This magic Photoshop feature has changed how I edit photos f…

A clay field with mountains in the background on the left.  On the right side is the same mud field with a car and a pond in the foreground and a car shaped cloud in the sky.  This image was created with Adobe Photoshop's Generative Fill tool.

“Magic” may be a bit of an exaggeration when it comes to technology, but as science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law says: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

This is what the Generative Fill feature looks like in the current Photoshop beta release. This is increasingly how I edit photos in a dramatic fashion, and makes me better In this process on Photoshop.

photoshop is so boring

Using Generative Fill in Photoshop to remove text from an image.
With Generative Fill, you can simply select what you don’t want to be there, select Generate, and it does the rest. Image used with permission of the copyright holder

I started learning Photoshop in college about 20 years ago. But it helped me to know where everything was in the toolbar, I really focused on it by creating forum signatures and desktop backgrounds with lots of filters to see what would happen. Attend a photography course where I worked with lighting and blending options, and I had a strong foundation for the career that lay ahead of me.

Editing product photos.

I’m not complaining. I love my work and I enjoy the time I spend in it Very Product reviews for various sites, but the Photoshop part of it was definitely tedious. It was basically the same thing every time: cut out the parts of the background I could via painfully slow manual selection, or use the dodge tool to whiten it out as much as possible. . I would definitely tweak the levels and colors, but the biggest work was removing unwanted elements, whitening the background, and getting the image in the right aspect ratio.

Although I don’t do this much these days, it is still a regular part of my work. That’s where the Generative Fill feature comes in – and it has changed my workflow forever.

Generative fill makes boring easy

Check out Adobe’s promotion page for Generative Fill and you’ll find all kinds of fantastical images created by it. It’s trying to take advantage of the surprises surrounding Dell-E and Midjourney. It wants to inspire you to use its tools (instead of others) to create AI-generated images that will grab attention.

Adobe makes Generative Fill Out some super-advanced, crazy-detailed tools for creative work. And this is it. But I’ve found that it works equally well for getting all the most boring tasks done quickly.

Generative Fill is so good at removing elements from an image that I rarely do it manually anymore. Do you have a picture with something written on it that you don’t really need? Generative Fill can remove that text instantly and you’ll never even know it was there. This probably works well with watermarks on photos, but I don’t think I can legally recommend you do this. So I won’t.

Before and after using Generative Fill in Photoshop.
Is it perfect? No, but the task that previously took half an hour took less than a minute to do. Image used with permission of the copyright holder

In the example above, you can see what a very quick generative fill request does to an image loaded with text and a logo. Now, in this case Phil has removed the biker and the robot from the scene. I could possibly have been more careful and only select the 240Hz logo and corner images, but I could also remove it manually. And doing it with generative fill took about 30 seconds to select everything, and another 20 seconds when the cloud processing was finished. The end result is more than good enough.

However, it’s not just good at taking things away from images. Adding them is also great. I don’t mean adding random elements to a scene – although it can do that – but increasing the size of an image. Generative fill can extend an image in one or multiple directions. This can be very useful when you’re trying to make an image be in a certain aspect ratio (did you know all our images are 3:2 or 16:9?), or if you’re trying to enlarge a small photo. want to make.

The Meta Quest 3 image above is great, but it’s not big enough. So I take the crop tool, drag each side, hit Yield And a few seconds later I have a huge image that you’ll never be able to tell was AI enhanced.

Need to remove the background of something? Generative Fill can do this in seconds. Even with complex hair and other elements.

Removing background with generative fill.
With Generative Fill, you can remove the background with the click of a button. unsplash

I could do better by hand, but not by much – and it would have taken me a lot of time.

we’re just scratching the surface

As useful as these tools already are, we’re only scratching the surface of their potential. Not only do I still have plenty of time to play with it and find new ways to enhance my workflow and hobby editing efforts, but the technology is getting better all the time. Who knows what it will be capable of in the near future? At the very least, auto leveling and coloring are going to get much better in the next year or two.

Adobe Firefly: out of beta and ready for your imagination

Seriously, watch the video above. I’m barely even touching what it can do now, and it keeps getting better.

Unfortunately, however, this happening so quickly means that the entire process is subject to change. Adobe recently introduced a credit system for Generative Fill, so you can use this feature to your heart’s content. However, if you have a Photoshop subscription, you’ll get 500 credits per month, so you’re unlikely to use them up very quickly. For $20 per month, it doesn’t sound bad.

Now, we just need AMD and Intel to step up with their AI accelerators, so we can run this kind of process locally. A boy can dream.

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