Step-by-step guide: Photoshop CS5

Here's how you use Adobe Photoshop CS5's new tools

Painstakingly removing unwanted elements can be one of the most time-consuming jobs in Photoshop. Photoshop CS5’s new Content-Aware Fill makes these tasks much quicker -- and often far more accurate.

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Step 1 Open an image with an unwanted element. Images where the unwanted object is clearly defined work best, but you’ll be surprised how far you can push this feature.

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Step 2 Select the Healing brush and tick the Content-Aware box in the control panel. Photoshop examines the pixels around your brush strokes, using these to decide what should be painted in place.

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Step 3 Alternatively, use the Edit menu. Create a selection around an unwanted object then choose Edit > Fill > Content-Aware.

Painting

Photoshop’s painting tools have had a major upgrade for CS5, including many new real-media effects previously only seen in the likes of Corel Painter.

The new Mixer brush, a swathe of new presets and the Bristle Brush preview make it easy to simulate real-world paint effects with texture and realistic paint transfer across layers.

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Step 1 Open an image in Photoshop you’d like to give a painterly look to. If you’re going to use broad brush strokes it makes sense to choose an image without much fine detail.

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Step 2 Choose the new Mixer Brush and open the Paintbrush tool presets panel. You’ll notice a new Bristle Brush preview window that appears when you select a real-media brush. This shows brush dynamics as you paint. Choose a preset and paint onto your image.

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Step 3 So far we’ve only mixed up pixels that already existed on the canvas, but we can also paint with fresh paint and control the amount of transfer between the paint we’re laying down and the paint already on the canvas.

Other highlights

  • The new Mini-Bridge offers quick and convenient access to files.

    Automated lens correction.

  • Better performance through cross-platform 64-bit support and improved graphics card acceleration.

  • New text engine with support for character and paragraph styles.

  • HDR Pro for merging shots and HDR Toning for faux HDR effects.

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