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Linear & Radial Gradients

Lesson 6 from: Dramatically Improved Masking In Lightroom Classic

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

6. Linear & Radial Gradients

This feature may not be new to Lightroom Classic, but it has become dramatically more powerful when combined with the newer functionality, so it deserves a quick look.
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Lesson Info

Linear & Radial Gradients

Lightroom Classic allows us to isolate areas using gradients as well. We can do either a linear gradient, which means it goes in a straight line or a radio one where it radiates out from the center. And let's see how we can use that combined with the other masking features to create quite a complex mask. In a previous lesson, I had isolated this text and right now I have the colored overlay on it to indicate it's been isolated. But if I hide that overlay by typing the letter O for overlay, you'll notice the text is brighter on the right and it's slightly darker on the left. I'd like it to be more consistent and brightness and so far if I type oh, I've isolated in general the text. But now I want to further isolate it in the past. We've added to one of these masks and we've also subtracted from one. But what we haven't done yet is intersect it. Watch these two buttons. And if I hold down the option key, Alton Windows, you're going to see a special choice called intersect. Now, if you do...

n't remember keyboard shortcuts and you just don't think you're gonna remember that that's kind of hidden there. There's another way to get to it. If you go to the main mask, thumbnail here and go to the right these three little dots that gives you a menu of choices and there, you're gonna find rename, which I just double clicked on to do. And down here intersect in this just gives you the same list, you're gonna see in a moment when I do it with my keyboard. So down here I'll hold down option. I'll click on this. This is the same list you saw just a second ago in a different style menu. I'm gonna come in here and say, let's intersect that with a linear gradient. Bye. Intersect. It means we're two things overlap each other. So if I intersect this arm with my other arm, if they're not touching each other, there's no intersection. But if I overlap each other, it's only where the two arms are touching right now that we'd end up with. So intersect means in this case we have some text. Uh and we're going to start with that as our mask. And now we're going to say only within the shape of the text. Give me this other shape, which is going to be a linear gradient. Something that fades out horizontally. So I'll come in here and say I wanted to intersect with a linear gradient, which is what I've done. And I'm gonna click now right now. It's hard to see because of the colored overlay. I'll type the letter o to turn off the overlay and I'll just look at where does the darker part of the text end in the lightest part really end changing. So I think most of the first letter is the darkness that I'd like to change. So I'll click right on the edge of that. And then where does it stop fading out, where it suddenly gets more consistent and brightness again towards the right, I think it's right about there, that beyond this to the right, I think it's pretty consistent brightness, so I'll let go right about there and now it's going to give me a mask that overlaps this gradient and the text. So let's type the letter O to see our mask. Now notice it's only the left side that is highlighted. So let's adjust the image. What I'm gonna do is either bring up your exposure or whites. Either one of them will do the job and once I bring that up I can get the left side of the text to be brighter, much more similar to the right side of the image. So let's try the other kind of gradient we can create, I would like to darken the edges of this image to do so I'm going to create a brand new mask and the kind of mask I'm going to use in this case is called a radio gradient. That means it radiates out from the middle of a circle. I'm gonna click in the middle of the picture and then I'll drag out maybe out to about here. Well the area covered in green is usually the area that would end up being changed. I want the exact opposite of that because I want to work out here where the corners are. So all I need to do is go on the right side of my screen and that's where I find that little checkbox called invert, that's going to change where the green shows up. So now he would be working on the outer edges but in this case I don't want to change the text itself. So somehow I need to get the green off the text. Well to do that, I'll come up here and choose subtract and I'm going to say subtract a range of colors and I'll just click and drag on my text like this to say that range of colors, it didn't give them also hold shift, which means another range of colors and I'll get this as well. So now in general it's off of my text and I'll finally make my adjustment. I'm going to adjust the exposure and now you can see that I'm darkening the edges of the picture, it's fading in towards the middle so the middle stays bright but it's not changing much of any of the text and so there I can create a more complex mask. And if I want to see my mask, remember you can just turn on the show overlay check box or type the letter o which does that for you. This overlay though isn't always the best way to see or visualize your mask. So over here is where I chose the color green. Initially I just clicked on it and you can choose any color you want to have as an overlay or to the right of that are three dots. If you click on the three dots, you have other options. Let's take a look at a few of them. Here's color overlay on black and white and that's going to make the area that would not change in the image black and white makes it much easier to see the separation or I can come over here and say image on black and white and therefore I'll see the normal picture where it would make a change and where it wouldn't make it change. I see it as being black and white or there's image on black and therefore the area that wouldn't change will be displayed as black or of course we have image on white which would make that area white instead. The area that looks normal though is the area that would be changed using this mask. Finally we have white on black and that's going to show it to you as it would look if you had it in Photoshop in a layer mask a channel or just like what you see up here in this little thumbnail version that is above and that's usually the most accurate one because only there is where I can tell that some of the texture in here is also not changing and so I can decide to add to this mask to include that if I really wanted to but those are the different view options that we have for our overlay. Most of the time, I have mindset to color overlay and on occasion when I need to be very precise, I'll switch to one of the others, white on black being the one that really lets me see the most. And when I ended up moving my adjustment sliders, you notice that that mask overlay disappeared. Well, if that doesn't happen on your image, then go to those three dots. And right here is a choice called automatically toggle overlay and if that gets turned off then the overlay will only get turned off if you manually do so I usually have that turned on, so when I end up moving these sliders, then the mask disappears right away and therefore it makes it easy to see the changes that I've been making. So as you can see as you learn more tools and how to combine them together, you can create much more complex mass using Lightroom Classic

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Masking Catalog
Masking Practice Images

Ratings and Reviews


I have taken almost every course Ben has done for CL and he is an amazing teacher, Ben always starts easy and moves to more advanced concepts - usually ramping things up over one or even several courses. In this course he takes you from easy to advanced concepts very quickly. I loved this course because I can use it to become a much better photographer ultimately reaching (or trying to reach) the advanced levels Ben presents by the end of the course. It is a terrific course from a real master of the photographic editing skill.

Gary Hook

Once again Ben has hit it out of the park. I truly enjoy his instructional technique. By that I mean he explains the point and then demonstrates it talking about what he did. The visual combined with the instruction is highly effective at enhancing the learning. Short, sharp and to the point on this amazing update to LR. Highly recommend this workshop

Christine Stockwell

Adobe’s new masking engine is a real game-changer and Ben does a fantastic job of showing what can be done and how. Thank you Ben! Now I want to go back through my image archive and reprocess many of them.

Student Work