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Adobe Shows Off Prototype Blur-Fixing Feature

Adobe showed off the prototype but its not clear if or when the new unblur feature will make it into a future version of Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop could soon help salvage all those photographs you keep thinking would be "perfect if they weren't so blurry." Adobe recently demoed an early prototype for a one-click "deblurring" feature, tentatively called "restore sharp image," that turns a blurry image into a clearer and more usable photograph.

YouTube is already full of methods on how to remove blur from photographs, but these tricks typically require several manual adjustments to your photos -- not to mention a deeper knowledge of photo editing software than most people have. The new Photoshop prototype feature, if it works as promised, would allow anyone to quickly and easily correct their photos in just a few steps.

Adobe showed off the new deblur prototype at its Adobe Max conference in October during a set of feature sneak peeks for conference attendees. It's not clear if or when the new unblur feature will make it into a future version of Photoshop, as the company warned all sneak peek features were just prototypes with no concrete product plans. But if the deblurring feature works as well in the wild as it appeared to work in the video below, Adobe would be foolish not to add the blur-fixing feature to a future version of Photoshop.

Blur kernel

The prototype feature uses a computer algorithm to analyze how the image was blurred and then creates what Adobe called a "blur kernel." After the kernel is generated, it can show you information such as what the motion trajectory of the camera was while the shutter was open -- causing the blur in the first place. The next step is to simply hit a "restore sharp image" button and the photograph is fixed.

During the demo, the feature also corrected an image snapped with a smartphone camera making a section of text in the photo more legible. It appears you could also apply deblurring to a specific section of an image as opposed to correcting the entire photo at once.

Check out the video below to see Adobe's prototype deblurring feature in action, including a cameo appearance from actor Rainn Wilson of “The Office,” who hosted the awards and sneak peeks portion of the conference. The video below was taken by London-based Flash developer Peter Elst and first reported by The Next Web. The deblurring magic happens around 1:18.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.


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