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Masking Skin

Lesson 17 from: Lightroom Desktop for the Photo Enthusiast

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

17. Masking Skin

Learn how to soften and perfect skin with the masking tool in Lightroom Desktop. Make absolutely perfect masks in seconds.
Next Lesson: Masking Landscapes

Lesson Info

Masking Skin

And now it's time to talk about masking. And so if you don't know what a mask is, it's simply a way of identifying an area inside of a photograph that we want to affect. So it could be as simple as burning something down, making it darker or, or dodging it, making it brighter. Um and usually in a landscape situation that's kind of what we're doing is we're trying to brighten up an area a darkened area or add a little bit of texture to something. And so we can identify these particular areas in a photograph when it comes to a portrait. Usually what we're doing is we're trying to either remove some kind of a shadow that we don't like or remove a highlight that we don't like, or in this case we're going to smooth skin. So let me show you how to do basic masking and then we'll show you what to do with those masks and how to adjust those images. So the first thing that we need to do is we need to go to the mask tool, which is over below the healing brush tool and there's a reason for that. ...

I don't know if they meant to do it this way or if if it was on purpose or not, but do your retouching first and then do your masking because if you do it the other way around, if you mask first and then you do your retouching, you're retouching has to actually copy and paste and do all that computation. And it has to do it to all your masking. And so whatever you've been masking is creating a lot of computation in order to change the way the skin looks or the brightness or the darkness of it. And then if you start retouching on top of that, the retouching tool has to compute through all those masks and it becomes very slow. So you saw how quick the retouching was when I was doing it. But that's because there was no mask involved. If you have masks involved, it will be slow. So do the retouching first, then do the masking. So, and it's it's pretty obvious because that's the order in which it is. So retouching is up here. Masking is here. That's a good cue to do the retouching first. So now I'm going to go to the masking and inside of the masking, I've got a whole bunch of different options and we'll talk about each and every one of these options. But the brush is what we'll use first, we have select subject, we have select sky, we have brush, we have linear gradient, radial gradient color range and luminous range. And if you happen to be working with a photo from an iphone that has two lenses and you have the depth mask turned on, um then you can actually use the depth range to change and edit something. So those are the different options that you have and you can you can use all of them with each other. And so let's just talk about them for a minute about just let's just work on one or two of them and then you'll get the hang of it. So the first thing that we're going to do is go to the brush. The brush is going to allow us to paint a brush. So I'm going to show the overlay. So I'm clicking on the overlay and as I show that overlay, I can then come in and just paint in over the top of her skin. Now. Right now you can see that the size is fairly large. The feather is at 100% which it doesn't really need to be at 100%. The flow is only at 50% I'm gonna make it 100%. And the density of 100 flow is how quickly the paint flows through our paint can And density is how much paint can actually be laid on. So I want 100% so that I can come in and I can just spray on 100% on her skin. And so you can see that I'm kind of going around her eyes but I'm not trying to be super accurate about my selection here. So I'm just just getting the skin done alright. So I've I've accomplished my job but the problem is that whatever effect I do is going to spill over and it's going to get things that I didn't intend for it to get. And so now I can either go and try and paint that out by going into the every brush has a paint and an erase. So I could click on the erase tool and then I could change the size of it and I could go in and start painting out like this which is a perfectly acceptable way to do it but see how I'm spilling. So now the other option is I could paint out but I could turn on the auto mask and that allows the computer to see the edges and so now it's not going to get the edge of her cheeks, you know, skip the edge of her cheek. So I can go in and do a much better job at removing um like this area of white, see how it just, it skips her entire cheek, it skips her ear. I don't have to be super accurate. I can do the same thing here, I can do the same thing here but the problem is that I'm still spending a lot of time doing this which it's not a lot of time but it's more time than I need to because if I were to undo all the stuff that I've just done or at least part of it. Um I can also come into this mask and see how there's an add and subtract. And there's also if I hover if I click on this triple dot button, there's another option. Um I can invert it or I can duplicate it. Like I have a whole bunch of different options for the mask so everything I want to do to um ask whether it's this brush individually or whether it's the total mask can be done here on the triple dot button so I can invert the brush so that it's everything that I didn't paint on which we don't want to do. I can duplicate the mask, I can hide it, I can delete it, I can copy it all that kind of stuff, rename it. So we can rename this and say girl. Um but I can also come in and say I want to remove, I can add to the mask or I can subtract from the