Posts Tagged ‘Adobe CS5’

Hands-on: Adobe Photoshop CS5

Adobe Photoshop CS5 & Photoshop CS5 Extended
Text and Images by Tony Gomez

Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended—part of Adobe’s recently introduced Creative Suite 5—are the latest versions of the world standard for digital imaging software. CS5 comes packed with several new features that will be of great interest to you as digital photographers, including: the clean removal of unwanted photo elements; High Dynamic Range (HDR) Pro image processing with multiple exposures; better noise removal and image sharpening; and Automatic Lens Correction to minimize lens optical distortion effects. Here I will delve deeper into how these tasks work and what effect they will have on your post-production work-flow.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) Processing and Simulation

HDR processing is a solution for the inability that a digital camera tends to have in capturing a single digital image that contains the full tonal detail range—from extremely bright, to very dark shadow detail.  You need to capture a multiple set of images, each with under, normal, and overexposed settings.  HDR then blends these multiple images into one image which has an expanded dynamic range. Photoshop has incorporated HDR processing into CS5.


OVEREXPOSED, NORMAL EXPOSURE, UNDEREXPOSED AND COMPOSITE
click the thumbnails to see the full-size images

There are some important tips to consider before Photoshop CS5 can work its HDR magic. First, take your D-SLR off the Automatic mode, and use the Aperture Priority Mode to shoot. This is because you don’t want successive images to be captured with different f-stops, as this would result in images with different focus points. Next, it is ideal to use a tripod to shoot your multiple exposures because you don’t want your hand to move the camera significantly between successive exposures, or there will be “ghosts” created in the final HDR image. However, if you don’t have a tripod available, and if your D-SLR can be programmed to rapidly shoot three successive exposures while automatically varying the shutter speed by the required amount, the three captured images should be stable enough so that HDR Pro software will give you the desired result without ghosts.  Even if there are ghosts, Adobe HDR Pro has a “ghost removal” feature. My rule of thumb for good hand-held HDR image capture is about 1 to 2 frames/second.

Select your multiple-exposed images and then from the Tools menu select Tools/Photoshop/Merge to HDR Pro to import the images into Photoshop CS5. You can control the degree of HDR processing by adjusting the Radius, Strength, and Detail Sliders to higher numbers. Also adjust the Vibrance and Saturation sliders for more intense color. Finally, the Contrast of the overall HDR image can be further adjusted from the Curve Control.  When finished, save your image as a TIFF file for high quality preservation.

Clean Removal of Unwanted Photo Elements

Most of us shoot in the real world, not in the ideal photographer’s studio. Our captured images often contain distracting objects besides the main intended subject—trees or poles popping out from behind a subject’s head, or ugly telephone wires which detract from a scene’s beauty. Wouldn’t it be great to magically remove these distracting objects? This unwanted object removal has long been the bread and butter task for professional Photoshop artists, but even the most masterful among them can leave behind telltale signs that something has been removed from the background.

BEFORE AND AFTER
click the thumbnails to see the full-size images

Photoshop CS5’s new Content-Aware Fill Option performs this image removal magic for you automatically without painstaking effort or masterful selection skills. This new fill feature removes a distracting object intelligently, without leaving signs of its removal because the lighting, tone, and actual noise of the surrounding areas are matched. The removal is transparent.

Unwanted objects can be removed by either being painted over with the Spot Healing Brush tool and the Content Aware Fill option, or by using the Lasso Tool and then the Edit-Fill/Content Aware Fill option. The process is automatic and nothing short of magical. Bravo, Photoshop CS5!

Noise Removal and Image Sharpening

Digital noise is present to some degree in every captured image. You need to reduce this digital noise, particularly if you are making a large print. The Camera RAW 6 plug in for Photoshop CS5 has some expanded controls for noise reduction—not only noise in the luminance (brightness) region, but also in the chrominance (color) region. To take full advantage of these expanded noise reduction tools in CS5, you have to capture a RAW image. Photoshop CS5’s RAW 6 Plug-in recognizes more than 275 D-SLR models, so there’s a pretty good chance your RAW image will be supported.

BEFORE AND AFTER
click the thumbnails to see the full-size images

Opening up your RAW image in CS5 makes available several new control sliders: Luminance, Color, and Edge Detail.  Move the Luminance slider to the right to remove grayscale (non-color) noise. Move the Color Slider to the right to remove Color noise. Both of these controls can have a softening effect on the image detail, so to sharpen up your noise-free image, move the new Edge Detail slider to the right. When all adjustments have been completed to your liking, save your Camera RAW image as a TIFF format.

Automatic Lens Distortion Correction

One of the greatest things about a D-SLR is that it allows you to use various lenses for different effects. However, even expensive interchangeable lenses have imperfections known as optical distortion.

BEFORE AND AFTER
click the thumbnails to see the full-size images

Three common types of optical distortions that exist, particularly in wide angle lenses, are: Barrel distortion (where straight lines seem to bow out, as if around the sides of a barrel), Chromatic Aberration (where blue fringing is present), and Vignetting (where darkening occurs in the extreme edges of the image).

