Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 5
The release of Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 updates a number of popular applications and adds new facilities that will make is easier for professionals to ‘design and deliver’ across different media. The entire suite is available as a Master Collection, which contains Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat 9 Pro, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Flash Builder, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Soundbooth, Encore and On Location. Additional components include Bridge, Device Central and Dynamic Link. All products also integrate with Adobe CS Live online services. . . [more]
The release of Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 updates a number of popular applications and adds new facilities that will make is easier for professionals to ‘design and deliver’ across different media. The entire suite is available as a Master Collection, which contains Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat 9 Pro, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Flash Builder, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Soundbooth, Encore and On Location. Additional components include Bridge, Device Central and Dynamic Link. All products also integrate with Adobe CS Live online services.
This review will focus on the new features in Photoshop CS5, which carries the most interest for photographers.
1. Complex selections are made easy with new edge-selection technology that make it faster and easier to create accurate selections of intricate elements like hair. In addition to the regular selection tools, there’s a new Refine Edge dialog box with a Smart Radius setting that lets you adjust the selection edge characteristics to take in details like hair, fur and surface textures.
With the basic selection defined, the Smart Radius function automatically adjusts the selection for these textures as you run the cursor along the edge of the selection. Slider adjustments are provided for fine-tuning this tool. You can save the selected area as a New Layer with Layer Mask for ‘pasting’ it into other artworks or compositions.
The original image.
Refining the edge with the Refine Edge tool
The selected area can be saved as a New Layer with Layer Mask.
2. Clean removal of unwanted photo elements with a new Content-Aware Fill that fills in the space left behind, matching lighting, tone, and noise so it looks as if the removed content never existed. The Content-Aware Fill is a bit like the Healing Brush tool because it samples part of the image and replaces the destination area, matching its colours, lighting, tone and texture. You can also use Content-Aware Fill with the Spot Healing Brush to remove unwanted items like wires and poles from scenic shots.
In the beta version of Photoshop CS5 we received for review we found the Content-Aware Fill worked best on small areas because the sampling area was correspondingly small. When used to ‘fill’ a large area, the larger sampling area often took in parts of the image that didn’t match the receiving area. Occasionally, making two ‘passes’ with the fill tool was required to produce a usable end result.
Selecting Content-Aware Fill to remove the distracting patch of colour in the lower left corner of this picture.
The first ‘pass’ goes part of the way to replacing the unwanted colour area.
A second ‘pass’ completes the task.
3. HDR Pro and HDR Toning enable users to combine multiple source photos to produce a single image with an extended dynamic range with HDR Pro. Users can also work with the HDR Toning feature to increase the dynamic range in a single photo. These tools can also be used to create many interesting special effects and save the results in colour or monochrome.
Choose Image > Adjustments >HDR Toning to access the HDR Toning tools.
Simple dynamic range expansion in a single image with the HDR Toning tools.
Surrealist effects can also be created with the HDR Toning tools.
4. The Mixer Brush allows users to achieve a wide variety of painting effects and offers on-canvas colour blending plus Bristle Tips, which let you create attractive, textured brush strokes. Some of these effects may be useful for photo retouching but most are designed for creating new images. They can, therefore, be used to create artworks from scratch, starting with a blank canvas.
The new Mixer Brush tool (circled in red).
Some of the effects that can be achieved with the Mixer Brush.
5. Puppet Warp enables users to reshape or to precisely re-position any part of an image. For example, users can reposition subjects’ limbs or warp text to create new effects. This tool is an extension of the warping tool in the Transform section of the Edit sub-menu and is located in this menu, just above the Transform tools.
The tool can be used on whole images or selections or layers. However, the starting position involves creating a new layer copy of your original shot. Selecting Puppet Warp overlays a mosaic of intersecting lines on the layer copy.
Selecting the Puppet Warp tool (circled in red).
The next step is to click in ‘pins’ at strategic positions and then drag-and-drop them into new positions.
Adding pins to the warping mosaic.
Re-shaping the picture by moving the pinned points.
6. State-of-the-art raw-image processing via the Adobe Camera Raw 6 plug-in, which supports more than 275 camera models. The latest version, which ships with Photoshop CS5, includes superior de-mosaicing plus better noise removal and image sharpening. It also contains a new Effects sub-menu that enables users to add creative effects with more flexible post-crop vignetting and a new film grain feature.
The Add Grain setting in the new Effects sub-menu.
Extensive vignetting controls are also provided in the Effects sub-menu.
7. Automatic lens correction enables users to correct multiple key-lens distortion errors automatically with the Lens Correction filter. Photoshop CS5 also contains a new Lens Correction filter in the Filters sub-menu. Instead of having this function only available in Camera Raw, it can now be used on JPEG images. Correction is provided for the three most common lens-based errors: geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting.
Automatic lens correction – building the database.
Selecting the lens from the database.
The software works with a database of installed lens profiles and users can create custom profiles for their own lenses with the Adobe Lens Profile Creator, which is available separately as a free download from www.labs.adobe.com.
8. Numerous workflow improvements have been added to boost productivity and creativity. Among them are:
a) one-click straightening, which works on JPEG files like the straightening tool in Camera Raw works with raw files.
Select the Ruler tool in the sidebar.
Drag a line along the horizon you wish to straighten then select the Straighten button in the options bar (circled).
b) Cropping with an overlay guide.
Drag the cropping marquee across the image you wish to crop and choose the desired setting from the Crop Guide Overlay menu in the options bar (circled).
c) Easy monochrome conversion with tint options.
Select Window > Actions to display the Actions panel and then choose Sepia.
Toning can be adjusted in the message dialog box (circled.)
9. Photoshop CS5 Extended includes the ability to convert 2D artwork into 3D objects, and then alter the extrusion properties of the 3D model. It also includes a new materials library, dropper, and picker for adding new materials to 3D objects plus the ability to render them with high quality using Adobe Ray Tracer.
The process is painfully slow and takes up a lot of computing power but plenty of variations are available and the results can be impressive.
The 3D rendering tools.
10. Better media management and Web Gallery integration with Adobe Bridge CS5 and direct access with Mini Bridge.
The new Mini Bridge, a panel-based version of Bridge that provides image access and management from within Photoshop CS5.
11. Easier interface management with the new Workspace Switcher and live workspaces.
Users can create dedicated, task-specific workspaces that mimic individual workflows for different purposes and increase productivity by hiding the features that aren’t used and exposing the ones that are.
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