Auto Mask Lightroom Tutorial – How To Mask Anything FAST!

Auto Mask Lightroom Tutorial – How To Mask Anything FAST!

September 28, 2019 100 By Peter Engel


Hey guys! Ryan here at signature edits
and today I am beyond pumped to show you this incredible Lightroom feature. It’s
called Auto masking and it changed my life, and I think it’s going to change
yours too. Let’s do it. So what is auto masking, and how is it
going to change my life Ryan? Well I’m glad you asked fine sir madam. It’s going
to change your life because it is going to save you so much time when you’re
editing and it is going to allow you to do things in Lightroom you had no idea
you could even do before. So first what is auto masking? If you’ve ever used
your adjustment brush you may have noticed this little checkbox down here
and it says auto mask. That’s basically Lightroom’s intelligent mode for when
you are using your adjustment brushes so let’s go down here and say I’m going to
draw on this path okay I’ve pressed o and that’s actually what’s going to
reveal where I’ve drawn. And as I’m drawing I’ve got the auto mask feature
on and you’ll see that it’s naturally picking up for the most part the lines
of contrast between this pavement and these little sidewalls
the reason it’s not doing the perfect job is because the sidewalls are a
pretty similar color and consistency and auto mask is not super great all the
time at detecting that. So if I go here it should just sort of mask out this
stone from the rest of the castle and that is the basic way of using Auto mask.
It can be super helpful in certain situations so for instance if I go over
to this image here I could possibly use auto mask to make a little mask on the
sky without necessarily getting on to these mountains and stones right here. Okay so that’s how I would use auto mask in this situation and it’s very handy
because now I can take the exposure on the sky and take it way down
for instance okay that’s how I would use auto mask before and this is something
that is super helpful but what is going to blow your mind
is there is an easier better faster more efficient and more effective way that
will save you so much time and allow you to do things you never thought you could do
before or if you did know you could do them before would just take you forever
so you would never do it okay so what am I talking about well take a look at this
first I’m going to zoom out on this photo and then I’m going to take my
adjustment brush and I’m going to take the size all the way up so it’s gigantic
okay now the reason I’m doing this is because I don’t have to click once and
the auto mask feature is automatically going to detect the area I click this
little center spot of this whole adjustment brush and it’s
going to detect the color and the brightness of that particular area in
the image and it’s automatically going to mask out everything that it thinks
matches up with that color in that brightness this is amazing because as
you can see with one click I’ve gone ahead and for the most part accurately
masked out all of this background from the photo without masking out my
subjects now if I for whatever reason need to erase a little bit of the mask I
just hit alt and that’ll toggle to the eraser and I can just draw on his
sweater where I don’t actually want the mask to affect so literally in one click
rather than having to go through and draw manually onto this entire image I
have masked out the background from my subjects what’s so awesome about this is
if I turn off oh I can now do whatever I want I can take my exposure way down I
can take away up I can do all sorts of crazy things and effects or I can just
be more subtle I can add a little bit more focus to my subjects maybe a little
bit more clarity to the background if I want to bring out that texture there a
little bit of saturation without affecting any of the skin tones this is
amazing so take a look at this this is before and this is after all from one
simple mask that takes one second let’s look at another example okay so you know
we’ve got this photo we’re going to zoom out by selecting the 1 to 8 ratio or if
you have a bigger screen you can use something else and then I’m going to
let’s say I want to darken down these mountains in the back or lighten them up
okay I hit the auto mask and it’s done a pretty good job right out of the gate I
press alt and I can just erase from down here and just like that it’s already
gotten this whole line here is automatically masked and it’s done a
very good job save me a ton of time so now all I have to do press o again and I
can darken them up BAM just like that or maybe I lighten them up whatever I feel
like doing you know let’s take it one step further
let’s take the auto mask make a new mask and we’re going to click these bushes
let’s say I want to bring out the blue in these bushes a lot more okay one
click and it didn’t work so well why is that well because the area that I
like clearly was not a specific enough color to mask out that area of the
bushes effectively how do I fix this well it’s actually pretty easy I just
drag it on to another area of the bushes that hopefully has a more specific color
range and matches up with the bushes but not with all of the grass so that is
looking pretty good right there now I can just press alt erase the other parts
of the image that I don’t want the mask on especially my friend here and just
like that pres OA gehen and let’s bring the white balance down saturation up and
we’ve got the bluest bushes there ever were on the planet of Mars okay we can
do all sorts of crazy effects if we want to let’s move on and look at some more
practical applications okay so here’s another one let’s say that I want to
just change the color of her sweater well all I have to do grab my mask click
on a part of her sweater oh okay her eyes were picked up and this little
background I’m going to press alt just a race out of the background race off her
eyes now we can have fun let’s take this and we can make it way more blue if we
want to bring the saturation out maybe bring the brightness up just a little
bit and just like that we go from this to this so simple so fast and it took no
time in no effort it’s amazing let’s keep looking okay so let’s take this
adjustment layer click right there press oh yeah it’s masked out our entire sky
so now we can get our sky back in just one click instead of having to manually
paint on there one stroke at a time is before rather here’s before and here’s
