Adobe Max 2022: Huge improvements coming to Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, and more

Adobe Max 2022 image
(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe Max 2022 took place from Oct 18 - Oct 20 in Los Angeles this year bringing with it a host of update announcements for the creative software company's programs. These product innovations include AI-powered abilities as well as new tools that will help make the creating and editing process far more convenient when using Adobe's flagship programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and more. 

You can watch the full Adobe Max Keynote here. We'll dive into all of the big announcements and updates for each program below. 

Photoshop updates

Photoshop improved selection tools as shown at Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

Photoshop is Adobe's flagship program and it deserves that position as it's the most powerful photo editing app out there. It was already impressive, but the latest updates make it even more convenient. 

Adobe Photoshop (opens in new tab)

Adobe Photoshop (opens in new tab)

Adobe's flagship program is considered the very best photo editing software out there. The latest improvements make it even better. 

One-click Delete and Fill saves so much time

One-click Delete and Fill greatly improves upon the Content-Aware, Delete, and Fill abilities that Photoshop has toted for years. Thanks to the software's advanced AI machine learning, users can now click on an object or person in an image and immediately remove them from the picture while filling in the space they occupied with just one click instead of taking more steps to complete the same action. 

Selection improvements make everything easier

Adobe Sensei continues to become more and more intelligent and it can now better detect plants, backgrounds, water, road, sky, people, and more for fast selection and masking. By hovering over elements in an image, the intelligent AI will highlight an object or person so you know exactly what it will select. Simply click to select that element or object and then choose the editing abilities you want applied to it. This will undoubtedly save time on projects going forward.

Object selection has been improved all around for fine details and edges, especially with people, as Adobe reps illustrated when selecting a person in an image. The whispy strands of curly hair were also selected showing that the program recognizes portraits and applies a special machine-learning model specifically for hair refinement. 

To increase selection ease of use, you can also right-click on the base layer and choose Mask All Objects to create a mask layer for every element of the image. 

Copy Paste live text from Illustrator to Photoshop

This allows users to copy and past editable Type layers from Illustrator into Photoshop. That way you can continue to edit your Type layers after bringing it into the raster-based program.

Photoshop on iPad updates

Adobe Photoshop on iPad

(Image credit: Adobe)

Photoshop on iPad first released in 2019 and since then Adobe has regularly worked to improve the mobile experience. With the latest updates, the iPad version becomes a far more intuitive editing base. 

Remove background finally comes to iPad!

This is a feature that has been on the desktop version of Photoshop for a while now, but it's now available on Photoshop for iPad. It saves time by allowing users to quickly isolate the main subject from a background with a single tap and deletes the background. 

One-tap Content-Aware Fill for easy on-the-go editing

Using selection tools, surround an element or person that you want to remove from your image and then use the Actions drop-down menu to choose Content-Aware Fill. Doing this will remove anything in the selected space and fill it in with elements around it.

Content-Aware Fill can also be accessed from the Fill Tools as well as the Layer Properties tab under the Quick Actions drop-down menu, so you can access it in whatever way is most convenient. 

Lightroom updates

Lightroom improved selection tools as shown at Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

Photographers everywhere are well acquainted with the powerful editing, organizing, and sharing powers of Lightroom, but now many of the same improvements we saw on Photoshop are also available with this software as well.

Adobe Lightroom (opens in new tab)

Adobe Lightroom (opens in new tab)

Lightroom is a photographer's software of choice. It allows you to easily edit your work, organize your photos using metadata and tags, store your work on the cloud, and easily share your creations to social media or email. 

Improved Select People and Select Objects masking tools

Lightroom's AI now automatically finds and creates masks for any people that appear in your photo. When hovering over different parts of the image, the software automatically shows what it will select when you click. You can choose between selecting all people in the image or a specific person. If you click on a person, the program creates a list of attributes for each person such as face, eyes, teeth, lips, hair, and more for easier editing. 

