are you going to have to fax them a bursar's receipt every year or something?

Only $19.99/month!


Wow. I think with my .edu discount I paid 199 for all of CS4. I certainly used it for more than 10 months. I can imagine some students really struggling to make those twenty dollar payments. And if something goes wrong with authentication, no way to finish your homework. What a lousy deal for students and educators.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:11 PM on May 6, 2013


I know zip about Adobe, PS, et al. However, as a dev tester for Chrome OS I take this news, assuming it really is a cloud-based conversion rather than some sort of DRM sleight of hand, as evidence of the inevitable. In the not too distant future the notion of loading software onto a free-standing box rather than subscribing to a cloud service will be as quaint as filing the points on your distributor, installing a UHF converter on your TV or churning your own butter...
posted by jim in austin at 6:13 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The university I work for gives free Creative Suite to students, faculty, and staff. I will be very interested to find out how this affects our deal with Adobe.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:13 PM on May 6, 2013


Well, on the plus side, I'd bet my eye teeth that some enterprising hackers will still be releasing monthly no-DRM snapshots of the applications on the usual filesharing networks. Hell, this lowers the barrier to entry for piracy: instead of dropping hundreds all at once, they can just spend 20 bucks, crack the authentication, and use it indefinitely.
posted by fifthrider at 6:15 PM on May 6, 2013


The new Photoshop application icon is a glass bong.

This all makes sense now.
posted by dbiedny at 6:34 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


So the only Creative Suite program I actually use enough to pay for is Illustrator. I use it a lot; I'm drawing a graphic novel directly in it. I have more than a decade of using it as my main medium.

Every few years, Adobe puts out an Illustrator update that has absolutely nothing for me. No improvements to the tools I use, no new tools I can even begin to think of using. CC1's feature list shows that this is one of those years.

Add in the fact that I'm not exactly fired up about them going subscription-only and I think I'm going to be skipping this version, thank you very much. Don't know what I'll do when OSX 10.13 or whatever breaks CS6 for me. Cry, for one thing.

And I have to agree with the folks saying there is really no replacement for it. In my occasional poking at alternatives I have found exactly zero vector apps besides Illustrator that will do what AI calls "global color swatches", where changing the swatch changes everything drawn in it, let alone the host of other features I use on a regular basis.
posted by egypturnash at 6:34 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


assuming it really is a cloud-based conversion rather than some sort of DRM sleight of hand, as evidence of the inevitable.

I think this is a DRM'd desktop application subscription, but is definitely a move toward a cloud based service.

In the not too distant future the notion of loading software onto a free-standing box rather than subscribing to a cloud service will be as quaint as filing the points on your distributor

I wholeheartedly agree, but until the infrastructure exists to handle live edits to massive media files, they shouldn't eliminate the desktop software model. Also, you would be hard pressed to find a market segment with more powerful computers than those owned/used by creative media developers.

This seems like a move to get users onboard with the subscription payment model for when they actually do make users move to an exclusively cloud based service by removing backwards compatibility or some other technique that makes the outrage seen here tranquil in comparison.
posted by clearly at 6:48 PM on May 6, 2013


I don't pretend to know a lot about the market, but as a prosumer (Photoshop constantly) this is some shit news that maybe I'll be able to deal with emotionally more easily in the future. Right now, I'm fucking pissed.

Having said that, Adobe has been absolutely stomped on by companies with much stronger vertical integration. They better watch their fucking back that none of the big three decide to take a huge shit in Adobe's backyard.

This feels a lot like what Netflix ended up doing - anticipating where the market is inevitably going and making some huge pre-emptive moves. Knowing Adobe, I'm sure some massive fuck-ups and apologies will be in order. But perhaps we are all getting a first taste at the future of pro applications.

I'm keeping a close eye on Google's purchase of Nik Software - easily some of the best plugins for Photoshop - and I'm curious how far they will integrate photo manipulation into their photo sharing services - the latter being an area that Adobe has absolutely no presence in.
posted by phaedon at 7:12 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


For everyone who's saying they can make their current version last forever or until their OS no longer supports it, clearly you don't have to exchange files with people and companies that stay current.

I tried going that route: not upgrading my version of Illustrator because it did everything I needed to (and I was tired of Adobe dicking up the shortcuts with every new release), but I continually had to ask collaborators and clients to downsave before sending me files, and they kept forgetting to, and it was getting embarrassing because it just made me look cheap and vaguely unprofessional. So I had to give in.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:16 PM on May 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


clearly: Given what I've seen so far, it will definitely be your box doing the heavy lifting. The cloud will simply be delivering some witches brew of js, HTML5, NaCl and (the soon to be released) PNaCl to emulate the desktop app. Chrome OS doesn't currently do Java (Google feels it's too insecure and proprietary) but that's certainly an option as well. But all the grinding, grunting and rendering will be done on your machine with both local and remote storage options. The upside of the model is that you always have the newest, most current software with all the fixes and features without having to install anything...
posted by jim in austin at 7:18 PM on May 6, 2013


Serious question for those who are saying "I'll just carry on with CS3 or whatever forever", what do you do when clients have newer versions than you? I have CS2 on my old iMac and CS3 at work, and I can't open a lot of InDesign CS6 files sent to us by clients. Sure, there are some steps they can take to save as an older version or as a PDF or whatnot, but as anyone who's been down that road knows, trying to get a client to do something outside their daily routine can be... interesting. So, really, how do you manage? 'Cause this announcement really threw me for a loop, and while I'd like to carry on with CS2 and CS3, I'm not sure I can realistically do that any more.
posted by xedrik at 7:32 PM on May 6, 2013


Yeah this is going to be challenging. I haven't used Adobe products in ages but we have a fairly extensive number of labs with it installed and the per seat licensing on CS was already astronomical.

