Photoshop neural filters: New AI tools are mind-blowing (and a bit terrifying)

Photoshop filters
Photoshop's new Neural Filters are here (Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe just announced a bunch of new features across its entire Creative Cloud Suite, from the release of Illustrator for iPad to new collaborative tools including in-app live-streaming. But it's the latest updates to Photoshop that are truly turning heads – both figuratively and literally.

A series of AI-powered tweaks called Neural Filters were just revealed during Adobe MAX 2020. These include a number of colour-based overlays and effects (including the ability to colourise black-and-white- photos), but the most striking—and in some cases terrifying—Neural Filters apply to portraits. The new features are available today, so there's no better time to download Photoshop or check out the best Creative Cloud deals available. 

With a single click, users can make several facial alterations to a portrait. In what seems like a response to recent popular apps like FaceApp, expressions such as 'joy', 'surprise' and 'anger' can be increased or reduced with simple sliders. Meanwhile, (for better or worse) the person's apparent age can be adjusted. It's almost terrifying both how easily and realistically a person's appearance can be changed using the new tools. 

But the Adobe Sensei-powered filters go even further than other face-altering apps we've seen. One of the more remarkable filters allows the user to change which way the subject's head is facing. And there are some rather random filters, such as the ability to transfer facial makeup from a reference image to your subject, as demonstrated by Adobe's principal worldwide design & photography evangelist Terry White (below). 


Nice (Image credit: Adobe/Future Owns)

As well as Neural Filters, Adobe also lifted the lid on Photoshop's new Sky Replacement feature (below), which can, well, replace the sky. If you're unhappy with the clouds in your photo, you can swap them out either with a sky from Photoshop's in-built library, or from another photo of your own. Not only can the feature replace the sky, but it will also adjust the tone of the foreground to match. 

Photoshop Sky Replacement

Sky Replacement in action (Image credit: Adobe)

It seems ironic that Adobe has implemented these almost disturbingly realistic AI features at the same time as unveiling a content attribution tool within Photoshop to combat false or misleading imagery. But there's no doubting that the new filters are seriously impressive, and users have taken to Twitter (below) to share their amazement. 

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Along with the updates to Photoshop and much more, Adobe revealed that both Illustrator for iPad and Fresco for iPhone are available to download today. Visit our Adobe MAX 2020 page for an overview of everything Adobe has announced so far, and if you're ready to start your creative journey, check out today's best Creative Cloud plans below.  

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.