This far more powerful selecting also extends to objects. Clicking on the Objects option in the Masking menu allows users to drag the mouse over an object on the image and then the powerful AI will automatically select it. For instance, say you're looking at a picture of a whale tail. Dragging the mouse quickly over the object without being careful about what you're selecting will allow Lightroom to make a precise mask of the whale tail. 

Adaptive Presets help make edits faster

A new selection of Adaptive Presets for portraits are coming to Lightroom. These one-click presets include things like smoothing hair, adding text to hair, darkening eyebrows, whitening teeth, and enhancing eyes. This is made possible through the AI's improved masking tools that were talked about previously. 

Healing tool and Content-Aware Remove finally added

Lightroom's Healing tool is getting a makeover by getting a new feature called Content-Aware Remove. This allows the Healing Tool brush to better detect large objects and remove them from photos, like an unsightly trash can in the background of a photo. 

Lightroom on Mobile updates

Lightroom on Mobile editing image of a woman

(Image credit: Adobe)

Lightroom on mobile is designed to be easily accessible and give you plenty of editing tools that will make your photos pop. These latest tools make it even easier to edit your shots on the go. 

Content-Aware Remove via the Healing Tool is awesome

This option is also available via the Healing tool on this mobile version of the software. Just tap on the Brush to change between Remove, Heal, and Clone. If you don't like how the software performed this action, you can tap Refresh within the Refine options menu to have it give another go at Content-Aware Remove with different results.

For instance, if you want to remove a random person from your background to increase focus on your main subjects then you can perform Content-Aware Remove on the random person. If the Fill doesn't look natural then tapping refresh will make the software attempt to Fill again, hopefully with better results this time. 

Adaptive Presets help make edits faster

Lightroom on Mobile basically has the same Adaptive Presets added to the desktop version, but they're accessed differently with a far more simplified experience. What I mean by that is the AI-powered Select People abilities for masking aren't available on mobile, but you can basically perform the same options by using the Portrait Adaptive Presets on mobile for easy editing on the go. 

Illustrator updates

Illustrator Intertwine tool as shown at Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

Illustrator is Adobe's powerful vector-based software that's perfect for creating logos and other graphic design projects. With the latest Intertwine and 3D effects updates, it's even more essential than before. 

Adobe Illustrator  (opens in new tab)

Adobe Illustrator  (opens in new tab)

When it comes to creating logos and other vector-based graphic design projects, Illustrator far outshines the competition. 

Share for Review (Beta)

Designers can co-edit a live file with Invite to Edit or share one version of a file with Share for Review. This latter option provides a link to a specific version of the file and then those who have access can see reviewers' comments and responses right in the file. This allows everyone on a team to quickly receive feedback and complete work faster. 

Intertwine and 3D Effects

These new features allow designers to easily intertwine text and images in order to create depth in logos and other projects. What's more, these intertwining effects automatical transform with your designs so you don't have to reposition anything if you make them larger or smaller. 

Newly added 3D Effects make it easy to apply shapes onto 3D objects within the program. That way, users can design these 3D elements and give them their own flair a whole lot easier. 

Illustrator on iPad updates

Adobe Illustrator on iPad

(Image credit: Adobe)

The iPad version of Illustrator released in 2020 and has seen several improvements since it launched. Now the creative process is getting even more streamlined with some helpful new additions. 

Gradient snapping and new saving options

Getting things looking just right and in the perfect place is now far easier on Illustrator on iPad thanks to the addition of gradient snapping. Additionally, the ability to rename a file and save it has finally been added to the iPad version of the software, which will help streamline workflows. 

Illustrator on the Web (beta) updates

Adobe Illustrator penguin image

(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe continues to improve and collaborate with beta users of Illustrator on the Web and looks forward to sharing additional information and updates on this version in the future. 

Fresco updates

Adobe Fresco example of color palette from Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

It might be free, but Adobe's digital drawing program, Adobe Fresco, is anything but cheap. It provides simplified raster, vector, and live brushes that can coexist on the same project. Now with the latest Fresco updates, designers can do even more on the go. 