I think for the education market this is going to force a lot of client services managers to quickly look down the road towards rolling out Virtual App/ Virtual Desktop deployments because even at the reduced educational rates (gotta get the students addicted to that sweet Adobe crack early- just a little taste man) the yearly bill for this is going to be insane unless there is some sort of site license volume discount.

Granted we basically have no choice because professors aren't exactly going to be willing to learn a whole new set of tools and GIMP sucks but this isn't going to be fun.

I can't imagine having to deal with this at a typical publishing business where this could really really squeeze operating margins.
posted by vuron at 7:46 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Serious question for those who are saying "I'll just carry on with CS3 or whatever forever", what do you do when clients have newer versions than you?

We don't except native files. Clients are told to save files in the PDF/X 3 format.

When clients do send .PSD or Illustrater files that use fonts we don't have, we ask them for the fonts. Annoying, but not impossible. Increasingly though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:50 PM on May 6, 2013


Seriously, does anyone send the original files anymore? You flatten your Photoshop files and send a .Tif or JPG, save a copy of the final Ilustrater file and convert fonts to outlines or just save a PDF or convert the Indesign file into a PDF. You don't want the drunk monkey on the other end handling your beautiful snowfake file, right?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:57 PM on May 6, 2013


It has to phone home?!

I'm sitting with bitten cuticles because some asshole spam attacked a server of mine through some relay today - and Time Warner is going up and down, up and down, just the way they have for seven long hard years (we get Verizon soon, yaaay!) so I type for a few seconds and then everything freezes, and I'm not in a backwater, I'm in New York City.

Up until two months ago, my assistant in Berlin used to have to go to a café to send me his work because their home internet was off for almost three months!

And I like to travel - so I'm often out of net.access. Which is generally fine for me - I can write programs and letters and all that. But not if my software phones home...

I am a paid customer of their software but I can't imagine giving them money under those circumstances.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:00 PM on May 6, 2013


So will this new offering have some sort of collaborative shared cloud drive for collaboration with colleagues and clients? If 2 or more creators could be editing a composition simultaneously without having to transmit copies via other methodologies that could be a pretty compelling feature.

I have no idea how most companies internet feed would handle the sizes of files you guys typically throw around but for some installs that sort of collaborative workspace could be a major selling feature.
posted by vuron at 8:05 PM on May 6, 2013


Seriously, does anyone send the original files anymore

In a collaborative environment, very definitely yes. Most of my clients are big tech companies who maintain huge libraries of .psd, .ai and layered .png files that I need to be able to open up to extract various elements from to incorporate into whatever I'm designing for them. At the end of the project, they want my source files of whatever new elements I generated to add to the library as well.
posted by jamaro at 8:06 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I figure it has to check in with a license server periodically lupus because they know some creatives will be in locations without reliable internet for long periods of time.

Of course it's also Adobe so knowing them it will probably need to have a constant heartbeat from a license server...
posted by vuron at 8:07 PM on May 6, 2013


Did nobody shrink them down to the size they'll actually appear at on a user's screen and go "Oooooohhhhhh, riiiiiiiight" and start over?

Adobe appears to be clueless enough to think everyone someone is using Windows 8.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:10 PM on May 6, 2013


Cloud Suite Two will have a new "Iconize" action that, when used, takes whatever you're working on and turns it into some crazy-ass color barf like their icons.

It'll cost extra though.
posted by cmyk at 8:15 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, about half our work isn't just "Here, print this," it's a joint project with the client. We run into version conflicts all the time, sometimes even if they have downsaved to our version. I can only imagine it'll get worse.
posted by xedrik at 8:16 PM on May 6, 2013


Ahh it looks like if you get creative cloud for teams at the low low cost of 69.99 a month you can deploy non-cloud based versions of the app using the packager app.

Hahaha I'm going to send a friendly poke at our desktop solutions team lead and inform him of his impending headache.
posted by vuron at 8:23 PM on May 6, 2013


krinklyfig: "Yeah, stability trumps all other concerns when you're dealing with day-to-day workflow. Upgrading should be a choice, because it interrupts your work, sometimes catastrophically. If the choice to upgrade is taken away from the control of the user or admin, it forces them to deal with zero-day bugs and UI changes with no warning."

As a non-professional (and somewhat rare) user of an old version of Photoshop, I had been thinking about how maybe this would be a good thing for me. Pony up the cash this month because I need PS and Illustrator for a project, then let it lapse for a few months until I need it again.

But, you made a convert, because YIKES. For professionals, the stability issue and being able to know exactly what works and -- because we're talking about modern software here -- what doesn't work is absolutely key. I'm dealing with that right now with regard to ArcMap. My office is mostly running 10.1, but I have a single box with 10.0 because there's a tool I need that has a subtle but major bug in 10.1 so I better have 10.0 around, and 9.3 is required for all our fieldwork staff for a totally different reason. It's a nightmare, but at least I have control over which machine is running which.

