Review: Adobe’s video content-aware feature

By Trent Ninos.

“Fix it in post” is synonymous with production.

It's usually exclaimed as a joke, but it's kind of not. Sometimes when a drone operator is pulling off a shot, they’re focused on the composition of the shot as a whole and not the little details that make up the shot.

They may not realise the man practising nude Tai Chi in the park or the guy wearing a Port Power guernsey flipping off the drone. These are ‘Fix it in post” moments. Normally these would be a bit of a time-consuming fix, having to manually track and paint out ‘imperfections’ in the image.

Now thanks to Adobe's new content-aware feature, it’s almost just the click of a button to get to a stage that is somewhere between ‘a good starting point’ and ‘a totally useable shot’. You just have to trace around the object you want to remove for the duration of the shot and cut it out. Then clicking the magic button makes the software work out what would have been there using the surrounding data physically and temporally. Then it will automatically place in the grass where the Tai Chi man used to be and the wall of the local bottle-o where the Port supporter was.

I’m looking forward to playing around with this feature is some of our projects to further enhance a shot. I’ve already used it once on our MGA TVC where we had a drone shot following a car and there was another car far in the distance. The one in the distance was a bit distracting so within about 10 minutes, it was gone.

There are limitations though. For best results, the object being removed would need to have a clean area around it for easily patching over. If the object you’re trying to remove is obstructed by a tree or in the reflection of another object, I’d imagine you’re going to have a bad time.

It’s nice to know that things can easily be removed from a shot though which would save time on location instead of having to come up with creative way of hiding from the drone or waiting for traffic to go away if it’s not desired in the shot.

I give it four mouse-clicks out of five.