New features in Photoshop CC

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New features in Photoshop CC

Yesterday Adobe launched the latest version of Photoshop CC, which is known as Photoshop CC 2014. There have been various updates since Photoshop CC first came out, but the June 2014 release is probably one of the largest so far. With this in mind I thought it might be good to take a look at the new features added since Photoshop CC was first released over a year ago.

Some of the features are small intuitive changes which make life a little easier, others are more major and allow you to make complex changes to your work.

New in Photoshop CC 2014 - June 2014 release

Smart object improvements

Smart Object Improvements

When you hand over a file to somebody else you can now maintain the links to external files by automatically packaging them into a single directory. Additionally you can also convert your existing embedded Smart Objects to linked Smart Objects. We have had packaging technology in InDesign for a while, but this is a new one for Photoshop, and useful as people increasingly place linked files.

Layer Comps

You can now change the visibility, position, or appearance of one layer in a Layer Comp and then sync that change to all the others. Additionally you can easily see the attributes of each Layer Comp, and toggle a Layer Comp within a Smart Object.

Blur Gallery Motion Effects

A new Blur gallery with motion effects include Path Blur which allows you to add blur along any path and Spin Blur which alows you to create circular or elliptical blurs.

Select Focus Area

Let Photoshop help you start a mask or selection by automatically selecting the in-focus areas of your image. This works great with potraits and other images that have shallow depth of field.

Improvements to Content Aware Technology

Content Aware Improvements

New technology in Content-Aware Fill, Move, and Patch smoothly blends areas containing gradients, like skies, so you can create seamless, realistic results like never before. This makes the content aware technology even more powerful, creating even more stunning results.

Smart Guides

Forget trying to align multiple shapes or objects at exact distances from one another on canvas. Now you can quickly see the distance in pixels between objects so you can lay out content with precision.

Desktop Fonts from Typekit

TypeKit fonts have been accessible in InDesign for a little while now, but this latest release allows you to acccess them from Photoshop. Simply choose the fonts you need from the Typekit library, sync them to your desktop, and get immediate access to them in your Photoshop font menu. Photoshop will even automatically replace missing fonts in your documents.

Font Search 

Search for fonts by name, and see instant previews of each font to zero in on the perfect one.

Expanded 3D Printing Capabilities

Expanded 3D Capabilities

With 3D printing a growing area, Adobe are continuing to enhance the 3D capabilities in Photoshop. Now you can see exactly where and how Photoshop repaired your 3D meshes so it's easy to refine your designs in third-party 3D modeling apps. Get more accurate renderings of your models prior to printing thanks to WYSIWYG previews. And get support for more 3D printers and service providers.

Adobe Generator Enhancements

Simplify the process of naming Generator assets and get greater flexibility in organizing the output from Generator by setting document-wide defaults, and by specifying subfolders for exported assets. Generator also offers new APIs so developers can create even more powerful plug-ins that leverage Generators capabilities.

Adobe Camera raw 8 enhancements

New enhancements in Adobe Camera Raw 8 let you heal images, fix perspective distortions, and create vignettes with greater precision. You can also access an interactive histogram, before/after previews, and more.

Improved Windows 8.1 Stylus Support

Get to work quickly and comfortably with your stylus on Windows 8.1 devices, and enjoy smoother brush strokes thanks to higher-frequency sampling.

Expanded Mercury Graphics Engine Support

Expanded Mercury Graphics Engine Support

Upsample images up to 15 times faster (depending on file size and video card configuration) now that the Mercury Graphics Engine delivers an OpenCL performance boost. The engine powers new Blur Gallery motion effects and the Focus Mask feature, too.

Experimental Features

A new preference setting allows you to test drive and help shape new Photoshop features before they’re officially released.

Photoshop CC (14.2) - New features added back in Jan 2014

Perspective Warp

This is a great tool for adjusting the perspective of a specific part of your image without affecting the surrounding area. Change the viewpoint from which an object is seen. For example, turn a telephoto shot into a wide-angle shot, or vice versa. And seamlessly composite images with different vanishing points or camera positions to ensure they align properly.

