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8 May 2018

Starting today," Google's John Nack writes in a blog entry he just now published, "you may see a new photo creation that plays with pops of color. In these creations, we use AI to detect the subject of your photo and leave them in color -- including their clothing and whatever they're holding -- while the background is set to black and white. You'll see these AI-powered creations in the Assistant tab of Google Photos."

Color Pop. The manual (creative) method.

But wait a minute, we said to ourselves. You can do that yourself right now in Photoshop using the Select Subject command we recently reviewed. Which is all the AI you need to find an object in your image.

And just to prove it, we opened the f2.8 version of yesterday's Love image, cropped it a little tighter than the f11 version and ran Select Subject on it.

It found the shoe. Which will be a relief to some parent somewhere (although, we hasten to point out the real shoe is no longer there, suggesting the rightful owner has probably retrieved it).

From there it was a simple matter of inversing the selection (there's a command for that on the Select menu) and adding a Black & White adjustment layer so we could darken those greens and even the blues and cyans in the monochrome background.

And there you have it. AI-based color pop from Adobe.

It may be a more manual method than Google Photo's Assistant but it let us manipulate the tonality of the background while preserving the color of the subject itself.

So, you know, in our book, it's more fun.

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