Top 5 Photoshop CS6 Beta Features

Skill level
Beginner

As I’m sure many of you know by now, the Photoshop CS6 Public Beta is in the wild! In this post, I’m going to cover my top 5 features!

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1. Content-Aware Patch Tool

In Photoshop CS4, Adobe introduced Content-Aware Scale, a new technology that mysteriously allowed you to scale your image without distorting the main subjects. In Photoshop CS5, Adobe kicked it up a notch with Content-Aware Fill. This new feature gave users the ability to remove objects from their images, allowing Photoshop to fill in the selected area with what should have been there instead.

While these features worked quite well in many circumstances, they weren’t perfect. When working with selections that were in close proximity to other objects, Content-Aware Fill tended to grab bits and pieces of the surrounding objects, as seen below.

Now, in Photoshop CS6, the Patch Tool now has a Content-Aware option on the Options Bar.

This allows you to tell Photoshop which area of the image to sample. Just like the Patch Tool in previous versions, dragging your selection on top of a ‘clean’ area will tell Photoshop to replace your selection with that area. In this case, the clear sky to the left of the castle. This will avoid any unnecessary sampling.

2. Content-Aware Move Tool

Ever since Adobe introduced Content-Aware Scale in Photoshop CS4, more and more tools have been benefitting from this incredible technology. In addition to the Patch Tool now including a Content-Aware option, Photoshop CS6 also includes a brand new tool. The Content-Aware Move Tool.

The Content-Aware Move Tool contains two options. Move and Extend.

Move:

I’m sure you can guess what this might do. This option allows you to move an object from A to B. The first step is to make a selection around the object that you want to move, making sure to leave a little bit of room around the edges.

When the selection is made, drag the subject to it’s new location. Photoshop will not only move/blend the subject to it’s new location, but it will also remove it from the old location.

Extend:

The second option within Content-Aware, is Extend. This will allow you to extend the length of objects, such as buildings or animals. After creating a selection around a portion of the object you want to extend, dragging it slightly in the direction you want to extend will initiate the extension.

3. Oil Paint Filter

For years, I have dreamt of a semi-decent Photoshop filter that would allow me to turn my photos into a painting. I’ve scoured countless number of tutorials, and while I was able to achieve decent results, they just never felt ‘right’. Well, my friends, Photoshop CS6 not only brings a new filter to the table, but many of our requests have finally been answered. After trying out the new Oil Paint filter, I can honestly say, this is my new favorite filter. It is so simplistic, yet the results are brilliant.

Before

After

4. Layer Styles on Groups

Traditionally, if you wanted to add the same Layer Styles to multiple layers, you would have to add them to one layer first, then copy/paste them onto the other layers. Now, in Photoshop CS6, you have the ability to add Layer Styles to a group! This means, that all layers within that group will benefit from those Layer Styles!

5. Camera Raw

Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6 has been updated! Camera Raw 7 brings new adjustments that allows users to retrieve more information than they ever have before. The Clarity adjustment has also been improved to bring back more detail, and leaves out those nasty halo effects! Finally, the adjustment brushes have been updated to include more adjustments, including noise reduction!

A more detailed video on the changes to Camera Raw will come soon!