How to use generative AI in Photoshop: A guide to the new “Generative Fill” feature

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Marcelo Smith

Brand Designer

Marcelo Smith is a brand designer, content creator, and founder of Fun Studio, a brand design agency that helps businesses build powerful brands that stand out and connect with their audience.

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Table of Contents

Photography of a model edited with Photoshop Generative AI
Photography of a model edited with Photoshop Generative AI

Table of Contents

Adobe Photoshop continues to evolve and generative AI in Photoshop is now a reality. Adobe just introduced an exciting addition called “Generative Fill” to the beta version of Photoshop. This innovative feature utilizes the power of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate image creation. In this blog post, we will explore how to make the most of this cutting-edge tool.

If you are more of a visual learner, here is a video I made about using Generative Fill in Photoshop

Understanding Generative AI:

Before diving into the specifics of “Generative Fill” and generative AI in Photoshop, let’s grasp the concept of generative AI. Generative AI refers to algorithms that generate content autonomously based on patterns, training data, and input parameters. By leveraging machine learning techniques, generative AI can create original and diverse outputs, making it an invaluable tool for creative professionals.

Adobe recently launched the beta version of Adobe Firefly, an AI generative tool that allows users to create images with AI, and since the last update you can now also leverage the power of Adobe’s generative AI directly in Photoshop. Let’s take a look at how this works:

Accessing the "Generative Fill" Feature

Beta Version Availability

Currently, the “Generative Fill” feature is exclusively available in the beta version of Photoshop. As a beta feature, it is subject to improvements and updates based on user feedback, ensuring a refined experience upon its official release. To access this feature, make sure you have the latest beta version of Photoshop installed. The results so far for just a beta version are already amazing and we can imagine how good this tool is going to become as it improves over time.

How to Download Photoshop Beta Version

The beta version of Photoshop allows us to try out new features that have not yet been released. To access it you will need access your creative Cloud App.

Then in the left menu go to Categories > Beta apps > Photoshop (Beta) and click download. once the download is complete close your normal version of photoshop and you can now open the beta version and start using the new tools.

How to Download Adobe Photoshop Beta

Using the "Generative Fill" Tool in Adobe Photoshop

To use the “Generative Fill” feature, follow these simple steps:

Generative Fill appears as part of the contextual task bar. when you select any area you will see the generative fill option in the task bar.

If you don’t see it go to window > contextual task bar and make sure it’s active

you can also access the generative fill by navigating to the “Edit” menu and clicking “Generative Fill”.

How to Use Generative Fill

1. Select the area to edit

First step is to select the part of the image you want to edit. It usually works better if you select some extra space for the AI to work with. You can always mask part of the generation later.

Image in process of being edited with Photoshop generative AI

Photography: Marlon Schmeiski | Pexels

2. Write your prompt

Write your prompt in the box. You can also leave it blank and the AI will use the image as reference and fill accordingly.

Image in process of being edited with Photoshop generative AI

3. Generate!

Click the magic button and… voila! your just saved yourself countless hours of editing. The generation is created in a new layer so the process is non-destructive. Keep in mind that the generation will use whatever layer you have selected as reference.

Woman with AI generated blazer in photoshop

4. Choose Variations

After generating you get 3 different variations to choose from. You can select them on the right menu after generating. If none of them meet your expectations you can also re-generate or try tweaking your prompt until you get the result you want.

Generative AI variations in Adobe Photoshop

Tips for Optimal Results

To achieve the best possible results when using the Generative Fill tool in Photoshop, consider implementing the following tips:

1. Start with High-Quality Images:

The quality of your source image plays a crucial role in the generated fill. Begin with high-resolution, well-lit, and clear images to ensure the tool can extract patterns and details accurately.

2. Combine with Traditional Editing Techniques

While the generative fill tool is a powerful feature on its own you can combine it with with traditional editing techniques to refine and customize the generated fill further.

3. Utilize Layers and Masks

To create complex compositions and achieve seamless integration of the generative fill you can make use of layers and masks. By default the new generations are created on a new layer so you can further refine the selection after in a non-destructive way.

4. Fine-Tune with Adjustments

Leverage adjustment layers to fine-tune the generated fill. Adjustments for brightness, contrast, saturation, and color balance can help harmonize the fill with the rest of your artwork.


Generative AI image of a man whispering to a robot
This is what your office will look like from now on

Prompting is it’s own art form. Communicating effectively to get the results you want takes a bit of trial and error, but getting your prompt right can make the difference between an unusable collage of dystopian AI weirdness and the perfect edit that will save you several hours of work. Here are some tips that I find useful:

1. Experiment with Different Prompts

Take the time to experiment with different styles, words, prompt lenght and order of the words. Also making a different selection can also give you different results with the same prompt.

2. Save and Reuse Your Favorite Prompts

If you discover a combination of parameters that consistently produces appealing results, save them so you can reuse and apply them easily in future projects.

3. Seek Inspiration and Share Results

Explore online resources, forums, and social media platforms to find inspiration from other artists using the generative fill tool. Sharing your own results and techniques can also help you learn from the community and gain valuable feedback.

Image Resolution

Bare in mind that the surface area this tool can generate at the moment has a limited resolution. If you are generating large surfaces on a high resolution image you might find that the generated part of the image appears more blurry than the original. At this point the best way around this is to try to keep your generated layers as small as possible, and generate different parts of the image separately.

Final Thoughts

Photo of Marcelo Smith with an AI generated astronaut suit

As humans we have always struggled to accurately predict the future. Many science fiction authors speculated we would have flying cars by now. We don’t. But we now have something even better: The ability to transform ourselves into space-traveling astronauts with whimsical alien cat companions. What else could we have asked for? Whether you find yourself excited or apprehensive about the rapid progress of AI, there’s no denying it’s certainly a fun tool to play around and experiment with.

On a more serious note, this is just another step in the general direction we’re heading in, where technical tasks get automated and telling real from fake becomes a real challenge. As a designer, my best advice to myself and others is not to obsess over technical skills alone. Instead, focus on providing value in areas that still need human touch. Also staying up to date with the latest tools is becoming more crucial as AI becomes integrated with design software, making our lives easier. Think of it this way: these AI tools can handle the boring and repetitive stuff, freeing us up for the more important work. And let’s be real, if AI goes rogue, we’ll have bigger things to worry about than job security. So, give Generative Fill a whirl and leverage this amazing technology to your advantage!

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