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Professional Imaging Tools

(June 2011) posted on Tue Jun 07, 2011

Software for image editing, manipulation, and illustration.

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Photoshop CS5’s tool set includes: Content-Aware Fill, which removes any image detail or object, examines the surroundings, and seamlessly fills in the space left behind; Refine Edge, which precisely detects and masks tricky edges such as hair and foliage, while eliminating background color contamination; as well as high dynamic range capabilities for ghost-artifact removal and tone-mapping and adjustment control. New tools include the Mixer Brush, which blends colors onto a single paintbrush tip; Bristle Tips, which adds brushstrokes; and Puppet Warp, which allows you to warp any image element to generate a new perspective; automatic image straightening; and the ability to save 16-bit images as JPEGs.

Other features include: Smart Objects, which allows users to scale and transform images and vector illustrations without losing image quality; Multiple Layer Control permits users to select and move, group, transform, and warp objects by clicking and dragging directly on the canvas. Batch processing of RAW files can now be done in the background. The Spot Healing Brush handles common photographic problems such as blemishes, red eye, noise, blurring, and lens distortion. Vanishing Point, allows users to clone, paint, and transform image objects while retaining visual perspective. And Image Warping makes it easy to fold, stretch, pull, twist, and warp an image “into shape” by dragging custom control points or selecting an on-demand preset. Compatible with PCs and Macs. Price: $699.

Illustrator CS5 can now adjust stroke width interactively using new width handles; use perspective grids to draw shapes and scenes in accurate 1-, 2-, or 3-point linear perspective; and interact with gradients directly on objects and control the transparency of individual colors in gradients and gradient meshes. Illustrator CS5 can also work on up to 100 art boards of varying sizes in one file; paint with vectors that resemble real-world brush strokes; combine, edit, and fill shapes directly on the art board without accessing multiple tools and panels; apply raster effects, such as drop shadows, blurs, and textures that maintain a consistent appearance across media; and more.