Getting rid of annoying lens flares or an unwanted tree in Photoshop could get much less tedious with a new "content-aware fill" tool. Adobe's sneak preview of the feature shows how formerly painstaking retouch jobs becomes as easy as watching a progress bar do its magic within seconds.
The tool can also do instant-fixes where users manually erase image artifacts or clean up areas in photos, such as removing divots from grass. Bryan O'Neil Hughes, a Photoshop project manager, narrates a demo that walks would-be users through cleaning up several images:A lens flare covering two different objects -- such as part of a woman's dress and a bench -- proves no problem for the content-aware fill feature. Just circling the area and hitting the delete key prompts Photoshop to fill in each area with the appropriate color and texture, matching the surroundings perfectly.
Even those ugly-edge panorama images stitched together from different photos can become one smooth rectangular image. Content-aware fill's algorithms fill out the formerly nonexistent part of the panorama photo with the appropriate ground, sky and cloud patterns. Perhaps our inner dying artiste might feebly protest this assault on image authenticity, but our inner Photochopper has already begun salivating like Pavlov's dogs.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.