In the last few days there has been a lot of online buzz about the upcoming launch of Adobes next Creative Suite (aka CS5) in April 2010. Today I want to briefly run down some of the new features well be seeing in the most beloved of the applications in the suite: Photoshop.
Enhancements Small and Large
The Photoshop team has been hard at work in two major areas of improvement. The first is what they call JDI or Just Do It projects. The team has entire days where they pull off of big new projects to focus on small improvements and new features. Ive seen a few commenters around the web scoffing at these improvements as pointless or unnecessary but to those of us who actually use Photoshop for a wide variety of professional projects every single day, the small stuff can actually have a greater impact on our workflow than some of the larger new features. I personally am thrilled every time Adobe does something small that improves the way I work.
The second area of improvement is of course the big stuff. Brand new features and technologies that drastically change what is possible (or at least easily achievable) with Photoshop.
The Big Stuff
CS4 brought us content-aware scaling, a new way to stretch an image to fill a given area without too much visual distortion in important areas. With CS5, Adobe is taking this idea to a new level with content-aware healing and filling (aka PatchMatch). What this means is that theyve vastly improved the healing algorithm so that it takes multiple samples from the pixels around the targeted area and attempts to blend these together to create a believable result. Thus far it looks like this content aware option can be turned on in the Spot Healing Brush Tool or implemented in a simple fill. The demos of the fill feature look quite impressive and seem to succeed in at least making a good base to refine when replacing large image areas. In the image above, replacing the road with desert was as simple as making a selection and performing a content-aware fill (sorry about the low quality images, lo-res video stills are all I had to work with at this point.
See it in action:
Painting & Brushes
CS5 will bring major enhancements to the way brushes and painting work in Photoshop. The first of these is the ability to use a photograph (or any image) as a sort of template canvas or color palette for painting. Clicking on a given area will simulate dipping your brush in paint. You can then drag the color out and it will be spread around while simulating a wet brush. Colors can be mixed and smeared to your hearts content to achieve a number of different effects.
The next improvement allows you to simulate brush physics as you paint. The animated 3D brush preview shows changes based on pressure, rotation etc. that will affect the way the paint is applied to the canvas just as if you were holding an actual brush. You can choose between a variety of presets and will no doubt be able to create your own.
See it in action: