While the professional photography market waits with bated breath to see what Adobe has in store for us at AdobeMAX, the company behind Lightroom and Photoshop unveiled something that appeals to a bit broader of an audience today: Photoshop Elements 2018 and Premiere Elements 2018.
The new, user-friendly versions of Adobe’s photo and video editors come with some really creative and easy-to-use features that the company says are aimed at “memory keepers.” The idea was to create two programs that make finding, enhancing and sharing the precious memories hidden away inside random memory cards, hard drives and (most likely) smartphones almost totally automatic.
Photoshop Elements 2018
Photoshop Elements 2018 tackles the same problem that everyone—Google’s Photos App, Apple Photos, etc.—is trying to tackle: how do you help the typical shutterbug find their best images out of the thousands they take every week on their smartphone, and enhance those images so they look ‘professional’ and worth sharing on social media?
As with everybody else, Adobe is leaning heavily on machine learning and computer vision (different types of ‘AI’) for this trick.
It starts with an easy-to-use Organizer view and something called Auto Curation, which uses computer vision and some nifty algorithms to guess (because it can’t REALLY know, can it?) which of your images are the best. So if you have a group of 200 images, you can ask Photoshop Elements to cull those down automatically to just 15.
Once you’ve selected your shots, you can use the program’s new Guided Edits and a new feature called Automatic Selection to do things like drop in a new background, create a double exposure effect using two of your images, or add ‘artistic’ overlays.
The coolest feature, though, has to be Open Closed Eyes, which allows you to select two frames, and replace the closed eyes in one with the open eyes from another. The results are incredibly lifelike given that whole thing can be done in a matter of seconds.
Premiere Elements 2018
Like Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements 2018 also leans heavily on AI-powered features to make video editing as automatic and pain-free as possible.
Smart Trim does for videos what Auto Curate does for photos, namely: it asks you what ‘style’ of video you want to create, tries to intelligently find the best clips that match this style, and tosses out the rest to create a coherent clip.
Another interesting addition is a feature called Candid Moments, which tries to find the best candid ‘photo’ hidden within a video clip and pull it out for you. With new smartphones like the iPhone 8 Plus shooting gorgeous 4K 60p, we could see this feature being a huge hit with those ‘memory keepers’ Adobe is all trying to target.
Admittedly, neither Photoshop Elements 2018 nor Premiere Elements 2018 are really targetted at more professional photographers out there (read: many of the people who enjoy reading DPReview). But as these beginner-focused programs get more and more powerful, amateur photographers who are allergic to the subscription model and don’t like to do much post-processing anyhow might actually enjoy using Photoshop and Premiere Elements 2018.
Of course, that’s not to say we won’t be keeping a very close eye on AdobeMAX this year.
To learn more about Photoshop Elements 2018 and Premiere Elements 2018, head over to the Adobe blog by clicking here, or visit their dedicated landing pages by clicking on the program names above. Both programs are available now for $100 new or $80 as an upgrade. You can also buy them together for $150 new or upgrade both programs at once for $120.