How to create precise masks in Lightroom

If you’ve ever applied adjustments in Lightroom using the Adjustment Brush, you may have experienced some frustration trying to get them precisely where you want them. Even if you use the Auto Mask feature of the tool, Lightroom may still have a hard time selecting precisely what you want.

In this video, I am showing you a trick that helps you create highly precise masks nevertheless. The idea is to take a 2-stage approach by first creating a mask that extends beyond the edges of the area you’re trying to select. At the second stage, we’re going to use the Eraser brush with the Auto Mask feature to get rid of the excess mask areas.

Final Remarks

You should apply this trick whenever the pixels outside the area you’re trying to select are more homogeneous than those inside the area. If, for example, you’re trying to select a clear blue sky against a mountain crest, it’s better to use the Auto Mask directly while you’re brushing on the sky (the standard way).

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13 replies
  1. Bill Hansell
    Bill Hansell says:

    As always, I find your tutorials to be excellent and informative. This appears to be a brilliant way to create precise masks in Lightroom. Thank you.

  2. Lee O Alexander
    Lee O Alexander says:

    Great tutorial. I use LR all the time and I have never really considered the “Auto Mask” feature. I do get the results I am looking for in my images, but this is a much more efficient method of using the mask function. Thank you.

  3. Arkaybee
    Arkaybee says:

    Klaus that was pretty great. I have an image I’ve been trying to work for the past couple of days because luminosity masks were not working. I will try this tonight and see if it does what I need. Thanks for the tip!

    • farbspiel
      farbspiel says:

      Yep! Topaz ReMask is great. I am using it too. But if you work in Lightroom, it is of little use unfortunately. In Photoshop, it’s a great tool though.


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