Adobe Demonstrates Powerful New Sky Replacement Feature Coming to Photoshop

One of the most well-known features of the new AI-processing technologies in various post-processing programs is automated sky replacement, which takes a lot of the time and effort out of what is traditionally a rather tedious task. Adobe is the latest to offer their own version of the technology, as demonstrated in this new video. 

Adobe recently demonstrated the new technology on their YouTube channel. The feature has not yet been released, but will appear in an upcoming version of Photoshop. The feature has options like the ability to choose the sky you would like to use or to shift and scale it as needed, with Photoshop leveraging Adobe Sensei to handle the often tedious task of masking and blending the new sky. Beyond this, Sensei will also adjust the color and lighting of the foreground to match that of the new sky, making the blended image more convincing. I have discussed how much I enjoy using Luminar's version of this feature before, as it enables new creative opportunities (especially since you don't have to slog through the process manually), and certainly, people like real estate photographers will find it quite useful for their work. Check out the video above to see it in action. 

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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RIP Luminar

Looks quite powerful and easy to use. Although I do see ways to use this commercially, I think I prefer the experience of a beautiful sky when taking the photo.

No pun intended but that looks Photoshopped. I see it adjusting white balance but it doesn't adjust exposure to match that over colored and darkened sky you slap in. Let me guess though, this will be plugged into their stock library they want you to pay extra for so everyone can be using the same damn sky stock pics in all their pics? The problem with stock is they are mostly already color processed jpgs that you try and match to a raw file and the look is extra fake looking. Also show us some more close ups so we can see if there is that cut out mess we get from the new auto background removal tool. The word "auto" always makes me think they are adding more bloatware to justify the subscription price. No thanks.

I guess "Hey no new shiny tools but we made the program faster, use less memory and processing" isn't sexy enough.

Oh oh, RIP Luminar, and welcome to over saturation of "dramatic sky" photos.
Photography and editing now are all so easy and ubiquitous, nothing is really "unique" or exciting anymore. The creativity and time needed to create have been replaced with A.I. doing all the heavy lifting now. It sort of reminds me of the bodybuilding world where steroids are now cheap and easily attainable so almost anybody with even less-than-moderate effort can look like they lift bra in months, and enter contests and win.

I await the head and body replacement features...

So much better than Luminar in that it gives you a thumbnail of the sky instead of just a file name (which Luminar, if you're reading this, is a really stupid omission). Luminar also only lets you import JPGs of your own skies. It'll be interesting see if PS has the same restriction or will allow NEFs or TIFFs.

I think Mike Kelly sells a sky package so you won't have to use PS sky's if you don't want to and if you don't have your own. I have been using the Blend If mask in PS for sky's and no one has ever said " it looks Photoshopped" and 90% of what I do has a lot of trees in the background. I will try it out and if I don't like the way it automatically adjust things I will just add the provided sky's to a library and carry on with Blend If.

I'd be interested to see if it can handle astrophotography blends to allow for differently focused and exposed foregrounds and backgrounds.

Also, I hope they tweak the slightly fuzzy halo that seems to appear around the foregrounds. It looks a bit like the sort of effect you get when you push the highlights and shadows too far in the opposite directions. You can actually see this halo in the masks towards the end of the video so I suppose that at worst, you could always manually neaten this up.

I will bet if I read through comments there will be no discussion about capturing the real sky and that it is always better, how Adobe rips you off, or how Skylum is either going to be shut down or how it does it better. Oh yeah, too much color in skies will be a discussion as well.

One of the things killing the industry (for the pros) and the hobby (for me and others of my ilk) is the hardcore clinging and death grasp on "how I would prefer things is the only way to proceed." People that buy photos LOVE vibrant colors, washed out images, b&w, over sharp, abstract images, etc. They don't give a rip how you get there. All of us admire the software gymnastics of the guy or gal that spends a day layering and blending 50 images into a single image. Awesome. However, and I know it kills people, when an image is good enough with a keystroke, isn't it time to figure out how to better use your time?

I prefer any sky replacements to be from my own sky images, but that is just me. Just offering the idea that it might be time to either dig your heals out from the place you are firmly planted or to at least appreciate the fact there are multiple ways to approach it and that there may be something more efficient.

Reflections of the sky on glass, water, etc. will make this unsuitable in those situations.

It took Luminar to innovate for Adobe to respond. It’s a direct threat to Luminar. For me it indicates Adobe will only innovate to match a threat. It will be interesting if it’s better than Luminar at it. The demo which is probably using optimal situations looks a little off. Luminar badly designed their set up in that there aren’t thumbnails for the skies. Adobe made sure that’s not the case with theirs. That they can detect the sky I wonder will that capability be added to selections.

They have that Zuckerberg way of business, if you can't buy the other company, just steal their work.

The naysayer comments sound like they're afraid this will hurt their business or take their wife and raid the refrigerator.
I feel like I'm hearing hearing echoes of the lame arguments against content-aware fill when it was introduced.

Content-aware fill, another tool I never touch but am paying for. It's like they are aiming to draw more amateurs in or compete with phone filter apps but those people aren't going to pay for a subscription to edit their phone pics. The majority of Adobe tools are guessing machines. Auto background removal, hmmmm let's try, try again. Content aware, hmmm nope try again. You spend more time trying to clean up the mess these tools leave behind than you would doing it yourself.