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There is now a newly updated Adobe Creative Cloud release. This is a major update to Adobe Photoshop CC and a new product in Adobe Fuse CC

New Software Spotlight – Adobe Creative Cloud November 2015

There is now a newly updated Adobe Creative Cloud release. This is a major update to Adobe Photoshop CC and a new product in Adobe Fuse CC

Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud

The update to Photoshop is a major release and sports a completely redesigned interface among many other new features. Adobe Fuse is a preview release that comes from the acquisition of Mixamo’s Poser like application that gives you the ability to create 3D characters and bring them to animated life in Photoshop. To find out more about the various membership plans you can just go to Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Photoshp CC Fall 2015

Photoshop CC is a raster graphics editor. That is, it is an editor that allows users to manipulate, edit, composite, and paint images on a computer screen and save them in one of many popular raster file formats including JPEG, PNG, GIF and TIFF. This makes Photoshop extremely good for working with photographs. While there are a lot of new features for Photoshop, for this I will focus on those features from Photoshop that are important for designers.

Photoshop CC
Photoshop CC

What’s New in Photoshop CC?

• Startup – screen has been reinvented. Now you will be presented with thumbnails or icons that represent the files that you have worked with recently. You have access to libraries as well as presets that you have worked with in the past and you also have personalized tutorial content that corresponds to the files that you are working with. You can also turn off this behavior if you like the way the prior system worked.

• Revamped Interface – now sports a flatter look, new updated icons as well as other changes in general to the look of the UI. The dialogs now all match the selected color scheme and it has been better enhanced to work with touch devices as well.

• Creative Cloud Libraries – have had some significant updates as well. There are changes to make it easier to both get started using libraries as well as in their use. You now have the ability to create a new library from an existing document at a single click. It will identify Smart Objects, layer styles, colors and character styles that can be extracted into the new library and the ability to search across libraries has been enhanced as well as well as the integration with Adobe Stock.

• Enhanced Design Space (Preview) – is now on by default. This now has a two column layout that has access to the libraries, a new export, and a new search capability that allows you to search through all of your Photoshop content.

• Artboard improvements – include the ability to quickly add new artboards with just a single click. You can now set the default background color to your artboard layout from the preference menu. You now also can set grids directly to each artboard, all artboards, or to the canvas itself. You can also filter your layers panel to a specific artboard making it easy to work with artboards that contain a large amount of layers.

• Customized Toolbars – lets you rearrange your toolbar to your liking. This gives you the ability to hide tools as well as bring tools to the front that you use the most.

• Typography – has been enhanced so that when you are searching for a font, you can do a lot more filtering such as by classification. You can also save favorites so that when you work with specific fonts regularly, they will be there at your fingertips. Also new is the ability to filter by font similarity. That is fonts that visually relate to the font that is selected.

Photoshop CC
Photoshop CC

• Glyphs panel – has been improved to highlight recently used glyphs as well as to designer favorite’s for easier access.

• Real-Time Healing Brush – is now more responsive to content through the use of a diffusion slider. This will reduce the artifacts that can appear in certain situations when using the brush.

• Exporting designs – now has the capabilities to export multiple sizes of your designs in one go. You can also select multiple assets and have them exported as separate items all at once. This is helpful when working with artboards that have many panels. As well you can select specific layers and those will be exported as assets. The new export capabilities are now faster than and better quality the “Save for Web”.

Adobe Fuse CC (Preview) Fall 2015

Fuse CC
Fuse CC

Adobe Fuse CC is a new desktop application that lets you create 3D human characters. It is usable by artists of any level and background – even with no 3D experience, to put together combinations of body parts, clothing items, and a wide range of texturing abilities to create characters for use in your images, layouts, and other creations. Currently it is a preview, but is available as an English-only desktop app.

The goal of Adobe Fuse is to provide designers with the ability to create 3D characters in design layouts with a wide range of abilities. Designers always have the need to put characters into layouts, but it can be really challenging to actually accomplish.

Fuse works like an avatar creator so you can essentially take various body sections and fuse them together as a whole. You begin by assembling the basic parts in to a body. Then you can customize to your specifications. Once that’s done you can add clothing to stylize your creation and make them more personable. And finally, you have a wide range of things that you can do to further enhance the looks so you are not limited to pre-packaged characters.

Once you have perfected your character, using Creative Sync and your Creative Cloud Libraries, you can then import them into Adobe Photoshop. Here you will be able to work with it to animate and pose your character.

Once in Photoshop, you will find that your character is in your library and ready to work with. You have thousands of poses that are at your fingertips in the properties section of in your library. These are poses that were created by the company Mixamo, the original creator of Fuse. You are not limited to posing the body, but you can animate the head as well.

Fuse CC
Fuse CC

From there you can work with the animation to maximize your creation. Since the animation exists on a layer, you can add other layers to design to your hearts content. It really provides a lot of flexibility especially for a preview product.

Adobe Creative Cloud membership is US$49.99 per month, with an annual contract. A special introductory offer of US$29.99 per month for existing CS individual customers is also available. You also have the ability to subscribe to individual items as well. If, for example you only use Adobe Photoshop, you can license it for $19.99/month. There is also a photography membership that is priced at $9.99/month that is available for anyone.

Without a doubt, Adobe Photoshop is a major update. From the redesigned interface, to the customizable toolbars, and the enhancements to things like the artboards, typography, and exporting, there is a lot of change going on. I like the fact that the startup change can be reverted because, while it may be useful to some, I like the old way of doing things.

The new interface is different, and time will tell how I really like it, but this isn’t the first time that it’s changed and all likelihood, it too will grow on me. The thing that I find most interesting is the addition of Adobe Fuse and its integration into Photoshop.

While it is still a preview product, I do find it to be quite compelling to work with. It has a very intuitive interface and works well on its own and integrates quite nicely with Photoshop. I will be very interested to see how this all panes out in the months and years ahead.

Normally I would say I very highly recommend this upgrade, but if you have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, then you already have the upgrade.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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