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changing the sky

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  • changing the sky

    I work for a small real estate paper in Eugene, OR. The only reason I mention the where is because it rains a lot in Eugene. When it isn’t raining it is overcast. Eugene also has a lot of trees. One task I am constantly being asked to do is to remove the gray dreary sky in realtor’s photos and add in a blue sky. Not much of a challenge but here is where the trees come in. I have been using the magic wand to select the sky and either grow or similar to get the rest of it, but inevitably there are small patches usually in a maze of tree branches that I do not get, and the resulting trees look a bit like cotton. Anyone with some advice on how to avoid this cotton effect?

  • #2

    I had to try this before I could be sure what to do, I don't know if this will work in all situations, but this is what I did:

    -Duplicated background
    -added a solid color adjustment layer in between new layer and background, set it to a blue sky color
    -made top layer active (dupe of background layer) and used Select>ColorRange set to highlights - clicked OK
    -with top layer still active clicked new mask button at the bottom off the layers pallette
    -Control-I to invert selection
    -Painted black on mask to hide bottom, reduced opacity of brush to make bottom of sky a little lighter
    -Added curves on top to bring up contrast

    I know you were looking for a simple selection trick answer, but this is the was I would approch it. By having everything on layers and masks you can go in and hit it lightly with a soft brush in areas that are problems, I don't think anyone will ever notice.

    Attached Files


    • #3
      Another way to paint your selection blue is instead of using a separate layer, select two color blues, one for the dark top and a lighter one for the bottom and use the gradient tool. Then do a bit of softening. Same results, I think.


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