What's unique to Photoshop Extended?

I’m often asked what features of the CS3 release are unique to Photoshop Extended. This edition starts with all the capabilities of Photoshop CS3* and extends them (hence the name) with the following:

  1. Opening/placing 3D files (specifically .3DS (Max), .OBJ (Maya), .U3D (Acrobat 3D), Collada, and KMZ (Google Earth), then adjusting their view options (rotation, camera parameters, render mode, cross section, etc.).  Animation data in these files is preserved.  Photoshop does not include 3D modeling tools, but it is possible to turn planar geometry from Vanishing Point into a simple 3D model or 3D layer.
  2. Painting directly on the textures of 3D files & updating the models.  (I’ll try to post or at least link to a demo of this working as it makes things clearer.)
  3. Opening/placing video files (essentially anything that QuickTime supports) and image sequences, treating these as video layers that you can scrub back and forth and on which you can paint, erase, run filters, etc. Some details:
    • PS Extended includes a revised Animation palette, more consistent with what you find in After Effects.
    • Basic GIF-style frame animation is in both Photoshop and Photoshop Extended, as it was in CS2. In Extended you can toggle the mode of the Animation palette between frame mode & timeline mode.
    • PS Extended features new a Render Video dialog that lets you render files in whatever formats QuickTime supports, or as image sequences.  If you have Flash 8 Professional or Flash CS3 Professional, the video export list includes FLV.
    • The “frame offset” option in the new Clone Source palette makes it possible to clone/heal from one point in time to another and is unique to Extended, whereas the rest of the palette is the same in both editions.
    • The ability to import video frames as layers is in both editions of Photoshop CS3, because it was previously in ImageReady.
  4. Support for painting and layers in 32-bit/HDR files.  Merge to HDR is enhanced in both editions, as is basic HDR editing (e.g. using Levels).  The rationale for dividing the HDR enhancements is that the photography-centric parts appear in both editions, whereas the aspects geared towards film, 3D, and technical work are in Extended only.
  5. MATLAB integration: It’s possible to access Photoshop CS3 Extended directly from the MATLAB
    command prompt in order to grab image data from Photoshop, use
    MATLAB to run different image processing routines, and then return the image data to
    Photoshop to view the results.
  6. Measurement & counting tools: Photoshop Extended makes it possible to set a scale for the image (e.g. 512 pixels = 30cm), then take measurements of selections and rulers.
    • This includes tools inside Vanishing Point for taking measurements in perspective.
    • Measurement scale is specified via the Analysis menu, which is unique to Extended.
    • The Count Tool (nothing to do with this guy) is a simple but effective way to annotate an image (e.g. while counting blood cells)
  7. DICOM format support, enabling the app to open files from medical imaging devices (CT scans, X-rays, etc.).
  8. Image stack analytical filters, which make it possible to stack multiple images into a single Smart Object, then run a filter across the range of images.  For example, an astro photographer might take a range of high-ISO images, then run Mean or Median across the range.  (It also makes for a great “disappearing tourist” demo…)

There’s a great deal more about Photoshop Extended online, and as I say we’ll endeavor to provide some video demos ASAP as they’ll make a number of points clearer.  That said, I hope this list provides a useful summary.  For reference, none of these features were included in the Photoshop public beta.  [Update: I’ve revised the video section in hopes of being a bit clearer.]

* A note about naming: The products are, officially, “Photoshop CS3” and “Photoshop CS3 Extended.”  That is, there’s no “Photoshop Standard” per se.  That’s why you may see us refer to “the regular version,” “the standard version” or something similar, but not “Standard” with a capital S.

0 thoughts on “What's unique to Photoshop Extended?

