Skip to main content

Adobe MAX 2021: New innovations and AI-powered features for Photoshop CC

Adobe Max 2021
(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe MAX kicks off today! The free virtual event will showcase the latest and greatest innovations and updates to Adobe’s popular software programs including their best photo editing software Photoshop CC, Photoshop for iPad, Lightroom CC, Adobe Stock, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator, XD and much more.

Running from 26-28th October Adobe MAX will have over 400 sessions so there should be something for everyone. There’s a vast list of guest speakers running through design, photography, illustration, social media, 3D and video, including talks from celebrities like Riz Ahmed, Tilda Swindon and Kenan Thompson.

In the photography world we’ll see talks from Esther Havens, a humanitarian photographer and storyteller; Kennith Hines Jr., a multi-discipline photographer; Aundre Larrow, photographer; Monaris, a street photographer and many more. Adobe Max is free to watch online, but you will need a ticket: find out how to order one, and all the best sessions to follow, here

Last week Adobe showed us a sneak peak of the new Adobe Camera Raw feature being added to Photoshop for iPad. There’s no official word yet on when the new feature will arrive, but we’re expecting to at least get an ETA during Adobe MAX. Check out that article here.

Here, we take a look at the latest AI-powered features and innovations coming to Adobe Photoshop CC.

Photoshop CC: New Hover Auto-Masking feature

Adobe Max 2021

(Image credit: Adobe)

Last year we saw the addition of the Object Selection Tool, which was great for selecting specific objects just by dragging a selection over them. A new Hover Auto-Masking feature has been added to the Object Selection Tool, giving you an overlay of the subject you're about to select with the tool.

There's also a new Mask All Objects feature that will generate the mask for every object detected within your scene automatically. When presenting this new feature, Adobe Principal Worldwide Design and Photography Evangelist, Terry White, added that while it won't necessarily detect every object in your scene right now, he expects the machine learning AI technology to only get better over time.

Photoshop CC: 3 New Neural Filters added

Adobe Max 2021

Using the new Landscape Mixer Neural Filter the original image on the left was given a more autumnal feel. (Image credit: Adobe)

Three new sensei-powered Neural Filters have been added: Landscape Mixer, Harmonization and Colorize.

Adobe Max 2021

The Landscape Mixer makes it easy to shift your pictures into a different time of the year. (Image credit: Adobe)

In the Landscape Mixer you can choose from one of the presets or go into custom which lets you choose your own photo to mix with another landscape. You can also use Season sliders, which uses machine learning and AI to help give your scenes a more autumnal or wintry feel, using the Sunset, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter sliders.

Adobe Max 2021

The new Colorize Neural Filter gives you a head start when colorizing old black and white images using machine learning AI to color in clothes, skin tones and so on. (Image credit: Adobe)

There's also the new Colorize Neural Filter which helps you add color to black and white images. Working on an old mono film photo of his parents, Terry White, added that while it doesn't always get it 100% spot-on, it's a brilliant head start that really helps to speed up colorizing black and white images and giving old family photos a new lease of life. 

Adobe Max 2021

The Harmonization Neural filter helps match the tones in multiple photographs for more realistic looking composite images. This composite is made up of an autumnal outdoors scene and a studio-lit portrait. (Image credit: Adobe)

The new Harmonization Neural Filter has been created to help people match the tones in multiple images when working on a composite so that the different layers have a similar lighting and create a more realistic composite.

In the demo, Terry White, added a studio portrait lit with flash to an outdoors autumnal scene with natural lighting. With the filter active, the tones in the portrait were shifted to be more orange to blend her in and he pulled back the Strength slider to make it more subtle and natural.

Adobe Max 2021

The Depth Blur Neural filter has been improved and now features a Focal Distance slider. (Image credit: Adobe)

The Depth Blur Neural filter has also been improved to help you achieve the look of expensive lenses with wide apertures and create a shallow depth-of-field look in post-production. 

It's been enhanced to allow you to choose the Focal Distance so you can choose which object in your scene that you want to be the focal point and you can also change the Blur Strength.

Photoshop CC: Improved workflow between Ai and PS

Adobe Max 2021

(Image credit: Adobe)

There is now also improved interoperability between Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CC as you'll be be able to import vector content from Illustrator and edit within Photoshop with colours, properties, layer names and layer masks intact without having to open Illustrator.

Photoshop functionality comes to your web browser

Adobe Max 2021

Photoshop and Illustrator tools will be available for quick and basic edits via your web browser. (Image credit: Adobe)

We also got a sneak-peak at Creative Cloud Web, where a basic version of Photoshop and Illustrator will be available via a web browser so you can make simple adjustments quickly to help improve collaboration when working as a team on a project.  

You'll need an Adobe ID to be able to access the full editing capabilities offered, though you do not need an Adobe ID to comment or markup pictures when they're shared. It's ideal for light editing with some of Photoshop's most used and essential tools, though if you need the full version of Photoshop CC you can open it from the web into the app on your desktop.

Adobe Max 2021

(Image credit: Adobe)

Storing your images and project files in the Cloud, this new feature is designed to help speed up collaboration, image review and marking up any changes that need to be made in a team. You'll be able to send a web link to the people in your team that you want to collaborate with and depending on the permissions you give them, they'll be able to give feedback, drop pins on specific parts of the image, or even edit the image.

The web browsers Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome will be supported at launch though Terry added that he'd love to see more web browsers supported in the future.

Read more:

Best photo editing software
Best laptops for photo editing
Best monitors for photographers
Best tablets for photographers
PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine

Dan Mold

The Technique Editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, Dan also brings his technical wizardry and editing skills to Digital Camera World. He has been writing about all aspects of photography for over 8 years, having previously served as technical writer and technical editor on Practical Photography magazine, as well as Photoshop editor on Digital Photo


Indeed, Dan is an Adobe-certified Photoshop guru, making him officially a beast at post-processing – so he’s the perfect person to share tips and tricks both in-camera and in post. Able to shoot all genres, Dan provides news, techniques and tutorials on everything from portraits and landscapes to macro and wildlife, helping photographers get the most out of their cameras, lenses, filters, lighting, tripods and, of course, editing software.