The latest Creative Cloud update is only an interim release, but there are some cool features for the dedicated subscribers. Just not much for Photoshop-using artists.
There’s an enhancement to the Liquify filter that automatically recognises faces, identifying each feature and overall shape. You can tweak the size, position and shape of eyes, noses and mouths. The Select and Mask dialog (formerly Refine Edge) now includes new Photoshop brushes, including the Selection Brush, with a novel Onion Skin mode that makes it possible to start with a semi-transparent image, painting in the opacity as you make the selection. With new built-in brush tools and a better hair selection tool, it’s easier than ever to make perfect cutouts, without having to flip back and forth between tools and dialogs.
The Crop tool has long enabled you to straighten an errant horizon – but dealing with the empty corners that result has previously involved several operations. Now, the new Content-Aware Crop means the corners are filled in for you automatically, a process that works especially well with natural landscapes.
Other enhancements include faster open and save, a new straightening tool in Camera Raw, better integration for stock photographs, and the ability to make Library assets read-only (perfect for distributing icons and logos to groups).
But wait, we hear you say, this is all well and good, but we’re artists – not photographers! And you’d be right.
The cold hard fact is that there’s very little for the digital artist in any of Adobe’s Photoshop updates. Digital art pioneer Craig Mullins has been vocal about Adobe’s view that digital art is a ’dirty secret’. Yes it remains the number one piece of software for concept artists and digital illustrators, but this general apathy to digital artists – not to mention the subscription-only model – has certainly played a part in the rise of Photoshop alternatives such as Serif’s Affinity Photo, which can be yours for a mere £40.
We’ve had CC for the past five years, and as far as we can tell software development has been 85 per cent image editing and 15 per cent 3D – and no one cares about Photoshop 3D! So it gets four out of five. It’s good, but there’s nowt earth-shattering on show.