Adobe unveils faster Photoshop, Cloud subscription service

Adobe Systems says its new Photoshop CS6 includes “groundbreaking innovations and unparalleled performance breakthroughs that expand the frontiers of imaging science, and deliver new levels of creativity and increased efficiency.”

With Photoshop CS6, Adobe says, you can “correct, refine, and composite images with such ease and control it feels like magic. Work with state-of-the-art imaging in new tools and technologies that reinvent the way you retouch, crop, and auto-correct your images, create selections and masks of faces, and correct fisheye or wide-angle lens curvatures. These intuitive new tools help you achieve astonishing results in a minimal number of steps.”

New features of the $699 software include:

• Extended Content-Aware technologies, to “retouch, repair, and rework images with astonishing ease, control, and precision. You can remove or move selected elements within your image, and then let the sophisticated content-aware technology magically fill, patch, extend, or recompose your image… You can move or extend a selected object to another area of your image, and then watch as the tool automatically recomposes and blends the object. Now you can reposition awkward elements to create better compositions, interactively extend the top of an image to change its format from horizontal to vertical, or increase the size of an object to make it more dominant in a design.”

• An all-new Crop tool with which to ‘change the format of your images faster and with greater precision.” The hardware- accelerated Crop tool’s new design has multiple overlays, including Golden Ratio, Golden Spiral, Diagonal, Triangle, Grid, and Rule of Thirds, “to guide your crops and help ensure that key image elements are positioned at the focal point of your layouts.” It also works nondestructively: All pixels of the original photo are retained even after the crop has been applied.

• Video editing includes a timeline panel, audio controls, transitions, and even adjustment layers.

• Three photographic blur effects use “a simple new interface with intuitive, on-image controls,” and include the Iris Blur which adds one or more focus points to your photo, with which to move the on-image controls to alter the size and shape of the focus points, the amount of blur in the rest of the image, and the transition between sharp and blurred areas. There is also a Tilt-Shift option and a Field Blur.

• Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine – Takes advantage of the graphics processing unit in modern hardware to speed up imaging and editing tasks, and process large images faster.

Photoshop CS6 was released as a public beta on March 22, and Adobe says there have been nearly one million downloads of the software worldwide.

Also, the $999 Photoshop CS6 Extended version adds tools for 3D design, image and video editing, and quantitative analysis for medical, manufacturing and engineering industries. It has increased power and speed for 3D imaging, Adobe says, with user interface improvements for more efficient 3D workflows, as well as new Reflections and “drag-able” shadow effects.


• Adobe also announced its Creative Cloud subscription service, giving creative customers “a new option for purchasing and experiencing Adobe software innovation.” Creative Cloud membership provides designers with access to download and install every new CS6 application, and access to application upgrades, including new Photoshop features – before they are launched as part of a major update, as well as inventive new products and services, as they emerge, the company says.

The 14 updated CS6 applications include Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere, and After Effects.

Adobe Creative Cloud membership is $50 per month with an annual membership, or $75, month-to-month.