Photoshop CS5 offers a Lens Correction feature which automatically removes most of these imperfections. You engage this feature from the Filter/Lens Correction menu selection. Adobe has implemented a growing database of interchangeable lenses to choose from, allowing you to custom tailor your profile to your own specific lenses if you wish to correct these optical distortions. The Adobe Lens Profile Creator is available as a free download from www.labs.adobe.com.

Computer Requirements

Photoshop CS5/CS5 Extended is available for either Mac or Windows format. For the Mac platform you need OS10.X or higher. For the Windows version, you need Windows XP/Service Pack 2 at minimum, with later versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 recommended.  Photoshop is very memory intensive, so you need 1GB minimum, and 2GB recommended. And your processor needs to be powerful enough to handle the more complex processes—dual core CPUs are recommended, with quad core preferred.

If you want ultimate control over your captured digital images, Photoshop CS5 is more than capable. The basic Photoshop CS5 version is $699.00 MSRP, with a $199.00 upgrade from CS4. The 3-D graphics market is very hot now, and a more powerful version, Photoshop CS5 Extended ($999 MSRP) offers exciting 3D extrusions through its Repousse feature. With it you can also create exciting 3-D images with realistic lighting, shadows, reflections, and refractions of lighting. For more information go to www.adobe.com.

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Adobe Launches Photoshop CS5

The countdown is over. Adobe just officially launched Creative Suite 5. There are a lot of game changing features in the suite—of particular interest to us (and to you photographers) are the advancements to Photoshop. Check out what Adobe has to say about Photoshop and Photoshop Extended—with screenshots of a couple of key features—below.

Photoshop CS5 delivers the utmost power and creative control with the next generation of advanced
tools for outstanding image manipulation and superior compositing. It redefines image editing with a
strong focus on photography, including breakthrough selection capabilities, content-aware fill options,
state-of-the-art processing of raw images, advanced creative control of High Dynamic Range (HDR)
imagery, automated lens corrections, powerful free-form transformations, new painting technology, and
a sweeping range of workflow and performance enhancements that boost productivity at every step.

Photoshop CS5 Extended is a super-set of tools and features made for professionals who want to push
the boundaries of digital imaging. It delivers all the editing, compositing, and painting capabilities of
Photoshop CS5 plus powerful new features for creating stunning 3D artwork from selections, graphics,
and type with direct control over lighting, materials, and meshes.

Intelligent selection technology

Photoshop CS5 takes the time and frustration out of making precise image selections and masks, providing you a faster way to extract subjects from their backgrounds and create realistic composites. New intelligent selection technology offers better edge detection and faster, more accurate masking results of complex subjects, like hair. Automatic color decontamination helps you eliminate background color around the edges of a selection, resulting in more seamless compositions when placing extracted subjects on new backgrounds. Experienced Photoshop users know that the best selections are created by constantly adapting the selection technique for differences in the subject’s edges—one method for hair and another for the edge of a building. With Photoshop CS5, you can produce highly accurate masks and selections faster and more simply than before with a set of new adaptive selection-edge modification controls. Smart Radius automatically matches the best selection approach with the subject’s changing edge characteristics, and the extra view modes assist you in previewing the quality of your selections. The Refine Radius and Erase Refinements tools customize your masks and selections as you make them. These tools, in combination with the color decontamination settings, help eliminate any residual background color from around the edges of your selections.

Before
After

Content‐Aware Fill

One of the most exciting new features in Photoshop CS5 is the remarkable ability to remove  an image element and magically replace it with details that match the lighting, tone, and noise  of the surrounding area so that it looks like the content never existed. Now, you can make substantial changes to photo composition quickly and easily, as even large complex subjects can be seamlessly erased. You can use Content-Aware Fill with the Spot Healing Brush or as an option
of the Fill feature to replace content in an active selection. Selecting the Content-Aware setting with the Spot Healing brush changes the way the tool fills in the areas you paint. This retouching approach is designed to account more fully for the structure and detail of the image elements that surround the painted area, providing a near-invisible result when removing unwanted objects. Alternatively, you can select the object to be removed, and then replace the area with synthesized details from the area surrounding the selection, simply by using the Content-Aware option in the Fill dialog box.

Before
After

Other new features include: HDR Pro, for creativity and precision with the next generation of high dynamic range imaging; state-of-the-art raw-image processing; extraordinary painting effects; Puppet Warp; Automated lens correction; user-inspired productivity enhancements; streamlined creative reviews through integration with Adobe CS Review; faster performance with cross-platform native 64-bit support; greater access to key resources via flexible custom panels; easier interface management with Live Workspaces and Workspace Switcher; and superior black-and-white conversion.

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Adobe CS5 Launches April 12th

Adobe is counting down the days, hours, minutes, seconds until they launch Creative Suite 5. How many of you out there are even all set with CS4?

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