4. Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended
Sub sole nihil novi est. Photoshop is still the best general purpose raster image editor on the planet. This is unlikely to change in the near future. There is literally nothing that cannot already be done in Photoshop related to raster images. That said, there is always room for improvement, and there are plenty of new features in Photoshop CS6.4.1 Hardware Graphics Acceleration
Photoshop finally has begun to make use of its proprietary Mercury Graphics Engine. It supports both CUDA and OpenCL for many features of Photoshop that are listed on the screenshot. Hardware Graphics Acceleration is available on both Mac and PC versions and in both cases I highly recommend using a CUDA-enabled NVIDIA graphics card.Photoshop’s Performance panel inside Preferences. All effects affected by GPU Acceleration are listed, and you can choose the “level of acceleration”. On Apple, the 10-bit color ticker is missing from the subpanel, as it’s not supported for now.
4.2 Photoshop Extended Got Extended
Adobe introduced some 3D functions back in 2007, but working with 3D really began with CS5.5 Extended. There is still no 3D modeling, that needs to be provided by other applications, but as far as static 3D goes, CS5.5 and especially CS6 enable designers to create 3D scenes inside of Photoshop. There is a whole course on lynda.com that explains how this works and it is great. Obviously, it is not yet on the same level as other Photoshop editing tools, it looks a bit rough around the edges, but it is a logical “next step” in enhancing Photoshop’s static image editing capabilities. Along with After Effects and Premiere Pro, it also supports stereo/3D views for those who need it and users can actually export 3D objects to these aforementioned programs. Unfortunately, we do not have a 3D set available yet, so that is something for a future review.Photoshop CS6 Extended’s 3D workspace. The tablet merely gained a realistic shadow and some thickness. Obviously, more complex scenes can be set up. And that’s the beauty of 3D in Photoshop - it is as complex as you need it to be.
4.3 Patching Up The Bad Spots
CS6 brings a palette of new features to everyday photo editing and image creation, as well as many updates to existing features. Painting, drawing, and photo editing have a list of valuable new tools. Many image effects have been enhanced, especially the Content-aware patching tools. Blur effects received a few additions as well as a separate panel. Unfortunately, the “shaky hands removal” feature that “un-blurs” photographs did not make it into this version.Photoshop got a brand new Blur panel. Rendering of blur is also boosted by CUDA and is darn fast.
4.4 Interface and Display
Perhaps the first obvious change users will see, is that the color of Photoshop’s UI can now vary from dark gray to light gray (a total of 4 steps) a new feature also shared by the new Illustrator. It is definitely a welcome change. People with monitors that support 30-bit color will also be happy - Photoshop finally supports 30-bit color depth, but only on Windows PCs.CS6’s four shades of gray. Users of Photoshop and Illustrator have four UI “colors” to choose from.
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