Pikspire : Blog

Insights of things that we care about

blog-img
About Color Variation mask

Masking is a technique of graphics software such as Photoshop to conceal certain portions of an image and to reveal some. This is a non-destructive method of image editing.

Color masking in Photoshop implies editing arbitrary colors by applying a mask and thereby restricting the range of exhibited colors to particular shades.

It is one of the most significant features in both Photoshop and Lightroom, which allows you to regulate the masking of gradients and adjustment brush work depending on the color range of your image. It gives you superior control to update pixel values on the screen.

If you devote a large amount of time in brushing over masks to fine-tune them, this feature can save a lot of your time in doing the retouching of images.

When you select any part of an image, the rest of the image that you have not selected is masked or shielded from editing. Hence, when you are creating a mask, you are in fact isolating and protecting parts of an image at the time of applying filters, color changes, or other effects to the remaining areas of the image. For complex image editing functions like gradually applying filters or color to an image, you can use masks. Using the appropriate mask will enable you to change the colors on the specific part, modify the background or merge one image into another.


Mask only the product. Selections saved by channel pallet.

Channels are created for all prominent elements in the image.

Basically, an alpha channel is an additional channel that is added to any image. It regulates the transparency of particular colors or selections. Alpha channels keep selections as grayscale images and they can be added to create and store masks.

Masks and channels are basically grayscale images, and you can edit them easily like any other image, using the editing tools, painting tools, and the filters. The black-painted areas on a mask are protected, whereas the areas that are painted in white are editable. You can get the color areas.

If you wish to save any selection more permanently, store it as an alpha channel. This will enable you to reload it whenever you want or even load that particular selection into other images.

Color (Variation) mask is an advanced method, and its complex compared to normal masks. A variation mask is a channel mask around each individual color or pattern in the product, which is used to correct the color of the product. We usually do this by picking each color or element and create a mask of all colors visible in the product as we need to adjust the color of the product or model for future color adjustments.

The main difference between variation mask and color mask is that we create the mask for each element or only the major colors rather than each minor color of the product in color mask, whereas in variation mask, we create mask for every color or patterns for future adjustments either for the purpose of color adjustments or for image enhancement.

Like any other Photoshop techniques, masking also has almost boundless potentials to exhibit your imaginations. It does not delete the selection but simply hides them, and allows you to fine-tune or make changes in future to the masks whenever necessary.

The main advantage of color mask is that you can change any color on the image using good variation masks.

Here is a small video tutorial of making color variations with simple steps. There are many tools to get colors and convert to masks. You can use tools, color channels (RGB/CMYK), filters, color range, etc.

All the colors are converted to channels individually.