Adobe Releases New Features for Creative Cloud Apps as Adobe MAX 2021 Begins

Adobe hosts an annual MAX conference each year to unveil new features for its Creative Cloud apps, and this year's event will see Adobe introducing updates for Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and more.

adobe max 2021

Photoshop

On the desktop, Photoshop is gaining an improved Object Selection Tool that lets users hover over the image that they want to select and then execute the selection with a click. The tool is AI-based and is designed to recognize most objects in an image to make them easy to select.

Adobe says that selections made with the Object Selection tool are more accurate and more detail is now preserved at the edges. There's also a new option to Mask All Objects to generate a mask for all of the objects detected within a given layer.

photoshop masking
Adobe is also adding new adjustable Neural Filters for changing the look and season of a landscape, transferring the color palette of one image to another, and matching the color and tone of an element on one layer to another layer. For existing Neural Filters, Adobe is improving depth blur, superzoom, style transfer, and colorize.

photoshop landscape
Other new features include improved gradients that are designed to look clearer and brighter, Export As updates, a faster oil paint filter, improved color management and HDR, and an option to copy vector shapes from Illustrator to Photoshop.

Photoshop on iPad is gaining support for RAW images, so RAW photos can be opened and edited on the ‌iPad‌ as well as the desktop. This works with RAW photos from DSLRs and other cameras and RAW images captured with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.

Layers in Photoshop for ‌iPad‌ can be converted into Smart Objects for non-destructive edits, and there are new Dodge and Burn tools.

Illustrator

There are new collaborative features for Illustrator both on the ‌iPad‌ and on the desktop, with a new option for "Share for Commenting" to let users collect comments on their Illustrator documents. Creative Cloud Spaces also ensure that all creative work and resources are located in one spot and accessible to everyone, while Creative Cloud Canvas lets teams visualize and review creative work together.

illustrator 3d improvements
Adobe has overhauled the 3D effects in Illustrator, and with the updated 3D panel, there are options for adding depth to drawings and creating 3D objects from paths. Adobe is using a new geometry processing engine for these improvements, and it also provides feedback in real-time.

Adobe Substance materials can be imported directly into Illustrator, and there's a Discover panel that provides instant access to product support and learning resources.

On the ‌iPad‌, Illustrator now supports Vectorize, a feature that can convert any image into a crisp vector graphic. Users can take a photo of a sketch and Adobe will automatically draw the graphic. Artistic or calligraphic brush strokes can be applied to artwork, and there's a new Object Blend tool for blending one shape into another.

Other new Illustrator for ‌iPad‌ features include rulers and guides for more precise placements, version history to track and revert to prior versions of a document, the option to add linked PSD files from Photoshop or Fresco into an Illustrator document, and a tool for natively cutting and pasting text or graphics between Photoshop, Fresco, and Illustrator.

Along with these updates, Adobe has announced plans to bring Adobe Illustrator to the web, allowing Illustrator files to be edited and accessed using a web browser.

Lightroom

For Lightroom and Lightroom Classic, Adobe is adding more precise selection and masking tools. Selective Adjustment tools have been redesigned from the ground up, and can now be found under the new "Masking" button.

lightroom masking
Adobe says that the selection and masking updates will allow users to make more complex and accurate selections to easily pull out the areas of a photograph that you want to change with less hassle.

There are new AI-based Select Subject and Select Sky options in Lightroom that are designed to allow the subject of the photo or the sky to be selected with a single click, allowing edits to be applied just to these areas.

To give Lightroom users editing ideas, the app will suggest a selection of presets that will make photos more eye-catching. Adobe will scan an image and match the subject with the presets that will make it look best, plus there are eight new Premium Preset Packs.

Other Lightroom additions include Community Remix for allowing other Lightroom users to edit your photos, and Crop Overlays for fine-tuning framing.

Content Credentials

Adobe is introducing Content Credentials for Photoshop, Adobe Stock, and Behance. In Photoshop, the opt-in feature will capture edits and identify information from a working image, which can be attached to the image when exporting it. Adobe says that this metadata provides new transparency options for creative professionals and casual artists.

Images can be inspected and their details accessed through Adobe's verification website.

Other Updates

  • After Effects - Multi-Frame Rendering with up to 4x faster performance, Speculative Preview for rendering compositions in the background when the system is idle, and Composition Profiler for highlighting the layers and effects that have the biggest impact on processing time. Scene Edit detection is also available in the beta version of the app.
  • Premiere Pro - Speech to Text is more accurate for pop culture terminology, and it's better at formatting for dates and numbers. Simplify Sequence removes gaps, unused tracks, and user-designed clips, and there's new color management for H.264 and HEVC formats. Remix, a feature that rearranges songs so the music matches the video is available in the beta version of the App.
  • Character Animator - Creators can use their own body movements and gestures to animate their puppets, and they can also create their own characters without having to use Photoshop or Illustrator using the Puppet Maker, a feature available in public beta.
  • Adobe XD - Adobe is adding support for playable videos and Lottie animations to Adobe XD.
  • Adobe Stock - Adobe Stock is gaining Stock & Marketplace, a unified hub for Adobe creative assets that include Adobe Stock, Adobe Fonts, plugins, and Substance 3D assets. There's also a new "Find Similar audio" tool.
  • Adobe Fresco - Adobe Fresco, Adobe's free drawing app, is gaining support for motion, so it can now be used to create animations. The app is also getting Perspective Grids and Vector Brushes.

Adobe is making changes to many of its other apps and services, and full details on all of the updates can be found on Adobe's website.

Tag: Adobe

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Top Rated Comments

Callander Avatar
36 months ago
It's literally been called Adobe MAX for ages now. It was Macromedia MAX before Adobe.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iosiseasy Avatar
36 months ago
Adobe is too expensive. I'm all for paying for products but $80 a month for the suite is ridiculous. I have downgraded to Illustrator only and using Affinity Photo instead of Photoshop. Once I get comfortable with Affinity Designer I'll ditch Adobe completely. I don't need all the extra apps they offer which in their mind may justify the high price tag, but if I don't use them, then it doesn't make sense for me.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
skippermonkey Avatar
36 months ago
I love After effects, but gave it up because of Adobe's rental business model. Motion does pretty much all I need, and Affinity Photo is a good alternative to Photoshop. But how good would an Affinity Movie/Affinity FX be? Their tech in an After Effects-type app would be amazing!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
groove-agent Avatar
36 months ago
Their subscription pricing is too out to lunch and far too greedy. For a student Photoshop is still $26/ month CAD for the first year and $40/ month afterwards. That's too much for a single title. It's should be more like $10 - $20 per month.

I bought Affinity Photo yesterday and have been very happy with it so far.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hellenicsun Avatar
36 months ago

I love After effects, but gave it up because of Adobe's rental business model. Motion does pretty much all I need, and Affinity Photo is a good alternative to Photoshop. But how good would an Affinity Movie/Affinity FX be? Their tech in an After Effects-type app would be amazing!
I had to create an account just to upvote and reply to this commend - that's how furious I am. Lightroom, Photoshop and Premiere Pro user but I'm just fed up. Using these products until I can cancel penalty free.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Will do good Avatar
36 months ago
Walked away from Adobe, couldn't be happier.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)