Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Adobe unveils new Photoshop and Character Animator tools

Adobe has posted previews of new features coming up in its Creative Cloud tools, including updates to Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop and a new keyframe system and graph editor in Character Animator.

Neither video gives a release date, but given that Adobe normally rolls out updates to its software in October, it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine that both will form part of its October 2019 releases, which will be Photoshop CC 21.0 and Character Animator CC 3.0, if the firm sticks to its current version numbering.

Photoshop CC 21.0: updates to Content-Aware Fill
The Photoshop sneak peek shows ongoing work to the software’s Content-Aware Fill, following the introduction of a dedicated workspace for the feature in last year’s Photoshop CC 20.0.

To that, Adobe is now adding new Sampling Area Options to control which parts of an image Photoshop uses to generate a seamless fill for the region of an image selected.

As well as the current default Rectangular selection, the update will introduce a new Auto option, which causes the software to identify probable background regions of the image.

There is also a new Custom option, which enables you to paint in the regions of an image Photoshop should sample from, rather than having to paint out areas from its default selection.

Both look likely to increase the speed at which it is possible to arrive at a workable result when using Content-Aware Fill to remove objects from an image, if not necessarily its accuracy in difficult cases.

Character Animator CC 3.0: new keyframe system and graph editor
The Character Animator video, posted by Adobe senior experience designer lead Dave Werner on his YouTube channel, shows the software moving closer to a conventional animation workflow.

As well generating puppet animations automatically based on source video of an actor, or from mouse input, Character Animator will soon feature a keyframe system and graph editor.

According to the video, it will be possible to key transforms and “many other character parameters”, and adjust transitions between keyframes via an in-line graph editor within the timeline.

The editor looks fairly simple compared to those in more conventional animation packages, but it includes tangent handles for curves, plus a range of interpolation options, including Linear, Ease In and Ease Out.

Any set of keyframes can be turned into a triggerable element, making it possible to blend keyframe and performance capture workflows by creating readymade animations that can be fired off in real time.

Pricing and system requirements
Adobe hasn’t announced a shipping date for the new features in Photoshop and Character Animator, but in the past, it has released updates to both applications in mid-to-late October.

Of the current releases, Photoshop CC 20.0.5 is available for Windows 7/10 and macOS 10.12+, and Character Animator CC 2.1 is available for Windows 10 and macOS 10.12+. Both are available rental-only.

Adobe Creative Cloud Photography subscriptions, which include Photoshop, start at $9.99/month for an annual plan paid monthly. All Apps subscriptions, which include Character Animator, cost $79.49/month, or $52.99/month for an annual plan paid monthly.

Visit Adobe’s Creative Cloud website