The first impact with Photoshop CS5 was very straightforward and intuitive, mostly because the interface is pretty much like the previous version. There are a lot of improvements and small tweaks that will definitely speed up and improve your workflow, but you won't get lost on it. My first hour with it was about experimenting with the new features and tools.
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The feature in which I had the most interest on was the Repouss Tool, a versatile tool that would allow me to convert my 2D shapes to 3D geometry so I was really curious about this one. After some minutes with it I was very happy with the results, started by creating basic 3D objects such as circles and triangles, followed by more complicated shapes such as typography.
Repouss will definitely be useful for those without any 3D editing software knowledge since it's very intuitive, allowing you to easily manipulate your 3D objects properties such as materials, lights and render settings, among others, and getting great results in a short amount of time.
Next was to try the feature everyone talks about: Content Aware Filling. Like many others I've been surprised by what this amazing tool can do; creating or deleting content from your photos was never so easy. Extremely useful for photo retouchers, it will be essential for me to prepare stock photos to be used on my works so I grabbed a couple of random photos and started experimenting with it... yes, it works! And best of all, it only needs a selection and a couple of clicks, Spot Healing Tool on steroids.
Lastly I tried the new warp tool called Puppet Warp. At first I did the obvious experiment and used it on a wood puppet image, creating control points on strategic points and moving the arms and legs around and making it fatter. Next I used it on a simple bold line I created, making knots and deforming the line in complicated ways, at the end I was very satisfied since such tasks required some patience.
CS5 brings several outstanding new features, I would say it's worth the price of the upgrade just for those 3 new tools alone but it offers so much more, Adobe has done a great job and the amount of time the new features will save you is totally worth the upgrade.
A freelance designer and illustrator based in Porto, Portugal, Jos Oliveira has collaborated with brands such as Hugo Boss, Adidas, HP, Hennessy Cognac and studios Psyop, Bleed and The KDU collective. See more at www.onrepeat.net