17 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2009 12:57 PM by (Trudy_Barrios)

    Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working

      Turning on Auto Mask when using the Adjustment Brush in ACR 5.0 and 5.1 doesn't work for me. With it on, the Brush will happily paint right over a sharp boundary between dramatically differently colored areas. I haven't found a boundary that seems to be protected by Auto Mask.

      I've seen Auto Mask demonstrated on the web in demonstration videos, so I guess it works for some people. Anyone have a guess as to what my problem is?

      I'm using Vista Ultimate, on a fast machine with 3G of memory, and am having no other problems with PS or Bridge CS4.
        • 1. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
          rasworth Level 1
          I find it to be a little bit strange in the auto mask mode, and I'm still experimenting. It appears that anywhere the center of the brush travels while in add mode is indeed added. Therefore, one has to be careful that the center point only travels over the desired selection "color(s)".

          I would have thought it would only pick up an additional color for the selection at the point where the mouse was clicked, but does not seem to be the case. Works best by click and release, move to new point, another click and release to add. In other words, don't paint, just dab.

          Richard Southworth
          • 2. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
            ArrrBee Level 1
            It is my understanding that you have to keep the center of the brush from
            going over anything you don't want to alter. For example if you are painting
            on a gray sky as long as you stay on the gray sky and don't move the brush
            center over tree branches, leaves, structures, etc. the automask works like
            you expect. If the center of the brush goes over something other than sky
            that which you went over will be affected.

            What Adobe should have done was add a check box that made the auto mask work
            like this. Whatever you clicked on initally with the brush and as long as
            you hold the mouse button down that is the only area that will be affected
            no matter what you move the brush over. This would have enabled you to do
            things like fix a sky with trees, branches, leaves without affect those
            items. As it is right now the auto mask feature is a lot less useful that
            what it could have been with this feature added. I suspose we will have to
            wait for version 3 in order to get decent functionality.

            I also don't like the way the color effect works.

            Frankly, I felt version 2.0 was a weak update. It added a lot of bugs that
            didn't get fixed before it shipped and overall was less than a great update.
            So much so I uninstalled LR and I am now using Bridge and Photoshop CS4 and
            I am a lot happier. Had Adobe did a better job with LR 2 and actually
            improved the weak modules of web, slide and print more than what they did
            and killed off the massive number of bugs in the final release I would love
            to use LR I like the workflow. But, Adobe did a horrible job and it is still
            missing basics in every module.

            Robert
            • 3. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
              Level 1
              I wouldn't have guessed that that's how it's supposed to work, but I tried it again using your suggestion, and while I wouldn't say that Auto Mask "works" now, most of the area that should be protected is in fact protected when you keep the inner cross on the correct side of the boundary. However, even doing this, a significant amount of the mask still appears on the wrong side of the boundary, whether I paint or dab. Sometimes, it's really bad. As it is now, it's not a feature that is usable, in my opinion.

              Thanks for your help.
              • 4. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                rasworth Level 1
                I think we may be trying to do things with it that were never in its scope, i.e. not really a precision instrument. I found with some patience and using the ctrl-z and erase tool I could fairly well isolate a face or whatever, but not as easily as with tools within Photoshop. For that type of action it seems to work better with no feather and with the image enlarged.

                I believe it works ok with lots of feather to make subtle adjustments in an area, without using auto mask. Similarly with the gradient tool. The auto mask was apparently thrown in to give it some of the functionality of control points in NX2, but does not have enough "sliders" for precision usage.

                Richard Southworth
                • 5. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                  Level 1
                  >As it is now, it's not a feature that is usable, in my opinion.

                  Then I would argue you STILL do not know how to USE the Auto Mask (and when for what purpose).

                  The guy who originally worked on Auto Mask was the same guy who wrote the Background Eraser for Photoshop. They operate in a similar manner. What YOU need to do is practice to get the right combination of brush size, feather & flow so you can keep the cursor center always in the color you wish to mask while working the size, feather & flow to already help minimize the amount of cut back that Auto Mask has to do. You also need to work zoomed in enough to localize whatever are you are working on. If you use it correctly, you can produce a remarkably accurate mask but then the question is, what are ya gonna do with it?

                  There are limits to the strength of the change you can apply in the parameters. You can't paint in a deep blue sky if the sky was burned out to nothing. Using Auto Mask to subtly adjust specific areas that have a substantial difference in tone or color is very easy to do well with practice. And that's all this tool was designed to do.

                  Camera Raw ain't Photoshop. There are limits to what you can (and WANT to do) in Camera Raw vs. Photoshop. If you need to very accurately mask an area for substantial modification, I wouldn't even bother trying to do it in Camera Raw. If you need to tweak areas that already have enough difference in tone and color to give Auto Mask the teeth to bite into it, sure, go right ahead. In either case, you need to know the tools well enough to know when to use which for what task.

