Monday, April 11, 2011

Adobe Extends Photoshop CS5 Functionality to Tablet Devices

Adobe today made several announcements that include three new Photoshop companion tablet apps, Creative Suite 5.5, and a new software subscription model.

The three initial Photoshop CS5 companion apps are for the Apple iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. The apps are designed to enable users to create custom color swatches, paint and drive popular Photoshop tools from tablet devices. These apps are examples of what is possible using the new Photoshop Touch SDK

Eazel lets digital artists create rich realistic paintings with their fingertips and introduces a new kind of interaction between “wet” and “dry” paints. These paintings can then be sent directly to Photoshop CS5 for compositing or for taking the artwork further. Eazel artwork is initially created at the tablet's native resolution of 1024 X 768, then re-rendered at 4X resolution (2024 X 1536) in Photoshop. The resulting artwork can then be further enhanced or saved. Eazel will be available for $5 at the iTunes Store.

Click image to view larger

Below are some early tests I did during the pre-release cycle:

Click image to view larger

Click image to view larger

Click image to view larger

Color Lava utilizes the iPad as a natural-media style mixing palette for Photoshop. Users mix colors with their fingertips creating custom color swatches and themes to wirelessly transfer back into Photoshop. Eazel will be available for $3 at the iTunes Store.

Click image to view larger

Nav increases workflow efficiency by letting users select and control Photoshop tools using the iPad as a control surface, customize the toolbar, browse and zoom in on up to 200 open Photoshop files or easily create new files. Eazel will be available for $2 at the iTunes Store.

Click image to view larger

I've been involved with the development of these apps as a member of the pre-release team and I have to say I really like the extension of Photoshop via a tablet device. These initial three apps provide a window on the future and it will be very interesting to see what other developers come up with utilizing the new Photoshop Touch SDK.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 products are scheduled to ship within 30 days, with availability through Adobe Authorized Resellers, the Adobe Store at in North America and Adobe Direct Sales. Estimated street price for the suites is expected to be US$2599 for CS5.5 Master Collection, US$1899 for CS5.5 Design Premium, US$1799 for CS5.5 Web Premium, US$1699 for CS5.5 Production Premium and US$1299 for CS5.5 Design Standard. Upgrade pricing and volume licensing are available.

Further information regarding the new software subscription model can be found here.


  1. hi John,
    This (below) seems to be the deal for those who use Photoshop only:
    "Coming soon: 12.0.4 update for Windows and Mac OS - a free update for Photoshop CS5 customers will be available for download in early May, allowing you to integrate Photoshop CS5 with new companion apps as they become available for devices like the iPad."
    Is that your understanding?

  2. Yes, there are some required changes to PS CS5 in order to be able to communicate with the new tablet-based apps.