Photoshop is an amazing tool. Mindblowingly complex, but nearly flawless.
Recently, Adobe announced all the new 2014 features for the Creative Cloud Suite of products. While I am sure that graphic designers, 3D modelers, and video technicians have plenty to be excited about, as an Image Retoucher, I find this to be another lack-luster release.
Don’t get me wrong, I am sure I will play around with the new Path Blur, Content Aware with Color Blending, or whatever. I’m just saying there are so many other items, way more important to me than Typekits and Smart Guides.
10 Things Still Missing in Photoshop CC for Retouchers
Audio Version: Download
Running Time: 9 minutes [/rssless]
Smaller Info Palette (FIXED) – Let’s start simple. Make this monster like half the size. Thing is huge, and I use none of it. I remember there used to be a time I could make it narrower. All I want is just RGB-CMYK, which is all I use anyway. I don’t need all that dead space telling me about measurements.
You may think I am complaining, until you try and use Photoshop effectively on a laptop. In my case, I teach on a projector which is even lower resolution than that. If I could sneak another in too, that Layers Filter is totally in my way, and obscures another Layer I could have otherwise seen.
Color Space in the Info Palette (FIXED) – It has left me scratching my head that we have this giant Info Palette, and information about the Color Profile is nowhere to be found. Is it sRGB, AdobeRGB, or ProPhoto? Seriously. Where is it? Oh yeah, that tiny arrow under the image. Unless, of course, you want to see one of the other 11 items listed in there. Then your pretty bumming.
Copy/Paste Smart Filters – Currently, if you want to move your Smart Filters from one layer to another, simply drag and drop from one Smart Object layer to the other. But how about if you want to Copy and Paste those Filters to a new layer without moving them? Well, you need to duplicate the first Smart Object layer, move the Smart Filters to the target layer, then delete the duplicate layer. In short, these should just work like Layer Styles. Right now, it’s a bubble gum fix.
Hide Tools from the Tool Palette (FIXED) – Photoshop’s Pull down menus are an endless sea of options. If you want to limit the amount clutter, and focus on what’s important, you can go to Edit – Menu’s and clean it all out. However, if you also wanted to hide any of the 80 or so Tools in the Tool Palette… well, you can’t. What would I want to get rid of? About 70 if them. Pencil, Magic Eraser, Slices, 3D anything… you get the idea. Aside from a few core tools like Move, Crop, Brush, some Healing, and a Clone Stamp, it’s mostly just filled with things I don’t use.
Smart Objects Group/SubGroup Structure – When I explain how to use Smart Objects for my students, they find it liberating. I think much of the confusion would be avoided if we could view a Smart Object like a Folder Group, and view all the SubLayers and SubObjects as a navigable Tree Structure. This would eliminate the need for opening multiple Smart Objects. They could all be jumped to from the Layers Palette, all viewed from within a single image.
I envision the image display changing, much like using the History Palette would. As you click inside one of these "Smart Groups", the top layers gray out, to show you are working on the SubObjects. Again, much how the History Palette works.
With all the talk of having cross-linked files being used as Smart Objects these days, I strongly feel that this is going in the completely opposite direction for simple image retouching. With the way Adobe wants us to start working now, you could update one image, and accidentally break many other files that are linking to it.
White Balance Adjustment Layer – Just a simple Dual Slider with an Eyedropper. There is really no reason we should need to use Camera Raw to do it. For what it’s worth, yes, there is a Levels way of doing it, but I feel it’s a bit of a “hack”, and the results are not nearly as good as Camera Raw, or the Camera Raw Filter.
As a retoucher, this is very important. Having the ability to simply adjust the Temperature and Tint as a simple adjustment has eluded Photoshop. Please put this in.
Histogram’s Exclamation (FIXED 2015.1, Broke 2015.1.2?) – If you look at the Histogram Palette in Photoshop, you will often see that Triangle with an Exclamation Point in it. It’s there to tell you that the histogram display is not completely accurate. If you click the exclamation, the preview will update, and the icon goes away. That’s great and all, but why doesn’t it just update it when it gets the chance? Is it really that processor intensive to just update the little preview? I mean, maybe it is, I don’t know. All I’m saying is that I have little desire to keep clicking it, if I want to use it. Note: I had noticed this was fixed mid-2015, then didn’t work again early-2016. Am I seeing things, or did they manage to break something that was fixed?
Gradient Bar Under Histograms – Speaking of Histograms, if you look at the previous image, and the current one, I would like for you to tell me which side is for White, and which side is for Black. No, no…. take your time. Think about it. Because even if you are like me, and you know that Black is on the left, and White is on the right. However, since this screenshot shows the top arrows often doing the opposite, this can lead to confusion. Further, since these arrows change colors, that makes it even more confusing. For all that is good and holy, just give us a small gradient bar to reference. It doesn’t even need to be big. Look at Curves, nothing confusing about that, and it’s quite helpful too. While i have your attention, how about a color index underneath so I can quickly see what all these colors mean. My mind is cluttered, and I forget.
Rearranging the Menus – Because Adobe is afraid of putting new tools and filters where they belong, they continue to clutter the interface with items that clearly have a better home. Content Aware Move – Not under the Move Tool. Content Aware Scale and Perspective Warp – Not under Edit – Transform. Afraid to hide them? Filters Menu – The base filters menu used to be filled with many loose filters until they cleaned them all up, and put them inside the Gallery. As the years have gone on, this has just gotten longer again. I never have, and never will, use Oil Paint. Please put it with Watercolor, inside the Gallery where it belongs.
Individual Masks for Smart Filters – This is my single most complaint about Photoshop. Hands down, bar none. If I could just have one mask, per Smart Filter, I would go away happy. Why? Because it would be the Ultimate in Non-Destructive Workflow. It is currently the only real reason I need for Smart Objects, inside Smart Objects. Fix this, and I would not need complex Smart Objects. I want to soften the face in certain areas, while I sharpen in others. This is simply a gaping hole in the Perfect Workflow. Fix this, Fix this, Fix this!!!
Thank you for reading my Adobe Photoshop CC Rant. What do you think is still missing in Photoshop? Leave your comment in the box below.
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 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.