How AdobeMAX Opened the Pandora’s Box of AI for Designers

November 8, 2023

Reading Time: 5 Mins | Written By: Juliana Bermudez

The AI craze continues, and this time Adobe has come in hot with new developments for their classic tools that will change designers’ and creatives’ workflows indefinitely. These new updates have been slowly released over the course of 2023 but were officially unveiled and showcased at the recent AdobeMAX conference in LA at the beginning of October.

These new tools revolve around artificial intelligence updates such as Generative Ai in both Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as the newest version of the AI image generator Abobe Firefly – just to scratch the surface! Here is everything you need to know about these new AI tools.

Photoshop Generative Fill Tool

Photoshop’s Generative Fill AI allows users to select portions of images and artwork, and using the contextual taskbar, automatically remove the selections seamlessly in an image, change to another element based on what is typed in, or even automatically make images larger with a generative expand tool. 

As you can see in this example, I have selected these glasses in Photoshop using the lasso tool. I want to remove these glasses from the image and have some blank space for a call to action. This can be quickly done by hitting the “Delete” button on my keyboard and letting the generative fill tool do the rest. 

Adobe Photoshop 2023 - Select Sunglasses
Generative Fill Photoshop

Or maybe I want to add a new element to replace the glasses instead. I can do this by again selecting the area you want to change, typing in the desired result in the taskbar (in this case I put “a slice of toast”), and clicking “Generate”. This will generate multiple options for you to choose from based on your prompt and the selected space you provided for it and seamlessly add these results into the image.

Now I want to give the jelly jars a bit more space above and below the image to fit a 1:1 ratio for social. This can quickly be done now using the generative expand tool. Simply crop the image to the size you would like and hit enter – and the tool will automatically fill in the new areas for you so they seamlessly make the image the desired size:

"What would you like to generate" - Adobe Photoshop
Bread and Jelly

Illustrator Text to Vector Graphics & Generative Recolour Tools

The new and exciting tools in Adobe Illustrator are the most game-changing for my workflow, as Adobe has developed ways for designers to recolour current artwork, completely eliminating the painstaking task of selecting individual elements manually and updating them to the desired colour, which can take hours depending on the project. 

Now, it’s as easy as selecting the desired artwork, opening the Generative Recolour tool, selecting one of the example colour palettes, or typing in a prompt describing the desired colours or theme you want.

Vector Graphics
Vector Graphic - Change Colour

This is just scratching the surface. Adobe has also released the “Text to Vector Graphics” tool which has blown my mind as a designer and illustrator. This tool is still in Beta so it is not fully complete and the results can be a bit iffy, but what it can already do will significantly change the way vector graphics are created.

Fully editable, vector icons and scenes can be created within seconds, something that used to take artists hours and days to make. By simply typing in a prompt explaining what you’d like created, selecting if you’d like it as a subject, scene, icon, or pattern – and clicking generate, your icon or scene is ready. The possibilities of what you can create are now endless, and you don’t need to be a talented artist to create something amazing. 

Vector Icons and Scenes
Skull - Vector

Adobe Firefly AI Image Generator

Adobe has also released the 2.0 version of Firefly, their latest tool that focuses on text-to-image generation for your projects. This is similar to the generator tools shown in Photoshop and Illustrator, but is more focused on creating the full composition of an image so it’s ready for you to use in your next social media post, as a smaller part of your creative project, or even to produce a quick mock-up to visualize your ideas.

All you have to do is visit with your Adobe account and type in your prompt to create a visual masterpiece.

The results are spectacular. After just typing in “woman on a hike looking out over the mountains” Firefly produced 4 images that look as if our team actually went to the top of one of our favourite hiking spots, and took a quick pic.

It doesn’t stop there, either. Building off of your prompt, you can further narrow down the specifications of how you’d like your image to look. You can specify if you want to image to look like a realistic photo or created artwork, what type of stylistic effect you’d like the image to have, make image adjustments such as brightness and contrast as needed, and even upload your own images as a reference so the AI can better understand what kind of style and composition you are looking for.

Building off of my initial “woman on a hike looking out over the mountains” prompt, I asked Firefly to create the image as an artwork, and refined the art style to “layered paper” to see what would happen. The results are quite different from what it initially produced for me – and quite beautiful!

Woman on a hike looking out over the mountains

With these new AI tools from Adobe, the possibilities for what can be created are endless, and you don’t need to be super talented to create all of your ideas! These tools will not only open doors for those of us with less of an artist’s touch but also cut down on the amount of time spent creating and editing our work. 

I, for one, am excited to see how these new tools will change the way I work in the industry, and how they will inevitably continue to evolve.