Late last week Adobe released the public beta of Photoshop CS6 to the world. I have now had a chance to create an image from start to finish and wanted to share my thoughts. Overall, I love the new Photoshop. The darker interface is much easier on the eye, allowing you to focus on your work. Not only that the interface is more compact. The adjustment layers pallet now opens as needed, allowing for the side bar to be narrower. Many of the big headline grabbing features work as expected but to be honest, I have hardly used them. This is mainly as I have an established workflow which doesn't include these tools yet, I am sure this will change in time.
So for me and what I do, the best of the new features are as follows:
- The new Camera RAW is a huge advancement on the last and the sliders now make much more sense. Though it is a shame it is still in the old light grey.
- Mini bridge is now really well integrated, gone is the old Air powered pop-out and you can now view all the resources you are working with at the bottom of the screen and simply drag and drop them straight into the image. For a compositor this is a welcome addition.
- The new crop tool makes more sense and works a treat.
- The patch tool, which when you put the tool into content aware mode, acts like content aware fill but allows you to choose the source. In the few cases I used it, it did a great job, better than content-aware fill.
- The Liquify tool has a simpler interface, still unfortunately in light grey, but does seem quicker
For me though it is the subtle new features that make Photoshop CS6 a must buy, in particular, being able to modify multiple layers at once as well as little things to help tab through layers when re-naming them.
You can download Photoshop and use it for free until Adobe release the official release. Although Adobe has done this before with Lightroom 3 and 4, this is the first time I am aware of them doing a public beta of Photoshop in their Adobe Labs. This is a great move by Adobe and not only that, they are welcoming feedback in the Photoshop forum which shows they are listening to their users.