Adobe adds new features to Photoshop, with increasing use of AI

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Adobe's flagship image editor gets bigger and better with updates to both its desktop and iPadOS versions -- and Adobe continues to expand Sensei AI's role in its software suite.

Adobe adds new features to Photoshop, many featuring Adobe Sensei AI


Adobe Photoshop, likely the most well known and widely used professional image editing software, has just received its largest update since November of last year. Many of these updates have been implemented as a result of customer feedback, with many of them focusing on user interface and user experience improvement.

Photoshop on macOS and Windows

Select Subject





Select Subject gets a boost from Adobe's Sensei AI machine learning, allowing photographers to one-click select and mask portraits with higher accuracy than ever before. The process is now content-aware, which means it applies new algorithms when it detects a person in a scene. Specifically, Select Subject is now able to select a subject's hair accurately, which reduces the need for manual masking.

Adobe Camera Raw User Experience Improvements

camera raw


Adobe Camera Raw gets a major interface overhaul, which is designed to mimic the UI and UX of Lightroom. Image adjustments and batch image processing are now more intuitive and easier to navigate. The redesigned Crop tool and Curves UI are easier to use thanks to visualization changes and consolidated options. Thanks to the updates, users should be able to transition from Camera RAW, Lightroom, and Photoshop seamlessly.

Adobe Fonts Auto-Activation

Adobe has added a new feature that automatically downloads and activates any Adobe Fonts in the desktop version of Photoshop. Gone are the days of opening a file in Photoshop, only to see an error file alerting you to missing fonts. Granted, the update only works if a user is using Adobe Fonts, but it won't be a problem for many designers.

Rotating Patterns

Patterns in Photoshop can now be rotated thanks to a UI update. The feature works similar to how features like Drop Shadow, Bevel & Emboss, and other layer styles have worked for years. As an additional benefit, the rotation effect is non-destructive and can be easily reset or altered on the fly.

Match Fonts

matched fonts


Another Sensei AI feature, Match Fonts, uses machine learning to identify fonts that appear in images. If the font is available through Adobe, it gives users the ability to install and start using it immediately.

While the feature was released a couple of years ago, an update brings improved algorithms and support for more fonts and vertical text.

Photoshop on iPad

Lightroom-linked Editing

Lightroom linked editing


Photographers often rely on moving images between Lightroom and Photoshop -- something that has been easy to do on macOS and Windows but has not been possible on the iPad. Thanks to a significant update, users can send images between the iPadOS versions of both Lightroom and Photoshop for ultimate control over photo editing.

Process large sets of images in Lightroom and transfer them to Photoshop for detailed editing with all your favorite tools. Files created in either program will be easily transferrable between the programs, as well as kept as a new cloud document.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Photoshop has changed so much since I last used it at a job... I’m so happy I’m no longer in a position of needing to use the software professionally.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,076member
    This all looks really great! I use Photoshop almost all day long. Some of these things have been a long time coming (non-destructive pattern rotation? hooray!) and some, like improved AI selection tools improve areas that I already find Photoshop pretty capable.

    I have really started to lean on the "Select Subject" tool and its completely new selection technique. There are lots of ways to make photoshop selections/masks: draw a path, paint a mask, channel selection, color range, Select & Mask mode. Each one has a killer application, but there are still images where none of the above are ideal. Select Subject in Select & Mask mode produces different results than all these techniques. It takes practice to get used to how it works. It is (usually) more complex than simply clicking the Select Subject button, the selection can always use refinement. But it's a great tool to have available. Even better that it is further refined just about every time Photoshop gets an update.

    Anyway, back to work!
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 3 of 17
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,076member
    Just got done using the Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) module. Love it! As advertised, it works a lot like there Lightroom interface. No more controls scattered top, right & bottom of the edit window. Just (mostly) right and bottom, now.

