Photoshop tutorial: How To Use Color Range Masking

Whether you're working with photos, artwork or graphics – learn how to use this new features to control the colours in your images in Photoshop CC 2018.


Color Range Masking is another brand new feature in the latest releases of both Photoshop and Lightroom, allowing you to control the masking of gradients and adjustment brush work based on the colour range of your image.

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If you spend a lot of time brushing over masks to fine tune them, here Tigz Rice shows how you can shave minutes off your retouching by using this new feature.

Photoshop CC 2018 also added Luminance Range Masking. Learn how to use Luminance Range Masking.

STEP 1

Bring your chosen image into Photoshop and start by cleaning up the image as necessary. Then, right click on the background layer and select Convert to Smart Object.

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This will allow us to work non-destructively in Adobe Camera Raw, just in case we need to come back and make any changes later.


STEP 2

Next, go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter… to bring up the Adobe Camera Raw window.

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STEP 3

In the top left corner of the Camera Raw screen, click on the Radial Filter icon.

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From the centre of the image, click and drag downwards on your image, holding down the Shift key to keep your gradient straight outwards to create an oval centred around the horizon.


STEP 4

On the right hand side of the screen, I’m going to shift the Temperature slider towards the yellow end of the scale to bring out the oranges in the sky, as well as increasing Saturation slightly. I’ve also added a touch of Dehaze.

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STEP 5

You’ll notice that adding this gradient has affected the entire central portion of this image, so at the bottom of the right panel, click on the Range Mask dropdown menu and choose Color.

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STEP 6

Using the eyedropper tool next to the dropdown menu, click and drag on the orange parts of the image to select them as the colours you want to be affected by the mask.

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If you want to select several areas, hold down the shift key whilst clicking and dragging in each additional areas.


STEP 7

Use the Colour Range slider at the bottom of the right hand panel to fine tune the smoothness of your mask and how wide a colour range you want the mask to affect.

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Here, I’ve pushed the slider right up to 100 for maximum effect. Once you’re done, press OK to confirm the charges and head back into the main Photoshop window again.