News Photoshop Uncategorized

Photoshop CC 2021 is here

With the new release of Photoshop (CC 2021), comes some interesting new features.
First is Sky Replacement. This does exactly as it says and replaces sky in a picture. It does it rather well and is far more intelligent than just slapping a new sky on your picture.
It can analyse your picture to tell where to place the sky, what to include and exclude. You can also alter the temperature of the surrounding picture making it warmer or cooler. You can flip the sky, scale and even use your own sky picture if you have one rather than using one of the preset pictures.

Goto Edit>Sky Replacement

Choose the sky you want, the Sky Replacement properties panel will appear. Now you use the sliders to get the sky just right. Once happy click OK.  The nice thing is that once you click OK, the sky is created as a new layer with a mask and blend mode automatically.

A. Sky Move Tool B. Sky Brush C. Hand Tool D. Zoom Tool E. Select a replacement sky F. Settings G. Recently used sky H. Create new group I. Create new sky J. Delete sky K. Preset Preview Zoom
Before and After with Sky Replacement

The next new feature is pretty special. Neural Filters. This is a new workspace with a collection of filters. It uses Adobe Sensei, which is Adobe’s AI engine. The filters are split into 3 categories. The first 2 filters are fully working, the next 6 filters are beta filters, which means you can still use them, but the results may be unexpected as there are still in the testing phase. The last 4 filters are not available yet, but will be (or at least in beta) soon.
On upgrading to CC 2021, most of these new filters will need to be downloaded. Just click the cloud icon with the arrow shown on the filter to download.

As we have an array of filters here, it would take a while to explain them all. So, here is just some of the more exciting ones.

Smart Potrait filter works with peoples heads. It allows for adjustments to their face. A bit of a Liquify filter 2.0. You can make them happy, sad, anger, surprised. All which alters their face, mouth, eyes etc. You can also make someone older or younger, and even turn their head. The interesting thing is that Adobe Sensei will create parts that are not even in the picture. For example it can open the persons mouth and show their teeth and tongue, even though the original picture their mouth was shut.
Turning their head it can recreate their ear and side of head, even if you can’t see the ear in the original photo.
Pretty amazing stuff, and remember it’s still in beta.

Colorize is another stand out filter in this collection. This filter will colour a black and white photograph. And it does it pretty well.  Sliders are available to adjust the result, and you can even select a colour and assign to the picture.

One thing to note is that these filters require Cloud access, as the filter processing is done in the cloud. This means you need to connected to the Internet to use them. I was put off with some of Adobe’s mobile apps when they did this, and it now seems the desktop version are going the same way.  I understand that this enhances the power of the Creative Cloud, but is this really the future. Is it going to end that programs are just an interface, with all the work being done externally in the cloud?


Creative Cloud 2021

This year has been a strange one to say the least. Practically all parts have been effected. Due to this the amount of updates here have been very few. Something that is hopefully rectified soon.

One thing that has happened at the usual time is the update to Adobe’s Creative Cloud applications. 2021 versions are now available.

The 19 upgraded CC desktop applications are Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, InCopy, Animate, XD, Dimension, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, After Effects, Audition, Character Animator, Media Encoder, Prelude, Bridge, Camera Raw, Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. Also Acrobat DC Pro has been improved, if not a fully new version.

Some of the major new desktop product features include: Sky Replacement (Photoshop), Advanced Color Grading (Lightroom), 3D Design Space (After Effects), Recolor Artwork (Illustrator), Liquid Mode (Acrobat), 3D Transforms (XD), Speech-to-Text (Premiere Pro), Roto Brush 2 (After Effects), Speech-Aware Animation (Character Animator), and Neural Filters (Photoshop).

In addition to the main desktop applications upgrades, Adobe has also announced Illustrator for the iPad (version 1.0). Illustrator joins its cousin Photoshop, which first arrived on the iPad last year. Illustrator on iPad is included for Creative Cloud members with current access to Illustrator on desktop.

Adobe Aero, this is a 100% free new authoring app for creating and viewing augmented reality (AR) experiences, and will be coming to the desktop (Mac and Windows). Currently in Beta.

As well as these new applications and the updates Adobe has also updated its Stock collection with a free section. Over 75,000 top-notch images, vectors, illustrations, templates, 3D models, and videos available to everyone at no cost and completely royalty-free.

All in all it looks a good selection of new and improved versions of their desktop applications. Some more updated than others, and some interesting new features have been added.