But I simply can't imagine what it would be like with a cloud-based auto-updating subscription system. Well, I can, and it would be hell. You'd open the software to make one final change in a deliverable and the software informs you it's now running version+0.01 and now your logo is just the wrong shade of green and the deadline is in 4 hours and there is no way your client is going to be happy nosirree not at all and you wonder if Adobe is keen on being sued for making you breach your contract.

Just kidding! The TOS are going to completely absolve them of any responsibility for making changes to the software that end up fucking you and causing you legal repercussions. Thanks for the $50, suckers, enjoy the giant icons!
posted by barnacles at 8:26 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh boy most of the creative cloud suite won't install in 10.6 and it requires x64 versions on windows. This gets better and better.

I also like how some future products might not be able to save in CS6 formats.
posted by vuron at 8:29 PM on May 6, 2013


Seriously, does anyone send the original files anymore? You flatten your Photoshop files and send a .Tif or JPG, save a copy of the final Ilustrater file and convert fonts to outlines or just save a PDF or convert the Indesign file into a PDF.

If you have had any success whatsoever getting a staff pixel pusher at any client or collaborator's shop to follow any practice you request, or even do it the same way twice as opposed to doing it some mystifyingly different way every time, or respond in complete sentences or words of two or more syllables when you try to talk with them about it, then you are not only a better man than I, you are as far, as Mr. Spock would say, above me as I am above the amoeba.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:36 PM on May 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


I feel a little left out of the outrage since I've never actually used photoshop. I've used Gimp a handful of times over the last fifteen years and it's done what I needed but I've never needed anything all that complicated out of it.
posted by octothorpe at 8:59 PM on May 6, 2013


Zarq, good point. I knew there was another reason everyone was switching, and couldn't remember what drove it. It really did happen within a remarkably small timeframe, over a huge swath of people who largely missed Quark for a long time afterwards.

I remember the change over to InDesign happening fairly quickly too. As a designer, although it was annoying to change over, most of us got over any loyalty to Quark quickly. I remember every new release Quark made had support for web or other functions that nobody was using while not fixing super basic functions that print designers need.

Frankly, I feel like Adobe and Apple (two companies I've been loyal to for a long time—I remember Photoshop 1) have almost forgotten creative professionals completely. People I know who only use CS every once in a while or could never afford more than one program are over the moon about the subscription model. As a professional designer I have paid full price for the software ($1,500 is not a crazy amount to upgrade every 2-3 years if you are making your living from CS) and find it crazy to not only pay monthly but to tie my programs and files to Adobe's support system. When the cloud model came out I did the math and buying the programs outright is cheaper over the course of a few years. The only people I know who upgrade every version are pre-press houses who have to.

Last year I replaced my hard drive and did not think to deactivate all of my Adobe products before hand. When I reinstalled from my Timemachine backup all of my Adobe software was there but the DRM was broken. I spent most of a day on the phone with tech support trying to get this to work. They threatened me and did not believe that I had bought the software despite having the serial number and an Adobe account stating that I owned the software. If they have trouble with that what kind of support can I expect with this new model?

Maybe I'm a naysayer, but you know this is going to happen at the worst possible time and criple your system (via):
You computer does have to connect to the internet once a month to verify that your membership is still current, but that’s it. Once that check has happened you can disconnect and run all of your Creative Cloud apps OFF-line.
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:39 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


these are the new icons

So, Adobe's target market is 3rd tier techno flyer design?
posted by krinklyfig at 9:59 PM on May 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


octothorpe: "I feel a little left out of the outrage since I've never actually used photoshop. I've used Gimp a handful of times over the last fifteen years and it's done what I needed but I've never needed anything all that complicated out of it."

GIMP is great if you don't really need the kind of tools that graphic designers do in production environments, but if you do, then it is hopelessly inadequate. I use GIMP fairly often for quick edits of some types of web graphics, but even the ancient PS4 (the earliest version I used) surpasses the newest version of GIMP when it comes to doing anything more advanced, or anything involving graphics for print.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:06 PM on May 6, 2013


So, how do we steal this? We're gonna need to be able to steal this.

Adobe's entire business model was about making it's products easy enough to steal that everybody on earth who wanted a crack could get one, rendering them a universal standard. Their big revenue came from corporate users (even small shops) who couldn't afford to get sued. But damn near every freelance one-artist operation I ever encountered was running a crack.

So seriously. How are we gonna steal this?
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 10:07 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


They cannot be app icons... they must be just marketing images.
posted by panaceanot at 10:31 PM on May 6, 2013


No. Just no.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:41 PM on May 6, 2013


Aaaaaa, I keep spiraling over the two loci of this situation.

One: I hate the beancounter drive toward subscription models for "purchasing" software. It's incredibly shortsighted, and has a non zero chance to kill the whole industry.

Two: Wait a sec, do you mean to say I can drop a tiny amount like $20 USD and edit in a relatively tricked out Premiere Pro for an entire month?

I don't have to pay $1,000 or maybe $1,500 to even play with this stuff? I can just send Adobe twenty bucks each month and if I'm good, I can make thousands during that time? How is that wrong?

