Adobe’s new photo editor looks even more powerful than Google’s Magic Editor

Adobe MAX 2023 is less than a week away, and to promote the event, the company recently published a video teasing its new “object-aware editing engine” called Project Stardust.

According to the trailer, the feature has the ability to identify individual objects in a photograph and instantly separate them into their own layers. Those same objects can then be moved around on-screen or deleted. Selecting can be done either manually or automatically via the Remove Distractions tool. The software appears to understand the difference between the main subjects in an image and the people in the background that you want to get rid of.

What’s interesting is moving or deleting something doesn’t leave behind a hole. The empty space is filled in most likely by a generative AI model. Plus, you can clean up any left-behind evidence of a deleted item. In its sample image, Adobe erases a suitcase held by a female model and then proceeds to edit her hand so that she’s holding a bouquet of flowers instead.  

Image 1 of 2

Project Stardust editing

(Image credit: Adobe)
Image 2 of 2

Project Stardust generative AI

(Image credit: Adobe)

The same tech can also be used to change articles of clothing in pictures. A yellow down jacket can be turned into a black leather jacket or a pair of khakis into black jeans. To do this, users will have to highlight the piece of clothing and then enter what they want to see into a text prompt. 

Stardust replacement tool

(Image credit: Adobe)

AI editor

Functionally, Project Stardust operates similarly to Google’s Magic Editor which is a generative AI tool present on the Pixel 8 series. The tool lets users highlight objects in a photograph and reposition them in whatever manner they please. It, too, can fill gaps in images by creating new pixels. However, Stardust feels much more capable. The Pixel 8 Pro’s Magic Eraser can fill in gaps, but neither it nor Magic Editor can’t generate content. Additionally, Google’s version requires manual input whereas Adobe’s software doesn’t need it.

Seeing these two side-by-side, we can’t but wonder if Stardust is actually powered by Google’s AI tech. Very recently, the two companies announced they were entering a partnership “and offering a free three-month trial for Photoshop on the web for people who buy a Chromebook Plus device. Perhaps this “partnership” runs a lot deeper than free Photoshop considering how similar Stardust is to Magic Editor.

Impending reveal

We should mention that Stardust isn't perfect. If you look at the trailer, you'll notice some errors like random holes in the leather jacket and strange warping around the flower model's hands. But maybe what we see is Stardust in an early stage. 

There is still a lot we don’t know like whether it's a standalone app or will it be housed in, say, Photoshop? Is Stardust releasing in beta first or are we getting the final version? All will presumably be answered on October 10 when Adobe MAX 2023 kicks off. What’s more, the company will be showing other “AI features” coming to “Firefly, Creative Cloud, Express, and more.”

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best Photoshop courses online for 2023 if you’re thinking of learning the software, but don’t know where to start. 

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft axes Video Editor in latest Windows 10 Photos app update, and users aren’t happy

Coming in hot on the heels of a freshly updated Photos app in Windows 10, which has sparked discussion about its merit among users, Microsoft seems intent on stoking the fire. 

The new Photos app is missing some of the editing tools of its predecessor, has some new ones, and now no longer has a built-in Video Editor. Instead, the Editor will be replaced with a web-based app called Clipchamp.

According to Windows Latest, you may be able to open the old Video Editor, but if it’s been updated (probably through the most recent Windows 10 update), you’ll be met with a pop-up saying the following: 

“Microsoft Video Editor is no longer available in the Photos app. Your previous video projects can be accessed by downloading the Photos Legacy app in Settings. For new videos, unleash your creativity with Clipchamp.“

So, what can you do now?

You can still download the Photos Legacy app in the Microsoft Store, like the pop-up says, and restore the original Video Editor. Yet Windows Latest speculates that this might signal the beginning of the end for this generation of the Photos app and its editing capabilities. Eventually, we may not even have a Photos Legacy app at all (along with its Video Editor feature).  

The Photos Legacy app is similar to the Windows 11 version of the app, and it differs from the previous Windows 10 Photos app. Some of the changes that angered users are the removal of the Clarity slider and the Spot fix feature. This change was warned about shortly before it happened as Windows 10 users were notified ahead of the changes.

