How to Use Lightroom's Powerful New AI Tools

Lightroom AI

Does Lightroom Have AI Tools?

Yes!   Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming a key component of photo editing programs, and Lightroom is no exception!

Powered by Adobe Sensei, Lightroom offers numerous AI-driven features designed to save time and enhance your editing efficiency.  These tools allow you to achieve professional results with minimal effort.

In this article, I'll explore all the AI tools available in Lightroom and provide guidance on how to use them effectively.

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A.I. Tool #1: Masking

Masking allows you to make precise local adjustments to your photos.  Previously, creating masks was a time-consuming process, but AI has made it much simpler.

With AI-powered masking, you can now make complex selections in just a few clicks.

To use the Masking tool, go to the Develop module.  You will find the editing panels on the right side of the screen.  Just below the histogram, you'll see five tools, the last one being the Masking tool.

Does Lightroom Have AI

How to Create a Mask

Once you enable the Masking tool, you'll see the "Add a New Mask" feature.  Here, you can choose from several options, many of which utilize AI to make your selections easier and more precise.

Let's take a closer look at some of these options below:

A.I.Selection Option #1. Subject

Lightroom's AI can automatically detect and select the subject in your photo.  This works exceptionally well with images that have a narrow depth of field, as the distinction between the subject and background is more pronounced.

Once the AI identifies the subject, a red overlay will be applied to highlight the selection.  You can toggle this overlay on and off or change its color to suit your preference.

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A.I. Selection Option #2. Sky

This feature allows Lightroom's AI to detect and select the sky in your photo.  While it performs well in most cases, intricate elements like trees may pose some challenges.

As with other selections, you'll see an overlay on the sky if it's active, helping you to identify and adjust the selection as needed.

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A.I. Selection Option #3. Background

Unlike the sky selection feature, this option allows you to select the entire background of your photo, not just the sky.

Essentially, it's the opposite of the Select Subject tool.  It works best when the background is clearly separated from the subject by focus or brightness.  However, busy or complex backgrounds may result in less precise selections.

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A.I. Selection Option #4. Objects

If an object wasn't picked up as the main subject or is part of the background, you can use the Selecting Objects feature to isolate it.

There are two methods for selecting objects:

  1. Rectangle Selection: Click and drag to create a rectangle around the object.  This is the easiest method, but if two objects are close together, the AI might select both.

  2. Brush Tool: For more precision, use the brush tool.  Adjust the brush size and roughly paint over the object you want to select.  The AI will detect the edges and refine the selection.

A.I. Selection Option #5. People

When you enable the Mask tool, Lightroom automatically begins analyzing the image for people.

If it detects any, it will display thumbnails of each person and offer the option to select all detected people.

Click on the person you want to edit to open a new menu.  Here, you can choose specific parts of the person to select, such as teeth, hair, or clothes.

You can select multiple areas by checking the desired boxes.  You can include all selections in one mask or create separate masks for each area.  Additionally, you can choose to select the entire person.

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Utilizing Subtract and Intersect Masks

Once you've created a mask, you can refine it using the Subtract feature.  This button, located next to the Add button at the bottom of the panel, allows you to remove parts of the mask.

The Subtract Mask feature offers the same AI options as the Add feature, such as Subject, Sky, and Background.

On the other hand, the Intersect Mask feature lets you create a mask by overlapping two or more masks.  Unlike Add and Subtract, there's no direct button for Intersect.

To access it, click on the three dots next to the existing mask to open the menu.  Intersect offers the same AI features as Add and Subtract, enabling you to refine your selections with precision.

A.I. Tool #2: Adaptive Masking Presets

Now that you're familiar with AI masking tools let's dive into Adaptive Presets.

Adaptive Presets are designed to adapt to the unique characteristics of each photo.

For instance, to create a preset that makes specific adjustments to the sky, you previously needed to use a linear gradient and manually adjust it based on the horizon.  If there were elements like trees or houses, additional refinements were necessary each time.

With Adaptive Presets, you can use a Sky AI Mask instead of a linear gradient.  This way, the preset automatically applies to the sky in each photo, regardless of its position, eliminating the need for manual adjustments and refinements.

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AI Tool #3: Pretty Presets AI Portrait Pro Presets

One of the best features of the new AI capabilities in the Masking panel is that AI masks can be turned into one-click presets that ALSO allow you to fine-tune their application using the amount slider.  For any masking you do repeatedly (think teeth whitening, skin smoothing, eye whitening, etc.), having presets for those actions will save MANY hours of editing.

This is where Pretty Presets shines with their AI Portrait Pro Collection.  This amazing AI tool includes 101 AI Adaptive Presets and 7 BONUS One-Click Magic Portrait Presets, which are simple to use and offer incredible results!

