Photoshop: Feathering with edge awareness

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  • Updated 5 years ago
  • (Edited)
In my images I have a common situation where I'm feathering a selection meant to adjust a particular color range. An example is adjusting the contrast of darker areas of red leaves that are mixed with yellow ones. Simply feathering the selection will incorporate parts of the yellow leaves, making the adjustment apply to them. This usually is unwanted as the yellow contrast may be just fine. To make the result pleasing, what I do today is to set up an adjustment layer, then select the brighter areas of red next to the darker ones already selected, add this to the original selection, then blur the result so the adjustment is spread into the brighter reds slightly but avoids any yellows or abruptly changing red tones. An involved process.

What I would like to see is a slider in the Magic Wand tool or in Refine Edges that allows edge awareness, so that the selection is not feathered near areas of high contrast and/or differing color. The current Refine Edges tool doesn't have this behavior. I think it's automatable by looking at the variation in contrast of pixels adjacent to selection edges compared to the pixels currently selected.

Essentially, what I'm looking for is two feathering radii. One for areas where the adjacent colors are significantly different, and a different one for where the colors are similar. Plus a second slider that varies the sensitivity of where the transition between the two occurs.
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Chris Carvalho

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Posted 5 years ago

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