Photoshop 2021 Main New Features in 5 Min What's new in the October 2020 release of Adobe's Photoshop

Last week Adobe announced a whole host of new updates to many of its products including Photoshop which now reached its “2021” addition bringing several interesting and powerful improvements. Designer and YouTuber Dansky published a video looking at the more important ones in this 5 min video.

Unlike some of Adobe’s leading creative products announced last week, Photoshop did get the 2021 designation and it does seem that it also got the most features so let’s dive into them right away:

  • Sky Replacement – we knew that it was coming (see the sneak peek for this here) but now we can actually play with it (we already gave it a go) and it seems to work very well. Yes, you can do a lot of crazy replacements but you can also do some very minimalistic fixes that look very authentic, it’s all up to you. You can find it under “edit>sky replacement” in Photoshop 2021.
  • Neural Filters – these filters (under “filters>neural filters) are very powerful AI (actually cloud AI) based filters. Some are still in development or not even up yet but what you have is still plenty to play around with. You can do all sorts of crazy things including making a person look happier, angry, or surprised, change the look of the eyes (the gaze), but also smooth skin and add blur and so much more (you really need to test some of these things for yourself). You might need to download some extra bits if you want to try everything here and this will only keep evolving.
  • Intelligent Refine Hair – This is yet another improvement to Adobe’s AI subject selection tool and this focuses on hair. From what we tried so far it does improve the hair selection but it is still not 100% accurate (but every improvement is welcome as these things can save time).
  • Pattern Preview – this is more for graphic designers but you can create some interesting repeated patterns with this new tool under “view>pattern preview”.
  • Live shapes – this is another designer addition but it might actually be useful when creating titles and you want to spice things up with simple but cool graphics. In essence, this makes Photoshop a little closer to illustrator especially when it comes to shapes (and you now have a triangle and merge shapes and do all sorts of useful things).
  • Plugins – Adobe really pushed a new and more streamlined plugin ecosystem in Photoshop 2021 and you can easily download new plugins (and browse for more which is actually really nice as you don’t always know what you are looking for) from the marketplace (just go to “plugins>plugin’s panel and click browse plugins”).
  • Extras – There are a lot of smaller changes and bug fixes in Photoshop 2021. Two things worth mentioning are the “Search discover” option which lets you find lots of interesting tutorials and “windows>version history” which will let you see older versions of your cloud sync files.

Bonus video: If you want a much more in-depth (and longer) look at all these new features and more check out this PiXimperfect video

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You can find more Adobe Photoshop videos we published in the past – here.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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