Jason Levine, workflow evangelist for Adobe has released probably the best response to #CoffeeCupGate, by removing the coffee cup altogether using the new "Content-Aware Fill" for video that was announced at NAB 2019. In a viral post that likely took seconds or minutes to put together, first you see the coffee, then you don't.
How? Well, content aware fill has long been one of Photoshop users favorite tools for replacing an area of the image that you want to erase. After what felt like eons of consumer demand, Adobe finally rolled the "almost magic" feature into After Effects only a few short weeks ago.
Considering the simplicity of the replacement of a coffee cup with a table using this tool, it's the perfect combination.
While many have speculated that this was all an elaborate ad for Starbucks, considering how well this dovetails with Adobes release cycle we almost wonder if this was all an elaborate brand sponsorship for Adobe. The news then came out a few hours later that HBO has also now cut out the coffee cup, (perhaps using Content-Aware Fill themselves, who knows), so it will no longer appear if you try to find it on streaming.
Fixing a problem like this requires not just the tools to do it, but also catching it in the first place. The problem, of course, remains perceptual. Someone, literally any of hundreds of people, had to notice, and no one did because humans just aren't that good at catching small details like that. We are confident that there are hundreds of other small cleanups precisely like this done throughout the show.
Check out our podcast this week for a longer discussion of the issue, and head over to Adobe for more on Content-Aware Fill.