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- Performing Content-Aware Fill and spot healing
- Painting realistic brush strokes with bristle brush tips
- Blending paint with canvas colors with the Mixer Brush tool
- Selecting hair and other soft edges with fine detail or edges with sharp contrast
- Extruding 2D objects in 3D space
- Creating surrealistic and photorealistic HDR images in Merge to HDR Pro
- Simulating HDR imaging in a single photo with the HDR Toning adjustment
- Working with Mini Bridge
Skill Level Intermediate
There are a lot of additional small changes in Photoshop CS5 that don't really fall into any category other than that they all promote your productivity. I think one of the most significant of those is the ability to save an image that is 16-bit as a JPEG. Here I have 16-bit image as you can see in the tab, and if I go to the File menu and down to Save As, I can go to the Format menu and I have JPEG there as a choice of format. If I choose JPEG, Photoshop will convert the file to 8-bit and then save it in the JPEG format.
That may not seem like such a big deal, but in the last version of Photoshop, it was something the tripped folks up all the time. If you brought in a 16-bit file from Camera Raw for example or scanned an image at high bit-depth and you then try to save it in Photoshop as a JPEG, you would come into this dialog box and when you enter the Format menu, there would be no JPEG choice. It simply wouldn't be there. So many people had no idea what was going wrong and those who knew about this still had to take the time to convert the file to 8-bit and then save it as a JPEG.
So, this is a great example of a small change that Adobe made in Photoshop CS5 that helps out a lot of its users. Another change like that is a tweak to these Shadows/Highlights dialog box. Shadows/Highlights has been in Photoshop for a few versions and it's a great adjustment for correcting backlit photos like this one. I am going to go up to the Image menu and down to Adjustments and Shadows/Highlights to open the Shadows/Highlights dialog box. As soon as that dialog box opened there was a significant improvement to the image.
The shadows were opened up not too much, just enough. So, what's different about that in Photoshop CS5 is the defaults for these sliders. In particular the Shadows slider used to be set to 50% as a default and that was often too much. So now, it's set at 35% and often all you need to is just open this dialog box and click OK to get an acceptable adjustment. Here I am actually going to take that Highlight slider and drag it over to the right to darken the highlights in the sky to create a more dramatic sky and you are welcomed to Show More Options and go to town adjusting all of the various options in Shadows/Highlights.
But this is the new feature at the default. There are a couple of web related changes in Photoshop CS5. For one thing if you go to the Color panel, you can automatically copy the hexadecimal code of any color. Here in the Color panel I have this pink as my foreground color. If I go to the panel menu I have a choice not only to Copy Color as HTML, but also to Copy Color's Hexadecimal Code, which is the way that colors are identified when you're building the code for a webpage. So I will make that choice and then if I were writing code in a text editing program like this, I could just paste and the hexadecimal code for that particular color would be entered into the code that I was building.
Another small change related to Web files is that if I get a File and Save for Web & Devices and I save an image for the Web that I have sliced, but I've already saved out some or all of the pieces of that sliced file, I no longer see a Replace Files dialog box. So that just saves one little step there. And for the Web, Photoshop CS5 now recognizes animated GIFs. In the past if you opened an animated GIF into Photoshop it would recognize it just as a regular GIF with a single static frame.
Now if I open the Animation panel you can see that Photoshop has recognized all of individual frames in this file. So, I can preview the file here in Photoshop by clicking the Play button in the Animation panel and then I could come in and Edit these frames, something I couldn't do in previous versions of Photoshop once I'd saved out an animation in the Animated GIF format. There have also been some changes to Photoshop Preferences. Here in the Interface section of Preferences, I now have the option to disable Gestures on a Mac.
This might be important for you if you own a Mac laptop, because recent MacBook Pros and MacBook Air laptops allow you to rotate your document canvas with a gesture on the trackpad. But if you happen to make that gesture inadvertently, you will find your document canvas rotating accidentally and that can be really annoying and interrupt your workflow. Adobe did release a plug-in for CS4 that would allow you to disable the trackpad gesture behavior, but that involved installing a plug-in. So now in CS5, it's easier to disable gesture support on a Mac by just coming in to this Preference and unchecking the box.
In the File Handling section of Preferences, there is a new option here to Save As to Original Folder, so that when you go to the Save As dialog box the default will be to save your file to the same place as the original file. And if that's not your style you can disable this option. For several versions now when you go to save an image, you will see a warning asking whether you want to Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility. Well, most people don't even know what that means and it is something that you generally do want to do in order to make your images compatible with future versions of Photoshop and with certain other programs.
So, a very small tweak in Photoshop CS5 can save you from having to look at that warning every time that you save the file and that is that in that alert box, there is a check box labeled Don't show this message again. And you can check that and not have to deal with this issue anymore. Here in the cursors area of Preferences there is a new option that you can select to show only the crosshair when you're painting. This is for those of you who are painters and don't want your image to be obscured at all the by the brush tip. So, if you select this, you only see a small Crosshair where the brush tip would normally be.
I am going to go back to this image to show you another small new feature that I think is very useful and I will close the Animation panel and that is that in Photoshop CS5 you can change both the hardness and the size of your brush and get a visual display of both using the same keyboard shortcut. This works with any of the Brush-type tools, which are here in the toolbar. I'm going to use the Burn tool. Let's say that I want to come into the image and burn in or make darker this area of the border. I will click and that shows me a rough outline of the diameter of this brush, but it doesn't really show me the exact brush size and it shows me very little about the softness of the brush.
Now, I am going to hold down a keyboard shortcut. Ctrl+Option on the Mac. That's Alt+Right-click on the PC. And I'll hold down my mouse and now I can see this red area in the center of the rough outline, which indicates the actual size and softness of this brush. Well that's not new, but what is new is that with this keyboard shortcut held down, I can change both the size and the hardness of his brush. Moving to the right will make the brush tip bigger; moving to the left will make it smaller.
And that's moving horizontally right to left. Now, if I move vertically down I'm changing the softness of the brush, still holding down the same keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Option on the Mac or Alt+Right-click on the PC. And if I move vertically up, I make the brush softer. So, what I really like is I only have one keyboard shortcut to remember and I can get all this done on the fly where it makes the most sense. I've one last small feature to show you. I am going to close the images to show you this.
And this is about another keyboard shortcut. For quite a while in Photoshop on a Mac, the shortcut Command+H has been used to temporarily hide extras, things like the marching ants selection boundary or a highlight on selected text, and it's one of the more handy shortcuts. Now, in Photoshop CS5 there is another possible application of that shortcut and that is to hide Photoshop altogether. And you get to decide which of those two uses you are going to put this shortcut to. So, the first time that you use Command+H on a Mac you will see this warning, asking if you'd like to use Command+H to hide Photoshop or to hide show selections guides etc.
I'd like to go the traditional route, so I am going to choose Hide Extras. If in the future I change my mind, I can go into Edit > keyboard shortcuts and reassign that keyboard shortcut. But I will never again see that alert, unless I reset my Photoshop Preferences by holding down Command+Option+Shift as I start up the program. So that's a look at some miscellaneous productivity enhancements in Photoshop CS5.