[UPDATE – Also see our new Summer CC 2019 Giveaway!]
Creative Suite 6 is now available for instant download and direct shipping, and there are many important differences in this release compared to Creative Suite 5, including hundreds of new features added to the individual applications.
And after giving away CS6 Master Collection earlier this month, we now would like to focus especially on Adobe’s popular lineup of Digital Imaging Products. In particular, we want to give brand new copies of Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, and Photoshop Elements 10 to three of you, our amazing readers!
There will be one winner for each of these products, which are the commercial English versions for either Windows or Mac OS. The three winners will receive them in prize packages also containing Adobe/CS6 tee-shirts, pens, and other goodies. 1st prize is Photoshop, 2nd prize is Lightroom, and 3rd prize is PSE – with a total estimated retail value for all prizes of US$1000.
How to enter? It’s easy to gain up to four chances to win… The contest is open to residents of North America, U.K., Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa – and to enter just do one (or more) of the following:
[UPDATE – See all of Adobe’s current deals & discounts!]
Adobe is continuing its special “Deal of the Day” program and the next big deal is a huge 50% off their bestselling consumer product, Photoshop/Premiere Elements 10 with coupon code – just in time to use your 2011 tax refund and save today…
This means – for one day only – for either product Photoshop Elements 10 or Premiere Elements 10 you can pay just $50 instead of $99… and for the complete bundle containing both Elements products you can pay just $25 more: $75 instead of $149!
This isn’t an upgrade – it’s the full retail version, available for instant download on either Windows or Mac OS, in any available language (the boxed shipment is not offered at this low price).
But note, to take advantage of this deep discount you must activate the deal with this promotion code linked: ELEMENTS50.
The 50% off is available in North America – but in Europe and the UK, the offer is still nice: Save up to 30% on the Elements family of products, with free delivery included.
[UPDATE (May 7th, 2012) – CS6 is now shipping!]
At Photoshop World last week, we had the chance to sit down with Adobe Senior Product Managers Bryan O’Neil Hughes and Zorana Gee for hours of in-depth walkthroughs of the new Photoshop CS6 release. And all we can say is – on top of what we already knew and experienced – this is the Photoshop version you’ve probably dreamed about…
And with over one million downloads in record time, clearly we’re not the only ones thinking that. The reviews are in: Gizmodo calls it, “The best update in recent memory, I’m in love” … PC Magazine says, “The future of creative image editing is upon us – this new version will thrill nearly all categories of users, from photographers to designers” … USA Today writes, “Having lots of fun with the new tools – the beautiful and streamlined new interface is a huge improvement, and the images really do look sharper and more pronounced.”
For expediency we put together a quick “cheat sheet” below of the top differences and new features in Photoshop CS6 as compared to PS CS5. Naturally if you’re still on CS4, CS3, or earlier, then you’d also need to add in the differences between CS5 vs. those older versions.
But really, it’s also a fit and polish thing – with two years since the last major release (and having no architectural challenges to worry about), the Photoshop team had plenty time to hone this into a smooth and polished product. This is reflected in the 62% more new features added in this cycle contrasted to the previous one, and nearly twice as many JDI requests (user-focused “Just Do It” items) addressed.
[UPDATE (May 7th) – The final Creative Suite 6 is now shipping, with free trials available!]
NEWS FLASH – Earlier today Adobe surprised everyone by announcing a free public beta release of the eagerly-anticipated Photoshop CS6… The company has slipped out 8 different sneak peeks of the upcoming product since January – and considering there are now about two months left before CS6 ships, the timing for a beta was right.
“The world’s best digital image editing software is about to get even better. Explore Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta for a sneak preview of some of the incredible performance enhancements, imaging magic, and creativity tools we are working on. Discover for yourself why Photoshop CS6 will be a whole new experience in digital image editing.
This is a release where we took a more proactive stance on architecture, widespread use of the GPU, and a renewed emphasis on UI and design. We also took some time to revitalize existing feature areas, increase our focus on quality, productivity, and stability – and of course, continue innovating and incorporating your feedback.
You can probably tell from the number of “sneak peeks” we shared with you that we’re proud of Photoshop CS6, and excited by the opportunity to get this beta into your hands now, as an advance preview.”
It’s no secret that Adobe lately has been slipping out little sneak peeks of “a future version of Photoshop” – presumably Photoshop CS6, when it comes out…
What’s surprising is that over the past two months we’re now up to 8 (eight!) different videos released in total, to date.
The first 5 previews arrived in January and February, and now we’ve got 3 more so far in March…
This latest set shows off new capabilities for working with 3D and Video, as well as easily creating shallow depth of field in any image (a.k.a. the bokeh effect, the technique of aesthetically blurring the background).
