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What's new in Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 14 (pictures)

A tour of the pros and cons of the latest version of Adobe's consumer software.

Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
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1 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

People View

It's easier to see the full photos attached to the face tags.

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2 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Map view

You can now easily spot and tag photos without location information, and the map will display thumbnails of the photos.

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3 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Easier complex edge selection

You can brush over the fine details and (in theory) Photoshop will be able to create better selection edges than before. In practice, it's frustratingly inconsistent. For instance, here it worked well for the fur against bright white, but I think the very faint shadow behind the gray fur is confusing the software.

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4 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Haze reduction

This is one feature that's unambiguously useful. You can control the intensity of the effect and the sensitivity -- whatever that means. Unfortunately, Adobe isn't very good about explaining how to choose your settings.

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5 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Shake reduction

The software lets you create target areas that the algorithm should prioritize and you can control the intensity of the effect. "Sensitivity" in this module seems to have a different meaning than "sensitivity" in the haze removal.

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6 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Shake reduction preview

You can get a real-time preview of the effect.

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7 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Too shaky

Unfortunately, shake reduction doesn't work well on photos with serious camera shake. Here the original is on the right and the processed photo on the left.

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8 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Guided edit interface

Adobe revised the interface for selecting a guided edit: when you scroll over the thumbnail, it shows a before and after.

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9 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Speed effect

The guided edit takes you through selecting an area, creating a duplicate blur and refining it.

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10 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

New guided edit panel

Adobe now gives you several options for things to do after completing a guided edit.

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11 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Resize guided edit targets devices

In this guided edit, you choose whether you're resizing for screen or print. Unfortunately, it doesn't address matching the file resolution to the print output resolution, which can result in unattractive prints when you're sizing up a photo.

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12 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Resize guided edit

If you're confused about how to resize images, this GE will make it easier, but it won't deliver optimal results -- you're really better off learning how to resize.

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13 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Resize GE crop preview

When you're resizing for something that has a different aspect ratio, Photoshop lets you select what gets cropped.

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14 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Smart Looks

The new Smart Looks algorithm analyzes your photo and suggests the five "best" adjustments to make.

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15 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Smart Looks

Most of the suggested adjustments seem to be variations on contrast, saturation and white balance.

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16 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Smart Looks

Smart Looks are a nice way to quickly adjust the colors and contrast of a photo.

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Here's the audio

Though Adobe didn't add or update any of the audio-editing features in Premiere Elements, it did make them more findable, and added an audio-centric timeline view.

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18 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

New Guided Edits

Premiere Elements 14 introduces the Black and White with Color Pop and Slow/Fast Motion Guided Edits.

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19 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Premiere Elements' Color Pop Guided Edit

Unlike Photoshop Elements, Premiere's Guided Edits actually show you how to create the effects yourself by walking through them with explanations. This edit takes you through converting the video to grayscale and popping a single hue (by reducing the saturation of all the colors but the one you want).

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20 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Faster sharing

The new Export/Share interface makes it easier to quickly encode and upload video to a few popular sites.

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21 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Encode by device

To simplify your encoding, Premiere Elements now lets you target by the output device you plan to play the video on and then provides just a few simple choices about quality and size.

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22 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Motion Titles

There are just a few options for the graphics in a Motion Title, and I don't think you can delete any of the objects.

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23 of 23 Screenshot and photos by Lori Grunin/CNET

Motion Titles

You can choose how the text animates onto the screen.

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