Nearly a month ago, Adobe invited members of the press to The Soho Hotel in London for a quick peek at their latest consumer photo and video editing products in advance of their release. Gary Wolstenholme was there to get the low down on the new products.
Arriving in at the Soho Hotel in London early on Tuesday 24th of August, I was greeted by the very pleasant folks taking care of PR for Adobe. This event differed from your usual press launch, where those with the power to spread the word of the new product are invited to do just that. Upon arrival, I was presented with a non-disclosure agreement valid until the date of the launch, which is why you won't have heard about this new product until today.
After signing we were ushered through to a lecture theatre decked out with fancy armchairs and sofas for a Powerpoint presentation on Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 9, the latest versions of Adobe's popular consumer orientated photo and video editing packages. With it only being a year since the introduction of the Elements 8 suite, Adobe have obviously been busy working away behind the scenes.
So how is the new version different? As the presentation got under way, it became clear that Apple computer owners will be the ones to benefit the most from the update as many of the features that were exclusive to Windows have now been ported across to OSX. Both versions have received a facelift to the user interface, but the familiar light grey text on a dark grey background introduced in earlier versions still remains.
Mac users will be glad to hear that in Photoshop Elements 9, the same browser and photo organisation tools first introduced to Windows users in Elements 8 are now available, also Premiere Elements is now available, giving Mac users a fully features editing suite without the complication and expense of the full-blown version of Premiere, or Final Cut Pro, but with more advanced features that you'd typically find in basic packages like iMovie.
So what are the main new features users on both platforms can expect?
Video import options available have received a facelift, making it easier to import video camcorders and SLRs recording video to solid state memory including devices such as he Flip camcorder.
Some extra output options have also been included allowing you to share your images and videos on Facebook, Flickr and Youtube straight from Elements. The output wizard automatically converts and resizes the images or footage to the ideal format for the website before uploading, saving you time and internet bandwidth.
Step-by-step editing wizards have been added to both Photoshop and Premiere Elements to help guide you through common editing tasks in a way that will help to introduce the advanced editing mode to you. The one click options are also still present and with each option you can go dip into the advanced edit mode and make changes, as all the edits are preserved in adjustment layers for you to tweak as you see fit.
Flexible themed layouts have been included to make designing your own photobook, postcards and disc covers as easy as can be. As the layouts are flexible, they can be tweaked by the user in either the basic or advanced editing modes.
Editing and output of popular HD formats has been enhanced, and a completely new feature which allows you to share DVD-like footage on the web has been included. In the web DVD output, a flash video with a DVD like root menu is created which will play full-screen in any internet browser, making it easy to share you footage on your website.
We hope to have a copy of the software to review soon. Until then please visit the Adobe
website for more information.
Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 software for Windows and Mac, offering a complete photo solution to anyone who wants to organise, edit, create and share extraordinary photos. With the newest version of the No. 1 selling consumer photo-editing software, Adobe delivers powerful new technology to equip every consumer with the ability to achieve professional results easily and quickly.
“The Photoshop brand has been creating groundbreaking imaging magic for 20 years, and Photoshop Elements has been making that magic accessible to mere mortals for nearly a decade,” said Kevin Connor, vice president of product management for Digital Imaging, Adobe. “The Content Aware Fill technology introduced with Photoshop CS5 is one of our most exciting innovations ever, so we’re thrilled to be able to make it accessible to photo and video enthusiasts in this latest Elements release.”
Image Intelligence for Easy Editing
Photoshop Elements 9 uses powerful technology to make even the most complex results achievable for anyone. Adapted from Photoshop CS5’s celebrated Content Aware Fill feature, the content intelligence in the Spot Healing Brush analyses what’s in the image and quickly de-clutters or repairs photos (like removing tourists from a crowded scene or an obstruction, such as a telephone pole) with a swipe of a brush, magically filling in the background. The same content intelligence synthesizes missing pixel information to create a stunning panorama from multiple photos, without leaving any gaps or blank spaces.
In addition, the new Photomerge Style Match turns drab photos dramatic by analyzing characteristics of any photo, such as contrast or colour tone, and automatically applies those qualities to another photo, allowing users to easily replicate any photo style. Several new Guided Edit options walk users step-by-step through the process of achieving cool editing effects such as Out of Bounds, making an element of a photo appear to leap off the page in 3D, creating pop art masterpieces, or retouching made easy via the perfect portraits feature. In addition, users now have access to Layer Masks for compositing richly layered photos.
Organisation Made Easy
For the first time, the popular Photoshop Elements Organiser is available on both the Windows and Mac platform, to help users quickly organise, find and display photo and video clips from one convenient location. The Auto-Analyser takes the work out of finding the best shots by automatically searching a user’s collection of photos and assigning a tag based on quality, such as lighting, focus or contrast. People Recognition also automatically creates People tags, so you can find your favourite people fast and it becomes more intelligent over time as it learns to associate specific faces with names.
Sharing Photos Virtually Anywhere
After users make their photos look better than ever, they have various sharing options, including posting photos directly to Facebook or creating one-of-a-kind interactive Online Albums with animated templates. In addition, users can share their memories with personalised photo creations like scrapbook pages, photo books, calendars and cards that can easily be printed from home or via online print service providers. The flexible photo creation workspace allows users complete control over how they design their photo books, by automatically placing photos within a template or providing access to any Photoshop Elements editing feature from directly within the layout mode.
Pricing and Availability
Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 for Windows and Mac is available now from the Adobe
website. Photoshop Elements 9 Windows and Mac is available for a suggested retail price £77. The bundle (Photoshop Elements 9 and Premiere Elements 9) is available with a suggested retail price £117.