Adobe's new AI-driven editing engine has just blown my mind

Speaker at Adobe Max
(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe may have just changed the game again, after previewing its mind-blowing new AI capabilities.

Adobe Max is just around the corner, taking place next week from October 10-12, and with it comes a lot of excitement about new products and features being announced. With the build-up underway, the company has been providing sneak peeks at what might be in store – and the latest will have a significant impact on the photo editing community. 

I am talking about Project Stardust, the project title for the new AI-driven editing engine for Adobe products, hoping to ensure Adobe remains at the top of the best photo editing and best video editing rankings.

In a YouTube short, we are introduced to the new software by project manager Aya and given a brief look at its powerful photo editing capabilities. Aya starts out by stating that the "new editing engine enables you to edit your images as though they were real (not layered)".

Indeed, it enables you to edit, move, and rearrange subjects within an image as if they were on separate layers. In the demonstration, a subject was highlighted and then moved around the frame as if it was being moved on location before shooting, with what seemed like generative fill "filling in" the holes it would have left in the background.

The same worked when deleting the subject, but this was taken a step further as not only was the subject deleted and the hole instantly filled generatively – it also removed the shadow. A lot of these features are already available, yet what was impressive was the speed and seamless accuracy with which it appeared to do it.

The updated AI engine seems to have improved its ability to understand commands as it was shown intuitively deleting people in the background by simply pressing the "Remove distractions" button. There was no need for selection or highlighting.

Being able to remove and generate new subjects with ease also allowed for a demonstration of editing someone's clothes. By highlighting a piece of clothing, one click, and a bit of imagination, you can change outfits seamlessly. From just a brief preview of this capability, it already looks like a useful tool in the ecommerce world.

This was just a fraction of what the new AI engine has in store, with more examples to be launched at Adobe Max next week. This AI function will be available across all Adobe products including Firefly, Creative Cloud, and Express.

Adobe Max is Adobe's creativity conference showcasing the best of Adobe's products and the artists who use them. The event will be held in Los Angeles, California from October 10-12, and will also be available to stream for free online.

As magic as Adobe software is, take a look at the best Photoshop alternatives out there, as well as the best free photo editing software. And make sure you're using the best MacBooks for photo editing or the best photo editing laptops.

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Kalum Carter
Staff Writer

Kalum Carter is a UK-based photographer, writer, and photo editor. Kalum has been working as a freelance photographer for the best part of ten years, covering a wide range of assignments for well-known brands and publications in areas including portraiture, fashion, and documentary. 


Between commercial assignments, Kalum is currently working on a personal photography project exploring his connection to the Gower region of South Wales UK, as part of an MA in Photography from The University of West England.