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Use Generative Expand in Photoshop (Beta) to boost InDesign artwork

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

You've likely seen the power of Generative Fill in Adobe Photoshop (Beta) over the last couple months. Adobe released yet another AI-powered photo-editing tool which works similarly.

Generative Expand uses the Crop Tool to expand the dimensions of an image and add more content using AI. InDesign users especially will find this new Ps feature even more helpful and in this tutorial, we'll go over an example.

Imagine you're working on a social media campaign that requires an Instagram Stories sized design. You found the perfect photo, but the problem is it won't fit for a 1080x1920 post dimension.

Follow along in this tutorial as we'll run Generative Expand on an image for a fictional "Visit Lake Louise" social media promo and apply it to the creative in InDesign.

Do you want to follow along with the video tutorial? You can find the lesson files by clicking the link below to download them.

Generative Expand Lesson Files
Download ZIP • 6.97MB

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 Photoshop (Beta) is downloaded, open the image called Lake Louise.jpeg. This is the image we'll be applying the Generative Expand to.

Generative Expand

  • Click on the Crop Tool located in the Tool Bar.

  • In the Aspect Ratio fields, located in the Options bar at the top of the workspace, type 1080 in the width field and 1920 in the height field. You can also choose 16:9 from the Aspect Ratio dropdown options.

  • While holding Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) click and drag the top handle of the crop dimension until the sides of the crop preview is snapped to the sides of the image.

  • In the Options bar, in the Fill dropdown, choose Generative Expand.

  • Click the checkmark to commit to the crop.

  • Sit back and watch the AI magic happen.

Here's a slide show of the steps explained above:

Each time you generate, Photoshop will give you three Variations to choose from. Not satisfied with the results? Click Generate again to get three more Variations to look at. Here are the three options for the Generative Expand example above:

In this tutorial, we'll also look at how to add a Sky Replacement adjustment to the image to soften the sky. This will allow us to add a logo in the negative space of the image, so having a soft sky will add more contrast and bring out the logo and text in the InDesign creative.

Sky Replacement

  • Open the Layers panel and click the Generative Expand layer.

  • Go to Edit > Sky Replacement

  • In the Sky Replacement options, adjust the sliders to your requirements.

  • Click OK.

Export the image by going to File > Export and then choose Export As. Choose JPG from theh format and use the Scale dropdown to adjust the size of the export. Click Save and save the image as Lake Louise-2.jpg.

The final step is adding the new image to the InDesign project. In the lesson files, open the InDesign document saved Visit Lake Louise.Indd.

The layout as the original Lake Louise image in the Instagram Stories design, but you will notice the crop is much too tight.

Placing Image to InDesign

  • Replace the Image by going to File > Place.

  • Locate the Lake Louise-2.jpg image with the Generative Expand applied.

  • Click Open.

  • With the image loaded in your cursor, hold Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows), hover over the current image and click to drop in the replacement.

  • Right-click the image, go to Fitting > Fit Frame Proportionally.

Here's a slide show of the steps explained above:

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