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Adobe teases new AI photo editing tool that will ‘revolutionize’ its products

Adobe teases new AI photo editing tool that will ‘revolutionize’ its products


Project Stardust’s new ‘object-aware editing engine’ can automatically identify and manipulate individual objects in images. A Magic Editor, but from Adobe.

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A screenshot taken of Adobe’s new Project Stardust tool.
Even Adobe is sick of using the lasso tool to manually separate objects from photographs.
Image: Adobe

Adobe is set to announce a new AI-powered photo editing tool at the Adobe Max event next week that makes it much easier to alter images without prior editing experience. According to a promotional video (seen via Techspot), the new “object-aware editing engine” — dubbed Project Stardust — automatically identifies individual objects in regular photographs, allowing them to be easily moved around and changed. It’s similar to Google’s Magic Editor announced yesterday for its new Pixel phones, but presumably more powerful.

A quick demonstration of the new software shows how objects in a photograph — such as the yellow suitcase and its shadow in the example image — are automatically identified and selected as if they had been separated using Photoshop’s lasso tool. The clip then demonstrates how objects can be moved, deleted, or otherwise manipulated as if they were stored on a separate layer, with the missing space behind them being automatically filled in to match the rest of their surroundings.

Project Stardust includes something simliar to the “Contextual Task Bar” that debuted in Photoshop earlier this year, which can automatically detect the next steps in your design process and allow you to make quick edits. In the demo video, selecting a crowd of blurred people in the background of the image prompts a “remove distractors” button to appear on the taskbar, which automatically deletes the crowd when clicked. 

The new editing engine features some of the same generative AI capabilities as Adobe’s Firefly-powered Photoshop tools. Adobe product manager for digital imaging, Aya Philémon, can be seen selecting an area of the photograph and inputting text into a floating taskbar prompt to fill the selected space with AI-generated flowers. In another clip, the same feature is used to replace individual items of clothing on a model by selecting the item (for example, a jacket or sneakers) and then describing a new piece of clothing to drop in.

A screenshot of Adobe’s Project Stardust tool for photo editing, removing a suitcase from an image.
Project Stardust removes the need to manually separate objects onto a new layer.
Image: Adobe
A screenshot taken of Adobe’s Project Stardust teaser.
And this taskbar recognizes what step you’re likely to take next and provides users with a one-click button to action it.
Image: Adobe

These automated design tools are becoming more commonplace alongside advances in generative AI. Canva has similar editing tools available for automatically removing or altering objects in images, as does Google Photo’s Magic Editor tool that’s shipping with Pixel 8 devices. Still, details for Project Stardust are slim, and Philémon claims the features teased so far are “just a fraction” of its capabilities, promising that the new engine is going to “revolutionize how we interact with Adobe products.” We’ll find out more about Adobe’s incoming AI releases at Adobe Max next week, which kicks off on October 10th.

Correction October 5th, 7:58PM ET: This story initially misstated Philémon’s title. Philémon is a product manager at Adobe.