Adobe Photoshop CC

Savage Clown

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PCMag

Creative Cloud changes everything. Well, maybe not everything: Adobe Photoshop CC looks nearly identical to its CS6 predecessor, but it packs several powerful new features, including a revolutionary photo motion blur corrector, more effective image upscaling (think getting those low-def images looking good on a Retina display), new photo geometry corrections, and multiple shape and path selections.

Since it's part of the cloud subscription, as long as you pay $19.99 a month for Photoshop alone or $49.99 for the full creative suite ($29.99 for students, teachers, and upgraders from CS3 and later), you'll always have access to any new features that come along. That sounds more palatable to me than the old $699 to $999 up front, though I realize that some longtime users have expressed displeasure that they have to continue paying to use software. With the subscription, it would take you at least 3 years to spend the previous up-front money, and by then, you'd probably want to upgrade anyway.

Another way that Creative Cloud affects new Photoshop users is that they'll now get all the Photoshop tools, including features that used to be available only in the Photoshop Extended edition, such as 3D modeling and image analysis. Extended costs $999, so this is quite a perk, not to mention that it simplifies your product choice.

Install
You should only consider installing Photoshop on a fairly powerful PC or Mac. You also need to sign in with your Adobe ID before the installer will let you start. I installed on a Windows 8 PC (Photoshop CC runs on Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, but not on earlier Windows OS versions) with a 3.4GHz quad-core processor and 4GB RAM. It took about 20 minutes, and, right off the bat, I got a message saying that 3D editing wouldn't be available because of my video card or its driver. Mac users will need OS X 10.7 or 10.8.

Interface
The Photoshop UI remains largely unchanged from that of Photoshop CS6, which was a big advance over CS5. All your left-side tools and right-side panels are still available, in a choice of workspaces suited to standard image editing, 3D, motion, painting, photography, and typography. It's incredibly customizable, and you can save presets for all your customizations. The new cloud connectivity also means that you can log into a copy of Photoshop at a different location and have all your interface customizations show up.

Another helpful aspect of the interface is that, for most updated features, you can check a "Use legacy" box to get the old tool you're used to. Plenty of other little conveniences (which Adobe likes to call JDIs, for "just do it") have been added to the world's premiere photo editing software. For example, you can now nudge a path with the spacebar. Actions can now be conditional, using if/then expressions.

Behance
Behance is a social network for creative professionals, offering online portfolios and connections. It will be built into all the Creative Cloud applications, which will let users post projects for feedback from colleagues and clients. Users can post their files directly from Photoshop CC via a one-click share button at the lower left. From Behance they can share and discuss the work and even connect with potential and existing clients and freelancers.

Behance's ProSites are the customizable online portfolios, which Creative Cloud subscribers can use with their own URLs. I found Behance's presentation elegant, clean, and incorporating all the essential social features du jour. I especially like that it offers statistics of your page activity. You can also export photos in Zoomify format—a cool viewer that lets viewers zoom deep into large images—but I'd like to see more sharing options, like a built-in email and Flickr sharing. Of course, you can do all this from Photoshop's ancillary Bridge image organizer app.

New Tools for Photography
Camera Shake Reduction
. The hottest, most anticipated new feature of Photoshop CC is the modestly named Camera Shake Reduction. This was first shown by Adobe two years ago at its Max conference to raves. The tool analyzes the photo to find the path of shake motion, and then aligns the shifted pixels. Sounds simple, but it's harder to get right than it may seem. This is because the path won't be the same everywhere in the photo unless you shook it exactly along a single plane—highly unlikely. You can use the tool's best guess, or select a region (or regions) where you want the blur trace to be estimated.

You can also adjust Blur Trace Bounds, Smoothing, and Artifact Suppression—the last two let me create a less "sharpened" looking result. I'd love to see a simple "effect strength" adjustment like that you get with Smart Sharpen (which, by the way, with this release gets a new Reduce Noise slider). Shake Reduction is not a panacea, but it's definitely a finer effect than even the Smart Sharpen tool. If the subject is simply out of focus, it won't help you; a simply blurry subject won't be fixed.



New Camera Raw Features. Photoshop CC benefits from several new Camera Raw capabilities, some of which we've already seen in the Lightroom 5 beta. The latter include a new geometry correction tool, Upright. This lets you fix parallel vertical and horizontal lines. Its Auto setting attempts to fix perspective, but you can choose only to align verticals or only horizontals, or mess with the perspective to taste with transforming sliders for pincushion/barrel distortion, vertical, horizontal, and aspect ratio.

Maybe the most useful new Camera Raw feature is that you can use it as a filter, applying all its manifold photo adjustments—color temperature, exposure, geometry, all of it—to any image layer. Before, you could only work with this powerful tool when you were actually importing a photo. Now, you can even apply camera raw adjustments to video, and use a non-circular healing brush. As in Lightroom 5, you also get a radial filter, that lets you apply the adjustments to an oval shape, such as a person's head—very useful for highlighting that bit of anatomy.


New Tools for Artists and Designers
With higher and higher display resolutions becoming more common, such as Apple's Retina displays, your old images sometimes aren't good enough anymore. Photoshop CC's new upsampling algorithm could be a lifesaver. The new upscaler shows up when you resize an image, in the form of the Preserve Details resample setting. This also offers a Reduce Noise option, since the sharpened large image may introduce noise. It was definitely clearer than the old bicubic algorithm.

