[UPDATE (April 2013) – Confirmed: Image Deblurring is coming soon in Photoshop!]
One year ago at their annual MAX conference, Adobe showed a sneak peak of some exciting work in progress: the prototype of a new Photoshop Image Deblurring feature that takes shaky photos and brings them into focus. The demonstration was impressive and the technology received huge press at the time, but ultimately was said to be too early stage to make it into the final release of Photoshop CS6 this past spring. Since that time, our readers have been asking about the status of the unblurring function – and when, where, and how we might see it finally released and available to the public.
Well now, we may finally have an answer.
Earlier this week as part of the Wall Street Journal’s Viewpoints West series, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen gave a one-hour interview over a wide range of subjects including the changing media landscape, Steve Jobs, the U.S in the global economy, and much relating Adobe itself. Near the end of the sit-down session (at the 56:27 mark), he dropped a huge hint about what’s happening with Photoshop Image Deblurring:
Think about your next cool feature of Photoshop… There is some magic that these people are working on. You can take a picture that was actually completely fuzzy – and they analyze the camera’s motion, and based on that they can actually sharpen the picture, including seeing text that was not clear.
And so what we will do, is that increasingly all of those things will be available through a cloud service – and only through a cloud service.
So we released Creative Cloud in May of this year, we said that subscriptions at our last earnings call were ahead of expectations, and what we found was that we can innovate at a much faster pace. So you talk about start-ups, small start-ups probably said, “hey we can just produce a new product every few months and Adobe has to deal with revenue recognition and all of that.”
And now, we have released new versions of Photoshop and Illustrator in weeks after they’re available. Apple comes out with a great Retina display, we have a new version of Photoshop that works on it.
So we think that the Cloud, over time, will be a great way.
So What Does This Mean for the Photoshop Image Deblur Feature?
Back at Adobe MAX, the nascent deblur function was in the form of a Photoshop plug-in. So clearly what Narayen is implying here is that this new capability is an optional one that would be accessible only for Creative Cloud members. Adobe is increasingly adding more new programs and additional features to the Cloud in an effort to increase value for CC subscribers while keeping the price the same at US$19-$74/month, depending on customer type and membership term.
What’s perhaps surprising here is that deblurring might not be available at all to the traditional perpetual license holders of Creative Suite products, even when CS6.5 or CS7 come out. Or another way of looking at it: Adobe offers a free level of membership for everyone with the Creative Cloud, so perhaps anybody who wants to use the new Photoshop plug-in would need to join to become a member, even at no charge.
Hopefully we’ll find out more about this soon – and we’ll be sure to keep you posted here – but in the meantime we have clear confirmation that Photoshop Image Deblurring is alive and well, and may be coming soon to (at least) a Cloud near you… Otherwise, the CEO simply wouldn’t be talking about this as he did.
What do you think – is automatic photograph deblurring an addition that interests you? Let us know in the comments below… And did you know you can already correct minor photographic blur today using the Sharpening tools in Photoshop?
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