  1. I’m very disappointed that the image stack wasn’t included in the standard version. It seems like a very useful feature for photographers and Adobe’s marketing line seemed to consistently tell me that CS3 (sans extended) was where all the photography goodness would be. The fact that the Web Premium package includes the Extended version seems to cement this idea further.
    [This was a tough call. When we started building image stacks, we envisioned them getting used for scientific and technical applications. We didn’t envision them as photographic tools. After I talked to Martin at PPE in New York, however, he went out and created a great demo of how an image stack can remove noise and moving objects from an image. It’s a case of a feature being designed and positioned for one market, but then proving useful in another. That’s a great thing, but it complicates the story a bit.
    I’m kind of running around today, but I’ll post more on this in a bit. –J.]

  2. John, is the entire image stacking feature only in the Extended version? If you see Martin’s example at PS News, it looks as if you can do that clever removal of people in the standard version.
    How does this fit in with “the photography-centric parts appear in both editions, whereas the aspects geared towards film, 3D, and technical work are in Extended only.”
    [Gio, stand by for more info on this. –Thx, J.]

  3. Thanks for this informative article. I’d much rather hear the differences from you than marketing – they sometimes oversell features, which leads to unrealistic hopes about their implementations.
    [My pleasure–and it’s especially my pleasure to be considered something other than marketing. πŸ˜‰ It wasn’t until I already worked at Adobe that I learned that product management was technically part of marketing. Imagine my horror… –J.]
    Anyway, while it’s still disappointing that Adobe couldn’t keep the full Photoshop as one version, at least the price difference is not prohibitive. For someone paying $3K for Matlab and the image-processing toolkit it must seem especially reasonable.
    [We hope so. Price is, I think, all relative to value. I have a post in the queue and hope to share that soon. –J.]

  4. Is there a way to upgrade to Extended later for the price difference if people deicde they made a mistake not going to it?
    [Not short of buying the regular CS2->CS3 Extended upgrade (i.e. you don’t get a price break for going CS2->CS3->CS3 Extended). We looked into offering that, and it just added a new level of complexity to the pricing matrices. –J.]
    I ordered Creative Suite Design Premium this moring, and thanks to your advice a while back, I was able to upgrade today to Creative Suite 2.3 for $159 and get the CS3 upgrade for FREE!!!!!!! THANKS! I owe you a drink – at least! Next time you’re around San Diego, I’m buying. πŸ˜€
    [You’re on. πŸ™‚ –J.]

  5. you talked about bringing video into Photoshop. What’s a typical use scenario for this? Can you get it back out as PS enhanced video somehow? Or is mostly for having access to single frames of a video source to generate non-animated output?
    [Sorry, I should have clarified this above (and have tried to do so a bit now). Yes, you can export video back out of Photoshop. Let’s say you open a .MOV file in PSCS3. As you make edits to your file, they’ll all be saved in a PSD that references the original movie (which will not be touched). That is, a PSD can link to one or more video sources (yes, linked files in Photoshop, I know…). When you’re done, you can then render video, or you can place the PSD directly into After Effects and have it handled correctly (no rendering required).
    The goal is to let people use the unique & deep painting and retouching tools of Photoshop on time-based content. The goal is manifestly not to become After Effects, Premiere, or some poor man’s version thereof. –J.]

  6. It’s important to note one of the coolest possibilities for VP and 3D in Extended: You can export the VP scene to a exchange file format that After Effects can import as a composition. In the resulting AE comp, VP planes are converted and assembled as AE 3D layers. You can then animate a 3D camera, add 3D lights to cast shadows or projections, define material options for the former VP planes now turned into AE layers, etc.
    Very cool!
    [Heh–you know what’s sad? I *still* haven’t gotten to see this working, although the concept sounds great and I saw an early, early version way back. It’s just been too crazy keeping up with one app to try keeping in synch with the other betas. But perhaps you can show me at NAB. πŸ™‚ –J.]
    Also, non-destructive PSD files with video layers can be opened in AE as comps, without having to render an intermediate file. You can paint on video directly in PS, use its’ whole arsenal of image editing tools, then simply save a layered file that AE will understand.
    [Indeed; I have a blog entry about integration that coming. –J.]
    For video/film users, CS3/CS3 Extended is simply the best release ever!
    [Cool! And this from someone who’s been putting the apps through their paces for many months. –J.]