after just like that about two seconds what would normally take me 10 minutes
of painting in Lightroom are you seeing how amazing this is
let’s take you one step further still okay let’s go for this van this time
okay we’ve got the color of the van we’re masked out very easy in this case
because the color is very specific to the van now what we can do is we can
take our white balance town we can take it up we can maybe add some magenta in
there we can make it the most saturated blue bus you’ve ever seen we can
Arkana make it a navy bus or we can even use this color function which is really
really cool now in this case because the bus is already blue we’re going to the
van not a bus what are you doing Ryan we’re going to have a hard time making
it something like red because red is the polar opposite and it’s just not gonna
happen but we can make it into a green bus
let’s say so let’s go for a lime green bus the greenest bus there ever was
fiddle with our white balance just a little bit here and just like that in
about two seconds I’ve gone and I’ve done a very complicated mask that would
take a long time to paint manually just like that you can make your bus green
right all your dreams have come true you can make your buses green from here on
out how amazing is that okay this one is a really crazy example that
I absolutely love okay take a look at this let’s say that I love my castle but
I want to bring out some of the saturation in the trees I want them to
be more bright I want them to feel you know lovely and whimsical okay well I
could try and bring the saturation up but the problem is it’s going to affect
the castle the people everything in the image not just the greens so let’s take
this back let’s reset our vibrance and our saturation and let’s do our trick
here let’s go to 1 over 8 let’s click somewhere in the green press
our Oh keys so that we’re going to see what we’re doing and just like that now
let’s say that the first mask didn’t work out so well I can just drag this to
a different point drag it around on the green and Lightroom is going to continue
autumn a skiing and saying you know ok colors in this area colors in this area
so let’s say right around here seems to be pretty good I don’t want to get the
castle in the mask right so that has saved me a ton of time if I want to I
can then make my brush a little smaller and just go over these areas that are
really easy to paint over BAM so in 2 seconds I’ve done a very complicated
mask now I can take my saturation way up take my vibrance take my saturation way
up I can take my exposure up a little bit if I want to get some more green in
those plants I could even add green in the white balance I could warm things up
if I want it to be more of a warm feel and we have gone from here from here to here isn’t that incredible
with very very minimal being affected in the castle two people everything looks
natural and that is the hardest thing to do when you’re editing a photo is to get
it to look amazing but also get it to look like it wasn’t really edited like
that’s the goal is that your edits are kind of seamless they just blend in
without really standing out so let’s do one more and I’m just gonna show you
another thing you can do here we can grab our brush make it a huge again and
let’s say that I want to just maximize the dynamic range in this image well
this is another handy feature here we can click this highlight and Lightroom
is automatically hopefully not in this case it looks like going to it should oh you know why it’s not working because I
switched to adjustment brush B and that doesn’t have Auto mask enabled so there
you go if it’s not working for you that might be why now click on this area of
highlight there we go now it’s automatically masked out these
individual highlights that are kind of being blown out to be honest and we’re
going to do one more maybe on her pants here where it’s bright perfect so now
we’ve done a super complicated mask in two seconds press o again let’s make
this a little bigger and I can vary slightly maybe bring down my highlights
now obviously some of these were lost in the photo so there’s not a ton of room
but just like that we’ve gone from here to here something they’ll be super
complicated to do if you’re doing this manually like let’s say I was trying to
do it manually right I would have to make my brush a lot smaller and then I’m
going to be like okay doo-doo-doo turn off auto mask here we go just going to
paint and it’s going to be great oh man that’s that’s literally
impossible right I’d have to make it super small and maybe turn my feather up
and my flow down so that I could slowly paint on here and even my slow painting
with the most detail I can do is still not going to be as good as if I were to
delete this turn on my auto mask zoom out here make my brush nice and big
and just select that one point hello oh it’s cuz my flow is all the way down
there we go and just select that one point and bam it’s done just like that
now I can come in and I can finesse it from there that’s one thing that
manually you can do is just add that extra little bit of accuracy in detail
but you can see how much time this saves you you know like let’s say we want to
adjust her jacket so let’s just click here and bam in one click we’ve got the
jacket do a second click and Lightroom is actually going to add to that mask so
we’re not just going after this color range now we’re also going after this
color range perfect so press again and let’s brighten this jacket up let’s take
some color let’s maybe try and make it let’s try to make this jacket red mmm
isn’t that nice the best red navy jacket you’ve ever seen in your life so I hope
this was helpful for you honestly this is a game-changer for me because what I
normally wouldn’t have time to do I would never have time to go through and
just paint out her jacket here if I was editing a wedding or an engagement
session that sort of thing but when it’s so fast that all I have to do is one
click and done I can actually do that I can take my photos to the next level so
that is it for our tutorial today this is the Lightroom trick that has changed
my life and rocked my world and I believe it is going to do the same for
you I can’t wait to hear how you use it and how much it helps you please if it
did leave me a comment below I want to hear from you and make sure to hit that
like button don’t forget to subscribe for more great stuff and I will see you
in the next video stay awesome