The Adobe PR machine has been priming creative professional for their, Everything is New Again! campaign. This will be a live web stream on June 18, 2014 at 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET, announcing all of their new digital goodies for the Creative Cloud applications. To whet the creative appetite of its users, Adobe has provided a short video of one possible new feature in Photoshop, Focus Masks. Focus Masks is a masking technology that “identifies” the differences between focused pixels and un-focused pixels in an image. Then it generates a mask based on the focused pixels. After the mask is generated, the user can use the Refine Edge command to cleanup the mask or add more detail to it.
Adobe has been working on this idea for a couple of years now. In Photoshop CC introduced the Shake Reduction command. With Shake Reduction, Photoshop analyzes a photo with movement blur caused by slow shutter speed camera shake. It then creates a “map” of all the pixels in the image that seem to be moving in a similar direction. Based on the still pixels, it attempts to eliminate those blurry pixels. Using their Content Aware technology Photoshop will create new pixels around the “still” ones. Shake Reduction, however, only deals with blurred pixels not out of focus ones.
This new focus technology seems to merge or automate Refine Edge with Content Aware. Pretty cool and magical, yet a little scary. As photographer Joe McNally commented when Adobe first introduced their De-blur Filter prototype at MAX 2011, “After awhile we (photographers) won't even have to show up!”. Still anything that will help creatives do their jobs more effectively is a plus as it can save a shot that otherwise might have been lost.. Yet, technologies like this can also make people a bit more sloppy.
To register for the Adobe, Everything is New Again! web stream, click on this link. To see what's up with Focus Masks, check out the video that accompanies this article.