Photoshop’s sky replacement tool makes it easier to fake a perfect sunset

Adobe is preparing to add an AI-powered sky replacement tool to Photoshop that makes it easier to swap out the sky in any picture with just a few clicks. The company previewed the tool on YouTube ahead of its Adobe Max conference, scheduled for October 20th–22nd.

The tool uses machine learning to automatically identify the foreground and background of a picture, saving people from creating complicated masks to separate the two. You can load in a number of dramatic preset skies, and the algorithms will automatically tweak the warmth and temperature of the foreground to match the new sky. If you add in a warm, golden sunset, for example, it’ll update the coloring of the rest of your picture to match.

Adobe isn’t the first company to offer this sort of tool. AI-powered picture editor Luminar has offered one-click sky replacement since last year, for example. But it is the latest example of Adobe enhancing its premier picture editor with the help of machine learning.

The Verge’s art crew had mixed feelings about the tool. They thought the color-matching looked well-done but were cautious about evaluating the feature from a simple demo video. Like any company demoing a new product, Adobe is only going to pick the most flattering examples. They did also note, though, that Adobe’s automatic cutout tools generally work pretty well and would definitely make this sort of edit a lot easier.

A sky replacement feature could be particularly useful for Instagram influencers, always looking to create the perfect travel shot. Last year, one influencer was criticized after it was spotted that she was using fake clouds in her photos. She later said that she had always been open about editing her images but perhaps needed more variety. “Maybe I just need to change the sky I pick — but I kinda like the one I use!” she added. Photoshop could help.

Adobe didn’t say when this new feature would be added to Photoshop, but you can expect to hear more details at the company’s upcoming Max conference.

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