Adobe has released another update to Photoshop CC. They even released a pretty interesting video showing the future of the entire suite of products. While this was a video to showcare their new partnership with Microsoft, there is plenty to look forward to.
Unfortunately, I am not a graphic designer, illustrator, or video editor. I have only seen one thing out of Adobe since the initial release of CC over a year ago that I even cared about, much less used (Linked Smart Objects). Sadly, I even needed to be an advanced composite user to even care about that.
My Previous Top 10 List was passed along to Adobe’s Enginners by Julieanne Kost (thanks). While I don’t know if anything I wrote about the first time will ever make it into Photoshop for Photographers and Retouchers, I feel it’s important to keep them on their toes. Therefore, I bring to your attention 10 more things still missing in Photoshop for retouchers.
10 More Things Still Missing in Photoshop CC for Retouchers
Audio Version: Download
Running Time: 9 minutes
Modifiable Keyboard Commands in Camera Raw – Photoshop itself is one of the most customizable programs ever. And yet, it kills me that I have no idea the default keyboard shortcuts in ACR. Not knowing them is my fault, but having them different from Photoshop is Adobe’s.
Irregardless, if I could simply map them to something that feels more natural, then that would be a step in the right direction. To prove my point; Photoshop Clone Stamp is “S”, but in ACR that is Sample Colors. Photoshop Heal is “J”, but ACR that’s Radial Filter (huh?!?). And while Photoshop does not have an Adjustment Brush, I always think of “B” for brush, but ACR has it as “K”. No wonder I am regularly confused. This reminds me of Lightroom, which suffers from the same problem.
Apply Image with Smart Objects – When I use Frequency Separation, I happen to like the Apply Image way of doing it. However, since it won’t work with Smart Objects, I am forced to use the High Pass method. While I am sure there is some technical reason for it’s inability to work as expected, it would be really great if they could enable it.
History Steps should be in History Options – This one is stupid, but I am reminded of it every time I teach my students about the History Palette. Why in the world is it inside the Preferences – Performance Tab, as opposed to the History Preferences? Just put it inside two locations. We all know how good you guys are at making duplicates for every option. Please put it where it belongs. Bonus: Why isn’t Non-Linear History enabled by default anyway? It’s way more flexible.
Hardness visible in Options Bar – Yeah, no, seriously. Most of that palette is empty anyway, so why not put it to some use? There are many times I need to adjust the feathering, without the need to click on the Brush, and then the Hardness. That’s an extra step. Sure, I can Right-Click. I do that. I’m just saying, if someone was new to Photoshop, using the Options Bar would be an obvious place for it. I’m not sure why it’s not there as well as the 4+ other places you can find it.
What is Hardness Anyway? – You silly engineers. Some places it’s “Hardness” (Brush Tool), and some places it’s “Feather” (Mask Palette). Take a wild guess which makes more sense. Since I need to take time to explain to students what Hardness really means, just call it Feather. Oh wait, that brings up the issue of it being backwards. Hey, don’t look at me. I didn’t screw up the slider orientation. Make the executive decision, and just change it. I would rather have it correct the past 20 years, as opposed to repeating the same 0% vs. 100% problem from 20 more years.
Proper Noise Removal Filter – Adobe, please just license PictureCode Noise Ninja and be done with it. What you have built into Camera Raw now, simply sucks (there, I finally said it). It can smear, and generally does a medicore job. Oddly enough, in most cases it looks good at first glance. I think the true problem lies with Sharpening at the same time, because it seems to sharpen the noise first. At some point, Adobe snuck in Filters-Sharpen-Reduce Noise Filter. There is another hidden inside Smart Sharpen. To be honest, we are better off not even using them, if you have better options available.
The included example shows the type of situation I often find myself in. The top image has the Reduce Noise Filter, and then Smart Sharpen. The lower one has Noise Ninja and Smart Sharpen. I could give specific values for the settings, but since my results usually look like this, getting into details on a general topic is not really relevant. You can contact me if anyone really cares.
Even if I were to manually sharpen afterwards, it just does a better job sharpening after Noise Ninja, than it does after Photoshop’s built-in anti-noise. Once again, they seem to look the same at first, if you try and sharpen after, it will sharpen noise. When using Noise Ninja, it will only sharpen the edges as expected. I bought Photo Ninja (With Noise Ninja) years ago and ignore 99.9% of it, just so I can competantly remove noise from High ISO images. DXO Optics Pro also does a great job too. Take note Adobe.
Tolerance vs. Fuzziness – Oh wait… they are the same thing, different dialog boxes (Magic Wand vs. Color Range). This must be another engineer thing. Just make them the same please. I am just going to consitancy. Tolerance is good.
New Smart Object via Copy – This is a really old function in Photoshop. But while I am fixing things that make no sense, this title is clear as mud. How about “Adjacent Smart Object”, “Parallel Smart Object”, or even “Another Smart Object”. I just thought of those off the top of my head, and at least they are more descriptive than what has been in there for years now. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then I have proven my point.
Image Resize is better than Free Transform – It came to my attention after the first CC release, that copying a layer and pasting into a new document to scale it gave better results than simply using Free Transform. This was because of the new “Preserve Details” option that does an amaing job of scaling images. So if Adobe could add “Preserve Details” to Free Transform, that would be awesome.
Import Illustrator Paths – While this one deviates from my normal retouching, I was doing a composite image and stumbed into a real problem. There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to import an Illustrator path, without opening in Illustrator and doing a copy/paste. Every other way I tried wants to rasterize it first.
WTF? As many people do not have Adobe Illustrator, this was a problem for a tutorial I was working on. While far from my top priority list, importing Paths from an Illustrator File without the actual need for Illustrator, seems to be something that should be looked into.
Come on Adobe, keep up with me. I have now posted 20 Things Missing from Photoshop. I even have even have more ready to go for your next release. My hope is that by bringing these to Adobe’s attention, we will get better future releases for Photographers and Retouchers.
Thank you for reading my Adobe Photoshop CC Rant. What do you think is still missing in Photoshop?
I offer two Photoshop Basic Courses, as well as a Photoshop Intermediate Course. I also have two free video classes for Emergency Photoshop, and Smart Objects. I am always hosting various Live Webinars. If you would like to learn more about Photo Enhancement from a Professional Retoucher, please contact me today, and I will be able to add you to the schedule too. If you would just like to watch online videos, The Art of Retouching Studio offers many Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners and Advanced users.