The larger the group (or the younger the subjects) the harder it is to ensure that everyone in a photo is looking in the right direction. Should they all be looking at the photographer? The camera lens? At someone else in the shot? With Photoshop Elements 2021, Adobe will let users fix it in post and change where every person is looking by simply adjusting a few sliders.
If you’re not familiar with Adobe Photoshop Elements, you can think of it as a version of Photoshop, Adobe’s flagship image editing application, that’s been streamlined and simplified for amateur photographers who don’t necessarily want to spend hours tweaking pixels. The underlying algorithms are no less powerful than what Photoshop relies on, but the Photoshop Elements interface is less intimidating to new users. As a result, Photoshop Elements is also often the first application to get Adobe’s latest and greatest AI-powered automated correction and enhancement tools.
For Photoshop Elements 2021, Adobe is introducing a handful of new features including the ability to turn a photo into an animated GIF by slicing up various elements and moving them around in parallax to create the illusion of 2D and 3D camera moves. It’s an effect often used in documentaries like The Kid Stays in the Picture to breathe life into still images, but instead of requiring an artist to spend hours painstakingly slicing up a photo into separate layers to be animated, it’s a one-click effect in Photoshop Elements 2021 which intelligently separates elements and animates them autonomously.
If your images are destined for social media, Adobe is also introducing text overlay templates potentially making anyone a master of memes, but the most interesting addition to the Photoshop Elements 2021 toolset has to be its new Face Tilt feature. The app automatically recognises faces in a photo and then using a set of three simple sliders, users can change the angle and orientation of the face to make it appear as if it’s looking in a different direction.
The tool has its obvious limits. If a child is momentarily distracted and looking off to the side in the image so their face isn’t actually visible, Face Tilt won’t be able to bring it back into frame. But any photo editor who’s had to manually merge heads from multiple takes into a single image to ensure everyone is looking in the same direction, the tool should reduce a couple hours worth of pixel-pushing into a ten-minute tweak.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021 is set to arrive sometime this spring before the year is out, and unlike Adobe Photoshop which is only available through an Adobe Creative Cloud membership (with monthly or annual fees) Photoshop Elements can be purchased outright as a standalone app for around $140.