Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sneak Preview: Photoshop CS5's Hot New 'Content-Aware Fill'

Jaws are dropping over Adobe's hot new Content-Aware Fill feature in its upcoming Photoshop CS5 (due April 12). Some enthusiasts are finding it so incredibly magical that they're wondering if it's just an elaborate April Fool's hoax.

Essentially it's a retouching tool that clones and intelligently replicates textures as needed to instantly achieve the sort of image smoothing and cleanup that would manually take you forever to reproduce.

As Photoshop product manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes demonstrates in this video (below), Content-Aware Fill can eradicate everything from flare to litter to entire highways. It can extend erratic cloud patterns to the borders. To judge from early response from Photoshop fans, it might as well microwave your dinner and fold your laundry, too.

(NOTE: Watch this demo full-screen to truly appreciate the subtleties.)

One of the biggest requests we get of Photoshop is to make adding, removing, moving or repairing items faster and more seamless. From retouching to completely reimagining an image, here's an early glimpse of what could happen when you press the delete key.
Already there's fear among pro photogs and stock houses -- and glee among image purloiners -- that it's a one-stop solution for eradicating protective watermarks.

And of course visual journalism ethicists, who wrestle constantly with the extent to which technology should be used to alter the depiction of reality, will have a field day trying to figure out whether Content-Aware Fill is going too far, for any situation or circumstance.

The conundrum expands exponentially when you consider what will soon be possible with video retouching -- a godsend for advertisers, a dance-with-the-devil for journalists.


wopkins said...

Some even better examples of this awesome content-aware feature:

So amazing!

Prof. Ken Kobre said...

Hilarious, wopkins! Tiger Woods, John Edwards and Jesse James should be concerned lest their wives get their hands on this!