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Create and import Generative Fill layers from Photoshop to InDesign

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

When Adobe launched its groundbreaking Generative Fill feature in the Photoshop (Beta) app in May 2023, I quickly began brainstorming how it could be applied to InDesign projects.

After testing several use cases, the one that stood out the most was Object Layer Options.

You see, when applying a new Generative Fill prompt in Photoshop, it will be created on its own layer, which also means you can save the file as a PSD and import it in InDesign.

In this tutorial, let's walk through three Gen-AI text prompts using the Generative Fill feature in Photoshop and then import the image to a magazine cover project in InDesign.

The main image for the project is available for download with the other lesson files in the link below. Note: this image is only to be used for this exercise and not for commercial use.

Generative Fill is only available in the latest Photoshop (Beta) app, which can be downloaded by going to the Creative Cloud desktop app, clicking the Beta tab on the left side menu and installing Photoshop.

Once you have downloaded Photoshop (Beta), let's open the image, which is saved in the lesson files as ink main.jpeg.

For these next steps, we'll need the Contextual Task Bar, which can be found under the Window dropdown and choosing Contextual Task Bar.

Great! Now let's create our three Generative Fill text prompts to the composition.

Generative Fill Layer 1 - Shirt Change

  • Make a selection of the shirt – and shirt only! You can use the selection tool you're most comfortable with. In this case, I will be going over the Quick Selection Tool to select the subject's shirt.

  • Once you have the selection complete, in the Contextual Task Bar, Click the Generative Fill button.

  • In the text prompt field, type in: Black button down shirt and grey suspenders.

  • Click Generate and watch the Magic happen!

This is an image of the subject selected, after using the Quick Selection Tool in Adobe Photoshop.
This is an image of the subject selected, after using the Quick Selection Tool in Adobe Photoshop.

Great job! The first prompt is done. Now let's focus on removing the subject's watch to bring more attention to his tattoo, since we'll be placing this image in a Tattoo Magazine.

Generative Fill Layer 2 - Watch the Watch Disappear

  • Choose the Lasso Tool from the tool panel and make a rough selection around the watch that the subject wearing.

  • In the first instance, you added a text prompt, whereas in this case, we'll leave the Generative Fill field empty. This will allow Photoshop's AI to detect the areas around the watch and set the scene accordingly.

  • Click Generate and watch the magic happen, again!

This is an image of the selection around the watch, using the Lasso Tool in Adobe Photoshop.
This is an image of the selection around the watch, using the Lasso Tool in Adobe Photoshop.

The first two text prompts have been applied. Now it's time to add the last one and in this case, we'll just give a subject a little bit more of a smile.

Generative Fill 3 - A little more smile

  • Again using the Lasso Tool, make a rough selection around the subject's mouth.

  • In the Contextual Task Bar, click Generative Fill.

  • In the Generative Fill field, type the prompt: Slight smile.

  • Click Generate and watch the magic happen, one last time!

Here's the new and improved smile - before and after!

Amazing work! The image is now ready to be saved as a PSD and imported into the magazine cover project in InDesign.

Before that, however, go ahead and rename the layers accordingly. In this example, the layers are named Shirt, Watch and Smile.

Hide all the Generative Fill layers and then go to File > Save and save the image as ink main.psd or whatever naming convention you'd like. Close Photoshop (Beta) and let's jump over to InDesign.

Open the InDesign magazine cover included in the lesson files. There is an InDesign document called Magazine Cover.Indd with a placeholder frame to add the PSD to. If you're new to InDesign, this means you can drag and drop the PSD into the frame or click on the frame once then go to File > Place to add the image.

Object Layer Options

  • Right-click the image and choose Object Layer Options.

  • In the Object Layer Options window, turn on the Generative Fill layers that carried over from Photoshop.

  • Tick the Preview box to see the changes happening in real time.

  • Click OK.

Here is an image slide of the steps explained above:

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