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First Look: Adobe Photoshop CS2

The new standard for image editing takes on animation, perspective editing and more! By Dave Nagel
Where to begin? Just when you think there isn't a whole lot more that Adobe could do to Photoshop, along comes Photoshop CS2, the most expansive, innovative and feature-packed update in the new Creative Suite 2, which was announced just today. It's also easily the most advanced version of the premier image editing tool to date, adding a slew of features ranging from 32-bit HDR format support to 3D-like compositing and editing via the new Vanishing Point filter.

This is no wimpy little update designed to suck more money out of existing customers. This is, without a doubt, a full version upgrade and then some. Just to give you an idea before we get into the details of the new features, take a look at this list of what's new.

? Vanishing Point, a new tool for editing and painting with a 3D perspective grid.
? Image warping (as with type, but also adding a new grid warp capability for envelope distortions)
? Animation!
? 32-bit HDR support
? Video previews via FireWire
? Smart Objects, which allow you to use "embedded" images for non-destructive editing
? Variable support for data-driven graphics
? The ability to select multiple layers in the Layers palette
? Enhanced Camera Raw with support for more manufacturers and multiple raw image handling
? New filters, including Reduce Noise, Lens Correction and Smart Sharpen
? Additional filters compatible with 16-bit images, including Liquify and Lens Blur
? CMYK support for the Shadow/Highlight function
? A new one-click red-eye reduction tool
? A new Spot Healing tool, which eliminates blemishes and other elements of an image with a single swipe of the brush
? Automatic "Smart Guides" for aligning objects
? Enhanced automation with additional Actions and image processing commands
? Event-based scripting
? Enhanced PDF engine with support for PDF 1.6
? And lots of little touches, like support for up to 3.5 GB of RAM, improved selection modifications, PDF presets, menu customization (to hide or show menu commands), a WYSIWYG font menu and more.

Sound pretty good? Wait until you see this stuff in action. I'll give you an overview with examples of all the major new functionality in Photoshop CS2 now. Then, over the course of the next couple weeks, I'll also take you on more in depth explorations of some of the more striking features.

Vanishing Point
Among the more major of Photoshop's new crowd pleasing features is one called Vanishing Point, which is really Adobe's first step toward bringing 3D editing and compositing to the world of 2D still graphics. Vanishing Point allows users to create perspective grids in an image, then paint, clone, transform and copy and paste elements while updating the perspective of these elements according to the perspective of the image.

Let's say you have an image you need to modify, one that has strong perspective. You need to remove an element in that image, but, using the Clone Stamp tool, you'd never be able to do it unless you were to work practically a pixel at a time.

So here's my starting image, and I want to remove the red X from the picture.

So I launch Vanishing Point, and draw a perspective grid by simply clicking four points. The grid is generated for me, and Photoshop automatically indicates when it thinks my perspective in the grid is off. I can make adjustments to the grid by dragging the four points I created.

Then I select the Clone Stamp tool within Vanishing Point and start cloning.

The Clone tool follows the perspective of the grid and stays aligned to my starting point. So, with a few quick strokes, I eliminate the X from the image.

But it doesn't end there. These perspective grids can be expanded to cover multiple perspectives simply by dragging mid-points from the original grid to create perpendicular grids. This way I can clone horizontally and vertically, and the Clone tool will follow the perspective properly.

But wait, there's more! Cloning isn't the only thing you can do with Vanishing Point. I can also copy and paste elements and move them around while, once again, maintaining perspective. Here, for example, I've selected a set of three windows in the light yellow building in this image.

And now I want to move those to the building on the left. So I copy and paste, then just drag them into their new position. It even matches the underlying color because I have the Healing option turned on.

Yep. And there's yet more. In fact, I can copy things from other documents and paste them into Vanishing Point. I can paint directly in Vanishing Point (though not with the full repertoire of paint tools available in the main application). I can transform objects, flipping them horizontally or vertically while maintaining perspective. Well, you get the idea.

Here's the complete Vanishing Point interface showing all of the available tools. We'll cover this more in a separate article.

So that's Vanishing Point, one of the new features in Photoshop CS2. One of them!

Need more? Really? Then read on....

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Related Keywords:adobe photoshop cs2, creative suite 2, vanishing point, hdr, camera raw


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