Photoshop CS5: Coolest New Features and Tutorials

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The latest version of Photoshop CS5, was rolled out in April 2010 and has a handful of new features attached to it.  The newest version of Adobe Photoshop CS5 software claims to redefine digital imaging with breakthrough tools for photography, superior image selections, realistic painting, and more.

Check out these cool new tricks, taken from some online Photoshop tutorials, available on CS5.

If you’re looking for more of the top Photoshop tutorials, check out these posts:

Photoshop CS 5 Content-Aware Fill

Content-Aware Fill was probably the single most anticipated feature new to CS5.  What it does is exactly what it says: fills areas with an awareness of what should go there to make it consistent with the rest of the image.  Is there a plastic bottle ruining the pristine sand in your beach scene?  This feature will take care of that.

Simply click the ‘Content-Aware’ button on the toolbar and drag your brush along the item that you want to eliminate.  Photoshop will fill the space in with a natural-looking background.  You can also select an area and click ‘Shift-Delete’ to fill it.

This feature definitely lived up to its hype.  The Content-Aware fills take lighting, color and texture into account, resulting in fills that are nearly flawless.

Tutorial: http://www.natcoll.ac.nz/blog/photoshop-cs5-tutorial-content-aware-fill/

Photoshop CS5

Photoshop CS5 Refine Edge

This might be cheating a little, since the Refine Edge tool was available on CS4.  The CS4 version, however, wasn’t nearly as refined as in the latest edition so I consider this to be a new feature.

The Refine Edge tool makes it easy to select images and make them look natural when you superimpose them over new backgrounds.  Traditionally, people are especially tricky to get right, since the strands of hair sticking out often create a halo effect when you move the image to a new backdrop.  The Refine Edge tool can actually edge the image so that the tiny details (like hairs) are part of the edge and transfer seamlessly.

This is another success for CS5.  The feature is much more effective than the CS4 version and definitely worth the upgrade if you find yourself struggling with halo effects when you manipulate your images.

Tutorial: http://www.natcoll.ac.nz/blog/photoshop-cs5-refine-edge-tool-tutorial/

Photoshop CS5

Photoshop CS5 Mixer Brush

Mixer Brush is an artsy tool, used to make your photos look more like paintings with brush strokes and bleed.
The mixer brush recognizes tones in the image and blends them together like paint.  You can control the size of the brush, the wetness and how much the color bleeds.  It may be more intuitive for actual painters who know offhand what effect a wetter brush will have.  For the rest of us, we can just play around with the feature until we get the hang of it.

The feature is a lot of fun to play with, though I haven’t found much practical use for it.  Depending on what you typically do with Photoshop, this may or may not be a feature you take advantage of.

Tutorial: http://www.natcoll.ac.nz/blog/photoshop-painting-tutorial-mixer-brush/

Photoshop CS5

Photoshop CS5 Puppet Warp

Puppet Warp is my personal favourite of the new Photoshop CS5 features.  Not because it’s especially practical for me, but because it’s just really cool.  With Puppet Warp, you can take pieces of images and move them like a marionette (hence the name).
You need to create a layer for the image you want to move.  Then, by placing pins when the joints should be, you can manipulate the image to move where you want it to.  You can move the pins, or rotate the joints to change the image.

What I really enjoy about this Photoshop CS5 feature is that it’s fairly straightforward and easy to use, but also has a lot of potential if you want to invest some time into it.

Tutorial: http://www.natcoll.ac.nz/blog/photoshop-puppet-warp-tool-tutorial/

Photoshop CS5

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