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New Features, Enhancements And Benefits In Photoshop CS4 For Digital Photographers
You're a digital photographer, you want to upgrade to Photoshop CS4, but you're wondering what kind of new features and benefits you can expect... If that's the case, Photoshop Product Manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes has done you a huge favor. He's posted an extensive list on John Nack's blog, which is "a single, consolidated list of all the enhancements in Photoshop CS4 & Bridge CS4 that can help improve their productivity." Here's the list...
Camera Raw 5: The comprehensive raw conversion engine in Photoshop and Bridge leaps forward with the ability to edit individual regions--dodging, burning, painting saturation, applying graduated filters, and more. ACR supports more than 200 proprietary raw formats, plus JPEGs and TIFFs.
GPU acceleration: No more jagged pixels at various zoom levels. Instead, what you see is what you get at any zoom ratio, from .07% all the way up to 3200% (and everywhere in between). This gives us previews of cloned/healed data clipped to the brush and faster performance from the color management engine, HDR preview adjustments, and much more!
64-bit (Windows): If you’re running Windows on a 64-bit OS (officially Vista, XP64 possible but unsupported) you can now address ridiculously large amounts of memory. [Look for more performance benchmarks soon. --J.]
Dramatically improved Dodge, Burn and Sponge tools: More power, fidelity and control linked to the speed and flexibility of Photoshop’s fast and flexible pressure-sensitive paint engine. “Protect Tones” gives you dodging and burning where you need it (while preserving the areas you don’t) and the Sponge tool can now saturate or de-saturate with the intelligence of the Vibrance logic (from Camera Raw and Lightroom).
Adjustments Panel: The power of adjustment layers comes to a non-modal panel. That is, all of Photoshop is alive and available while you edit non-destructively. 22 new presets (all user-configurable, of course) and on-image controls for both Curves and Hue/Saturation. 89% less mouse travel than a menu-driven layers workflow. Faster, more powerful and no longer forcing you into a limited dialogue.
Vibrance adjustment layer: The intelligent preservation control that we know and love in both Lightroom and Camera Raw comes to Photoshop in the form of an adjustment layer. Skin tones, we can now see you!
Masking Panel: Quick and powerful masks from selections in this new, live, re-editable panel. Whether you’re creating detailed masks from scratch (pixel or vector), using the powerful and much improved Color Range control, Feathering or adjusting Density of your masks or even Refining what you have, the Mask panel offers a live spot for powerful one-stop selective editing.
Alignment: CS3 took the alignment of multiple images far, and CS4 goes even further. CS4 offers better results, more choices for projection, even built-in profiles for common wide angle lenses. CS4 can even remove vignetting and geometric distortion as it aligns. For example, here's the same set of images aligned in CS3 vs. in CS4 (no auto-blending applied), courtesy of photographer Ian Lyons. Most importantly, this can all be handled automatically by Photoshop, whether handing off from Lightroom or from Bridge.
Blending: CS3 made panoramas and composites smooth, and CS4 makes those even smoother while doing entirely new things like blending focus from multiple images! From the practical (multiple product shots with varying depth of field blended to “buy” more focus) to the surreal (shallow depth of field for a subject in the foreground and the background, with a smooth bokeh between!). There’s a new option called “Seamless Tones & Colors” as well, it blends exposure data – imagine two shots, one taken with a flash, the other without – you can now quickly enjoy the benefits of both in one image! As with Alignment, there’s no guesswork with the options, because Photoshop knows best, automatically, by default.
Content-Aware Scaling: You may have seen the wild demo-candy of sand and surf flying in and out of images as they’re dramatically rescaled, but you’re a serious shooter and you want to know what’s in it for you. That full-frame 11x17, 8x12, 5x8 that needs to fit into the 11x14, 8x10 or 5x7 frame...Content-Aware Scaling. That wedding photo for the groom’s iPhone rescaled without cutting his head off?...yep, CAS. The fixed spot you have in the magazine layout that invariably loses an arm, a head or a loved one’s face – we have your feature!
Designed for multiple monitors: As many as 50% of professional photographers use more than one monitor, and CS4’s new interface is optimized for this. For example, palette/panel groups can float and be minimized/expanded across monitors (screenshot). With the new UI and workspace switcher, custom configurations have never been easier or more capable.
Print: With more resolution in still images than ever before, and panoramas being easier than ever, people are printing larger than ever – so is Photoshop! Co-developed alongside the major print manufacturers, Photoshop’s print engine continues to grow more powerful and stable with CS4. From gamut warnings to more powerful automation, we’ve been working hard to make printing work for you. If you’re running OSX.5 and have a supported printer, you now have the option of printing 16-bit data – fine-art photographers rejoice!
