I was not able to work with Photoshop Elements 8 prior to this announcement, but I was privy to an online demonstration of the new features. What follows is a summary of what's new, and I expect to have a hands-on review for you soon.
New Organizer Features (Windows-only)
- The Organizer is fully integrated with both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, bringing more video capabilities to the Organizer.
- Videos can be tagged with keywords as they are viewed in the Organizer.
- Keyword tags can now be typed in, in addition to the drag & drop method.
- A new Cloud view provides an alternate way of viewing and selecting keyword tags in addition to the hierarchical tag view. The cloud view presents a textual list of keyword tags with frequently-used tags displayed in a larger size.
- Pictures and videos are automatically analyzed in the background and tagged according to quality, lighting, contrast, number of faces, audio, focus, and other characteristics. Smart tagging can automatically identify high, medium, and low quality pictures, saving time when deciding which pictures from a batch to share or cull.
- Building on the face tagging capabilities of previous versions, Photoshop Elements 8 now provides people recognition. The more people you tag, the better it gets at recognizing the people in your pictures. Unrecognized people will be flagged for you to tag or confirm the guesses.
- In Full Screen review mode, you now have access to quick fix, rating, and tagging functions through the new Quick Edit and Quick Organize panels which can be hidden away when not needed.
- Photos and videos can be synchronized across multiple computers running Photoshop Elements Organizer. This is done via Photoshop.com, which gives you 2 GB of free storage, or you can upgrade to 20 GB with a Plus membership (US$50/year).
- Photos and videos can be combined and shared together in Photoshop.com Online Albums.
New Editor Features (Windows and Macintosh)
- Quick Fix mode in the editor now offers adjustment previews as an alternative to the sliders. If you're not sure what to expect from the sliders, you can click a button and get 9 thumbnail previews of the selected adjustment. Simply select the adjustment you like best to apply it. You can then further refine the adjustment by clicking and dragging on the previews, or by going back to the traditional sliders.
- Photomerge Exposure is a new Photomerge mode that helps you combine multiple photos for uniform exposure. In automatic mode you can combine multiple photos taken with exposure bracketing to merge the best parts from each exposure. Manual mode can be used to combine two photos taken with and without flash, taking the best elements of each for the foreground and background.
- Recompose is a new feature based on the content-aware scaling technology introduced in Photoshop CS4. Recompose allows you to change the orientation of a picture--to fit a frame or a different aspect ratio--without distorting the important objects in the picture. It does so by taking out the less important elements and preserving what is important. Recompose can also easily remove unwanted elements from a photo. Recompose is available on its own, but it can also be accessed from project layouts like scrapbook pages, photo books, and cards, so you can quickly adjust photos to fit your layout without stretching or cropping them.
Also new in Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac
Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac, skipping ahead from version 6, also gains new editor features which were introduced in Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows. These include:
- Adjustable workspace brightness
- Touch Up Tools: Whiten Teeth, Blue Skies, Red Eye Remover, and Black & White
- New Guided Edits and Automated Actions
- Action Player
- 2-in-1 Smart Brush
- PhotoMerge Scene Cleaner
- Surface Blur Filter
Premiere Elements 8
Premiere Elements 8 for video editing is available in a bundle with Photoshop Elements 8. New features in Premiere Elements 8 include:
- Organizer integration
- Smart Fix option when video is imported. Automatic analysis of footage can mark footage containing action, audio, etc. and help you separate the good footage from boring sections.
- Smart trimming shows you where you might want to cut bad footage.
- Smart mixing of background music and video audio .
- Motion tracking.
- Online sharing via Photoshop.com, YouTube, Podbean (publish podcasts to iTunes).
I liked what I saw in the demo of Photoshop Elements 8, and I'm looking forward to testing it out on my own photo collection, which is sorely in need of organization these past few months! I'm especially interested in seeing how the new people recognition does. If there's a Photoshop Elements 8 feature you're particularly interested in, let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to cover it in my upcoming review.
If you'd rather not wait, you can buy today from the links below:
• Buy Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows
• Buy Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac
• Buy Adobe Premiere Elements 8 for Windows
• Buy Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 & Adobe Premiere Elements 8 for Windows
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