April 02, 2007
Adobe Announces Photoshop CS3 Extended
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

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AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Contests, Awards, People, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.


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Industry News


Adobe Announces Photoshop CS3 Extended

by Susan Smith


Adobe
announced its entire Creative Suite 3 product line this Tuesday, March 27. As part of that announcement are two versions of Photoshop: CS3 and CS3 Extended. CS3 Extended brings to the AEC community a number of valuable enhancements. For those interested in the entire Creative Suite 3, check out Adobe’s

Adobe Photoshop is well known to many, as it’s been existence for over 17 years and has 6 million paying customers (it is also one of the most pirated softwares in the world.) It has a very diverse customer base that spans those who focus on visual communication and image editing, as well as others collaborating on design.



The tools to achieve design have changed somewhat for A/Es in recent years. Many architects carry a camera and use images for documentation, and then derive information from those images to inform design.


According to Ashley Still, senior product manager of Photoshop, people who are collaborating around design with Photoshop are generally in the design stage. Users can integrate Photoshop with Acrobat so that they can round trip documents between Acrobat and Photoshop, connecting with people within the core project team as well as across the whole project lifecycle. “We decided it was best to produce one additional product (CS3 Extended) that meets the specific needs of those customers,” said Still.


Products in the Photoshop CS3 lineup include

- Photoshop

- Photoshop Extended (for CAD and 3D users).

- Photoshop Lightroom (for photographers and hobbyists).

- Photoshop Elements (for hobbyists).


“Photoshop has pixel level editing capabilities and also the ability to composite and blend,” Still said. “Engineers will go to a construction site as construction is developing and literally document the progress of the building and analyze those images both qualitatively and quantitatively to make sure their structural designs are being constructed in the way they were designed. And if there are problems they may annotate the image or even visualize what the solution is using Photoshop.”


“Architects and engineers want to be able to measure things within their images in a similar way as scientists and doctors,” Still pointed out. “Photoshop Extended is that product to address these unique workflows, which include being able to do advanced visualization, typically including 3D and motion graphics, as well as the ability to extract information from images.”


Photoshop Extended is a superset of Photoshop CS3, giving it all the capabilities of Photoshop CS3 plus some additional features.


The top features of CS3 Extended include:

- streamlined workflow and increased productivity within CS3 Extended

  • streamlined interface
  • next-generation camera raw
  • Adobe Bridge with stacks and filters
  • Zoomify export
  • Photoshop Lightroom integration
  • Improved intuitive printing
  • - Editing and breakthrough compositing

  • nondestructive smart filters
  • black and white conversion
  • improved curves
  • adjustable cloning and healing with preview overlay
  • quick selection tool
  • refine edge
  • automatic layer alignment and blending
  • - 3D and motion

  • 3D visualization and texture editing
  • movie paint
  • motion graphics and video layers vanishing point with 3D support
  • - comprehensive image analysis

  • measurement and data
  • ruler and count tools
  • MATLAB support
  • image stack processing
  • DICOM support
  • Users can import and interact with 3D content with Photoshop and even update textures of 3D models directly with Photoshop. With Motion they can actually export and import video from Photoshop and create animations from a series of single images within Photoshop. The other distinguishing feature is the ability to extract data and information from images.



    The vanishing point feature is the ability to define the perspective within an image and then edit, based on that perspective. Users can use this feature to create 3D models from still images within Photoshop now, and can measure lengths and distance. These measurements are approximations, and then subsequent measurements for the same structure are made based on those measurements. MATLAB, a numerical computing program used a lot in testing, is more relevant for engineers within manufacturing.


    One of the benefits of bringing 3D content into Photoshop is that often you want to place a model of the house into a site photograph, explained Still. “Currently the way this is done is to save a flattened view of the model from within the 3D program you’re in, then you bring that 2D image into Photoshop to composite against the site photo. The downside of that is that if you need to make any quick changes to the actual model, your client wants a different type of roof, for example, you either have to go back to the modeling program and re-render that, with the changes, or you have to mask within Photoshop because you’ve placed pixels instead of the actual 3D model,
    so you have to do a lot of selecting in order to make the changes. The other downside is you have to get the perspective correct, otherwise there’s a lot of back and forth between the Photoshop and the modeling program. So if the view from the modeling program isn’t exactly what you want once you get into your compositing environment, then you have to go back and get a different view.”


    With the ability to bring 3D content into Photoshop, you can place it however you want, and also scale it up and down, and you can still access the textures that are on the model, so you can paint on those textures. You cannot edit the actual 3D model itself.


