Other Creative Cloud Updates

Lost in all the uproar over Lightroom is the fact that the other programs in the Photography Plan changed this week, too. 

First up, we have Photoshop 2018. Like Lightroom Classic CC, the primary big addition to the latest Photoshop for photographers is the ability to use Range Masking in Adobe Camera Raw (which itself is now updated to version 10). 

Many of the other changes have less direct impact on photographers' use of Photoshop, but here they are:

  • Brush Presets have been modified to include additional default brushes, better organization, and some subtle but useful UI changes.
  • Brush strokes have additional smoothing and symmetry options.
  • If you use paths in your Photoshop files, the new Curvature Pen tool might be of interest to you.
  • Quite a few minor font handling changes have been made, with a number of enhancements to the Font Properties panel.
  • Tooltips have been expanded to allow for "rich tooltips", and there's now a Learn panel. Both features help with discoverability of function use within Photoshop.
  • If you have photos synced to the cloud with Lightroom CC, they're available from the Photoshop Start Screen now. Note that you can search through these photos with keywords even if they're not tagged due to Adobe Sensei, which is an automatic tagging feature. You can also save photos directly to Lightroom Photos (cloud) from Photoshop. This feature may prove to be very useful in dealing with clients.
  • You can edit 360° spherical panoramas.

As usual with the bigger Photoshop updates, there are ton of buried little changes. You can copy and paste multiple layers now. A new image resize algorithm has been added (it's in Preferences/Technology Preview/Enable Preserve Details 2.0 Upscale). There's support for Apple's HEIF photo format. And much, much more. 

Meanwhile, Bridge wasn't immune from an update. The emphasis in the new Bridge CC is a completely rewritten Output module, including an Export to PDF function. Likewise, it's now far easier to output your work directly to Adobe Portfolio or Adobe Stock. 

To a large degree, the whole 2018 update of the CC apps tends towards integrating all of Adobe's capabilities together. Adobe really wants you to use their portfolio and stock photo options, to let the cloud integrate your workflow with others in your group or clients, and to better manage the entire photographic (illustration, design, video) workflow with common tools and functions across products. 

I'm impressed by the level of integration we're getting here, even if it doesn't feel like we're getting a lot of photography-friendly feature additions. Adobe was demonstrating some new technologies that will likely make it into future products. The coolest one I saw was a video implementation of Content Aware Fill (called Cloak), but photography-related features are coming, too, including one called Deep Fill (reconstructing missing parts of an image). 

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