  7. As someone who works in marketing – I understand the bundles. But as an Adobe customer – I am not a fan of them. There are far too many now – it’s almost dizzying.
    [It’s kind of an eternal tension: Choice/complexity vs. few-sizes-fit-all simplicity. There’s really no perfect solution, I’m afraid. –J.]
    Still can’t wait to get a final build of CS3 on my mac though! πŸ˜‰

  8. Terry White demo’d the 3D in a podcast today. Wow. Pretty darn amazing what ya can do with those math formulas.
    And some places have the extended version at such a dealie-o price & a delivery date listed as mid-April.

  9. I heard that you had written about PShop, now you’re taking the S out!
    With all that’s going on, you’re just not getting the sleep!
    [Heh heh–I’m just compensating for MS Office’s spellchecker telling millions of people that there’s a capital S in the middle of “Photoshop.” They promised to fix that in Office 2007; we’ll see. –J.]
    At long last we can start to talk without whispering!
    All the best, John – there’ll always be a job on the Grauniad.
    [Thanks, Rod! –J.]

  10. I would also have to say that for video content creators, PS CS3 EX (phew) is definitely an awesome release.
    [Cool. πŸ™‚ –J.]
    I was however disappointed on the other hand that Premiere appears to have been untouched… :(. Do you know if there is more to be added to it, since it’s still only set for the 3rd quarter launch?
    [There’s a boatload of new stuff coming in Premiere Pro. Check out their site. –J.]

  11. To the question above about whether the stack blending is available in PS CS3 or just PS CS3 Extended….only Extended.
    On Martin’s PhotoshopNews.com blog, he mentions that his technique only works for Photoshop Extended.
    “But of course, you would only be able to test this out if you had a copy of the extended version of Photoshop CS3 (not the current public beta). As usual I will be supplying certain images on the DVD that comes with my Photoshop CS3 book and making them freely available from the Photoshopforphotographers.com website.”

  12. I have to say that I am quite happy with PhotoShop CS3. I have been using it since the first day the beta came out. I intend on buying at least 3 windows licenses (upgrades for existing machines) and two mac licenses (full versions for new mactels)of the program. Since I have to wait for at lest the 20th April for the product to ship, when will Adobe have the trial version of PhotoShop CS3 available for download? This is so that I can have my cup cake and eat it too while I wait for the real cake to arrive.
    [Glad you’re digging it. I would expect the tryout to be posted at some point in April (before the beta times out). –J.]

  13. John, thanks for responding to all the comments. I really appreciate that. I know that I’ll be happy with CS3 once I save up and buy it. πŸ™‚ I’m just disappointed with the apparent marketing/reality conflict. As someone involved in software I understand it… I just usually see it from the non-customer end. But thanks a lot for the response. I’m not really used to that in blogs.

  14. I just thought that a useful web application for Adobe would be a page that looks in my user account for all the product I already own and came up with a table of all possible upgrades and prices.
    Sort of like the personalized rate of return my mutual fund provider has.
    [That is kind of a cool idea. Maybe it would encourage more people to register (which, honest to God, has user benefits and isn’t a big “Spam Me” button). –J.]

  15. I wandered here from Jeff Schewe’s Photoshop news blog. Thank you for clarifiying the featue sets.
    But count me in as another who is disappointed that the image stack functionality wasn’t included in the standard version.

  16. Add my voice to the chorus of those who are exasperated with the omission of the image stack from the standard version of Photoshop CS3 — and with the argument that the function was something that scientists and technical type would employ but that pictorial photographs would not. Photoshop’s great strength is color management. It’s great weakness is the relative dearth of tools such as the image stack and functions for removing periodic patterns. Obtaining that functionality requires either purchasing horrendously expensive third party plug-ins, or trying to work with clunky open source applications such as NIH image.
    Adobe is making a mistake if it asks its customer base, which I’m betting is still mostly the creative and pre-press & pre-web community, if image stacks and other allegedly sciencific community functions would be useful. If you ask them, “if we provide it, will you use it?” they’ll probably reply “no, we don’t do that kind of work.” But if instead of asking the question, you give them the functions, you might be surprised by how rapidly they learn how useful something like image stacking is.
    From an image processing standpoint, the scientific-creative divide is a false dichotomy. It’s purely a device employed by Harvard MBA types to generate new streams of revenue. Even selling an upgrade to PS CS3 Extended amounts to selling a new application. I work with image stacks and HDR images, so I’ll be upgrading to the extended version, but because it’s a budget bruiser that precludes my upgrading InDesign, it works out to a zero-sum game for Adobe.

  17. Another voice in the crowd. Thanks to Martin Evening for the technique and now Adobe has to deal with the fallout.
    I create panoramas and even though the blending algorithms available today attempt to compare pixels, it would be better to eliminate the problem on the front end, especially for problematic night panoramas.
    The image stack feature is, realistically, the only reason I would upgrade to the Extended version.
    Perhaps a download to allow those to add the feature after the fact. I’d even pay small change for the opportunity (like the earliest version of Camera RAW).

  18. John,
    We talked at PS World in Las Vegas last Sept. regarding image stacking of multiple exposures taken through different IR filters of the same subject.
    Does the Image Stacking feature of CS3 Extended allow you to align the various layers based on their pixel similarities, but maintain them as individual layers in an “image cube” so the researcher can turn each layer on/off to see what changes in each layer at the wavelength of the filter it was shot through?
    Each “image cube” has eight or more layers stacked on top of each other, but manually aligning them is difficult because each wavelength focuses differently and the exposed images are not exactly the same size. To align each pixel on top of the one above & below is necessary so you can see the differences by turning the layers off and on.
    This is a critical requirement to be able to identify subtle changes in the image by their absorbance/reflectivity characteristics at different wavelengths. This is similar to what astronomers use to detect subtle changes in star field patterns.
    I have already ordered CS3 Extended as part of Design Premium and will upgrade to the Master Collection when it becomes available.

  19. PS Extended, and the whole CS3 suite has me really wanting to upgrade my stuff, but… I’m just a guy who has purchased a slew of Adobe and Macromedia products, some new, some old, over the years. I have an old pre-Flash Macromedia bundle, an old Adobe bundle (like, 1995 era), many Photoshops up to CS2, PS Album, Lightroom, several Illustrators up to 10, Premier 6, several Pagemakers up to 6.5, and want to upgrade the whole shebang (graphics, photo, illustration, video, page layout), and add Flash into the mix. Since I don’t fall into the typical customer profile, the decent bundle upgrades don’t match what I have. The cheapest upgrade route looks like $1200 for Photoshop to Production Premium, plus $200 for PageMaker to InDesign.
    Isn’t there a cheaper route for someone who does this mostly as a hobby (i.e. not a design professional), and who’s shelled out thousands of bucks over the years, to get things current? CS3 looks so cool and this post has completely sold me.
    [I confess that I don’t have a handle on all the upgrade options. Let me run this by someone in the Suites group and see whether they have any advice. –J.]

  20. Recently I bought the Adobe creative Suite 3 Design Premium with the PS CS3 extended version included. At least, I thought so.
    I’m looking for the Analysis menu but my version does not have one, although the product info on the Adobe website states that in the package the extended version is included !
    A mail to Adobe gave up till today no abswer.
    Can anyone give me an answer this one ? How can I recognise which version(CS3 of CS3 ext) I have ?
    Many thanks !
    [Weird; you should see “Photoshop Extended” on the app splash screen. –J.]

