Switching To Photoshop CS6? 27 New Features and Changes You Need to Know

Switching To Photoshop CS6? 27 New Features and Changes You Need to Know
If you create a panorama from multiple images with Photoshop, you will be able to use the Panorama correction option which is designed to correct the arches in panoramas. You have to create the panorama with Photoshop’s stitch tool and have all the layers intact for this option to be visible – opening a panorama JPEG file won’t work.

Using the Adaptive Wide Angle filter Simply draw lines to straighten edges. Hold the Shift key while drawing to make an edge perfectly horizontal or vertical.

Before and after of the perspective and distortion corrections with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter This filter works great for fixing ultra wide angle photos. Slanted and curved lines were straightened in less than 1 minute. It also fixed the perspective of the image (ex. both beds are equal size in the after photo).

19. Using the Liquify tool on gigantic images

The Liquify tool is pretty much the same thing except that it’s now useful for your gigantic 15+ megapixels images. In CS5, liquifying an image isn’t real-time; you have to liquify then wait for Photoshop to render it. Now in CS6, you can liquify an image with no lag. This is possible with the new Mercury Graphics Engine which uses your GPU to do the work. You can even edit using the new max brush size of 15,000 pixels (up from 1500 pixels) without lag.

Liquify tool in Photoshop CS6 The performance improvement and larger brush sizes makes it easier to liquify high-res images.

Before and after comparison of using the liquify tool to curve the horizon Using the larger brush sizes, you can create curved horizons on high-res photos.

20. Turning photos into oil paintings in seconds

This new artistic filter lets you easily turn photos into oil paintings and it works on Smart Objects. Unfortunately, it suffers the same problem that many other artistic filters – the settings don’t scale with the image size. That means that if you are working on a high-res photo, you might not get an effect that is strong enough. The only way around this is to resize your photo down, rasterize the layer (if you are using Smart Filters), then enlarge it back.

Before and after comparison of the Oil Paint filter Turn photos to oil paintings in seconds

Photoshop CS6 Oil Paint filter The Oil Paint filter

Diagram of the Oil Paint filter settings Settings you can adjust to get the look you like

21. Selective blurring with Field Blur, Iris Blur, and Tilt-Shift

Selective blurring has been popular in the last few years and Photoshop CS6 makes it even easier to do selective blurring. Unfortunately, these filters are not available as Smart Filters which means you can’t go back and edit the settings at a later time.

New Blur Filters The filters can be found in the Filter > Blur menu.

Using the Blur tools Although the filters are listed as three separate menu items, they appear in one gallery with three different tools.

22. Using the new Lighting Effects filter

Remember in CS5 where you get a tiny preview window for the Lighting Effects filter? Photoshop CS6 threw that away and replaced it with a gigantic preview area that’s accelerated with Photoshop’s new Mercury Graphics Engine.

CS6 Lighting Effects filter interface The new Lighting Effects filter in Photoshop CS6

23. Filling with Scripted Patterns

Using the Fill tool (Edit > Fill), you can fill using scripted patterns. These are 5 presets that alter the way you fill patterns. Unfortunately, their usefulness is limited because they don’t offer options for the scripts.

Fill window with Scripted Patterns enabled Checkmark the Scripted Patterns option to access the pattern scripts

Demonstration of the 5 Scripted Pattern fills The 5 scripted pattern fills

24. Using groups like layers

Before, to apply clipping masks and layer styles to groups, you’d have to convert the group into a Smart Object. Now you can do this in CS6 without having to convert the group into a Smart Object.

Applying clipping masks and layer styles to groups Take advantage of this new feature to keep your layers organized and to a minimum.

25. Working with the new Shape Layers

In Photoshop CS5, shape layers were just a solid color adjustment layer with a vector path. In Photoshop CS6, vector layers are now shape layers and they give you fill and stroke options just like what you would find if you use Adobe Illustrator. You can also have multiple vector shapes inside one vector layer and align, rearrange, and transform (Edit > Transform) the shapes.

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