Controlling where edits apply to your images is simple with Exposure’s 3D color masking tools. You can combine multiple color constraints in a single layer, making it easy to create precise masks quickly. This video demonstrates how to select areas using a 3D color constraint, add additional constraints, switch between them, and make edits.

Photos: C. North


Setting Color Constraints

When a mask is defined, adjustments made on that layer are restricted by the mask. Exposure’s layer masking can be defined with the color constraints for hue, saturation, and luminance. Defining color constraints will automatically create detailed selections based on those characteristics in the image. This saves time and provides you with more advanced control over adjustments.

Masking and layering allows for application and control of numerous effects on a single image. For more detailed instructions about using layers, watch our Working with Layers video.

When editing masks, the show mask toggle is useful. It will display a red overlay as you make adjustments. Press M on the keyboard to display the mask. You can also view the mask by hovering over the thumbnail.

Simply click the eyedropper for luminance, saturation, or hue, and then select a sample in the image to define a range for the mask. With the mask defined, any editing adjustments made on that layer only apply to the selected area.

If you are unfamiliar with using the color constraints controls. The 3D Color Masking Deep Dive video on our website gives detailed instructions about using each one. 

Multiple Color Constraints

More color constraints can be added with the plus button to refine the mask further. Each additional color constraint can be refined with its own Luminance, Saturation, and Hue settings. The constraint settings will display in the thumbnail at the top of the panel.

Activate the color constraints one at a time to make adjustments. Brush strokes and gradients used for each constraint are associated with the color constraint active when it was added. You can edit any color constraint at any time, which affects all brushing and gradients associated with it.