As part of Adobe MAX 2020, which is virtual (and free to attend) this year, Adobe has announced the latest updates to the Adobe Photoshop family. Artificial intelligence and Adobe Sensei play a major role in today's updates, which are now available for all subscribers.

Adobe Photoshop 2021

Adobe calls Photoshop 2021, also known as version 22.0, the 'world's most advanced AI application for creatives,' so let's see what's new. The primary new features are Neural Filters, Sky Replacement, improved Refine Edge Selections and the all-new Discover panel.

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The Neural Filters workspace is a 'complete reimagination of filters and image manipulation inside Photoshop.' The first version includes a large set of filters, some of which are still in a beta state. Adobe wants to get as many of them into the hands of users for testing. The Neural Filters workspace offers users access to non-destructive filters including Skin Smoothing, Smart Portrait and more. Smart Portrait allows you to transform a portrait subject along parameters such as age, expression, pose and more. AI analyzes the portrait to allow you to change aspects of your subject's features, such as changing the direction of the subject's head, gaze and the intensity of their smile. As you can see below, you can even adjust the direction of light in an image.

In this image, the light direction slider within Adobe's new Neural Filters was moved from left to right. As Adobe's Pam Clark notes, finishing touches can be easily applied within Photoshop. Image credit: Adobe

In addition to making AI-powered adjustments to portraits, Neural Filters also includes features to help repair damaged images, including Photo Restoration, Dust and Scratches, Noise Reduction, Face Cleanup, JPEG Artifacts Restoration and even a Neural Filter for colorizing a black and white image, a task which takes a considerable amount of skill and time to perform manually. You can learn more about how Neural Filters works and how they can be used in your workflow by visiting Adobe's dedicated webpage.

Adobe's new Sky Replacement feature includes numerous user controls when changing the sky, such as brightness and temperature. You can see the new workspace by enlarging this image. Image credit: Adobe

Moving on to Sky Replacement. Using the power of AI, Photoshop can analyze your image to detect what areas of your image are foreground versus sky and then perform masking and blending in order to realistically change the sky in your image. You can select from Photoshop's database of skies or add your own. There are creative controls as well, including the ability to zoom in and select a portion of the sky and move the sky around the scene. Today's Photoshop release includes around 25 sky presets. You can learn more about Sky Replacement in this article and by watching the video below.

It seems every major release of Photoshop includes substantive improvements to making selections in your images and the latest release is no different. Adobe Sensei is powering a pair of new features in the Select and Mask workspace: Refine Hair and Object Aware Refine Mode.

Making selections of hair has long been challenging, but Sensei now allows you to leverage its power to refine a selection incorporating hair in a single click. Similarly, Object Aware Refine Mode uses the power of AI to make even more precise, informed selections of portions of your image. Consider the example image below of a selection of the hair in the lion's mane. It's an impressive selection that was performed in only a few seconds.

Image credit: Adobe

Photoshop's new Discover panel includes a brand-new learn and search experience. Within Photoshop, you can quickly access an expanded library of educational content, new step-by-step tutorials, and a vastly improved search functionality. AI makes context-aware recommendations based on your work, including tips and tutorials. There are new one-click Quick Actions that allow you to instantly perform certain tasks when you're in a rush or teach you how to do the task for yourself step by step.

Photoshop 2021 includes an all-new Discover panel. Image credit: Adobe

Photoshop also includes Pattern Preview and shape creation features. Pattern Preview is a special view mode that allows you to view how your document would look as a pattern. Creating and adjusting shapes on the fly is now easier. There's a new tool to create triangles and on-canvas controls to resize and adjust shapes.

Pattern preview is new to Photoshop 2021. Image credit: Adobe

Further improvements include enhancements to the Properties Panels and major revisions to how you access plug-ins within Photoshop. There's a new plugins marketplace within the application where you'll find curated collections in addition to the wide array of plugins and integrations on offer for Photoshop. Adobe has also integrated UXP to Photoshop. UXP is its new extensibility platform for building plugins.

This plugin architecture results in improved reliability and performance for plugins. There are already plugins built on UXP available in Photoshop. These include plugins to connect Photoshop with apps and services such as Dropbox, Trello and Slack. Plus, there are image editing plugins from photographers such as Tony Kuyper, Greg Benz and Davide Barranca.

It's now easier to find plugins in Photoshop. Plus, plugins built on the UXP platform will be even more stable and faster. Image credit: Adobe

On the topic of connectedness, when working on a cloud document inside Photoshop, versions are now automatically created, allowing you to look back or revert to prior states. Within Photoshop, it's now possible to view, revert, open, save as and rename save states within the version history. Cloud documents are also now available offline.

When working on cloud documents, you can now access a file's version history. Image credit: Adobe

For the full breakdown of everything new in version 22.0 of Photoshop on desktop, click here. Now, there have also been specific new functions added to Photoshop on iPad.

Photoshop for iPad

When using Photoshop on iPad, you can now change the dimensions, resolution and sampling of a PSD file, matching what you can do with a PSD file on the desktop version of Photoshop. You can learn more about this function by clicking here.

It's now possible to live stream from within Photoshop on iPad. You can use the tablet's built-in camera and mic to communicate with viewers as well. Image credit: Adobe

Within Photoshop on iPad, users can now start a live stream via the Export menu. You can use the iPad's built-in camera to interact with members of Adobe Behance. Live streams are sent to Behance automatically and Adobe will be moderating and posting selected recordings in the gallery on Behance and within the Photoshop on iPad app directly. There is also a new Behance Gallery within the app. This lets you view the work of others, watch live streams (including recordings), browse through Behance projects and share your own work. You can learn more by clicking here: Live streaming and gallery.

As you can see, there's a lot new in Photoshop. You can learn more about all the new features and find links to additional information by reading this Adobe blog post.

This Friday, October 23, Terry White will be hosting a live stream at 11:00 AM ET in which he discusses all the new features of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for photographers. You can learn more about this live stream and set a reminder by clicking here. If you'd like to take part in Adobe MAX 2020, alongside more than 500,000 other registrants, you can sign up for different live events right here. There are a ton of great guests scheduled to appear this week, including celebrities such as Conan O'Brien, Chelsea Handler and Zendaya. Over the next three days, there are over 350 sessions, labs and creativity workshops, so be sure to check them out, it's completely free to attend.