Happy Birthday, Photoshop!

Introducing more Content-Aware Fill, Lens Blur, Type, Selections…

Today is Photoshop’s 30th birthday! For 10,950 days, artists, designers, photographers and many others have inspired the world with their imaginations using the practical magic of Photoshop.

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On this milestone day we celebrate the evolution that brought us here, from the first use of Photoshop (before Photoshop 1.0) to create visual effects for James Cameron’s movie, The Abyss … to the invention of the healing brush in Photoshop CS2 … to the wizardry of Content-Aware Fill … and all the amazing innovation in between. In 2016 we introduced Sensei AI and machine learning magic, resulting in many even more fantastic features including Select Subject, with of course much more to come. In 2019, Photoshop won an Academy Award, and we expanded it to new devices like the iPad.

We honor our long-standing collaboration of artists and engineers, where working together and with your feedback and inspiration we have built a tool that enables you to make the world a more beautiful place.

In celebration of this birthday, today we also release many great new features in both versions of Photoshop – on the desktop and on the iPad. Happy birthday, Photoshop! We will keep the magic rolling.

Photoshop on the desktop

Download here.

Content-Aware Fill Workspace Improvements

Now you can make multiple selections and apply multiple fills without leaving the workspace. Use the new “apply” button to iterate your fills before committing. Click “OK” only when you are finished. In this release we’ve addressed a big customer request to sample all layers in the CAF workspace. These workflow enhancements are designed to reduce clicks, give you more control, and speed you to great results.

The most magical secrets of how Content-Aware Fill works are locked in a vault deep inside Adobe so I can’t tell you a lot about that. But I talked with the research scientists behind the feature to understand their approach to what we added today. A few releases ago we packaged all the CAF capabilities into a workspace. Since then we’ve worked closely with customers to further improve it, using customer-supplied images to ensure we solve your real-world problems. One of your top requests was to stay in the workspace to refine fills that need multiple CAF iterations – imagine removing something from behind many tree branches, or other tricky scenes with visual diversity. To do that, we now enable you to break the fill region into sub-parts to give you more iterative control to achieve a more realistic fill.

Lens Blur improvements

We’ve improved the output quality and performance of Lens Blur and put it on the GPU. This significantly improves the overall realism, including the sharpness and edges when using Lens Blur to synthetically blur the foreground, background or even the middle of an image.

The feature also now delivers more colorful bokeh via the specular highlights. This produces more realistic and pleasing results.

It’s a little boggling to me how we can add such realistic blur to a 2D image after capture. So I talked with one of our research scientists to get an idea of how the new and improved, GPU-driven Lens Blur works. The results are created by an algorithm the team built by studying the first principles of physics and how light interacts with objects in the real world. It is carefully tuned to simulate a 3D environment to create the most realistic results possible, while also consuming the least amount of compute power so you don’t burn up your machine. Lots of research and iteration occurred to make the feature. Several PhDs were involved. And now you can synthetically adjust the depth of field by dynamically manipulating the blur of a 2D image after capture in milliseconds.

Mac OS Dark UI support

Dark UI has been one of the more popular features of the Catalina Mac OS. Photoshop now supports the new dark mode. System dialogs like File>Open and File>Save now match the settings of your Mac OS.

If you have dark UI enabled, system dialogs will also be dark.

Performance improvements

You’ll discover some key performance improvements with a more buttery and seamless mousing experience. Clicking interactions like panning and zooming will feel smoother and more responsive. You’ll notice the biggest boosts on larger documents and when using the hand tool to zip around the canvas.

If you want to geek out, for stylus customers on Windows, you no longer need to use WinTab (you know who you are).

Photoshop on the iPad

Download the app here.

Reminder: Photoshop on the iPad is included in all Creative Cloud plans that include Photoshop. If you are already a member, all you have to do to get started is download Photoshop on the iPad and sign in.

We promised you a continuous stream of new features in the iPad version of Photoshop and today we release a fresh batch.

This is a major release for Photoshop on the iPad. With the addition of the Object Selection tool, selections on the iPad takes a huge leap forward beyond anything available in any other apps on the device before today. Check out the video above by our own Russell Preston Brown that shows the power of this new feature. And, give it a try!

Photoshop on the iPad is built using the same code base as Photoshop on the desktop. As you can see from the multiple releases we’ve delivered since we shipped the first version just three months ago, we are able to add new features with deep and rich capabilities and high quality output that matches that of the desktop very quickly. We are shipping these new capabilities as soon as the user experience has been adapted to the iPad and reimagined to take advantage of touch and mobility.

Object Selection tool

This feature was just released in Photoshop on the desktop at MAX 2019, three months ago. On the iPad we give you the same functions, with the same options and settings.

We’re hearing from customers that Photoshop on the iPad “helps them get closer to the pixels.” This feature is a great example of that, where the experience really shines in a touch environment when using the Apple Pencil. I encourage you to try it out.

Here’s a primer on how the new Object Selection tool relates to the Select Subject tool (which was released on the iPad in December). Both features are now in Photoshop on desktop and iPad. Both use Sensei AI and machine learning to automatically make a great selection. They each radically reduce the steps to results and each is tuned for common, but different use cases.

Select Subject finds and selects the main subject in your image with one click with no input or guidance from you. This is best used when you have one primary object you want to quickly isolate.

The Object Selection tool is designed to give you speed, but also more control over the selection process on more complex images. For example, it is the right tool if you have images with multiple objects, or when selecting a part of an object, or if you want this part but not that part, or need to isolate more than one object in an image. With the Object Selection tool, you draw a rectangular region or even a crude lasso around the area you want to select, and the tool automatically finds and selects the primary objects inside the defined region. This is demonstrated in the video at the top of the iPad section, where we have a selection that requires getting this part but not that part of the oranges.

Here’s another example using a fairly complex scene and background.

I drew a rough lasso around the woman. You can see how the marching ants snapped to her outline.

By pressing “F” on the keyboard, I can scroll through different views of the selection to ensure I have what I want. For this image, the red background works best.

I then circled the man’s glasses to add those to the selection with one quick stroke using the Lasso tool, and then added the guitar … you get the idea. It was super easy and I had what I wanted in just a few seconds.

Type settings

Type settings in this release brings many of the typographic controls you use in Photoshop on the desktop to the iPad. We added type layer, character and options properties. This includes tracking, leading, scaling, and formatting things like all/small caps, super/subscript. Kerning will ship in a future release.

How to give input on the iPad roadmap

We are so happy to get Photoshop on the iPad into your hands! Your experience, feedback and point of view have always been a critical part of our process, and we take that very seriously as we chart a path forward with the iPad. Please join our community forum to give feedback on what you would like to see in the future: feedback.photoshop.com. We look forward to your thoughts.

Cloud documents

In December we began rolling out major performance improvements to the upload and download experience of cloud documents for PSDs of 75mb and larger. On January 14, we expanded the improvements to apply to PSDs of 10MB or larger. Depending on the size of your file and your network performance, you can see up to 90% faster uploads and downloads with these updates.

Join us this week for a free virtual event

Join Digital Artists Anna McNaught and Magdiel Lopez on Adobe Live as they celebrate Photoshop’s birthday! This week, Anna & Magdiel will share protips on the newest features in Photoshop for two days: February 19th and 20th from 9:30am – 2:00pm PT! Jump into the live stream and learn how to add visual graphics, composite photography and design in Photoshop with the pros! Or watch at your convenience here.

Thank You

The new decade is off to a great start. Thank you to all our customers throughout all the years for your partnership and inspiration.

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