Color Range Masking

Published April 17, 2018, 12:05 AM

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By Chris Malinao

Color range masking is an efficient way to apply a mask in an area of color. In the example, notice how efficiently it selected the foliage of the tree even if the initial brushing with the adjustment brush was not that perfect. The masked area was sampled with the eyedropper tool. Press O to see the red mask.
Color range masking is an efficient way to apply a mask in an area of color. In the example, notice how efficiently it selected the foliage of the tree even if the initial brushing with the adjustment brush was not that perfect. The masked area was sampled with the eyedropper tool. Press O to see the red mask.

Range masking is a new tool available in the latest version of Lightroom CC Classic. There’s luminance range masking and color range masking to limit the effects of image editing to a range of tones or brightness (luminance) or to a range of colors. This is one of the biggest new enhancements to the latest Lightroom version, a sophisticated way of masking a targeted area of the image. We have discussed luminance range masking in the previous post; in this article, we shall discuss color range masking.

While luminance range masking limits the editing effects to a range of brightness or luminance,color range masking uses a color value or a range of color values to make an accurate mask.

To use color range masking, we pick the adjustment brush and assign an initial value for exposure, for example, and then brush on the area to be edited. Then, we choose Color in the range mask option, at the right panel. This will show an eyedropper to sample the color values inside the masked area. Use this color sampler, click on a spot of color you want selected, then Shift-click to add more points, and include more color values, in the sample.You can also click-drag to sample an area. What you’re doing here is telling Lightroom that you want these areas with the sampled colors to be included in the mask.

If there are areas of color that you did not sample, because you do want them included even if you have brushed over them, they will be excluded from the color mask. This is a great tool! You also refine the inclusions by moving the Amount slider; moving it to the right will include more of the colors similar to those sampled, moving it to the left will do the opposite, restricting the sampled area.

Press O on the keyboard to see your mask, so you know which areas have been masked, then refine your selection by using the eyedropper tool after you’ve turned off the visible mask by pressing O again. You may also brush on additional areas; hold down the Alt key to use the brush as eraser on areas you have over-brushed.

Then, apply your edits. You’re not limited to just one function for the adjustment brush, exposure for example; you may use the other sliders for contrast, clarity, saturation, etc.

The Range Mask functionalities in Lightroom are new tools that boost the selective editing capability of the workflow software. It helps us to create sophisticated masking to make edits that are non-destructive and totally re-editable. Ok,ciao bello, we’ll see you next time!

 
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