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CS6 Beta first impressions

Mar 22, 2012 8:52 AM

Tags: #mac #bug #beta #interface #features #bug_report #bugreport #adobe_photoshop_cs6 #photoshop_sc6

Here is a list of things I noticed during a first test drive of the Photoshop CS6 Beta. This is a mixture of feature requests, bug reports and general observations. I just typed this up as I went along. I'm sorry I don't have enough time to file proper bug reports and feature requests, but I though this might still be useful feedback. These things are in no particular order (well, except in the order I noticed them), and I'm sure there are a quite a few grammar/spelling errors, but right now that's all the time I can invest, sorry.

 

And even though this all sounds really negative (I basically just listed the annoying points since a list of good thigs probably isn't very useful), I am quite happy with the new version, congratulations to the team! I love the cat graphic on the splash screen by the way.

 

All these things were tested on a MacBook (2008 I think) with OS X Snow Leopard and 8 GB of RAM. So here you go:

 

  • Ctrl+Some Key still not available as shortcuts (e.g. Cmd+H Hide Photoshop, Ctrl+H Hide Extras)
  • The aesthetic merit of the font choice in the about box/splash screen is debatable
  • Despite all the vector enhancements, Spacebar+drag still doesn't work in the Pen tool like it does in other Adobe applications
  • Paragraph and Character style definitions apparently cannot be shared with InDesign or Illustrator so far. There is no way to link to external style definition files, and no way to import or export. Since all these applications use the same text engine, this seems like a missed opportunity, requiring a lot of duplicate work on the user's part (not as much as in previous versions, though)
  • The title bar of the document window uses the system title bar and thus does not match the overall interface skin. If that is set to dark (which is the default), it calls attention to itself.
  • There is no way to hide the filter bar in the layers panel, making it waste screen space on laptop screens when it is not needed.
  • The Warp option in Free Transform was updated to add GPU acceleration, which is great. That would have been a perfect opportunity to make the number of subdivisions user-adjustable.
  • There are lots of new vector features. This would have been a perfect opportunity to integrate After Effects' mask and shape system (including effects like repeaters), resulting in increased compatibility for importing Photoshop files into AE. Besides, all enhancements would pay off double since two applications would benefit from them. That would also have added the option to feather vector shapes for use as soft vector masks (Photoshop's mask feather function seems to perform a blur and thus is significantly slower, plus it applies globally to all paths in the mask). Still, the vector features are very well implemented, even though Fireworks still seems to have a slight edge.
  • The red "active" indicator on the layers panel filter bar calls attention to itself. The entire application uses grayscale icons. While I can see why this indicator needs to be obvious, I think that is too much.
  • The "Scripted Pattern" function is not very intuitive to use without any kind of preview. Also, it is not really clear how to create your own scripts, edit the existing ones or even just adjust parameters.
  • The Fill dialog in general takes too many clicks with that popup menu. Using icons or something similar would save a lot of mouse miles/clicks.
  • There is still no way to directly load 50% gray as the foreground/background color. In photo retouching etc., this comes up a lot. Adding a little icon to the color picker in the toolbox with the ability to assign a shortcut would help a lot. Waiting for this since version 5 or so...
  • Curves still doesn't support editing the layer's alpha channel nor LAB mode (at least not without converting the entire document to LAB mode or a smart object).
  • The "File Info" is still the ugly inefficient Flash monster where everything takes ten times as long to do than it did with the old dialog it replaced a few versions back (mouse wheel doesn't work on tabs, text editing shortcuts are different/don't work, tabs instead of the InDesign-like list of categories and many more). Photomerge is still ugly, but at least it doesn't have such major usability issues. The interface is inconsistent enough already, why do these have to be Flash?!
  • Shift key during canvas rotation to constrain angles still only works when using the tool but is ignored when using a multitouch pad gesture
  • The minimum size on the new "Adjustments" panel is larger than necessary
  • There still seems to be no option to not hide all panels when activating another application, causing that visual jump and slight desorientation every time
  • That new pen tool cursor is huge
  • There are still no Lightroom-like info bubbles or indicator icons (like LR's process version upgrade warning) for entering Quick Mask, toggling Softproofing etc. that would alert the user when accidental keystrokes
  • Photoshop doesn't seem to ask the user to automatically migrate settings and presets from any previous version on first launch. The migrate presets function does nothing (don't know if this is an issue related to the computer I am testing this on).
  • The "Blend RGB Colors using Gamma" feature in the color management settings still seems to be global and not per document (not 100% sure, though). This results in files being displayed differently on different computers, which is not a good idea.
  • The line-based warping in "Adaptive Wide Angle" is only available within that filter as far as I can tell. This is a missed opportunity IMO. Being able to specify arbitrary source and destination paths to that algorithm would make for a very powerful warping tool.
  • I'm not exactly sure what caused it, but I managed to accidentally disable path anti-aliasing and I can't seem to find a way to switch it on again. No combinations in the GPU preferences under "Performance", including switching GPU acceleration off completely, restored it. This is either a bug or a usability problem. Personally, I think the option to antialias paths and guides should be located in the View menu, not hidden in the GPU preferences.
  • In the settings for a LUT adjustment layer, clicking any of the radio buttons will automatically pop up a file selection dialog, even if my intention was to use one of the presets. That file selection dialog also gives me no clue which file formats are supported (i.e the regular format popup is missing).
  • Both Cmd+Space and the zoom tool itself now seem to behave identically. There is no more way to drag a box, except to switch off "Scrubby Zoom" altogether. Using both methods in parallel (as I would prefer) is unfortunately no longer possible as far as I can tell.
  • The brush cursor in Liquify is always dark, making it hard to see on black surfaces for instance. "Advanced Mode" is also off by default. Since the entire thing is in a huge dialog box (a solution like Blur Gallery's interface would seem like a better way to do this by the way), there is no real benefit to hiding these controls since there are no UI elements that would benefit from the additional space. It just requires an additional click.
  • The Liquify preview flickers as I am typing this in a TextEdit window that is floating above it
  • Select > Color Range would benefit from buttons with icons for preview mode instead of a dropdown. Same for Curves (tabs would probably be best in that case, but at least we have the shortcuts for now)
  • The "Sample all Layers" option vanishes when switching the Patch tool from "Content Aware" to "Normal"

