The Creative Magic of MAX 2014 Sneaks

Sneaks Night at MAX is a longtime fan favorite and always packed to the rafters. It’s a rare preview of groundbreaking ideas and technologies percolating inside Adobe’s labs that some of our brightest minds have developed – from research interns to PhDs around the globe – that are pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Over the years we’ve unveiled early developments during Sneaks that have become cornerstones of future products. A few recent favorites may ring a bell: Content Aware Fill, Camera Shake Reduction (which debuted as “Deblur”), Perspective Warp and Brush. Depending on who is writing the script, some are “celebrated failures” (a.k.a Silicon Valley risk taking!) or projects that have evolved in new directions. Unlike Hollywood, we don’t get to write the script, and there is no guarantee that this year’s Sneaks will make it into future Adobe products and services. In fact, we don’t even guarantee that all of the demos will work as intended. But, it is that spark of an idea and sense of potential that we relish the most, and what pushes the hundreds of Adobe developers each year to participate in this Hollywood-meets-Silicon Valley / American Idol-meets-Shark Tank moment).

The curtain raised on this year’s MAX Sneaks with host Joseph Gordon-Levitt, acclaimed actor, director, screenwriter and film luminary, and Ben Forta, senior director at Adobe, sharing more than a dozen projects crossing the creative spectrum of photography, design, 3D, video, web, online communities and more. If you weren’t at MAX, or if you went to get a beer in the back of the theater at the wrong moment, you can watch Sneak recordings here. (Some are embedded below, others link to YouTube.)

Past audience feedback has often guided our teams to move these explorations into future products. So let us know via Twitter, using the hashtag for each Sneak, which projects inspire you!

And, without further ado, here they are in order of appearance on stage … the MAX 2014 Sneaks!

#ProjectLayup
Tablets are no longer just for browsing and playing games, they’ve become an integral part of the creative process. Project Layup is the brainchild of a customer and partner who used the Creative SDK, now available for all developers, to reimagine on-device prototyping, sketching, and ideation.

#PSDWebEditing
It’s Photoshop, without a locally installed version of Photoshop! Edit PSD designs right in the browser. Move layers around, change blend modes, change shape fills and save changes to the PSD to share or download locally.

#VisualSpeechEditor
Audio editing via (not overly informative) waveforms has been the norm for decades. But not anymore. Here’s a completely new approach to editing audio – making it simpler and more intuitive.

#ProjectBeacon
Get inspired on the go! Project Beacon leveraged Bluetooth powered location awareness to showcase Behance artwork and projects to the real world.

#Defog
Images of outdoor scenes are usually degraded by haze, and getting rid of haze in your pics is currently a lot of work. As much as photographers would appreciate it, we just can’t get rid of all actual atmospheric haze. But, no problem, the Photoshop team has figured out the next best thing, automatic haze removal (and automatic haze insertion, too).

#LiveMobileDev
Modern web design and responsive web pages need to be viewed and tested on lots of different devices. Here’s a new way to make live previews of your content, instantly updated and synchronized across connected devices as you make changes.

#ShapeShade
Here’s another look at using touch and tablets for content creation, a fun and engaging tool for vector drawing, fills, and patterns. Simple, but surprisingly powerful.

#TimeOfDay
Lighting changes all the time, and photographers would love the ability to stop, rewind, and fast forward time. This tool uses huge archives of around-the-clock footage to find and transfer lighting to your own images. This is as close to time travel as it gets.

#ProjectPara
Para is an experiment in using math and geometry to formulaically generate gorgeous art… without having to actually do the math and geometry.

#3DPhotoMagic
Adding images to images is easy, unless those images have different perspectives. So how can you add these images without having to convert and manipulate 3D models? That’s the magic!

#ShaperTool
Adobe Illustrator is the standard vector drawing solution, and creatives rely on tools like pen, line, arc, spiral, and live corners to bring their ideas to life. This sneak explores the next generation of Illustrator tools that are as fun as they are smart.

#GapStop
Say goodbye to annoying jump cuts. This is a new video technology that eases transitions and removes pauses from video, automatically.

#PhotoshopforDesign
Photoshop is big and capable and powerful, but sometimes all of that power can be overwhelming. We’re experimenting with new interfaces that can make Photoshop faster and more efficient for designers.