Innovation unwrapped: Photoshop Camera
By Adobe Life Team
Posted on 09-09-2020
Photoshop Camera launched in June 2020, but it’s been years in the making.
“As an early member on the team, I’ve seen PsC go from a barebones, one-trick viewfinder app to a full-fledged camera experience with a bottomless lens library capable of delivering Photoshop magic at the time of capture,” said Chintan Intwala, principal product manager. “Without a doubt, this is the most challenging and rewarding project of my life because it has demanded every ounce of my skill as a product manager, photographer, photoshop compositor and, to some degree, as an engineer.”
As a small team trying to build a photo app from scratch, their biggest challenges were identifying a set of user problems to tackle while at the same time standing differentiated from the thousands of apps in the category. The team also needed to experiment with how to make lenses in a scalable fashion by weaving AI-masks with complex Photoshop layers containing myriad of adjustment layers.
After two years of hard work and beta tests, the team looked back at moments of victory.
“One of the most memorable moments for me was PsC’s announcement at MAX 2019,” Ray Wang, software quality engineer, said. “After uncertainty and stress in the preceding year leading up to MAX, it was incredibly refreshing to finally show off all of our cool technology, beautiful lenses, and hard work to the public. Seeing all of the press and articles about Photoshop Camera was especially neat, since this is the first product I have helped work on.”
Another moment of victory for the team was receiving the survey results of the MAX Limited Preview of Photoshop Camera, which flooded them with high praises and strong signals that users were using PsC as their primary camera app.
“As any other V1 product, we had phases where there were lot of uncertainties up until the launch,” said Lakshmi Menon, Sr. Engineering Program Manager. “But we have such an amazing team here at Adobe, be it Engineering, Product, Marketing, Campaign, Studio, HelpX, or Support; it was easy to navigate through this change. And, of course, a strong leadership team who supported us throughout. I am extremely proud to be part of the Adobe family.”
As for the future? The possibilities are limitless.
“PsC is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible real-time in a camera viewfinder. The sheer brainpower of our engineering team and technology behind PsC are mind-blowing,” Chintan said. “What truly excites me is how Photoshop Camera helps with Adobe’s mission of ‘Creativity for All.’ Using the power of Adobe Sensei—our AI and machine learning technology—we enable anyone to experience the world of Adobe CC just by pointing a camera. On top of that, our team is very conscious about taking part in the global dialog on various timely issues. We recently released lenses to celebrate diversity and inclusion, and also partnered with The Ocean Agency to increase awareness of the health of our oceans. We have lots of lenses planned for the remaining year where we hope to increase awareness and drive more impact.”
The Adobe Family
To the team, Photoshop Camera belongs to the Adobe family.
“During the internal beta, thousands of employees participated and shared hundreds of amazing photos in our Slack channel. There was a palpable sense of excitement in the group every day and we got tons of constructive feedback. This fervent participation from the Adobe family gave our team a spring in our stride every day,” Chintan said.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to be working with so many brilliant and diverse people all in one team: engineers, artists, managers, and everyone,” Ray said. “It’s impossible not to learn something new every day. That’s what Adobe does best: bringing together the best of all worlds.”
Following the general availability launch in mid-June 2020, Photoshop Camera saw widespread adoption around the globe with more than 2.45 million app downloads in just the first 45 days, and more than 3.5 million lenses have been downloaded within the app by users – with new lenses released weekly. During the week of its debut, Photoshop Camera was also featured as “App of the Day” in the Apple App Store. PsC is a free app for iOS and Android supported devices.
Topics: Adobe Life, Employee Impact
Products: Creative Cloud, Photoshop