Adobe Fresco (opens in new tab)

Adobe Fresco (opens in new tab)

Draw just about anything you can put your mind to on iPad using this free drawing app. There are tons of brushes to choose from and the interface is simplified from more complex programs for an intuitive experience.

Free Transform & Liquify

Liquify and Free Transform are now added to the base version of Fresco, allowing artists to create distortion effects and easily change the sizes of elements on layers. This brings the free digital drawing app even more impressive features that Adobe users are familiar with using on Photoshop. 

Vector outline & jitter brushes for more control

Vector outline and jitter brushes are two very important new abilities that allow Fresco users to gain more control over their work. For example, vector outlines lock text in such a way that while technically no longer a font, they are still vector layers that can be edited. 

Meanwhile, jitter brushes refer to brushes that produce random marks. This is ideal when working on foliage, fur, or other areas of a piece that you want to give texture to. It also adds to the illusion of a piece since the brush stroke doesn't appear as obvious or repetitive. 

Unlimited brush history for convenience

Whenever artist work through a piece, they are bound to change to several different brush types along the way, including going back to using ones they've used before. Thankfully, with the new unlimited brush history, designers can now ensure that they are using the same brushes they have previously used without having to take the time to go through the menus to find them. 

Automatic color palette creation from images

In order to improve the creation experience and prevent designers from taking more time than necessary, Adobe Fresco now automatically creates color palettes based on project files. That way, artists can easily find the same colors and tones that are already in the image. 

InDesign updates

InDesign Auto Style tool as shown at Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

InDesign has long been the standard for publication design and layouts. Thanks to the recently added Auto Style feature, formatting your work has just gotten even more intuitive. 

Adobe InDesign (opens in new tab)

Adobe InDesign (opens in new tab)

InDesign is the go-to tool within design and print publications. Use it to help place text and images perfectly within a format. 

Auto Style saves time and makes your work look professional

With just one click, you can now transform your basic document into formatted text with the help of Adobe Sensei. There are multiple pre-formatted Style Packs to choose from, allowing you to give your main body, quotes, and headers a uniform look that offers flair. 

Character Animator updates

Character Animator with improved Motion Library: Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe Character Animator is one of the best animation programs out there and things just got even better. 

Adobe Character Animator (opens in new tab)

Adobe Character Animator (opens in new tab)

Produce beautiful animations quickly and in real time with this software. It can use a camera to identify your expressions and movements in order to apply them to your character creations. 

Motion Library makes animation easier

Traditionally, animation has taken a lot of work and tedious hours, but the addition of a Motion Library to Character Animator seeks to slim down the process. This Motion Library allows users to apply over 350 premade full-body character animations such as running, fighting, and dancing, which were created by professional motion capture actors. This will definitely save some time. 

Premiere Pro updates

Premiere Pro title tools as shown at Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

Premiere Pro is one of the most acclaimed video editing apps on the market. Thanks to a number of updates, the post-edit process is getting streamlined and will become a whole lot more convenient. 

Adobe Premiere Pro | Free trial for Mac and PC (opens in new tab)

Adobe Premiere Pro | Free trial for Mac and PC (opens in new tab)

Love making and editing videos? Then Premiere Pro is the program for you. Touch up your shots, add captions, create animations, and optimize your videos for every social channel you post to.

Flexible alignment controls

The titling toolsets have already been incredible with Premiere Pro, but now users gain even more control with additional alignment options and the ability to bulk edit titles in the timeline. This allows users to get everything looking the way they want to without having to take up too much of their time. 

Faster Motion Graphics templates

Motion Graphics or MOGRTS are animations from After Effects or Premiere Pro that can be imported into another Premiere Pro or Premiere Rush project. These professional clips can help pad out videos and fill in stretches with interesting visuals. Now, these Motion Graphics templates are 2x faster than before, which will help slim down the amount of time it takes to create each project. 

