Major Photoshop Updates: Online Tools, Counterfeit Prevention, and Refined AI

Major update alert: Adobe Photoshop will soon simplify several types of editing and test a new tool to authenticate images. At the Adobe MAX 2021 virtual conference on Tuesday, October 26, Adobe announced new Photoshop features for the photo editor, including improved object detection tools and an authenticity program to combat counterfeits. The list of updates also includes public beta tools for changing seasons, applying colors from photo to photo, and creating more realistic composites.

[Read: Photoshop Updates: Healing Brush for iPad, More Sky Replacements for Desktop]

Adobe is also bringing more Photoshop online, a move that allows users to comment on edits, test beta features, and make lighter edits without downloading Photoshop. Today’s announcement of major Photoshop updates also moves several user-requested tools to Photoshop for iPad. Adobe MAX announcements are all rolling out today, with some of the features in public beta.

Adobe announces major Photoshop updates:

1. Beta testing of new AI tools
2. Improved object detection
3. Photoshop Content Identifiers
4. More web-friendly tools
5. Photoshop for iPad now supports RAW files

Beta testing of new AI tools

Three of the newest tools are available in the Neural Filter workspace as beta versions: Landscape Mixer, Color Transfer, and Harmonization. Other previous tools receive improvements, including depth blur, superzoom, style transfer, and colorization.

Landscape Mixer (Beta) lets you create entirely new scenes, concept art, or whimsical scenes in moments by combining two landscape images together. Manually creating the same effect would take many hours of extra effort, but this neural filter makes it almost automatic and only takes a moment, according to Adobe.

Landscape Mixer is a new beta testing tool that allows photo editors to change the season of a landscape image. The tool works by combining two images, using the preset images provided by Adobe or a single image. Adobe says users can upload a photo taken in summer, and Landscape Mixer can make that photo look like it was taken in winter or fall. The tool can also make a photo look like it was taken at sunset. Designed for landscapes, Adobe says the tool can still work for scenes with people using masks.

Major Photoshop updates include color transfer, like in this prairie house scene (before) and the after image.
Color Transfer (beta) takes the color scheme of an image and makes it easy to apply to another image. Adobe says this is a major time saver for a very common workflow (“make this image look like this”) and will provide a great starting point to get you closer to the look you’re looking for.

Still in testing, Color Transfer is a tool that applies tones from one image to another. Adobe says adjusting colors to match another image is a popular modification, and the beta feature is designed to shorten this process.

[Read: Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom 2021 New Features for Photographers]

Powered by Adobe Sensei, Harmonization aims to make composite images look more natural. The AI ​​tool adjusts the hue and brightness so that the two blended images blend together more naturally.

Improved object detection

Photoshop’s relatively young object detection tool gets an upgrade with the latest version of desktop Photoshop. The tool will now highlight detected objects when the mouse hovers over them. Adobe claims the tool is also more accurate and can detect more detail.

Hide all objects in photo horses
In the Layers tool, you can find Hide All Objects, like with this image of a trio of horses in the Photoshop window.
Top and Above: In Layers, you can find “Mask All Objects” to easily generate masks for all detected objects in your layer with just one click.

Another update is hidden in a submenu. Editors can go to Layers > Mask All Objects to generate a mask of each detected object in the image as layers.

Other enhancements to Photoshop for desktop include more gradient options, support for Apple Pro Display XDR, performance improvements, and copying and pasting from Illustrator.

Photoshop content identifiers

Adobe is currently testing Content Credentials, a tool that stores editing data in an image’s metadata in an effort to be more transparent about the amount of editing performed on a photograph. Content credentials are an opt-in option, which means users must enable it. Once activated, Photoshop saves the changes made to the image and writes this information to the metadata. Viewers can then plug the photo into the verfity.contentauthenticity.org website to see what edits have been made to a photo.

[Read: 16 Software Editing Problems for Every Skill Level]

The beta tool comes two years after Adobe announced the Content Authority Initiative. As an opt-in tool, malicious photo editors are unlikely to activate the tool. The other hurdle Adobe will have to overcome to be successful is getting viewers to take the time to check the website for authenticity. But, the image authentication tool could be a start to encourage more transparency about where an image comes from, especially if the verification tool could perhaps be integrated into social media.

Photoshop on the Web

After introducing the ability to share and comment on Photoshop files saved in the cloud earlier this year, Adobe is now releasing more user-friendly tools for Photoshop. The ability to share and comment is now available right in the desktop version of Photoshop so photo editors don’t have to go back and forth. Adobe says photo editors will be able to read and write comments and share from the desktop program. The online version of Photoshop will then allow others to comment and view without downloading the photo editor. Photo editors will be able to keep links private or public, as well as control what other people with the link can do in the file.

But Photoshop’s web program isn’t just for collaboration. Adobe says it is testing beta features within the online platform. A few of Photoshop’s most basic tools, such as selections, brushes, healing, and cropping, will be available in the web program.

photoshop for ipad Now supports RAW files

The iPad version of Photoshop just closed the gap to the full desktop version. Photoshop for iPad now supports RAW files, including adjustments that Adobe Camera RAW typically handles on a desktop computer. Adobe says the app is compatible with the same camera RAW files ACR currently supports, including photos taken on the iPad itself. RAW files can be embedded as a smart object, Adobe says, so you can adjust the RAW file later.

Photoshop for iPad also now includes dodge and burn tools, smart objects, and share and comment.

For more information on these and other Photoshop updates, visit Adobe’s blog.

Melvin G. Rodriguez