The June Creative Cloud update brings massively improved AI selection features to Photoshop
Adobe has released their June update for the Creative Cloud, which they says is the biggest feature update since the Adobe MAX conference in November 2019. It brings some new selection tools to Photoshop, particularly suited to cutting out people and hair, rotatable patterns, font matching, and more for the desktop, as well as a slew of updates for Photoshop for the iPad and Lightroom for all platforms.
The headline feature for Photoshop on the desktop is the “Select Subject” feature. After a lot of both positive and negative on Photoshop’s selection tools over the years, and the occasional decision reversal, it appears that it now has a selection feature for tricky subjects that just seems to work. Adobe says that it has a “deep emphasis on hair”, which is traditionally one of the more challenging areas for Photoshop.
While the demo is short, it certainly gets the point across, using Sensei AI and machine learning to offer a much more refined option right out of the gate than previous selection tools could manage without a lot of manual tweaking. It’s also content-aware and uses new algorithms if it detects a person in the scene.
Also new in the latest update for Photoshop for the desktop is pattern rotation, which allows you to fill a layer or selection with a pattern as usual, but now you can choose the angle at which the pattern is presented. There’s a new font matching tool, too, which allows you to find missing font files behind the scenes and if the exact font isn’t available, it’ll offer up alternatives.
The Camera Raw plugin also sees a new UI overhaul which will feel a little more familiar to Lightroom users. Adjustments and batch processing is now more intuitive, with a new crop tool, curves UI and many other improvements.
Photoshop for the iPad see significant improvements as well when it comes to raw workflow. It now has Lightroom-linked editing, offering greater integration for more seamless workflows between the two apps. You can send an image from Lightroom to Photoshop to edit it, and can use the Photoshop tools when editing an image in Lightroom, and you can send your completed image back to Lightroom after you’re done with it in Photoshop or save it as a new cloud document.
Lightroom for all platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS and Android) sees new guided tutorials and interactive edits to help you more easily master the application and different post-processing techniques. Local hue adjustments let you selectively change the colours of various aspects of your image to help even up skin tones or add some colour variety to identical objects without affecting everything.
All platforms now have “Versions”, which allows you to quickly and easily see a variety of different options on the same image without having to constantly make new copies, and these versions are synced across all your devices. You can now set up new default settings for your raw files that are camera-specific, and ACR and Lightroom Classic now also offers ISO Adaptive Presets, letting you set different defaults for images shot at a different ISO.
There are also new watermarking and sharing features, as well as improved UI and search performance and a new centre guided overlay for the crop tool. Overall, both Photoshop and Lightroom for various platforms see a nice little boost with the latest update.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.