Calm down, Adobe tells fans – Photoshop’s new small print isn’t as controversial as it looks

Adobe has been under fire lately, having been called out for its “shocking dismissal of photography” by the American Society of Media Photographers for some tone-deaf Photoshop ads it ran a few weeks ago. And now the software giant has been forced to defend itself again, after a social media outcry over some new Photoshop terms and conditions that started rolling out this week.

Over the past few days, a number of high-profile Photoshop users have expressed their dismay on X (formerly Twitter) about a new 'Updated Terms of Use' pop-up that they've been forced to accept. The new small print contains some seemingly alarming lines, including one that states “we may access your content through both automated and manual methods, such as for content review”.

Adobe has now defended the new conditions in a new blog post. In short, Adobe claims that the slightly ambiguous legalese in its new small print has created an unnecessary furore, and that nothing has fundamentally changed. The two key takeaways are that Adobe says it “does not train Firefly Gen AI models on customer content” and that it will “never assume ownership of a customer's work”.

On the latter point, Adobe explains that apps like Photoshop need to access our cloud-based content in order to “perform the functions they are designed and used for”, like opening and editing files. The new terms and conditions also only impact cloud-based files, with the small print stating that “we [Adobe] don’t analyze content processed or stored locally on your device”.

Adobe does also admit that its new small print could have been explained better, and also stated that “we will be clarifying the Terms of Use acceptance customers see when opening applications”. But while the statement should help to allay some fears, other concerns will likely remain.

One of the main points raised on social media was concern about what Adobe's content review processes mean for work that's under NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). Adobe says in its statement that for work stored in the cloud, Adobe “may use technologies and other processes, including escalation for manual (human) review, to screen for certain types of illegal content”.

That may not completely settle the privacy concerns of some Adobe users, then, although those issues are arguably applicable to using cloud storage in general, rather than Adobe specifically.

A crisis of trust?

An image of a waterfall being expanded using Adobe's Generative Fill tool

(Image credit: Adobe)

This Adobe incident is another example of how the aggressive expansion of cloud-based services and AI tools is contributing to a crisis of trust between tech giants and software users – in some cases, understandably so.

On one hand, the convenience of cloud storage has been a massive boon for creatives – particularly for those with remote teams spread across the world – and AI tools like Generative Fill in Photoshop can also be big time-savers. 

But they can also come at a cost, and it remains the case that the only way to ensure true privacy is store your work locally rather than in the cloud. For many Photoshop users, that won't be an issue, but the furore will still no doubt see some looking for the best Photoshop alternatives that don't have such a big cloud component.

As for AI tools, Adobe remains the self-appointed torch-bearer for 'ethical' AI that isn't trained on copyrighted works, though it's landed in some controversies. For example, last month the estate of legendary photography Ansel Adams accused Adobe on Threads of selling AI-created imitations of his work.

In fairness to Adobe, it removed the work and stated that it “goes against our Generative AI content policy”. But it again shows the delicate balancing act that the likes of Adobe are now in between rolling out powerful new AI-powered tools and retaining the trust of both users and creatives.

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Adobe Lightroom’s new Generative Remove AI tool makes Content-aware Fill feel basic – and gives you one less reason to use Photoshop

One of Adobe Lightroom's most used editing tools, Content-aware Fill, just got a serious upgrade in the AI-powered shape of Generative Remove. The Adobe Firefly tool is branded “Lightroom's most powerful remove tool yet” and after a quick play ahead of its announcement, I'd have to agree. 

Compared to Content-aware Fill, which will remain in Adobe's popular photo organizer and editor, Generative Remove is much more intelligent, plus it's non-destructive. 

As you can see from the gif below, Generative Remove is used to remove unwanted objects in your image, plus it works a treat for retouching. You simply brush over the area you'd like to edit – whether that's removing a photo bomber or something as simple as creases in clothing – and then the new tool creates a selection of smart edits with the object removed (or retouch applied) for you to pick your favorite from.

