September 12, 2023

STN Experts Advice on Using Adobe’s New AI Generative Fill Tool in Photoshop

STN Experts Advice on Using Adobe’s New AI Generative Fill Tool in Photoshop

Adobe recently jumped on the AI trend, and released a new feature in Photoshop – AI Generative Fill (“Gen AI Fill”). This tool can help you bring your vision to life in a variety of ways by expanding your photo and adding different elements to your images. 

This new tool can turn close-ups into wide landscapes, add elements (think rivers, clouds, birds, etc.) that weren’t there before, and can even help designers change what their subjects are wearing in the photo.

AI is a hot topic in the creative world, so we sat down with one of our Video Content Creators, Brandon, to get more information on this feature and how he feels about using AI in art.

Let’s jump in!

Q: First, is the Generative Fill feature beginner friendly?

A: Gen AI Fill is definitely beginner-friendly. You would need to get an Adobe license to use Photoshop, but ultimately that’s the hardest part. There are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube that anyone can digest and use for their projects using Generative Fill. Ultimately, that’s how I learned the basics when I got started. 

Q: What are some things you can use Generative Fill for? How do you “prompt” this feature so it gives you the desired output?

A: You can use Generative Fill for a number of reasons. The most popular use is for expanding photos or cleaning up photos as well. If I wanted my landscape photo of the Golden Gate Bridge to not have any container ships or boats in the background, I can easily use Generative Fill to remove those. If I wanted to add a casual optical flare to the corner of my photo, I can even use it for that. 

It will help you bring your photo to life and leave you in the driver’s seat when it comes to your vision. If I had a square photo of my dog sitting at the end of the pier and his body fills the entire frame. I can use the prompt, “fill space with ocean” and then add details like “add more waves” to specific areas.

Q: That sounds useful. Do you use Generative Fill on a lot of projects, or is it something you use more for niche projects?

A: I would love to incorporate Generative Fill into more major projects for clients, but sentiment behind using AI for projects is still taking its time coming around. So most of the projects I use it for are for personal use, and I like to upload them to IG Reels as people tend to love watching anything with AI use. In the future, we could easily use this concept for client projects with different prompts.

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Brandon Johnson (@beeejeeezy) • Instagram photos and videos

Q: Okay, so what is one of your favorite projects you have used Generative Fill on?

A: The first project I used this tool on was a creative exploration project. I’m a big Star Wars fan, and I saw a trend going around where people were taking their favorite movie scenes which are natively shot in a 16×9 and “filling the space” above and below to recreate it in a 9×16. I wanted to do this myself with one of my favorite scenes from The Clone Wars animated series. There is a scene where Darth Vader shows up to an icy planet looking for his former padawan, only to find her lightsaber in the snow. This was a powerful scene and it showed a sense of sadness and pain when looking at it. What I really enjoyed about turning this scene into a 9×16 with Generative Fill, is the fact that it made Vader look small, and alone. The perspective was much different than the normal way you would have watched the scene. 

When editing this in Photoshop, I took a couple screen grabs that I wanted to turn into a 9×16. I took these screen grabs into Photoshop and then started using the Generative Fill tool. Most of the scene took place in the snow, so a lot of the key words I used with the tool were “add powder snow environment with light trees and bushes”. Then Photoshop would spit out 3 versions for me to select the top choice. Sometimes they looked perfect and I would move forward with one of the options, and other times I had to change up my phrases until I liked what was delivered. You’ll see in the last shot of the video (below), I had to blend a destroyed spacecraft into my scene, so I would type in phrases like “fill gray metal destruction” or “add broken metal parts” to find the look I wanted. 

Q: That looks amazing! Okay, let’s wrap this up. Do you think designers are falling behind if they do not learn how to incorporate these new AI features in design?

A: I don’t necessarily think designers are falling behind if they don’t learn this new tool. I believe there are smart ways to incorporate this into your graphics and photos. Graphic designers can keep originality with little sprinkles of AI to help enhance graphics when they need it. It’s not widely accepted yet in the industry to incorporate it into paid projects and media, but eventually it’ll come around and it’ll be interesting to see what work people claim is theirs, when AI could have created 90% of it. It will force people to keep the integrity of their work and let people know if any form of AI was used to help make this project.

Q: Okay, last question. What’s one thing you want everyone to know about this feature?

A: I want everyone to know how easy it is to get started and learn this new feature. Like I said previously, the hardest part is just getting Photoshop. Once you get your account setup, the world is yours and the possibilities are endless. A few clicks of the mouse and a few YouTube searches and you’re creating really cool work that you’ll be proud to show.

Embracing the Potential of Adobe’s AI Generative Fill Tool

In a world where AI continues to quickly evolve, Adobe’s AI Generative Fill tool in Photoshop stands out as a game-changer for both beginners and seasoned designers. This feature opens up a realm of creative possibilities, from seamlessly expanding your photos to adding unique elements that breathe life into your vision. 

Currently, this feature is free to Photoshop users. However, starting November 1, 2023, Adobe will start implementing a credit system, and using the Generative Fill feature in any capacity will cost you one credit. This credit system will vary depending on the Adobe subscription you have, but they will give users the option to buy more credits. Whether or not you are on board with this Photoshop feature, we encourage you to test it out now before this credit system rolls out

While the integration of AI in design may not be universally embraced just yet, it’s clear that it’s here to stay, offering a helping hand to graphic artists who seek to enhance their work with a touch of innovation. 


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