Apr 3, 2005

Photoshop CS2– What’s new?

Posted 12:01AM Eastern
(-5 GMT) April 4, 2005

Okay folks, this time it’s for real. . .

On Monday, April 4, 2005 Adobe is officially announcing Adobe® Photoshop® CS2. In fact, Adobe will be announcing and showing the entire Creative Suite 2 at the Adobe ideas conference, where leaders from design and publishing industry will come together to share their thoughts on industry trends and the impact of technology, and cutting-edge creative.

PhotoshopNews will be covering the event LIVE FROM NEW YORK!
Live coverage begins at 9:00AM Eastern time (GMT-5).

So, what’s new in Photoshop CS2? Well, there’s a lot:

Adobe Bridge (next-gen File Browser)
Improved Performance
Object-Based UI
Vanishing Point

Enhanced Camera Raw
High Dynamic Range editing
Exposure Merge
Lens Distortion Correction
Reduce Noise
Smart Sharpen

Smart Objects
Image Warping
ImageReady Integration (Animation, Variables)
Improved Suite Integration Consistency
WYSIWYG font menu

Customizable UI
Improved Printing
Better Red-Eye Correction
Improved Help

FireWire video preview
Spot Healing Brush
Access to more than 2GB of RAM
Web Photo Gallery enhancements
Attaching scripts to events
New blurs (Bilateral, Box, & Sampled)
Enhanced Info Palette

Bridge is Adobe’s next-generation file browser. Building on the features of the File Browser in Photoshop CS, Bridge has been written from the ground up for performance and flexibility. Being a stand-alone application, it frees up Photoshop to process images while you work in Bridge & vice versa. It’s highly extensible and will be the hub for automation and file management across the entire Creative Suite.

Key Bridge features:
Multi-threaded performance
Multiple browser windows
Multiple monitor support
Multi-file Camera Raw editing and conversion
Better metadata display/editing
Scalable previews
Filmstrip view
Multi-page PDF previews
Automated image import metadata tagging
Integration with all CS2 apps
Fast local searching
Catalogs (saved searches)
Enhanced flagging and labeling
Compact (floating) mode with drag drop
Slideshow mode
Browser scripting
Workflow automation
Integration with Version Cue
Suite-wide color management controls (Bridge in suite version)

Because the Bridge will support Illustrator, InDesign, and GoLive, it will allow Photoshop users to leverage those applications (for example, creating a contact sheet in InDesign that’s richer and more editable than what’s possible using just Photoshop’s Contact Sheet plug-in, or similarly creating a richer Web Photo Gallery using GoLive) as easily as they would use Photoshop automation processes.

To make it faster to work with multiple layers, you can now shift-click or drag-select multiple layers to select them, then perform various image operations (move, scale, rotate, group into layer set, etc.)

PhotoshopCS2 also features Smart Guides (View->Show->Smart Guides) that appear when moving objects or when drawing shapes or slices.

Because linking layers is now less essential, the Layers palette no longer includes a column dedicated to linking. Instead, you can select multiple layers, then click the link icon at the bottom of the palette. Also, note that Cmd-/Ctrl-G has been re-assigned from Create Clipping Mask to Group.

Speed is a feature in this release. Photoshop CS2 will improve performance across a range of areas, including launch time, file open/save, the Healing Brush, Filter Gallery, Camera Raw, Shadow/ Highlight, scaling, rotation, merging, type on a path, and File Info.

This new technology (found under Filters) lets you define perspective planes on images, then clone, paint, and transform images according to that perspective. This really is a tool that’s far better experienced than described.

Camera Raw 3 in Film Strip mode.

Raw image processing takes a major step forward with the combination of Camera Raw 3.0 and Adobe Bridge. Camera Raw 3 can edit the settings of multiple raw files simultaneously via Bridge, then open the files in Photoshop or save them directly. Select a series of raw files, then hit Cmd-R/Ctrl-R to edit raw settings. Camera Raw will then display the selected images in filmstrip mode. Settings are applied to all selected files. It’s possible to synchronize all settings or just a subset via the Synchronize button; shift-clicking the button synchronizes pan and zoom across images.

Camera Raw can save one or more selected files as DNG, TIFF, PSD, or JPEG. Files are processed in their own thread, making it possible to continue editing the settings of other files while conversion happens in the background. Filenames are automatically incremented to prevent accidental overwrites (useful when saving multiple conversions of a single image). Opt-/Alt-clicking the Save button skips the dialog box.

It’s also possible to rate images inside Camera Raw as it is in Bridge (by clicking the dots that appear under each thumbnail, or pressing Cmd-/Ctrl-1 through 5), as well as to mark images for deletion (hit Delete).

Other new Camera Raw features:
New “Auto” check boxes allow Camera Raw to position the Exposure, Shadows, Brightness, and Contrast sliders based on image data (rather than simply according to the camera default, as before).

Camera Raw now features the ability to crop images and place multiple color samplers.

When a raw file is placed as a Smart Object, Photoshop will embed the raw data within the PSD, making it possible to change the raw settings have the converted layer automatically update.

Bridge will include a command that builds on the Dr. Brown’s Image Processor script in order to facilitate processing of raw and other images via Photoshop.

Bridge can copy and paste raw settings between files.

By popular request, an icon appears on raw files that have custom settings.