mask so I want to come in and I want to subtract stuff that I don't want. So I'm gonna click on subtract and I'm going to choose how I want to subtract. So I can just simply subtract based on a luminous range or a color range. So I can just click on color range and then I can go in and subtract this color range and boom it subtracted that black from the mask everywhere and it got me much closer in the zone rather than having to go in and paint it all out and then once I've done that I can come into that color range and I can refine it. So see here's the color range and I can simply grab the refine and I can spill more or less see that. So I'm starting to select less and it's kind of spilling out into the light or dark areas and I like that and then I can subtract again and this time I can just do a luminous range and I'm going to come in here and just subtract out this luminous range there and see how that luminous range also spills over into here. And so that's not a perfectly accurate luminous range, but I can change it right up here so I can say look, I only want to subtract out the area that's kind of right outside her skin like that. So, but see I'm still getting this area here. So now what I want to do is come a little bit closer until boom, but see that's not even working, so I'm not sure that that works. So I'm just going to come in and click on this and I'm going to delete this luminous range and I'm just gonna come in with a brush. So again I can go to this brush and I can hit the race and I can have auto mask on and just come in on this particular area and just bring out that. Okay, and then of course I want to remove the areas of her eyes which the auto mask isn't good. So I turned it off. So whenever you're dealing with um eyes because there's white and black. the auto mask would do some weird stuff. So okay, we've selected her skin and usually it doesn't take that long because you don't talk about it while you're doing it. But we've selected her skin and now we get to choose what to do with it. And so all of the things that we can do to this mask and you can see there's components of it, this is the minus the dark areas and this is the plus the skin areas. And so together they make that so these are the components of the mask. This is the total mask and then everything that we're going to do to this mask and I can collapse it. So there's just a mask. Then all of that is going to be done here so I can turn off the mask overlay and it stays on when we're hovering over it like this. But now what I'm going to do is I'm going to come into the texture and let me zoom into her skin a little bit. I'm just going to take this texture and I'm going to bring it down, see what I just did look at that. That's so great. So you can still see the texture and skin but we just softened it up quite a bit. So now she looks perfect, love it, love everything about it. And so that is the way we fix that skin texture simply by quickly masking her and then playing around with the texture. And the other thing you can do if you still have like those shadows that you want to get rid of. You can always come down and remove the contrast a little bit. See how contrast actually helps skin to look a little bit more glowy. So I can pull the skin contrast down as well. And I can also come into the D. Haze area which is an interesting effect. So if I want to I can take a D. Haze filter and instead of increasing to kind of cut away from the um like if D. Haze is usually to cut through fog or through reflection in some glass. So I'm gonna take the D. A's down just a little bit and you can see how it brightens up the skin. But it also softens it and makes it kind of milky. So now as I back out she's a little bit brighter than she was. But I can always solve that by coming in and saying okay I've I've made it more milky by giving it that D. Haze filter. But what that does is it fills in the shadows um with kind of a light white. And so then I can take the white down a little bit and I can take the highlight down a little bit. So it still has that milky quality but now it's back to the normal tone that her skin has. So there's a lot we can do to her skin and then just simply turn off the mask and now we can go back and work on that photo to our heart's content or if we're happy with it we can then finish it, share it, save it however we want. So you can see how powerful the masking tool is. And I just showed you two or three different ways that you can mask. I showed you how to use the paintbrush to mask both positive and erasing it. I've shown you how to use the color selector in order to select an area to remove that from the mask. And I've also shown you how to use the luminous range even though that didn't quite work out the way we thought it would. But you can see that there are a lot of different tools and you can use them to add to a mask or to subtract from a mask. And by the way, the masking tools are all available in Lightroom mobile as well. So you can utilize the masking tool wherever you happen to be. And working on the masking tool and pretty much everything on the ipad is a great experience. So if you happen to have an ipad download Lightroom and start playing with it because it is a great experience. It's the best experience for working on photos. I would much rather be on my ipad working on photos than anything else, just because it's so much more comfortable.

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Jean McMillan

Thoroughly enjoyed your class, have learned so much about how take my Ipad to another level, now can't wait to put it all into practise!

Red Tulip

Sometimes it's hard to know what the instructor is pointing to so it's easy to get confused. Better job is needed in explaining what you are pointing to.

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