Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw have never been so good at masking. They got basic rudimentary masking features thanks to the brush and gradient features, but not in the way something like Adobe’s Photoshop does. Well, now it looks like it’s about to change.
They released today a preview of the new masking features that will be available soon in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw and they are quite impressive. If you are already making basic selections in Lightroom or ACR, it will speed up your workflow considerably. And for portrait and wedding photographers, you might not even need to go to Photoshop anymore.
While the new masking features still don’t offer the versatility of the masks found in Photoshop, they are light years away from where they are now. They will allow you to quickly and easily select elements within your images to really target different areas, such as subjects (humans, animals or objects), the sky or the environment. You can also select by color or luminance range – or depth, if the file format supports it.
Of course, you still have the old brush, linear, and radial gradient options, but the big difference now is that you can create multiple layer masks and even combine masks to really identify what you want to change.
This functionality isn’t limited to Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom on the desktop, either. It’s also coming to Lightroom for mobile devices, so you’ll get a consistent set of masking features no matter what platform you use.
Adobe hasn’t said when the new feature will arrive, specifically, just that it will arrive soon. Personally, I can’t wait to give it a try and see how well it really handles a variety of images. You can read more about the new masking features on the Adobe blog.