For anyone wondering what the heck happened to the Output workspace in Adobe Bridge, below is a link to an official announcement by Adobe including some workarounds. For those that have used it, the Output workspace, aka. Adobe Output Module, or AOM, provided users a great way to make web galleries. That functionality still lives in Lightroom, just not in Bridge anymore.
Personally I loved to FTP photo shoots to the web for speedy viewing by my customers and contacts. As long as CS6 still functions on my working computer I can always revert to CS6 to use AOM (kind of like the way I go back to Photoshop CS3 to use the Picture Package plugin). But future operating systems will be unlikely to support Bridge CS6, so let’s hope Adobe comes up with that “separate downloadable solution” sooner rather than later.
Now posted to YouTube – a new video tutorial featuring Photoshop CC’s Camera Raw filter for photographers. My tutorial is for a skin smoothing technique using the Camera Raw filter on both individual layers and individual channels! The ability to use the Camera Raw filter on individual channels has not gotten much, if any, press compared to the addition of the filter itself, and I think the ability to use Camera Raw as a filter on channels is a huge advancement in workflow.
By applying the Camera Raw filter, as shown in my tutorial, to just the Lightness channel of a Lab color image, I demonstrate how photographers can achieve excellent control over smoothing skin texture. Check out the tutorial below, or at YouTube here. I’ll have a Vimeo version posted in another day (as soon as it renders).
Today at 11pm EST Adobe has released the new version of Photoshop Creative Cloud, Photoshop CC (aka. Photoshop CS7, though with the Creative Suite now defunct, CS7 is a misnomer). Anyway here are a few tidbits you should know. Some of this is fact, and some of this is opinion based on my many months of working with the software.
Bridge: Bridge CC no longer comes as part of the Photoshop install. You’ll have to download Bridge as a separate install in order to get the benefit of Bridge, and the synergistic way Bridge works with Photoshop. Be forewarned though, the Adobe Output Module (AOM), is GONE. If you relied on the Output workspace in Bridge to create PDF contact sheets, or web photo galleries, you’ll have to use Bridge CS6 (and likely Photoshop CS6), or a 3rd party solution, to accomplish those tasks. Adobe has not been forthcoming as to why they stripped out the Adobe Output Module (AOM) functionality. I’d like to say Adobe is watching out for us and has provided suitable substitutes, but alas that is not the case with Bridge. In fact Bridge CC has no new functionality, is missing the Output workspace which severely cuts back on functionality, and is just as slow at most tasks as before.
Photoshop: Here is a list of the important new features in Photoshop CC, with some commentary to help you get oriented.
• New Smart Sharpen: fantastic new sharpening algorithm for better image sharpening – without over-sharpening. Includes noise reduction. Be forewarned though, the new filter is SLOW. Users do have the option to use the Legacy version (via filter menu item) but that’s not what you bought Photoshop CC for, so we’ll all have to deal with the slowness.
• Intelligent upscaling: a truly WOW feature, retains sharp edges to important areas in images when upsampling from, say, web resolution to print resolution. A fantastic feature for anyone stuck with repurposing a web image for print.
• Adobe Camera Raw as a Filter: see my new YouTube tutorial (Vimeo soon) on this feature. Not only can Camera Raw be applied to individual layers as a filter, but by turning the layer(s) into a Smart Object, Camera Raw can be applied non-destructively as a Smart Filter. You can apply the Camera Raw filter to individual Channels as well (what my tutorial demonstrates), and with RGB channels, CMYK channels, and Lab channels. Caveat: be aware that applying the Camera Raw filter to channels is not available on a Smart Object.
• Adobe Camera Raw 8 (radial filter, non-circular healing, automatic upright): A major update to Camera Raw (with features also available in Lightroom 5 of course), users now have the ability to paint freehand healing. Also the new Upright feature will level just about any photo for you. There are new Workflow options, including the ability to soft proof in multiple color spaces, and return your image to Photoshop using the myriad of color space options. Caveat: be aware that many of the features in Camera Raw 8, that are available in Photoshop CC, are not available when using Camera Raw 8 with Photoshop CS6.
• Editable rounded rectangles: if you are a vector art user, you’ll love the ability to use sliders in the Properties panel to adjust the corners of rectangles after you have drawn them.
