(This review of Adobe Photoshop CS6 is by one of our new guest bloggers, Celina Connor – see the author bio at the end of this post for more about Celina.)
Adobe Photoshop is one of the most used computer applications of today.
No other image editor is remotely as popular, as used and as expensive. For those who are passionate about digital images, there’s no other alternative than the next version and the newer update of it.
In this article, we will tackle the new tricks and tips we should expect from the newest upgrade of this awesome application: the CS6.
1. Look and Feel
The first thing that you will notice is that Photoshop CS6 has a fresh new look and theme. Relative to Adobe After Effects, the new Adobe Photoshop CS6 has a dark user interface by default that puts all focus on images.
As a user, you have the option to change it back to the original gray shade or even to a lighter mode plus two other modes to match your taste.
Basic tools on the left side are streamlined with new icons that are nice and modern-looking as well.
The layers with many graphic elements and workflows are cleaned up, so the section on the right looks more coherent and aligned than in the previous versions.
2. Upgraded Features
- New Crop
Since the beginning of Adobe Photoshop, this essential tool has not evolved, until now.
CS6 includes a revamped crop tool.
With the new graphic engine called Mercury, the image that is cropped flows, zooms, rotates and scales in real time. Additionally, cropping has overlays rules such as the golden ratio, golden spiral, rule of thirds, and what’s even better is that you can save your own presets.
It further has straighten and perspective cutting/cropping which allows you to just draw along a straight line on the photo and the tool will rotate the final image for you and turn the image into a frontal shot.
If you’re not into these extra features, you can still go back to the traditional whole crop though which is easier to use and smart all the time.
- New Blur
For the record, the new blur is the feature that many users have been clamoring to be updated.
CS6 includes a blur gallery with a new set of blur tools that mimic depth-of-field effects.
Now you can portray the same effect SLRs/DSLRs can do, whereby the blur is applied dynamically across the image.
The result is that the midpoint between sharp and a 100-pixel blur is a 50-pixel blur. This tilt-shift effect is far more convincing (and quicker to achieve) than simply fading between blurred and sharp image forms as most depth-of-field effects do.
What’s also good is that you can try to blur everything with one focal point, or vary the blurriness between multiple focal points.
- Shadows and Highlights
This is one of the features most overused by users.
The newly updated feature allows you to put up and experiment with entering crazy levels without getting halos on your image around the areas of contrast (unlike in the old versions).
Requiring 1GB of RAM and a fast graphics card (OpenGL 2.0 video card), Photoshop CS6 delivers unparalleled speed and power combined with the creative tools necessary to get performance benefits.
Built with the Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine, image editing tasks even with large images are processed faster.
You don’t need to wait after doing image filters, zooming, cropping, brushes, saving for the web and other rendering.
Inherited from Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, CS6 typography allows you to reuse old paragraph and character styles and create variations of designs quickly.
The beauty is that you can save more time in creating beautiful text and it does not end there. This function also supports OpenType fonts, fractions and all kinds of typography niceties.
With the new 3D engine, you can also create 3D text which is cool.
5. Layer Management
You can’t live long with Adobe Photoshop without utilizing its gazillion layers and learning how to manage them well.
If you’re not into the right organizing of layers, CS6 is your lifesaver as it has filtering capabilities to sort different layers in the layers palette automatically by kind, name, effect, mode, attribute and color.
Also adding to the convenience is that you can refine them to the main types to separate from hundreds other existing layers in the same file.
What can be more frustrating and annoying than finishing up your Photoshop creation and something destructive happens to your computer and your work and you realize you didn’t save it (even halfway done)?! Nothing, right?
In that instance, you have no choice but to start from scratch.
With CS6, you don’t have to fret because of the new save and auto-recovery wonder that can save your work automatically every 5, 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes in the background without interruption.
7. Video Editing (New!)
If you are not familiar with Premiere or Final Cut, you might want to consider playing with this video editing function and mastering it to replace other video editing application.
CS6 features an intuitive video creation wherein you can use the full range of familiar Photoshop tools and an intuitive set of new video tools to create and enhance any video clip.
Great image editing plus video editing in one? That’s just wow.
Adobe Photoshop practices Kaizen as it continuously improves its features, complete functionality and design to satisfy and delight users. As seen in this review, will all the amazing new upgrades, CS6 will sweep you off your feet.
The least we can do is to utilize what this technology offers and create awesome patches of creative and inventive outputs that would proclaim awesomeness.