If I was to use Lightroom's existing Content-aware Fill for the same image in the gif below and in the same way, or even for a much smaller selection, it would sample parts of the model's orange jacket and hair and place them in the selection. I'd then need to repeatedly apply the tool to remove these new unwanted details, and the new area increasingly becomes an artifact-ridden mess.

Adobe Lightroom Generative Remove tool

(Image credit: Adobe)

Put simply, Lightroom's existing remove tool works okay for small selections but it regularly includes samples of parts of the image you don't want. Generative Remove is significantly faster and more effective for objects of all sizes than Content-aware Fill, plus it's non-destructive, creating a new layer that you can turn on and off.

From professionals wanting to speed up their workflow to simply removing distant photo bombers with better results, Generative Remove is next-level Lightroom editing and it gives you one less reason to use Adobe Photoshop. It is set to be a popular tool for photographers of all skills levels needing to make quick remove and retouching edits.

Generative Remove is available now as an early access feature across all Lightroom platforms: mobile, desktop, iPad, web and Classic.

Adobe Lightroom Generative Remove tool

(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe also announced that its Lens Blur tool is being rolled out in full to Lightroom, with new automatic presets. As you can see in the gif above, presets include subtle, bubble and geometric effects to bokeh. For example, speckled and artificial light can be given a circular shape with the Lens Blur bubble effect.

Lens Blur is another AI-tool and doesn't just apply a uniform strength blur to the background, but uses 3D mapping in order to apply a different strength of blur based on how far away objects are in the background, for more believable results.

It's another non-destructive edit, too, meaning that you can add to or remove from the selection if you're not happy with the strength of blur applied or if background objects get missed out first time around – for instance, it might mistake a lamp in the image above as a subject and not apply blur to it.

Having both Generative Remove and Lens Blur AI-tools to hand makes Lightroom more powerful than ever. Lens Blur is now generally available across the Lightroom ecosystem. Furthermore, there are other new tools added to Lightroom and you can find out more on the Adobe website.

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Watch this: Adobe shows how AI and OpenAI’s Sora will change Premiere Pro and video editing forever

OpenAI's Sora gave us a glimpse earlier this year of how generative AI is going to change video editing – and now Adobe has shown off how that's going to play out by previewing of some fascinating new Premiere Pro tools.

The new AI-powered features, powered by Adobe Firefly, effectively bring the kinds of tricks we've seen from Google's photo-focused Magic Editor – erasing unwanted objects, adding objects and extending scenes – to video. And while it isn't the first piece of software to do that, seeing these tools in an industry standard app that's used by professionals is significant.

For a glimpse of what's coming “this year” to Premiere Pro and other video editing apps, check out the video below. In a new Generative panel, there's a new 'add object' option that lets you type in an object you want to add to the scene. This appears to be for static objects, rather than things like a galloping horse, but it looks handy for b-roll and backgrounds.

Arguably even more helpful is 'object removal', which uses Firefly's AI-based smart masking to help you quickly select an object to remove then make it vanish with a click. Alternatively, you can just combine the two tools to, for example, swap the watch that someone's wearing for a non-branded alternative.

One of the most powerful new AI-powered features in photo editing is extending backgrounds – called Generative Fill in Photoshop – and Premiere Pro will soon have a similar feature for video. Rather than extending the frame's size, Generative Extend will let you add frames to a video to help you, for example, pause on your character's face for a little longer. 

While Adobe hasn't given these tools a firm release date, only revealing that they're coming “later this year”, it certainly looks like they'll change Premiere Pro workflows in a several major ways. But the bigger AI video change could be yet to come… 

Will Adobe really plug into OpenAI's Sora?

A laptop screen showing AI video editing tools in Adobe Premiere Pro

(Image credit: Adobe)

The biggest Premiere Pro announcement, and also the most nebulous one, was Adobe's preview of third-party models for the editing app. In short, Adobe is planning to let you plug generative AI video tools including OpenAI's Sora, Runway and Pika Labs into Premiere Pro to sprinkle your videos with their effects.

In theory, that sounds great. Adobe showed an example of OpenAI's Sora generating b-roll with a text-to-video prompt, and Pika powering Generative Extend. But these “early examples” of Adobe's “research exploration” with its “friends” from the likes of OpenAI are still clouded in uncertainty.

