Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 Extended . November 2012 . Vol. 18 No. 11

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.

August 2011 --Adobe® Dreamweaver CS5.5 Website Design Program
February 2011 --VIPRE® Antivirus Premium from Sunbelt Software
January 2011 --Adobe® Contribute CS5, Adobe® Soundbooth CS5 & After Effects CS5
December 2010 --Adobe® Premiere Pro CS5 and CS Live Services
November 2010 --Adobe® Illustrator CS5 and Adobe Flash Professional CS5

Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 Extended

By Howard Berenbon

Who doesn’t know about Photoshop®? It’s the most popular photo manipulating program ever designed.  Now, with CS6 you’ll find more features and more improvements.  Adobe never stops improving their products.  Every year they make changes for the best, changes and improvements requested by users and improvements based on changes in the computer industry taking advantage of faster computers with more memory.  If you’re new to the Adobe products, you’re in luck, because you’ll be getting the latest and greatest program with all the improvements like the new Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine for superfast editing, new content-aware tools and lots of 3D enhancements. And upgrading is less costly, so if you have a current product, you’ll save some money.  One important change in the last few updates is the use of the 64-bit Windows 7 environment which improves performance and speed. 

Some History

Adobe® Photoshop® is the best known and most widely used professional photo manipulation program available for the personal computer, PC and Macintosh. It was developed in 1987 for the Macintosh as a project of Thomas Knoll, a PhD student in computer science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He called it Display, to display grayscale images on a monochrome monitor. John Knoll, Thomas’s brother, who worked for Industrial Light and Magic, suggested he write a full-blown image-editing program. So, in 1988 they collaborated to create ImagePro, and then changed the name to Photoshop prior to offering it to software publishers. In September 1988, Adobe Systems licensed the software from Knoll and in 1990 it was introduced as Adobe Photoshop 1.0 for the Macintosh. The Windows version wasn’t released until November 1992.  It’s now a versatile multi-function, multimedia graphics program that anyone can use, from beginner to multimedia professional. 

What Can Photoshop Do?

Basically, Photoshop allows you to modify a photo any way you want using a number of tools, or filters within the program. Some tools are built-in while others you can add called plug-ins. If a picture is blurry, you can sharpen it, if it’s too dark, you can lighten, or darken a faded photo. You can crop it, cut parts out, merge other photos, add text, change the shape of all or part of your work, change the color and contrast and even make your photo into a work of art. You can work photographic miracles even with low quality photos or art. Ordinary pictures and graphics can become extraordinary if you know how to use the tools provided. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can learn. Adobe offers all kinds of text and video tutorials to help you.
Photoshop CS6 Extended is available as a stand-along program, or as a part of a suite with other selected Adobe products.  The program was designed for the professional photographer or graphics artist, but anyone can use it, amateur photographers, graphic designers and Website designers. 

What’s New and Improved in Photoshop® CS6 Extended

To begin, Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 Extended offers the amazing Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine (also used in of Adobe Premiere Pro) for lightening fast performance. You can now retouch photos with greater precision and intuitively create 3D graphics, 2D designs and movies using their new content-aware and re-engineered tools and workflows.

Create 3D graphics with ease

Discover an easy way to create 3D artwork with an intuitive user interface, and enhance your 3D creations with shadows, lighting, animation, and new sketch and cartoon looks.

Maximize your creativity

Experience creative breakthroughs with new and enhanced design tools. Intuitively create videos within the familiar Photoshop environment. Create custom photographic blurs, and paint and draw more expressively.

Content-Aware Patch

Patch images with greater control using Content-Aware Patch, which allows you to choose the area that Content-Aware will use to create your patch.

Mercury Graphics Engine

See near-instant results when you're editing images with key tools such as Liquify and Puppet Warp, creating 3D artwork, and working with matte paintings and other large files.

3D performance boost

Experience enhanced performance throughout your 3D workflows. View shadows and reflections in all editing modes, quickly render final work in Adobe RayTrace mode thanks to the Mercury Graphics Engine, and much more.

3D controls at your fingertips

Use a vastly simplified user interface to intuitively create and animate 3D artwork. Use in-context and on-canvas controls to manipulate cages for 3D extrusions, change the orientation of scenes and objects, edit lights, and more.

New and reengineered design tools

Create superior designs faster. Get consistent formatting with type styles, use vector layers to apply strokes and add gradients to vector objects, easily create custom strokes and dashed lines, quickly search layers, and more.

New Blur Gallery

Quickly create photographic blur effects using a simple new interface with on-image controls. Create tilt-shift effects, blur everything and then sharpen one focal point, or vary the blurriness between multiple focal points. The Mercury Graphics Engine delivers immediate results.

All-new Crop tool

Crop images faster and with greater precision using the all-new, nondestructive Crop tool. Manipulate your images on canvas, and take advantage of the Mercury Graphics Engine to see your adjustments happen live.

New reflections and draggable shadows

Quickly achieve 3D realism by adding and enhancing shadows and reflections on your ground plane. Drag a shadow to reposition the light source, and easily edit ground reflections, shadows, and other effects.

Modern user interface

Work with a fresh, elegant interface featuring dark background options that make your images pop, and benefit from hundreds of design touches that create a smoother, more consistent editing experience.

New reflections and draggable shadows

Quickly achieve 3D realism by adding and enhancing shadows and reflections on your ground plane. Drag a shadow to reposition the light source, and easily edit ground reflections, shadows, and other effects.

Intuitive video creation

Bring Photoshop image editing power to your videos. Easily enhance any clip using the full range of familiar Photoshop editing tools, and combine clips and stills with transitions, audio, and effects such as pan and zoom.

Background Save

Keep on working even while saving the largest of Photoshop files in the background — a performance improvement that can help your productivity soar.

Easy alignment and distribution of 3D objects

Create rich 3D scenes in less time now that you can automatically align 3D objects to the vanishing point in your image and manipulate a group of 3D objects at one time using a new multiselect option.

Preset migration and sharing

Easily migrate your presets, workspaces, preferences, and settings so you can experience Photoshop in the same way on all your computers, share your setup, and bring your customizations from past versions into Photoshop CS6.

Dozens of user-inspired improvements

Save time with more than 65 new creativity and productivity enhancements that originated as suggestions from Photoshop users via Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Revolutionary erodible brushes

Draw more naturally and realistically using drawing tips that erode as you work. Endlessly wear down and sharpen a charcoal pencil or pastel to create different effects, and save favorite blunted tips as presets.

New painting presets

Simplify painting with new presets that offer a good starting point for creating realistic painting effects.

Scripted Patterns

Generate geometric pattern fills faster with Scripted Patterns.

Enhanced 3D animation

Animate all 3D properties — including cameras, lights, materials, and meshes — using the Animation timeline. Final rendering performance is now much improved during export of your 3D animation.

Flexible render modes for shadows

Work more fluidly now that you can preview shadows in both GL and Adobe RayTrace render modes.

Accurate 3D object merge

Accurately merge multiple 3D objects in a single scene so they can interact with the same lighting and cameras.

Alternate views

Easily view your 3D artwork from multiple angles while editing.

Content-Aware Move

Move or extend a selected object to another area of your image, and then watch as Content-Aware Move magically recomposes and blends the object for a stunning visual result.

3D stereo viewing and printing

Easily import common stereo formats, such as JPS and MPO, into the 3D pipeline, and make simple adjustments to set depth and range. View a stereo image on stereo monitors or TVs, or print it as a lenticular 3D image.

Adobe Flash 3D export

Easily export 3D artwork in Adobe Flash® 3D format for viewing in web browsers. Also export 3D artwork assets for use in Adobe Flash Builder® software (sold separately).

3D sketch and cartoon presets

Click once to give your 3D objects the look of sketches or cartoons, and automatically create sketch presets by creating any brush stroke.