The move is presumably because Microsoft wants to usher users away from the Video Editor feature and over to the web-based Clipchamp, which was acquired by Microsoft back in 2021. Windows 11’s Photos and Windows 10’s Photos will still include video editing for now, as confirmed by an engineer at Microsoft to Windows Latest. 

Microsoft Store in Windows 10

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The new video editor in town: Clipchamp

So what’s Clipchamp? It’s a free video editor that allows users to make as many videos as they like in high definition (1080p). It’s a browser-based app that you can access at clipchamp.com and to access it, all you need is a Microsoft account and to log in on the website. You can find our review of Clipchamp here.

This app might remind you of a relic of the recent past – Windows Movie Maker. Movie Maker is also no more – officially decommissioned back in 2017 – and Microsoft is propping up Clipchamp as a replacement for it. 

Clipchamp is a more capable video-editing app, and allows any user to make a video that looks pretty professional. It also has a user-friendly interface and quick setup process. However, many still liked the old Video Editor, perhaps for its even more straightforward simplicity. 

Clipchamp

(Image credit: Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson)

What's the actual problem?

Not just known for its simple approach, Windows 10’s Video Editor could also encode much smaller-sized videos than those of Clipchamp. In Microsoft’s Feedback Hub, where users give feedback directly to Microsoft as outlined by Windows Latest, one user asked: “Why is the Clipchamp exported video 5 times the size of the photo “legacy” video editor?”

Yikes. 

The user details their complaint and outlines their comparison between Clipchamp and Photos Legacy’s Video Editor, and they aren’t happy. I understand why; there's a big difference, especially if you’re making a video for personal reasons instead of commercial purposes. File storage isn’t free, after all!

It makes you think – does Microsoft have plans to present a repackaged Video Editor elsewhere? Maybe it could enjoy a new lease on life as a paid download if it still maintains such popularity.

If you have similar thoughts or your own opinion you’d like to share, Microsoft does often repeat that they’d like to hear users’ thoughts on the matter. The uproar was so loud when it tried to do something similar with Paint that the beloved app was brought back as a optional download via the Microsoft Store, so maybe the tech giant will listen to users this time around too. 

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11’s built-in video editor removes its biggest drawback

Windows 11 recently got Clipchamp, or at least the video editing app graced the latest preview build of the OS, and now one of the biggest complaints about the free version has been fixed.

Clipchamp – which was acquired by Microsoft in September 2021, and turned up for Windows 11 testers earlier this month, had a major downside in that the basic free plan only allowed for videos to be exported at 480p resolution.

That’s pretty crummy, of course, but now the free version has been upped to include unlimited exporting to Full HD or 1080p resolution, which previously required you to subscribe to the Creator plan (at the price of $ 9 / £8 / AU$ 10 monthly).

There are still benefits for paying a Creator subscription, of course, namely access to stock audio clips and unlimited cloud storage for your projects. Meanwhile, business plans furnish you with extra goodies including stock video clips and the ability to fully brand your creations.


Analysis: A quick change following Windows 11 debut, and a necessary one

It’s good to see 1080p exports coming to the freebie incarnation of Clipchamp, though really, 480p was a very low bar to set, and so this was a move that needed to be made.

It’s obvious enough that Clipchamp being introduced as a Windows 11 app in testing – presumably set to come to the OS later this year in the big 2022 update – brought a lot more attention to the program. And with the spotlight shining more intensely on that export limitation, and perhaps given initial tester feedback, Microsoft decided that the 480p situation had to change (we can but guess).

Clipchamp is, in effect, the return of Windows Movie Maker, giving casual users a built-in and convenient option to quickly edit video clips within Windows 11. However, having to pay for a decent resolution with the end result would’ve severely limited Clipchamp’s usefulness in terms of that positioning.

Via Windows Central

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11’s built-in video editor removes its biggest drawback

Windows 11 recently got Clipchamp, or at least the video editing app graced the latest preview build of the OS, and now one of the biggest complaints about the free version has been fixed.

