You can now edit photos with AI directly in Shutterstock’s library. And it sucks

Oct 27, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

You can now edit photos with AI directly in Shutterstock’s library. And it sucks

Oct 27, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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After welcoming AI images and launching its own AI image generator, Shutterstock has now announced new AI-powered editing features. From now on, you can edit photos directly in its library, transforming any stock image you find into exactly the image you need. Or at least that was the original idea, because the execution is far from perfect.

“Shutterstock was founded with the goal of bridging the gap between photographers and the creative professionals who want to license their content,” said Paul Hennessy, Chief Executive Officer for Shutterstock. “This new offering will bring our customers one step closer to their desired creative, as if they were directing the photoshoot themselves.”

The new editing features include six signature capabilities and additional secondary features. The signature capabilities include:

  • Magic Brush:  It lets you modify an image by brushing over the areas you’d like to change and describing what you want to add, replace, or erase.
  • Variations: Generate alternate options for any stock or AI-generated image.
  • Expand Image: Broaden the view of any image, as if zooming out through a camera lens
  • Smart Resize: Automatically change the shape of your image to match the dimensions you need
  • Background Remover: Remove or replace the background with any scene when the subject of an image is perfect, but the background is not
  • AI Image Generator: Launched in beta earlier this year and soon to be updated with the latest version of Dall-E, this tool allows you to create your own visuals. Shutterstock says that the source images were “Ethically sourced” and are ready for licensing and indemnifiable for commercial use.

It’s worth noting that Shutterstock will pay the original image creators if their images are licensed after editing. And in alignment with Shutterstock’s Contributor Account and Content Submission Guidelines, “AI-generated or edited content will not be accepted as a submission for licensing on the platform to ensure further the protection of contributor IP and proper compensation of artists,” the company notes.

As I mentioned, the idea behind the tool was to edit or generate AI images with ease and accuracy. However, from what I could see (with a limited number of attempts), there’s still a long way to go before Shutterstock’s AI tools become good. I played with the Magic Brush, and it gave me results as inaccurate and ugly as the very first version of Midjourney or DALL-E. It erased the object terribly. Then it did an even worse job with replacing the blob left after erasing with a flock of seagulls.

To be fair, the feature is still in beta, so there will likely be improvements over time. But if you want to play with it now, here’s the link so you can test it on your own. Who knows, maybe you’ll be luckier than I was.

[via The Verge]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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2 responses to “You can now edit photos with AI directly in Shutterstock’s library. And it sucks”

  1. Andrew Stewart Avatar
    Andrew Stewart

    Soon you will not need a camera without AI I would not be able to get equatorial northern lights and would be left taking blury photos of the moon.

  2. Carter Tune Avatar
    Carter Tune

    Who’s surprised?