Original Source Press Release:
Elements versions of Photoshop, Premiere updated|
(Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 01:47 EDT)
A press release today from Adobe Systems Inc. announces the release of new versions for its "Elements" products on the Windows platform.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 offers a range of new features throughout its workflow, including the image import, organising, editing and sharing phases. When importing images, an improved Red Eye Removal tool can be set to look for and correct red-eye in pictures, with an emphasis on reducing false positives. First the EXIF header is checked to determine if the flash fired; if so, then a face detection algorithm tries to find any faces in the image (which does rely on both eyes being visible). Finally, if faces are detected, the algorithm looks for red-eye in the areas where the eyes would be, and fixes it if found. The Red Eye Removal tool can also be run on a batch of images already on your computer.
The facial recognition technology mentioned previously is also used to aid tagging of images, in what looked to be one of the most impressive new features of the program. According to Adobe, somewhere in the region of 80% of photos taken by their customers are people photos. The facial recognition function can be used to scan images for people's faces, and then shows thumbnails of only the faces - allowing you to very quickly identify photos containing the same person and select them for tagging. A recently used tags pane helps speed the process up even more, remembering the people you've recently tagged and letting you drag and drop faces from new photos for tagging as those same people. As the faces are tagged, they disappear from view. Occasionally, the software will identify a face that isn't actually a person - for example, a carving of a face on a carousel, or a completely unrelated object that has fooled the algorithm. The program can be told to ignore these, removing them from view quickly and simply. All in all, it looks to be a great way of removing one of the most tedious parts of tagging your images.
Image tags are stored in a database rather than in the actual images, during normal use. This is apparently to keep program speed up, however the tags are automatically written back to the image when it is exported for sharing, or moved to another folder. You can also manually choose to sync tags back to images. When a tagged image is imported into Photoshop Elements 4.0, you're advised that the image is already tagged and asked if you wish to import the tags. If there are conflicts, the tags can be merged or portrayed as a different tag, and you can also set up tag name conversions so that you don't have to recreate them. Adobe's representatives described this last function to us as being designed to solve what they've internally been referring to as the "Uncle Joe is my Dad" issue, where different members of a family or social group may want to refer to the same individual in different ways. A couple of other notable changes when organising images are that there is less jumpiness when scrolling the photo browser, and larger catalogs should be possible without slowdown.
When editing images, users now have a new tool that is somewhat similar to the Magic Wand, known as the Magic Selection Brush. This uses a new algorithm that takes color and texture into account to detect edges. You simply "scribble" on the area of the image you want to select, or draw a vague line around the inside of the object - or potentially even just make a single dot inside the object in some cases - and Photoshop Elements selects the object. If areas are selected that you didn't want included, you can do a negative selection on the area you want removed. As an indication of how much easier and more intuitive Adobe considers the Magic Selection Brush to be than past tools, it has now become the first selection tool that can be used in Elements' "Quick Fix" area (it is also available in the standard mode).
A related tool is the Magic Extractor tool, which lets you select an object in much the same manner. You can then preview the object without any background, defringe it by a certain number of pixels, and fill in holes to make a contiguous object. When you're satisfied, the object can then be moved to another image and resized, making it easier for beginners to make a composite photo. Two further new tools are the Skin Tone Adjustment, which works much like a white balance tool, but adjusts the image based on a selected skin tone. We're told the tool recognizes all different types of skin tone and different races, but should the result not be quite to your taste you can fine-tune the results with tan, blush and temperature sliders. Finally, a new Straighten tool lets you quickly draw a straight line that should be level, and the image can then be rotated to fix a crooked horizon, etc. - either with or without cropping to account for the rotation.
In the sharing area of the program, there are two main areas of change. The Printing section now lets you create identities of people you'd like to send prints to, as well as entering billing info, preferred print sizes, etc. for each person. When browsing images, you can then quickly drag thumbnails onto the relevant identities on the prints panel, and a selection of prints is built up. When you exit the program, you're asked if you want to order the prints you queued. You can choose to double-check the selections if you like, but can also simply agree and the program will automatically make the order without you having to check selections, enter billing info, etc.
The other main change to sharing is in the Creations area, and particularly to slideshows. There are thirty new templates across all creation categories, with more seasonal templates that will be available to download throughout the year. During slideshows, you can now set a subtle pan and zoom effect across an entire slideshow, or set specific (and multiple) pans and zooms to each photo. This is done very simply, by selecting starting and ending positions and a crop size around each, the program then calculates the transition itself. You can also apply multiple background music tracks to each slideshow, specifying where the tracks should start and end. You can also select to apply effects such as an Auto Smart Fix, Auto Red Eye Fix etc. to images as you're queing them for the slideshow, or call the full editor from slideshow mode to perform more detailed work on an image. Finally, you can overlay simple text and graphics (frames, speech bubbles, etc.) without needing to enter the editor. Slideshows can then be burned to a video CD, saved as a WMV video or a PDF (although pan, zoom, and certain transitions are lost in this format), or burned to a DVD (if you have Premiere Elements on your system). Files created can be emailed or sent to your TV if you have Windows XP Media Center Edition.
Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 now offers the ability to adust the monitor, timeline, etc. size and have other window panes automatically resize themselves to accomodate the change. Projects can also now be exported using the Project Archiver feature, allowing them to be moved to a different computer. A new context-sensitive properties panel allows the results of every effect, preset, title screen and DVD menu to be controlled and previewed.
Both updated programs will both be available in early October, either separately or as a bundle. Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 will cost $99.99, and Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 will cost the same. Together, they'll be offered for $149.99. A $20 rebate will be offered for existing Photoshop Elements owners or owners of certain competing products who upgrade to Photoshop Elements 4.0. The bundle and Premiere Elements will offer a $30 rebate open to all users.
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|Adobe Introduces Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0|
Major Upgrade to Popular Tools Provides Innovative and Intuitive Ways to Edit and Share Digital Photos and Home Videos Just in Time for the Holidays
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sept. 27, 2005 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced two new products for digital photo and digital video enthusiasts. Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 4.0 for Windows®, a new version of Adobe's No. 1 selling consumer photo editing software*, adds powerful and intuitive ways to organize, edit and share photos. For video hobbyists, the award-winning Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 software for Windows brings unparalleled control, ease of use and more options for creative digital video editing with a self-adjusting workspace, support for all video types and DVD customization.
Available together in a single retail package, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 Plus Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 delivers the powerful and affordable software integration consumers need to be creative and impress friends and family with their digital photos and home videos. Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 also are available as separate products (see separate press releases).
"This holiday season, photos and video will be captured from digital devices which extend far beyond traditional point and shoot cameras," said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Digital Imaging and Digital Video Products at Adobe. "With so much freedom to capture any moment at any time, our customers need software that allows them to edit and share this unique content from any device, quickly, easily and in ways that are truly all their own."
Photoshop Elements 4.0 delivers more editing power with the new Magic Selection Brush that allows consumers to select specific parts of photos for easy color, lighting and contrast adjustments. The Magic Extractor easily extracts subjects from photos, with advanced edge defringing, for great composites. Smart technology behind new features means effortless photo enhancement with automatic red eye removal across a batch of photos, one-click skin tone correction and Face Tagging, which allows consumers to keep photos at their fingertips with new ways to find and view them. They can show off their creativity in countless ways, from exciting dynamic slide shows to Shared Collections, one-click online printing, and enhanced Photo Mail (see separate press release for details).
Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 offers the perfect combination of superior control, new self-adjusting workspace ease and reliability to help automate tedious video editing tasks so that consumers can be creative more quickly. Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 makes it easy to import video clips from all digital video devices, experiment with hundreds of professional transitions and effects, and burn videos to DVD. Consumers can create professional-looking DVDs with customizable menus, or transfer their home movies to portable video players to delight friends and family anytime, anywhere (see separate press release for details).
Photoshop Elements 4.0 is part of a complete family of Photoshop products that meet the needs of a diverse spectrum of digital photographers: the free Photoshop Album Starter Edition for the novice digital camera user; Photoshop Elements for the digital photography enthusiast; and Photoshop CS2 for the professional or the most demanding amateur photographer. Similarly, Adobe offers Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 for superior quality home-video editing and Adobe Premiere Pro for the more advanced professional or the most demanding amateur videographer.
Each product offers more growth and creative control for customers, giving them access to award-winning technology and options for more sophisticated editing, organization and sharing options for their digital photos and video.
Pricing and Availability
Adobe's digital imaging and digital video products are available at www.adobe.com . Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 Plus Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 for Windows is available as a bundle in the United States and Canada at an estimated street price of US $149.99. Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 for Windows XP (Home, Professional, and Media Center with Service Pack 2) is available for an estimated street price of US $99.99. Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Windows XP (Home, Professional with Service Pack 2 or Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005) is available for an estimated street price of US $99.99. Adobe's complete hobbyist product line is being made available in early October 2005 on online sites and select retail stores. Information about the other language versions, as well as pricing, upgrade, and support policies for other countries is available on www.adobe.com . For more information, customers can call 1-800-492-3623.
About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe is the world's leading provider of software solutions to create, manage and deliver high-impact, reliable digital content. For more information, visit www.adobe.com .
* Source: The NPD Group/NPD Techworld, September 2003 - May 2004
© 2005 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Adobe Premiere and Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Windows and Windows XP are either a registered trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.