Adobe has just released an impressive teaser of an incoming Photoshop feature that lets you swap out skies in your photos and replace them with entirely new ones.
Imaginatively called the 'sky replacement' feature, it's powered by Adobe's AI Sensei tech and certainly looks a lot quicker than manually creating your own masks and blending in a new sky.
As you can see in the demo below, the new tool will sit in Photoshop's 'edit' menu and will give you dozens of new skies to choose from, split into themes like 'spectacular', 'blue skies' and 'sunsets'. All of which sound better than the 'grey blanket' we have at the moment.
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If none of those look quite natural enough, you'll be able to add your own skies to the configurable menu and make lots of tweaks in the dialogue box. Naturally, these will be saved as separate layers and are non-destructive edits.
Of course, some photographers might be worried about their new skies looking fake, and it's a reasonable concern that the demo doesn't entirely convince in some scenes.
But Adobe is confident that the 'sky replacement' feature will be powerful enough for all kinds of photographer when it launches. As Senior Photoshop Product Manager Meredith Payne Stotzner explains: "Photoshop knows the difference between the foreground and the sky. Adobe Sensei-powered models do the heavy lifting of masking and blending, and they use cutting-edge algorithms to harmonize the foreground of your image with the sky."
One of the more impressive examples of this is a photo of the Arc de Triomphe, which reflects some of the warmth of the golden hour sunset that's added to it.
AI photo editing
Photoshop's 'Sky replacement' feature isn't new in the world of photo editing software – we've seen it elsewhere in Luminar (for Mac and Windows) and in iOS apps like Skylab.
But it is the first dedicated tool we've seen for it in Photoshop and provides a shortcut to an effect that was previously only possible for those with the necessary masking and blending knowhow.
It's also part of a growing trend of machine learning-powered photo editing, with the incoming Luminar AI promising to put these types of tools at the center of the next version of its software.
So when is 'sky replacement' coming to Photoshop? Adobe couldn't give us a precise date, but said that "more info will be announced during Max", referring to the Adobe Max conference that starts on October 20. Expect to see some more Photoshop and Creative Cloud tools teased in the run-up to that event.
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