Add a "Brush" tool to Control Point tools to use chroma and luma sliders in irregular shape selections

EDIT: I revised the title to clarify the suggestion.
Along with Control Points and Control Lines, I’d like a “Control Brush”

I would request the ability to use the Chroma and Luma sliders with the brush tool to better select where to apply the local adjustments.

The control point and control line tools are great. Except when the target area is irregularly shaped. Applying multiple control points/lines (both positive and negative) sort of works but requires a lot of trial and error.

Preferably, the feathering and flow tools would work just the way the control point size works for fade out.

I see similar requests, but they seem more general in nature.

This is working contrary to the selection mechanism of brush tools. They are meant to be used manually. Chroma and Luma Selectivity are there specifically for this tools whose selection is determined by a smart algorithm and would be fighting manual selection on manual tools.

Makes sense to me. Using a brush defines an area in which we want to make a correction. Adding luma and chroma further refines that selection, satisfying a need to adjust only certain colours or shades within the defined area.


but then, if we’re talking about mixing up the separate functionalities, wouldn’t it be great if we could use the erase tool alongside control lines. I detest the radial hotspots that occur with using positive or negative control points.

nothing wrong to have a smart(er) brush where you also control how it is applied in chroma and luma domains when you manually brush the area… the sheer lack of imagination though is seen clearly from certain parties.

I highly respect your expert knowledge on how to use these local adjustments, but I often cannot find a tool that fits my need to select a subject (background) to adjust lighting/color.
Please note: I revised the title to clarify the suggestion.

I am suggesting a “control brush” tool that works very much like the current “control line” tool, especially the eyedropper to set the reference point. The difference would be the ability to select an irregular shape not just lines and circles.

This would be a separate tool from the current brush tool, since, as you note, a regular brush is sometimes needed. Alternately, the luma and chroma sliders could be set to zero (no effect) to get the current brush properties. The brush tool’s feather and flow settings would still apply just like how the CP’s circle feathers out radially or the CL’s filter feathers between the start and end points.

The CP tool’s redial feathering does not lend to isolating irregular areas, even with multiple CPs (both positive and negative points). I still end up with plenty of "hot/cold spots from this radial filtering. Besides, it’s very much a guessing game as to where to most effectively place these points.

Theoretically, the “auto mask” tool is the tool to select an irregularly shaped area (subject), but it does not work well for finding edges (chroma/luma) and does not provide any methods to view or cleanly adjust that edge. I find it unusable and resort back to a massive number of control points/lines to shape my selection.

I also have not found success using multiple “auto masks” to select the various parts of the subject when the subject has multiple chromas or luma

Here’s an example where I think a control brush would be helpful to limit the selection area to the hippo’s head. I chose this photo for a relatively clear background and ‘sort-of’ works with fewer CPs. To me, the current photo is “flat”. So I’d prefer to bring out the hippos face, especially the eye, pick area, and skin texture, while softening the glare and wave texture in the water. Perhaps you can suggest better techniques. I could not get “smart lighting” to work effectively.

Hippo for Control Brush proposal

Perhaps a vector tool or tools might help with targeting particular shapes. A rectangular mask for architectural shapes such as windows would be very useful as would being able to mark out a shape with a join-the-dots pen tool.

Idea: a picker on the luma & chroma sliders could provide tone selection for any masking tool.

Why not do it like many other editing apps: Let the user combine different tools (including refinement with luma und chroma) to create the desired masks. As was suggested, it would be extremely helpful to be able to combine control points/lines with brushes. And, please provide the entire set of tone and color sliders and tools in local adjustments. E.g. why don’t I get a COLOR PICKER for the color wheel in local adjustments, and why can’t I get a contrast slider for highlights, midtowns, shadows in local adjustments (if I have film pack)? And Finally; Please fix the preview of the selection by the auto masking brush. But that would be another topic.


While not always easy to handle, I think the Auto mask is the right tool here.

using the colored mask …

… To see what the overboard going Auto mask effectively entails,
I turned off the mask view and temporarily changed the → Exposure
to then add/complete the Auto mask or subtract with ALT + mouse click => Eraser

reset the Exposure when finished

Duplicated the mask and reverted / renamed / edited it …

to then adjust the settings for the background.

To finish I added a few more Control points / adjustments (used the B&W mask).

I don’t disagree with your suggestion to improve the masking of the Control points.
In Nik 6 we already received an improvement to adjust diffusion for radial selection.
Otherwise, the concept of CPs is to ensure “smooth” selection.

It’s been a while since Dxo was asked to improve the Auto mask tool by showing the actual selection without a workaround.

Thank you for taking a look and reminding me what could be done.
Here’s my attempt. You can see the remaining dark blotches on the hippo (background exposure adjustement) from the spill over when inverting the mask. I erased the worst out, but it’s a tedious job in my hands.

Perhaps my hand technique is not precise enough to keep the adjustment within the target area, even with cleaner edged subjects such as the hippo. I am challenged to see the inner/outer circle to define the “edge detection”. So it’s a crapshoot for me on where the edge turns out to be, especially for more challenging “subjects”. I try to refine the edge with the eraser, but since it doesn’t have edge detection, I get unpredictable results this way too. Perhaps I just don’t “see” how to use auto-masking here effectively.

I find that I get a smoother, more natural adjustment edges with the control point/line technology by adding lots of points as suggested by other forum folks. I find the most success by covering the area to be adjusted with a large point or line, then progressively refine that with the smaller and smaller points (both positive and negative) trying to avoid the hot/cold spots. It seems a bit like varying brush sizes to address detailed areas. So even then it’s a trial and error process by adjusting the luma, chroma, and diameter handles.

The CP and CL tools are great, but their intensity (strength of effect) is limited to a circle or line - neither of which matches many natural or man-made objects. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to outline/fill an object of any shape, set the eyedropper, and then begin adjusting the selection intensity with luma, chroma, and even hue? A person could add fill light as an oval or even enhance a shadow. With a brush fill/erase option, a user could target the effect to balance the shape or even emphasis one side or the other just like normal lighting and shading does around an irregular shape. Maybe a nudge tool to reshape a CP’s circumference into the desired shape

For most all my photos, these luma/chroma/hue tools would beat the hard-edge pixel object selection methods pushed by Adobe.

Well, all we want / need are easy to handle tools …

with regard to the Auto mask I’d like

  • a functionality to see the effective selection w/o workaround

  • to add / complete the selection with a manual brush
    (could be with an additional modifier key, e.g. Ctrl + Click)

  • to finally enable the user to draw (paint) straight lines, e.g.
    a) Click at the start point, release the mouse
    b) move the cursor to the target point, Click & press Shift to connect
    c) when to continue the line, keep Shift pressed and Click on the next target point
    ( not that it hasn’t been asked for a long time )

a general note

When DxO introduced customizable color masks, we got this complicated looking tool to choose from.
After some experimentation, I found that the values ​​displayed were helpful. If necessary, I just change the → color tone (H) to create a contrast to the respective subject.

the pink mask shows, how I (intentionally) left out the hippo’s hairs

the blue mask shows better, where I fell overboard (e.g. the rear of hippo’s back ear)

Depending on which settings we want / need to adjust,
a good (precise) masking can be more or less crucial.

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“Well, all we want / need are easy to handle tools …”
“Depending on which settings we want / need to adjust,
a good (precise) masking can be more or less crucial.”

Yes, the Automask tool (or a replacement) needs many improvements too.

Thank you for the suggestions and observations.