Adobe Max Roundup: Exciting New Features 

October 19, 2023

By Theano Nikitas

© Adobe

A new feature available in "early access" is Lens Blur. Users can adjust location, amount, and type of blur in an image and choose from five forms of "bokeh" to enhance a portrait or scene.

Adobe Max, the company’s annual creativity conference, has just ended, leaving the latest innovations and features across Creative Cloud. You can revisit many of the keynotes and presentations on the Adobe site, but we’ve put together a quick overview of some of the most exciting photo and video news.


Most of the new features are available for all Lightroom products and for Adobe Camera Raw. These include: 

  • Lens Blur uses several tools to simulate blur and bokeh regardless of the lens and f/stop used. Users can adjust the location, amount and type of blur in an image via slider and then choose from five forms of “bokeh” to enhance a portrait or scene. This feature is available now but in “early access,” so check it out and send your feedback to Adobe with suggested improvements. 
  • HDR Optimization brings added HDR capabilities to Lightroom. Although users have been able to work with HDR images before, it’s always been in the app’s standard dynamic range. Now you can edit, display and output in true HDR. With a new option in the histogram, you can switch between SDR and HDR and the latter will, of course, deliver increased shadow and highlight detail. Export provides two new formats that contain the HDR information: JPEG XL and AVIF. Of course, to get the full benefit visually, you’ll need an HDR display. 
  • Point Color is a new feature that allows users to specifically target colors (even in color casts) and create masks to make precise adjustments. This will be especially helpful to portrait photographers when adjusting skin tones. 
A new option in the histogram of Lightroom is HDR optimization. Now you can switch between SDR and HDR with the possibility to work with increased shadow and highlight detail. © Adobe

Premiere Pro 

In addition to what Adobe promises to be a 5x timeline performance enhancement, the video editor also provides new color preferences and improved tone mapping. On the feature side: 

  • Direct publishing to social media. Premiere Pro now provides users with the ability to publish videos directly to Facebook, YouTube and TikTok. Thanks to a selection of templates designed with typical social media sizes and layouts, users can quickly and easily prepare videos for posting. Add captions, hashtags and keywords and the video is good to go. 
Now, you can publish videos to social media directly from Premiere Pro. © Adobe

Max 2023 “Sneaks” 

Perhaps one of the most fun and intriguing portions of this year’s Adobe Max are its “Sneaks.” These are essentially sneak peeks at some technological advancements that may make it into Adobe products at some point. Of course, there’s lots of AI-based engineering that goes into these almost magical developments, and we love seeing what may be coming down the road. 

  • Project Fast Fill: Using generative fill in video, Project Fast Fill can easily eliminate people from a background (and automatically fill in and replace what’s missing). Or you can give a text prompt to generate options to, say, add a tie to a subject who’s walking through a scene. Once the tie has been added to one frame, it’s automatically applied to the remaining frames complete with changes in light, shadow and motion. 
  • Project Scene Change: This technology provides more video magic by allowing users to swap out video backgrounds and combine two videos to work seamlessly together. One of the examples shown was placing the subject, who was walking through an office, into a scene from an exotic location. Project Scene Change maintains the original camera motion and applies the appropriate shadows.  
  • Project Res Up: As the name implies, this feature can scale low-res videos to higher resolution with better details and sharpness. The technology can also be applied to GIFs.  
  • Project See Through: Shooting through glass (car windows, storefronts, etc.) usually results in reflections that hide and/or distort the objects in front of or behind the glass. This neat tech can remove the reflection in one fell swoop—much more easily than attempting to make the correction manually in Lightroom or Photoshop.  

Those are just a small part of the many, many innovations that were presented at Adobe Max 2023. There are plenty of videos and tutorials on the Web to provide more detailed information. Head over to for more information. 

The Retouching Series
The Chris Orwig Bundle
The Photoshop Masters & Lightroom Masters Bundle
Essential Retouching Workflow
Lightroom 101 by Chris Orwig
Photoshop 101 by Chris Orwig
The Lightroom Masters: Portrait Photographers Collection
The Photoshop Masters: Portrait Photographers Collection
Pratik’s Mini Course Bundle
The Power of Color to Transform Your Images