Auto-stacking and processing of HDRs and Panoramas: Instead of going through a shoot, manually identifying the sets of images that constitute panoramas and/or HDR merges, then handing off each set to Photoshop one at a time, let Bridge do the work for you. Bridge can examine both image content and EXIF metadata to identify image groups, then automatically create stacks of images. Once these stacks exist, you can hand them off to Photoshop to be batch processed into panos and HDR files.
Output: Bridge can now create PDF contact sheets or Web photo galleries. Web galleries can use Flash or HTML, and Bridge can even upload them to your Web server via FTP. PDFs can contain document security options (for example, disabling printing for a book of proofs).
Full-screen previews & Review Mode: Tap the spacebar to see any image in full-screen mode. Click anywhere on the image to zoom in to 100% view (great for checking sharpness). Meanwhile the new Review Mode (screenshot) makes it easy to cycle through images, rating & labeling while whittling down a selection by using the arrow keys to knock out shots that don't fit. Both modes leverage your system's GPU for smooth hardware acceleration.
Collections: In addition to the saved searches it has always supported (now dubbed Smart Collections), Bridge offers regular Collections as well--simple virtual folders into which you can drag images and other files. An image can exist in multiple collections at once, and you can generate a collection automatically when exiting Review Mode.
Video: As before you can preview and see still representations of the videos from your cameras (hmmmm D90 and 5D Mk. II!)
Adobe Camera Raw is just a click away: with a keyboard shortcut (R) from the new preview modes or with the click of the new task-based button, no more worrying about preferences.
Photoshop CS4 Extended:
Maybe you’re a student or have acquired Photoshop as part of a suite, if so there’s a good chance you have CS4 Extended. While we design CS4 to satisfy all of the needs of photographers, there are a couple of noteworthy features in CS4 that you should know about:
Video: CS3 Extended added support for the import and export of video (thinking back to the suite, if you had Flash on board we could even export Flash video content). CS4 adds a number of enhancements including sound and a much-improved display of non-square pixels. I mention this, because video is very quickly becoming a big part of pro shooter’s lives. I have a strong suspicion that the D90 and 5D Mk. II are just the start.
3D: “What does 3D have to do with 2D”, you ask? CS4 Extended can now create 3D postcards from 2D files – essentially adding another axis to your image to enjoy real-time, non-modal 3D control of your image. For photographers this is similar to a quick WYSIWYG perspective control or even a really fast and fluid way to invert what you see. It also makes it easy to add lighting effects in a highly editable, comprehensive way.
Spherical panorama editing: You can now wrap images onto a 3D sphere inside which you place your camera. And why would you want to do that? Simply put, you can now use all your Photoshop 2D tools and techniques (painting, cloning, healing, merging layers, etc.) to adjust the projected data, making it much easier to retouch the image in its final form, rather than trying to tweak the unwrapped 2D form.
Buy Photoshop Directly From Adobe
Find upgrade options and Creative Suite deals at the Adobe USA Store. Teachers and students get special pricing at the Adobe Education Store. You can also buy in your country currency and language at the following Adobe International Stores:
Adobe United Kingdom | Adobe Germany | Adobe France | Adobe Eastern Europe
Photoshop CS4 Tutorials and Resources
See our Photoshop CS4 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS4 Tutorials, the Free Photoshop CS4 Trial Download, Free Photoshop CS4 Training, and Photoshop CS4 News.
Photoshop CS5 & Photoshop CS5 Extended - Best Deals From Adobe
Adobe Photoshop CS5 delivers breakthrough capabilities to help you create images with impact. Refine your images with reengineered photography tools for removing noise, adding grain, and creating high dynamic range (HDR) images. Get precise results when making complex selections. Remove any image element and see the space fill in almost magically. Paint with naturally textured brushstrokes and realistic color blends. Learn more about Photoshop CS5.
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended software helps you create the ultimate images for print, the web, and video. Enjoy all the state-of-the-art editing, compositing, and painting capabilities in industry-standard Photoshop CS5, and experience fast performance thanks to cross-platform 64-bit support. Also create 3D extrusions for logos, artwork, and motion graphics; edit 3D objects with advanced tools; and create and enhance motion-based content. Learn more about Photoshop CS5 Extended.
