Adobe's Creative Cloud (CC) suite comes with Photoshop CC, which has new features that make it a standout from previous and traditionally locally installed versions of the popular photo editing tool. Photographers, web developers, web designers, graphic designers, and graphic artists benefit from using Photoshop CC in their day-to-day work.
Automatic updates to installed apps take place through the CC dashboard, which can be installed on any device, where you can also store your files in the CC and share them with other collaborators when working on multi-user projects. You can post your Photoshop work in the Behance community for review and comment by the public and discover the work of other creatives. (I'll review Behance in a future article.)
I cover how to install Photoshop CC and highlight some of the new features that set it apart from previous versions of the image editing application. For my demo of the features, I installed and used the Adobe CC Desktop application and the Photoshop CC application on Windows 7. All images in this article are screen captures from the Creative Cloud Desktop and the Photoshop CC application, and all of the sample images are my own.
Before you can install Adobe CC applications, your device must meet the minimum system requirements, which I summarize below. For more details on supported languages and all system requirements, please check out the tech specs for Adobe CC.
From Adobe: "The Creative Cloud website is designed to work optimally in the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. The site should degrade gracefully on older browsers; you may have trouble using certain features on those older versions. Internet Explorer 8 and earlier are not supported."
Creative Cloud desktop app requirements
- Microsoft Windows 7, 8, or 8.1
- Mac OS X v10.7, v10.8, or v10.9
- Internet connection required
Individual CC applications may have other system requirements. Photoshop CC has the following tech spec requirements:Windows
- Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 processor (2GHz or faster)
- Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1
- 1 GB of RAM
- 2.5 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)
- 1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with OpenGL 2.0, 16-bit color, and 512MB of VRAM (1 GB recommended)
- Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
- Mac OS X v10.7, v10.8, or v10.9
- 1 GB of RAM
- 3.2 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
- 1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with OpenGL 2.0, 16-bit color, and 512MB of VRAM (1GB recommended)
- Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, membership validation, and access to online services.
Installing Photoshop CC
Before you start the installation, make sure you don't have any other Adobe products open and running, or you may get an error similar to the one displayed in Figure A, which I got because I had Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 text editor open during the install.
If you have not already installed the Creative Cloud Desktop app, you can get it from the Adobe Apps Manager (be sure to select your membership level and proper operating system). After you install the CC Desktop, click the CC icon from the tray (Figure B).
Go to the Apps menu, scroll to the Ps icon, and click the Install button that's next to it (Figure C).
Depending on your Internet connection, the installation can take quite awhile to download, extract, and install the complete application (it took approximately 1 hour 40 minutes for mine); the Progress bar will continue to update the status as the app is being installed. When completed, the application will show in your Creative Cloud Apps list (Figure D).
Once the CC Desktop app is refreshed, the application will show in the Your Apps list at the top (Figure E).
The Photoshop CC application will also show in your Programs list (Figure F).
Opening Photoshop CC
Click the Adobe Photoshop CC from the Programs list to open the application. Figure G is the splash screen.
Figure H shows Photoshop CC opened.
Using four of Photoshop CC's new features
I'll focus on these new Photoshop CC features: Smart Sharpen, Perspective Warp, Camera Shake Reduction, and Real-Time Image Asset Generation. In future articles, I'll write about these new features in Photoshop CC: 3D Printing, Dynamic Rounded Corners, Linked Smart Objects, Adobe Camera Raw 8, and Tone HDR Photos.
Smart Sharpen allows you to adjust the sharpening controls algorithm or control the amount of sharpening that occurs in the shadows and highlights of the open image. To access the feature, open your selected image to 100% zoom level and then from the Menu toolbar go to Filter | Sharpen | Smart Sharpen (Figure I).
In the Smart Sharpen dialog box, you can select these controls settings: Amount, Radius, Reduce Noise, and Remove, which selects the method/algorithm to be used to sharpen the image (drop-down options under Remove are Gaussian Blur, Lens Blur, and Motion Blur) (Figure J). You can also see a preview of the resulting sharpening on the left side of the dialog box.
Perspective Warp allows you to change the perspective for an object within an image file; it gives you the power to correct complex distortions (e.g., you can make a wide-angle lens shot look like a telephoto shot and vice-versa); it gives you the ability to change the viewpoint from which the object is seen; and it allows you to combine multiple image files together that have different vanishing points to create a new perspective.
Perspective Warp uses advanced graphics that require at least 512 MB of video RAM (VRAM) to run the feature on 16-bit and 32-bit documents. If you have trouble running this feature, you may want to check the documentation on Photoshop CC supported graphics hardware and specifically video card usage.
For image sharpening tips, go to the Adobe Photoshop CC Help page.
Camera Shake Reduction
Camera Shake Reduction uses an intelligent mechanism to automatically reduce the blur that oftentimes occurs due to camera motion while the shutter is open as it captures the subject.
To use the Camera Shake Reduction feature, open your image to be edited in Photoshop CC, then from the top menu toolbar go to Filter | Sharpen | Shake Reduction (Figure K).
A photo I took using my iPhone of a tuna sashimi plate.
Next, the Shake Reduction dialog box opens, as displayed in preview mode in Figure L.
I made the following edits within the Blur Trace Settings:
- Blur Trace Bounds: 130px
- Source Noise: Auto
- Smoothing: 81.8%
- Artifact Suppression: 78.6%
I moved the detail preview to a section of the image that exhibited the most camera shake to review the settings. Once I was happy with the edits, I clicked the OK button to commit the changes. You can see the resulting image in Figure M.
Real-Time Image Asset Generation
When you want to extract an asset out of an image and save it as a new file, do you find it a chore? If so, Real-Time Image Asset Generation allows you to extract image assets out of an image file or Photoshop document and then save it as a separate file in real-time without the need to crop, copy, paste, and save the asset as a new file name.
- Adobe Creative Cloud Help: Check out Learn the Basics, Share your work on Behance, Manage Files and Fonts, and more.
- Perspective Warp in Photoshop CC: Watch the short video with Julieanne Kost as she demonstrates creating quads, adjusting an image's layout, and distorting an image's perspective.
- Enabling Perspective Warp: Get details about the background, perquisites, and how to use the feature to manipulate perspectives with a video and a step-by-step demonstration.
- Reduce camera shake blurring: Watch a video demo, and get tips on correcting camera shake blur, selecting images that are suitable for camera shake reduction, and modifying multiple blur traces.
- Introducing Adobe Generator for Photoshop CC: There's a video and a good overview of the Real-time Image Asset Generation feature and more.
Ryan has performed in a broad range of technology support roles for electric-generation utilities, including nuclear power plants, and for the telecommunications industry. He has worked in web development for the restaurant industry and the Federal government.