I’m going to say something painfully honest knowing I will be criticized for it. The sour grapes over Photoshop CC (Adobe Creative Cloud) is coming almost entirely from the Photography and Retouching community and some older users. Its understandable, but it doesn’t paint a nearly complete picture. They are one of the large and more vocal factions, so it makes it seem worse than it is since they are unified in their opinions.
The reason I say its sour grapes is because nearly everyone one of their arguments is only highlighting how it negatively impacts them without highlighting any potentially positive outcome. However, many of them do admit that it only really is a “raw deal” for standalone Photoshop users like themselves. But even this statement isn’t accurate, there are many Photoshop users that benefit from this, and frankly the age of the standalone Adobe product user is waning anyway, I will write a completely different article on this topic though.
Photoshop CC for Graphic Designers
The newest version of Photoshop CC offers many benefits for graphic designers, but I will briefly touch on the subscription model as this is one of the largest gripes about it. New graphic designers, and freelancers frankly need Adobe Creative Cloud. The initial low cost and recurring cost already reflect the price range and conditions of the other services they will rely on to work. Additionally more of them will be able to afford this and make a return on their investment quickly and more efficiently.
Having access to all of the Master Collection Adobe software also means they can offer more value to a larger range of clients, use the cloud to archive and backup files and share them easily with clients and can collaborate more easily with groups.
New features that benefit graphic designers strictly in Photoshop CC are: Improved type styles, color import from web files, improved smart object support and especially the new Intelligent Upsampling for resizing low-res images.
Photoshop CC for Digital Artist
The new smart object capabilities and mercury performance engine let you non-destructively apply liquify filters and blurs to your images to be more creative than ever without compromising your original image or being delayed by rendering. With new content aware capabilities you can retouch images with incredible control and precision – and virtually no effort. Select an image object that you want to remove, rescale, or reposition, and Content-Aware technology fills, patches, extends, or recomposes your image for you. You can also make more precise mask thanks to the new min and max filters.
Photoshop CC for 3D Artist & VFX Compositors
The video controls with in Photoshop more closely resemble Adobe After Effects and you can use Photoshop files within your After Effects and Premier Projects. This can be particularly useful when working with 3D Elements in Photoshop and then bringing them over to After Effects to be used as Motion Graphic Elements. Live previews for 3D painting will be a huge time saver for 3D artist working with in Photoshop, cutting hours off some projects.
Photoshop for Web Designers
Between the new multi-shape and path selection, the ability to copy CSS attributes and import colors from web files not to mention the improved typography styles, web designers have more time saving tools for producing UI elements and web banners than ever before. Combined with the new layers feature in Muse, Web Designers (non-coders especially) will have an improved workflow.
A Bigger Picture For All Photoshop Users
And yet with all these other people that Adobe is trying to accommodate with Photoshop CC they still haven’t truly abandoned Photographers and Retouchers. In addition to adding Several features that still would benefit the most savvy users in the Photography community, Adobe is actually exploring a bundled package just for Photographers, most likely including Photoshop, Bridge, Lightroom and Acrobat Pro, Creative Cloud Storage, Behance Premium Membership. This is not guaranteed, but if priced around $20-30/mo it should be a compelling offer.
Photoshop for Photographers
So Adobe CC has nothing to offer Professional Photographers and Retouchers who have been using Photoshop for years? I beg to differ.
Anti-camera shake. Some of the new features are solid even if you take amazing pictures and don’t need to use something silly like anti-camera shake, but you know a feature like that will make more pictures usable for that couple who decided to shoot their daughters wedding themselves. Maybe they couldn’t afford to do anything else, Adobe decided to create a feature that means not being able to hire a professional doesn’t mean they have to live with blurry memories. Not every photographer is a pro.
Use Camera Raw Edits as Layers. This feature is going to change the game for a lot of people, and for the better. Use Camera Raw edits as a filter to any layer or file inside Photoshop. This feature was probably the brain child of Scott Kelby.
Intelligent Upsampling. How many years have we wanted this? And how many plugins failed to really deliver on it? Enlarge a low-res image so it looks great in print, or start with a larger image and blow it up to poster or billboard size. New upsampling preserves detail and sharpness without introducing noise. I know people who will be sold on this feature alone and for good reason.
Photoshop is more than a tool for photographers. And Creative Cloud isn’t about them, its about all of us in the Creative Community.
But some folks experiencing sour grapes aren’t concerned with that big picture, or the cost of maintaining infinitely expanding versions of box products, or the added value of bringing this software to a younger and more diverse audience. So much so they don’t see the fact that they don’t have to upgrade, ever if they don’t want to, that Lightroom isn’t changing and going anywhere, and that the DNG format which they should be using in their workflow anyway means they are not having their files held hostage. Photoshop CC is not some scheme to get over on folks and make money, but to create solutions for a growing and diverse audience of users no longer limited to photographers.