Knowing how to make a good selection is one of the most important things you can learn to do in Photoshop. With accurate selections and masks, you can completely control the placement and movement of all the elements of your image, or copy an object from one photo to another.
But making good selections and masks can also be one of the most time-consuming processes in Photoshop. And we take for granted what our eyes can easily see, yet a program usually cannot recognize without our involvement. But in 2018, Adobe introduced a new one-click feature in Photoshop (see original video below) that gives you a big head start in this regard: Select Subject.
Adobe developed the Select Subject command to help you make your selections faster and easier than ever before. It uses Adobe Sensei technology, which iembeds powerful machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities across the entire suite of Creative Cloud tools and services, to make them work harder and smarter.
Sensei uses (anonymous) image matching from millions of photos to understand their composition and meaning, and then applies this collective knowledge to your work with one click. This helps free you from mundane tasks and uses the crowd-sourced intelligence to achieve the outcome you want more quickly.
And as with Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill, it’s a capability that is only getting better over time… In fact, in a major new update to Creative Cloud 2020 shipping today, the company has taken it a step further:
I will draw your attention, in particular, to the improved Select Subject feature where our researchers have invented completely new AI and machine learning tech to deliver incredible automatic selection results — the double bonus of fantastic magic and workflow improvements wrapped into one experience. This Sensei innovation is on the forefront of imaging science. We are just at the dawn of artificial intelligence in the world of imaging and creativity, which is a very exciting place to be. This update is a huge leap forward for selections of people and tricky elements like hair.
Here’s what’s changed. Select Subject has been improved with a whole set of additional new algorithms that make one-click selections of portraits, which happen to be the most-selected subject in Photoshop, better than ever before. Now you get even better results with the same single click, with a deep emphasis on hair.
The new Select Subject feature is designed to speed and simplify workflows for Creative Cloud members, creating precise selections of people with just one click – and it is available now in Photoshop 2020. Here’s how the function works, with the details from Adobe’s help page:
The Select Subject command lets you select the most prominent subject in a photo in a single click. Powered by advanced machine learning technology, Select Subject is trained to identify a variety of objects in an image—people, animals, vehicles, toys, and more.
Access Select Subject in one of the following ways in Photoshop:
- While editing an image, choose Select > Subject.
- While using the Object Selection, Quick Selection or Magic Wand tools, click Select Subject in the options bar.
- While using the Object Selection or Quick Selection tools in the Select & Mask workspace, click Select Subject in the options bar.
Select Subject automatically selects the prominent subjects in the image. You can then refine the selection using other selection tools
If you want to get started today, you can grab the latest versions of both Photoshop + Lightroom for US$9.99 a month with the Creative Cloud Photography plan. All ongoing product upgrades and related services are included. You can download the free CC trial versions here:
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Photoshop “Select Subject” Sneak Peek [Original 2018 Demo Video]
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What do you think of the sneak peek of this new feature? Let us know in the comments below.
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