Layers. Remember photoshop before layers? Hard to imagine isn’t it? This was the last major ground shaking, game changing innovation brought to photoshoppers around the world and everyone went nuts, apart from the few people who claimed Adobe pinched the idea off Corell.
Since then we got clipping layers, adjustment layers, groups – not small improvements by any means – but also quite a while ago (we got groups in 2004). Ok so smart filters arrived in 2008, but can you get the same result without smart filters? Absolutely.
So I’d like to see a few big ideas in PS6 and here are a few that have occurred to me as photoshop till I drop every day:
Routing layers to a mask.
I’d like to see some nodal action in photoshop: its simple really – route the output of a layer – especially a smart layer – to the mask for another layer. This would make smart layers come into their own – you could non-destructively change your mask, and if you linked it to the idea below there’d be some happy mask junkies out there. This would also allow you to essentially apply adjustment layers to a mask – apply an adjustment layer via a clipping group and route the output of the whole lot to a mask of another layer. You could also do it in groups so the output of an entire group gets sent to a mask.
Colour range adjustment layer (or maybe its needs to be a node 😉 )
lets have a whole panel for it please, where you can select colours, or luminance, and then apply the mask adjustment tools… and THEN route that output to the mask of any other layer.
Focus blurring that’s worth bothering with
Alien skins Bokeh is so much better than photoshops lens blur its not funny, and blurring a layer is a pixel destroying trial and error pain in the bum. Lets have a lens blur adjustment layer please where the layer mask describes the amount of blurring (complete with lens types and presets would be nice).
If the node stuff is a step too far, please can we just have the clipping group adjustment layers applying to mask or to image data? Please?
EDIT: CS6 beta is out, and whilst Adobe obviously look at my suggestions (for sure), they only implemented one – and failed to read more than “Alien skins Bokeh is so much better than photoshops lens blur its not funny…” so decided to errrm, “borrow” it.