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Adobe Adds 360 Photo Editing To Photoshop – Forbes

Easily remove what want from a 360 image!
Somewhat buried among a bunch of other software updates, Adobe revealed that the latest version of Photoshop has the ability to edit 360-degree photos. As an avid 360 photographer, this is huge.
If you’re new to 360 cameras, check out my Beginner’s Guide To 360 Cameras.
If you haven’t tried editing a 360 photo, here’s the challenge: Though you view 360 photospheres as if you’re inside the sphere, they’re still handled by computers and phones as a 2D rectangular image. Most editing software, really, most any software, will show a 360 image like this:
A flat version of a Garmin VIRB 360 photo. This one is has been edited with Photoshop (most images… [+] posted to Facebook look a touch dark, so here this looks a little bright. You can edit yours as you see fit). For the 360 version, click here.
See the distortions at the top and bottom? That’s the issue. To create the sphere, Facebook, Tumblr, and other 360 viewers warp the rectangle in a sort of inverse-Mercator projection. The stretched top and bottom appear normal when viewed as a sphere.
But in editing, this creates challenges. Not in terms of changing contrast, brightness, and so on. That’s easy and doable with just about anything. The issue is what most people colloquially call “photoshopping.” Let’s say, for example, you want to remove the tripod your 360 camera sits on. With the image “distorted” in 2D form, this becomes difficult. There were workarounds, but they were often time consuming and cumbersome.
Enter this latest update. By adding a 360 viewer to Photoshop, Adobe lets you edit, heal, tweak, whatever you would normally do to a photo, within the 360 sphere. Here’s a video (with some really bad narration) that explains it.
I’ve already played with it a bit, and I’m very excited. This is something I’ve been long waiting for. Here’s a quick example. The picture below I took yesterday while testing some 360 cameras at Zuma Beach near Malibu. The first is how the image looks normally, plus a bit of adjustment to color and contrast.
Since Forbes, like most websites, can’t display a 360 image as 360, below are the flat « 2D » versions. Click the links in the captions to see them in 360 on Flickr.
Zuma Beach at sunset, lightly edited for color and contrast. Click here for the 360 version.
This next picture is after using the new Photoshop editing tools. Look, I’m gone!
I’m gone! This edit took about 2 minutes. Click here for the 360 version.
How cool is that? I’ve found 360 photos with a person holding the camera are pretty fun and well liked, but images with the camera on a tripod could look far better without the tripod. With this new update, taking out the tripod could take just a matter of seconds.
Kudos, Adobe.
Unfortunately, there were other things announced…
On the other hand…
I (and most people, I think) have had a long love/hate relationship with Adobe. They make some fantastic products, and then do everything they can to annoy you while using them. The subscription model is certainly one aspect, but it’s a publicly traded company, so they’re beholden to their shareholders to make money. OK, whatever.
Lightroom not featuring all the simple photo tools of Photoshop (so you need to use both)? Odd and annoying.
And now, Lightroom CC. Except, Lightroom CC isn’t Lightroom CC it’s now Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC is… something else. As Lori Grunin at CNET says: “Who is Lightroom CC for? Because it’s not for Lightroom CC users. Rather than bringing the power of the desktop to mobile and the cloud, Adobe has brought the limitations of mobile to the desktop.”
Cloud integration and a dumbed down interface is the new Lightroom? By branding the “old” Lightroom “Classic” they’ve put fear in the hearts of photographers worldwide that Lightroom isn’t long for this world.
Why would Adobe make such a move? Because they want to sell you cloud storage space, of course. Sigh. Hopefully they’ll come to their senses and not ruin Lightroom for the rest of us. We shall see.
Check out Lori’s article linked above and DPReview’s coverage. Both have lots more info.


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