One thing to note with these updates is that Adobe have also changed the system requirements. As theses applications get bigger and better, they also become more power hungry. Thus the system requirements have evolved, both on Windows as well as on Mac, in order to take advantage of the latest operating system features and technologies… On Macs, the CC 2021 release now requires macOS 10.14 (Mojave) or later. If you’re not yet running a compatible version of macOS, then you can get a free upgrade directly from Apple to Mojave (10.14) or Catalina (10.15). Be aware, however, that in Catalina, Apple has dropped support for any older 32-bit programs that you may have. And while still in beta/preview, macOS 11.0 (Big Sur) is supported by Adobe as well.

On PCs, Windows 10 (version 1903 or higher) is a fully-supported platform for all Creative Cloud applications. Importantly, except for Acrobat DC, the CC 2021 apps no longer support 32-bit or any Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating systems.

You will also find that some of the new features require Internet access all the time as the filters work using cloud access. More on this in a separate post.

New updates are available now.

News Photoshop

Photoshop November Update

The next big update for Photoshop is here. The new November update brings Photoshop to version 21.

Photoshop CC 2020 is now available through Creative Cloud for download.

This is a big update with lots of bug fixes and enhancements. We also have new tools and a new look to the interface as the panels have had a make over.

Other features include:

  • Cloud documents
  • Improvements to presets
  • New Object Selection tool
  • Consistent transform behavior
  • Improved Properties panel
  • Convert Smart Object to layers
  • Enhanced Transform Warp
  • Remove Background 

For more information check out





A new range of Surface

Microsoft have now released their new range of Surface products. They come is a variety of configurations to hopefully suit a wider range of consumer.

Surface Pro 7

The Surface pro 7 again builds on the much loved surface, which the initial look of the device not changing. We still have the usual ports however we now have an addition of USB C port as well as the normal USB connection.

Base model is an Intel Core i3 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128Gb of storage. The price tag is £799.00

We then go up in specs to the top of range model with an Intel Core i7 processor 16Gb of RAM and 1Tb of storage. Price tag of £2249.00

In between these models is an array of configurations and prices processors of i3,i5,and i7. RAM of 8GB or 16Gb (only the base model has 4Gb) and storage from 128Gb to the whopping 1Tb. In total 7 different models.

Microsoft have said that the new surface is faster then the previous model and will give 10 hours of battery life.

As with the last model the Surface pen is now an additional extra and not included in the box with the device (just Microsoft squeezing more money out of us.

Surface pro X

Next in the surface range is the Surface Pro X. This a new machine with a few differences to the Surface pro 7.

First its thinner. Next it has a type keyboard already attached. The reason for this is that it also has a new design surface pen that slots into the top of the keyboard, where it charges up. With a special fold in the keyboard cover you can hid the pen while typing. It’s a very nice design.

Connection wise the device has 2 USB C connections.

However the main difference is that the Surface Pro X is not powered by Intel processors, but instead by a Microsoft SQ1 chip. This has been designed by Microsoft in partnership with Qualcomm.

Battery life is stated at 13 hours. You also get Bluetooth Wifi and LTE to give ‘always on’ connectivity. Screen size is 13 inch.

Models start with 8 Gb RAM and 128Gb storage which is £999.00.

This slight downside is that due to the processor it runs custom versions of programs and a new version of Windows 10 which is a bit strange.

The Surface pro X is released on 19th November 2019.

More in the range

As well as the range of tablet/laptop hybrids in there range Microsoft are also adding 2 new devices to the Surface range. These are in the phone variety.

Microsoft dropped out of the mobile phone development some years ago. Ending Windows Mobile operating system as developers were more concentrated on developing for Apple (iPhone) and Android.

But now its looks as if Microsoft are had another go at this area.

The Surface Duo is a mobile phone that folds in half. However unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. The Surface Duo has 2 separate screens. Each screen can be used separately or together as a big screen, allowing for drag and dropping pictures and files between apps. The device has a 360° hinge which allows for a software keyboard on 1 screen and apps on the other creating a mini laptop.

Details are still a little sketchy at the moment as release is not until 2020 so some specs could change.

Along side the Surface Duo is a device called the Surface Neo. This in simple terms is a bigger Surface Duo. Again details are sketchy with a 2020 release.

News Sketchbook Pro

Sketchbook Pro update

It’s been a while since the last post but things are starting to get moving again.

To begin Autodesk has recently updated their Sketchbook Pro app for Android, Windows 10 and iOS.

Bringing the app up to version 5.0 this updated along with the normal bug fixes gives you 2 extra tools. The Perspective Tool and The Curved Ruler.

Users of the desktop version may already know the Perspective Tool so this excellent news that it’s been brought to mobile versions.

For an in depth look at this new tools read the blog post on Autodesk’s website

Sketchbook Pro version 5.0 update


Happy Christmas

From all at Rex Co Media. We wish you a very happy festive season.