                  But, proclaiming the tool unusable is a pretty good way of assuring that you will NEVER know how to use itwhile the rest of us learn how and when to use it and therefore benefit from something you gave up on.
                  • 6. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                    Ramón G Castañeda Level 4
                    It seldom fails: the more strident or dismissive complaints end up revealing PEBKAC.
                    • 7. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                      John Joslin Level 6
                      Lots of PEBKAC going on regarding the new CS4 UI too!
                      • 8. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                        ArrrBee Level 1
                        You are welcome to your opinion Jeff. I don't share it and I also don't
                        think the tool in Photoshop you mentioned is all that fantastic either. If
                        you like them more power to you. I think they stink 65% of the time and
                        could have been done a lot better. Nik Software's U-Point shows what should
                        have been done and in Lightroom that technology would have been a hell of a
                        lot more appropriate.

                        Robert
                        • 9. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                          Level 1
                          <I don't share it and I also don't  think the tool in Photoshop you mentioned is all that fantastic either.<br /><br />Then I suspect you don't know how to use THAT tool either...
                          • 10. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                            ArrrBee Level 1
                            <Jeff_Schewe@adobeforums.com> wrote in message <br />news:59b6e875.8@webcrossing.la2eafNXanI...<br />><br />><br />> Then I suspect you don't know how to use THAT tool either...<br />><br /><br />Of course a smart person assumes that because someone doesn't like a feature <br />that they don't know how to use it. That the most ******* assumption I think <br />I have ever seen anyone make. Congratulations Jeff, job well done.<br /><br />There are a lot of tools that I hate in Photoshop that I know how to use <br />just fine. If everything was perfect Adobe wouldn't have anything to do. <br />Things like make improvements to dodge, burn and sponge tools in CS4. Which <br />btw I hated prior to CS4, but then according to you that just mains they <br />were perfect and I didn't know how to use them. Your such a... never mind <br />what I would like to call you just isn't polite.<br /><br />Robert
                            • 11. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                              Ramón G Castañeda Level 4
                              Robert, what you say is very seldom polite. :D
                              • 12. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                                Level 1
                                >Of course a smart person assumes that because someone doesn't like a feature
                                that they don't know how to use it. That the most ******* assumption I think
                                I have ever seen anyone make. Congratulations Jeff, job well done.

                                The Background eraser is a useful tool that does some things very well and very fast compared to the alternative of using paths...the one masking tool that was pretty wimpy was Extract (now not installed in CS4 because, well, it needs work).

                                So, if you've not found a use for Background Eraser, then you don't do the kinda of work I do. And, if you _DO_ know how to use BE, then the Auto Mask makes a lot of sense and it's pretty easy to use pretty well, for what it was designed to do.
                                • 13. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                                  ArrrBee Level 1
                                  <Ramón_G_Castañeda@adobeforums.com> wrote in message <br />news:59b6e875.10@webcrossing.la2eafNXanI...<br />> Robert, what you say is very seldom polite. :D<br />><br /><br />That's good, it fits in with the majority of you people here who are also <br />seldom polite. We should all try a little harder to just answer questions <br />and keep our biased opinions more in check. Really they do so very little <br />good.<br /><br />Robert
                                  • 14. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                                    Bill_Janes Level 2
                                    >It seldom fails: the more strident or dismissive complaints end up revealing PEBKAC.

                                    I looked up the definition of PEBKAC; strident or dismissive complaints regarding a generally well regarded product are often caused by user error or lack of familiarity with the application. Rather than saying, "This feature is unusable", it might be better to say "I'm having difficulty using this feature". In general, rude online behavior leads to continuation of such behavior by others and an unproductive exchange.
                                    • 15. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                                      When I try to use the adjustment brush in Camera Raw 5.0 (accessed from Bridge CS4), I get an error message that says:

                                      "Unable to create local adjustment. All the local adjustment controls are set to have no affect on the image."

                                      I have Photoshop cs4, Bridge cs4, camera raw 5.2. The adjustment brush was working fine this morning. I don't know where the local adjustment controls are nor how I accidentally changed them.

                                      Please help!
                                      • 16. Re: Auto Mask in ACR 5.x Adjustment Brush not working
                                        Dennis 1111 Level 2
                                        This just means that all of the controls (Exposure, Brightness, etc.) for the adjustment brush in the panel on the right are set to their "zero" values. At least one control needs to be non-zero for the brush to have an effect.

                                        ACR is just saying "Why use the adjustment brush if you aren't going to make a change to the image?".