Clipchamp – which was acquired by Microsoft in September 2021, and turned up for Windows 11 testers earlier this month, had a major downside in that the basic free plan only allowed for videos to be exported at 480p resolution.

That’s pretty crummy, of course, but now the free version has been upped to include unlimited exporting to Full HD or 1080p resolution, which previously required you to subscribe to the Creator plan (at the price of $ 9 / £8 / AU$ 10 monthly).

There are still benefits for paying a Creator subscription, of course, namely access to stock audio clips and unlimited cloud storage for your projects. Meanwhile, business plans furnish you with extra goodies including stock video clips and the ability to fully brand your creations.


Analysis: A quick change following Windows 11 debut, and a necessary one

It’s good to see 1080p exports coming to the freebie incarnation of Clipchamp, though really, 480p was a very low bar to set, and so this was a move that needed to be made.

It’s obvious enough that Clipchamp being introduced as a Windows 11 app in testing – presumably set to come to the OS later this year in the big 2022 update – brought a lot more attention to the program. And with the spotlight shining more intensely on that export limitation, and perhaps given initial tester feedback, Microsoft decided that the 480p situation had to change (we can but guess).

Clipchamp is, in effect, the return of Windows Movie Maker, giving casual users a built-in and convenient option to quickly edit video clips within Windows 11. However, having to pay for a decent resolution with the end result would’ve severely limited Clipchamp’s usefulness in terms of that positioning.

Via Windows Central

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft Office is getting a simple little video editor

Microsoft is adding a video editor to its mobile app for Office that will allow users to create more than just documents using its office software.

According to a new post in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, a simple video editor will begin rolling out to the Office mobile app for Android beginning this month.

Microsoft's new video editor in Office will enable users to create short video clips and of course edit them before sharing them with the people in their network.

While there are already plenty of video editing apps for Android such as KineMaster and PowerDirector, the company's new update for Office will make it possible for its customers to create short video clips using an app they already have installed on their Android smartphones without the need to download additional software.

Stock Images

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Premium creative content

If you're looking to add a bit of visual flair to your projects in Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint, last year Microsoft announced the addition of premium creative content to Office. With this feature, Microsoft 365 uses can easily add high quality, curated images, stickers and icons to both their personal and professional flies. 

To get started, simply select Insert, scroll down to Pictures and click on the Stock Images option. From here, you'll be able to pick from a wide variety of content in addition to stock images including Cutout People, Icons and Stickers.

Microsoft also recently added Cartoon People in Office to allow users to create artwork and tell stories using a diverse set of characters and scenery. Cartoon People can be found in the premium content library under Icons and they can easily add a bit more to your documents and presentations.

While Microsoft Office is nowhere close to Adobe's Creative Cloud, the addition of a video editor and premium creative content in the software giant's office software makes it possible for users to channel their inner visual creativity in a place where they wouldn't normally expect to be able to do so.

We've also rounded up the best online collaboration tools, best free office software and best productivity tools

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Wix upgrades website creation with Editor X feature

Website builder Wix has launched a new design tool called Editor X geared towards professional web designers and creators. 

The new service looks to offer designers more flexibility and control over the websites they build, featuring advanced designing tools to help create a professionally designed website catering to their clients’ requirements. 

Editor X will be available within the existing business solutions that Wix offers, with a closed beta open for applications from today.

Empowering

Some of the key features that Editor X offers are:

·        Option to stack and scale media: This helps in a uniform website design regardless of the screen size

·        Docking: This will allow locking the design element on the website in a specific position

·        Sizing control: Modern CSS elements help designers define any element as fluid or fixed

·        Flexible Canvas: This will enable designers to instantly see the web layout as it appears on different screen sizes

·        Drag and Drop: All advanced tools will now have an option to drag and drop

·        Flex layouter: This smart will tool automatically recognize content when the screen is resized

·        Wix Design system: A collection of pre-designed responsive sections which matches the colour palette used on the website

“We understand the evolving needs of designers and their clients, and we innovate to address their sophisticated demands and diverse requirements,” said Wix Co-founder and CEO Avishai Abrahami. 

“Editor X is the solution for these users with more complex design needs.”

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More