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Today is the Day! Adobe has officially announced Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended software (as part of Creative Suite 5). Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended will be available as stand-alone applications or key components of the Adobe Creative Suite® 5 family.
Of principal interest to digital painters are the new Mixer Brush, which offers on-canvas color blending, and Bristle Tips, which let you create lifelike, textured brush strokes. The Mixer Brush lets you define multiple colors on a single tip, and then mix and blend them with the underlying hues on your canvas. When starting with a photo original, you can use a dry, empty brush to blend the existing colors while at the same time adding a painterly effect to the image.
Mixer Brush settings provide extensive control over the wetness of the brush, the load rate to add paint to the brush, the mixing rate between brush and canvas colors, and whether the brush is refilled, cleaned, or both after each painting stroke. The 3D Bristle Brush Preview provides a realtime visualization of the current Bristle Brush's Tilt, Bearing, and Rotation. This visualization aids the artist's control of the brush.
In conjunction with these new mixing features, Photoshop CS5 incorporates precise control over stroke characteristics of its painting tools with Bristle Tips. Bristle Tip shapes include Point, Blunt, Curve, Angle, and Fan in both Round and Flat varieties. Bristle Qualities define key bristle properties such as shape, length, stiffness, thickness, angle, and spacing, which affect how the color is laid on the image as you paint.
Another highly useful feature is the new HUD (Heads-Up Display) Color Picker, which provides instant access to in-image color selection via keyboard shortcut. This color picker can be configured to different sizes, as well as either a Color Wheel (shown) or Color Strip.
In upcoming posts, I'll be detailing additional features of Photoshop's new superior painting features. Check in often!