Colin Smith is an award-winning graphic designer, as well as a photographer who lives and breathes Adobe Photoshop. He’s authored or co-authored more than 18 books about Photoshop, is the creator of the Photoshop Secrets video training series, and is in high demand across the United States as a lecturer, presenting his Photoshop techniques to photographers and graphics professionals. Naturally, Smith looks forward to every new release of Photoshop, and Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended are the most exciting releases he’s seen in a long time.
Despite his busy schedule, Smith is always willing to share his ever-expanding expertise with the Photoshop community. To this end, he founded one of the world’s most popular Photoshop resource sites, PhotoshopCAFE.com. The site started as an outlet for writing tutorials and tips on Photoshop and has since grown into one of the most popular Photoshop sites on the web with more than 20 million visitors since it was launched nearly ten years ago.
Smith considers Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended to be a significant release for Adobe and believes the community will see the benefits immediately. “Every release of Photoshop delivers new innovations and Adobe Photoshop CS5 takes that to an entirely new level,” he says. “There are speed and quality enhancements for users in virtually every industry — from graphic design and photography to web and video — that clearly demonstrate Adobe’s innovation and leadership.”
- Improve quality and clarity of photographic images
- Bring creative visions to life
- Achieve new levels of quality in HDR images
- Cut masking and compositing process time down significantly and achieve superior quality results
- Create photorealistic 3D artwork
Smith’s understanding of the design and digital imaging needs within different industries enables him to see immediately how features in the new release will resonate. “For the photography industry, this release is massive,” he says. “Photographers can achieve new levels of quality and clarity with their images using the new Adobe Camera Raw 6 plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS5, and can even go back to old images and reprocess them to get better demosaicing and noise reduction results.”
Smith also sees the HDR Pro capabilities being an instant hit with photographers. “Adobe has always had the best 32-bit merging capabilities with the ability to merge raw files,” says Smith. “With HDR Pro in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe knocks it out of the park with really smart anti-ghosting and auto-alignment technology.”
The importance of HDR Pro will also extend beyond the photography community, enabling more people to successfully create HDR images in Photoshop. “HDR Pro in Adobe Photoshop CS5 adds the ability to tone map 32-bit images and turn them into interpreted works of art,” says Smith. “You can go from very realistic to hyper-stylistic in a couple of moves of the tone mapping sliders. Photoshop CS5 is now looking like the all-in-one solution for photographers and visual effects artists who are serious about HDR.”
Killer features for everyone
A graphic designer himself, Smith particularly likes the improvements to Photoshop CS5 that will enable him to create higher quality works of art. Time-consuming masking and compositing tasks that were previously done manually can now be achieved in considerably less time using the intelligent selection technology and Content-Aware Fill capability. He believes these new features will help everyone get the quality results they desire much faster, cutting the number of steps and time required to complete a process significantly.
“There is something powerful in Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended for everyone, from designers and photographers to medical professionals and architects,” says Smith. “Truer Edge in Adobe Photoshop CS5 works just like Quick Selection, but it’s really intelligent. You can now create very accurate, clean selections in a snap, with speed and accuracy — the two ingredients necessary for a busy working professional. This is a tool that’s ready for real creative professionals and it’s ready for primetime.”
For most creative professionals — whether they are photographers, video professionals, or web, print, or interactive designers — speed is always the name of the game. Under constant deadlines, they need tools that will help them maintain the quality of their work, while doing things faster than ever before. Two significant accelerants in Photoshop CS5 are Live Workspaces and GPU acceleration.
“GPU acceleration and cross-platform 64-bit support in Adobe Photoshop CS5 are game changing,” says Smith. “You can get around and get things done much faster, which is always critical. The ability to create Live Workspaces is also great because you can instantly get to the features that matter most to you. With Adobe Photoshop CS5 software, the interface gets out of the way so you can get to work.”
3D artwork pops
Smith likes how Adobe pays attention to design trends and addresses them in its new product releases. An example of this is Adobe Repoussé, which enables users to easily convert 2D artwork to 3D objects using Photoshop CS5 Extended. Having this feature directly in Photoshop CS5 Extended gives artists the ability to explore new dimensions in their work.
“In Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, users can use Adobe Repoussé to make shapes, extrude objects, apply preset or homespun textures, and get more photorealistic results directly from within Photoshop,” explains Smith. “The enhancements in Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended are awesome; I can’t wait to see what people come up with.”