The most exciting part of any Adobe MAX conference is arguably Sneaks – and that's especially the case in 2022, with the event taking place in person for the first time. Hosted by comedian Kevin Hart, this year's event saw Adobe reveal some truly awesome new features and experiments here in LA.
For the uninitiated, Sneaks are Adobe's cherry-picked peeks at future technologies and ideas. Or, as Dr. Gavin Miller, head of Adobe Research told Creative Bloq, you could call it "the Oscars for Adobe engineers". (Feeling creative? Check out our guide on how to download Photoshop.)
Miller also told us how each year's Sneaks are selected. "The ideas all start with the question, What if?" He said. Often, the freshest sneaks come from Adobe's huge intern programme. The best ideas will lead to a scientific paper at a conference, and after that the product teams will pick their favourites. Only the best of the best then become one of a handful of Sneaks. Here are 4 of the best announced tonight.
01. Project Blink
Project Blink is a new video editing tool that uses AI to help users find and quickly pull highlights out from video content. The tool makes it as easy to edit video as people currently edit text. To create clips, users just search for specific words, objects, sounds, or even types of activities that took place in the video, then select the portion of the video transcript they would like to use. Adobe’s AI then automatically transforms that section of the video into a new clip."It's really dramatically accelerating high-quality video editing using AI," Miller told Creative Bloq.
02. Made in the shade
Project Made in the Shade uses AI to make editing shadows and their effects on surrounding objects easy and intuitive. Adobe’s AI technology recognises depth, lighting, and other aspects of a scene, enabling users to move a person or object within a photo while casting realistic shadows. “You have to see it to believe it," Miller told us. "It just looks so natural.”
03. Beyond the Seen
"There were a lot of punny names suggested for this one," Miller said. Project Beyond the Seen lets users create immersive 360° experiences from flat 2D images. Depth estimation methods allow users to extend a panoramic image, creating realistic and fully immersive 3D environments.
04. Artistic scenes
Artistic Scenes uses AI to automatically transform 3D scenes using styles from 2D artwork. With Project Artistic Scenes, creators can quickly create high-quality stylised 3D content, and unlike traditional style techniques that only transform 2D images, Adobe’s approach transforms the entire 3D scene. This makes it possible to transfer a 3D scene into any artistic style, such as watercolour. Miller told Creative Bloq, “It's like the old idea of taking a few photographs and getting a hologram. It's kind of a new image format.”
While these features are all a long way off, Adobe has already announced plenty of exciting new tools for its existing products that have already landed this week, including Photoshop's incredible new AI tools. But speaking of AI, it's also clear from MAX 2022 that creatives have concerns about AI image generation – and Adobe knows it.