Last night we were treated to an annual event where Adobe encourages their developers to think differently and solve problems they perceive and present them to the world. This event takes place every year at Adobe MAX and is called "Sneaks." Sneaks has led to innovations like Content Aware Fill and Shake Reduction, but not everything revlealed at Sneaks is guaranteed to make it to a final consumer release. But what we saw looked pretty amazing.
A lot of what we saw last night has minimal effect on photographers and filmmakers, but I do want to highlight some of the Sneaks that, if they make it into a final production, will most certainly have a profound effect on how we do things.
Visual Speech Editor
Audio editing via (not overly informative) waveforms has been the norm for decades. I do it, audio editors do it, and all videographers deal with it. But last night we saw something that might, MIGHT, mean the end of this old, archaic system that hasn't seen particular advancement in decades. Here’s a completely new approach to editing audio – making it simpler and more intuitive... well, at least they hope. The thing is, I was so impressed by this that I was struck silent. I wasn't alone. I think the ramifications of this particular advancement are so beyond what we are used to that the audience of 5000 wasn't entirely sure what they just saw.
Time of Day
This one was a real crowd-pleaser: Lighting changes all the time, and photographers would love the ability to stop, rewind, and fast forward time. This tool uses huge archives of around-the-clock footage to find and transfer lighting to your own images. This is as close to time travel as it gets... and it might just work.
According to the developer, this is a new video technology that eases transitions and removes pauses from video, automatically. I was ready to be impressed, but I still think the software has a long way to go. Despite the fact the final video cut was better, it wasn't great. This is incredibly complicated stuff, and I'm not surprised it's still a little rough around the edges. But let's say this did work... perfectly. That would make interviewing people who aren't used to a camera in their face a whole lot easier.
Images of outdoor scenes are usually degraded by haze, and getting rid of haze in your pics is currently a lot of work. The Photoshop team has figured out a way to reduce haze using a tech that's fast and accurate: automatic haze removal (and automatic haze insertion, too). Now this... this was incredible. This is a tool that, much like content aware fill, can continue to get better over time and that we as photographers would likely use regularly.
You can see the entire list of Sneaks that we saw yesterday live, and watch every demonstration as well. Use the hashtags on Twitter to let Adobe know what resonates with you, and that increases the liklihood that we'll see those as finished products. What was your favorite?