Adobe introduces GPU accelerated Creative Suite 4

Written by Tim Smalley

September 24, 2008 | 14:04

Tags: #4 #accelerated #acceleration #cs4 #effects #gpu #photoshop #premiere #suite

Companies: #adobe #creative

Adobe, the world's largest third party software developer, released its Creative Suite 4 product family and described it as its biggest software release to date.

The release includes six suites, along with 13 standalone products, 14 integrated technologies and seven services according to a statement released by the company.

These include Photoshop CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, InDesign CS4, Illustrator CS4, Flash CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver CS4, After Effects CS4, Premiere Pro CS4 and more.

I could spend time going on about the new features integrated into Creative Suite 4, but instead I'll leave most of that to Adobe – what I want to focus on is GPU acceleration, because this was something first demoed to us in May during a meeting at Nvidia's Santa Clara headquarters.

Following the launch, Nvidia has now spoken to us about how it will accelerate Photoshop CS4, After Effects CS4 and Premiere Pro CS4 with GeForce graphics cards.

In Photoshop CS4, Adobe uses Nvidia GeForce and Quadro GPUs to make image rotation, zooming and panning creamy smooth. In addition, 2D and 3D compositing, high-quality anti-aliasing, HDR tone mapping and colour conversion are also handled on Nvidia GPUs as well.

After Effects CS4 uses the GPU to apply real-time effects like depth of field, bilateral blur effects, turbulent noise and cartoon effects, while Nvidia GPUs accelerate image distortion, opacity colour and motion in Premiere Pro CS4. It also enables faster editing of multiple high-definition video streams and graphic overlays, according to Nvidia.

What's more Elemental—the company behind Badaboom, the CUDA-accelerated video transcoding application—has released a RapiHD plug-in for Premiere Pro CS4 that apparently increases encoding performance by a factor of seven over a CPU. I'm not sure what h.264 profile the plug-in uses, though, but we do know that the Premiere Pro plug-in is only compatible with Nvidia Quadro GPUs – GeForce users need not apply.

There's another side to this coin though and that's AMD. The company said that it was working with Adobe to accelerate Photoshop and video encoding on Radeon graphics cards during its RV770 event in Malaga. However, before going to press, we spoke to AMD to ask if it was GPU-accelerating the application and, if so, how.

An AMD representative came back to us, saying that "We are working closely with Adobe, but we are not in a position to discuss specific products at this stage. Hopefully, this means that AMD can use its Radeon graphics cards to accelerate these applications just like Nvidia has done – as soon as we know more, you'll be the first to be told.

I've uploaded videos of a few of the more interesting effects incorporated into the new applications as a result of GPU acceleration – you can see them below. In the meantime, discuss this news in the forums.

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