Fred Lewis: Adobe Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud First Look Preview

Adobe Announces the long-awaited Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud. Here’s our preview. Fred Lewis looks at the top features in his first look — here’s a video with Adobe demoing two of this favorites so far.

Adobe finally unveiled version 6 of its Creative Suite (CS6) and a new $49 a month subscription-based software service called Creative Cloud to access the some 16 apps, including the new Photoshop, in its suite. Here’s a video covering the highpoints.

The new version,  announced April 23,  and will ship within 30 days, according to Adobe reps.

It comes in several configurations, each containing a subset of various Adobe products. The complete set is called the Master Collection.

One of the Coolest New Features is …

No question: One of the coolest new features here is the new Content Aware Move capability in Photoshop

Previous versions have had Content Aware technology, such as Content Aware Fill. That would fill in an area of a photo with new content, based on the existing content.

But this new Content Aware Move feature takes it further, allowing you to select an item and move it to a different place entirely.

For example, select a person standing in the field and just move them to another part of the field.

Content Aware Move automatically fills in the part of the field the person was standing in, creating new content, and automatically composites the person into their new position in the field.

I’ve used Content Aware a lot in my work and I can tell you this is a huge time saver in some situations. The new feature promises to make it even more so. Here’s a video that illustrates it.

Other new features include a new 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects, which allow you to attach graphic elements to moving objects in video in three dimensional space. Here’s a video showing how that works.

And I’m into this new Image Tracing tool in Illustrator that makes it easy to derive vector artwork from pixel-based images. Check that out here.


This is welcome: A new set of blur filters called Blur Gallery make it easier to create sophisticated photographic blur effects, including tilt shift effects, in Photoshop. I can’t wait to try that out.


Also, there’s a new application in CS6, Speedgrade, worth your attention. This allows you to do full high dynamic range (HDR) color grading, to bring the most out of your footage and implement a color management workflow across all of the CS6 applications. For more on HDR photography — including an everything you ever wanted to know about HDR tutorial — check our +Trey Ratcliff and his tutorial here.


Applications in CS6 are accelerated via the computer’s GPU, the company says.  Those are just few of the long list of features and specs Adobe announced. I’m eager to do a full hands-on review on this.

Creative Cloud Service First Look

Adobe’s new Creative Cloud service offers a new way to access Adobe’s products. Instead of purchasing CS6, Adobe now will let you subscribe to the software via the Internet for a monthly fee. Access to the full suite of all CS6 products costs $74.99 per month, or $49.99 per month if you agree to a year-long subscription. Or subscribe to Photoshop alone for $29.99 per month (no contract) or $19.99 per month (with contract).

Like most cloud solutions, it’s a confusing Chinese menu of pricing options. Take a close look to select the one that best matches your needs and sets you back the least.

This is a great alternative for someone who needs the software on a temporary basis or for a company that needs to hire more artists to get a short term project finished. Once the project is done and you no longer need the extra artists, just let the subscription expire. This issue really comes up a lot since people hire us artists on a temporary basis all the time.

I’ll be doing deep dives and following these products and reviewing them as they roll out. Watch out for my coverage. I’m Fred Lewis for