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How to Colorize Photos in Photoshop with Just a Few Clicks Using AI

Adobe recently gave Photoshop the ability to instantly colorize photos using Adobe Sensei AI technology. Here’s a new 1.5-minute video tutorial by Adobe showing how you can now breathe color into a black-and-white photo with just a few clicks.

After loading up your photo, go to Filter->Neural Fliters to open up the new Neural Filters panel.

In the beta filters section (the Erlenmeyer flask icon), you’ll see a Colorize option. Click the toggle to turn it on.

Voila! Photoshop will use its image recognition technology to colorize the elements of your photos in the way it thinks best.

Before applying the Colorize Neural Filter in Photoshop.
After applying the Colorize Neural Filter in Photoshop.
Before applying the Colorize Neural Filter in Photoshop.
After applying the Colorize Neural Filter in Photoshop.

If certain areas of the photo are slightly off, you can make custom adjustments in the Colorize panel as well. The result is added on top of your photo layer as a Smarter Filter on a Smart Object.

To get started with the Colorize Neural Filter, make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of Photoshop CC. You’ll also need around 130MB of disk space to install the Colorize filter itself.

As Adobe’s Earnings Soar, It Plans to Invest Further in A.I. Editing

Adobe’s fourth-quarter earnings for 2020 blew past expectations and show dramatic year over year growth. Despite the camera industry suffering in 2020, Adobe brought in $3.42 billion in Q4 alone.

Adobe posted the news of its record-setting Q4 along with stating its intent to further invest in the Creative Cloud.

Its $3.42 billion in Q4 total revenue was 14% more than what the company posted in the same period last year. Its total sales for the full 2020 fiscal year were up 15% to $12.87 billion. Much of that sales momentum was driven by the Digital Media business, which includes Photoshop and Lightroom. That section itself brought in $2.15 of that $3.42 billion and represents a 20% year-over-year increase.

In short, Adobe’s flagship products continue to drive a majority of its financial success.

In an analyst presentation, Adobe clearly believes that continued success can be achieved by pushing its “creativity for all” message. To that end, the company plans to invest further into artificial intelligence-based systems and updates. By leveraging the company’s Adobe Sensei technology, you can expect more automation and easier-to-use tools to make higher-quality edits faster and require less individual skill.

Graphic representation of Adobe Sensei | Source

Adobe also plans to push more in-app learning as a way to drive a greater number of software installations. The company notes that its goal is to increase engagement through “hyper-personalized experiences.” The hope is that by teaching more people how to use its software and also making that software less difficult to freely use, the company can further expand the number of people who subscribe to its services.

Behance is also mentioned as a key component of community engagement.

Adobe also notes that it plans to further bleed the edges of its multi-surface systems. “Multi-surface” refers to its tools on Android, iOS, browser-based applications, and desktop computers.

In short, Adobe wants to “democratize creativity.” Whatever your expectations might be for what you want to see out of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop going forward, the company likely only plans to invest in directions that follow the narrative expanding its usability.

(via Silicon Angle)

This Demo Shows the Power of Photoshop’s New ‘Smart Portrait’ AI Filter

Arguably the most interesting feature added to Adobe Photoshop today was a set of AI-powered “Neural Filters” including Colorize, Style Transfer, and Smart Portrait. The last of these is particularly impressive, and NVIDIA is giving us a peek at what it can do when you really push it.

Smart Portrait—which is actually based on a deep neural network developed by NVIDIA Research—allows Photoshop users to alter facial characteristics like gaze and head direction, lighting angles, and even hair thickness by simply dragging around a few sliders.

Since they had a hand in creating it, the folks at NVIDIA wanted to show off what this AI tech can do, demonstrating both Skin Smoothing and Smart Portrait in the video above. The results, even when you go to almost cartoon-levels of adjustment using something like the “Facial Age” slider, are undeniably impressive:

One of the craziest things about this demo is watching the catchlight in the subject’s eye actually shift as the Light Direction slider is manipulated. It’s the kind of detail that would instantly ruin the effect if it wasn’t taken care of. The same goes for age and hair color: the “older” the Facial Age slider, the grayer the hair becomes.

Of course, when you push the tech really far, the results still end up looking fake, but any artifacts or imperfections can be cleaned up after the effect has been applied, since the filter works non-destructively on its own layer. And even with the imperfections, this kind of one-touch editing of so many facial characteristics with any level of realism would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago.

It’s both eye-opening and mildly terrifying to see how far AI-based photo editing has come in such a short time. And now that Adobe is jumping in with both feet, we expect the competition to heat up even faster than before.

Check out the full demo up top to see these edits in action for yourself, and then click here to read up on all the new AI-powered features that Adobe added to the latest version of Photoshop this morning.

This is the Sky Replacement Feature Coming to Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop will soon be getting a powerful Sky Replacement feature that lets you instantly swap skies in and out of your photos with a click. Here’s a 3-minute video that offers a sneak peek at the AI-powered system.

The Sky Replacement feature will be found under the Edit menu.

It’ll bring up options for choosing a sky, shifting or fading the edge, making adjustments to the sky or foreground, and selecting what it should output to.

There’s a selection of preset skies you can choose from, but you can also choose your own sky photo from your computer. The sky photos can be grouped into convenient collections.

Sky Replacement automatically distinguishes between the foreground and sky of your photos. Clicking any sky automatically instantly replaces the current one. In just moments, your photo can take on drastically different looks:

“Adobe Sensei-powered models do the heavy lifting of masking and blending,” Adobe product manager Meredith Stotzner says in the video.

The AI also uses algorithms to “harmonize the foreground of your image with the sky.” What this means is that as you change the sky, Photoshop will automatically adjust the colors and lighting of the foreground to match the sky, making the photo more believable.

If you only want a portion of a sky photo to be used in your shot, you can resize the sky with a Scale slider and then click and drag it around in your photo. And as you scale or reposition the sky, the look of the foreground will continually be updated to match it.

An original photo before Sky Replacement magic.
Using one portion of a sky photo gives the foreground cool blue tones.
Dragging to the sunset portion of the sky photo gives the foreground warm tones.

“What’s the most powerful part of this feature? The full force of Photoshop that’s preserved with every layer, mask, and non-destructive adjustment,” Stotzner says.

Adobe first teased a SkyReplace feature back at Adobe MAX 2016, but Skylum beat Adobe to the punch by releasing its own AI-powered automatic sky replacement in Luminar 4 back in July 2019.

If you’re a Photoshop user who has been waiting patiently for the technology to be released, the good news is that your wait will be coming to an end very shortly. Adobe says it will be sharing more about this feature at the virtual Adobe MAX 2020 conference that’ll be held October 20-22.