    Though, if Adobe is taking requests, I would love it if the ACR module didn't operate modally. I know that is the way Adobe does plugins, which is what ACR is when used in a PSD document...but maybe a compromise would be to give it a Preview function so you can see how all the edits (and you can make a LOT of different edits in an ACR adjustment) will render in context with the rest of the layers in your PSD once you hit Okay.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Unfortunately, I get the feeling many freelancers are moving to Affinity software. The rent-a-software scam run by Adobe won’t cut it. Of course, if you work for a large agency, you can feign indifference as it ain’t your problem either financially or in principal. 
    jdw
  • Reply 5 of 17
    djkfisherdjkfisher Posts: 129member
    jmulchino said:
    Unfortunately, I get the feeling many freelancers are moving to Affinity software. The rent-a-software scam run by Adobe won’t cut it. Of course, if you work for a large agency, you can feign indifference as it ain’t your problem either financially or in principal. 
    Actually I am an amateur but find the cost extremely inexpensive for what you get. Love the product and  the  new iPhone camera 
  • Reply 6 of 17
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    What I find interesting for future Mac systems is the growing use of AI features in software.  In this regard I suspect that AI is a driving force for the rumored move to ARM.  It will be most interesting to see how beefed up the Neural Engine hardware will be in the coming ARM chips from Apple.  If Adobe doesn’t use the hardware that likely means GPU acceleration.  

    In any event I see more and more software apparently using AI/ML techniques and see better hardware as mandatory for wider use.   It would seem like leadership in AI hardware is a big factor in leaving Intel behind.  
  • Reply 7 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,176member
    jmulchino said:
    Unfortunately, I get the feeling many freelancers are moving to Affinity software. The rent-a-software scam run by Adobe won’t cut it. Of course, if you work for a large agency, you can feign indifference as it ain’t your problem either financially or in principal. 
    I pay for my CC membership in less than an hour of billable time per month. It's a phenomenal bargain if you use multiple tools in the suite. It's hardly a "scam", it's been a massively improved user experience over the CS model. 

    This new Match Fonts feature is going to be a massive help for matching type baked into imagery. Select Subject was already a "how did I live without it" feature, so it's great to see that get more love. 

    Anyone needing font auto-activation outside of TypeKit should use FontExplorer X — been using that for years and it works great.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Well, good for you Fastasleep. I’ve heard this lame rationalization before and don’t get it. ‘Oh, I only pay x amount per month and it is so worth it” Most freelancers I know are an independent lot and when there was no alternative, chafed at renting software. At the end of a five years you’ll have paid $3K plus! What a bargain!
  • Reply 9 of 17
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,076member
    jmulchino said:
    Well, good for you Fastasleep. I’ve heard this lame rationalization before and don’t get it. ‘Oh, I only pay x amount per month and it is so worth it” Most freelancers I know are an independent lot and when there was no alternative, chafed at renting software. At the end of a five years you’ll have paid $3K plus! What a bargain!
    ...and pocketed half a million. 

    But hey, some people get rich by stepping over $20 bills to pick up nickels & dimes, I suppose. 
    fastasleep
  • Reply 10 of 17
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,116member
    djkfisher said:
    jmulchino said:
    Unfortunately, I get the feeling many freelancers are moving to Affinity software. The rent-a-software scam run by Adobe won’t cut it. Of course, if you work for a large agency, you can feign indifference as it ain’t your problem either financially or in principal. 
    Actually I am an amateur but find the cost extremely inexpensive for what you get. Love the product and  the  new iPhone camera 
    Yes, but the Affinity suite is much less expensive overall, even if you look at only 1 year's worth of use.  AND, when something happens and you cannot afford to keep paying, you can keep using your Affinity apps while the Adobe suite will stop working in about a month.  If you could pay as you go and then stop paying Adobe but continuing using the last version of the Adobe apps you were using, with say a 1 year minimum use contract, I could see the merits in Adobe.  But currently, they are on the pay-for-all-eternity model, which doesn't sit well with any reasonable person who fully understands you cannot realistically pay for that software forever.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,176member
    jmulchino said:
    Well, good for you Fastasleep. I’ve heard this lame rationalization before and don’t get it. ‘Oh, I only pay x amount per month and it is so worth it” Most freelancers I know are an independent lot and when there was no alternative, chafed at renting software. At the end of a five years you’ll have paid $3K plus! What a bargain!
    $3K over 5 years? That is a bargain, actually. That's nothing for access to tools like After Effects, Premiere, Audition, Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and other apps I use less often and what that software earns for me. That's also less money than I would've paid to keep my CS Master Collection up to date back in the day, which was essential to keep up with major bug fixes and compatibility, so it's even cheaper than it was before. Professional tools cost money. You should see the prices on high end 3D software.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,176member

    jdw said:
    If you could pay as you go and then stop paying Adobe but continuing using the last version of the Adobe apps you were using, with say a 1 year minimum use contract, I could see the merits in Adobe.  
    That makes zero sense. Then people would just pay for a month and cancel and do the same thing each year.

