If you ask me, masking is one of the most tedious things to do while editing photos. But Adobe has launched a few new tools that will make it simpler and easier than ever. They’re coming to Lightroom soon, so if this is your preferred editor like it is mine, you’ll love the new features that will make editing much faster.
All of the tools are AI-powered as it’s been all the rage lately. But my snarky comments aside, Adobe’s new masking tools seem quite useful. There are a few more interface improvements coming soon too, so let’s check what’s new and what you can expect.
Lightroom already offers smart masking that lets you select the subject or the sky in your image. But Adobe now adds smarter, more advanced AI masking that lets you select people, objects, and backgrounds.
Portrait photographers will love this one. Powered by Adobe’s AI technology, Adobe Sensei Select People can detect and generate for individuals or groups in any image. It even allows you to select specific body parts like face skin, body skin, eyes, teeth, lips, hair, and more.
Select Objects appears to be similar to Photoshop’s smart Object Selection tool. There are two ways to apply it: simply paint over the object with Brush Select, or draw a rectangle around it with Rectangle Select, similar to what you’d do in Photoshop. Adobe’s AI tool will automatically refine the edges to create a precise mask.
So far, you have only been able to select the sky with a smart mask or select your background by inverting a mask of the subject. Now AI can directly generate a mask for the background with a single click.
Adaptive Presets for Portraits, Sky, and Subject
Other than smart masking, Adobe has also introduced AI-powered presets for portraits, available for both desktop and mobile. This class of Adaptive Presets is made to quickly enhance an entire portrait, or target specific features with presets like Enhance Eyes, Whiten Teeth, Darken Eyebrows, and more.
At the same time, Adobe also introduces these Adaptive Presets for Sky and Subject, available on mobile. With one tap, Lightroom can detect and create an adaptive mask based on the contents of the image. And yes, it reminds me of Luminar’s AI enhancements and smart selections. too.
Healing with Content-Aware Remove
Healing is another tedious activity, and also one of those Lightroom isn’t always perfect at performing – so I usually turn to Photoshop for it. But Adobe has now added Content-Aware Remove to Lightroom, which uses the same Content-Aware technology as Photoshop. When you’re removing distractions, Lightroom will adaptively fill them in based on surrounding content. This feature also includes a Refresh option and the ability to pick the sampled area with keyboard commands for finer healing control.
Adobe says that the new features will be rolling out to Lightroom on Win/Mac, Lightroom Classic, Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), iOS, Android, iPadOS, ChromeOS, and Web starting today and over the course of the week. You can check out the entire list of features on Adobe’s blog. For me personally, every masking improvement that comes to Lightroom is welcome and all of them have made my life easier. So, I can’t wait to try out the latest ones!