I have a weird feeling that I'm gonna sign up for this and either keep track of it or just bill it to my clients. While I'd rather own the software, they're making it cheap and legitimate enough not to complain.
posted by Sphinx at 11:28 PM on May 6, 2013


The real true inner-sanctum FOSS attitude about features users want is "You want feature X in package Y? Learn to code. Learn to code real good. Offer yourself as a dev on the package Y team. Code feature X yo'self. If the other more senior devs like it (and you) maybe it'll get picked for inclusion, in version = (current + 6.5)."
This is often the expected answer to user complaints, and there is some truth in it, but the more common attitude is:

"Sounds like a cool feature! Feel free to pay a coder to build it - or we can hire x staff to do it for Y."

Free Software is free as in freedom, not money. While the lone bedroom coder doing it for the love of it certainly exists, they're not in the majority any more on any big projects, if they ever were. The linux kernel gets about 85% of its code contributions from companies. Some rely on linux entirely (redhat), some contribute for self benefit (hardware companies submitting drivers), and others do it because it's easier to get their code in mainline than keep having to make their changes in private every time that section of code is changed by someone else.

There's nothing in the GPL specifying they have to share the code they write to improve linux for their own use - as long as they're not selling products with the modified linux kernel in (e.g. redhat), they can keep their in-house code, in-house. But they don't, because combined, many companies and individuals can build something much greater than they could ever afford alone.

Sure, there are political fallouts and stagnant code committees, infighting and a rejection of outsiders on some projects. Open source devs are still human, after all! But the greatest strength of open source is that is not the end.

When adobe abandons fireworks, it's condemned to bit rot. The old version stops working on OSX 10.10? or windows 9? Tough. If it was open source, it could be forked and continued by someone else. This has happened many times, such as XFree86 to X.org, open office to libre office (prompting oracle to hand off open office to the apache foundation to try and prevent it becoming totally irrelevant), gcc, the list goes on. When there's no money or much interest in keeping it going? Then it probably dies, even with open source. Sometimes a project decides to completely go a completely different direction and start again as they think the original coders or idea suck - wayland for example, or gnome 3 (nerd joke!)

It's not some magic pool of advanced coders that roam the land doing the stuff you want for free. They're either paid to do it, or they do the stuff they want to do (and know how to do).

There's plenty of things that could happen to make gimp great (I'm not involved with that particular community, so I don't know whether the inertia is political) - or build a great open source alternative - that don't involve firing up an IDE or knowing anything about code. Manuals and documentation often really suck because it's boring, and the coders know what it's supposed to do. UI often sucks because coders are trying to imagine what users want, and it can often be like blind men describing an elephant to get a coherent explanation of what they actually want. Of course, many coders just code what they want from the interface, because they're doing it on their own dime, so why shouldn't they? (gnome 3, again). Skilled graphic designers and artists willing to volunteer work are usually in very short supply.

Who knows? Maybe we'll see a cluster of companies spring up and start working on the gimp to make it an adobe beater. Maybe graphics designers will come and get directly involved in the project, and help to make it serve the 'creative class' better. Adobe has certainly sucked the oxygen out of that market for long enough (any commercial competitor? Usually bought out).

But none of it happens out of thin air. If you're not contributing money, time or skills to an open source project, you're on fairly unsympathetic ground when complaining that it sucks and lacks xyz features. Free software isn't us vs them. It's just us.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:32 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I hope someone will set up a decent project to compete with the GIMP. Between the features like CMYK that have been requested for years and ignored, the user-hostile interface that everyone hates, and the stupid, stupid name that makes it hard to bring up in a business environment, it's unlikely to ever provide a suitable replacement. I have to think there must be one or more toxic people on the dev team who've deliberately sabotaged attempts to make it more palatable to the masses.

Anyways, as far as this change goes, I can't help but think it's a bad idea for Adobe. Graphics designers are locked in, but I doubt they were even half of their market. Lots of copies were sold to people who might need to use them occasionally (like the professors at my college, the researchers at my old job, etc.) They're not going to be willing to pay constant upkeep on a subscription, and they're not going to go through the whole installation process when they occasionally want to do image editing (nor re-learn the programs they forgot between projects). They'll probably just cobble something awful together in Word or Powerpoint, or scan in a drawing.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:50 PM on May 6, 2013


ArkhanJG: "Skilled graphic designers and artists willing to volunteer work are usually in very short supply."

I think it's because they view software as a means to an end, not an end in itself. Most graphic designers I know are not the least bit interested in software development, but they are interested in whether the software they use for work is adequate for the work they do. Giving money to projects is possibly worthwhile, but the outcome of such efforts is far from certain.

If you're not contributing money, time or skills to an open source project, you're on fairly unsympathetic ground when complaining that it sucks and lacks xyz features.

I think people who use software professionally have every right to complain when it doesn't meet professional standards, or especially when it makes the lives of the professionals who use it more difficult. If it's not helping people do their jobs, and they're paying for it and have been using it for years as the de facto standard, they should complain and aren't helping anyone by not giving the company feedback. If better software can be made through open source, that's fantastic, but it hasn't happened so far. Blaming the people who depend on this software for not participating in outside projects with uncertain futures seems misplaced, when the failure of the company to meet the needs of its incredibly loyal customers is the real problem.

