Adobe has released a new set of updates. For those of us in Second Life, there isn’t a lot to get excited about in this update. There is enough to be interesting.
I suspect the most useful update in Photoshop is to the Select Subject feature. Jesús thinks its better. The example used in the video… leaves me undecided. I’ll have to get some experience with it before I decide. I suspect he is right. And the Adobe examples do make it look better than Jesús’ example.
On to the updates…
Lens Blur – They have improved this feature too. I often use it. The viewer’s Depth of Field does some nice blurring on its own. While the viewer’s DoF is simple and more than adequate, Photoshop’s Lens Blur is awesome… and complex offering many controls.
If I think I want to blur a background, foreground, or combination of the two in a photo I’ll snap both a Color and Depth image. Then I use Lens Blur to get the look I want.
It will let you blur just background, just foreground, or some combination of both. One uses the Set Focal Point in the tool to select what is in focus. That selects a shade of gray in the depth map to consider in focus and progressively blurs other levels of gray as they go darker or lighter.
Watch this video to see a comparison between the old and new Select Subject and some other features.
Select Object– This is now a tool in the tool’s pallet. It is different than the Select Subject tool. Adobe explains the difference this way:
The Object Selection tool is useful when you only need to select one of the objects or part of an object within an image that contains multiple objects. While the Select Subject command is designed to select all the main subjects in the image.From Adobe Make Quick Selections
I was annoyed that it was often hard to find Select Subject when working in an image. I had to select some specific selection tool to get access to Select Subject. The first thing I find when I go looking for this ‘Object’ tool is that I don’t have it. So, off to find out why. Adobe explains how to find it here.
Basically, the default location is in with the Magic Wand toolset. You may have to go into the top menu Edit->Toolbar… and restore defaults. If you have customized your tool pallet then you will have to rebuild your tool pallet arrangement. But, the new tools pop into the toolbar editor.
Now I can just select the Select Object tool. Much nicer and it is in a location I can remember.
Still, getting to the Select Subject tool can be an annoyance.
Content-Aware–Fill – There are many surprising ways to use this feature. They say they have enhanced it and made it easier to use.
An example of my using the previous version is this image where I needed to face me the other way. I made a copy of me and used Content-Aware–Fill to edit me out of the original image and flipped the copy of me.
I was running into some ‘gotcha’ things and usually had to make 2 or 3 attempts at the fill. My hope is it is easier for me to use the new fill.
Camera Raw – This is an amazing feature in Photoshop. I thought there was little use for camera corrections when using a viewer as the camera. But I was wrong. The viewer’s camera has most of the same problems as an RL camera. This tool gives several quick fixes for image problems. I guess I use it on about 75+% of my SL images.
The Camera Raw Filter tool has been reorganized. I like it. Plus there are several new options for editing an image. This feature is getting to be more like Lightroom, a cross between a content manager and an image editor. I find it quite powerful.
I used it for this image of Shergood Aviation’s fueling demonstration for the Pelican helicopter. At the same time, there was a fire engine show going on. The two groups decided to collaborate and get in some fire fighting practice. They needed it. It was fun and hilarious with all the mistakes made. It was a good demonstration of what we can do to make things more realistic in SL play. While the main fuel tank never exploded, as I suspect it would have in RL, the fire did spread to one of the passenger terminals.
The fire crews were mostly furies. I don’t get that, but they were adorably cute and seemed to have great fun driving huge trucks and fighting the fire. I think fun is the point of SL and I felt happy just watching them.
I find the realism that Kelly Shergood builds into her helicopters and fueling systems just awesome. I had to read the manual to get my EC-135 off the ground. It took me weeks to learn to fly her helicopters. Pretty much as it would in RL. It has taken months to get to where I can reliably land on a helipad. For those of us that like a challenge this is a great challenge.
Anyway, I often use Camera Raw to make some corrections before I start editing and to add the final touches at the end of the editing process.
You will also find that each Adobe app has a somewhat new splash screen. Some more different from the previous versions than others. Each offers a quick-read list of the significant changes and a Learn More option. They usually send you to the Adobe website and the pertinent page listing the app’s new features and how they work.
More pages… links below.