Adobe Reveals New Firefly AI Tool to Help Illustrators Color Their Art

Generative AI is completely changing the creative process.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
Expertise Processors | Semiconductors | Web browsers | Quantum computing | Supercomputers | AI | 3D printing | Drones | Computer science | Physics | Programming | Materials science | USB | UWB | Android | Digital photography | Science Credentials
  • Shankland covered the tech industry for more than 25 years and was a science writer for five years before that. He has deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and more.
Stephen Shankland
2 min read
Adobe's Firefly generative AI tool suggests new colors for vector illustrations, in this case a mandala pattern

Adobe has developed a Firefly generative AI tool to automatically pick new colors and apply them to vector illustrations.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Adobe on Thursday revealed a third member of its Firefly family of generative AI technologies, a tool to rapidly try out different color schemes for illustrations.

With the "recolor vectors" tool, you upload a vector graphic file like a logo, illustration or, in Adobe's example shown off during a Firefly live meetup, a mandala. Firefly then generates a quartet of illustrations, each with a new and, ideally, pleasing combination of colors.

"Firefly gets me into the realm of colors that I like ... then I can tweak it from there," said Adobe product evangelist Paul Trani in the demo. "This is such a pain in Illustrator to try to recolor all of this."

Adobe isn't the first to supply generative tools, a newly creative aspect of artificial intelligence technology. But its moves are important since Adobe is the top supplier of software to help creative professionals and amateurs.

The company launched its Firefly project earlier in March and has been gradually expanding access to the beta products to those who sign up on a waiting list. The first two tools let you turn a text prompt into an image and style text in rich new ways.

Adobe plans to make the vector recoloring tool available in the next few weeks, Firefly leader Alexandru Costin said.

You can guide the vector recoloring tool with sample images such as taxis, galaxies, butterflies and neon lights that already have colors you like. It works in conjunction with Adobe Illustrator software and its included artwork recoloring tool.

One of Firefly's main selling points: the artificial intelligence technology was trained on Adobe's own library of imagery and other licensed or public domain material so businesses won't have to worry about copyright or trademark problems. Adobe also worked to counteract bias in training data and screen out potentially troublesome subject matter like sex and violence.

Adobe has been adding tens of thousands of Firefly beta testers each day, the company said. "Soon we'll have all #adobefirefly beta participants accepted," Costin tweeted Wednesday.

Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to create some personal finance explainers that are edited and fact-checked by our editors. For more, see this post.