I think another company will step up and take Adobe's role of the standard bearer for professional design software way before open source fulfills that need for designers, if it ever does. The resources involved in building tools for professionals in most areas are often considerably more than can be harnessed through volunteer efforts. If it ever would succeed that way, IMO it would have to be an industry-wide push with financial backing.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:51 PM on May 6, 2013


If it's not helping people do their jobs, and they're paying for it and have been using it for years as the de facto standard, they should complain and aren't helping anyone by not giving the company feedback.

If you're paying for it, you've every right to complain if it's not meeting your needs. I'm saying it's not productive to complain about a project you have no personal skin in.

The resources involved in building tools for professionals in most areas are often considerably more than can be harnessed through volunteer efforts. If it ever would succeed that way, IMO it would have to be an industry-wide push with financial backing.

Well there's certainly precedent for that happening in the open source world - firefox, webkit, apache, android and linux itself all spring to mind as examples. Even OSX has an awful lot of open source code under the bonnet. But whether the graphics designers et al have had enough of adobe, I guess we'll find out. I too suspect a majority will grit their teeth and cough up, and bitch about the open source projects long before they ever consider helping out (with money and/or time) to create a better alternative.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:03 AM on May 7, 2013


Rent-seeking behaviour, nothing more.

In a way, this always true, though, even before the cloud era. Charging hundreds to thousands of dollars to power users for a handful of new features and (mostly) bug fixes every 1.5 years is pretty abusive towards a captive audience.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:33 AM on May 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I asked a friend who works there recently for some software and she made the most cryptic comment about getting it soon -- she never makes cryptic comments. Now I know why. She also intimated I would not be happy. She was right.

As a shoestring-living freelancer, I find a potentially unstable cloud-based subscription that may be more than I can afford to be untenable. As a fan vidder who's watched my beloved Final Cut turned into shit and Premiere being our only possible solution for OS 10.6 unless we're capable of complicated registry editing (I'm not), this depresses me even further. Fuck you, Adobe, and the horse you rode in on.
posted by emcat8 at 12:36 AM on May 7, 2013


On the video end, I hope this means the end of their run at AVID. If so, they blew a wide open goal opened when Apple screwed the pooch with Final Cut X.

Maybe BlackMagic could buy AVID and put some financial strength behind it. AVID has turned its mentality around and is moving in good directions.

That said, I know a large recent BBC project that was all done in CS6, as a sort of pioneering move. I wonder if they saw this coming, and how it will play with large organisations.
posted by C.A.S. at 1:03 AM on May 7, 2013


I guess this is the push I need to move to Manga Studio. I guess this also explains why they didn't patch stylus pressure sensitivity into the MS Surface pro (because, seriously, that would be amazing)

Consider ArtRage. I understand it supports pressure sensitivity.

Although I personally havent tried it yet, I somehow think this is the ultimate killer-app for them Surface/Helix-style hybrids (Aside from my long-standing stance that it is not Outlook, but an ability to connect their devices and present from PowerPoint that is the ultimate "enterprise" need. Suits can do everything else on their iPad's and are quite happy about it.)
posted by the cydonian at 2:35 AM on May 7, 2013


these are the new icons

It really is obvious that they don't have anyone with actual graphic design background on their team. And I'm not even talking about the different ratios of... stuff..., what jumped out at me right away are the colors. Those are, like, the worst colors to use for people who are partially color-blind.

My brother is color-blind to "true" reds and greens. Meaning, for instance, he can never be a pilot because he can't tell the difference between red and green lights. This means he also has issues with colors that include reds: in other words, pretty much every single color in those icons except the green (which he wouldn't see since it's close enough to true green) and the blue. Worse, they seem to be the same color intensity, so he wouldn't be able to take cues from one being lighter/darker/"heavier" than another. And the CAPTCHA-style fonts do not help at all: the Ae would be nearly invisible. The Ps is so saturated with reds I'm not sure how he would see it. The Dw is in the shades of green that might well disappear against the similarly-fracked-up background of greys. Purples tend to totally throw him; doubt he'd see Id. Ditto for the butterfly thang.

7 to 8% of men have colorblindness. Way to go, Adobe.
posted by fraula at 2:37 AM on May 7, 2013


30 bucks a month is waaay better than $1500+ for indy designers just getting going.

In Sweden, it's currently $87 a month.
posted by martinrebas at 2:47 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just brought this up at our weekly company meeting. So far, the consensus is that, unless and until Creative Cloud has killer features, we'll treat this as a deadline to pick up spare CS6 licences, and hold off on updating for at least a year.
posted by frimble at 2:49 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


user-hostile interface that everyone hates

I have to wonder if people saying this have actually used GIMP in the past decade. I'm just not seeing this hostility you're talking about.

If you want an actual user-hostile interface, take a look at Acrobat or Windows 8.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:12 AM on May 7, 2013


Fraula, I'm also colorblind. Nearly all the icons show up reasonably well because the letters are lighter or darker than their backgrounds. I can't discern purple but the "id" looks gray or silver on a dark background. But the butterfly wing one in the lower right is nearly incomprehensible. I can see the wing, but the letters are difficult to pick out. I am sure i'm missing details on the other icons, but they are distinct enough from each other that I won't mix them up.

Doesn't matter. I do certain things by rote, and once I know what an icon is supposed to do, there won't be any guesswork.
posted by zarq at 4:13 AM on May 7, 2013


Consider ArtRage. I understand it supports pressure sensitivity.

