Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill is about to get even smarter with auto selections

Adobe’s Content-Aware Fill tool makes objects in photos disappear — and the next version of Photoshop will bring even more speed and accuracy to the artificially intelligent tool. On Friday, September 27, Adobe teased an update coming to Photoshop before the end of the year that allows for faster customizations of the Content-Aware Fill.

By default, the current Content-Aware Fill selects a large rectangular area of the image as the sampling area. Marked in green, the sampling area contains the pixels Photoshop uses to determine how to fill in the gap left by removing the selection. You can customize the sampling area to tell the software what content to use in the Content-Aware Fill and what content to ignore.

With the update, artificial intelligence will analyze the image to select the sampling area instead of you, effectively creating a content-aware sampling area for the Content-Aware Tool. Once the computer analyzes the image and makes the selection, the existing tools for customizing the sampling area are still available to fine-tune the auto selection.

Adobe didn’t share how the tool works, outside of categorizing it as part of Adobe Sensei, the company’s A.I. platform. But looking at tools such as the recent Select Subject, training the program to select the background as the sampling area is a logical next step.

The Adobe Sensei-powered option will be located under the “sampling area options” section in the Content-Aware Fill window by clicking auto. 

Also new, the tool has a custom option that erases the sampling area to start with a blank slate. Adobe says the custom option was a user-requested feature, since some images required you to erase a large part of the initial sampling area. In images where only a small portion of the image is needed for the sampling area and the auto tool doesn’t make the right selections, starting with the custom option is likely most efficient.

The Content-Aware Fill tool that users already know and love will still be available by selecting the rectangular option for the sampling area.

While Adobe teased the enhanced Content-Aware Fill options today, the company hasn’t yet shared when the update is coming, outside of promising it sometime in 2019. Adobe software traditional sees major updates in late fall around the Adobe Max conference, slated for early November in LA this year.

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