Adobe Photoshop New Features 2021

From Neural Filters and Sky Replacement to Pattern Preview and Live Shapes, discover the new features for Photoshop–and Photoshop Elements–for 2021.

New Photoshop Features
Portrait for Kelsie RimmerBy Kelsie Rimmer  |  Updated June 14, 2022

Adobe has recently announced the new feature releases for Photoshop for 2021, as well as a range of new additions to Photoshop Elements. On Photoshop, there’s a number of new and exciting features, including reimagined filters powered by Adobe Sensei, which allow you to change the direction of a person’s gaze in seconds (it’s pretty trippy stuff!).

Meanwhile, over on Photoshop Elements, the latest features make it easier to edit, create, organize and share your favorite photos. Photoshop Elements is aimed at photo enthusiasts, regardless of photo editing level. It now offers tools including Guided Edits, Modern Duotones and Colorization.

If you’re keen to take your photos to the next level, here are the top new features from Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements 2021 to help you create a picture-perfect image every time.

What Are the New Photoshop Features for 2021?

If you’re a Photoshop artist or simply want a quick preview of all Photoshop has to offer for 2021, we recommend watching this video from Dansky where he breaks down the key features in 5 minutes. For more details, check out our summary below.

01. Neural Filters

Possibly one of the most mind-blowing new features from Photoshop for the year ahead is the introduction of Neural Filters. It’s actually a new workspace within Photoshop with filters powered by Adobe Sensei. Equipped with simple sliders, you can make magic happen such as changing your subject’s expression, age, gaze or pose in the time it takes you to say “AI technology”. To access Neural Filters head to Photoshop, and choose Filters > Neural Filters.

02. Sky Replacement

In 2020, it may have felt like the sky was falling, but that’s not the case with this new feature. Photoshop’s new Sky Replacement allows you to quickly select and replace the sky in any photo, and there are plenty of options available to pick from, including blue skies and rolling thunder. You can also choose to upload your own sky image and automatically adjust the scenery colors to match the photo you’re adding it to. So now, if shooting conditions weren’t perfect, no one will ever know. To give your sky a makeover, open Photoshop and select Edit > Sky Replacement.

03. Pattern Preview

Prepare to become the next William Morris or Yayoi Kusama, as Photoshop now allows you to envision in real-time how your design will come to life as a pattern. In the Pattern Preview mode you can create a design and then tile and repeat it to discover how it would appear on anything from fabric to bathroom tiles. Open Photoshop and choose View > Pattern Preview.

04. Live Shapes

Typically the type of tool you’d find in Adobe Illustrator, Live Shapes is now available in Photoshop and enables you to create and edit shapes directly on your canvas. There are new controls to alter lines, triangles, rectangles and more available in the Shape tools group in the toolbar. There have also been improvements to the Line tool, Polygon tool and other variants.

05. Plugins & Extras

For those that love a little extra, you can now discover third-party plugins in the Creative Cloud desktop app. These plugins can be installed and used directly and immediately in Photoshop. Other new features include enhanced cloud documents and a hands on Photoshop tutorials and quick actions for in-app learning experiences available via the Discover panel.

What Are the New Photoshop Elements Features for 2021?

Meanwhile, over on Photoshop Elements, new features are also powered by Adobe Sensei, including sky replacement functionality, facial feature adjustment and adding motion to static images (did someone say GIF?).

01. Add Motion to Static Images

Transform your favorite shots into moving photos in one click. Powered by Adobe Sensei, this feature turns your photos into fun animated GIFs with 2D and 3D camera motion, adding an extra dimension to your images. To put your ideas into motion, check out the top video trends of 2020.

02. Get Creative

Photoshop Elements 2021 includes plenty of arty and crafty features. You can add motivational quotes or personalized messages to your pics with pre-set templates, as well as tonnes of customization and cool animation options. You can also turn part of a picture into a sketch by adding an illustrated sketch effect to your favorite photo. Brush on the look of your choice, including pencil, colored pencil, old paper and old photo. Or, give any photo a little something extra by brushing on a fun pattern—like hearts or stars. To take your creativity to the next level, try out these Photoshop templates and Photoshop textures from Envato Elements.

03. Perfect your Landscapes

Adobe’s newest features allow you to easily replace skies, remove haze and erase unwanted objects to create amazing outdoor scenes. This easy Guided Edit enables you to create the perfect adventure photo every time. 

If your background is a little underwhelming, you can also replace backgrounds in seconds by selecting the subject of a photo and placing it on a different background to level up your pic.

04. Create Modern Duotones

Duotone is one of this year’s biggest color trends. And this simple guided edit makes it super easy to apply cool, customized duotone effects to your photos for a beautiful two-tone creation. It allows you to choose from customized sizes, add a gradient and more. You can even create cool double exposure shots by turning two photos into one work of art with this captivating double exposure effect.

05. Automatically Colorize Photos

This automatic colorization feature enables you to give new life to your black-and-white photos. You can change up the colours in your pics with automatic colorization, add a pop of colour to black and white pics, highlight a single colour or a specific object, and turn the rest black-and-white for a dramatic effect.

06. Adjust Facial Features

This handy feature allows you to get the perfect shot every time by automatically adjusting facial features. It can open closed eyes, turn frowns upside down and more! The fine-tune face tilt feature also helps you to make sure everyone in your photo is looking in the right direction by automatically adjusting the position of a person’s face.

07. Combine Multiple Shots Into One

Get the best possible exposure, remove distracting elements, create great group shots and panoramas and more by merging your photos. Put the focus on your subject and remove distractions such power lines and pedestrians. You can even move, scale and duplicate objects to change their position, size and more.

08. Effortless Organization

This super handy feature enables you to clean up the clutter automatically. Go from hundreds of mystery folders scattered across your computer to a visual view of your photos sorted by date, subject, people and places. Plus, your catalogue structure is automatically backed up for easy recovery—so you can work worry-free.

Looking for more? Check out the full range of new features from Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements, or head over to Envato Tuts+ for more design related content – such as this round up of the 50+ Best Photoshop Templates From Envato Elements! You can also learn how to create a sketch Photoshop effect, change eye color in Photoshop, remove a person from a photo, and more.

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