Firstly, Adobe hasn't committed to launching the third-party plug-ins in the same way as its own Firefly-powered tools. That shows it's really only testing the waters with this part of the Premiere Pro preview. Also, the integration sits a little uneasily with Adobe's current stance on generative AI tools.

A laptop screen showing AI video editing tools in Adobe Premiere Pro

(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe has sought to set itself apart from the likes of Midjourney and Stable Diffusion by highlighting that Adobe Firefly is only trained on Adobe Stock image library, which is apparently free of commercial, branded and trademark imagery. “We’re using hundreds of millions of assets, all trained and moderated to have no IP,” Adobe's VP of Generative AI, Alexandru Costin, told us earlier this year.

Yet a new report from Bloomberg claims that Firefly was partially trained on images generated by Midjourney (with Adobe suggesting that could account for 5% of Firefly's training data). And these previews of new alliances with generative video AI models, which are similarly opaque when it comes to their training data, again sits uneasily with Adobe's stance.

Adobe's potential get-out here is Content Credentials, a kind of nutrition label that's also coming to Premiere Pro and will add watermarks to clarify when AI was used in a video and with which model. Whether or not this is enough for Adobe to balance making a commercially-friendly pro video editor with keeping up in the AI race remains to be seen.

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Figma fans are delighted as the design app escapes being gobbled up by Adobe

After facing pressure from EU regulators, Adobe and design app Figma have agreed to mutually break up, costing the former a lucrative $ 20 billion deal.

Adobe said in a recent statement that the companies are doing this because they cannot find a “clear path to receive [the] necessary regulatory approvals from the European Commission and the UK [CMA]”, or the Competition and Market Authority. It goes on to say they both “strongly disagree” with the findings, however, they believe it’s best for everyone that they put this messy situation behind them. What’s more, Adobe will pay Figma a reverse termination fee which, according to the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), comes out to $ 1 billion.

So, what happened? Let’s break it down.

Adobe announced plans to purchase its competitor Figma for the aforementioned $ 20 billion back in September 2022 when its own UI (user interface) design platform, Adobe XD, failed. 

This move raised a lot of eyebrows from regulators. The CMA conducted an investigation into the deal earlier this year, claiming the acquisition would’ve resulted in a near-monopoly, stifling innovation in the design space. The organization then gave Adobe an ultimatum: either sell off Figma’s main product, Figma Design, or the purchase will be blocked. Adobe rejected the proposal and decided to end things on its own terms instead of fighting. 

Internet response

The response from the internet has been overwhelmingly positive – ecstatic that the acquisition is dead. On Reddit, you have comments from people breathing a sigh of relief. On TheVerge’s report, one comment exclaims that it's a Christmas miracle. And you see the same thing on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter): a ton of celebration going on. But why? 

There are multiple reasons for this animosity, but in this situation, it’s mainly because they don’t want to see Adobe get any bigger. As a poster on X points out, they already have a “monopoly on almost all design tools” with UI design being the one field they don’t have control over. Had they been allowed to buy Figma, Adobe would essentially have the whole design market in its clutches with no worthy rivals.

Analysis: Cost of doing business

People have also criticized the brand for the cost of their services. Photoshop, for example, costs $ 23 a month, roughly $ 276 for the whole year. However, if you cancel your subscription after 14 days, Adobe will charge you an early termination fee that is 50 percent of the contract’s remaining balance. Designers were worried similar pricing would be forced on Figma’s platform.

This is undoubtedly good news for users who didn’t want Adobe as the new parent company, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Figma CEO Dylan Field wanted the purchase to go through, saying he was “disappointed in the outcome”. It’s entirely possible that some other titan of the industry eventually could pick up Figma without blowback from regulators. Comments on social media say they wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft one day made a bid. It’s certainly possible.

While we have you, be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best Adobe Photoshop alternatives in 2023.

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Adobe Cyber Monday deals: the best deals you can get right now

Adobe Cyber Monday deals are starting up as we count down the hours to the biggest eCommerce day of the year, and we're rounding up all the best offers on Adobe Creative Cloud apps like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere to help you save big on the best creative software going. 

With Cyber Monday deals officially kicking off on November 27, you're going to be able to find huge savings on all the best graphic design software, the best video editing software, and much more thanks to offers through Adobe itself, but also partnering retailers who are also offering discounts on Adobe's most popular creative apps.

So whether you're looking for savings on particular apps or you just want a full Creative Cloud subscription, we've got you covered with all the best offers we can find online.

Adobe Cyber Monday Deals (US)

With Cyber Monday in full swing, there's a whole host of savings to be had. Here are today's best Adobe Cyber Monday Deals:

Adobe Creative Cloud: was $ 59.99/mo now $ 29.98/mo
This full Creative Cloud All Apps plan includes Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro alongside 20 other apps from Adobe to use across your devices. Alongside Adobe fonts and the latest updates as soon as they’re available, this also includes 100GB of cloud storage and 1000 generative AI credits.View Deal

Adobe Creative Cloud for students: was $ 19.99/mo now $ 15.99/mo
The Creative Cloud plan for students gives almost 64% off the full price. This full Creative Cloud All Apps plan includes Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro alongside 20 other apps from Adobe to use across your devices. Alongside Adobe fonts and the latest updates as soon as they’re available, this also includes 100GB of cloud storage and generative AI credits.View Deal

Adobe Photography Creative Cloud Plan (Photoshop, Lightroom, 1TB Cloud Storage, 12-month Plan): was
$ 239.88 now $ 119.99 for first year at Amazon

If you’re a photographer and just want to use Photoshop and Lightroom with some cloud storage thrown in, this bundle on Amazon for Cyber Monday is a real steal. Get your first year for 50% off (full price applies on auto-renewal) and try out the best photography software around with much less upfront investment.

Adobe Cyber Monday Deals (UK)

Adobe Creative Cloud: was £56.98/mo now £28.48/mo
The Creative Cloud All Apps plan includes Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro as well as 20 other apps from Adobe to use across your devices. Alongside Adobe fonts and the latest updates as soon as they’re available, this also includes 100GB of cloud storage and 1000 generative AI credits.View Deal

Adobe Creative Cloud for students: was £16.24/mo now £13.15/mo
The Creative Cloud plan for students gives them almost 70% off the full price. The Creative Cloud All Apps plan includes Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro as well as 20 other apps from Adobe to use across your devices. Alongside Adobe fonts and the latest updates as soon as they’re available, this also includes 100GB of cloud storage and generative AI credits.View Deal

Adobe Cyber Monday Deals: FAQs

Adobe app on an iPhone

(Image credit: Adobe)

When are the best Adobe Cyber Monday deals starting in 2023?

Now is the time! Cyber Monday itself is on November 27, but savings on Adobe subscription prices are live now and we don’t expect them to get lower than they are right now, so now is probably the best deal you’ll get all year. 

We’ll update you as soon as we have information on a better deal than what’s currently available – although bear in mind that Adobe’s student-teacher subscription deals are often the cheapest way to get Creative Cloud, so if you’re able to take advantage of those, don’t hesitate. We track these prices every year, so you can be assured that we’re bringing you the best price.

Where can I find the best Adobe Cyber Monday deals?

You can find real-time price information and what is on offer on Adobe’s official Creative Cloud Plans page, and you can keep up with any changes by checking in with us on this page.

Unlike most of the other Cyber Monday deals we’ve pulled together here on TechRadar, we don’t recommend multiple retailers for this particular product because it’s a software subscription available directly from Adobe, but you can still find some savings through sites like Amazon.

Adobe Creative Cloud

(Image credit: Adobe)

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Photoshop Elements 2024 offers subscription-free access to Adobe AI tech

Adobe is rolling out the 2024 version of its lightweight Photoshop Elements app with several AI-powered features leading the charge.

Chief among this batch, in our opinion, is the new Artistic Effect tool which can place a filter over photographs making them look like paintings. These effects are based on notable art styles and famous artists like Vincent Van Gogh. You do have control over how strong the filters can be via a slider or you can keep the colors from the original image if you don’t like what Photoshop adds. Users can even isolate the changes to certain parts of the photograph. 

Photoshop Elements - Artistic Effects

(Image credit: Adobe)

Next, Quick Actions are being compartmentalized into a single panel and simplified for easier usage. So, if you want to remove artifacts in a JPEG image or highlight an entire background, you can now do so with just one click of the on-screen button.

New editing tools

In addition to all of the AI features, Adobe is expanding the arsenal of tools on Photoshop Elements. 

For example, you can pull together a collection of pictures into a slideshow via Photo Reels. It houses its own set of editing tools, allowing users to make adjustments on the fly, insert graphics, or adjust the time each image lasts on-screen. There’s Color Match, which lets you transfer the color and tone from one picture to another seamlessly, or you can use one of the many built-in presets – it’s totally up to you.

Color Match

(Image credit: Adobe)

Guided Edits now has the ability to replace entire backgrounds in an image while leaving the main subject completely intact. As the cherry on top, Adobe has also redesigned Photoshop Elements, adding new “fonts, icons, buttons, and colors”. Plus, you can choose to display the app in either light or dark mode.

Premiere update

Alongside Photoshop Elements, Adobe is releasing the 2024 version of Premiere Elements. Most of Premiere’s changes aren’t backed up by artificial intelligence, but there is one: Automatic Highlight Reels. This will scan an uploaded video picking out clips to put into, well, a highlight reel. Specifically, it targets high-quality footage, close-ups, as well as people in motion. 

Premiere Elements' Highlight Reel tool

(Image credit: Adobe)

Similar to its sister app, Premiere Elements 2024 lets you grab the color from one video to another where you can then “fine-tune” the saturation or hue. For audio, new effects such as Vocal Enhancer have been introduced to improve sound quality.

Everything you see here is available on the desktop versions of Photoshop and Premiere Elements while the “web and mobile companion apps” have received several beta features. The Quick Actions we mentioned earlier are currently being tested for smartphones plus you can try out putting overlays in images. No word on when the mobile update will arrive.

Until then, we recommend checking out TechRadar’s list of the best online Photoshop courses for 2023 if you’re interested in picking it up 

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11 new AI projects announced at Adobe MAX 2023 – here’s why they could change everything

Adobe is currently holding its MAX 2023 event showing off what it has in store for the next year or so. One of the focal points of the conference was a series of 11 “Projects” that have the potential to become “important elements” of Adobe products in the future.

Recently, the company provided a sneak peek at one of these elements called Project Stardust, which has the ability to separate objects in a photograph into individual layers for easy editing. Users will have the ability to move objects around or delete them. From there, you can have a generative AI create something to take its place. The other 10 perform similarly as they harness AI technology to power their robust editing and creative capabilities. The group is split into three main categories. 

Photos

Alongside Stardust in the Photos category, you have Project See Through, a tool that removes reflections in a photograph. Adobe states that glass reflections can be really annoying since they can obscure subjects. Instead of having to go through a multi-step process of editing the image on Photoshop, See Through does it all for you quickly.

Image 1 of 2

Adobe Project Through before

(Image credit: Adobe)
Image 2 of 2

Adobe Project See Through after

(Image credit: Adobe)

Video & Audio

Similar to how Stardust can remove objects in images, Project Fast Fill can remove them in videos thanks to the company’s Generative Fill tech. It can also add or change content via “Firefly-powered text prompts.” In the example shown to us, Fast Fill can add a tie to a man whose suit doesn't have or alter latte art in a cup of coffee from a heart to a flower. 

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Next, Project Res Up can bump up the resolution of a clip via diffusion-based upsampling technology. Scene Change is third and it can swap out the background of a video from, say, an office building to a jungle. For audio, there’s Project Dub Dub Dub, a software tool claimed to be able to translate speech from one language to another “while preserving the voice of the original speaker”. 

3D & Design

For the last category, these five are all about helping users create – even if they’re not the best artist. 

Project Draw & Delight can turn your doodle into a polished drawing utilizing a text prompt to guide it. Glyph Ease “makes customized lettering more accessible” by instantly applying specific design elements to a word in Illustrator. All you have to do is provide a rough outline of what you want the AI to add.

Image 1 of 2

Project Draw & Delight before

(Image credit: Adobe)
Image 2 of 2

Project Draw & Delight after

(Image credit: Adobe)

The trio of 3D imaging software is more situational, but still impressive nonetheless.

Project Poseable’s AI can morph a 3D model to match “poses from photos of real people.” So if you upload a picture of someone striking a karate pose, the model will do the same. Project Primrose lets artists quickly alter the texture of a rendered piece of clothing. And finally, we have Neo which aids creators in creating 3D objects using  “2D tools and methods.

To reiterate what we said earlier, these projects are prototypes at the time of this writing. There’s no guarantee any of these will become a new feature in Photoshop or any other Adobe product. However, there are some we believe have the potential for an eventual release. 

Stardust, Res Up, as well as Draw & Delight, appear to be the most “complete”. There aren't as many visible flaws as with some of the others. Certain projects require more time in the oven in our opinion. For example, the voice from Dub Dub Dub sounds really stilted and robotic. It's not natural.

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best AI art generators of the year if you’re looking for ways to bolster content generation. 

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Adobe Express adds Firefly AI to its free plan for next level creativity

The all-in-one creative suite Adobe Express is getting a wave of new features; chief among them is the introduction of the Adobe Firefly generative AI.

With Firefly being added, you will be able to create “custom image and text effects” using nothing more than a simple text prompt. The official trailer displays these tools in action as it showing the steps of how to create a poster for a neighborhood event. Firefly is used to change the basic lettering of a short phrase into a “purple gloss balloon” font. It can also be used to generate decorative backgrounds for posters. 

So it's nothing groundbreaking or anything that will blow your mind, but it is a nice addition to the Express toolbox. The best part is it’s available on the free version of Adobe Express, meaning anybody can take the AI feature out for a spin. 

We do want to warn you to not expect too much from this rendition of Firefly. Like a lot of other free image generators, the results can look rather nightmarish, especially when they involve people. It’s nowhere on the same level as Generative Fill on Photoshop. We recommend keeping things simple, like throwing in graphical flourishes, if you ever decide to try out the Express AI.

The company states the prompts support over 100 languages including French, German, Japanese, Spanish, as well as Brazilian Portuguese. Something we found a little funny is how Adobe clarifies that the content Firefly generates is “designed to be safe for commercial use.” Given how several companies with AIs are currently being sued over copyright issues, it looks like the Photoshop-developer felt the need to offer some reassurance to its customers. 

Notable non-AI features

The update introduces a lot of other non-AI tools. For the sake of brevity, we’re just going to focus on the more notable ones. 

For instance, you have Quick Actions for faster editing. These actions can remove the background in images, immediately convert a video into a GIF, edit PDFs, and “animate a character using just audio”. That last one is fittingly called Animate from Audio which will have “characters come to life” as their bodies automatically sync up to recorded dialogue. It takes some of the busy work out of animating the finer details.

Adobe is also introducing an all-in-one editor consisting of various design elements and pre-made templates for social media platforms. So if you want to make videos for TikTok or Instagram but don’t know how to start, the editor can help you out tremendously. 

Availability

Everything you see here is currently available on Adobe Express for desktop. A full list detailing each feature can be found on the official website. The company says it has plans to bring the update to the mobile app soon, but declined to give an exact date for the future patch in its announcement. 

It is great to see Adobe offer some of its latest tech for free. Photoshop can be very expensive. If you’re looking for other options, check out TechRadar’s list of the best Photoshop alternatives for 2023

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Adobe Illustrator gets its first Firefly AI tool

Adobe Illustrator is the latest app to get Firefly capabilities, with the update aimed at letting designers rapidly experiment with colors using simple text prompts. 

Generative Recolor is the first example of an Adobe Firefly-powered tool inside the popular graphic design software. Designers can use text prompts to create and save custom themes for recoloring vector artwork, so there’s no need to spend time altering individual elements of a commercial design. 

The move comes days after rolling out Adobe Express and Firefly for Enterprise, as the company ramps up integration of its AI art generator.  

Setting Illustrator alight 

If there’s one thing we learned at Adobe Summit 2023, it’s that the firm is keen to push its AI as a co-pilot for creators of all experience levels, at every level of an organization. The latest Firefly-powered tool is no exception, with the company highlighting diverse uses from marketing graphics to mood-boarding.  

Still in beta and built directly into Illustrator, Generative Recolor lets designers capture the mood of a piece based on text prompts – the examples used by Adobe include “noon in the desert” and “midnight in the jungle”. Users can then quickly experiment by swapping out colors, palettes, and themes, and produce multiple color variants for a wide range of uses, like seasonally appropriate advertising.  

Adobe Illustrator infused with Firefly's AI capabilities

(Image credit: Adobe)

“Adobe Illustrator is the tool behind many of the world’s most iconic designs, from brand logos to product packaging. Firefly will help customers accelerate their creative process and save countless hours, while facilitating rapid ideation, experimentation and asset creation,” said Ashley Still, senior vice president, digital media at Adobe.

But it’s not the only new update to the digital art software, which also added the font tool Retype, new Layers functionalities, and improvements to Image Trace.

As we reported last week, Adobe reconfirmed future plans to let businesses train Firefly with custom assets to create brand-aligned content. Enterprise users will soon be able to get an IP indemnity from Adobe to guard against copyright claims and help make the AI-generated content “commercially safe” for businesses.

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Adobe makes Express and Firefly for Enterprise happen

Adobe Express has been getting a lot of attention from the creative apps maker lately – yesterday we revealed that the new Express beta features Firefly integration. But that’s not the whole story.

Announced at Adobe Summit 2023 in London, the easy-to-use graphic design software and its freshly built-in AI art generator is now available to enterprise customers. 

According to the company, “every employee across an organization, at any creative skill level, to use Firefly to generate beautiful, on-brand, ready-to-share content.” And that’s not the only new business features found in the new-look Adobe Express. 

Creating and collaborating

Adobe Express occupies an interesting space in the firm’s creative stack. While drawing on the powerful tools found in Adobe’s professional digital art software, Express lets anyone create and edit designs that fit the brand. It also means design teams don’t have to get involved in making minor tweaks. Less complex than Photoshop and Illustrator, it’s designed for high-quality, high-velocity content production. Think social media ads, blog graphics, online brand promos.  

It’s long been a popular tool for content creators and marketers – and its new iteration feels as much a show of faith in the product as it is an attempt to edge out Canva, which harbors similar designs on enterprise customers. But with companies of all sizes looking at how gen AI can help increase efficiencies, the Firefly integration – which can be accessed through the standalone app, Adobe Express, and Creative Cloud – could turn many a business head.

 Chiefly because Firefly for Enterprise is designed to be what Adobe calls “commercially safe”. In other words, it’s been trained on copyright-free imagery. With Content Credentials, Firefly also automatically tags images to let consumers know generative AI was used in its creation. It can add other information, too, like an artist's name, date, and even the tools used to create the image. On that note, we absolutely used Firefly in Express to create the artwork accompanying this article.

The company also intends to introduce IP indemnity for enterprise customers, footing the legal bill (or some of it, at least) should a copyright claim arise.  

Elsewhere, users will find a raft of new tools and features across Adobe Express. This includes deeper integration with Adobe apps including Photoshop and Experience Manager, an expanded library of stock photos and stock videos, and new animations for assets powered by Adobe Character Animator. There’s even increased PDF editor support, simplifying the import and editing process. 

With an eye to the future, Adobe also said it’s working on letting businesses train Firefly with their own branded assets, to generate brand-specific content. There’s no word on when to expect this option, but it could prove to be a game-changer for commercial graphic design. 

The latest version of the Adobe Express beta is available now on desktop, although a mobile version is on its way. 

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