I found out about a neat feature in Photoshop CS4 yesterday — content aware editing. It's pretty neat to see it in action (scroll halfway down the page to play the video).
This feature intelligently re-sizes, or re-targets, images by being aware of the content in the image (skin tones, objects, etc.). Using this tool, you can scale an image without skewing it. For example, if two people are standing next to each other a few feet apart, they will appear to stand closer or farther apart, while parts of the background slowly disappear. No cropping or awkward scaling necessary!
I have not tested this out with some of my own images, but this could be a useful feature to use during website projects when we have to get images to fit within CMS templates. Usually, there are some parts of the website that rely heavily on imagery, and on imagery that fits in with the design in the correct proportion. To update these areas of the site, the content author has to find or crop images into the right dimension. This new Photoshop trick could make things much easier!
The other thing that blows me away is how simple this idea is, yet has to be really complex to execute. I took pattern recognition back in my university days, and I can't even begin to imagine all the math that goes into this. I have much respect for the guy who came up with this one.
I hope you get a chance to check it out, and leave a comment to let us know what you think of this feature, or anything else that sparks your interest with CS4!