Find CS5 upgrade options and Creative Suite 5 deals at the Adobe Store. See CS5 pricing in UK currency at the Adobe UK Store. Visit the Adobe Special Offers page to find the latest deals. Save 80% on Adobe Student Editions. Try before you buy — download a free Photoshop CS5 trial.
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium software gives you fresh new creative tools, along with the ability to deliver ideas faster in print and create interactive content without writing code. Plus Design Premium integrates with Adobe CS Live online services to maximize your design time by streamlining critical nondesign tasks.
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium combines Adobe InDesign CS5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator CS5, Flash CS5 Professional, Dreamweaver CS5, Fireworks CS5, and Acrobat Pro with additional tools and services. Download a free CS5 Design Premium 30 day trial.
Photoshop CS5 Tutorials & CS5 Resources
See our Photoshop CS5 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS5 Tutorials, and the Free Photoshop CS5 Trial Download. See our Photoshop CS4 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS4 Tutorials.
Exclusive onOne Software 15% Instant Discount Coupon
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code - PSSPPT06 - during the checkout process at onOne Software for an instant 15% discount on any onOne product. This includes Genuine Fractals and their amazing Photoshop Plug-In Suite.
OnOne’s new Plug-In Suite solves six of the most frequent problems photographers will encounter in Photoshop. This suite has been granted American Photos Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for Top Image Editing Software. The Plugin Suite includes:
Genuine Fractals Pro is renowned by both photographers and printers for its finesse at increasing images to more than ten times their original size while maintaining the sharpness and detail you started with. Think of this as the industry standard for image resizing.
Mask Pro is used to remove the tough stuff — such as hair, smoke and glass — while retaining the fine detail. You choose what colors to keep, then paint away what you don’t need.
PhotoTools Pro packs hundreds of high-calibre photographic effects into one user-friendly plug-in. It’s fast and easy to use. Gives your photos that pro quality look.
PhotoFrame Pro lets you enhance your pictures with hundreds of such design effects, or simply drop your image into a pre-fab layout in Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.
FocalPoint helps to control focus and minimize visual noise. Draw the eye to specific points in your images by using selective focus, depth-of-field and vignette effects.
PhotoTune lets you can compare images side-by-side and easily color correct and enhance them. PhotoTune optimizes the dynamic range, color and sharpness of your image without the need to know all the complicated controls in Photoshop like levels and curves.
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Nik Software 15% Instant Discount - Exclusive 15% Coupon
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code - NIKPSS - during the checkout process at Nik Software for an instant 15% discount on any Nik Software product. This exclusive discount coupon code can be applied to all the latest Nik Software Photoshop plugins, including Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, Sharpener Pro, and Dfine.
Color Efex Pro
52 photographic filters with over 250 effects for professional quality images. Completely Original. Completely Indispensable.
Nik Software Color Efex Pro filters are the leading photographic filters for digital photography. The award-winning Color Efex Pro filters are widely used by many of today's professional photographers around the world to save time and get professional level results. Whether you choose the Complete Edition, Select Edition, or Standard Edition, you’ll get traditional and stylizing filters that offer virtually endless possibilities to enhance and transform images quickly and easily.
Patented U Point technology provides the ultimate control to selectively apply enhancements without the need for any complicated masks, layers or selections. Control color, light and tonality in your images and create unique enhancements with professional results. With 52 filters and over 250 effects found in Color Efex Pro, you can perform high quality retouching, color correction, and endless creative enhancements to your photographs. Download a free Trial version.
The most powerful tool to selectively control color and light in photographic images without the need for complicated selections or layer masks.
Two of the most important factors in creating great photography are color and light. Mastering the art of selectively correcting or enhancing each of these is now possible for every photographer without the need for complicated masks or selections, or expert-level knowledge of Photoshop. Integrating award-winning U Point technology, Viveza is the most powerful and precise tool available to control light and color in photographic images.
U Point powered Color Control Points, placed directly on colors or objects in an image (such as sky, skin, grass, etc.), reveal easy-to-use controls that photographers can use to quickly adjust brightness, contrast or color in a fraction of the time needed by other tools. With Viveza you’ll spend more time shooting photographs and save hours of image editing. Download a free Trial version.
Silver Efex Pro
Complete power and control to create professional quality black and white images in one convenient tool.
Silver Efex Pro from Nik Software is the most powerful tool for creating professional quality black and white images from your photographs. For the first time, all the advanced power and control required for professional results have been brought together in one convenient tool.
