Posted on March 22, 2012
The new Adobe Photoshop CS6 Public Beta has just been released and I’m happy to report that all Paint the Moon Photoshop Actions run through without a single hiccup. We will continue testing, but don’t anticipate any compatibility issues at all.
Download the new Adobe Photoshop CS6 Public Beta free trial here. Note that the final release of CS6 may be different and that this is a Beta version, so there is the possibility of bugs to be worked out still. The anticipated release for the official CS6 is Spring 2012.
Some of the noteworthy new features are below … (I’m focusing on the additions that are more specific to photographers – for others out there who also love design there are some fabulous new features in that spectrum as well). And just because I am covering some of these features here, and they are fabulous technology, doesn’t mean I’m behind them as a tool to use regularly (specifically the blur tools or the content aware move tool when it comes to “fixing” compositions).
Content-Aware Move Tool — See Adobe’s video at the end of this post demonstrating this new feature. You can move objects with more control using this new tool that operates similar to the patch tool, but fills in via Content Aware technology the space where your object/subject was moved from. The awesome patch tool as also been updated with Content Aware technology to work even better than before.
As with everything, getting it right in camera is SO important – I do not recommend using the new Content Aware Move Tool to go changing your composition around in lieu of properly composing in camera. What takes a few seconds to adjust and capture right at the time of your shooting will take much longer in post processing and never look as good as if you had gotten your composition correct in the first place. :) Let Photoshop be a tool to help make good photos awesome (or great photos freaking amazing)! And note that in my example I actually moved my composition from a “correct” one as shot to “incorrect” just for the sake of demonstration of the tool. ;)
Super Fast Performance – The speed increase in things like Liquify, Crop and other filters is very noticeable with near instant results and a welcome improvement. Adobe is now using the Mercury Graphic Engine to allow Photoshop CS6 to benefit more from a computer’s graphics processing unit or GPU.
Autosave – Yep, you heard me right – Photoshop now autosaves your document every few minutes while you keep working. Pure awesomeness. How many times have you had a crash and lamented all your work going down the drain? Now Photoshop saves your work in the background and you can tell it how often to do this – from every 5 minutes to an hour. No more threatening to throw my computer out the window! LOL!
New Panel Updates – The Layer Panel now includes the option to filter/search by name, type, mode, etc. I can see this being extremely useful. Also brand new is the Properties Panel which shows information about your current layer … this combines the adjustment and mask panels which were previously separate.
Informational Cursors are now called “Rich Cursors” which means they display information such as width and height, etc. and instead of just seeing the visual brush diameter you will see all the details about diameter, hardness and opacity.
Skin Tones Color Range Select – An option to select colors with the option for skin tone with the option to help detect faces and allow greater control in correcting color in only skin areas of your images.
New Blur Gallery
Iris Blur tries to simulate a shallow depth of field by letting you select your point of focus and it surrounds the area you choose with a blur in a circular shape. I can see this being an entertaining and a sometimes useful tool … just be careful you understand you can’t replace in camera skills and settings with these tools. Real bokeh from shooting with a wide aperture and shallow depth of field is a difficult thing to fake realistically. They can be fun to play with and do some artistic or novelty type edits – but don’t be fooled into thinking you can just push a button versus learning how to actually create a real shallow depth of field while shooting. Here is an example showing the faux Tilt-Shift blur.
Much Improved Crop Tool … infinitely more useful and much more control given to the user. To straighten the image just rotate the crop tool and the image rotates instead of the crop rectangle so you can view your results better. You also have the option of many different guides from the rule of thirds to the Golden Spiral.
Intuitive Controls that float on top of the image (such as adjusting the amount of blur on a filter), allowing you to keep focusing on your image rather than jumping back and forth to sliders. Excuse the blurry screen shot … enlarged to show detail better.
New Look With a Darker Interface for those who enjoy working in a darker environment … but it’s totally customizable so you can go back to just about any way you want your working space to look.
Image Resize is improved with Bicubic Automatic which will select the best resizing method for your particular photo.
Larger Brush Sizes up to 5000 pixels, including a larger Liquify brush as well.
Work With Multiple Layers – You can now select multiple layers at once and change the opacity on them together without the need for grouping as well as duplicate several layers at once with the keyboard shortcut Command (or Control) + J.
Watch a video by Adobe showing the cool new Content Aware Patch Tool.