1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 2, 2018 1:23 AM by Trevor.Dennis

    Change Layer Mask Area (and adjust mask automatically)


      I am colorizing black and white photos and have run into an issue I have tried to work around before....


      Example: I have a portrait photo and I color the hair red. I accidentally color a small portion of the face red and I also have some other overlapping areas. I want to adjust the area of the 'Red Hair Mask' so it doesn't overlap onto the skin.




      Example: I have a photo of two circles. I color the left one blue and the right one red. But I accidentally get blue in the red circle because my mask area was too big. How do I adjust the area of the mask?

      Question: How can I show the selection area again, adjust the mask area, and have the mask adjust itself accordingly?


      Here is what I thought I could do:


      I tried using Ctrl + Left Click on the Mask Area box in the layers.


      This shows my mask area on the photo.


      I hit Q on my keyboard and use the brush to adjust the edges.


      When I click away from the layer there is no change to the masked area...


      Extra Points: I know I can use Refine Edge but that does not help with making specific adjustments to the area.

        • 1. Re: Change Layer Mask Area (and adjust mask automatically)
          Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

          Fine tuning layer masks is one of those Photoshop things that can be a wee bit counter-intuitive, and I find it best to keep it as simple as possible.  In the red hair example, I can't think why you wouldn't use the brush directly in the layer mask.  Especially if you are using a tablet, and I'd not want to do a job like colourizing an image with a mouse.


          If you are using CC 2018 then you now have brush smoothing, which will make this task easier. 

          If you like to use selections, then try selecting the hair and using Select & Mask with output set to new layer with mask.  The reality is that you are still not going to get a perfect result, but if you clip your Colorizing Hue/Sat layer to hair layer, you are half way there, and can fine tune the layer mask

          The trick then is to draw in new flyaway hair on a new layer.  These would be near impossible to select accurately, so cheat and add them on a new layer.  Note I painted in under the hair layer with full black on a new layer to hide unselected still white hair, and give your painted in red strokes a good contrast.  If your new hair is too heavy, reduce the layer opacity.  I usually end up with about 60% opacity, but I already use a fully hard 1 pixel brush set to both pressure size, and pressure opacity.

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