Content-Aware Patch and Move tools

The content-aware technology that was introduced to Photoshop CS5's Fill tool is now available in the Patch tool. Alongside this in the tool panel, there's also a Content-Aware Move tool.

The Patch tool now has a Content-Aware option. You can select among five different region-preservation options.
A new Content-Aware Move tool (highlighted in red) allows you to move a selected object and have its previous location filled in to blend with the immediate surroundings.

The algorithms behind the content-aware selection and blending have been updated so that they work more seamlessly along higher contrast edges.

In the original image you can remove the geese along the left side of the frame by... ...making a selection around them (shown in red)...
...and with the Patch tool set to Content-Aware, dragging the selection to an an open expanse of water. You can then move one of the  remaining geese by making a selection around it (shown in red)...
and with the Content-Aware Move tool selected, dragging it to a new location. Most images, like the example show here, will require at least some cleanup work around the selection edges

Blur Gallery

CS6 brings three new blur tools designed to make adding photographic blurs to images quick and easy. The tools - Field Blur, Iris Blur and Tilt-Shift are grouped together at the top of the Filter>Blur sub menu. In a move that will make Lightroom users feel right at home, you make adjustments to control points  directly on the image, rather than in a separate filter window.

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Iris Blur simulates selective focus, and allows you to mask out one or more areas in the image which should remain sharp, while blurring the remaining portions of the scene.

In the original image the areas of soft focus begin just past the model's right shoulder.
Using the Iris blur filter you can edit a shape which contains a built-in mask to isolate the parts of the image you want to remain in focus. You can control the amount of blur, the brightness and color of bokeh highlights and freely move the entire control unit around the image. You can even add multiple control units.
The final result is an image in which only the model's face and neck are in focus.

Field Blur offers a fast, intuitive way to either blur an entire image or perform multiple depth-of-field adjustments. And a Tilt-Shift blur option lets you mimic the behavior of lenses that allow for manipulation of the plane of focus.

Color Range: Skin tones and face detection

When you go to Select>Color Range in CS6, there is a new option to make a selection based on skin tones. In addition, there is a Detect Faces checkbox that recognizes facial arrangements in order to fine tune the selection.

In CS6 a large database of skin tones of various ethnicities is used to identify portions of the image that are likely to be exposed skin. In the dialog box shown here, the white areas indicate the selection made by the Skin Tones option with Detect Faces enabled.


ACR 7 is included with the Photoshop CS6 beta. Its Basic panel controls have seen a significant change from the previous version.

Adobe has always maintained parity between the image processing capabilities of Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). The latest processing engine (known as Process Version 2012) that introduced new control sliders to the Develop module of Lightroom 4, arrive in version 7 of ACR. A more detailed explanation of these changes and how they will affect your workflow, is included in our Lightroom 4 review.

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