Adobe updates Lightroom with new AI masking tools

Adobe has announced new tools to make selective adjustments in Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Adobe Camera Raw possible. The new masking tools are based on the AI-powered selection tools from Photoshop.

Select Subject and Select Sky tools

Adobe claims Lightroom and Camera Raw’s Select Subject tool will now automatically create a precise mask of a subject with a single click. It can identify people, animals and inanimate objects. There is also a Select Sky tool, which will create an accurate mask for the sky element of an image, even around foliage and other uneven edges. The Luminance Range Mask and Color Range Mask tools have a few improvements as well. These tools can now work globally.

Adobe Select Sky
Adobe’s Select Sky tool. Image courtesy: Adobe

Mask Groups

A new Mask Groups feature allows you to combine any mask tool with another mask tool. You can also subtract any mask from any other mask and invert any of the selections. Combining tools in this way will allow complex selections with only a few clicks. For example, you can invert a selected sky and then subtract a selected subject to leave only the ground selected.

New Masking Panel

To help with workflow in Lightroom and Camera RAW, Adobe created a new Masking Panel. There is also the option to name masks, making it easier to manage elements in a mask group.

In addition, the updated software will offer more overlay visualizations based on those available in Photoshop. These include a default color overlay, color overlay on black and white, image on black, image on white and more.

Adobe’s new Select Subject tool automatically creates a mask over people, animals and inanimate objects. Image courtesy: Adobe

Mobile device compatibility

Adobe recognized that many Lightroom users work across a combination of devices and applications. As a result, the new AI-powered tools work consistently on mobile devices and on a computer.

Help is available

To introduce users to the new tools, Adobe has built help functions into the masking features. In Lightroom, they have also created a step-by-step interactive tutorial to guide you through the new tools.

The new masking tools will launch on October 26th.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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