Photoshop CS6: 10 reasons to get it
Price £1,032, or £219 to upgrade | Company Adobe| Web www.adobe.com/uk


Here are our top ten features of Photoshop CS6 . For a detailed review of the full CS6 package read Creative Bloq's brilliant Adobe CS6 review. Also watch out for ImagineFX's full review in the print edition of issue 84, on sale in the UK 25 May.

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Introducing...

Photoshop CS6 is currently in public beta, but we can't see it changing before its official release in 'quarter two this year'. Here we take a look at ten reasons why you should upgrade, along with details of Adobe's Creative Cloud, which puts all of the Master Collection's tools – including Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and more – in your hands for a fantastic monthly price. But first, let's look at the features worth getting Photoshop CS6 for…

New 3D tools

Photoshop's new 3D functionality is a fun addition for digital artists of all levels. When you either create a 3D layer from a file (by importing a 3D object) or extrude a current layer, you are transported into 3D space – and you can rotate, texture and edit your objects. Great for text extrusions and simple 3D composites.

Layer panel search

It may be a slight addition, but the ability to search layers, filtering by kind, name, effect, mode, attribute or colour will be a massive help to anyone who works with complex, multi-layered digital paintings. Just imagine being able to search for any layers where you used Multiply blending mode. Now you can.

Better cropping

The Crop tool isn't glamorous, but it's a tool you use every day. And now it's MUCH better. The tool itself has changed in the way it crops – you now panning an image below a crop grid. There's also a number of new overlays including Golden Ratio, Golden Spiral, Diagonal, Triangle, Grid and Rule of Thirds. It's very smooth thanks to the Adobe Mercury Engine.

Content-Aware Move

Content-Aware tools have been in Photoshop since CS5 – enabling you to replace missing areas of images (predominantly photos) with ease. The new Content-Aware Move takes things further – enabling you to move subjects in photos and (possibly) your digital artwork, with Photoshop intelligently replacing the background. It's the old 80/20 thing – Adobe will get you 80 per cent of the way there, you do the rest.

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Better text tools
OK, so being a digital artist you may not use Photoshop's text tools all the time – but when you do, you probably wished for something a little more, right? Well now you have it. You can now edit text like in a page layout program – including the ability to assign character and paragraph styles. Basically, text is A LOT better in CS6.

Blur filters and controls

Blur filters in Photoshop are the cornerstone of any piece of creative photography and indeed digital painting when you want to make an impact. and in CS6, there are three new filters – Field Blur, Iris Blur and Tilt-Shift. And with these new blurs (called the Blur Gallery) you can control the blur onscreen using handle and dial controls (and also panels for more accuracy). Just drag to expand the blur area and use the radial dial to increase or decrease the effect.

Lighting Effects

The lighting Effects filter has had a major overhaul – and now works a lot like the new Blur filters in Photoshop. Found in the Filter>Render menu, the new filter has on-screen controls to adjust the intensity of the lighting and you can now see a full-screen preview of the effect. You may not use it every day, but when you do, you'll notice the difference.

Video!

OK, so we know this will be an 'added extra' rather than a core feature that you use every day, but you can now efficiently edit video within Photoshop using a familiar timeline-based interface. Need to cut together that video tutorial you're writing for ImagineFX? You no longer need dedicated tools.

It's faster!

YES! It is. There are a number of features that take advantage of the Adobe Mercury Engine – taking full advantage of your GPU. The Liquify tool is one of them and now is lightning fast – and supports brushes up to 15,000 pixels in diameter. The Mercury Engine also makes painting much quicker. Photoshop is generally speedier all-round. And that's obviously a great thing.

Background save and auto-recovery

This should have been in Photoshop a long time ago, that's all we can say! In Photoshop CS6 you can finally set up background saving using the Preferences>File Handling dialog. You can also set Photoshop to automatically save recovery information every 5, 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes. This could be a godsend!

How to upgrade

As we write this, upgrade details are still to be announced. But, we do know about Adobe Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud sounds like a cloud storage service, but it's not (or partly is, but mostly not). Creative Cloud is a subscription service that enables you to get your hands on every single Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection app for only £38 per month when you take out a yearly subscription. You also get adobe's Touch apps, 20GB of personal storage and the ability to sync between devices. Pricing for month-by-month subscriptions is yet to be announced. Keep up to date by checking out here, www.creativebloq.com and www.computerarts.co.uk.

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