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Home > Tools October 26th, 2012

When, Where & How Will Photoshop Image Deblurring Be Available?

[UPDATE (April 2013) – Confirmed: Image Deblurring is coming soon in Photoshop!]

Adobe Photoshop Image Deblurring: Winter Scene (Roll Over or Tap for the Before & After)

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.

See All Eleven Adobe MAX Sneak Peek Videos

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.

[ Learn more about the unblur feature and how it works, or check out some amazing before-and-after photos of the technology in action. ]

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?

Adobe Photoshop Image Deblurring: Pagoda Photo (Roll Over or Tap for the Before & After)

See Also

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  1. Chelicera Windsong

    Isn’t it sad that the deblurring feature is only for cloud members? The free membership is just like a free trial so people are really left with only one choice.

  2. Mark

    Just bought a new MacBook Pro (late 2011) running 10.7.3. I have CS3 on my old laptop. What version of CS Design & Web will run on the new Mac?

  3. The de blurring feature is awesome! Very beneficial.

    I advise to get the membership if you don’t already.

  4. Jildou
  5. Gerard

    Deblurring should be directly available to Photoshop users in the next version.

  6. Jeff

    A perfect way to milk more money out of the populace. Create a much needed feature and make it only available in the cloud — not because it makes the deblurring feature any better or more convenient (because it doesn’t), but because it lines the pockets of Adobe execs. Disgusting.

    Most of these cloud services are just a way to put companies in a greater position of power through the control of how we use their software and store our data. Wake up people. We’re being tricked.

    • Hello Jeff, thanks for your thoughts. From what we heard when talking to the lead researcher for Image Deblurring last year, getting it done right is a challenging task and some manual expertise was required to achieve optimal results for unblurring a given photo…

      So, it may not actually be an automatic mechanical feature like we’re used to in Photoshop, but rather a true human-involved service that would come in limited quantity with membership, and make sense as such.

      Regardless, the Creative Cloud is an option rather than a requirement, and if you choose not to sign on for it then you can continue to use your same perpetually-licensed copies of Photoshop forever and they will work as they always have, with the same features they’ve always offered. Similarly Adobe has been clear that you’ll definitely be able to buy new versions of Photoshop with traditional licenses in the future.

      This guide may help for figuring out which works best for any individual customer:

      Adobe CS6 vs. Creative Cloud Comparison: Pros and Cons

  7. BWoo

    This article states that Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen commented on the future deblur feature: “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.”

    Watching the interview, you will not find any direct statement that reflects the actual possible availability date of the deblur feature. There is generic “cheerleading” in Mr. Narayen’s remarks implying quick release of future features, like deblur, which is to be expected.

    It would be much more clear reporting for you to report that you have no idea, at this time, when the deblur feature will become available to the public.

    • Thanks for your feedback BWoo. Sorry the article wasn’t able to answer all your questions for you. Other Adobe execs have made very similar remarks, so we expect that Photoshop Image Deblurring will be a Creative Cloud feature – but nobody can say for sure when… We think it will be later in 2013, but that is just our educated guess. Hopefully you still were able to take something away here that you weren’t aware of previously.

  8. Arc_Captain

    @ Chelicera Windsong

    The CCM (Creative Cloud Membership) is the best product Adobe has ever created! Think about it: A low monthly operating expense (if you are a CS3 or above license holder $29.99 a month), never having to upgrade again because you’ll always have the latest features as they become available; there has been 12 new features added to Ps alone since its inception. Services like file sharing that allows faster approvals with clients, and easy sharing with others which results in higher productivity. Up to 5 websites hosted for FREE! And all of the CS products that Adobe offers + tools like Lr, Edge & Muse. Not to mention the ability to publish as many apps as you wish to the iTunes store for free via the digital publishing suite.

    I have used Adobe products for years, and now being a member I have access to products I would have never used even though I owned a Master Collection. Its value is way beyond the price!

  9. @BWoo

    Update to this deblur story:

    It now appears that a new Camera Shake Reduction feature for deblurring photos will be included in the next version of Photoshop, which we expect to be announced on May 6th, 2013.

  10. James Klebau

    I have been buying Photo Shop from the early 90’s. I skipped CS 5 and CS 6 and was ready to buy CS7, but to do so means that I am forced to be a subscriber. If this is the way it’s going to be, maybe it will turn out like Apple, which lived in the rarefied air of the mountain top. Then, operating system and portable device competition came into play. Apple has seen its stock hammered over the past two years.

    The bean counters have killed many good businesses. I like Photoshop and hope this will not happen to Adobe. But If this is the way it has to be, I will watch for the anxious PS competition to climb the wall and rescue the abandoned.


  11. John

    WOW, things have really advanced these days!

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