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Adobe released a major update to its Creative Cloud apps. Of key interest to photographers will be the updates to Photoshop. They are significant. Here are most of the new feature enhancements in Photoshop CC:

Photoshop merged to include Extended

The more expensive Photoshop package which includes 3D capability and sophisticated image analysis tools has now been merged into Photoshop CC. Now, there is just one Photoshop.

All-new Smart Sharpen

Photoshop CC analyzes image data to maximize clarity and minimize noise and halo. A range of new editable options lets you fine-tune images to get richer textures, crisper edges and more distinct details.

Intelligent up-sampling

New up sampling feature is more accurate. It lets you enlarge low-resolution images so they look much better in large print. The intelligent part is that the new upsampling feature preserves detail and sharpness without introducing noise.

Adobe Camera Raw 8 & Adobe Camera Raw as a filter

Apply new effects to your images with ACR’s new Advanced Healing Brush, Radial Gradient and Upright tools. Adobe Camera Raw’s powerful tools can now be used as a filter, allowing you to use controls like Clarity, Noise reduction and Temperature on any layer at any time. See our tutorial.

Editable rounded rectangles and other shapes

Creating shapes has never been so flexible. The ability to resize and re-edit shapes after they’ve been created is one of the most-requested features added to Photoshop CC. Web designers will also be able to export CSS data from files to use later.

Multiple shape and path selection

This lets you select multiple paths, shapes, and vector masks simultaneously. You can target the path (and any layer) you want on canvas with a new filter mode.

Improved 3D painting

The new Photoshop painting engine offers live previews that are up to 100 times faster and more responsive when you paint on 3D objects and texture maps.

Camera Shake Reduction

Just what it says. This feature is designed to let you salvage shots made unusable due to camera motion. Whether the blur was caused by slow shutter speed or just poor technique, Photoshop analyzes its trajectory and helps restore sharpness. This won’t save a completely out of focus picture, but it will take those images that are just a tiny bit off and make them sing. See our tutorial.

Smart Object support for Blur Gallery and Liquify

This lets you non-destructively add blur or liquify effects to your images. The original file stays intact as you edit or remove the effects—even after saving your file.

Mercury Graphics Engine

When paired with the right graphics card, this makes Photoshop scream, and just feel smoother and more liquid.

System anti-aliasing for type

Get a realistic preview of how your type will look on the web with an option that closely matches the anti-aliasing of your Mac or Windows® system.

Conditional Actions

Put routine processing jobs on autopilot with Conditional Actions. These commands use if/then statements to automatically choose between different actions based on rules you set up.

Improved Min and Max filters

Create more precise masks and selections with more powerful Minimum and Maximum filters, which now include options to preserve squareness or roundness.

While versions of some of these enhancements in CS6 exist, the new Photoshop CC enhances them and brings them all under one roof, in one version of Photoshop, just six months after the release of the latest enhancements. While the Creative Cloud has its detractors (Mostly people who still don’t understand it, or who just expect something for nothing) it’s my personal opinion that this is exactly what I signed up for when I got Creative Cloud. Major enhancements when they are ready, not artificially injected into a box every 18 months.

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