Sky Replacement in Photoshop Without the Ugly Edges

post-header-image-skyWhen you replace the sky in your images, it can be extremely difficult to get the seams where the sky meets the foreground to look natural. More often than not they’ll look like a bad paper cut-out, and fixing this seems way too difficult. I’ll show you how you can use Photoshop’s “Color Decontaminate…” tool to solve this problem.

In a nutshell…

If you want to replace the sky in a landscape photo, for example, you will typically run into problems right around the edge where the foreground meets the sky. You will need to select the sky to hide it and to reveal the new sky in the image layer below. But most selection techniques will leave you with a relatively harsh edge around the foreground that display color artifacts. This looks unnatural and ugly, but it’s very hard to fix with conventional tools.

We will use Photoshop’s “Select and Mask” feature in combination with the “Color Decontaminate…” tool to get a smooth edge without the typical glow around it. As a result, the foreground and sky will blend much better.

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4 Comments on "Sky Replacement in Photoshop Without the Ugly Edges"

6 months 6 days ago

Great presentation. Can’t wait to try it. I wonder if it could also work with masking hair?!

6 months 1 day ago

Hi Klaus,

I’m trying to get this to work but when I set the Blue Channel as a layer mask it appears as a layer but the layer itself contains nothing. At 3min 13 sec on your video the mask can be seen appearing over the grey and white “checked area” my layer stays as grey and white checks with no mask appearing. Any idea where I am going wrong. I follwed everything Ok up to this point.

Thanks, Carl.