 

That's it for now, thanks for listening.

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 9:11 AM   in reply to peter/w

    adobe has done another nice (but boring) release.... at least boring for me.

     

    the improvements are nice and welcome.

    as small as they are (crop tool etc. ) im sure the workflow will be better.

     

    but lets be honest.... are you excited about the new photoshop CS 6?

     

    ACR 7 is the biggest improvement from my view... but i have bought LR4 already.
    so what..... i have to pay twice to get the functionallity into photoshop.

     

    content aware in the patch tool.. well yes.. but it´s still not usefull without manual work 90% of the time.
    nothing that makes me wish to upgrade.

     

    video.... nothing i need in photoshop. but im sure some will like it.

     

    but what about 16 and 32 BIT support for all filters?
    isn´t it time for that?

     

    plus some filters look very outdated.

     

     

    7 points from 10.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 9:58 AM   in reply to peter/w

    >> I can imagine that is going to bother the film people who want to quickly establish a look in Photoshop and then import it into their Baselight/Scratch/Lustre etc.

     

    The requests were almost all for the other direction: they have LUTs created elsewhere and want to use them in Photoshop while editing images (apply the creative look and preview LUT while retouching a backdrop).   And the people who most needs LUT support, already have multiple tools to create LUTs.  So LUT export was a secondary concern.   And I suspect that third parties might step up with LUT creation/export tools (though right now there are none for abstract or devicelink profiles, despite them being more powerful than the film industry ad-hoc LUT formats).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 10:03 AM   in reply to peter/w

    I agree. As a photographer focusing [pun intended] on fine art still images, there's very little of interest to me in CS6. Right now I just want ACR 7 to work with my existing software (CS5 and Lightroom 4). Even the new way of treating the crop tool is not a deal-maker/deal-breaker. Photoshop is becoming more and more of a bloatware product. And I can do without all the content-aware tools ... plus I'm not fan of that ugly all-black (or dark gray) interface design; glad that I can change it to something more pleasing to my eyes.

     

    Beginning to think that -- for the first time -- I'll skip the Photoshop upgrade, upcoming subscription requirements or not.

     

    Please, oh please, get rid of that annoying startup message to join the discussion forum!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 10:27 AM   in reply to dkosiur

    oh one thing that annoys the hell out of me is the filleting of a box seletcion when you expand a selection.

    and yes,,,, i have set feathering to 0 pixel in the expand menu.