Although I personally havent tried it yet, I somehow think this is the ultimate killer-app for them Surface/Helix-style hybrids


ArtRage does support pressure sensitivity, but it's not a pro-level program. In many ways it's like a toy. The earlier versions were pretty up-front about being a light, inexpensive alternative to Corel Painter, and then the user base started calling for more features. Now there is both a basic and a Pro version.

I do hand-drawn animation and these days I spend more time in TVPaint Animation than Photoshop. Amazingly powerful program, customizable, scriptable, make your own toolbars, make your own workspaces, no drawing slowdown at 4K Academy resolution... And to boot, it's developed by an 8-person company which actively participates in the user community for feature requests and fixes.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 4:16 AM on May 7, 2013


jeremias: " Their current CEO has more of an engineering background than creative..."

Sir, I cannot agree! When asked about the huge markup that Aussies pay for Adobe products, the CEO had a very creative answer. A very Creative Cloud answer.
posted by vanar sena at 4:49 AM on May 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


> As a businessman, do you think you can run CS3 when pretty much everyone else on the planet has moved on?

We stand with the 37,000,060,287 Photoshop users on DeviantArt. Surely they didn't all get it from bittorrent.
posted by jfuller at 6:04 AM on May 7, 2013


Previously:

Are you curious how the brand of a large suite of complementary products is developed? It's more interesting than you might think. Adobe describes the decisions that went into the new icons, splash screens, and other brand elements of Creative Suite 6.



One highlight:
Legible. Application icons should be distinguishable from one another at small icon sizes, on file icons, and in the OS. Icons must be differentiable beyond color and should be legible for color blind persons via shape, letter-forms, tone, or other method.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:17 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm.
When you guys say that the GIMP & Inkscape are annoying do you even use it?
I use them both daily, GIMP for some odd prepress, web gfx etc and I use Inkscape far far more (I don't know about that self-plug rule, but I have some doodles up on my site that's linked from my profile) and I'm just not finding it.. lacking or annoying.
posted by xcasex at 7:11 AM on May 7, 2013


I am glad that I purchased CS5.5 with a special deal that meant that i got it for $200. It really does seem like this decision of Adobe's will push many more people towards alternatives.
posted by bardophile at 7:16 AM on May 7, 2013


I have to wonder if people saying this have actually used GIMP in the past decade. I'm just not seeing this hostility you're talking about.

Yea, I don't know. It's got menus and you click them, the same as any other application.
posted by octothorpe at 7:30 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug: "One highlight:

Legible.
Application icons should be distinguishable from one another at small icon sizes, on file icons, and in the OS. Icons must be differentiable beyond color and should be legible for color blind persons via shape, letter-forms, tone, or other method."

Man, did they royally fuck that up.

Worth noting that there are many different kinds of color-blindness, and quite a few of us, myself included, have a unique combination of deuteranopia, protanopia and/or tritanopia. Because of this it can be difficult to predict how any colorblind person might see a given set of icons. The safest thing to do is... well... certainly not to do what Adobe does here by flooding their icons with colors, funky shapes, multiple textures and weird artistic renditions.

When I look at the new icons, the bars on the bottom of the first, third and sixth icons (starting at the upper left and reading across) are identical colors. I suspect they're not actually identical. The sixth icon is still illegible. It looks like a large butterfly wing and something next to it that I can't really identify. Neither shape look like letters, although if pressed I would have hazarded a guess that the smaller letter was a lowercase "r." (Which of course, it is.) The first icon is also somewhat illegible. The first letter looks sort of like an "A", and the second looks like a lowercase "o" but is it supposed to be the icon for After Effects? If so I guess that's an "e"? To my eyes, the problem is that it's way too busy. It's hard to pick a coherent shape out of so many colors and textures.

The others are okay and legible. Dark colors against light backgrounds and vice-versa. Edges bleed a bit on some letters but they're still mostly clear. To me, at least. Others might not feel the same way.
posted by zarq at 7:40 AM on May 7, 2013


I had been debating whether to bother to update Acorn at the cheap price for my fanworks graphics. The answer before yesterday was "maybe" but the answer now is clearly "yes".

I've been using Photoshop since grad school on the every-other-upgrade plan for bug fixes, but no way will I upgrade again.
posted by immlass at 8:11 AM on May 7, 2013


I have to wonder if people saying this have actually used GIMP in the past decade. I'm just not seeing this hostility you're talking about.

They actually did a lot with the UI last year, so it's worth checking out a recent version. It's still not there though, IMHO.
posted by Artw at 8:37 AM on May 7, 2013


I wonder if there's any crowd-funded possibility for GIMP to get CMYK support.
posted by klangklangston at 8:39 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you want to get hold of a boxed CS6, get in quick. Adobe's US and UK sites offer only CC options now, with no way to upgrade older versions to CS6 through them, and the stocks at resellers won't last.

So I just bought the educational Photoshop Extended CS6 from a third party for the price of 18 months of the CC version (assuming 12 months at the upgrade rate and 12 months at the normal rate). It should last me a few years at least, so it's worth it. The annoying thing is that I bought 5.1 only 18 months ago, which still feels new; but it feels safer to be on the final boxed version than an earlier one. I got by on CS2 on my home iMac for seven years, and only had to change because my new home machine was an Intel; I was hoping for a few more years at least of 5.1, and then an upgrade to CS8 or 9 or whatever. Nope.