Improved 3D extrusion engine

Create stunning 3D logos and artwork from any text layer, selection, path, or layer mask with the improved 3D extrusion engine, which offers faster editing, on-canvas controls, and better beveling options.

Type styles

Save time and ensure a consistent look with type styles, which let you apply formatting to selected characters, lines, or paragraphs of text with a single click.

Vector layers

Use vector layers to apply strokes and even add gradients to vector objects.

Sharper vector rendering

Get sharper rendering by clicking once to snap the edges of vector objects to pixels.

Custom strokes and dashed lines

Easily create custom strokes and dashed lines.

Layer search

Use layer search capabilities to quickly zero in on the layer you need.

Lighting Effects Gallery

Get better performance and results with the new, 64-bit Lighting Effects Gallery. The plug-in is powered by the Mercury Graphics Engine and offers on-canvas controls and previews that make it easier to visualize your lighting enhancements.

Oil Painting filter

Quickly give your work the look of a fine painting with the Oil Painting filter powered by the Mercury Graphics Engine. Control the style of your brush as well as the direction and shine of your lighting for a superior look.

Airbrush tips

Create realistic airbrush effects using fluid, lifelike controls and granular paint particles.

Brush enhancements

Paint more naturally by manually changing the rotation of your paint brush with your mouse. Dynamically resize your brushes with shortcuts, and take advantage of the Mercury Graphics Engine to fluidly adjust opacity or hardness.

10-bit deep color support

Get a more accurate representation of how your images will appear in film with 10-bit monitor support. See just the pixels you’ve captured, reduce or eliminate the need for dithering, and reduce contouring or banding.

Support for 3D LUTs

Retouch images for film more easily with 3D lookup tables (LUTs) — including Adobe SpeedGrade™ .Look color LUTs — that you can turn on when you need to tweak raw color data.

OpenEXR transparency preferences

Choose whether you'd like to handle alpha channels in OpenEXR files as alpha channels or transparency.

Properties panel

Save time with a context-sensitive Properties panel that lets you make quick updates to the properties of your masks, adjustments, and 3D content.

Adobe Bridge CS6

Manage your media faster — especially when working with large image files. Adobe Bridge CS6 offers cross-platform 64-bit support and a range of user interface and database enhancements.

Redesigned Adobe Mini Bridge

Access your images and documents more quickly and easily in Adobe Mini Bridge, redesigned as an elegant filmstrip.

New heads-up displays

Use heads-up displays to get greater precision when selecting and transforming objects and text.

Enhanced TIFF support

Work with a larger range of TIFF files. Enhanced TIFF support allows for greater bit depths and larger file sizes.

Automatic resampling

Get great results when resizing an image — the best resample method is automatically selected.

Filler text

Save time with the ability to insert "Lorem ipsum" filler text when working with type.

Increased maximum brush sizes

Edit and paint with brush sizes all the way up to 5000px.

That's quite a list! And If you're upgrading, or buy new, you’re getting an amazing number of improvements. So if you have the need, it’s definitely worth the investment in their newest version.

Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 Extended, IBM PC version, sells for $539.97. (upgrades from $399) and is available for the IBM PC or compatible, Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 or faster processor running Microsoft Windows 7 (service pack 1)/Windows 8, 64-bit, XP (service pack 3) with 1 GB RAM, 1280x800 monitor resolution with16-bit color & 512 MB of VRAM, 1 GB hard disk space for installation, DVD-ROM drive and OpenGL 2.0-capable. It’s also available for the Apple Macintosh Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support, selling for $523.80.  Requires Mac OS X v10.6.8 or v10.7, 1 GB RAM, 1280x800 monitor resolution with 16-bit color & 512 MB of VRAM, 2 GB hard disk space for installation, DVD-ROM drive and OpenGL 2.0-capable. For more information, or to order, visit

Software Companies Mentioned

Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Ave
San Jose, CA 95110-2704