Adobe is currently holding its (virtual) Adobe Max conference where numerous new Adobe software features are revealed and where Creative professionals can share strategies to improve and optimize their workflow.

Among these innovations, I find the new AI-powered masking features for Lightroom and Lightroom Classic most interesting, especially since NVIDIA RTX GPUs greatly accelerate these features.

The masking can separate subjects (people) and skylines, two widespread use cases that Creative users spend countless hours painstakingly performing every day. AI has steadily improved these operations, but it’s never been easier or faster than today.

Anything that can vastly accelerate these tasks is worth a lot of money to professionals that often charge by the hour. Therefore, investing in these capabilities can be objectively quantified.

These productivity gains are partly why high-performance GPUs are becoming even more popular, as non-gamers can benefit from this formidable computing power and accompanying software advances.

Besides this easy-to-understand masking use case, Adobe also presents a host of other GPU-accelerated features, such as “Auto Reframe” (Adobe Premiere), now 3X faster on RTX GPUs. Adobe Substance 3D stager can also get to 10X faster processing when going from a Core i9-11900K+UHD750i CPU to a GeForce RTX 3080 – that’s according to NVIDIA.

We haven’t yet run independent creative benchmarks for these specific applications, but there’s no question that the NVIDIA RTX platform will handily beat any CPU+IGP (integrated graphics processor) alternative. Going from 30mn down to 3mn of wait time is a highly compelling reason to upgrade.

NVIDIA is also steadily building its NVIDIA Studio brand that includes Studio-certified hardware and drivers. Technically, it might not -yet- be far off the classic GeForce hardware and drivers, but it places emphasis on creative application stability and might even create an economic moat in the long term, just like the NVIDIA Quadro did in the workstation market.

In the meantime, it’s fascinating to see how much AI improves the lives of creative professionals and how much GPU hardware can accelerate it.

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