    You can update the actual textures of the model, so that if you opened that model back up in your modeling program, those changes would be there. The changes would also be in a 3D PDF if you placed the model in that format.


    Improved is the photo merge capability, which is good for taking pictures of a construction site. When you have many pictures, you can stitch images together into a panorama.


    Acrobat 3D and Photoshop CS3 Extended use the same rendering engine. In actuality, 3D in Photoshop would not have been possible without Acrobat 3D. “We’re using lot of the same underlying technology,” noted Still. “You can move content between Acrobat 3D and Photoshop using U3D and it will retain all the information you have within the U3D file.” She mentioned the importance of supporting the same file format as a big issue for integration. CS3 Extended supports five different file formats for direct import, besides U3D: 3Ds (Autodesk), OBJ, (Maya- Autodesk),
    Collada (an open format, texture rich, Sony, game development type format), KMZ from Google. Google Earth can export from SketchUp, and it will be possible to bring models from Google to Photoshop, and edit the textures or composites with other content that’s in Photoshop.


    Also raised is the fact that Acrobat 3D can convert from almost any type of CAD format. “You can have a very complex CAD model from a program that Photoshop doesn’t support natively, and if you have Acrobat 3D you can convert it to U3D, and then bring that content into Photoshop.” Additionally, the toolkit within Acrobat 3D has the ability to reduce the polygon counts. The “practical” limit of polygons you can bring into Photoshop is around 1 million to 1 ½ million. Users will likely want to rely on Acrobat 3D for reducing those polygon counts to
    achieve better performance.


    Acrobat 3D has Acrobat Reader, noted Still. Photoshop does not have the same type of reader but you can enhance content in CS3 Extended, put it into a 3D PDF and then anyone with the free Reader can view the model as you’ve enhanced it in Photoshop.


    Acrobat 3D extends even further Photoshop CS3 Extended’s capabilities, taking advantage of Extended’s ability to edit textures with the power of the Photoshop paint engine, and also its ability to create composites with 2D and 3D content and all filter effects of Photoshop.


    The Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite is a collection of products that has tight integration across the individual products that Adobe sells, and includes the Photoshop products, Indesign Illustrator, and Acrobat. The Creative Suite is described as “a product in itself that offers shared technologies that you only get when you purchase the suite.” One shared technology is called Version Q, which allows different project teams to collaborate, and make use of some file versioning capabilities.


    Photoshop CS3 and CS3 Extended ship as part of different suites. Photoshop has a very lenient upgrade policy: anybody with Photoshop 7 or later can upgrade to the current version at the same price. You’ll also be able to upgrade from Photoshop to Extended for a discounted price. Photoshop CS3 full license: $649, upgrade: $199; Photoshop CS3 Extended: full license: $999, upgrade: $349. Products should ship within the next month or so.


    Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements


    Cimmetry Systems, an Agile Software company, and LDSI, a provider of legal document solutions, signed a new Independent Software Vendor (ISV) agreement. LDSI will embed AutoVue Office, Web Edition, viewing and annotation capabilities into its web-based document management and e-discovery solutions. With AutoVue Office, LDSI customers will gain extensive native document viewing, as well as versatile document review and annotation capabilities, for Office, PDF and graphic document types directly from within the LDSI environment.


    After completion of the public offer submitted to the Graphisoft shareholders,
    Nemetschek now owns 90.6 percent of the shares of Graphisoft SE (ISIN HU0000080767). The offer was well received, as expected, after endorsement by the Graphisoft management on February 1, 2007. Shareholders transferred 3.85 million shares during the acceptance period. This represents 36.3 percent of the total 10.6 million Graphisoft shares. Nemetschek now has 93.7 percent of the voting rights in Graphisoft SE.

    CH2M HILL Enterprise Management Solutions (EMS), an industry-leading IT management consulting and technology solution development business, announced an expansion of its joint enterprise IT initiatives with Microsoft Corp.


    Meridian Systems, a provider of enterprise project management software for optimizing capital projects, programs and facilities, announced a new Systems Integrator (SI) alliance with Runding Corporation, a Sarasota, FL-based consulting firm that specializes in the deployment of Meridian’s Proliance software solution.


    Proliance software combines project and portfolio management, facilities management, business process management and business analytics to create one comprehensive software system of record for tracking the performance of large capital projects and programs.


