The now-familiar release cycle of Adobe’s Creative Suite is signalled by two things: the hype and expectation of those who rely on Adobe’s applications and prices that, especially for UK users, seem to soar further into the stratosphere with every new version.
A single new feature, though, has awed the PC Pro office and suddenly made CS5 seem like fantastic value for money. It’s been dubbed the Content-Aware Fill, and has been shown off in a YouTube video narrated by Bryan O’Neil-Hughes, a product manager on the Photoshop team.
The dull, businesslike name hides a potentially revolutionary feature: if you’re not happy with an item in your picture, select it, delete it, and Photoshop will analyse the surrounding area and plug the gap as if it never existed.
It seems easy to use and incredibly proficient: O’Neil-Hughes used it to remove lens flare, turn patchy and litter-strewn grass into a perfectly manicured lawn. He quickly removed entire trees and let Photoshop stitch together the grass and sky that would take their place. It’s a testament to the new tool’s proficiency that we couldn’t tell that the image had been modified.
He didn’t stop there: a simple click removed a dusty track and replaced it with desert, and a panoramic image’s clumsy borders were filled out within seconds. Best of all, Photoshop handled these modifications without fuss and quickly delivered picture-perfect results.
Without this feature, making these edits could take hours – or, in more complicated cases, even days. The Content-Aware Fill, though, took just seconds – and has got us even more excited about the impending release of CS5. We’ll have a full review available when the software is released but, for now, this demo should be more than enough to whet your appetite.
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