One annoying feature of 5.1 is that it automatically logs in to Adobe to check that you're not registering it on more than two machines. Home desktop, check, work desktop, check, laptop... bzzzzt. And there's a hard limit on how many times you can deregister/reregister, so that's no workaround. Presumably CS6 does the same. It looks as if CC doesn't have that limitation - you'd hope not, otherwise what's the point of the cloud - but it's hard to tell from a quick read of their terms.
posted by rory at 8:57 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I look at the new icons, the bars on the bottom of the first, third and sixth icons (starting at the upper left and reading across) are identical colors. I suspect they're not actually identical. The sixth icon is still illegible. It looks like a large butterfly wing and something next to it that I can't really identify. Neither shape look like letters, although if pressed I would have hazarded a guess that the smaller letter was a lowercase "r." (Which of course, it is.) The first icon is also somewhat illegible. The first letter looks sort of like an "A", and the second looks like a lowercase "o" but is it supposed to be the icon for After Effects? If so I guess that's an "e"? To my eyes, the problem is that it's way too busy. It's hard to pick a coherent shape out of so many colors and textures.

For what it's worth, I'm not colourblind at all, and the icons are pretty damn hard to read for me too.

1st, 3rd and 6th are mauve, royal blue and umm, royal purple? All far too close on the spectrum.
That thing next to the butterfly, yikes. It partly reflects the colours of the butterfly. BP oil gusher? That monster that ate Tasha Yar coming for the butterfly*? No freaking idea. I guess it's Pr, so premiere, but that's more a case of guessing by elimination. Aftereffects is also atrocious. There's a rainbow stripe as the horizontal stroke of the e, but both letters appear to be partly exploding, and I think A is supposed to be on fire on the left? Christ on a stick.

There's a couple more included in the graphic on the creative cloud page (this one) - and I have no idea what letters the middle bottom icon are supposed to be - I had to look up the CC list to figure it out, and even knowing what it's supposed to be, it looks nothing like it.

It kinda feels like some exec on a coke rush spent 20 minutes chucking effects at the page for some new promo posters, and some moron decided to use them as the new icons.

*Maybe it's an analogy to Adobe's relationship to its customers.
posted by ArkhanJG at 9:49 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


It looks as if CC doesn't have that limitation - you'd hope not, otherwise what's the point of the cloud - but it's hard to tell from a quick read of their terms.

They explictly mention being able to install the CC versions on two computers in a few places in the ad blurb, like it's some sort of great extra feature. A quick check, and yup, the CC version install limit is also two machines. Login to a 3rd pc to install and you'll be forced to deactivate one of the other 2 - and you can't use it without being logged in, IIRC.
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:00 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Those icons are great, they're so full of adventure!

Just like the one you go on when using Adobe products.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:07 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you want to get hold of a boxed CS6, get in quick.

You know, I noticed when I bought mine last week that they mentioned supplies were limited. I thought it was too soon for an upgrade and wondered why; now I know.
posted by TedW at 11:31 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can get a digital download from Amazon which they will keep in their/your digital locker.
posted by Mick at 12:01 PM on May 7, 2013


A quick check, and yup, the CC version install limit is also two machines.

Thanks, ArkhanJG. Man, what a swizz. As if using more than two machines is exceptional in this day and age. Why can't they just use their precious cloud to check whether you're using more than one or two devices simultaneously, and let you install on however many you like? That would be enough to deter profligate sharing, because you'd want to be sure you could use your own copy whenever you wanted.
posted by rory at 12:29 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is there an actual cutoff date for sales of CS6? I am a month or two away from a major computer upgrade, and I've been running CS3 at home on a PPC Mac for about 6 years. Do I need to hurry up and get some CS6 install disks first, like now, or will it be available for a while?

I'd imagine work will deal with the CC thing, but I can't afford it for home use, so I need to make one final upgrade that'll keep me for a number of years. I'm a print professional so the GIMP is utterly out of the question. I need to be able to make physical color separations.

This whole business is kinda making me ill.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:27 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really don't think those are the new icons. Look here on the page previously linked in the thread, i'm pretty sure those simple flat icons(which look like iterations of the icons on my macs dock right now) are the new ones.

Hasn't photoshop at least, always had some silly icon like this on adobes site?
posted by emptythought at 1:11 AM on May 8, 2013


emptythought: "I really don't think those are the new icons. Look here on the page previously linked in the thread, i'm pretty sure those simple flat icons(which look like iterations of the icons on my macs dock right now) are the new ones."

Hm. Maybe those other hideous things are meant to represent a virtual box cover, like the 600x600 jpg "album" art for mp3s. The article implies that they are the icons, drawing inspiration from the old ones that looked like elements on the periodic table, but now they're calling them 'totems.' PC Mag's article with the 'totems' is not reporting so much as reprinting Adobe's PR materials that were sent to them.

Mmm. Totems. Not icons. Which they made a point of mentioning and renaming in their press kit. Which are hideous, and which Adobe isn't using on their product pages, where the purportedly old icons are still displayed with the new CC product. That makes perfect sense. Maybe I don't get totems.

"Hasn't photoshop at least, always had some silly icon like this on adobes site?"

