On January 16, 2014, Adobe made an announcement of major feature updates for their Creative Cloud applications. As usually there are some very interesting new features that have been added to Photoshop CC. The three main feature additions are, Perspective Warp, Linked Smart Objects and 3D Printing. Depending on where you are standing in Photoshop’s creative terrain will determine which of these new features is the most important. Let’s take a quick look at each.
First, Perspective Warp allows you to re-position the vanishing point within an image, effectively altering the position of the camera after the shot. It also allows you to manipulate one perspective while leaving another perspective intact. At first, this appears similar to some existing tools in Photoshop. The Vanishing Point, the Transform Command, and Upright transforms can alter perspective, and Puppet Warp allows free-form manipulation based on a mesh, this new tool has a different approach. When the perspective of a photo is a bit off - maybe the camera was too far to the right or left of the subject, too high, or too low— the Perspective Warp feature lets you adjust the point of view of parts of your image while keeping lines straight. Perspective Warp is a new addition to this set of tools, giving Photoshop the most powerful image manipulation tools available.
Next is Linked Smart Objects which efficiently re-purpose assets across multiple Photoshop documents by referencing them on your local system or network drive rather than embedding them. Now, the File menu now contains two commands for placing Smart Objects: Place Linked and Place Embedded. You can also place a linked Smart Object by holding down the Option (Alt on Windows keyboards) key as you drag a file onto the Photoshop canvas from a folder in Mac OS X or Windows, from the Filmstrip or Grid view in Adobe Lightroom®, or from the Content panel in Adobe Bridge. Linked Smart Objects, new in Photoshop CC, can improve collaboration and allow teams to work more efficiently. They can also save hard disk space by reducing the size of your Photoshop files.
To finish off, there’s 3D Printing. Photoshop has supported 3D objects since Photoshop CS3 and the editing of 3D objects in Photoshop CS4. In this version of Photoshop CC, the 3D editing environment has received an overhaul, including simplified 3D interaction. Clickable areas are highlighted on hover, and hit areas in the on-canvas 3D cage are now much larger, making it easier than before to interact with 3D elements. Along with these enhanced 3D capabilities, you can easily refine, preview, prepare, and then print 3D designs to a 3D printer—all directly from within Photoshop CC—opening the door for users to explore the creative and commercial possibilities of 3D printing. Potential users of 3D printing in Photoshop include those who create prototypes for persuasive selling, makers of animated films who need a faster and easier way to create realistic character and scene models, jewelry designers, and fine artists; although this list is hardly comprehensive. Very exciting stuff.
Now there are two other “new” feature Adobe has included with this latest update. There’s the Mercury Graphics Engine performance boost and several JDI (Just Do It!) improvements. In this release, the next generation of the Mercury Graphics Engine uses the OpenCL standard to increase responsiveness and deliver more immediate results when editing with key tools like Smart Sharpen, Liquify, and Puppet Warp, even when you’re editing your largest files. The JDI’s are small enhancements that users are always asking for. That marketing speak for user complaints! In fact seven of these JDI features where coded by Adobe’s engineers right on the Photoshop World 2013 show floor in September.
One very interesting turn of events is that Adobe has reset the 30 day trial clock. So if you have downloaded the Creative Cloud trial version within the last 30 days, Adobe is giving those users an additional 30 days to check out these new features. A very nice touch.
So be on the look out for this latest Creative clod update and see what it’s all about.