Adobe Creative Cloud apps now available; Photoshop CC includes new features

By on June 18, 2013, 3:30 PM

In line with their move towards a subscription-only application offering, Adobe has unveiled the new suite of apps it announced in May. Available immediately, Creative Cloud members can download the new applications via the Adobe Application Manager.

This new generation goes under the moniker ‘CC’ for Creative Cloud, dropping the former CS (Creative Suite) naming convention. Going forward, anyone wishing to upgrade to the new versions of Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, After Effects CCInDesign CC, Dreamweaver CC, Premiere Pro CC and the other former Creative Suite applications will require a Creative Cloud subscription.

To get a feel for what the new software has to offer, The Verge did a hands on comparison between Photoshop CS6 and the new Photoshop CC.

The major addition to PS CC from a photographer’s perspective is the addition of the Shake Reduction filter, reports The Verge. Shake Reduction works by assessing the blur pattern in an image and attempting to adjust accordingly, reducing blur and outputting a crisp and clear image.

The resulting image above shows the Shake Reduction product (click for higher resolution image). I played with it myself and produced similar results: an image that looks a bit over-processed. It will be a useful tool when using less intense Shake Reduction settings paired with some touch-up to fix discoloration of the shifted areas.

Smart Sharpen has gotten smarter in CC. The filter now accounts for the subject of the photo, and selectively sharpens it while leaving the background softer.

Adobe has bolstered the resizing functionality in Photoshop CC as well. Historically, users have had to be satisfied with poorly resampled enlargements from Photoshop, or opt for expensive third-party plugins like Alien Skin Blow Up or Perfect Resize. Photoshop CC allows you to use a new intelligent upsampling algorithm to produce better enlarged images natively in the application, according to Adobe.

Pictured above is a 'bicubic smoother' enlargement on the left, and an 'intelligent resample' enlargement on the right. Again, I found that this feature sounded better on paper than in practice. The enlargement settings are sparse and I am able to produce much better results with Alien Skin Blow Up.

Finally, Adobe added new editing features to Camera Raw 8, including radial filters, straightening of distorted photos, and a new healing brush.

The new features in Photoshop CC will be useful, but is it worth the upgrade from CS6? If we were still on the same development cycle and one-time purchase software, I’d say absolutely not. But going forward, all new versions of Adobe Creative Cloud software are included with the subscription, so upgrading is a no-brainer once you are paying monthly. However, if you purchased CS6 outright, you won’t be missing much this time around.

If you’ve had a chance to try out any of the new Creative Cloud applications, let us know what you think.

Image credit: The Verge




User Comments: 6

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Arris Arris said:

I think this is going to force a lot more amateurs to get Photoshop Elements as if you aren't making a profit from the use of the cloud products it's then quite expensive for a hobby or secondary job, even with the ability to subscribe for a month, then un-subscribe until the next time you need it. Unless they are planning to increase the cost of Elements considerably I think they'll be surprised by the amount of users that drop the use of full photoshop. At least Lightroom is continuing to be offered as a one off purchase and download rather than requiring a cloud membership.

dotVezz said:

Looking at the pricing, I feel like this is a pretty solid move. $20/month for Photoshop and some extra features as long as you're willing to sign a one-year contract, or $30/month for Photoshop only and no contract... is a lot more accessible than it used to be, even if you're paying more over the long term.

Arris Arris said:

The UK listing for "new users of photoshop" is £46.88 per month ( [link] ). Gives access to whole suite of products but a bit pricey for long term frequent use. I'd rather they did what they are doing with Lightroom and offer both "Cloud" and "Download" purchase options.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I think this is going to force a lot more amateurs to get Photoshop Elements as if you aren't making a profit from the use of the cloud products it's then quite expensive for a hobby or secondary job, even with the ability to subscribe for a month, then un-subscribe until the next time you need it. Unless they are planning to increase the cost of Elements considerably I think they'll be surprised by the amount of users that drop the use of full photoshop. At least Lightroom is continuing to be offered as a one off purchase and download rather than requiring a cloud membership.
Adobe's "weapon of choice", forcing customers to upgrade is their, "Camera RAW" plugin. They simply fix very few bugs, stuff a couple new features in, then limit camera RAW updates to a finite period of time, mostly the period from version to the next.

If you don't upgrade your cameras, you can pretty much use the version of Photoshop that matches them forever.

In the case of PSCS-2, (now free on their servers), it will work for Raw file import from the Nikon D-80 (which I have), but not the D-90, (which I also have).

In any event, PSCS-4 will import from both cameras. I have Lightroom 4, and PSE-7 which will do the same

In the case of PSCS & PSE alike, if you're going to work in Jpeg only, there is almost no expiration date. The search engine in PSE-7 bogs down badly when confronted with high image count catalogs. Point, unless both my DSLRs take a dump, I can't picture myself kowtowing to this new subscription nonsense.

Most of Adobe's applications are wildly overpriced anyway. It's just that they're so far superior to their contemporaries, they have made themselves seemingly irreplaceable.

If Adobe succeeds in this subscription venture, I shudder when I think about which other software publishers will follow their lead.

Arris Arris said:

Maybe they should adopt a "free to play" model instead. You get a basic "elements" style feature set, or even more cut down for free. If you want to use a more advanced feature you have a micro transaction to use it for the month. :P

I'm just glad that LR5 was still available as a non cloud purchase. The spot healing tool is now a spot healing brush ala CS, so think I'll be sticking with LR5 and Elements 11 for the foreseeable future.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Maybe they should adopt a "free to play" model instead. You get a basic "elements" style feature set, or even more cut down for free. If you want to use a more advanced feature you have a micro transaction to use it for the month. :p

.

"Once upon a time", Adobe Photoshop Elements was TWO programs. PSE, (the editor), and Photoshop Album, (the "Organizer" PA became a free program that was little more than nagware /adware for the newer complete versions of PSE (version 3.0 and above). "Album" was discontinued, much to the chagrin of many, many people, with no shame or concern for the appearance their photos.

"Album" was given the axe during the reign of PSE-8. But, if you installed the demo version of PSE-8, when your 30 day trial was up, the organizer section still worked. This is how Adobe accommodated Album users. I don't know what their policy is ATM, regarding the "free-ness", of the organizer is, regarding the latest versions of PSE demos.

That, and PSCS-2, is about all the free ride you'll be getting from Adobe.

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