Camera to Cloud Integrations

Camera to Cloud as shown at Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

Camera to Cloud removes a lot of unnecessary wait time to truly bring the video capture and post-edit process into the future. 

Frame.io and direct Camera to Cloud Integrations

Adobe Camera to Cloud powered by Frame.io receives new integrations built into Fujifilm and RED Digital Cinema that revolutionizes media transfer and collaboration. This means that media is automatically transferred from the production set to the cloud while it is being captured, thus allowing post-crew editors to work on the footage immediately. No more waiting around for one team to finish so the next can begin. 

The support for Fujifilm and RED Digitial Cinema devices made directly into organized Frame.io structures means that the data is transferred without needing intermediate hardware like memory cards or hard drives. This is a huge leap forward that will make the workflow process a whole lot faster and is expected to become the industry standard in the next 10 years. 

Frame.io is available on Desktop, Web, iPad, and mobile devices, making it a truly convenient program for video teams. 

Frame.io (opens in new tab)

Frame.io (opens in new tab)

This collaboration software makes it easy to share videos and instantly get feedback between team members. It's a game changer that makes the post-production process a whole lot faster. 

After Effects updates

After Effects matte layer from Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

After Effects is one of the most-used programs in film making, the video game industry, and television. It allows users to add motion effects, animations, transitions, and stylizations (among other things) during the post-production process. Some impressive new features make it an even better software. 

Adobe After Effects (opens in new tab)

Adobe After Effects (opens in new tab)

After Effects allows users to add motion to their images to create professional animations. So you could add text, create effects surrounding your images, and get them looking extremely professional-looking.

Native H.264 encoding to save time

Instead of having to leave After Effects in order to convert HDMI audio and video signals into an IP stream for transmission over a network, After Effects can now encode H.264 from within the software. This will save time and prevent users from needing to use too many extra programs while working on a project. Instead, they'll be able to quickly export projects right from the render queue. 

Select Track Matte Layer

Users can now designate any layer as a track matte by simply using the drop-down menu. This makes these compositions much easier to create. 

Revamped Composition Presets and new Animation Presets

When you're working on several projects, it's a lot easier when you can use Composition Presets in order to quickly add animations to your videos. Thankfully, with this update, the existing Composition Presets have been revamped for a better experience and over 50 additional Animation Presets have also been added. 

Substance 3D Modeler

Substance 3D Modeler example of jewelry shown at Adobe Max

(Image credit: Adobe)

This brand new sculpting software has been in beta since April 2022, but has now become widely available. It seriously simplifies the 3D modeling experience to make sculpting approachable for newcomers.

Substance 3D Modeler (opens in new tab)

Substance 3D Modeler (opens in new tab)

Easily create 3D projects via desktop and VR with this intuitive and simplified program. You can even take pictures of objects and textures and the program will create 3D models from them. 

You can even import a textured image like a photo of gravel, and the program will automatically create a 3D layer based on that image. With just a few clicks, you can add simple elements like water, dirt, lighting, or moss onto the 3D gravel to customize it for your needs. 

Similarly, you can take multiple images of an object in your home from different angles and then upload them to Substance 3D Modeler and then the program will create that object in 3D, complete with accurate colors. Simply edit the creation to touch it up further as you'd like. 

Substance 3D Modeler is also compatible in VR via Occulus headsets. The program immediately starts working with the headset as soon as you put it on, no extra button presses necessary. 

So many improvements

If you thought that hardly any improvements come to Adobe's subscription-based programs then you're wrong. The teams behind each creative software are constantly hard at work looking for ways to improve the user experience and save creators valuable time. 

Among the biggest updates and announcements are the refined selection processes for Photoshop and Lightroom. Being able to select and mask a person or object with one click with such detail is sure to save people time and the hassle that it has often presented before now. 

The addition of Substance 3D Modeler also looks like it could open up the digital sculpting industry to more people and make the process that much more accessible. We can't wait to see what else Adobe has in store as the months go by.