Pen Power Enhances Photoshop Brush Engine
Wacom’s line of professional pen tablet and interactive pen displays work cohesively with CS5 and some of the most beneficial workflow enhancements for the pen user can be found in the new brush engine within Photoshop CS5. “The Wacom pen and Adobe Photoshop have long enjoyed an harmonious and productive relationship,” added Varga. “The new brush engine in Photoshop CS5 takes that relationship to a whole new level by offering tools that integrate pen pressure sensitivity, tilt and rotation, as well as emphasize the intuitive and creative nature of the pen over alternative input devices.”
There are several key Photoshop CS5 brush engine enhancements for Intuos and Cintiq users that augment performance and simplify use. To begin with, CS5 integrates toggle buttons that add pen pressure-sensitive control over brush size and opacity right on the standard application bar. Wacom users need only point and click on these buttons to capture control of these brush dynamics. In addition, CS5 introduces a set of pressure and tilt-sensitive Bristle Tip brushes allowing pen users to easily incorporate artistic brush strokes and effects into their workflow. “When used with the new Bristle Tip brushes, Wacom’s professional pen’s Tip Sensor technology and 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity delivers a painting experience that feels just like working with traditional media,” stated Varga.
The brush preview window allows the Wacom user to see real-time brush characteristics including the angle at which the brush is being held by the user. In addition, when employed with the Art Pen, a Wacom specialty pen that senses barrel rotation (the twist of an artist’s brush) within Photoshop and Illustrator, brushes deliver a traditional media feel and empower users to reach new heights of creative expression.
The way Wacom pen users can now create and blend colors has also been vastly improved in Photoshop CS5. The Mixer Brush is a pressure-sensitive tool that allows users to blend colors as if they were wet paint. Using setting controls in the options bar, one can define the wetness and the amount of paint being mixed and applied by the brush. The Mixer Brush can be used on colors that have been applied with any tools such as pencil, pen or paint bucket. It can even be used to blend colors and add realistic brush strokes to a photograph to give it a hand-painted appearance.
The pressure-sensitive Spot healing brush takes advantage of the new Content-Aware Fill technology in Photoshop CS5 to remove blemishes and unwanted objects in a photograph. Wacom users can precisely paint over elements that they wish to remove in an image, replacing them with details that match the lighting, tone and texture of the surrounding area.
New intelligent technology offers an unparalleled level of control for the Wacom pen in the making of selections and masks. The Refine Edge Radius brush allows the user to delicately expand the edge detection area of a selection when working with complex elements, such a hair. According to Varga, “Wacom’s pen on paper feel provides a much easier, natural and precise way to follow contours in an image when working with the Refine Edge Radius tool.”
Illustrator CS5 Users Draw Creativity from Wacom Pen
Illustrator CS5 also has a new set of Bristle Brushes that allow users to paint with vectors that resemble traditional art brushes. Similar to the Bristle Tip brushes in Photoshop CS5, Wacom pen users can easily modify the natural characteristics of these brushes including size, length, shape thickness and stiffness. In addition, Illustrator’s support of pen pressure and tilt-sensitivity provides superior control over brush dynamics such as angle, roundness and diameter. “Opacity settings can now be assigned to the new Bristle Brushes in Illustrator CS5,” said Varga. “This is wonderful news to the designer or artist as they can now create soft, transparent variations in scalable vector lines.”
The Wacom Art Pen also works in Illustrator CS5, providing a unique and personal touch to artwork by way of its 360 degrees of barrel rotation.
“We were happy to collaborate with Wacom to provide an intuitive workflow within CS5 applications,” said Bryan O’Neil Hughes, product manager for Photoshop at Adobe. “The Wacom pen is a natural instrument for creative tasks, like painting in Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended, which truly brings brush strokes to life. We look forward to continued work together to develop new features for professional creators of digital content.”
Productivity Benefits for Both Hands
Wacom’s Intuos4 pen tablets and Cintiq interactive pen displays feature customizable ExpressKeys™ and Touch Strips for quick access to keyboard shortcuts and modifiers. These non-dominant hand features greatly enhance productivity and allow the user to concentrate on the creative process. Since the customized settings are application specific, CS5 users can create personalized settings to maximize their productivity in each application in Adobe CS5.
Collaborating in CS5 with Adobe ConnectNow
Adobe ConnectNow in CS5 is especially interesting to those working with a Wacom pen. This service enables users (colleagues, clients, etc.) to remotely share screens and collaborate in real time. With its whiteboard functionality, users can draw or annotate directly on an image, easily communicate changes and share their ideas or concepts with others.
Founded in 1983, Wacom’s vision to bring people and technology closer together through natural interface technologies has made it the world’s leading manufacturer of pen tablets, interactive pen displays and digital interface solutions. The advanced technology of Wacom’s intuitive input devices has been used to create some of the most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashions and designs around the world and provides business and home users with the ability to explore digital content creation in a comfortable, natural way. Today, millions of customers use Wacom’s cordless, battery-free, pressure-sensitive pen technology to express their creativity.