Photoshop’s new “Blur Gallery” including the Iris Blur Filter can quickly add selective blur to any image without masks, layers, or depth maps – making it very easy to “pop out” a photograph’s subject with the appearance of shallow focus:
[UPDATE – Also see our new Summer CC 2019 Giveaway!]
If you like Photoshop and want a free paid trip to Photoshop World plus a CS5.5 suite, check out Adobe’s Next Photoshop Evangelist contest… All you have to do is create and upload a 1-2 minute video demonstrating your favorite “Hidden Gem” in Photoshop CS5.
What’s a hidden gem? Essentially, it’s just a lesser-known feature or workflow of the product that you find valuable – perhaps using a function or tool in a way that Adobe didn’t imagine… For some great examples, check out this helpful series of Photoshop Hidden Gems that Adobe produced.
The top 5 videos will be selected and voted on, with the winner receiving a $4,000-$6,000 prize package including a trip to the PSW Conference either in Washington, D.C. this spring, or in Las Vegas this fall – plus a full copy of CS5.5 Design Standard. The trip includes roundtrip airfare, lodging, event admission, and spending money – plus meeting Adobe’s Photoshop Product Team personally and the opportunity to demonstrate your hidden gem live at the show. Four runners-up will get a free $1,000 copy of Photoshop CS5 Extended.
We’ve seen a few sneak peeks already of what Adobe’s working on now in Photoshop – but this new one is the best to date, it’s pretty incredible… They don’t say which release these capabilities could make it in (or when), but presumably it’s Photoshop CS6.
This new demonstration takes the much-praised concept of Content-Aware Fill that was introduced in Creative Suite 5 and carries it much further with new Content-Aware Move, Extend, and Patch tool features. It’s hard to explain but you can see how it works with the 2½ minute video below.
Last month we actually put together a guide to getting the best results with Photoshop CS5’s Content-Aware Fill, but these new tools clearly make the work much faster, simpler, and more flexible… and dare we say magical (see the “before and after” screengrabs below the video).
See more advanced features of Photoshop Content-Aware technology. Straight from Photoshop Senior Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes, this video shares how to seamlessly move, extend, remove, or patch an object from an image.
Last month Adobe quietly revealed a first look at Photoshop CS6, which was received with hundreds of thousands of views… And now we have second and third looks, new sneak peeks which focus on performance gains and vector improvements (with dashed and dotted lines).
As images grow larger and larger in resolution and file size, even simple actions such as saving your files can slow down productivity – which has been a point of interest in Photoshop CS5. In this preview, a smooth and oft-requested Background Save capability is introduced allowing you to fully continue working while all file saving takes place in the background, regardless of size or compression.
Large images also slow down functions like Liquify… In the video, a 100MB photograph lags when loading and editing in Photoshop CS5. Now this new Photoshop (CS6 we presume) uses the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to greater effect to bring real-time loading and editing responsiveness. See how much faster and crisper the Liquify filter works, enabling effectively unlimited brush sizes:
[UPDATE (May 7th) – Here it is, Creative Suite 6 has been released!]
Late last week we received these two inquiries via our Contact page:
“Could you please provide a proposed release date for CS6 Design Premium software? I can’t see anywhere on your site where this is mentioned except for the U-turn regarding upgrade policy from earlier versions.”
“I have a budget meeting tomorrow and need to know the approximate release date and projected cost of the CS5 to CS6 Master Collection Suite upgrade.”
But it’s clearly time for an update.
Even today, we wish we could give you exact dates and numbers for those questions, but Adobe hasn’t publicly disclosed that information – and likely won’t until CS6 is launched… However, we can make a best estimate of the possible timing for the Creative Suite 6 release window.
On Adobe’s site now there is a document referencing the new CS Release Schedule. Here are a few of the key elements contained within this Message Summary:
Content Aware Fill is one of the major features added since Adobe Photoshop CS5, and is said to be one of its greatest new timesavers. CAF allows you to move or delete parts of your image and Photoshop will automatically and intelligently fill in the space left behind. We’ve written about it before with the quote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” [Arthur C. Clarke]
Yet we still see some people claiming that Content Aware Fill “doesn’t work,” “doesn’t give results like in the demo video,” “doesn’t use the right background,” or is just hype, smoke-and-mirrors, or a “gimmick.”
It’s true that it doesn’t always work and of course has its limitations. You can’t synthesize brand new material or hidden content that doesn’t exist in some related form elsewhere in the image. And often it will require some retouching afterwards to get the final result you want.
But usually it will get you most of the way there very quickly – if you know the most effective ways to use the feature. The best is when it “just works” without doing anything special, and this happens often enough too…