When Escoe Bliss invited me to write a blog entry about my recent visit to the May 18 joint meeting of the Adobe Creative Suite User Group (CS-OC) and the Orange County Multimedia Association (OCMMA) held at Fullerton College, I jumped at the chance to tell people about this friendly group. 81 people attended this well-organized meeting, which included free admission, a free parking permit, and free food, and featured speaker Colin Smith, who gave his thoughts on Photoshop CS5.
Colin Smith is a best-selling author, trainer, and award-winning new-media designer from New Zealand who has caused quite a stir in the design community with his stunning photorealistic illustrations composed in HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. He is also the founder of the world’s most popular Photoshop resource site, PhotoshopCAFE.com, which boasts over 20 million visitors.
Colin is passionate about the difference between HDR graphics and graphics that look similar to HDR but are done using tone mapping achieved with filters. HDR can be used to blend a series of photos taken one F-stop apart into one photo that contains all of the foreground and background detail from all the photos. This technique produces a “crunchy” look and was used to create the “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” movie, which was shot without natural lighting.
The audience responded with oohs and ahs when Colin demonstrated some of the cool features now available in Photoshop CS5. One of the most exciting features is the new Content Aware Fill that allows you to retouch photos by cutting out a piece of the graphic and automatically filling it in with the color/pattern of the rest of the nearby area of the graphic. What a time saver!
Professional users will appreciate that a lens correction algorithm is now available with the Camera Raw feature, which reads the metadata of the camera and the lens and adjusts accordingly.
Another cool feature is the addition of new brushes that have hard and soft natural bristle tips with stroke selections available for thickness, stiffness, pressure, and angle. This is a great help for those painting with tablets.
The CS-OC meets jointly with the OCMMA every third Tuesday of the month at the Digital Media Center in Santa Ana. Hope to see you there!
Guest blogger Virginia Butler has more than 15 years of experience writing software documentation for Fortune 500 corporations in the telecommunications, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries, and is currently available for technical writing opportunities in the Orange County area.
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