Adobe releases Photoshop CS6 beta with GPU use boost

Adobe has released the beta of Photoshop CS6, a new version of the popular photo-editing program that adds GPU acceleration and the ability to move objects within pictures.The beta arrived as a free Adobe Labs download on Wednesday, ahead of a final release that is planned for the second half of this year.

Adobe has released the beta of Photoshop CS6, a new version of the popular photo-editing program that adds GPU acceleration and the ability to move objects within pictures.

The beta arrived as a free Adobe Labs download on Wednesday, ahead of a final release that is planned for the second half of this year. It includes features such as 3D editing and 'quantitative imaging analysis' that will only be available in the pricier Extended version of the final product.

Photoshop Adobe CS6 beta

Adobe has released the beta of Photoshop CS6. Screenshot: Charles McLellan

"Photoshop CS6 is a release where we took some lessons from the past and began more aggressively laying down the foundations for the future — a more proactive stance on architecture, widespread use of the GPU and a renewed emphasis on UI and design," Photoshop engineering director David Howe said in a blog post.

The same post suggested that the upcoming Photoshop was the result of brainstorming, late nights and "a little quality time with 'our friend' Don Julio [tequila]".

Standout features in the Photoshop CS6 beta include a new 'content-aware patch' tool, which lets users duplicate part of an image to patch another part of the picture, and a 'content-aware move tool', which lets users move objects from one part of the image to another.

A new set of controls makes it possible to boost or reduce exposure specifically in an image's shadows or highlights. GPU acceleration speeds up resizing and filter use, and video editing — previously only in the Extended version — is now a feature of the standard edition.

Three blurring tools have also been added — specifically, field, iris and tilt shift — and an adaptive wide-angle filter allows correction in panoramic and fisheye shots.

The beta also introduces Adobe's new activation procedure, which requires the user to log in with an Adobe ID that then gets paired with the serial number of the Photoshop copy. In a blog post last month, Adobe said this would protect against counterfeit software and make losing the boxed copy less of a disaster.