How to paint a mask
Most retouching work in Adobe Camera Raw is done with the powerful Adjustment Brush. It allows you to paint a mask over an area, and then apply changes to it, so it’s ideal for retouching a face. We’ve used it here to soften the skin, boost the eyes, enhance the lips and even add digital blusher.
The Adjustment Brush works by setting pins, each of which represents a mask. To set a pin, click over the part of the image you want to change, then paint over the rest of the area.
It can be helpful to check Show Mask while you’re painting, so you can see where the mask is operating. It also helps to set an obvious mask colour – such as the garish green we’ve used here – by clicking the colour picker next to the Show Mask check box.
When painting, use the ] and [ keys to resize your brush tip (hold down Shift and ] or [ to change the hardness). To erase parts of the mask, hold down Alt and paint. You can use the resizing shortcuts for the Eraser, too.
When you’re happy with your painted mask, uncheck Show Mask, then make your adjustments using the sliders on the right. To add more pins, check New at the top right.
The tool remembers the last-used settings, so be careful to reset the sliders each time you want to make a different adjustment. You can edit any mask’s shape or settings at any time by clicking the related pin.
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