The following edit was done with two clicks from this collection:

Lightroom AI Presets AI Lightroom Presets


(Edited with Color Pop Portrait/Scene Background and Temp Warm presets from the AI Portrait Pro Collection)

A.I. Tool #4. Content-Aware Remove

Content-Aware Remove is a feature of the Healing tool in Lightroom.  To access it, navigate to the Develop module and click the Band-Aid icon to select the Healing tool.

In the Mode section, choose the first option, which looks like an eraser.  This is the Content-Aware Remove tool.

Once enabled, you'll see two sliders: one for adjusting the brush size and another for controlling opacity.  Adjust the brush size based on the object you want to remove.  Leaving it at 100% usually works best for opacity, but feel free to experiment.

To remove an object, simply click and drag over it.  Lightroom will begin analyzing the area.  A message will indicate that it's processing.

When complete, the object should be removed and replaced with content that blends seamlessly with the surrounding area.

If you're not satisfied with the result, you can undo it and try again, as the results may vary each time.  You can also refine the result using the other healing tools for more precise adjustments.

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A.I. Tool #5. Denoise

Introduced in April 2023, the Denoise AI tool is designed to reduce noise in your photos.  However, it currently has limited compatibility and works only with certain raw files, specifically those from cameras with a Bayer array or Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor, and Adobe-created DNG files like those from Lightroom mobile.

Compressed raw files are not supported, so you'll need to use the Manual Noise Reduction method in these cases.

To use the Denoise AI tool, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Detail Panel: In the Develop module, open the Detail panel.
  2. Check Availability: If the tool can be used on the selected file, the Denoise button will be active; otherwise, it will be greyed out.
  3. Enable Denoise: Click the active Denoise button to open the Enhance Preview dialog box.  Check the box next to Denoise to enable it.
  4. Adjust the Amount: Use the Amount slider to control the intensity of the effect.  The default value is set to 50, which is a good starting point.  Adjust as needed based on the results.
  5. Raw Details: When you enable Denoise, Raw Details will also be enabled to preserve as much detail as possible.
  6. Enhance: Click the Enhance button to start the process.  Lightroom will provide an estimated time for completion, which depends on the image size and your computer's processing power.

Once the process is complete, Lightroom will create a new DNG file with the denoised version of your photo.  This file will be larger than the original and saved in the same folder, eliminating the need for exporting.

Adobe plans to expand Denoise AI to other file types, so broader compatibility is expected soon.

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A.I. Tool #6. Lens Blur

In the latest update from November 2023, Lightroom introduced an Early Access feature called Lens Blur, adding to its suite of AI tools.

Have you ever wished for a different lens to change the bokeh or create a shallower depth of field?  Or spent countless hours making perfect selections to blur the background while keeping the subject sharp?  The AI Lens Blur tool is here to help.

Once enabled, Lens Blur analyzes your photo to identify the subject and creates a depth map based on this analysis.  By default, the depth map is hidden, but you can click on "Visualize Depth" to see it, where different distances are represented by distinct colors.

Usually, the tool performs well, but if adjustments are needed, you can use the Focal Range tools.  There are two methods to modify the focal range:

  1. Point/Area Focus: Click on the desired focal point in the image.
  2. Color Graph: Drag the square across the color graph to adjust the focus range.  Changes are visible in real time, making this process intuitive.

For specific modifications, use the Refine brush.  The Refine section provides sliders to adjust brush settings.

Next, use the Amount slider to control the blur intensity.  Sliding to the left (zero) keeps the image unchanged while sliding to the right increases the blur effect to its maximum (100).

Additionally, you can adjust the shape of the bokeh to achieve the desired artistic effect.

How to Use Lightroom AI


In conclusion, Lightroom boasts a suite of advanced AI tools that significantly enhance the photo editing experience.  Powered by Adobe Sensei, these AI-driven features are designed to save time and improve editing efficiency, enabling you to achieve professional results with minimal effort.

From AI Masking and Adaptive Presets to Content-Aware Remove, Denoise, and the newly introduced Lens Blur, Lightroom offers powerful tools to streamline your workflow and elevate your photos.  By leveraging these features, you can make precise adjustments, enhance specific areas, and creatively modify your images with ease.

As AI continues to evolve, Lightroom remains at the forefront, providing photographers with innovative tools to bring their creative visions to life.  Explore these AI tools and see how they can transform your editing process and help you produce stunning, professional-quality images.

Do you have any questions or comments about How to Use AI in Lightroom?  Leave us a comment below - we would love to hear from you!  And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!

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