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Extended-Only Features

Extended-Only Features

As we mentioned before, Photoshop now comes in two flavors: the CS3 edition and the Extended version. For the vast majority of users, Photoshop CS3 will prove more than ample for basic image editing, adjusting and manipulation. From our experience, the additional features in Photoshop CS3 Extended are pretty niche--but they're the sort of things that you might want to spring for if you have a use for them.

Scientific Analysis

Nowadays, digital imaging isn't just for web designers and messageboard trolls: from MRI brain scans to microscopic photographs of bacteria, digital images have come to play an integral role in scientific and medial research. Of course, most of these researchers use specialized software for their imaging needs--but why shouldn't they use Photoshop like the rest of us? That seems to be the question that Adobe is asking with Extended's Analysis tools but unfortunately, most researchers won't find them nearly robust enough to warrant a second look. Though Photoshop CS3 Extended boasts a dedicated "Analysis" menu in the menu bar, there's not a whole lot there, aside from a few measurement tools. While fairly basic, you can set your own scale to convert from pixels to whatever unit of measurement suits your fancy, take measurements and then output them to a spreadsheet. I can't really see anyone buying Photoshop CS3 Extended just for this feature, though science-types who already use Photoshop will likely find it convenient to have access to such tools inside the program.

Video and Animation

As we mentioned earlier, Adobe has now done away with ImageReady, which means that there's no dedicated application in the Creative Suite for simple animation and video tasks. For that reason, Adobe has rolled a few of ImageReady's features into Photoshop CS3 Extended for your animation and video needs and what's more, has added a number of features that were previously only available in Adobe's video products. Photoshop CS3 Extended allows you to import ../../special-reports/video_in_a_number_of_formats.css; from there you can edit, combine, filter and export that content. Video editing is done using a system of animated layers and a simple timeline--anyone who has used After Effects will probably feel right at home here. Keep in mind that Photoshop isn't going to serve as a replacement for "real" video editing software, though if you want to create simple animations or touch up a video frame-by-frame, it's not a bad option.

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