Adobe Sneaks 2019 reveals magical prototypes of new art and design tools

At the Adobe MAX 2019 conference in LA, the company gave us a peek into what its R&D teams are working on for next year's Creative Cloud releases - find the best below, now updated with videos of each Sneak in action.

Adobe’s annual creative conference Adobe MAX always ends with the extravagant MAX Bash, bringing big bands and an even bigger party to end proceedings for attendees in style. But actually the blowout most look forward to is Sneaks, where the latest experimental tools from Adobe get unveiled.

Sneaks at Adobe MAX 2019 brought us the usual groundbreaking prototypes from Adobe’s very youthful R&D team, as presented to MAX attendees by senior Creative Cloud evangelist Paul Trani and the American comedian John Mulaney.

The sneak peeks on show range from inspired illustration tools to animation magic, with the odd curveball thrown in for good measure. Find the best Sneaks of the night below which we hope will find home in Creative Cloud some day on the horizon. Sometimes Sneaks do end up in CC - for example last year’s Project Smooth Operator is now part of Premiere Pro under the more humdrum name of Auto-Frame - but these things usually take a while, and some Sneaks just drop off the map entirely. Don’t expect to be using many of these in Adobe Creative Cloud 2021, is what we’re saying.

Project All In

Clever coding here, with this tool allowing you to crop a figure from one photo, then placing that figure into another picture within one or so clicks.

It basically figures out which person is missing from the second photo, find them in the first and - ta da - place them into an empty area as if they had been there all along. All in, nobody out!

Project Sweet Talk

You’ve got a rad new illustration which your client wants to use as a chat bot or AR mascot, but it needs to talk. Do you have time to get the mouth right in sync with the audio you’ve been given? And what if you only have a flat image to work off instead of an animatic?

Sweet Talk is your solution, an impressive tool that animates the mouth of any flat image, be it a picture, face in a photo or even a classic painting from the past.

Anything with a face can mouth the spoken sentences in your audio file to realistic precision, making life easier for animators everywhere.

Project Image Tango

It takes two to tango they say, and two components get combined in a magical way using this Sneak standout of the night.

Draw an outline of, say, a bird, then find a photo of a real bird. With one click, Image Tango creates a brand new photo of a brand new bird that follows your outline; in other words a brand new image auto-generated with your art as inspiration alongside the real-life element. And the image looks incredibly, scarily realistic.

It even works with two photos: say you’ve found a dress with the perfect pattern. How would that pattern look on a bag? Well, just feed Tango an image of a random bag, and out comes a photo image of a bag covered in the same pattern, looking like it’s come straight out of Google Shopping.

Image Tango can also generate a brand new figure and imagine it in various new poses; scary stuff on the scale of Deep Fake, but opening all sorts of possibilities for creators.

Project Go Figure

After Effects users will love this, a solution which instantly tracks movement from video and applies those tracking points to an animated figure.

Project Light Right

Adobe is crazy about its machine-learning Sensei platform, and something like Light Right shows why: take a photo in daytime, and then change the lighting. Sounds normal, until you realise Light Right changes the captured light according to different times of day, calculating the location of the sun through geometry at the time the picture was taken, and allowing you to edit the location of the light and shadows formed hour by hour from sunrise to sunset that very day. Special stuff right here.

Project Glow Stick

One for Illustrator CC 2021 is the Glow Stick tool. We’re not talking rave sticks but the applying of light and shadow to your vector shapes. Choose light and your vectors cast light; choose dark and they cast shadows. Intuitive, seamless wizardry.

Read next: Illustrator for iPad is coming

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn't affect our editorial independence. Learn more.

Read Next...