Adobe has unveiled its latest Photoshop update on desktop and iPad for its Adobe Max 2021 event, and as with the last few versions, the most interesting features are powered by AI. Chief among those is the "Hover Auto-masking Object Selection Tool" that allows you to select a scene object simply by hovering your mouse over it.
The feature is really as simple as that, as Adobe's Sensei AI kicks in to determine the edges of an object and select it automatically with a single click. Adobe has promised that selections made either with the hover or other object selection tools "are now more accurate and preserve more details in the edges of a selection," helping users save time.
The tool can detect most but not all objects in a scene, and Adobe said it's constantly improving it to include additional object categories. If an object is not detected or only partially detected, you can drag a marquee over the areas you'd like to select, which is how the tool worked previously.
Along the same lines is another new feature called "mask all objects." Also powered by Sensei AI, it simply scans the scene and automatically selects and masks every object in the scene. It can then create masks or objects without the need to do a lick of tedious masking work.
Last year, Adobe introduced Neural Filters that let you do things like smooth skin or make a photo look like a Van Gogh painting. For 2021, it has introduced more of those filters in beta, most notably the Landscape Mixer, Color Transfer and Harmonization. Landscape Mixer can essentially blend multiple landscape to create a new scene with desert elements replacing a seaside coastal scene, for example.
The most useful one, however, sounds like Color Transfer. It lets you take the colors, contrast and other elements from a photo you like and apply it to another photo, or "make this image look like that," as Adobe puts it. That would remove a lot of the tedium or trying to match a photographer's style, or at least give you a starting point toward the look you're aiming for.
The last one, the Harmonization neural filter, makes it easier to composite two images. It overlays a foreground image onto a background, while automatically adjusting the hue and luminosity of the foreground image to match. Adobe also improved the existing neural filters, adding more realistic blurs to Depth Blur, while also improving the Superzoom, Style Transfer and Colorize filters.
Other new updates improved gradients, color management and HDR capabilities. Finally, Adobe has improved interoperability between Photoshop and Illustrator, letting you copy vector shapes from Illustrator and paste them into Photoshop, "all while maintaining editable attributes in Photoshop like fill, stroke, blend mode and opacity." And when Photoshop can't maintain editability from Illustrator because it doesn't support a feature, "we try to maintain visual fidelity."