Adobe ships Photoshop 22.0 | CG Channel
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Adobe ships Photoshop 22.0

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker

Adobe has released Photoshop 22.0, the latest update to its image editing software, which adds an eye-catching set of AI-controlled neural filters to quickly explore variants of an image.

Other changes include a new Sky automatic replacement system, new vector design and patterning tools, and an experimental new content tracking tool.

The new version was launched under Adobe MAX 2020 together with After Effects 17.5, Character Animator 3.4 and updates for Illustrator, Lightroom, the digital painting app Fresco and the AR authoring tool Aero.

New AI-based neural filters offer a quick way to examine variant looks for images
Photoshop 22.0 includes a number of new tools created with Sensei, Adobe's machine learning platform.

One of the most noticeable is Neural Filters, a new set of AI-trained filters that ranges from utilities like removing JPEG artifacts to retouching and restoring portrait photos.

Adobe provides the filters, each of which can be applied non-destructively to an image, as an idea tool: a way to quickly generate variant looks that can be refined manually.

Most run locally on either the GPU or the CPU, although two run partially or fully in the cloud. Mac users should note that some require macOS 10.15. Further technical information can be found here.

Production-ready filters for debugging and styling, plus six experimental tools
The first version has two production-ready filters with features: the automatic flaw removal tool, Skin Smoothing, and Style Transfer, which transfers the visual style of one image to another.

There are also six filters that are still officially in beta, including useful tools for coloring black and white photos, upgrading and enlarging images, and applying a depth-conscious ambient haze.

The beta list also includes one of (literally) the most noticeable filters, Smart Portrait (see above), which manipulates portrait images and changes the subject's age, hairstyle, expression and direction of gaze.

To what extent the results will be useful for professional work rather than some fun novelty remains to be seen.

In a blog post, Adobe VP Pam Clark notes that "not every filter produces perfect results on every image," but that they are "part of a new machine learning platform that will evolve and improve over time."

New AI-trained automated Sky replacement tool
Another new AI-trained tool is Sky Replacement, which automatically selects and replaces the sky in a photo and automatically adjusts the color balance of the foreground elements.

Users can edit the result by moving the replacement sky or by enlarging a section of it.

With the new content-aware tracing tool, you can create photographic clippings
There's also a new content-aware tracing tool – still a technical preview – that provides a semi-automatic way to crop photographic images and identify the boundary between an object and the background.

Unlike an automated selection tool, the result is an editable path that gives more precise control over the results.

Speaking of selection tools, the existing Select and Mask workspace also offers two new AI-based automated options for refining edge boundaries: Refine Hair and Object Aware Refinement Mode.

Other changes: new graphic design features, new Discover control panel, updates of cloud documents
Graphic designers get new live shape properties for interactive creation and editing of geometry shapes on the Photoshop canvas, as well as a new pattern preview mode for previewing tile patterns.

Workflow improvements include a new Discover panel: a searchable, context-sensitive UI panel that gives you technical help on Photoshop features.

The cloud document system has the option of making documents available for offline processing or of accessing previous storage states of a document. A full list of changes can be found via the links below.

Pricing and system requirements
Photoshop 22.0 is only available on loan for Windows 10 and MacOS 10.14+. In the online documentation, the release is also referred to as the October 2020 update.

Photography subscriptions that include access to Photoshop and Lightroom start at $ 119.88 / year. Photoshop subscriptions for an app are $ 31.49 / month.

Read an overview of what's new in Photoshop 22.0 on the Adobe blog

For a complete list of what's new in Photoshop 22.0, see the online documentation

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