Adobe Releases Updates for Creative Cloud Apps on Mac as Adobe MAX 2020 Kicks Off

Adobe holds an annual MAX conference each year, and this year's event is free for everyone for the first time because it is being held virtually rather than in person. At MAX, Adobe is introducing new features for Creative Cloud, with updates available for Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and more.

Photoshop

There's a new Neural Filters option in Photoshop, which is powered by Adobe Sensei. Adobe says Neural Filters mark the beginning of a re-imagination of filters and image manipulation inside Photoshop, with Adobe including many new Neural Filters that are being provided in a beta capacity.

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Neural Filters are non-destructive filters that creatively transform images in just a few seconds. Adobe says that Neural Filters take "many things Photoshop does well" and distills them into one click or a couple of sliders through machine learning.

Adobe's Neural Filters include Skin Smoothing for photo retouching and Smart Portrait for transforming a person's age, expression, hair, pose, and more. There's a Super Zoom filter for removing JPEG artifacts from small images, a tool for colorizing a black and white image in a click, and a Depth-Aware filter for simulating volumetric haze in the background to better highlight a subject.

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Adobe is also introducing Sky Replacement, which is an option that separates the sky from the foreground with just a few clicks, allowing Photoshop users to insert in an alternative image. Adobe is introducing 25 presets, but custom skies are also an option.

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There are new Object Aware Refine Edge and Refine Hair tools that use AI to improve selections for subjects that can be difficult to capture in their entirety. Refine Hair looks for people and automatically enhances hair selection, while Object Aware Refine Mode is meant to help users make better selections more quickly. There's a new Discover panel that offers up tools and tips that are designed to help those who are new to Photoshop work faster, and for those who are more experienced, there are AI recommendations based on your work that can help speed up results.

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Adobe is adding a new Pattern Preview mode for previewing patterns you've created on objects, a new tool for creating triangles in Live Shapes, a preset search option, offline cloud document access, and an option in the Properties Panel for resetting a Smart Object to its original state.

For plugins, Adobe is making it easier to discover and manage them through the Creative Cloud desktop app using the new plugins marketplace.

Illustrator

Adobe is bringing Illustrator to the iPad for the first time, and projects created on ‌iPad‌ can be edited and transferred to the Mac and vice versa. There are useful touch-focused fearures like radial, grid, and mirror repeat, along with over 18,000 fonts to use.

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On the desktop, Illustrator is gaining a new Recolor Artwork option that's meant to let users change color themes with just a click. Illustrator has been redesigned to handle type, which will bring more precision when inserting type into work, and there's a new Glyph Snapping feature that recommends and snaps to objects based on letterform characteristics in text.

A new Text Align feature allows text to be aligned vertically within a frame, and alignments can now be made directly to text rather than the text frame. Illustrator documents are able to be expanded by 100x for more workspace, and there's an option to copy, merge, and save artboards across documents and projects.

Lightroom

Lightroom is getting Advanced Color Grading with color control for midtones across all Lightroom apps, as well as an option to save different file versions during editing. For Lightroom Classic, Adobe has enhanced performance so it's quicker than before.

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Photographers can add graphical watermarking to their photos, adding a logo stamp, and there's a new "Best Photos" feature that uses AI to suggest a curated subset of images in an album that's based on photographic principles.

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Adobe Fresco

Adobe is bringing Fresco, its digital drawing and painting app, to the iPhone so that it can be used on iPhones as well as iPads. Fresco for ‌iPhone‌ has the same functionality that's available on ‌iPad‌ with a touch-forward experience, and all Fresco projects are able to sync across devices.
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There's also a new set of Smudge brushes for softening and blending edges, along with new ribbon brushes. For the ‌iPad‌, there's an option to change how the Apple Pencil responds to changes in pressure, with the setting available in the App Settings section of Fresco.

Other Updates

  • Premiere Pro - Premiere Pro is getting performance improvements and a preview version of a Sensei-powered Speech to Text feature that can generate captions, subtitles, and speech transcription from video content.
  • After Effects - There's a new Roto 2 brush that's able to select and track an object frame bu frame to make it easier to isolate the subject, plus there's a new 3D design space that makes it easier to navigate and design in 3D.
  • XD - XD has a new 3D transforms feature that lets designers bring depth and perspective to user interface designs.
  • Premiere Rush - Premiere Rush is getting new graphic and audio assets, plus royalty-free audio through a partnership with Splice.
  • Aero - There's a public beta for Adobe Aero that's available now, which lets Adobe users create augmented reality experiences.
  • Creative Cloud - There are new in-app learning experiences for Photoshop and Illustrator on ‌iPad‌, in-app livestreaming is expanding to Photoshop and Illustrator on ‌iPad‌, and Lightroom's Learn and Discover feature has been enhanced.

Adobe has six hours of live content planned for Adobe MAX, with many celebrity speakers, including Zendaya, Conan O'Brien, Awkwafina, Chelsea Handler, and Gwyneth Paltrow, among others, with more information available on Adobe's website.

All of Adobe's announcements are available today for those who have a Creative Cloud subscription.

Top Rated Comments

jwhazel Avatar
13 weeks ago
The neural filters in photoshop are pretty damn amazing albeit painfully slow even on a decent internet connection.

Note for anyone updating: Even though photoshop installed and opened fine, I kept getting errors that plugins weren't available or that cloud processing was offline. I had to quit, sign out of my Adobe account, then sign back in to trigger a new ToS agreement screen. After that, everything started working normally.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WBRacing Avatar
13 weeks ago
This is the downside of the digital photo world to me. So many images I see seem so over processed that I cannot even tell if they are from an actual photo or just computer creations. At the risk of sounding entirely pretentious, to me most of them seem so synthetic.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Craiguyver Avatar
13 weeks ago
Looking forward to trying out the Sky Replacement feature. Will be great if it works!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
markosb Avatar
13 weeks ago


This is the downside of the digital photo world to me. So many images I see seem so over processed that I cannot even tell if they are from an actual photo or just computer creations. At the risk of sounding entirely pretentious, to me most of them seem so synthetic.

I accuse myself of over processing all the time. My first images which I used to think were good, just don’t stand the test of time due to over editing. I have toned It down greatly since then for photography, art is different.

Tools likes these make it easier to create a vision that doesn’t exists. I am big on that.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jancz Avatar
13 weeks ago
Ok, after five years of non-stop reporting 2-4FPS scrolling in grid view on 5K screens in Lightroom, Adobe almost got it.

LRc now scrolls grid at about 16FPS, super choppy sometimes but still it is a major change. GPU still runs at 0-1% while scrolling, by the way.

For sure Adobe knows how to write optimized software and fix bugs.

Next up - memory leaks :-D. Lightroom Classic at about 9GB on idle, 17-22GB in RAM while editing.

Absolutely no speed bump while running on 8GB or 32GB ram Mac.

Next next up - video playback. Drop video support in LR or fix it. 4K playback impossible - 1080p choppy sometimes.

I'm absolutely sure that Adobe will never port Lightroom Classic to native ARM (Apple Silicon). Wonder what is their plan is, as "cloud" Lightroom is still just a toy for professionals.



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Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArPe Avatar
13 weeks ago
Oh Man I’ve been for the rotobrush tool on AE to be updated for ages. Going to see how improved it is.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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