The first updates to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign CC of 2016 are here – as well as new versions of After Effects, Premiere Pro and Audition CC.
Adobe Photoshop CC 2016 (aka Photoshop CC 2015.5)
The new version of Photoshop is formally called Photoshop CC 2015.5 - but as we know a bunch of you are Googling Photoshop CC 2016, we've called it that above so you find this information.
Photoshop CC 2015.5 gets the most new features - including the attention-grabbing Face-Aware Liquify for quicker and easier retouching of facial features and expressions, Content-Aware cropping, the ability to recognise fonts, improved selection and masking tools, and better integration with the new Adobe XD web- and app-design software.
Photoshop's also been given a performance boost, with Adobe saying that - for example - the Content-Aware tools are up to 3x faster.
Face-Aware Liquify is the oh-wow tool though. This uses facial recognition to identity facial features and creates paths based on the contours of the face - such as here to make the subject looked more pleased with what he's looking at (bottom) that he did originally (top)
From these contours, you can manipulate facial features such as the mouth, nose or eyes to change or refine an expression.
Thought easy to use, it's not easy to use well or subtly as we have here - and it's very easy to create caricatures or make someone look like Heath Ledger's Joker while just trying to give them a smile.
This new tech looks an area of text that you select, and attempts to identify the font use from Adobe's TypeKit libraries - or find a close match.
However, in a demo by Adobe, results weren't great. We also wish there was an app version of this for our phones when we're out and about.
Content-Aware Crop fills in the blanks when you expand or rotate an image in Photoshop, as we've done here to straighten this photo of Sydney.
We'll be publishing a tutorial on this soon.
As with Adobe's Content-Aware Fill, the results will be variable depending on the image you use, with randomly textured areas like skies and grass delivering the best results.
Selection and Masking in Photoshop CC 2015.5
The version of Photoshop has a specialised workspace for selection and masking - and there's a new tool called the Refine Edge Brush to make selections around difficult areas such as hair easier.
You can now filter searches in the Libraries panel by asset type - and new icons make it easier to tell when images from Adobe Stock have been licenced.
What's not in Photoshop CC 2015.5
There were a few features we'd have liked to have seen in this new Photoshop - including tech demos shown off at last year's Adobe Max conference such as the ability to create 3D portraits from 2D photos.
Perhaps we'll see them in the next version.