Feature request - Tool to Define Protected or Locked Areas

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
I would like to see a simple masking tool available to define an area of a photo that is protected from edits or actually locked in it's current state of edit.
If I take a photograph of a home interior and expose for a beautiful window where the sky is perfectly blue and detailed, i would like to define that area and protect it from changes as I freely edit the remaining parts of the picture in a normal workflow. If I change the white balance of the room, exposure or anything else about, in this case, the interior, I don't want those edits to change in the protected area, again in this case the window. Once I achieve the desired balance in the photo I could "unlock" the area and edit the overall photo once again. From a production stand point I think this tool would save countless hours of editing trying to "back out" or reverse edits on selected areas in the normal workflow.
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Jeff McGee

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Posted 2 years ago

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Paddy Boocock

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Why can't you use just select the inverse of the window, create a new layer from the selection, and work on that to do your edits - that's equivalent to locking the protected area.

(Select the Window, Invert the Selection, Select and Mask, Output to New Layer, Select the newly created layer in the layers pane and apply adjustments and filters to the layer - your Window should be unchanged).
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Paddy Boocock

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btw - there are probably several much better ways than this to use layers and masks to what you want - I am decidedly not an expert, but it seems to work OK when I just want to change part of a photo and leave the rest intact.
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Jeff McGee

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True, but my primary workflow happens in Lightroom and the layers are not an option. Editing sometimes 400 plus photos a night and exporting out of Lightroom to Photoshop and back to accomplish this is just not time efficient thus leaving the photos to suffer at times. The idea is to ultimately make things easier and faster. Not using a bunch of technical hoops or even 3rd party software to accomplish the task. I think I mistakenly tagged Photoshop in the post since this really is a Lightroom issue, but would be nice even in Photoshop for quick and easy edits.
(Edited)
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Paddy Boocock

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In light room, use the mask tool in develop mode to select the bits you want to edit and then adjust WB exposure noise etc. The masked bit will be protected from edits. Auto mask isn't as good as refine edge in PS, but it does quite a good job if you adjust your mask size and use zoom and shift to delineate straight edges.
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Jeff McGee

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Only very basic tools for editing are available in the Adjustment Brush tool. You can't use the color sliders, color picker nor white balance picker. What if I wanted to apply a gradient filter on the photo and not effect the "locked" area? Not sure by what you meant in that scenario, how that protects the masked area from edits. If you apply an adjustment area in Lightroom and then go back to editing with the other development tools it will include the defined adjustment area just as if it were flattened layers in Photoshop.
(Edited)
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Paddy Boocock

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True. You can only use the basic mask tools. I see your problem. You need mask with all tools enabled for the mask - didn't realise the limitation because I tend to use LR for basics and invoke PS from LR if I want to do anything more complex.