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Adobe showcases new 'Photoshop CS6' lens effect tool

At a press-only event in London yesterday, Adobe Photoshop's senior product manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes showcased a never-seen-before new tool for Photoshop that it has in development - which will more than-likely appear in the next full release of Photoshop.

As usual for such gatherings, Hughes would only say that the new tools are "in early development" and that Adobe wasn't saying that these would appear in any future product. These terms are regularly used software firms to comply with stringent US accounting laws about company product announcements, and are usually an easily understood code for 'features we want to include in our next release, but legally we can't say that in case we don't'.

Hughes showed a feature called Content-Aware Wide-Angle Lens Correction, which allowed semi-automated lens correction of extreme distortions that are not currently possible using Photoshop's current tools. Working with an image of Adobe's offices in San Jose taken from below with an almost-fisheye effect, Hughes drew lines along edges he knew to be straight - with the software correcting for these as he went. The results were extremely impressive.

Apps are an area that Adobe is investing heavily in currently, and Hughes showed some very early interface technology that Adobe is working on - where a colour wheel on an iPad screen could be manipulated with your fingers to make Curves corrections. It's easily to see how this could be added to Adobe's Nav app for using an iPad as a control surface for Photoshop (which currently just provides access to the toolbar and some keyboard shortcuts).

Hughes also ran through some of his 'Hidden Gems' series of Photoshop tricks that show how tools can be used in unusual ways, such as using masks to assist Content-Aware Fill and the Puppet Warp tool to correct lens distortions.

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