I dunno, but I'm only seeing those things on that PC Mag article. I really hope whoever did the crazy totem icon-like things was some sort of intern or new hire in marketing or something, because I'm with fraula- that can't be the work of professional graphic designers. If it's not supposed to be icons, it's supposed to represent the products somehow, but even that aspect of it is confusing. I don't think I'd even care so much except that it's a terrible way to showcase software which is the King Hell de facto design standard. It looks kinda tame and passe today, but I remember when even the loading splash image on v4 was an inspiration to work on my chops. This kinda stuff they're doing with the new totems is like how I think of a lot of dubstep music- lazy concepts, too flashy and overdone and not even well conceived, like someone who dabbles in design and is self-taught is just fucking around or making an underground techno flyer for their raver friends (and not even a good one). Srsly.

I guess I'll keep up with whatever free version they're releasing at the time but won't buy it again- at least they're throwing us that bone, even if the free version is a bit ancient. Anyway, the software I buy these days is more about music production, and luckily the competition is fierce since Abelton came along and is only getting more interesting with PC/laptop hardware finally catching up to the capabilities of all these cool soft-sequencers and synths.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:47 AM on May 8, 2013


I guess I'm a power user for a relatively narrow swathe of Photoshop features... massive files, lots of layers, lots of a adjustments, not a ton of other manipulation. What strikes me is that feature-wise there's been nothing added to Photoshop in at least five years that was any relevance to me.

The only thing was HDR, but it's done so badly in Photoshop that I use entirely 3rd party tools.

Their panoramic stitching is also done so badly I use 3rd party tools also.

Moreover, the stability has degraded.

If you were selling physical products (tables, say) you'd innovate by making more desirable tables that make people WANT to own the new version. This is the equivalent of stopping selling tables and starting to rent them instead, at a higher price.

Lightroom remains an option but it isn't capable of the manipulations I do (nor is Aperture). I'm looking at Acorn and Pixelmator right now but I have no idea if they'll do what I need them to do.
posted by unSane at 5:33 AM on May 8, 2013


If you want to get hold of a boxed CS6, get in quick.

You know, I noticed when I bought mine last week that they mentioned supplies were limited. I thought it was too soon for an upgrade and wondered why; now I know.

I received an email from Adobe last fall telling me that December 31, 2012 was the last day they would sell upgrades to CS6 from previous versions. I hopped on that bus and bought my CD copy on New Year's Eve. My understanding is that if CS6 is still available somewhere it won't be at an upgrade price even if you have a previous version.
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:10 AM on May 8, 2013


Maybe not, but if you're a student or teacher you can still get Photoshop CS6 for a third of the full retail price, even without upgrading, at least on Amazon UK. Adobe are doing 65% off CC for students and teachers, but for a limited time - after 25 June, and presumably after a year on the limited deal, it goes up to 50% of the normal rate. On that rate you get about 10 months of CC for the price of a boxed Photoshop CS6 (education), while on the limited offer it's about 14 months. CC does include Illustrator and the rest, but if all you ever actually use is Photoshop that isn't much consolation.
posted by rory at 12:35 PM on May 8, 2013


unSane: " If you were selling physical products (tables, say) you'd innovate by making more desirable tables that make people WANT to own the new version. This is the equivalent of stopping selling tables and starting to rent them instead, at a higher price. "

Adobe started out as a very small company with a single product, then grew into a company that had a culture of being passionate about high quality design software and the people who used it professionally. They since grew into a much larger company full of acquisitions, where passion and innovation are less attractive and more risky than squeezing every penny from their position of market dominance. It's not a novel story, but it still sucks when the people who make the tools for creative people and built up a reputation of quality and loyalty that the company traded on for years, are gradually replaced by the people who are more interested in maintaining the corporation's status quo ("nobody ever got fired for recommending Microsoft ... or Adobe"). Creative people still need high quality tools, although I can't tell where they fit in to Adobe's business plan anymore, or if Adobe has silently and slowly let go of its professional creative customer base and are giving up trying to please that market, instead waging a long, slow battle of attrition based on contract renewals and earnings projections that should keep even a sinking ship floating for a long time. It's starting to look like the bean counters have taken over.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:00 PM on May 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


I agree completely, but what's perplexing is that Adobe exist in an acquisition-rich environment. They could easily have bought up one of the really good panorama stitching solutions or HDR tone mapping apps, and increased their leverage that way. But instead they were content, much as Microsoft were back in the day, to formulate their own crappy tools that no-one will use and then try to charge rent for them.
posted by unSane at 10:33 PM on May 8, 2013


Hitler finds out about Adobe's plans... hilarity ensues.
posted by markkraft at 10:13 AM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Adobe's move to the cloud: What it means, and why it isn't so bad
posted by Artw at 10:27 AM on May 9, 2013


Artw, as the commenters have pointed out in the article, the math is wrong and is a borderline strawman article. My university IT group and other instructors are planning the exit strategy from Adobe. The calculated cost of our site license for the university labs is 3X previous cost. Right now, the limitation of two machines allowed for use is problematic when you work in multiple labs on multiple machines. It is further pushed when computer rights of a certain level are NEVER given to students.

After talking to a professional designer who has been using the cloud for a year, he plans to get himself CS 6 on a disk pronto. A student license is $200, which is ten months of rental at the steep $20 month discount and less than 7 months with $30.

I cannot, in good conscience, force students to pay for software as service.

The only program that is proving difficult to substitute is Illustrator but that will come, in time.
posted by jadepearl at 6:33 PM on May 23, 2013


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