A Standard Returns With Lots of Upgrades
Photoshop is already the single most ubiquitous tool in digital video. If you’re not using Adobe’s PS version CS2, it’s definitely time to upgrade. The DV presets alone will make your life a lot easier. With this new version, you’ll be able to work in non-square pixels on your square pixel monitor.
DV pixels appear stretched in ordinary image software, but in PS CS2 you get the non-square image presets you need. With all that, Adobe has also added a FireWire video preview I almost missed. You’ll find it under the File/Export/options.
While you might be happy working in 8 bits per color, you’re going to love working in 16 bits. You can convert 8-bit images to 16; manipulate them, then convert them back to 8 bits. Why would you do this? You’ll produce a much smoother piece of work. Trillions of colors give you near-analog smoothness. You can feel it. I now convert to 16 bits regularly.
Comb-like data peaks in the 8-bit histogram indicate course transitions and lost data. Although not obvious in small images, blowups may show choppy gradients. The new Vanishing Point tool composites images in perspective by simulating 3D space.
Also included is the Adobe Bridge, a powerful application on its own. With it, you can manipulate RAW files and manage all your visual media, even embed copyright data in each image. Although it may be a bit slow, I still use it.
A few other features I’d like to mention: take a look at the new Smart Sharpen, Noise Reduction, and Lens Corrections tools. Plus, to help bring you up to speed fast, use Deke McCulland’s Training Videos for Photoshop CS2. They’re among the very best. Richard Harrington’s Photoshop CS2 Essentials for Digital Video is also a winner.
Very few tools show some operational inconsistency and a few, for me, are non intuitive. This release, however, bolsters its position as the cutting edge industry standard we’ve all come to know and love.