Photoshop’s new generative AI feature lets you ‘uncrop’ images

Adobe is building on Firefly, its family of generative AI models, with a feature in Photoshop that “expands images beyond their original bounds,” as the company describes it.

Aptly called Generative Expand, the capability, available in the beta version of Photoshop, lets users expand and resize images by clicking and dragging the Crop tool, which expands the canvas. After clicking the “Generate” button in Photoshop’s contextual taskbar, Generative Expand fills the new white space with AI-generated content that blends in with the existing image.

“Suppose your subject is cut off, your image isn’t in the aspect ratio you want or an object in focus is misaligned with other parts of the image,” Adobe writes in a blog post shared with TechCrunch. “You can use Generative Expand to expand your canvas and get your image to look like anything you can imagine.”

Generated content can be added to a canvas via Generative Expand with or without a text prompt. But when using a prompt, expanded images will include any content mentioned in the prompt.

Generated content is added as a new layer in Photoshop, allowing users to discard it if they deem it not up to snuff.

Adobe says that it’s implemented filters to prevent Generative Expand from generating toxic content — a notorious problem for generative art AI.

“When using a prompt with Generative Expand, filters are applied to text prompts to reduce the creation of images that may contain inappropriate content,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch via email. “Filtering is also enabled on the variations returned from the model in an attempt to catch inappropriate generated content and automatically hide that content from display …  Any Firefly-generated images are pre-processed for content that violates our terms of service, and violating content is removed from our prompts — or the prompt is blocked altogether. ”

Adobe Generative Expand

An image before Generative Expand has been applied to it. Image Credits: Adobe

Adobe Generative Expand

Photoshop’s Generative Expand, applied to the original image. Image Credits:Adobe

Generative Expand isn’t an especially novel feature in the field of generative AI. OpenAI has long offered an “uncropping tool” via DALL-E 2, its text-to-art AI model, as have platforms such as Midjourney and Stability AI’s DreamStudio.

But native integration with Photoshop is clearly Adobe’s play, here — and, given that Photoshop had an estimated 29 million members worldwide, it’s a strategic one.

In one downside compared to the competition, Adobe notes that Generative Expand isn’t yet available for commercial use. But that’ll change in the second half of this year if all goes according to plan, the company says.

Alongside Generative Expand, Adobe announced that it’s bringing support for Photoshop’s Firefly-powered text-to-image features — which the company claims have been used to generate more than 900 million images to date — to over 100 languages, including Arabic, Czech, Greek and Thai. Both the expanded language support and Generative Expand are available in the Photoshop beta as of today.

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