Featuring Nik Software’s patented U Point technology to selectively control the tonality and contrast of the image, Silver Efex Pro includes advanced imaging algorithms to protect against unwanted artifacts, a comprehensive collection of emulated black and white film types, a variable toning selector for adding traditional toning techniques, over 20 one-click preset styles, and a state-of-the-art grain reproduction engine that help produce the highest quality black and white images possible from your color images while providing more freedom to experiment. Download a free Trial version to use Silver Efex Pro.
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Deliver stunning and dynamic images with this uniquely powerful plug-in that features HDR-like abilities and enhances exposure, color and detail.
A three-level detail adjustment plug-in that specializes in micro-contrast enhancements and sharpening with no artifacts.
The fastest and most effective masking and extraction program with one-click mask refining.
Highest-quality noise reduction plug-in that removes the most noise and color noise while preserving the most image detail.
Provides creative simplification, art effects, and line accentuation for easy one-of-a-kind art.
Take control of the detail depth of your images with extensive smoothing, texture control and edge enhancement tools.
Drastically improves the quality of web images and other compressed photos.
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Photoshop Masking Plugin Fluid Mask - Exclusive Instant Discount
The 4 1/2 out of 5 star review of Fluid Mask at MacWorld begins by saying that this "Photoshop plug-in takes the pain out of extracting backgrounds," and goes on to recommend the latest version, stating that "Fluid Mask is a very effective tool for separating objects from their backgrounds. It offers a variety of useful features for tackling almost any difficult image, from wispy hair to complex foliage. Online video tutorials and live training sessions help ease the learning curve."
Our friends at Vertus, the makers of Fluid Mask Photoshop Plugin, have set up a special exclusive discount for PhotoshopSupport.com. Go to our Fluid Mask page for a special, exclusive discount link.
Fluid Mask is designed for photographers, image editors, graphic designers and all those who take digital image editing seriously. In a streamlined interface and workflow, Fluid Mask instantly shows key edges in the image and provides comprehensive easy to use tools that work with difficult-to-see edges and tricky areas like trees & lattices. Fluid Mask will also preserve all-important edge information for a professional quality cut out. Go to our Fluid Mask page for more info.
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Did You Know You Could Create An Entire Website In Photoshop?
SiteGrinder Photoshop Plugin - Create Websites Instantly
There often seems to be a strict division of labor within the world of web design and development. Creative professionals tend to stick to the Photoshop domain, while those well-versed in scripting are left to the task of implementing their work. Indeed, the two realms are quite different from each other, to which any of us even vaguely familiar with either can easily attest.
Essentially, Photoshop is a no-holds-barred design studio, offering the artist a seemingly endless array of creative options. On the other hand, HTML, CSS, Java and the like follow strict rules of engagement, requiring the developer to take any number of esoteric concerns into consideration in order to ensure that designs are properly displayed on the web.
Turn Photoshop Into A Complete Web Design Tool
SiteGrinder seeks to bridge this gap between design and development. Basically, SiteGrinder turns Photoshop into an easy-to-use and fully functional web design tool. With SiteGrinder, designers will now have the freedom to totally let their creativity loose and then, without skipping a beat, transfer their designs to the web. Bringing esthetic concerns together with more practical considerations, SiteGrinder is an amazingly powerful tool that would make a fantastic addition to any web designer's bag of tricks. Mac OS X and Windows versions of the SiteGrinder unlockable demo are available now via download.
Photoshop CS4 Essential Skills - By Mark Galer And Philip Andrews
Brimming with beautiful pictures, Photoshop CS4 Essential Skills guides you through a project-based, progressive curriculum so that you can build all the essential skills to enhance photographs creatively and professionally with Photoshop CS4. If you are an aspiring professional or a student learning photography, digital imaging, or design graphics, you'll be amazed at the stunning results you can achieve. A DVD is included free.
The Essential Skills Photography Series from Focal Press uniquely offers a structured learning experience for photographers of all ages, with both the underlying theory and loads of invaluable 'how to' and real-life practice projects - all from the most talented photography practitioners/educators in the world.
Read 2 free sample chapters:
Skin Retouching Tips In Photoshop CS4
Transforming Smart Objects In Photoshop CS4
Find more Photoshop CS4 tutorials on our Photoshop CS4 Tutorials Page.
Read 2 free sample chapters from the Adobe Photoshop CS3 version:
Adjusting Exposure in Adobe Camera Raw CS3
Photoshop CS3 Tutorial High Dynamic Range
Find More Adobe Photoshop Books at Amazon.com
Find all the latest bestselling Photoshop books at discount prices at Amazon.com.