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Author Topic: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool  (Read 31991 times)

Paul2660

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Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« on: March 27, 2015, 04:46:54 pm »

Ever since I watched this video by Wayne Fox on the LR Auto mask, I have to say so far I have not been so impressed with a selection tool ever.  The video is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LypUUCT7XFQ

I have to say, I missed auto mask all together when 5.7 came out and only just started using it about 2 months ago, but it's just an excellent tool.  I have never used a selection tool in CC or prior versions of Photoshop that can come close to the accuracy you can get with Auto mask in LR.  I would love to see such a tool implemented in CC, for a copy and paste, it would be a dream. 

This tool can mask a blue sky against a green line of tree limbs better than anything I have used before, dead on, each time and once you use it, you will find yourself using it more and more.  It also will copy and paste easily to a similar image and adjust itself to the new image. 

I am sure the experts have long ago discovered this, but I wanted to pass this video on to the rest and say Kudos to Adobe for this great tool, Please add it to CC, in a future release.   

Paul
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Paul Caldwell
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Rory

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2015, 07:31:37 pm »

Wayne made a great video to illustrate a neat way to use the adjustment brush.  However, I have to challenge your assertion that "This tool can mask a blue sky against a green line of tree limbs better than anything I have used before, dead on, each time".  For me, the adjustment brush has always produced ugly halos when it encounters high contrast boundaries like the sky/trees scenario you describe.  You can mitigate this a little bit by masking without the automask, making sure to go over the boundaries and then use the negative brush with automask to get rid of the mask in the overlap areas. 

Can you show us an example, at 100%, where you have been successful?
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FranciscoDisilvestro

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2015, 11:06:40 pm »

Hi,

Paul, thanks for the link, that technique is great!

Rory, In my experience the issues with the masks with complex structures such as foliage are due to CA and Purple fringing, which makes the edges fuzzy, creating a problem for the mask.

Here is the technique that I use:

I will mask the sky in the following picture:



To create the mask, I will perform some edits that will be reversed at the end, so it is good to take note of white balance and contrast

Step 1: Increase contrast to 100%

Step 2: Change to Black and White

Here a 100% crop of the upper right part after those steps



Play with the B/W controls until you get the accentuated borders. In this specific case I reduced the Blue control to -67 obtaining the following image:



Now change the White Balance until you get sharp edges (it works as if it was eliminating the CA). In this case I had to increase the Color temperature up to 11560, obtaining the following result



Now go back to colour and apply the technique described in Wayne's video, and you  start getting the mask as shown in the next image



However, if we apply an extreme edit, we can see that there are like "dust specs" around the image as shown here:



Well, just click a few more times in areas similar to original and the mask keeps getting better



Now you can continue building the mask. In complex images may be necessary to repeat the steps of going back to B/W and adjust the color temperature.

When the mask is ready, reverse the original image white balance and contrast and apply the desired adjustments to the brushed area. In this case I desaturated and lightened the sky



Here a 100% crop with the adjusted sky



And here a 100% crop of the original image in the same area (brush off)

Paul2660

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2015, 11:11:00 pm »

Rory, 

I will try to get to an example tomorrow, but Francisco's is pretty close.  The trick, is keeping the feather at 0 and size at 100%, then you can just keep clicking in a spot until it hits.  With sky and trees, it's the best I have seen, it just won't miss.  It will take a bit of testing around to get it but I find to get the best demarcation, you have to zoom to 100% and then click around the areas that are still showing the effect of the sky. 

It's a very accurate tool, when used the way Wayne describes it.  I would have never thought of trying this way.

Paul
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Schewe

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2015, 11:47:02 pm »

Ever since I watched this video by Wayne Fox on the LR Auto mask, I have to say so far I have not been so impressed with a selection tool ever.


The key to understanding how to use Auto Mask is knowing how the tool actually works...and while Wayne's video really helps (not sure he didn't learn some of that stuff from me–just kidding Wayne) to understand how the Auto Mask works it's really useful to know it works based on the Background Erasure from Photoshop (Mark Hamburg created both).

I'm not sure what the range or fuzzieness that Auto Mask uses when deciding in/out masking (maybe I should ask Mark) but Wayne is correct that the mask is based upon what is under the cursor and using a larger brush and simply single clicking is a technique I use a lot.

But here's a mind screwing thought...rather than using Auto Mask for positive masking (the way Wayne is using it) try to wrap you head around an alternative...painting in a mask without Auto Mask clicked then use the Erasure tool with Auto Mask selected as an option. In this approach you are free-handing the areas of adjustment then subtracting the masked areas using the erase brush.

It take some time to understand and become practiced doing this, but the key to this technique is to be loose with the addition of the mask and select with the subtraction of the mask.

I do both about equally...some of it depends on the range of the adjustments (Auto isn't great for really strong movements) and some of it depends on how easily it is to isolate the areas of adjustment.

However, I will agree that Auto Mask is a really powerful tool if you know how to use it. Good vid tut Wayne!
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Rory

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2015, 11:47:25 pm »

Rory, 

I will try to get to an example tomorrow, but Francisco's is pretty close.  The trick, is keeping the feather at 0 and size at 100%, then you can just keep clicking in a spot until it hits.  With sky and trees, it's the best I have seen, it just won't miss.  It will take a bit of testing around to get it but I find to get the best demarcation, you have to zoom to 100% and then click around the areas that are still showing the effect of the sky. 

It's a very accurate tool, when used the way Wayne describes it.  I would have never thought of trying this way.

