By Drew Muller
Photoshop is the M. Night Shyamalan of software—there are way too many versions and though there have been some gems over the years, the world could have done without most of them. Sure, there was the introduction of layers in version 3.0 in 1994 that shivered the timbers of graphic designers everywhere and GIF animation and 3-D capabilities were pretty dandy in later versions, but a slew of other updated features were nothing to wave your magnetic lasso and whoop for joy about. The “improvements” that appeared with each version never seemed to enhance the tools dedicated users predominantly use—that is, until now. After two years of lying dormant, Adobe has released the beta version of Photoshop CS6 and it’s already being called the best Photoshop in recent memory.
An instantly noticeable difference is the overhaul of the interface, which in older versions has been less visually appealing than Rosie O’Donnell spreading her legs. CS6 sports a sleek, metallic grey interface that is much less distracting and cluttered. According to Gizmodo.com, Adobe hired an expert interface designer and instructed him to “clean it all, do as you wish, make it better.” Check.
For those of you who have dancing ants in your pants, it’s time to explore a few of the other fun-filled features the latest installment of Photoshop has to offer.
Layer Selection: This might sound a little boring and not so newfangled, but to Photoshop junkies the improvements in CS6 will be nothing short of a Godsend. Working with a large number of layers is a pain in the ass, especially when they’re all different kinds. CS6 introduces a new layer management system that allows users to filter layers in the layer palette by type—kind, name, effect, mode, attribute and color.
Improved Liquify tool: Because bigger is always better, the liquify tool has a larger maximum brush size that works in real time so the user can see the effect without any lag.
Additions to Content-Aware Fill: Users now have the ability to move objects to a different part of an image and fill a spot with content taken from another part of a picture, heightening creative control.