Linked Smart Objects

Linked smart objects were added back in January which gave you the choice to link to a placed file or alternatively embed it (this probably sounds familar to the InDesign users out there). The benefit of this is smaller files and you get to save hard-disk space.

3D Printing

Adobe added support for 3D printing back in January. This allows you to easily create, refine, and preview your design, and then print models directly to a locally connected 3D printer or online service.

Faster Performance

Faster Performance

The Adobe Mercury Graphics engine has seen significant improvements in each of the last two releases, meaning key tools like Smart Sharpen, Liquify, and Puppet Warp are all quicker and more responsive.

Enhanced Scripted Patterns and Fills

Preview your Scripted Pattern fills and refine them with new controls. Fill along a path; and generate customizable frames, borders, and nearly two dozen unique tree graphics for new creative options.

Photoshop CC (14 and 14.1) - Sept 2013 and before

Adobe Generator

Adobe Generator technology gives developers deeper access to Photoshop files, paving the way for intelligent tools that automate time-consuming tasks and provide easier workflows. Using generator you can output all your layers to seperate image files, handy if you are creating a website mockup for example.

Camera Shake Reduction

Save shots you thought were lost due to camera motion. Whether your blur was caused by slow shutter speed or a long focal length, Camera Shake Reduction analyzes its trajectory and helps restore sharpness.

Smart Sharpen

Smart Sharpen

Rich textures, crisp edges, and distinct details. All-new Smart Sharpen is the most advanced sharpening technology available today. It analyzes images to maximize clarity and minimize noise and halos, and it lets you fine-tune for high-quality, natural-looking results. Great for sharpening up images without having to think too hard.

Image Resizing

The Image Size command now includes a method to Preserve Details and provide better sharpness while enlarging images. In addition, the Image Size dialog box has been updated for ease of use.

Editable Rounded Rectangles

Resize shapes, edit them, and re-edit them — before or after they're created. Even edit individual corner radiuses in rounded rectangles.

Multi-shape and path selection

Select multiple paths, shapes, and vector masks at once. Even in multilayered documents with lots of paths, you can easily target the path (and any layer) you want right on canvas using a new filter mode.

Adobe Edge Reflow CC Integration

Edge Reflow Integration

With just a click, bring the assets from your Photoshop mockup into Edge Reflow CC to quickly adjust your layouts to fit all your desired devices. It’s responsive web design made easier by Adobe Generator.

System Anti-Aliasing for Type

Get a realistic preview of how your type will look on the web with an option that closely matches the anti-aliasing of your Mac or Windows system.

Sync Settings

Synchronize your workspace settings — including preferences, brushes, and actions — across multiple computers. Remember your CC licence lets you install the software on two machines, so when you get home just sync up and all your preferences, brushes etc.. are ready to use.

Expanded Smart Object Support

Apply Blur Gallery and Liquify effects nondestructively thanks to Smart Object support. Your original file stays intact as you add blur effects or push, pull, pucker, or bloat the image or video. Edit or remove the effects at any time — even after saving your file.

Improved 3D Painting

Improved 3D painting

Live previews are now up to 100x faster and more responsive when you paint on 3D objects and texture maps. With the powerful Photoshop painting engine, you can make any 3D model look terrific.

Improved Type Styles

You spend hours getting text to look just right. Type styles let you save your formatting as a preset that you can then apply with just a click. You can even define type styles to use across all your Photoshop documents.

Enhanced CSS Support

Import color swatches directly from HTML, CSS, or SVG to easily match existing web schemes. Generate CSS code for colors and other design elements, like rounded corners, and then copy and paste the code into your web editor to get the exact results you want.

A whole range of other features were added to the CC version of Photoshop as well such as Conditional Actions, Improved 3D Scene panel, Minimum/Maximum filter enhancements, Workflow timesavers, Support for Indic languages, HiDPI preview support for retina display; new controls to modify the range and fuzziness for Shadows, Highlights, and Midtones; and more.