Adobe Announces New Features for Photoshop CC

Adobe has announced a great number of updates to the entire Creative Cloud set of applications (every single application is being updated in some way), but let's focus here on just what's new in Photoshop CC: New Motion Blur Effects, Focus Mask and improved Content-Aware color adaptation along with a set of other updates and enhancements to the entire experience.

Adobe has added Path Blur and Spin Blur effects, which they say will allow you to "add creative motion blurs that aren't possible to capture with your camera." They have also improved their graphics engine to work faster, so the effects will happen with less delay.

Path blur is a tool that allows you to add a dynamic sense of motion to your images. With Path Blur, you define paths that can simulate the effect of moving the camera while you drag the shutter. The filter can be used to accurately imitate in-camera effects. Path Blur features a simple and effective way to draw curved paths without Bezier curves, "which can be difficult to master."

adobe photoshop cc updates blur

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The tool can be easily localized to areas of a photo quickly and easily. Adobe's example here was adding blur to a guy playing guitar on the floor, and the finished image was actually pretty believable.

Spin Blur lets you set an area that would be in a circular motion, like a turntable, and select how "fast" you want the area to have appeared to be moving. It has somewhat limited use cases, like on wheels or the aforementioned turn table, but it is, again, rather effective at what it does.

We already saw this as a teaser to what they were releasing, but probably the most exciting update to Photoshop is the Focus Mask selection tool. The Focus Mask feature works great with head shots and other images that have shallow depth of field. This would allow you to select a person, including their hair, from an image based on the focus, which gives a lot more flexibility during cut-outs.

The selections, at first, aren't perfect and Adobe recognized that. This is where you can add a refined edge, which actually makes the selections really, really good (at least in the examples we were shown). I want to try this on my own images, but if the selection of hair is as accurate as Adobe's examples, then this is going to be a much better way to select certain areas of a photo than the manual method I've been employing for years.

adobe photoshop cc updates focus select

Finally, Adobe has added better features to the popular Content-Aware move tool. Previously when using Content-Aware features, if you selected an area that contained gradients, you didn’t always get smooth gradients in the final image. New technology smoothly blends areas containing gradients, such as skies, to give you much more realistic results.

adobe photoshop cc updates content aware

Adobe also added updates to 3D printing, UI enhancements, upgraded Typekit integration, and smarter Smart Guides (they now act like they do in InDesign which is awesome), as well as the typical batch of bug fixes.

What do you think? If you've been holding out on CC, is what Adobe offering here worth it to you? Let us know in the comments below.

Jaron Schneider's picture

Jaron Schneider is an Fstoppers Contributor and an internationally published writer and cinematographer from San Francisco, California. His clients include Maurice Lacroix, HD Supply, SmugMug, the USAF Thunderbirds and a host of industry professionals.

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Great article! When these new features will be out for use?

Immediately! They should be rolling out to all users as of an hour ago actually.

That's why I love Creative Cloud! Updates coming in more frequently than ever.

I still dont see it..i have CC and on 14.2 version...

Super excited :D

I'm excited about this, I'm excited about updates in general. Shows that people are working and thinking about you. I took Adobe up on their offer and purchased the photog program when it first rolled out, after about 10 years of using their software in ''other ways''. So I'm glad they're working to not only attract new customers but also retain their old ones.

Is this being officially announced today or is it actually available today?

Both! The software should roll out to all CC users throughout the day.

I'm a CC holdout, but I can imagine a feature set that would really make me switch over. This isn't it, but I don't think they're totally blowing it for their customers.

I look forward to path and the spin blur ... just had last week an air show with fast flying helicopters. I had to freeze the action, but would love to see an easy way to blur the blades.

I guess it's more common than one might think.


Especially the focus mask and enhancements to the content aware move are very useful to me. I've been a CC user since the photographer bundle became available and haven't regretted it.

no new lightroom.. just stupid mobile apps?

There aren't any updates to Lightroom aside from expanded raw support, no.

looking at the new features... i see why adobe needs subscription. nobody would update to a new version for the few features adobe has released the past 12 month.
it´s just not enough innovation to make people update... but with subscription they make money anyway.

Most exciting features are the type tool improvements and the layout helper… that's sad.

Don't need any of this stuff. I'm not a graphic designer, I'm a photographer. Nice to see that Adobe has locked in the $9.99 price, maybe that means that LR will continue as a perpetual license. The thing I really need is for iPad LR to be able to import photos from my SD card so I can edit them down, keyword, and upload to CC so that when I get home from a trip I can sync my desktop LR and all the boring metadata work is done. If I had that I'd buy in in a heartbeat, until then Photosmith does the job for me.

Unless you're shooting low res, you're going to need an awful lot of patience transferring and uploading files wirelessly.

I am an extraordinarily evolved person, as exhibited by my humility. I have infinite patience.

can't help but love them. I'm a total fan boy though :)

I still cant see a reason to move to an online service, that disappears and leaves to user high I dry if the server goes dont. They are making a fortune out of a gullible public who love their toys. There is plenty of competition who dont expect you to sell your sole to the devil!

You seriously still think that it ps cc still runs in the cloud on a browser ? It runs just like before from your hd. Or are you talking about something else?

He might be referring to how some users got locked out of their access when the servers crashed last month.

You should try it first or read some facts first.

Your apps are running locally, checks server once a month. One of those myths.

can’t find it. Any idea why? I do only see “Color Range” there…

Um just downloaded the update via Creative Cloud and I don't see any of the new features. What gives?

I like the focus select, but was hoping there would be more for the stink Adobe was making over this release. I'm still on CS6, but may make the jump soon for focus select...refine edge is ok on some contrasty images, but I still find I'm spending too much time on selections.