    But currently, they are on the pay-for-all-eternity model, which doesn't sit well with any reasonable person who fully understands you cannot realistically pay for that software forever.
    Of course you can. If you are making money with the software, it's a no-brainer. If you're a hobbyist, then it's either the price of doing business or you look for alternatives which don't cost as much (of which there are many).
  • Reply 13 of 17
    ClarusClarus Posts: 43member
    jmulchino said:
    Well, good for you Fastasleep. I’ve heard this lame rationalization before and don’t get it. ‘Oh, I only pay x amount per month and it is so worth it” Most freelancers I know are an independent lot and when there was no alternative, chafed at renting software. At the end of a five years you’ll have paid $3K plus! What a bargain!
    Two reasons that doesn't hold up.

    One, I was recently reading a discussion thread for a comparison between a MacBook Pro and PC gaming laptop. The Mac costs twice as much but holds up well in most cases except the GPU, where the PC kills the Mac. The review said the PC was clearly superior if you were a gamer, but the Mac was a better all-around laptop if you needed it for productivity. In the comment thread, some PC users are aghast at the "Apple tax." "Why would you pay twice as much?" or "$2000 for a laptop are you CRAZY??"And I had to chuckle, because on the one hand I was watching people say that paying $2000 instead of $1000 was insane, I get that. But the real argument they were making was that it was a better value to spend $1000 to play games that are only a drain on your time and money, than to spend $2000 to do jobs that help you make tens of thousands of dollars a year over the next 3-6 years. I mean come on!

    Two, the same applies here. First, I do not like subscription software, let's get that out of the way. Suppose someone pays $10 a month for the Adobe CC Photo Plan with Photoshop and Lightroom, and this is supposed to be some kind of rapacious crime against humanity. But I subscribe to Netflix, which is currently charging me more, $13/mo,  just for entertainment. (And I'm thinking of dropping it.) Or I could listen to Spotify or Apple Music for $10/mo. Now what is the sense in that? People don't bat an eye to pay $10/mo for just music, or $13/mo for just movies. But which one of those is going to help me make thousands of dollars a month? Hint: Not Netflix, Spotify, or Apple Music, which are all pure consumption. $10/mo for Adobe is for generating tens of thousands of dollars a year, and it costs less than Netflix.

    That is why your comment is questionable. The argument you are making, that a relatively high expense that generates many times its price in income is not justified, is exactly the same argument used against Mac users for paying such high prices for the Macs that run our businesses. As Mac users, we know that line of reasoning is not true.

    Now, if someone tells me they are not a professional, then I would most definitely not steer them to Adobe, it is not worth it because there is a wealth of creative tools on the Mac that are more than suitable for non-professionals, especially for photography. But for a professional, even the $50 all apps CC plan holds up, because $50 a month should not be the difference between eating or not eating for anyone remotely competent at running their business. If $50/mo is a problem that indicates there are much bigger problems with the business than the cost of the CC subscription, and those need to be resolved Adobe or not.
    polymniathtfastasleep
  • Reply 14 of 17
    I hope this support the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB In my MacBook Pro 16 
    it has been crashing on me for the last many months 😣
  • Reply 15 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,467member
    Clarus said:
    jmulchino said:
    Well, good for you Fastasleep. I’ve heard this lame rationalization before and don’t get it. ‘Oh, I only pay x amount per month and it is so worth it” Most freelancers I know are an independent lot and when there was no alternative, chafed at renting software. At the end of a five years you’ll have paid $3K plus! What a bargain!
    Two reasons that doesn't hold up.

