- No perpetual-license option
- Premium assets aren’t cheap
- Interface can be overwhelming at times
Setting Up Photoshop
To install the application, you first install the resident Creative Cloud helper program, which handles updates and syncing your files online. This is also where you can find Adobe news, stock images, and the Behance creative social community (more about this later). In the newest update of Photoshop, you also can browse and easily install plug-ins from the Creative Cloud utility.
You should only consider installing Photoshop on a fairly powerful PC or Mac. I tested on a 3.4GHz Core i7 PC running 64-bit Windows 10 with 16GB RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 1650 graphics card. It requires 64-bit Windows 10 version 1909 or later, 8MB RAM, and 4GB available hard-disk space. It runs on Windows on ARM with the same requirements. Mac users must be running macOS 10.15 or later with 8GB RAM and a GPU with Metal support. Apple Silicon Macs can also run Photoshop as long as they’re running macOS 11.2.2 or later; PCMag’s Tom Brant ran some tests on that hardware and found it offered some performance advantages on that platform.
The Photoshop Interface
Adobe continues to make Photoshop’s interface more customizable and helpful. You can choose from among several targeted workspace layouts, including Graphic and Web, Motion, Painting, and Photography, or you can create your own custom layout of panels and windows. You can even rearrange the program’s toolbar button rail to taste.
Redesigned Start Screen
The redesigned start screen offers New File, Open, Home, Learn, as well as your file locations, including photos you’ve uploaded through Lightroom and cloud documents shared with you. The Home icon takes you to suggested tutorials and thumbnails of your recent document. Choosing New File presents a tabbed dialog offering templates such as Textured Geometric Masks, Instant Film Mockups, and Photo Collage Layouts. Category filters across the top let you restrict the proposed templates to Photo, Print, Art & Illustration, Web, Mobile, and Film & Video. If you’ve copied an image onto the clipboard, the software gives you an option to open a new image with its exact dimensions.
You can pick from thumbnails of your recent files, and access presets and libraries from the start page. The page shows personalized tutorial content at the bottom. Those who’d rather stick with the legacy starting experience can switch back to it, but I find that the start page makes it much easier to get to things I’m interested in, such as recent projects.
The ever-present search magnifying glass icon at the top right lets you search for program functions, your own images, tutorials, or Adobe Stock images. If you already have a file open, the resulting dialog becomes a detached Discover window that presents command shortcuts and help. The panel’s Home icon shows tutorial suggestions, What’s New items, the user guide, and more resources. An always-available search function in a complex desktop application is a great idea, and some big-league software developers agree. It’s in Ableton Live and Microsoft Office, for example.
The interface also adapts to the purpose at hand. A case in point is the Select and Mask workspace, which is an available option whenever you have a selection tool active. This shows only the tools useful during selection, such as Refine Edge, Lasso, Brush, Hand, and Zoom, along with the relevant Properties panel. The interface’s color themes offer a pleasing, context-sensitive consistency, too. If you set the window borders to be light gray, all dialogs will likewise be gray.
When it comes to touch input, Photoshop is keeping up with the times with excellent touch support for devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro. The company also now has a nearly fully functional iPad version of Photoshop. Not only can does it let you use touch to pan and zoom images, but it also recognizes gestures, such as a two-finger swipe to undo and a three-finger swipe to scroll through images. Larger tabs help touch-screen users, as do soft Shift, Ctrl, and Alt buttons. You can’t yet use touch for finger painting, however. For that, you might try Adobe’s Fresco app, available for iOS and Windows tablets.
Selecting objects and people in photos is one of the top functions of the application, and one of the top pain points. Photoshop still includes the venerable Lasso, Magic Wand, Marquee, as well as the newer Object and Quick selection tools (with their cool Subject Select checkbox). Of particular note is the new Select on Hover feature as well as the Select and Mask workspace along with its Refine Edge option.
Select on Hover offers a nifty way to create masks. It uses Adobe’s Sensei AI technology to detect all objects in the image, and as you hover over each, it’s highlighted for selection. Select on Hover works with the Object Selection tool, which is in the same tool button as Magic Wand and Quick Selection. Press and hold it to use it. Check the Object Finder checkbox in the option bar and Auto Show Overlay selected in the gear icon’s settings. Move the cursor around the image and you’ll see objects shaded as you go. You can tap the Show all Objects button (the square containing different-size rectangles) to show all the automatically selected objects, and a related menu option, Layer > Mask All Objects, creates separate masks for all the objects detected in a layer.
Select Subject uses AI to automatically determine and select the main object in an image. When either of these is active, a Select Subject button appears in the options bar across the top of the program windows. In testing, pressing this did a remarkable job of selecting people when the background was relatively uniform. More complex backgrounds left some incorrectly selected areas.
In my testing, the tool worked impressively, but we haven’t yet reached the holy grail of one-and-done hair selection. There was still plenty or hair that remained unselected in my test shot, and they were hairs on a plain background, clear to the human eye. I took screenshots of the tool’s handiwork, showing the original, the dotted-line selection, and the black-and-white mask view, which shows just the selected matter as white. I had a similar not-quite-perfect result with a low-resolution and high-resolution shot:
Adobe Photoshop CC Crack – You can see white background areas that were missed in the selection, and some hair strands look smudged. Still, while it’s not yet perfect, it is getting better with every iteration, and the current one makes for a good first pass. It’s the most automatic portrait selection tool, but Capture One’s Refine Mask tool does an excellent job as well (below), even getting some hair strands missed by Photoshop. It originally selected some of the background, which I fixed with the eraser.
Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 v220.127.116.11 Crack most exciting recent features are neural filters, which let you automatically change a portrait subject’s mood, age, and gaze. Neural here is short for neural network, a subset of AI machine learning. The tools take advantage of Generative adversarial networks (GANs), which in essence, use a technique of trying to trick the AI algorithm with incorrect (or adversarial) data. Most of the new Adobe effects require a download, and they’re not small. The Landscape Mixer was over 380MB. Others, like Smart Portrait, do their processing in Adobe’s cloud, and the program is good about telling you where processing happens while using the filters.
The most interesting of such filters are in the Beta section: Smart Portrait, Harmonization, Landscape Mixer, Depth Blur, Color Transfer, and Makeup Transfer. Of the 11 tools at the time of writing only Skin Smoothing, Super Zoom, JPEG Artifacts Removal, Colorize, and Style Transfer are not considered betas.
A Wait List tab shows tools not yet available: Portrait Generator, Water Long Exposure, Shadow Regenerator, Latent Visions, and Noise Reduction. That last has me excited that Adobe will finally offer automatic noise reduction like that found in DxO PhotoLab. Seemingly no longer under consideration are the intriguing Photo Restoration, Dust and Scratches, and Face-to-Caricature options, since they don’t appear anywhere in the Neural Filters panel anymore.
With Harmonization, masked objects can be rendered in the colors and tones of other layers. It’s best for similar objects. I tried it with a portrait and a nature background, so it gave the portrait the colors of a deer and grass, which is probably not what you want.
Another new filter, Color Transfer (not to be confused with Style Transfer), lets you apply the colors and tones of one image to another. This
Beta Landscape Mixer
The new beta Landscape Mixer filters let you change a scene’s season, from, say, summer to fall, or to make a midday scene look like it was shot at sunset. In testing, the Landscape Mixer did indeed give the foliage fall colors, but it removed an egret that was in the original photo, so you’re best using it on pure landscapes.
The Super Zoom effect didn’t do much aside from applying a blurry noise reduction, but I suppose it could improve large printouts.
Face tools in Smart Portrait
The face tools in Adobe Photoshop CC Crack are more fun than practical, though they may be useful to portrait photographers if used judiciously. When I ramped up the Happiness slider on most pictures, the result was more like a forced smile than a natural one, though it can be effective if you don’t turn it all the way up. There are also sliders for Anger, and Surprise, which were surprisingly effective. The algorithm also failed to de-age the neck on some subjects.
An interesting option is Retain Unique Details; if you uncheck this, your subject approaches a Barbie-doll appearance. One slider, Placement, can nudge the face selection box right or left, though it didn’t do much in my test shots. The Light Direction slider, when used judiciously, can work to good effect. The Gaze slider moves the eyes subtly, but the head direction tool wasn’t convincing in my test photos.
The Colorize tool, though impressive, failed to bring alive the hands as well as the head in an old photograph. Still, it’s clearly labeled as beta, so you can’t take points off for that. I had better luck with Photoshop Elements’ Colorize tool. On a few test photos of streets and beaches, it did nothing, but it convincingly colorized a snowy reindeer scene. The neural tools do have a Before-and-After button, but I wish it had a side-by-side view.
The final neural filter I’ll discuss is something that’s been in other photo software for a few years, notably in Cyberlink PhotoDirector. It’s the Style Transfer effect, which makes your photo look like the work of an artist such as Picasso or van Gogh. It’s a 176MB download at the time of testing. There’s a good selection of looks, with over 30 to choose from already. You can not only choose the strength of the effect, but also preserve color, focus on the subject, change brush size, and blur the background. It’s a good implementation of the effect type.
Though it’s now packed with drawing and font tools, Photoshop got its start as a photo editing and printing application, and it remains the most powerful photo editing software. Along with its completely photography-focused sibling, Lightroom, Photoshop offers the most support for raw camera files, and the most in correction and effects. From removing or adding objects with content-aware tools to lens-profile-based geometry correction to histogram adjustments to stained-glass effect filters, Photoshop has it all. It’s impossible to cover every feature here, but I’ll take a closer look at a couple of the standout tools.
For a while, Photoshop had been trailing software such as Skylum Luminar in handling skies in photos. Replacing a drab sky with a beautiful one used to be a many-step process involving manual masking and layers. Photoshop’s Sky Replacement tool is instant and awesome. You get many choices, ranging from pleasant to dazzling, and you can adjust the position, edge, brightness, and temperature of your chosen sky replacement.
Unlike some tools, which simply try to detect a horizon, Photoshop can handle images with foreground objects that block the sky, like the obelisk in the image above. You can move the sky around to get the best placement and even adjust the lighting and color of the foreground to better match the new sky. In the example, you can see how the pavement reflection changes to match the sky color.
The world’s best image editing Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 v18.104.22.168 Crack mind-blowing neural filters, automatic sky replacement, and even better selection tools.