The Innovative New Features of On1 Photo RAW 2023
The Innovative New Features of On1 Photo RAW 2023
On the 10th of October 2022, On1 released the new On1 Photo RAW 2023 software with several innovative new features. Many of the changes implement their new AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology which previously I had dismissed. But in this release, I can see the potential for improving our photo editing. In this review, I want to explain the new features and share my first impressions.
Later in this article, I’ve included my review video so you can see the new Photo RAW features in action.
Selecting Objects with Super Select AI
The first new feature in Photo RAW 2023 that I want to mention is Super Select AI. This makes it easier to see how On1 is implementing AI into its photo editing software.
If you open an image for editing in Photo RAW 2023, you will find the new Super Select AI tool icon on the left. To use Super Select AI, click the icon showing a magic wand. Then as you move your mouse pointer over the image you will see areas highlighted in red. These are the objects or subjects the AI technology has identified in the image.
In the screenshot above, you can see the sky in the image is highlighted with a red overlay, showing what’s been identified.
To select an object to use, click once with your mouse. The area then turns blue to show that it’s selected. You can then move the mouse pointer over other areas to click and add those to the selection.
Applying Adjustments with Super Select AI
After clicking the area to work with, you can choose to apply an adjustment. To do this either right click on the image or use the dropdown in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
In the menu you will find an “Adjustments” section listing the different adjustments you can use. As you move your mouse pointer over each, you will see a preview of that adjustment applied to the selection.
After choosing the adjustment you want to apply, click the “Add” button in the toolbar.
When you add an adjustment, you will find it in the “Local” tab of the On1 Photo RAW adjustment on the right of the interface. This contains the adjustment you chose and has a mask applied, created from the selection made with the Super Select AI tool.
You can now adjust the settings in the Local adjustment panel. Alternatively, you can create and adjust more selections using the Super Select AI tool.
When you have finished using Super Select AI, click the “Done” button in the toolbar.
More AI Features in On1 Photo RAW 2023
Earlier I said that On1 has integrated AI throughout Photo RAW 2023 and that the Super Select AI tool was a good way to understand how. From the description above, you will realise that the AI component of the software is identifying what it thinks are objects within an image. But what it’s also doing is assigning those objects to different categories where it recognises them. You can then use this in other areas of the Photo RAW software.
Let’s imagine we want to add a Glow filter to the sky using On1. We could do this using the Super Select AI tool and the dropdown menu. In case you didn’t notice in the screenshot, the dropdown menu contains a list of the Photo RAW filters you can select. But there is an alternative we can use.
In the Photo RAW edit module, we would select the “Effects” tab which lists the filters. To add a new filter to an image we click the “Add Filter” button at the top.
Photo RAW then displays the Filters dialog where you can click a filter from the list to add it. But there’s a new addition to the dialog in Photo RAW 2023. Now you can also choose which area of the image you want to apply the filter to.
In this example, you can see the list has the options All, None, Natural Ground, Water and Sky. These are the areas or subjects identified by the AI software. By clicking the Sky option and choosing the Glow filter we apply that filter to the image and create a mask selecting the sky.
But the integration of AI into Photo RAW 2023 doesn’t end here. You can also apply it to Presets.
On1 AI Adaptive Presets
Presets in On1 Photo RAW are a collection of saved adjustments you can apply to an image. Typically, they include adjustments in multiple sections of the Edit module. But new to Photo RAW 2023 are AI Adaptive Presets. These make use of the new AI technology to apply adjustments and filters to an image based on what subjects the AI detects.
This is probably a good time to watch my review video. In it you will see the features we’ve already discussed along with an example of using AI Adaptive Presets.
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AI Selection Accuracy
Having watched the video, you will no doubt have identified the problem with this first release of the AI tool. It isn’t very accurate. It seems to be fine where there is a clear and obvious subject in the image but not as good with landscapes. It also doesn’t produce an accurate mask of an object but tends to include feathering around the edges.
I’ve decided this feathering is to help blend the adjustments you make. But that doesn’t necessarily fit with every use of a mask. We saw this in the example of replacing the sky in the church image in the video. Because there wasn’t an accurate selection around the building, we saw quite large areas of the original sky still showing.
When this happens, you need to be prepared to use the other masking tools and controls in On1 Photo RAW to refine the mask. With a little work you can quickly refine the AI generated mask to be more accurate. If you’re not sure how, this article explains some of the Photo RAW masking tools.
On1 AI Keywording
Something else that you will have seen in the video, is another new feature of Photo RAW 2023, which is to use AI to keyword images.
By using the Photo RAW image browser, we can select an image to keyword. Then in the Metadata panel we can click the “Scan” button. This uses AI to scan the image and suggest possible keywords to describe it.
In this screenshot, I first clicked the Scan button (1). This generated a list of possible keywords (2). I then clicked on the identified keywords that I wanted to use. This added them to the selected keywords (3).
This is a great feature for anyone wanting to use keywords either for Stock Photography or to help manage their photo library. The only potential problem I’ve identified for some users is that the dictionary appears to use American English. For example, Colour is spelled Color and there’s no option (I’ve found) to add derivative keywords. Another example is where a building is described as “Real Estate” where in the UK it would be “Property”.
Other than this minor issue, the AI Keywording seems to do a great job. It certainly produced some impressive suggestions like the “Steam Engine” example in the video.
Summary of On1 Photo RAW 2023
Overall, On1 Photo RAW 2023 is a comprehensive package for managing and editing photography at a competitive price. The new AI features released in this latest edition of the software have been well thought through even if they need a little more refinement. As always with good software, I recommend downloading a trial version to test the software on your computer and with your own photography.
If you do later decide to make a purchase, apply the code LENSCRAFT20 at the checkout for a discount. This works with all On1 software products.
Now compare the On1 approach to using AI with that of DxO. In the recent release of PhotoLab 6, the AI happens in the background of their new DeepPRIME XD technology. You can learn more and see it in action in my recent PhotoLab 6 review.
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