Neural Filters in Photoshop – A Beginner’s Guide

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll delve into the world of Neural Filters and show you how to use them to transform your images with ease.

Neural Filters in Photoshop are like a magic wand that can effortlessly enhance your photos and apply artistic styles with the power of artificial intelligence. These cutting-edge filters make advanced retouching and style transfer accessible to even the most novice Photoshop users.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll delve into the world of Neural Filters and show you how to use them to transform your images with ease.

Why Neural Filters Matter

Neural Filters matter because they enable you to:

  • Retouch Portraits: Remove imperfections and enhance facial features in a natural way.
  • Apply Artistic Styles: Transform your photos into artworks inspired by famous artists or unique styles.
  • Experiment Creatively: Easily explore various effects and enhancements with simple sliders.

Getting Started with Neural Filters

Let’s dive into using this feature effectively:

1. Open Your Image in Photoshop

Begin by opening the image you want to enhance or transform in Photoshop. You can do this by going to “File” > “Open” and selecting your image file.

2. Duplicate Your Image

To preserve your original image, create a duplicate layer:

– In the Layers panel, right-click on your background layer and choose “Duplicate Layer.” This creates a copy of your image on a new layer.

3. Access Neural Filters

With the duplicate layer selected, go to the “Filter” menu at the top of the screen. In the “Neural Filters” submenu, you’ll find a variety of AI-powered filters and enhancements to explore.

4. Apply a Neural Filter

Choose a neural filter from the list that suits your editing goals. For example, you can select “Neural Filters” > “Skin Smoothing” to retouch a portrait.

5. Adjust Filter Settings

After applying a neural filter, a dialog box will appear, allowing you to adjust the filter settings. These settings vary depending on the filter you chose. Experiment with the sliders to achieve your desired effect.

6. Compare with Original

To see the before-and-after effect of the filter, click the “Preview” checkbox in the filter dialog box. This helps you assess the changes and make further adjustments.

7. Apply Multiple Filters

You can apply multiple neural filters to the same image by going back to the “Filter” menu and selecting additional filters. Experiment with combinations to create unique effects.

8. Masking and Blending

For selective application of neural filters, use layer masks and blending modes. Create a layer mask for the filtered layer, and then use a brush with black or white to reveal or hide the filter effect in specific areas of the image.

9. Smart Filters (Optional)

To make your neural filter adjustments non-destructive, convert your filtered layer into a Smart Object. Right-click on the layer and choose “Convert to Smart Object” before applying neural filters. This allows you to edit or remove filters later without losing quality.

You can also choose to output the filtered image to new layer via the option down the bottom:

10. Save Your Enhanced Image

Once you’re satisfied with the neural filter effects, save your edited image. You can do this by going to “File” > “Save As” and choosing a new file name and format.

Tips for Creative Neural Filtering

Here are some tips to help you make the most of Neural Filters in Photoshop:

  • Experiment: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different filters and settings to discover new effects and enhancements.
  • Combine Filters: Combine multiple neural filters and layer blending modes for complex and unique results.
  • Backup Your Original: Always work on a copy of your image or keep the original file intact for safekeeping.
  • Layer Organisation: Keep your layers organised by using descriptive layer names and grouping related layers.

Common Neural Filter Issues

While they introduced innovative capabilities, there were also some common issues and limitations associated with Neural Filters. Keep in mind that Adobe Photoshop is frequently updated, and newer versions may have addressed some of these issues. Here are some common problems related to it:

Performance Issues

Neural Filters can be computationally intensive, and their performance may vary depending on your computer’s hardware. Some users experienced slow processing times and lag when applying filters to high-resolution images.

Greyed Out or Unavailable Filters:

Sometimes, certain Neural Filters might appear greyed out and inaccessible. This could be due to several reasons, such as insufficient system requirements, outdated graphics drivers, or incompatibility with the image you’re working on. Upgrading your hardware and software to meet the necessary specifications could resolve this issue.

Internet Connection Required

Many Neural Filters require an active internet connection to work. If you’re offline, some filters may not be available or may not perform as expected.

Not All Filters Available

Adobe may not offer all Neural Filters in all regions or for all subscription plans. This can be frustrating if you don’t have access to specific filters you want to use.

Artifacts and Quality Issues

Neural Filters can sometimes produce artifacts or reduce the quality of the image, especially when applying extreme adjustments. Users may notice issues like artifacts, color shifts, or a loss of image details.


Neural Filters are trained on a broad range of images, and they may not always work perfectly on every image. They can sometimes produce results that seem unrealistic or do not align with your creative vision.


Compatibility issues can arise when working with older versions of Photoshop or operating systems. It’s essential to keep your software up to date to ensure smooth operation.

To address these issues:

  • Ensure your Photoshop and graphics drivers are up to date.
  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection if a filter requires it.
  • Check your system’s hardware specifications against Adobe’s recommended requirements.
  • Experiment with different filters and settings to achieve the desired result.
  • Consider using it as a starting point and fine-tune the results manually using other Photoshop tools.


Neural Filters in Photoshop open up a world of possibilities for image enhancement and artistic transformation, all at the tip of your fingers. With practice and creativity, you can explore the vast world of this feature and use them to elevate your images to new heights.

Further Readings

The Future of Photo Editing: Unveiling Photoshop’s Neural Filters

20 Must-Read Advanced Photoshop Tutorials with Cutting-Edge Feature

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