Nearly 20 years ago, on one of my first customer visits as a Photoshop PM, I got to watch artists use PS + After Effects to extract people from photo backgrounds, then animate the results. The resulting film—The Kid Stays In The Picture—lent its name to the distinctive effect (see previous).
Now I’m delighted that Google Photos is rolling out similar output to its billion+ users, without requiring any effort or tools:
We use machine learning to predict an image’s depth and produce a 3D representation of the scene—even if the original image doesn’t include depth information from the camera. Then we animate a virtual camera for a smooth panning effect—just like out of the movies.
Photos is also rolling out new collages, like this:
And they’re introducing new themes in the stories-style Memories section up top as well:
Now you’ll see Memories surface photos of the most important people in your life… And starting soon, you’ll also see Memories about your favorite things—like sunsets—and activities—like baking or hiking—based on the photos you upload.
A couple of exciting new features have landed for Pixel users. My colleague Navin Sarma writes,
Sky palette transfer in Photos – Sky palette transfer allows users to quickly improve their images that contain sky, achieving a dramatic, creative, and professional effect. It localizes the most dramatic changes to color and contrast to the sky, and tapers the effect to the foreground. It’s especially powerful to improve images of sunsets or sunrises, or where there are complex clouds and contrasty light.
Dynamic/HDR in Photos – The “Dynamic” suggestion is geared towards landscape and “still life” photography, where images can benefit from enhanced brightness, contrast, and color. This effect uses local tone mapping, which allows more control of where brightness and contrast changes occur, making it especially useful in tricky lighting situations. You can use this effect on any photo by using the “Dynamic” suggestion, or navigating to Adjust and moving the “HDR” slider.
TL;DR: High quality storage will no longer be unlimited, but this won’t happen for a while; free storage remains a generous 15GB (more than enough for most people); and 100GB of storage costs two bucks a month.
Beginning June 1, any new photo or video uploaded in High quality in Google Photos will count toward your free 15 GB storage quota or any additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member. To make this transition easier, we’ll exempt all High quality photos and videos you back up before June 1. This includes all of the High quality photos and videos you currently store with Google Photos. Most people who back up in High quality should have years before they need to take action—in fact, we estimate that 80 percent of you should have at least three years before you reach 15 GB. You can learn more about this change in our Google Photos post.
I have been waiting, I kid you not, since the Bush Administration to have an easy way to adjust lighting on faces. I just didn’t expect it to appear on my telephone before it showed up in Photoshop, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Anyway, check out what you can now do on Pixel 4 & 5 devices:
This feature arrives, as PetaPixel notes, as one of several new Suggestions:
Nestled into a new ‘Suggestions’ tab that shows up first in the Photos editor, the options displayed there “[use] machine learning to give you suggestions that are tailored to the specific photo you’re editing.” For now, this only includes three options—Color Pop, Black & White, and Enhance—but more suggestions will be added “in the coming months” to deal specifically with portraits, landscapes, sunsets, and beyond.
Lastly, the photo editor overall has gotten its first major reorganization since we launched it in 2015:
With the latest version of the image.canon app (available on Android or iOS) and a compatible Canon camera, you can choose to automatically transfer original quality photos to Google Photos, eliminating the hassle of using your computer or phone to back them up.
In addition to a compatible Canon camera and the image.canon app, you’ll also need a Google One membership to use this feature. To help get started, Canon users will get one month of Google One free, providing access to up to 100 GB of cloud storage, as well as other member benefits, such as premium support from Google experts and family sharing.
As part of the new search tab, you’ll see an interactive map view of your photos and videos, which has been one of our most-requested features since we launched Google Photos. You can pinch and zoom around the globe to explore photos of your travels…
In addition, the “Stories”-style strip up top is getting upgrades:
We’re adding more types of Memories, like the best pics of you and your closest friends and family over the years, trips, and even just the highlights from last week… We’ve also moved our automatic creations–like movies, collages, animations, stylized photos and more–from the “For you” tab (which is now gone) and into Memories.
It’s always been easy to create a sharable link for your albums, but it wasn’t possible to prevent others from resharing that link. Now Photos offers more control:
Last December, we launched direct sharing to make it easy to share one-off photos and videos in Google Photos by adding them to an ongoing, private conversation in the app. Today, we’re bringing a similar experience to shared albums. Rolling out this week, when sharing an album, the default option will be to share with a specific person or people via their Google account. This gives you more control over who’s added to the album.
00:12 “Show me photos of me and Loretta” To use the Assistant to pull up photos, make sure you and your favorite people are tagged in your Google Photos. Then just say, “Hey Google, show me photos of me and [their name]”
00:21 “Remember, Loretta hated my mustache.” To try this one, just say, “Hey Google, remember…” and then whatever you’d like the Assistant to help you recall later. Like “Hey Google, remember Dad’s shoe size is 8 and half” or “remember Maria loves lilies.” Then, to see everything you’ve asked the Assistant to remember, just say, “Hey Google, what did I tell you to remember?”
00:39 “Show me photos from our anniversary” To see photos from a wedding, anniversary, birthday, or graduation, you’ll need a Google Photos account, and you’ll also need to tell your Assistant the specific date. Just say something like, “Hey Google, remember my anniversary is May 18th” or “remember Mark’s birthday is March 30th.” Then you can use that information in many ways, like “Hey Google, show me photos from our anniversary” or “Hey Google, remind me to buy flowers on Mark’s birthday.”
00:51 “Play our favorite movie.” First, tell your Google Assistant what your favorite movie is by saying, “Hey Google, our favorite movie is Casablanca.” Once you’ve purchased your favorite movie on Google Play Movies or YouTube, all you have to say is, “Hey Google, play our favorite movie” and the movie will start playing.
Now, you can turn a photo into a portrait on Pixel by blurring the background post-snap. So whether you took the photo years ago, or you forgot to turn on portrait mode, you can easily give each picture an artistic look with Portrait Blur in Google Photos.
I’m also pleased to see that the realtime portrait-blurring tech my team built has now come to Google Duo for use during video calls: