More and more software proclaims to use artificial intelligence to help users edit their images these days, with the likes of Photoshop, Luminar and ON1 Photo Raw 2021 offering modules that give the power of advanced editing to the computer, so that your free time is extended and you can go and take photos instead of spending hours in front of your monitor.
What does AI editing software do?
With the advent of artificial intelligence in software, it’s allowed a variety of tasks to be completed with the touch of a single button or sliders. There are a number of instances where this makes the job of editing much more pleasurable and less frustrating.
One of the most common uses of artificial intelligence is in helping the portrait photographer. The first thing the AI does is mask the face area perfectly, find the eyes, nose and mouth and then allow you to tweak the skin texture, tones and imperfections with the aid of simple controls. Thanks to years of development and learning through never ending comparisons of facial images, the software knows what to touch and what to leave alone when you’re fine tuning the controls. It’ll also allow you to enlarge the eyes, shrink the nose, make rosy lips and even thin or fatten out the face, among many other things.
With landscape photography, AI can selectivity apply contrast, sharpening, colour changes, dehazing and other necessary tweaks to the areas it deems is necessary. With sliders targeting various effects, it’s never been easier to go from a bland image to something to hang on your wall.
Never before has it become so easy to remove people and objects from photographs, or change the sky or the surroundings of your model. A lot of the time this can be done in one click, as the computer analyses your image looking for what stands out. You can simply roughly draw around objects and the computer so remove them, and intelligently fill in the space as if by magic of what may lay underneath.
Who is AI editing software aimed at?
Of course, you could do all the above manually, spending many hours tweaking a landscape or portrait until it looks as good as the AI image. But theres more to it than that, a lot of the time, the changing of settings in the AI menus get you to a starting point more quickly, saving you time and money.
Artificial Intelligence in software is not aimed at the hobbyist who wants to spend hours editing manually from scratch, or those who think (wrongly) that using AI is cheating, but it is aimed at two other completely different types of photographer.
Firstly, and most importantly AI software is aimed at the professional and semi-professional photographer who needs to get work done quickly and effectively. People who want perfect results, know how to use the software and can use it because they have the eye. It’s aimed at those who have large workflows or time sensitive business.
The second type of photographer Artificial Intelligence is aimed at is the opposite side of the spectrum with amateur photographers who either just want to have a bit of fun and get the job done, or who want to use it for things they would usually find tedious (masking out skies and people, working on complexion of a face etc). For these, the obstacle of editing has been removed, and the gift of creativity has been given to them.
And AI is the gift of creativity, as it also teaches you in a lot of circumstances how to do the job. You’ll see what sliders have been changed by software, you’ll visually see the before and after so you can see what has been affected by the AI. Most importantly, AI allows you to explore editing in a way you could have ever dreamed of.
It’s thanks to the development of artificial intelligence that photo editing has become popular. It’s the reason many have started taking photographs in raw instead of jpeg, the reason people want to do more with their photos, the reason people’s skills are getting better and the reason people want to improve themselves.
The great thing about AI is, it’s employed in some of the simplest tools such as inpainting brushes, healing tools and masking brushes. So it’s helping you from the simplest tool to the most complex solution.
And of course, if you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to… But it’s there for your benefit should you wish to improve your images.
— There are a number of programs I will be reviewing in the very near future that employ AI modules. Look out for Luminar AI, Portrait AI from ON1 and ON1 Photo Raw 2021 along with the upcoming sky replacement features in Photoshop.