Adobe’s annual MAX conference is in full swing, and this year’s biggest updates are all about AI and automation, with a raft of improvements to the AI-powered masking features in Photoshop, and a few of the older Photoshop features being introduced to Lightroom too.
Photoshop Desktop’s big jump is an improvement to the Object Selection tool, which is both more accurate (especially in fiddly cases like wispy hair) and now capable of recognising a wider range of objects automatically, including the sky, buildings, water, plants, and different types of flooring and ground (e.g., mountains, pavements, streets).
It’s even capable of pulling apart specific elements within complex subjects, such as a person holding a surfboard.
Adobe has then combined that tool with its Content-Aware Fill for a seamless one-click delete. Simply select an object with the tool, then hit Shift+Delete, and Photoshop will not only remove the object from the image, but replace it with an AI-generated background to suit the image, all in one fell swoop.
Lightroom and Lightroom Classic are both getting masking updates too, though these are focussed on bringing existing Photoshop features selection and masking features over to Adobe’s dedicated photography platform.
The Select People tool will automatically pick out any people in an image, generating specific masks for both individuals and groups. More impressively, you can then drill down within each mask to select body parts like face skin, body skin, eyes, teeth, lips, hair, and more.
But what about more varied types of photo subjects? The new Select Object tool will pick out any part of a photo for a mask once you either roughly paint over it or select with a rectangular marquee. You essentially tell Lightroom the rough part of the image to look at, and it figures out the borders of the object you’re talking about to produce a mask.
Finally, if you want to select everything else in a photo, you can now Select Background with a one-click tool – saving you the extra step of selecting your subject and then inverting.
These aren’t the only Photoshop options making their way to Lightroom. Content-Aware Remove is now arriving in Lightroom too – including mobile editions – so that you can remove blemishes or background elements, and the app will do its best to fill in the gap correctly.
Adobe’s other big push at this year’s MAX is towards cloud collaboration. It’s introducing a beta version of the Share for Review feature to Photoshop, allowing creatives to share links to specific versions of projects for review, with any comments appearing directly within the Photoshop app.
Meanwhile partnerships with RED and Fujifilm will allow future cameras to upload files directly to the cloud without any additional hardware required, so that photos and videos can be reviewed and worked on remotely without the camera operator needing to pause the shoot.
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