  21. I’m also really disappointed that the image stack feature isn’t included in CS3 non-extended. When I upgraded from CS2 via the website, nothing made me aware of the existence of Extended or this feature… otherwise, I’d likely have opted for the upgrade to Extended.
    While I realize it adds some complexity, given the confusion around this issue I think it would be helpful if Adobe offered one of the following solutions:
    1. A utility download to add the image-stacking feature to CS3 would be most appreciated, even if at an additional cost.
    2. Allow non-extended users to upgrade to Extended for the difference in price. Why not? It can only mean more revenue for Adobe, and happier customers.
    Thanks for listening!

  22. Adding my voice to the disappointed Adobe customers who have spent thousands of dollars (or Euros/GBP) over the years, now upgraded to PS3 (non-extended) after a hot-sales-driven demo in London by Adobe, and then when it comes to the useful feature of image stack – median – bow! Nope. Out of luck. And I can’t even pay the difference to Extended. Come on now, don’t be so lazy/ignorant, give this ONE feature to PAYING customers for a small surcharge. I don’t care about Video in PS3, I simply want the noise reduction/median feature and I am willign to pay for it. But not a ridiculous sum of almost 400 GBP )that’s 800 USD!) for that feature alone. It’s either that, or other software (any ideas?), or an “unlimited demo” from somewhere… but I’d really like to remain loyal – but it is a two-sided operation dear Adobe team.

  23. The one thing I was really looking forward to in CS3 was better HDR or combining images/exposures.
    I sure felt dissappointed that not much surfaced in that sphere (still needed a separate tone mapping app) so to find that one very useful tool for photographers exists in the extended version but has been left out definitely leaves me feeling shortchanged

  24. I bought the standard version of Photoshop CS3 after checking out the recommendations (by Adobe) for photographers and was pleased with this advice as the lower cost of the standard edition suited me as a student. Then I came across the discussions about the Stack filters for noise (and people) reduction/removal and was amazed (and disappointed) that Adobe could have managed to miss the relevance to still photography.
    As others have said, I can’t afford or justify the cost of the Extended version and don’t have the need for any of the other features. Surely since the basic version has the core stack capability it would only be a minor step to include the mean and median filters in a future update or as a plug-in for those of us who have paid some pretty significant cash?
    I love the application and it adds a whole new dimension to my photography, but surely leaving this key feature out of the standard edition is doing little more than disenfranchising the existing loyal user base (as it seems to be doing from reading a number of posts on photography forums) and confusing prospective buyers?

  25. So I’m admittedly jumping into this thread late, but anyhoo…
    Based on what I’ve read above, it appears that users of the non-Extended CS3 have been shut out of a particularly useful capability (image stack / stack mode), not for any technical reason but based purely on an ill-conceived and short-sighted *marketing* decision. True?
    If so, I’d like to think that someone within Adobe would officially own up to the fact that they screwed the pooch on this one and do the right thing. I’d like to think that, but knowing this business, I’m guessing I shouldn’t. (And no, waiting until CS4 to get this as a “new” feature in the standard version isn’t an answer — it’s an epic cop-out, in my opinion, seeing as how the feature already exists in full.)

  26. You know we spend $10,000 or so on hardware not to mention the camera gear. $599.00 does not seem all that much.
    BUUUUT! how about people that dished out $1,800.00 just few months ago on CS3 Design primum. Feeling foolish. Qustion: is there any grace period, for suckers such as I, just wondering.
    [You can always contact Customer Service to inquire. If it’s a period of months, though, I don’t think there’s much you can do.
    I empathize with your situation, but I feel I should point out that there’s nothing unique about the phenomenon of buying a product, then having an improved version come out later. Apple isn’t giving free upgrades to people who bought a MacBook a week ago. –J.]

  27. Re: A note about naming.
    In Photoshop CS3. Edit > Preferences > Performance > GPU Settings > “No GPU options available on WindowsXP with Photoshop Standard.”

  28. my dear,
    solve my problem,
    starting the adope photoshop cs3 options.
    adobe photoshop cs3 extended no grace period solve this option
    please solve his problume,

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