After a busy Adobe Max full of plenty of updates and inspiring sessions from leading creatives, Adobe rounded off the event with its much-loved Sneaks keynote, this year hosted by Parks and Recreation's hilarious star Nick Offerman.
Sneaks is famous for giving us an insight into the exciting progress going on behind the scenes at Adobe, with many of the apps and features shown off expected to find their way into the hands of the public in future updates should the audience react well.
Among last year's Sneaks were Dehaze and the Shaper tool, both of which are now available in Photoshop and Illustrator CC, so we're sure you'll see some of the Sneaks shown this year in your favourite Adobe applications or on the App Store in the near future.
This year, we saw potential updates that introduce the ability to transform a 2D portrait into a 3D portrait in minutes, simply remove distractions from photos, a font finder tool, perspective capture, the ability to preserve shading in Photoshop and an app to create exactly the typeface you're picturing using a series of presets and sliders.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: 3D portraits
First up was a bit of that famous Adobe Magic that can create a 3D version of an ordinary 2D portrait right within Photoshop. It takes one click to add automatically generated points that pick out where the eyes, ears, nose, hair, chin, neck etc are, and you can correct those by clicking and dragging them to a more accurate place, or using the Hair Painter and Body Painter tools.
Then, a second click will transform it into a black and white 3D portrait, and a third click overlays the original image to add colour as shown at the top of this article.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: Project Louper
Project Louper lets you search for images with images, and we're not talking exact matches like you'd get from a Google image search. Use any image as your starting point and Louper will search Behance for visually similar images. If you find an image that's almost perfect but not quite right, you can click and drag that into the search bar to refresh the starting point of the search. It's sometimes much harder to explain an image you're looking for using words than it is using images, so Louper aims to solve that problem.
What makes Louper more exciting, though, is that you can search using two images in one query. If you want a picture of a lion but with a particular set of colours, for example, you can use a pattern or colour palette as the first image and a lion as the second image and Louper will find images that combine the two.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: Defusing Photobombs
Defusing Photobombs is a tool that's designed to detect distractions in a photograph and help you remove them using just one slider. When you add a photo to the tool, it'll analyse it to find what it thinks are the biggest distractions, and colour code those by how distracting they are – the more distracting, the brighter white they'll appear. Then, you can simply use the slide to remove the most distracting part. This could be a tourist that got in the way of your gorgeous beach photo, a light reflection in a glass frame on the wall or a light source in a night-time photo.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: DeepFont
Adobe described DeepFont as Shazam for fonts. It has a library of over 75,000 font and can intelligently determine which font has been used in any photo. If someone comes to you with a photo they found on the web, for example, and says they want a font like the one used in that photo, it'll easy to use DeepFont to quickly find that exact font and other similar fonts you might like to investigate.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: Project Faces
One of the sneaks that got the biggest cheers from the audience was Project Faces, which may well scare type designers because it's going to make creating fonts much easier for the less experienced. Project Faces is a mobile app that Adobe is prototyping. It lets you manipulate the skeleton of individual letters or a whole font without the curves being affected. Using sliders, you'll be able to change the thickness, width, slant, contrast, curves and even move the crossbar which got a big “ooooh” from the audience. There are also effects available including weight, centerline, offset, stencil and more.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: Project Maestro
Project Maestro is a potential future mobile app from Adobe that is designed to make creating simple animations easier and faster. It can take so much time to get the right keyframes when animating, so with this mobile app you'd be able to press play it'll track your fingers in real time to capture the position of each keyframe.
You can also blend organic motions together with something more complex like a behaviour, which you can simply drag and drop onto the object to apply. Sometimes you might find that a particular behaviour is good but a bit over the top, so there's the ability to dial down the intensity. And when you're happy with what you've got you can push it to After Effects via CreativeSync and edit it further, with all of the captured keyframe information seamlessly translated over.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: Designing with real data
This one might not sound quite as glamorous, but for designers excited by the newly announced Project Comet you'll be pleased to hear that a big new feature that's already being worked on is the ability to design with real data. For example, if you've got a list of names within an Excel file, you can drag and drop that file into Comet to automatically apply those names to your chosen fields. The same goes for images including those found in Adobe Stock. You could search for images of mountains, for example, and drag and drop to immediately populate every chosen field with a different image that fits that description.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: Project Dollhouse
Adobe has recognised that drawing in perspective can be really hard, so a new Capture-based app is in the works called Project Dollhouse. This app allows you to photograph any object or interior and the app will figure out the perspective and give you an accurate grid to work with. You can then draw lines and shapes and they'll snap to the perspective you've captured.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: Extract Shading
Extract Shading could be a feature that comes to Photoshop in the near future, and we imagine many designers and photo editors will be excited about it. It can preserve lighting information from any photo or image including all shadows and shading in a separate layer, meaning you can change whatever's behind that shading without ruining the natural look and feel of the image. Plus, you'll be able to select the shading from one image and apply it to another.
Adobe Sneaks 2015: Monument Mode
Another mobile-based application here that could well come to our devices in the future, and it's called Monument Mode. It's a tool that'll let you capture an image of any landmark or building, for example, but won't capture anything that moves in front of that landmark as you're capturing it. You're going to need a tripod to make this work as it requires a long exposure, but as smartphone cameras get better and better we imagine it could come in handy for travel photographers.