Here’s an intro to HDR from Chris Cox:
“Low Dynamic Range (LDR) images (those that most people are familiar with) have a dynamic range of around 100:1, similar to the dynamic range of printed paper or a computer display. HDR images are theoretically unlimited in dynamic range, but are typically on the order of 100,000: 1. This means that the values in an HDR image may go far beyond unity, typically requiring floating point pixel representations. But HDR images allow for more flexibility than typical LDR images. Working with HDR images is very similar to using camera RAW files and applying exposure changes after the fact. They are especially useful in 3D rendering and advanced compositing (special effects, movies, etc.), and are attracting a lot of attention from photographers.”

Photoshop CS2 will take its first steps into editing HDR images in this release.

Supported HDR formats are PSD/PSB, TIFF, LogLUV TIFF, Radiance HDR, PFM, and OpenEXR.

Exposure Merge (under File->Automate) can take multiple 8- or 16-bit images and convert them into a single high dynamic range (32-bit) image for blending, followed by conversion back to 8- or 16-bit mode. Note that for Exposure Merge to work properly, source images must have been captured using different exposures (i.e., saving multiple derivatives of a single raw file, then feeding them into Exposure Merge won’t work).

Photoshop’s new noise reduction command (Filter->Noise->Reduce Noise) features advanced controls for addressing noise found in individual channels while preserving edge detail.

Smart Sharpen (Filter->Sharpen->Smart Sharpen) offers the ability to counteract common kinds of blurring, as well as to apply different sharpening to shadows, highlights, and midtones.

Photoshop CS2′s new Lens Correction plug-in (found under Filter->Distort) can correct typical problems caused by lenses, such as barrel and pincushion distortion. It also offers Camera Raw-like controls for addressing chromatic aberration and vignetting in non-raw files.

SHADOW/HIGHLIGHT IN CMYK Shadow/Highlight is now available in CMYK mode.


Smart Objects give Photoshop three main new capabilities:

Layers converted into Smart Objects can be scaled, rotated and warped losslessly.

Data that Photoshop doesn’t normally handle natively (e.g. vector artwork from Illustrator, or raw camera data) can be preserved inside a Smart Object, remaining re-editable.

Editing one instance of a Smart Object will update all associated Smart Objects.

Smart Objects can be created from one or more selected layers in Photoshop, or by pasting Illustrator data from the clipboard, or by using File->Place to insert a file from disk. Photoshop can place raster (e.g. PSD, Camera Raw) and vector (AI, PDF, EPS) files, freely transform them, and embed a copy of the source data so that it can be resampled when transformed.

It will be possible to edit placed data either internally (raster) or externally (in Illustrator) depending on type. For example, when an Illustrator Smart Object is double-clicked in the layers palette, Photoshop will launch Illustrator and open a working copy of the artwork. When Illustrator makes changes and saves the file, Photoshop will automatically re-rasterize the file.

If you duplicate a Smart Object, Photoshop CS2 will store only one copy of the source data while creating a second instance of the composite data. In other words, if you select five layers and turn them into a Smart Object, then duplicate the resulting object five times, the PSD will store the original five layers plus the five composites. Editing any instance will update all five. To break the link between one SO and others, select it and choose Promote to New Smart Object. (Linked SO’s will be indicated in the Layers palette.)

Smart Objects also make it possible to preserve the original, raw data from a raw camera file while converting it to a layer of a PSD. Photoshop will embed the raw data together with the converted pixels (as a layer). Selecting the converted layer and choosing Layer->Smart Objects->Edit Contents will bring up the Camera Raw dialog & enable the raw settings to be re-edited.

Photoshop CS2 now features direct on-canvas warping of image data. Choose Edit->Transform->Warp to apply a warp to a layer or selection. The default option will be “Custom,” which allows dragging of the warp control points. Other options (Bulge, Twist, etc.) can be manipulated by dragging control points on the canvas or by editing settings in the options bar.

Warps applied to Smart Objects remain fully re-editable. This method also makes it possible to warp multiple layers at once.

Photoshop CS2 has added the Animation palette (exporting animated GIFs via Save for Web), as well as the Variables feature (allowing Photoshop to import data from spreadsheets, databases, etc., automatically replace text and pixel data, and generate files). It also adds the object-based UI debuted in ImageReady CS.

Besides offering dramatically improved Illustrator integration via Smart Objects, Photoshop CS2 offers improved integration and consistency across the Creative Suite. Key points include color swatches that can be shared between Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign; improved PDF creation; and more consistent out-of-the-box color management (including the ability to synchronize the color management settings of all CS2 applications via controls in Bridge).

The name pretty much says it all. Font names are listed in the regular system font, and a sample word (“Sample”) is listed next to each font name, rendered in the font itself.

Photoshop CS presently features some 494 menu commands, making the program intimidating for newcomers, and making it harder for experienced users to get at the set of tools they use for their particular work. To address the widely varying needs of the many groups that use Photoshop, CS2 provides the ability to customize menus and save customized sets in workspaces.

Enabling and disabling particular items
Allowing menu items to be color-coded
Saving workspaces that contain menu, keyboard, and/or palette layouts

The print with preview UI dialogue has been improved in order to provide better, more consistent results more easily, especially to desktop inkjet printers.


The new Red Eye Tool (found in the Tools palette in the same slot as the Healing Brush) can automatically neutralize common red-eye problems with a single click.


Help topics will be revealed in a new help viewer that floats like a palette (revealing information without taking over the screen and obscuring Photoshop, as the present switch to the default Web browser does).

Photoshop CS2 will ship more task-based content that addresses how to accomplish common tasks quickly.

The new database and search engine in the help application will enable better.

Over the coming days and week leading up to the shipping of Photoshop CS2, stay tuned to PhotoshopNews for exclusive articles and how to’s by the PSN Team.

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