Photoshop's new one-click AI just shifted the balance of power

Adobe isn't holding back when it comes to introducing new and innovative AI features into Photoshop. The latest, Generative Expand, has just been announced and it could be the best example of how to make use of AI yet.

Back in May Adobe integrated Firefly into Photoshop (beta), enabling artists to make use of Generative Fill to add, expand and remove content using text prompts. We have a quick guide to how to use prompts in Photoshop and Firefly if you fancy trying it for yourself.

Generative Expand takes it a step further, and could help seasoned digital artists and designers speed up their workflow while introducing newcomers to the deft art of photo manipulation. This new AI tool is simple: it enables you to expand an image beyond its boundaries. Yep, it's a little like content-aware scale, but in this case AI 'imagines' what exists outside of your photo and fills it in like DALL-E 2's Outpainting feature. And it's all done with one click and a drag of the Crop tool (see the video below).

New Adobe AI: Generative Expand

Photoshop generative expand; a waterfall photo

Adobe's new Generative Expand AI tool will fill in and expand your photos (Image credit: Adobe)

In a press announcement just now, Adobe shared how Generative Expand works and how easy it is to use. You click and drag the canvas using the Crop tool, and then simply click Generate to fill the white space with new AI-created imagery that expands on, and blends with, your original image. You can generate new scenes from your original photo in seconds, enabling you to create many subtle variations on a theme.

If you wish to take more control, you can generate 'expanded' images using text prompts to add in particular features or alter the mood of a photo. The expanded content is added onto a new layer, for a non-destructive workflow.

Alongside Generative Expand, Adobe also revealed it has expanded Firefly in Photoshop (beta) to now include over 100 languages, opening up this AI to more people across the world. 

Photoshop generative expand; a beach photo

Generative Expand is handy for altering the size and dimensions of your photos for more uses (Image credit: Adobe)

Once again Adobe stresses that the Adobe Firefly AI that powers these new features in Photoshop (beta) has been created with ethics in mind. Firefly has been trained on images in Adobe Stock and public domain images (it says it's working on how it will compensate Adobe Stock contributors). This limits the kind of results that can be achieved by Firefly and Photoshop (beta) to an extent, but Adobe says it will make use of its AI safe for commercial purposes. 

Read our Firefly AI explainer for more details, or get into it a little more with our guide to how to use Photoshop's Generative Fill. You can see the best current prices on Adobe's Creative Cloud below or see our guides to the best AI art generators and the best AI art tutorials for more options.

AI and its uses remains problematic for many, to get an idea of the issues surrounding this new technology read my feature on the big issues facing generative AI.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.