Step-by-step guide: Photoshop CS5

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

Photoshop CS5 includes some truly groundbreaking new tools, including the Repoussé 3D extrusion tool, Content-Aware Fill, an upgraded paint system and the Puppet Warp tool (filched from After Effects). Here's how you use them.

Repoussé

The new Repoussé feature makes it easy to create 3D shapes and text directly within Photoshop, without the need to separately set up and render a scene in an external program. This function allows extrusions from a vector masked or text-based layer. It’s only available in Photoshop CS5 Extended.

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Step 1 Create a new layer and fill it with a colour by choosing Edit > Fill. Open the Masks panel and create a new vector mask by clicking on the pen icon. Draw a mask using the Pen tool to create a shape to extrude.

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Step 2 Open the 3D panel (Window > 3D) and make sure you have the layer you created in step one active. Under the Create New 3D Object options, found within the 3D panel, choose 3D Repoussé Object and click Create. Photoshop warns you that it will rasterise the layer.

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Step 3 Select the Object Rotate tool (or use the 3D axis) to rotate and move the newly extruded object around in space. You can alter the cap, extrusion depth, scale and twist, bevel, inflation and materials options.

Puppet Warp

After Effects users have been enjoying the Puppet Warp tool since CS4; now it’s in Photoshop too. Place pins to create a skeleton, describing the relationship between parts of an object or body. As you move a part, connected parts move in a realistic manner.

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Step 1 Open an image of a person or animal that has been isolated from their background. Although this tool was created with humans and animals in mind, it works just as well with inanimate objects such as trees.

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Step 2 Choose Edit > Puppet Warp and click to place pins at joints. So for a person you might place a pin at the elbows, the wrists, the shoulders, neck, hips, knees and ankles.

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Step 3 Click on the pins you’ve placed and drag to move that point in space. Photoshop automatically warps the pixels controlled by this point to create a new composition for the body parts you’ve selected.

Page Break

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.