I got the new version of Photoshop, and while I haven’t had a ton of time to play around with it yet, I did take advantage of the puppet warp on my last project (which I’ll blog about in a future week).  I had an image of a jacket in an arms-straight-out pose that I wanted to composite onto a baby, with a more natural pose for the arms.  It took a few minutes to get the hang of it, but very quickly I was able to bend one arm (even overlapping the torso part of the jacket!) and lower the other one in what looks like a fairly natural way, as far as the creases go.  There was no obvious stretching or smearing, which is a huge win over the Liquify tool, where everything tends to stretch/smear and then you have to go back and reconstruct until you have something that works.  I also appreciate greatly the way it’s tied directly into the normal interface, and doesn’t (like Liquify) take you into a separate dialog box to do that work and then put the results back into the “real Photoshop” when you’re done.  It also automatically warps your layer mask, which Liquify didn’t do, which always was making a mess.  I could have done this job with Liquify, but I’m guessing it would have taken about 45 mins, rather than the 5 mins it took with Puppet Warp.  Nice!  And even if the posing aspect of the tool isn’t something you use in every situation, I think its general warping abilities will get a lot of use, especially as easy as they are.

If you haven’t heard much about this new feature yet, I recommend this youtube video that shows it in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nAklIkMy4g&feature=player_embedded

There are about 3-5 major features (in my area of interest) that are in the new PSCS5, probably any of which would make the upgrade worthwhile, so to have so many are fantastic!  I’ll blog about more of them as I get a chance to use them.