    One, I was recently reading a discussion thread for a comparison between a MacBook Pro and PC gaming laptop. The Mac costs twice as much but holds up well in most cases except the GPU, where the PC kills the Mac. The review said the PC was clearly superior if you were a gamer, but the Mac was a better all-around laptop if you needed it for productivity. In the comment thread, some PC users are aghast at the "Apple tax." "Why would you pay twice as much?" or "$2000 for a laptop are you CRAZY??"And I had to chuckle, because on the one hand I was watching people say that paying $2000 instead of $1000 was insane, I get that. But the real argument they were making was that it was a better value to spend $1000 to play games that are only a drain on your time and money, than to spend $2000 to do jobs that help you make tens of thousands of dollars a year over the next 3-6 years. I mean come on!

    I'm using gaming computers in our large-format printing and graphic design company as productivity machines. Photography processing, graphic design, logo creation corporate identification, raster image processing. and including the Adobe suite as part of the process. Gaming machines make great static media production computers.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    thttht Posts: 4,613member
    jmulchino said:
    Well, good for you Fastasleep. I’ve heard this lame rationalization before and don’t get it. ‘Oh, I only pay x amount per month and it is so worth it” Most freelancers I know are an independent lot and when there was no alternative, chafed at renting software. At the end of a five years you’ll have paid $3K plus! What a bargain!
    $3K over 5 years? That is a bargain, actually. That's nothing for access to tools like After Effects, Premiere, Audition, Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and other apps I use less often and what that software earns for me. That's also less money than I would've paid to keep my CS Master Collection up to date back in the day, which was essential to keep up with major bug fixes and compatibility, so it's even cheaper than it was before. Professional tools cost money. You should see the prices on high end 3D software.
    Heh, yes, a lot of people don't know how much "pro" software costs, and don't know "pro" software can cost more than the hardware by an order of magnitude over the life of the hardware. Some people are aghast that the Mac Pro can cost 50k. They don't know that a license for say PTC Creo CAD software could be 20k per year. That's per year. For a single user. Some of the software is limited to the number of cores that can be utilized. Want to utilize 24 cores in their software package instead of 8? Well, that costs more!

    It doesn't have to be 3D software either. There's going to be stock trading programs that I bet could cost well into the hundreds of thousands per year. You want to have some applications that control and manage your payroll, billing and inventory? You are not allowed to be late, allowed to mis-bill, allowed to have a crashing bug of some kind as the consequences are huge. That isn't going to be cheap. The hardware is usually the cheapest thing there. Paying for people costs a lot too!
    fastasleep
  • Reply 17 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,176member
    tht said:
    jmulchino said:
    Well, good for you Fastasleep. I’ve heard this lame rationalization before and don’t get it. ‘Oh, I only pay x amount per month and it is so worth it” Most freelancers I know are an independent lot and when there was no alternative, chafed at renting software. At the end of a five years you’ll have paid $3K plus! What a bargain!
    $3K over 5 years? That is a bargain, actually. That's nothing for access to tools like After Effects, Premiere, Audition, Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and other apps I use less often and what that software earns for me. That's also less money than I would've paid to keep my CS Master Collection up to date back in the day, which was essential to keep up with major bug fixes and compatibility, so it's even cheaper than it was before. Professional tools cost money. You should see the prices on high end 3D software.
    Heh, yes, a lot of people don't know how much "pro" software costs, and don't know "pro" software can cost more than the hardware by an order of magnitude over the life of the hardware. Some people are aghast that the Mac Pro can cost 50k. They don't know that a license for say PTC Creo CAD software could be 20k per year. That's per year. For a single user. Some of the software is limited to the number of cores that can be utilized. Want to utilize 24 cores in their software package instead of 8? Well, that costs more!

    It doesn't have to be 3D software either. There's going to be stock trading programs that I bet could cost well into the hundreds of thousands per year. You want to have some applications that control and manage your payroll, billing and inventory? You are not allowed to be late, allowed to mis-bill, allowed to have a crashing bug of some kind as the consequences are huge. That isn't going to be cheap. The hardware is usually the cheapest thing there. Paying for people costs a lot too!
    YUP. This, 100%.
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