     

    please change that, make an option to disable it... whatever.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 11:14 AM   in reply to dkosiur

    dkosiur wrote:

     

    Beginning to think that -- for the first time -- I'll skip the Photoshop upgrade, upcoming subscription requirements or not.

     

    Problem is Adobe's new 1-version-back (forced) upgrade model for perpetual license customers: CS7 upgrade will (presumably) only be available to CS6 users.

    http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/adobe-creative-cloud-and- adobe-creative-suite-new-choices-for-customers.html?PID=2159997

     

    Everyone else presumably pays full price.

     

    Upgrade decisions are no longer based solely on compelling new or enhanced features. They're also based on your desire to still qualify for upgrade pricing for the next upgrade cycle.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 3:58 PM   in reply to peter/w

    I am extremly satisfied with the new version One more thime BRAVO Adobe!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 23, 2012 10:05 AM   in reply to peter/w

    Blur Gallery is mostly a one-trick-pony home user feature

    Seems Blur Gallery is destructive and cannot be applied as a Smart Filter (I’m ready to be corrected on this, though) – so I consider it useless for professional image editing, too.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 23, 2012 11:14 AM   in reply to John Waller

    "Everyone else presumably pays full price."

     

    Or looks for a 'Jolly Roger' option. This new one-back policy guarantees increased piracy...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 23, 2012 1:15 PM   in reply to peter/w

    The Warp option in Free Transform was updated to add GPU acceleration, which is great. That would have been a perfect opportunity to make the number of subdivisions user-adjustable.

    Oh man. I have been dying for this one for years! It seems like it would be an easy fix. Puppet warp is great for organic objects, but when you want to be exact on something like type you need more straight lines in warp. Back in the day I would use squizz, but it's gone out of style. Please PS gods, I would love that add before you release this. Give me something to be excited about besides getting to work more while my 3gb files save. (yes it's a great feature, but it was also a great excuse for me to get up out of this chair at least once a day!)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 24, 2012 7:50 AM   in reply to dkosiur

    i think that, for 3rd time i ll skip a Photoshop Upgrade. since 2008, the community has been asking for a solution on this http://forums.adobe.com/message/4288505#4288505 and it allways ends with a response: "we have no issues and Photoshop works great, its your tablet, drivers, pc, or anythings else, not us"

     

    its like "go and buy a new tablet, new hardware and new everything to run our software".... well. i pass this one too.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 24, 2012 8:09 AM   in reply to zarafan

    you do know that this is a USER forum?

    so most of the replys you mention are from user who actually have no problems.... what do you expect.. shall they lie? 

    zarafan wrote:

     

    i think that, for 3rd time i ll skip a Photoshop Upgrade. since 2008, the community has been asking for a solution on this http://forums.adobe.com/message/4288505#4288505 and it allways ends with a response: "we have no issues and Photoshop works great, its your tablet, drivers, pc, or anythings else, not us"

     

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 24, 2012 8:21 AM   in reply to -Agfaclack-

    its not about those comments, but general comments. youtub video &comments are there, also is easy to find a lot of thopics about the issue.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,482 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 24, 2012 8:24 AM   in reply to zarafan

    It's easy to find other people with faulty hardware or screwed up systems or things they just don't understand for any subject you can imagine.  That doesn't mean you've nailed down who's responsible for the problems properly.  Adobe would go out of business if the lion's share of people just couldn't make their product work properly.

     

    Do a Google search for "My Dog Doesn't Sleep Enough" and you turn up 127 million results.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2012 12:10 PM   in reply to peter/w

    love the the flavour (CS6)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2012 4:22 PM   in reply to peter/w

    "The "Blend RGB Colors using Gamma" feature in the color management settings still seems to be global and not per document (not 100% sure, though). This results in files being displayed differently on different computers, which is not a good idea."

     

    This should definately be a per document setting, or even better, a per layer setting.  CS6 can blend just text layers using RGB Gamma, so they should be expand the feature to individual layers.

    It doesn't make sense for a global setting to change the RGB values of pixels.  (monitor profiles modify how colors are displayed, of course, but don't change the underlying document)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2012 10:07 PM   in reply to David Jensen

    Blend Using Gamma should not be per-layer.

