This week, you can find gobs of gleefully optimistic videos from Adobe and other folks demonstrating the new features in Photoshop CS5. Members of lynda.com will find hours of Photoshop CS5 movies from my cohorts Chris Orwig and Jan Kabili (not to mention still more hours of info on other CS5 apps from Mordy Golding, Anne-Marie Concepcion, and James Williamson).It’s all designed to get you hot and bothered about the next version of CS5 in general and Photoshop specifically. But as usual, I see my job as something a little different: To not only show you what new stuff is available, but also give you a sense for whether it’s any good.Which is why next week—beginning Monday, April 19—I’ll release a video blog each and every day called Photoshop CS5 Top 5. These are my reflections on the best features in the forthcoming version of Photoshop after several months of using the program on my own images. And while the features are uniformly welcome, many of them work quite differently—and significantly less magically—than the demos so far might imply.
Here’s what to expect:
- APRIL 19: Common-Sense Enhancements. A few weeks ago, Colleen and I (along with product managers John Nack and Bryan O’Neil Hughes) previewed a series of “just do it” (JDI) features created in response to user feedback. This video highlights the best of them, along with the small non-JDI enhancements like Content-Aware Fill and the Mini-Bridge.
- APRIL 20: HDR Pro. High Dynamic Range lets you milk every last luminance level from an image. CS4 and earlier supported HDR, but only barely. In contrast, CS5’s revamped HDR Pro is intelligible and produces great results.
- APRIL 21: Refining Your Masks. CS5 sports a redesigned Refine Edge (a.k.a. Refine Mask) command that can seep selections into hair and recolor edge fringing. I does not automate masking, but it’s an ingenious step forward.
- APRIL 22: Puppet Warp. Drop a few pins, move them to new locations, and you have yet another way to distort images in Photoshop. It’s great for stretching limbs and performing isolated nips and tucks. It’ll also make you snort Coke out your nose.
- APRIL 23: The New Painting Tools. CS5’s new bristle brushes and mixer brush let you transform a photograph into a hand-rendered painting. And rather than offer up a few examples of what others have done, I’ll convert a portrait photo to a painting right before your very eyes.
Each video ranges from 10 to 18 minutes long. And every one contains a head-spinning amount of real-world information, all of which represents a departure from what you can do in Photoshop as it presently stands.
Prepare to be genuinely and honestly informed.