After that exhausting session yesterday, I thought to myself "I really need to check whether the programs actually work!". The CS4 installer once again refused to install Soundbooth (don’t ask me why, I fixed it once in the past, but can’t remember the exact solution) and the CS5 installer had given me a warning that some components were not installed correctly. The latter referered to Fireworks, which still seems to work (go, figure?!) and Soundbooth CS5 also works, so the absence of its CS4 cousin doesn’t concern me too much at the moment.
Anyway, in all my testing I couldn’t help but have one more look at Photoshop‘s 3D features, and believe it or not, it really seems to have gotten worse. While the idea behind Repoussé is sound, the whole way it has been implemented couldn’t be more awkward. You know, when you need a panel to adjust something like bend and twist in 3D, that really should be something you do interactively with widgets, then that makes for very difficult finetuning. It even has this fundamental design flaw, where values seem to be stored as absolute pixel values, which is ridiculous, given that 4 pixels in a 300dpi print document is something wholly different than in a video or web document. And then the renderer. Geez! Even a simple extruded shape keeps jumping back and forth with their new progressive refinement renderer and after 5 minutes, it still looks dithered, noisy and with washed out textures and utterly not like something I would sell my clients. You know, this was really just a test – the lightning bolt from the custom shape tool in a 1050×576 PAL widescreen document with default lights and shading. A proper 3D program rips through this in under 30 seconds at excessively excellent quality settings, but Photoshop just fails miserably. *yikes* So in conclusion, I’ll just keep extruding my AI and EPS files in my trusted 3D applications, render them nicely in a predictable timeframe and just try to forget that Photoshop even has 3D. It simply doesn’t cut it and is a waste of time and effort!