    It's a power user feature, for people who really need it and really know what it means. And if they need it, they're going to need it for pretty much all documents.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2012 11:00 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Perhaps the option should be to set the default for new documents.

    Some documents can look completly differerent when comparing the Blend Using Gamma setting on vs. off.

    Can you explain how that is acceptable when the setting isn't saved with the document?

    I avoid using the setting only because it isn't saved with the document.

     

    It's only a power-user feature because most people don't know what it is, not because it wouldn't be useful to more users.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2012 11:07 PM   in reply to David Jensen

    Because, really, very few people really need that feature.

    If you don't understand why, then you probably don't really need it.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,482 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2012 11:09 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    Chris Cox wrote:

     

    very few people really need that feature.

     

    Let me guess...  Game designers? 

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2012 11:12 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Nope, mostly folks trying to match results with high end compositing systems that always convert to linear in 8 and 16 bit, plus a few researchers.

    Most people who need gamma 1.0 blending, are already working in 32 bit and have it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2012 11:46 PM   in reply to Chris Cox

    how about those of us who want to layer one color over another color without introducing incorrect luminance where the two colors blend? should I just be working in 32 bit color?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 9:21 AM   in reply to peter/w

    >>  because they heard someone say "you should always work using linear gamma",

     

    I haven't heard that since Timo closed his misinformation website...

    For most people, that is wrong.

     

    So what you're really arguing is that the preference should be taken out, because people are trying to use it when they really shouldn't.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 9:51 AM   in reply to Chris Cox

    no, we're arguing that it should be a document preference instead of an application preference.

    I suppose that could be interpreted as removing one preference and adding another...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 10:50 AM   in reply to peter/w

    p_werner wrote:

     

    • The "Show Asian Text Options" checkbox seems to have disappeared from Preferences. Things like the Warichu option still seems to be Illustrator-only, even though it is incredibly useful for other things beyond what it was intended for (movie poster-style credits are the most popular example, but there are many more). Also, it seems illogical that you would have to choose between either of the text engines available, but I guess this is required by historical engineering decisions.

     

    This has been migrated out of the Preferences panel, but still exists. Its new location is in the Type menu, under Language Options.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 2:57 PM   in reply to peter/w
    • Shift key during canvas rotation to constrain angles still only works when using the tool but is ignored when using a multitouch pad gesture

     

    You need to make sure you've got the rotate tool selected in order to use the Shift Key modifier, you could also press and hold the R key then the Shift key, then pad gesture.

    The modifiers go to the current selected tool.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 5:13 PM   in reply to peter/w
    • The beta doesn't ship with the Pixel Bender filter, which I hope is going to change with the final build. That filter needs some work compared to CS5 (supporting the AE user control fields, supporting high-resolution images at least in CPU mode, channels as input images, color management issues, etc.) The CS5 release still feels very much like Alpha software (Pixel Bender Toolkit is even worse).

     

    PixelBender has been removed for CS6, and we now use the Oil Paint function from Pixel Bender.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2012 6:16 AM   in reply to peter/w

    Regarding "no shortcut key for hiding photoshop" - It's still the same as it was in CS5: Ctrl+Cmd+H

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2012 8:31 AM   in reply to peter/w

    Point taken. Actually, I had forgotten it gave me that choice, as it also asked, on installation, whether I wanted to migrate my prefrences from CS5 to CS6, and I did. So Ctrl+Cmd+H worked in CS6 as it had before in CS5. You were making a much more complex point.

     

    Message was edited by: nethe3rd

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2012 9:05 PM   in reply to Victoria Pavlov

    I agree.  It has a few quirks that I hope will be straightened out before release, but I think it's a great program.  I wonder when it will be released.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2012 3:22 AM   in reply to peter/w

    Usually all these bugs in a beta are annoying and/or confusing (but neccessary parts of the process),
    but heres one that made me laugh my *** off and actually made my day!

    PhotoshopCant.png

       I believe this bug occurred because I tried to | right click, open with, adobe photoshop CS6 | this layers.psd file which I had last worked on/ saved in CS3. Its an animated gif I was working on that I couldn't complete at that level of phoshop animation support, so I was seeeing if CS6 had added the animation capabilities to finish it.
       When I reopened the file from photoshop CS6 I worked just fine, and hasn't given me this hilarious message since, so I'm glad I screen shot it when it popped up with its ridiculousness!

     
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