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This a very successful latest update to Adobe Photoshop CC-14.2, a follow-up to the Adobe Generator 14.1. No major changes, to be sure, but three neat new innovations: linked placed objects, direct 3D printing, and the very useful ‘Perspective Warp’ feature.
Up until now, when an object was placed in Photoshop from an external source, such as Illustrator, Photoshop stored a local copy of the artwork. It could be edited in Illustrator by double-clicking it, but only the internal version would change. Now, having placed the artwork using the ‘File – Place’ command, there’s the choice of embedding or linking the object. Pick the latter, and double-clicking will use Illustrator to edit the original artwork on disk, which means the file is permanently tied to the original. Alterations will be consistent across the applications. Consequently, there’s no necessity to manually replace artwork edited externally.
Photoshop has been experimenting with 3D modeling for a while, but this is the first version offering 3D printing from within the application. Extra choices are always good, like the ability to import into Photoshop, or build inside the program, and you can now put graphics through an automatic process, which renders your subject ‘watertight,’ patching and repairing faults and holes to render it printable. The ‘snap-away’ architecture scaffolding required to support objects during printing is also much simpler to use.
If you own one of the four currently supported printers, you can print directly from Photoshop. If you have a different printer you can edit an XML file to include your printer’s parameters, or else export an STL file that needs to be moved into another application that will alter it into a printable GCode file. This is a major improvement from the old system. As someone who used to hate the time-consuming tedium of so many file manipulations and transfers, I can tell you that the clock gets eaten up much faster with this version.
The coolest feature Photoshop users can look forward to using the most is ‘Perspective Warp,’ which allows you to modify and manipulate the angles of objects of which photographs have been taken. All you have to do is a little drawing, creating a perspective plane over your object, making the edges align. You then draw the second, and perhaps third planes to set up the form. Now drag the new planes into your desired place and marvel as the edge turns blue once the two lines are adjacent. Then release the mouse button and watch as the edges click beautifully together. This allows you to enter Warp mode via your options bar and play with viewing angles until you’re happy. It’s almost like the process of building model kits when you were a kid, without the frustrating process of using glue and paint. The way edges and lines simply click into place is a real wow. I would add that this really is a much simpler process than it sounds! Indeed, my youngest son and I had a lot of fun manipulating images of a B-52 bomber which morphed brilliantly into a 22nd century Stealth warcraft of our own diabolical design.
The manipulation process always works well with objects like buildings, buses and crates shot from corner angles. The technique allows even the most primitive, banana-fingered user to look competent. Once you are able to manipulate the two Transform planes simultaneously, you’ll be able to play with all kinds of shapes.
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