Video Game Characters + Photoshop 2021's Neural Filter: What's the Worst That Could Happen?

Photoshop 2021's Neural Filter lets you change a person's expression and more. What happens when we apply that to video game characters?

October 23, 2020

Recently, Adobe pushed out its 2021 version updates for a number of its Creative Suite programs. These yearly updates include brand new features, significant updates for tools, and more. One such addition with Photoshop this year is the cloud-based AI Neural Filter.

With this new filter, a simple adjustment on a slider bar can make someone in a picture smile, look angry, surprised, and even turn and look in another direction. It’s pretty wild stuff, but it also can result in some hilariously freakish abominations (it’s still in beta). So what better way to play with this new feature than trying it out on some popular video game characters!

Using the new AI Neural Filter in Photoshop 2021, you can take a look at our various video game creations below.

JAX from Mortal Kombat 11

The buff, burly, and partially cybernetic powerhouse may look serious, but thanks to the filter, his frown is turned upside down, and he looks younger by a couple of decades. Not even Shang Tsung has that power!

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Jin from Ghost of Tsushima

Jin went through a lot in Sucker Punches’ latest game, to say the least. With the power of artificial intelligence, we can peer into the future and see what Jin will look like as a happy old man! Truthfully, this adjustment is one of the better ones of the bunch, I think.


Creepy Italian Guy from Assassin’s Creed 2 Remaster

The nightmare-inducing meme king himself, Creepy Italian Guy’s only hope of salvation now is Photoshop…it’s kind of an improvement? I guess?


Lara Croft from Tomb Raider

Puberty is very kind to some people, just look at Matthew Lewis who played Neville in the Harry Potter movies! Apparently, Photoshop’s Neural Filter believes that the Tomb Raider herself underwent a similar majestic transformation during those years.


Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn

Looking once more towards the future, Aloy is known to take down monolithic robo-dinos with ease. It looks like this exercise routine will serve her well into old age, leading to a happy life as a matriarch elder. She may need some dental work done, though.


Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII Remake

Sephiroth has always been known as a pretty boy, but I’m pretty sure the Neural Filter legit thinks that he’s a lady. Thickening his hair, taking off some years and some toggling with the happy and surprised sliders, and Sephiroth looks a bit like a model. Behold, Ladyroth!


Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2

The rootin’-tootin’est man in the West gets the AI treatment too. The filter doesn’t play nice currently with headgear, confusing it with his hair. Trust me, you don’t want to see the pictures from when it thickened his hat thinking it was his hair (*shudder*).


The Peter Parkers from Marvel’s Spider-Man

Whether you fall into the camp of preferring the original model or the new model in Marvel’s Spider-Man, both are impressive. Myself; I’m more of an original guy. But with the power of the filter, it reveals that maybe Insomniac should hold on getting rid of the model completely.

If the filter is anything to go by, just age it up a bit, tweak the hair, and you have a pretty good Uncle Ben. The new model though is still a little upset that people aren’t a fan. He appears to be rather shaken by the whole experience.

This new AI-driven filter is fun to play around in, but is still very much a work in progress (as you can probably tell). It doesn’t do so well with non-human characters, as it failed when I tried Ratchet from Ratchet & Clank, Crash Bandicoot, and even Joker from Persona 5. Hopefully as this feature continues to develop, it will eventually allow anthropomorphic creatures to be tweaked or new options overall get added. Until that time comes, we will just have to entertain ourselves with human characters.

Photoshop 2021 is available now to anyone that owns a license to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

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