A couple more new capabilities designers will be thrilled to take advantage of are rounded rectangles and the ability to select multiple paths and shapes when applying effects. New Smart Objects make for non-destructive. You can now save formatting of type as styles that can be easily applied to other text later. Type can now also be viewed in a way that previews system antialiasing used in web browsers. For the web designers, Photoshop CC now can generate CSS code that produces the exact look designed in the software. Going in the other direction, they can also now import color from a website's HTML or CSS code.

New 3D Tools
You no longer need to drop a cool grand to get Photoshop's 3D image-editing capabilities in an Extended Edition, as it comes with all Creative Cloud or Photoshop CC standalone subscriptions. And not only that: Adobe has improved Photoshop's 3D tools for this release, with faster performance and more realistic shadow rendering. Working in the program's 3D mode is not for the faint-of-heart, though: it's practically rocket science, and indeed, you could very probably design a rocket with it! A new 3D Scene panel eases using it somewhat, though, as it consolidates many typical 3D design functions. You can now create instances and duplicate 3D objects, which will take on any edits that you perform on the "mother" object.

Video Editing
You can apply all of Photoshop's still image adjustments to video clips—including exposure, cropping, filters…you name it. Photoshop is even capable of multitrack and keyframing, using the same fast rendering engine that powers Adobe's Premiere pro video editor. But only a few transition options are available—all variants of fades. Each video track you add becomes a Photoshop layer that can be individually adjusted.

You also get all the standard digital, video-editing tools, joining, splitting, and trimming clips. Audio tools are minimal, but you can set an audio track's volume percent, fade it in, fade it out, or mute it. Movie files are saved as .PSDs, but by choosing File|Export|Render Video… you can create a video file with H.264, QuickTime, or DPX encoding. You also get a decent choice of resolutions, including 720p and 1080p HD. Rendering a 1:26 minute HD video took just three minutes on my 2.5-GHz Core i5 with 4GB RAM.

Performance
The app started up nice and fast on my middling PC, but Photoshop remains one of the more taxing applications you can run on a PC: even on a fairly powerful 3.4GHz quad-core machine, I still had to wait several seconds for a lot of effects to complete rendering, though 3D manipulations were surprisingly responsive. And video playback at full HD resolution was a bit jerky. The program is also a little inconsistent about telling when it's finished applying an effect: Some tools have clear progress bars, while others leave you guessing.

I've concentrated on what's new for the Photoshop CC version, but keep in mind that this release includes all of the advances made in CS6, which was actually a much bigger overhaul of the program, with a revamped interface and the addition of video-editing and content-aware tools.

Beyond Mere Photoshopping
There's a reason "Photoshop" has become a verb in the English language: The software does things to images that approach the unbelievable. With Photoshop CC, Adobe has maintained and increased the program's position as the pre-eminent image-editing tool on the planet, adding powerful new tools such as camera-shake reduction and improved upscaling to its already jaw-dropping capabilities like the content-aware tools.


$19.99 per Month
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Well this evening I'm going to sign up for a year and see how I like it. :thumbs:
 

Savage Clown

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It's cloud based much like Steam. Your subscription though is verified by cloud though, so after say a year and you stop paying then you no longer get the subscription.

I can tell you this, $19.99 per month is a whole lot more affordable than $1000 for say CS6 or CS5. Then you have to think about all your plugins too which are made by third party companies that you have to pay for as well.

No more stand alone from what I can tell. I guess this will get rid of the piraters from ripping the software.

I kicked Hulu+ to curb recently so I can justify the price which isn't much more.
 
It's cloud based much like Steam. Your subscription though is verified by cloud though, so after say a year and you stop paying then you no longer get the subscription.

I can tell you this, $19.99 per month is a whole lot more affordable than $1000 for say CS6 or CS5. Then you have to think about all your plugins too which are made by third party companies that you have to pay for as well.

I kicked Hulu+ to curb recently so I can justify the price which isn't much more.

What happens when you are working without any internet? :p by the way it sounds, you have to login every single time you want to use it. So there's no offline mode? I think I will stick to my current CS6 :p

I like the new camera shake reduction tools though...blah decisions decisions :D
 

Savage Clown

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Super Moderator
Premium Supporter
What happens when you are working without any internet? :p by the way it sounds, you have to login every single time you want to use it. So there's no offline mode? I think I will stick to my current CS6 :p

I like the new camera shake reduction tools though...blah decisions decisions :D

I'm pretty sure there counting on that you have an always connected service. The majority will of course but for those that don't will probably have to jump on in order to verify subscription. I would gather it will be much like the new XBOX One and its anti pirating situation.
 

Savage Clown

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System requirements.

Mac OS
Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
Mac OS X v10.7 (64 bit) or v10.8 (64 bit)
1GB of RAM
3.2GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512MB of VRAM (1GB VRAM required for 3D features)
OpenGL 2.0–capable system
Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.


Windows
Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor (2GHz or faster) processor
Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows 8
1GB of RAM
3.2GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)
1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512MB of VRAM (1GB VRAM required for 3D features)
OpenGL 2.0–capable system
Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.