Pho­to­shop CC 2015.5

Phan­tas­tic? Adobe’s stop-gap up­date to Pho­to­shop spices up photo-edit­ing with a new cutout method and auto face recog­ni­tion

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

The lat­est Cre­ative Cloud up­date is only an in­terim re­lease, but there are some cool fea­tures for the ded­i­cated sub­scribers. Just not much for Pho­to­shop-us­ing artists.

There’s an en­hance­ment to the Liquify fil­ter that au­to­mat­i­cally recog­nises faces, iden­ti­fy­ing each fea­ture and over­all shape. You can tweak the size, po­si­tion and shape of eyes, noses and mouths.

The Se­lect and Mask di­a­log (for­merly Re­fine Edge) now in­cludes the Se­lec­tion Brush, with a novel Onion Skin mode that makes it pos­si­ble to start with a semi-trans­par­ent im­age, paint­ing in the opac­ity as you make the se­lec­tion. With new built-in brush tools and a bet­ter hair se­lec­tion tool, it’s eas­ier than ever to make per­fect cutouts, with­out hav­ing to flip back and forth be­tween tools and di­alogs.

The Crop tool has long en­abled you to straighten an er­rant hori­zon – but deal­ing with the empty cor­ners that re­sult has pre­vi­ously in­volved sev­eral op­er­a­tions. Now, the new Con­tentAware Crop means the cor­ners are filled in for you au­to­mat­i­cally, a process that works es­pe­cially well with nat­u­ral land­scapes.

Other en­hance­ments in­clude faster open and save, a new straight­en­ing tool in Cam­era Raw, bet­ter in­te­gra­tion for stock pho­to­graphs, and the abil­ity to make Li­brary as­sets read-only (per­fect for dis­tribut­ing icons and lo­gos to groups).

But wait, we hear you say, this is all well and good, but we’re artists – not pho­tog­ra­phers! And you’d be right.

The cold hard fact is that there’s very lit­tle for the dig­i­tal artist in any of Adobe’s Pho­to­shop up­dates. Dig­i­tal art pi­o­neer Craig Mullins has been vo­cal about Adobe’s view that dig­i­tal art is a ’dirty se­cret’. Yes it re­mains the num­ber one piece of soft­ware for con­cept artists and dig­i­tal il­lus­tra­tors, but this gen­eral ap­a­thy to dig­i­tal artists – not to men­tion the sub­scrip­tion-only model – has cer­tainly played a part in the rise of Pho­to­shop al­ter­na­tives such as Serif’s Affin­ity Photo, which can be yours for a mere £40.

We’ve had CC for the past five years, and as far as we can tell soft­ware devel­op­ment has been 85 per cent im­age edit­ing and 15 per cent 3D – and no one cares about Pho­to­shop 3D! So it gets four out of five. It’s good, but there’s nowt earth-shat­ter­ing on show.

Cor­rect the hori­zon on a photo with the new Con­tent-Aware Crop tool, and the cor­ners will be filled in au­to­mat­i­cally with ap­pro­pri­ate tex­ture. Onion Skin mode in the Se­lect and Mask di­a­log en­ables you to paint in opac­ity as the brush au­to­mat­i­cally finds edges.

En­hance­ments in­clude faster open and save and a new straight­en­ing tool in Cam­era Raw. The new Liquify tool makes it easy to tweak faces, with au­to­matic fea­ture recog­ni­tion.

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