Adobe touts updated Content-Aware technology for Photoshop CS6

In a recent video, Photoshop Senior Product Manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes showed off Adobe's latest "Content-Aware" technology that will be available in the upcoming release of CS6. The demonstration makes moving and removing objects appear seamless and effortless. However, I won't be getting my hopes up about actually putting any of these features to good use, as my past experience with some of the "latest and greatest" Photoshop features has proven that these demonstrations rarely mirror real-world conditions.

In the truck example shown in the video, Hughes has an available patch of dirt that is large enough to cover the area that he is trying to patch, which gives the impression that larges elements can be swapped up easily. This same effect could have been achieved with the Clone tool, which would also likely produce more convincing results, although it would take a little more time and effort than the method used in the video example.

The "Content-Aware" move examples appear to work fairly well in the example video, but the involve moving objects from fairly simple and consistent backgrounds. Users that expect to be able simply loosely select any object in a photo and then cut-and-paste is elsewhere will likely end up with fairly inconsistent and disappointing results with objects on more complex backgrounds.

Another issue with the examples in this video is that the selections that are being replaced or moved are never deselected, so the "marching ants" obstruct the view of any seam effects that could potentially be present.

This is not to say that these features can't be time-savers in some situations, but these situations usually involve a specific set of conditions that are conducive to how the Content-Aware tools operate. The good news is that these features aren't likely to put any "Photoshop professionals" out of a job, because they probably aren't going to replace having the know-how and skills needed to move, remove, and replace elements in more complex situations.


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