Photoshop streamlines the photo-editing process with one-click selections

Photoshop contains a number of different tools that allow photo editors to isolate a specific area of the photo for local adjustments, but all of them take some time — and several clicks — to get just right. But Adobe is working on a one-click solution that will soon be headed to an upcoming version of Photoshop CC. Adobe shared a sneak peek of a tool called Select Subject during Adobe Max Japan on Monday, November 27.

Unlike techniques like the pen tool, magnetic lasso or Select and Mask window, Select Subject takes just one click to isolate the photo’s main subject and it even works in images with multiple subjects, according to Adobe. Just pick the tool, click and Photoshop will create a selection containing the subject.

So how can Adobe do away with all those selection tools in just one click? Select and Mask is powered by Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s family of machine learning tools. To tell Photoshop what to select, the Select Subject tool uses computer vision, which means the computer is able to recognize many different objects, animals, and people. Once the program recognizes what objects (or people) are in the photo, the software can then make a selection that includes only that object. In cases such as groups of people, the software can also select multiple people at once.

The one-click solution isn’t quite perfect — in one of the samples Adobe shared, part of the subject’s arm was left out of the selection and included in the background while the subject’s shadow was also included. But in many cases, the tool appeared to get an accurate selection the first time. Users can refine what the machine learning tool selects, Abode says, because the tool will be compatible with Select and Mask. The Select and Mask is a tool already included in Photoshop that allows users to refine selections by feathering the edge or painting in a new piece using a brush with edge detection. After making the one-click selection, users could go into Select and Mask if the selection isn’t quite right.

Selecting a subject allows for a number of different popular photo edits, from blurring the background to pasting the subject on a blank background or adjusting the exposure of only one area of the image. For now, users will still have to use pen, lasso, wand, and other tools to make a selection, but Adobe says Select and Mask is coming to an upcoming edition of Photoshop CC.

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