    Announcements


    The American Institute of Architects, Illinois Council (AIA), will announce on Wednesday its "150 Illinois Great Places." Located in towns and cities across the state, these places have been identified by leading architects as contributing to their communities' quality of life.


    McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, announced the availability of a new project lifecycle and document management service, Project Document Manager (PDM), co-developed with its partner ReproMAX. The service will provide the AEC community with the ability to manage all project intelligence and construction documents on a secure platform. Project Document Manager is being launched at the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), annual national convention, March 21-24, 2007, in San Antonio, TX.


    Awards


    The pioneering Regional Homeless Center in Hollywood operated by People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) is one of 19 distinguished projects nationwide to receive a prestigious 2007 Special Housing Award from the
    American Association of Architects (AIA) for its exceptional design quality and innovation.


    Jeffrey M. Kalban & Associates Architects, Inc., a Los Angeles firm specializing in residential, educational, corporate office and hotel design, was awarded the prize for "special housing, good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource." The award also cited the design for enhancing the environment and the building's neighborhood.


    Oce, a leader in digital document management and delivery systems, announced that the Oce TDS450 large format digital print/copy/scan system has received a 4-Star, Highly Recommended rating from BERTL, an independent, industry-leading source of product evaluation reports and comparative analyses. Out of hundreds of devices, only a small number qualify for BERTL's prestigious 4-Star, Highly Recommended rating. This rating is reserved for those devices that deliver a range of business-critical features/functions that are above average and provide potential buyers with a good return on
    investment (ROI).


    People


    Primavera Systems, Inc., announced that Dick Faris, the company's co-founder and executive vice president, will appear on an upcoming episode of the The History Channel(R) series Modern Marvels focused on large dam projects. On the March 28 episode, Faris will discuss issues related to the largest civil works project in history: the Three Gorges Dam in China.


    New Products


    Beck Technology, LLC announced the release of Rev 2 of the first Macro Building Information Modeler, DProfiler, including 31 new building types, new 3D shapes, new data import and export capabilities, and new modeling features. The combined features broaden the reach of DProfiler with RSMeans to specialized architects, owners and builders, helping DProfiler fit seamlessly in their environments and eliminating the need for customization.


    Oce, a leader in digital document management and delivery solutions, is demonstrating the Oce Pro-Select line of instant dry media at the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Show here in Las Vegas, March 26-28, 2007. The Oce Pro-Select line includes four photo papers, one matte photorealistic paper, one proofing paper and four films. The line is designed for 17- to 60-inch photo and proofing printers including models from Epson, Canon, HP and Oce.


    Optech Incorporated’s ILRIS-3DVP (Value Package) is the latest value-enhanced option complementing their ILRIS-3D line of laser scanning products. The ILRIS-3DVP option provides the same accuracy, durability and expediency as its big brother the ILRIS-3D, but in an economy package.


    NextComputing announces the addition of NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 4600 by PNY Technologies to its NextDimension family of flextop personal supercomputers. NextComputing's
    NextDimension family  is the only line of portable graphics workstations on the market that can accommodate ultra high-end graphics boards of this caliber.


    Draft IT is a free CAD software application. It is a powerful and easy-to-use 2D CAD system suitable for all users, in the office or at home.

    Create, print and save your own professional drawings.

    • Easy to use - visual aids compliment all commands.

    • Powerful drawing tools - lines arcs, circles etc. with dynamic dimensions.

    • Dynamic editing functions with visual handles and snaps.

    Letters from Our Readers


    Great articles - keep up the good work!


    I would like to see more on the world of automated work flows .... and maybe something from the client's perspective....


    Maybe something like "how clients are interacting with different deliverables?" mobile, wireless, realtime deliverables, etc.


    M. Benson


    Around the Web


    Newsmaker:   Explaining a Vista ban ,  by Joris Evers, March 22, 2007 CNET News. com - The prestigious National Institute of Standards and Technology has put a ban on Windows Vista, but that's standard procedure, according to NIST's chief information officer.


    Adobe to take wraps off Creative Suite  3 March 26, 2007 - CNET News.com - Company looks to cement its leadership among creative professionals with an upgrade that integrates Web design with multimedia editing.


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    Date: April 1 - 4, 2007
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    The third annual SAP-Centric EAM conference promises to be the most productive and exciting event yet for professionals within the global SAP Enterprise Asset Management community.  
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    Place: USA
    The 8th annual COFES is the setting for an intense conversation on the future of engineering software within the context of business realities. Join us as we explore seven developments that will have an impact on your company's future survival and success.  
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