Towards the end of 2021 Adobe overhauled some of the tools and added some significant improvements to the masking tool in Lightroom. You’ll notice that apart from linear gradient, radial gradient and brush, which you’ll notice from before the update. You now have some extra options. Select subject, select sky, colour range, luminance range and depth range.
I’ve spent some time exploring some of the improvements to the masking tool in Lightroom and have come up with a few observations and have listed them below:
1.When creating a mask with the new tool, the mask panel appears and can be moved around the screen or docked at the top on the right-hand side.
2.By default Lightroom shows a red overlay when you make a mask. Click on the red swatch and you can change the colour of the overlay. The overlay immediately disappears when you make an adjustment with the sliders. There are several different overlay options that you can choose from. You can even view the mask similar to a layer in Photoshop.
3.Once you’ve created a layer you can rename it, this can be incredibly useful when you create more than one mask.
4.To see the visibility of the layer adjustment you can click on the eye icon to toggle the mask on and off.
5.Once you’ve finished working on a mask and want to add a new mask you can add a new mask by clicking on the big + button. You can quickly use Lightroom’s AI to create a mask which just selects the sky, or just selects the subject.
6.Both “select subject” and “select sky” masks work in the same way, using Lighroom’s powerful AI to quickly select either the subject or the sky. To add to this, Lightroom now has included a very useful “invert” toggle.
7.You can add and subtract to the mask you’ve created. You can choose the best option for your needs from the drop down that appears. Each of these points as well as the mask can be moved and edited independently.
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