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  • Automatic Background Replacement

    Some features aren't adequate enough to do the job, but are just interesting enough to ruin realistic expectations and make things difficult for everyone except the sales force. Some features are rolled out too soon, setting back development by lowering the demand and expectations for better quality.

    I just played with Microsoft's Paint 3D program Magic Select feature. It lets you automatically select and move an object from it's background, and replaces the background with what it thinks is there. It works on some simple background patterns, but does a crappy job on the more complex patterns. This feature has a long way to go and I don't know if it will ever meet the unrealistic expectations of the amateurs.

    I don't use Adobe CC, but some photographer told me that Adobe has a version of this feature also. I'm guessing that it's not much better. Part of me feels like these software companies shouldn't even make the attempt without making a disclaimer that it's should only be used on simple backgrounds. I also feel like it takes away from the graphic design profession by offering a weak alternative to good photo editing skills.

    What do you think. Are these automated background replacement features a premature cute attempt at best and a graphic design profession betrayal at worst, or am I just an old school graphic design snob?
    3
    This feature is premature and won't be worth the attempt for decades.
    33.33%
    1
    This feature is weak, but worth releasing now for early adoption and feedback.
    33.33%
    1
    This feature is good enough for now, and DesignZombie is an old school snob.
    33.33%
    1

  • #2
    I dunno, Photoshop's "Content Aware Fill" does a pretty good job in some cases. Judge for yourself.

    I grabbed this Shutterstock image, and tried it on the cactus on the left. Used the magic wand and some quick mask mode to make a rough selection (took about 40 sec. total):



    Then, I just chose Edit > Fill > Content Aware...

    I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

    Comment


    • B
      B commented
      Editing a comment
      One can always go back in and clean up any weirdness with the stamp tool. A tall skinny cactus in front of a clear blue sky isn't exactly the best test, though.

    • HotButton
      HotButton commented
      Editing a comment
      Sure, I suppose a ''best test'' would be considerably more challenging; of course this was just a quick and dirty exercise. But even so, I think it pretty clearly demonstrates why for me, this beats using the Stamp tool alone. Maybe others don't have the same problems (or maybe they do, because I can always detect Stamp-tool use), but getting a reasonably seamless, color-matched alignment in that sky gradient, down across those mountains on the horizon would take me a lot longer with the Stamp than this less-that-a-minute result.

    • B
      B commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, you're right, getting those sky gradations to match up perfectly with the stamp tool would be difficult.

  • #3
    The Adobe tool works a little better than the Microsoft Magic Select feature I was referring to. But it is a simple background. I guess it's good for a quick an dirty job.

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