If you ask me, masking is one of the most tedious things to do when editing photos. But Adobe has launched a few new tools that will make it simpler and easier than ever. They’re coming to Lightroom soon, so if that’s your favorite editor like mine, you’ll love the new features that will make editing much faster.
All the tools are powered by AI, as they have been all the rage lately. But my sarcastic comments aside, Adobe’s new masking tools seem very useful. There are also a few more interface improvements coming, so let’s see what’s new and what you can expect.
Lightroom already offers smart masking that lets you select the subject or sky in your image. But Adobe is now adding smarter, more advanced AI masking that lets you select people, objects, and backgrounds.
Portrait photographers will love this one. Powered by Adobe’s AI technology, Adobe Sensei Select People can detect and generate for individuals or groups in any image. It even allows you to select specific body parts such as face skin, body skin, eyes, teeth, lips, hair, etc.
Selecting objects appears to be similar to Photoshop’s smart object selection tool. There are two ways to apply it: just paint over the object with Brush Select or draw a rectangle around it with Rectangle Select, similar to what you would do in Photoshop. Adobe’s AI tool will automatically refine the edges to create an accurate mask.
So far you have only been able to select the sky with a smart mask or select your background by inverting a subject mask. Now the AI can directly generate a mask for the background with just one click.
Adaptive presets for portraits, sky and subject
Along with smart masking, Adobe has also introduced AI-powered presets for portraits, available for both desktop and mobile. This class of adaptive presets is designed to quickly enhance an entire portrait or target specific features with presets like Enhance Eyes, Whiten Teeth, Darken Eyebrows, and more.
At the same time, Adobe is also introducing these adaptive sky and subject presets available on mobile. With one click, Lightroom can detect and create an adaptive mask based on the image content. And yes, it reminds me of Luminar’s AI enhancements and smart picks. too.
Heal with Content-Aware Remove
Healing is another tedious activity, and also one of these Lightroom isn’t always perfect to perform – so I usually turn to Photoshop for that. But Adobe has now added Content-Aware Remove to Lightroom, which uses the same Content-Aware technology as Photoshop. When you remove distractions, Lightroom adaptively fills them in based on the surrounding content. This feature also includes a refresh option and the ability to select the sampled area with keyboard commands for more precise healing control.
Adobe says the new features will be rolling out to Lightroom on Win/Mac, Lightroom Classic, Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), iOS, Android, iPadOS, ChromeOS, and Web starting today and throughout the week. You can check out the full list of features on Adobe’s blog. For me personally, every masking improvement in Lightroom is welcome and all of them have made my life easier. So I can’t wait to try the last ones!