• Creative Cloud: Sync settings – not a fully featured implementation yet. Only some settings can be synced at the moment. Sending lots of images to a customer is not so simple. You’ll have to check out the CC web site once you have an account to better get a handle on what is, and isn’t, available.
• Creative Cloud: Save to Creative Cloud through OS dialog: This is part of what is available to users. Don’t worry, it won’t take the copy of a file off your computer. Just don’t delete your local copy unless you want your work to be unavailable during, say, a power outage.
• Camera Shake Reduction: Ironically this has gotten some of the most press, and is one of the most underwhelming features in Photoshop CC – unless you are a forensic user trying to sharpen license plates, or faces in a crowd to match to mug shots. For photographers, you’ll be much better off using the new Smart Sharpen filter implementation. To be sure, if you do have a photo that is marred by the camera moving, you will get something more usable. If it’s a photo from a party or family event, that may even be suitable. However for Pros, you won’t get an image blurred by camera shake into the Camera Shake filter and output something you’ll want to send to a customer for print. In other words it won’t save your b%$t if you use too slow a shutter speed for the job. Oh, and it won’t work for images where the subject is moving but the camera wasn’t, it’s only designed for shake from the camera.
• Improved 3D painting (live previews up to 100x faster when painting: First, the possibly bigger news is that there is no more Photoshop Extended. There is only one version of Photoshop and it includes both video features (as in CS6) and 3D features (as in CS6 Extended). 3D has been spruced up and painting on 3D objects has been made easier. However because rendering 3D objects for smooth output is still so painfully slow, the 3D features continue to be generally a work in progress. 3D in Photoshop is loads of fun to play with, but has limited use for a professional who might need a robust 3D program to work with.
• ACR for HDR: Improved HDR Editing Workflow with Camera Raw: Photoshop’s HDR adjustments have often taken a critical hit compared to some third party programs. The ability to edit 32 bit images in Camera Raw was first introduced in CS6, but the workflow has become much more intuitive and accessible. 1) Users can go to Preferences>File Handling, and choose “Use ADobe Camera RAw to Convert Documents from 32 bit to 16/8 bit”; and 2) from the Merge to HDR dialog, when choosing 32 bit mode, instead of an OK or Open button, there is a button “Tone in ACR”. This brings the 32 bit image into ACR for just about everything you might need. Caveat: no corner points in the ACR tone curve, so if you love corner points as I do, you may find some images you like toning within Photoshop’s HDR toning adjustment, and for some you’ll prefer ACR. I took a couple of test HDR images into both, and in the end I have to admit I got much more pleasing results, albeit with some fiddling, from HDR toning in Camera Raw.
Adobe has released today the all new versions of their Creative Cloud (previously Creative Suite) software. For the first time the Adobe software is only available as a subscription, either to stand-alone products like Adobe Photoshop CC, or for the entire Creative Cloud subscription which comes with more software than you can shake a stick at. Adobe’s pricing is available at Adobe.com, and there are 1-year promotions for signing up now.
Is it a good deal? That depends, because there really isn’t any choice in the matter if you need the Adobe software for your work. I use Photoshop daily and can’t do without it. No other program will substitute all that I can do with photography, compared to what Photoshop can do. There are features in Photoshop CC, like the Camera Raw filter, that will quickly become indispensable. So I wouldn’t hesitate to take on a subscription to Photoshop CC stand-alone. I don’t currently use the other Creative Cloud apps, but I would have to look long and hard at the small increase in monthly expenditure to get the plethora of apps included in the CC.
On the other hand, Adobe has stated that Photoshop CS6 will continue to be available. This allows an excellent option for users of CS4 or CS5 that are not early adopters but would like something more up to date. Photoshop CS6 is an excellent version of Photoshop, with probably more important compelling features over CS4 or CS5, than Photoshop CC has to offer over CS6. Of course all those features are in Photoshop CC too, and more.
Via AppleInsider.com, sad day for Chicago Sun Times photographers as they were all given pink slips yesterday. The newspaper is going to instruct all its reporters on how to take “good” photos with their iPhones. That makes 28 seasoned news photographers out of a job. Wow.