Monday, April 23, 2012

A Little Birdie Told Me About Adobe Photoshop CS6

First, a word of explanation.  Back in February I did "something" to my right wrist.  Using the mouse, the pen and tablet or just typing was so painful it would bring tears to my eyes.  I thought I'd give it a little rest and not blog for a few days.  Well, "a few days" trued out to be a few months.  Just this little bit has caused me to start rubbing my wrist just to get it working a bit, but nowhere near the pain I would have had eight, or six, or four weeks ago.

That said, it's time to break out the bubbly.  Adobe Photoshop CS6 was announced today.  No more Beta.  No more guessing if the Adaptive Wide Angle filter is going to make the final cut.  I have a few (five) things I really like about CS6 and a couple that are sort of take it or leave type of things.   Today's image was tweaked in the Beta version of Photoshop CS6, but 90% of the work was done in the "not so Beta" of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.  In fact, the only trip to PS CS6 was to put the catch light in the bird's eye.

For my top five fun things to do with Adobe Photoshop CS6, hit the "Read More".

The new "stuff".  That's always fun. 

#1  The increase in the "Content Aware" things.  Rather than having only Content Aware Scale (intro'd in CS4) and Content Aware Fill (new in CS5), we now have Content Aware Move and a Content Aware Patch Tool.  The more Content Aware the better.  Pretty soon we'll be able to make a mashup of an image without any of the hard work we used to have to go through. Put whatever you want, where ever you want and PS will take care of the rest.  Great for productivity, not quite as enthused about creativity.

#2  One of the things I've been playing with is the Adaptive Wide Angle (Correction) Filter.  I've been running around shooting things close up at the widest the lens will go.  Typically the barrel distortion makes this type of image fall into the range of cartoonishness (a new word, who knew).  With AWAF, used with a lens that's in PS's database, you can pop those curved straight lines into straight straight lines in a couple of clicks.  Gets all manner of things to look much more natural.  I'm not sure about you, but I don't think I've ever noticed barrel distortion when I didn't have a camera stuck to my face.

#3  ACR 7 (I think).  Whatever the new version of Adobe Camera Raw is that goes along with PS CS6.  That's also like saying I like the Develop Module in Adobe LR4 since they both run the same engine.  The "revised" sliders (Highlights rather than Recovery and all the rest).  The fact that the sliders actually do something without screwing something else up is an excellent feature.  The fact that Auto Mask works much better than it used to.  All the little things that used to drive me crazy that are now fixed.  As usual, if the Develop Module is the only thing you're interested in about LR4, I'd recommend sticking with ACR in PS CS6.  Why pay for something else when you get it free with PS.

#4  The more intuitive layout of the Options Bar that goes along with each of the tools.  Rather than needing to go into the dialog boxes that typically go along with each (most) tools, the primary adjustment tabs are now on the Options Bar.  Any time I don't have to go to a dialog box I figure I'm saving time.

#5  The general fun of having a new and improved toy to play with.  It might sound like a cop out, but digging through the bowels of a new version of Photoshop has gotten my creative juices flowing every time.  One thing that bugs me is PS users who learn enough of PS to get by and then stop exploring the application.  I've seen too many "professionals"demonstrate something in PS where there are far better methods and they just haven't taken the time to find out more than the minimum needed to get by.  Makes me crazy.

There's five things about the newly released (real, not Beta) Adobe Photoshop CS6.