Paul


Well I'll be jiggered!  I'm impressed.  I'll have to give this a serious try.  Thanks very much indeed!
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2015, 12:00:25 am »

Francisco,

That is an excellent demo. Thanks for sharing it.
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2015, 12:12:50 am »

The key to understanding how to use Auto Mask is knowing how the tool actually works...and while Wayne's video really helps (not sure he didn't learn some of that stuff from me–just kidding Wayne) to understand how the Auto Mask works it's really useful to know it works based on the Background Erasure from Photoshop (Mark Hamburg created both).

I'm not sure what the range or fuzzieness that Auto Mask uses when deciding in/out masking (maybe I should ask Mark) but Wayne is correct that the mask is based upon what is under the cursor and using a larger brush and simply single clicking is a technique I use a lot.

But here's a mind screwing thought...rather than using Auto Mask for positive masking (the way Wayne is using it) try to wrap you head around an alternative...painting in a mask without Auto Mask clicked then use the Erasure tool with Auto Mask selected as an option. In this approach you are free-handing the areas of adjustment then subtracting the masked areas using the erase brush.

It take some time to understand and become practiced doing this, but the key to this technique is to be loose with the addition of the mask and select with the subtraction of the mask.

I do both about equally...some of it depends on the range of the adjustments (Auto isn't great for really strong movements) and some of it depends on how easily it is to isolate the areas of adjustment.

However, I will agree that Auto Mask is a really powerful tool if you know how to use it. Good vid tut Wayne!
Appreciate the kudos, both from Jeff and Paul. And there is no doubt that something I've seen Jeff do or demonstrate led me to begin playing with this. What really attracted me to this technique was more about gaining better control on elements than the TAT tool seemed to offer with the HSL panel.

As far as negative selection as mentioned by jeff, such a good point.  Often it is very effective to paint a selection with no mask, then use the mask feature to erase back .. I do this all the time as well.  Often i can use the same idea I showed in the video, a really big brush with no feather to erase the portions.

As I mentioned one thing I like about this technique is gaining much more control over adjustments than often can be obtained with the TAT tool in the HSL panel.  When I use the TAT tool, I"m not 100% sure what is going to be affected and how much.  I also sometimes want to affect more than just whats under the tool.  If I just slide the green saturation slider int he TAT tool, I don't have as much control as selecting all the greens at 100% and using a local adjustment. But with this technique, I can continue clicking on areas of green until I include all of them and then tweak them with more than just luminance and saturation ... I now have all the options of the adjustment brush to work with. And despite the fact the "feather" is set to 0, LR doesn't not make a hard line - there is some logic in blending those edges at the mask line in a pleasing way (thank you Mark Hamburg)

Additionally I find myself using the adjustment brush at 100% far more often and then controlling the adjustment with the sliders even without automask.  I sort of tried this because it's how Capture One's adjustment brushes seem to work, and sometimes it is very helpful.   So instead of trying to build an adjustment, you select an area at 100% then control the amounts with the sliders.

And yes, thanks for the ideas Fransisco ... they look great. Have to try them.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2015, 06:07:09 am »

Thanks!

I have always been fond of the auto masking feature of LR, but this thread gave a lot of insight in making better use of it!

Best regards
Erik
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Idololab

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2015, 10:48:28 am »

Thank you so much, all of you!!!
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AFairley

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2015, 12:53:36 pm »

Thanks all!  Posts like this make me realize just how much more I have to learn about LR. Not to mention freaking out over the prodigious amount of time I have wasted laboriously painting in area masks by hand.  ::)
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JeanMichel

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2015, 03:55:35 pm »

Add me to the thanks for this thread. I often use the 'reverse masking' but never thought of the 100% at maximum size technique. Thanks.
Jean-Michel
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mvsoske

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2015, 09:08:38 pm »

Thoroughly enjoyed this post; the technique is a revelation Wayne - thank you!

Mark

Anthony.Ralph

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2015, 06:24:10 am »

To save having to reverse the settings after creating the mask, I tried making a virtual copy of an image and making all the adjustments to create a mask as described on that copy. Then I synched the mask back onto the original. This 'seemed' to work, but it would be interesting to hear comments and if I have missed something.

Anthony.
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SanderKikkert

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2015, 06:41:28 am »

Thanks all!  Posts like this make me realize just how much more I have to learn about LR. Not to mention freaking out over the prodigious amount of time I have wasted laboriously painting in area masks by hand.  ::)

+1! Thanks guys. Best Regards, Sander
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FranciscoDisilvestro

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2015, 06:56:37 am »

To save having to reverse the settings after creating the mask, I tried making a virtual copy of an image and making all the adjustments to create a mask as described on that copy. Then I synched the mask back onto the original. This 'seemed' to work, but it would be interesting to hear comments and if I have missed something.

Anthony.

Yes, that should work well too.

davidedric

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2015, 08:57:55 am »

Just wanted to add my thanks,too.

I've also shared the link to Wayne's video in a couple of other forums - to universal surprise and delight.

Dave
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John Caldwell

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2015, 12:59:30 pm »

Was it not the case in a prior LR version that Automask sampled the canvas when the brush first touched down, and that the sample was not "updated" as you dragged into areas with differing content?
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Simon Garrett

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2015, 01:17:48 pm »

Was it not the case in a prior LR version that Automask sampled the canvas when the brush first touched down, and that the sample was not "updated" as you dragged into areas with differing content?

That's what I used to think, but if it ever did that, it doesn't now!
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Schewe

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Re: Auto Mask in LR 5.7--excellent and amazing tool
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2015, 02:53:47 pm »

Was it not the case in a prior LR version that Automask sampled the canvas when the brush first touched down, and that the sample was not "updated" as you dragged into areas with differing content?

Nope...it always sampled the area in the exact center of the brush (at the cursor) and updated the selected color as you moved the brush–which could lead to unwanted results if the cursor went over the wrong color.
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