Adobe Photoshop CS2 Review

About 18 months ago, Adobe loaded the bases with its fantastic upgrade from Photoshop 7 to Photoshop CS (8.0). I have to admit that I thought they would pretty much just phone in the next upgrade. They’d done such a good job with the transformation from 7.0 to CS that no one could blame them. But I was wrong. After spending the last month reviewing the BETA version of CS2.0 (Photoshop 9.0 – code named Space Monkey) I have only one thing to say:

Get out the rye bread and mustard grandma because Adobe has done it again. The new version of Photoshop is Grand Salami! I said that Photoshop CS was a must have upgrade. Accordingly, Photoshop CS2.0 is a must, must have upgrade.

This isn’t an in-depth review because so far, all I have is a BETA copy. But here are some highlights on the new features.

NOTE: I am providing this information strictly from a photographer’s point of view. If you are a designer or an illustrator, you may find more comprehensive coverage of Photoshop’s features for design and illustration elsewhere.

The first thing that you will notice is that the File Browser is gone. I know, I know – some of you are happy but some are sad…there are some cheers and some sneers out there. But when you see what’s taken its place, you’ll be happy either way.

Photoshop CS2 Review: ENTER THE BRIDGE

Bridge is a new stand alone program that ships with Photoshop and replaces the File Browser. This is the File Browser on steroids. You can preview, search, find, rate, sort, keyword and otherwise organize your images in new and powerful ways. Crop, automatically adjust and process multiple Camera Raw images, with support for the new Digital Negative specification, while you continue editing in Photoshop CS2.

Batch processing from Bridge is faster than ever and allows simultaneous editing in Photoshop CS2 while your batch command runs in the background.

Some specific enhancements to Bridge are:

1) Preview all Creative Suite graphic formats-including the new Digital Negative specification (DNG)-with scalable thumbnails, full metadata, and custom keywords.
2) Sort, rank, and filter your images with a complete set of labels and ratings.
3) Compare images in separate Adobe Bridge windows, filmstrip mode, or full-screen slideshows.
4) Customize thumbnails and resize, hide, display and regroup palettes at will. Enjoy task-based presets, and save your own settings to custom workspaces for convenient recall at any time. Or switch to floating compact mode for easy Adobe Bridge access in all Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 applications.
5) Process multiple digital Camera Raw images while simultaneously organizing others and editing in Photoshop CS2.
6) Order professional quality prints, large-format output, and more, from the built-in Adobe Photoshop Services.

Photoshop CS2 Review: VANISHING POINT

The new Vanishing Point tool is very cool. While it will probably be more useful to designers and illustrators, it still has lots of application for photographers who do composite work or extensive photo retouching. I’d pay for the upgrade just to get this tool.

Vanishing Point allows you to automatically adjust the visual perspective of your image. It allows you to speed through retouching tasks and paint, clone or transform your image in proper perspective.

All you have to do is define your perspective planes visually with the perspective grid tool, then paint, clone and drag objects around corners and into the distance. This will literally cut hours off precision design and photo retouching tasks.

It’s hard to explain this tool. You’ll realize its value when you see it in action.

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