Adobe has provided a "sneak peek" of a future Photoshop feature called "content-aware fill," a nifty new feature that evolves the healing brush massively. Take a look:
(If you can't see a video window above, try going here.)
The launch of Adobe's Creative Suite 5 (including Photoshop) is slated to stream on Adobe TV at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, Monday, April 12th. If you'd like to see it, you can sign up with your Adobe ID at the CS5 launch site.
Michael R. Thompkins at Imaging-Resource cautions that Adobe hasn't explicitly promised that content-aware fill will be a feature of CS5, a warning I hereby pass along to you in a weak attempt to keep egg off my face. Will it? Won't it? I've always disliked trying to report news before it happens. Tune in on April 12th to find out.
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Guy Batey: "Amazing, and slightly depressing at the same time."
Mike replies: My feelings exactly. At first I thought, doesn't this belong in Illustrator?
Featured Comment by skinnyvoice: "Wow, I find the relentless shifting of responsibility for content from composition to post-processing more than a little chilling. I'm okay with darkroom tweaking, dodging, burning, spot removal and their digital equivalents, but a 'content-aware fill' is a step too far from my concept of what looking through a viewfinder and photography is all about. But I'm probably not the target market anyway (photographically speaking—I use PS almost daily though)."
Featured Comment by expiring_frog: "For those interested, the details of the algorithm ("PatchMatch") are described in this research paper [link is a PDF download —Ed.] (To the best of my knowledge, this is what's being used.) The original PatchMatch video from last year's SIGGRAPH is perhaps even more impressive than the one in Mike's post.
"Adobe has been on a roll recently transferring state-of-the-art research projects to shipping software in very short times. Two notable examples that immediately come to mind are Agarwala et al.'s Photomontage work in CS3 (see the link—while you've probably used this function for making panoramas, it's really incredibly versatile) and Avidan and Shamir's content-aware scaling [another PDF —Ed.] in CS4."
Featured Comment by John Robison: "'We have removed the lens flare.' What I find amusing is that with some of these CGI movies they add lens flare and aperture shaped ghosts such as you would see with multi-element zoom lenses on movie cameras."
Featured Comment by Robert Howell: "Amazing technology. But perhaps it's time to ask that re-touched photos now be marked unalterably in the code."
Featured Comment by David Bostedo: "I think everyone who's upset by this needs to realize that a large portion of photography today involves changes and manipulations every bit as large as those in the video. It's just that it's all commercial work, or digital art work, and not meant to be 'straight' photography. From that standpoint, this tool doesn't change anything, except making it a little easier.
"The 'easier' part, though, will likely continue to evolve the general public's expectations of photography. It used to be that most (non-commercial) photos were assumed to be pretty much documentary. I think there's a lot of doubt out there now. And we're heading toward a time when all photos are assumed to be modified, and you'll have to tag them so that people know when they haven't been greatly modified. I don't know if that's good or bad."