Intelligent Masking

Hi Guys…AI masking would be extremally useful. I also use LR and ON1 and having the software to apply masking for you is priceless. Doesn’t need to be like LR that identifies the subject in the frame. It could work like the “object” masking in LR where you just highlight the area where the object is and voilá. Cheers!

Take a look at Control Lines

That is not what it means. You are talking about “lines” when we need something much more smart, flexible and adaptable. We need something with far better precision and adaptability than “control lines” can offer. We haven’t even something primitive like the “radial mask” in Capture One, we have lines that we try to apply even to a hole. I´m surprised they haven´t given us at least a radial mask too, when they gave us the “lines”.

We need more magic than that!

Yes, you can use Control Lines to a few different scenarios but it’s like to compare a “marten hair brush” with a “piassava broom” or a pair of “forged pliers” with a “pincette”. Control Lines is just some emergency equipment you have to use because there isn´t anything better there to use.

“There`s a hole in the bucket dear Eliza dear Eliza…”


I suppose as extra option it would be great. I don’t know if that is the direction DXO will go, but until they implement something similar, if you own Lightroom or Photoshop/ACR, you can use DXO to prepare DNG file and than use AI masking in Adobe products.

I think the older idea of using control points that work by clicking in the part of the image you want to adjust and work on the image directly is what DXO is invested in. Its an interesting, alternative way to work, and most of the time I find that for more organic looking adjustments its very good and powerful. Its not as precise as AI masking in other programs, but it feels more organic. You can off course combine DXO with Adobe or Capture one and use both… until and if DXO team ads something like AI masking.

I would not mind seeing the feature, but to be honest at the moment I don’t feel its a big miss. At least for me. Control points and control lines do most of the work one would need. For more advance compositing and selections I tend to stick to Photoshop. But I can see how more masking options would be useful for many users. I’ll up vote your request.


Just curious. How do you think Control Lines and control points work?

Just with control points you can get some pretty good selections.

This feature request is for intelligent automatic mask creation. And it already exists in multiple forms:

In the meantime, I agree with pointing out that DxO’s mask creation tools are more capable than people sometimes realize. :slight_smile:

1 Like

But only some.

1 Like

Can you demonstrate a reasonable and realistic examples where current tools are of no help, but restriction is that selection or adjustment must be done in DXO, please?

Of course. But not have time now.
This is why I do lot of masks on other softwares.

Well, if you ever want to jump in with examples, the threat will be open.

it’s generally about in focus subject isolation to compensate some defaults I don’t like in bokey with PF nikon lenses. So color is irrelevant for mask creation here.
But that’s not the only case. This one is obvious and frequent and jumped in my mind now.

1 Like

Well, when you find the time, if you want, post some examples. I would like to see what you mean and if and what is the problem. Either way off course, there are many use cases. As you said it yourself, you use other programs for masking. maybe that is best approach. These are just tools after all. I don’t do animation in Photoshop even if its capable of it, but I do masking in Photoshop and I use dedicated animation software for animation. My point is that there are levels to masking and how and for what one uses making tools. Sometimes auto masking is not enough and one needs manual correction. Manual painting of masks. Other times one needs to fix color or tone of something of a part of the image, and for many such cases I find DXO tools to be sufficient. So context matters as do the tools.

I was just curious. I like a challenge. Wanted to try myself.

Yes. What means auto masking ? Several approach here too.

I was thinking of AI masking that is automated, while I admit some companies use the term auto making to basically be auto edge detection as you manually paint over areas.


I seriously hope you don´t believe you are the only one here that have been using Control Lines.

An example:

I wrote an “image story” on my Photo Blog some weeks ago. This one contains two images of the same motif. It´s a prelude to a much more ambitious coverage of the development of the Spanish town Estepona which have got a pretty remarkable face lift the last 10 years.

Well the two images in the first link below were actually made with the help of Control Lines since I was too lazy to open Capture One which is a far better tool to use in cases like this. BUT, this doesn´t change the fact that Control Lines is just a way to improve the old “Graduated Filter” and was mainly created for landscape photographers. However some people tries to use it for some other tasks too but that doesn´t make it an ideal choice because you believe it is the Swiss Army Knife it isn´t. It lacks totally the detail refinement you can find in more specialized and modern tools for detail editing.

The images below doesn´t really demand a very high degree of detail control so in that case it works with Control Lines without causing problems and unnecessary waste of time. Since the form of the water works is round it might even have been working with a normal Control Point but even the Control Points lacks all sorts of refinement you can get with more sophisticated tools.

Used for the right purpose both Control Lines and Control Points can be very effective but if you really need detail control, they are pretty archaic and useless. It is QD solutions - Quick and Dirty. If you really have to get into the details for example with a Wacom Pad or so, they are just not up to it. In cases like that I switch to Capture One that is far, far, far superior to Photolab.

Lacking detail control is like to be in a prison. I feel imprisoned and constrained but I realise that some people doesn´t care. They feel they are living in the best of layer tool worlds with their QD Tools and there are convicts in real prisons in a cold country like mine that rather gets into a prison over the winter than having to sleep outside and there are even people hardly experiencing they are in a prison because they are fine living in an enclosure of walls they don´t really care about.

There is a Google Translation link that give you a translation into Google English in both of these blog stories

Maskrosen i Estepona - Fotosidan

“Tjuren Ferdinand” i Estepona - Fotosidan

1 Like

That is just your opinion. The tools are fine. They are not for everything, but no tool is for everything. Certainly the tools we have are not archaic and useless, only users can be that.

Using a wrong tool for the job will do that to you, yes. Just as there in little point in trying to do complex masking with Capture one when you have better tools in Photoshop. So I’m not sure what your point is, exactly.

Control points do a very good job in what they are designed to do and they are quite powerful adjustment tools when skilled users use them. Capture one and indeed Adobe Lightroom/ACR has a different approach to masking than DXO. They each have their strengths and weakness, but if the goal is precise and complete masking than neither of these tools really are the best, because they are not specializing in that. Photoshop still reigns supreme.

When it comes to majority of color and tone adjustments, for which programs like C1, Lr and DXO are meant for, than they each have their strengths and weakness. Adobe for example can’t easily make organic looking adjustments with fall off the way control points allow. And while control points cannot make precise selection as subject selection powered by AI can do in Lightroom, they each have their strengths and weakness. So does magic brush in Capture one. You have to paint with it.

If the argument is that DXO could ADD more masking tools and similar to other products, than yes, by all means. If the argument is that somehow current tools are useless and outdated, than argument is not really describing the tools themselves, but the user. Because the tools are quite powerful and offer unique controls that other software does not offer. So I’m all for Lr / C1 adding control points and DXO adding what Lr / C1 offer. But I do not agree with arguments that current masking tools in DXO are bad or useless. They do what they are meant to do well and with skill use they can be quite powerful and in some cases faster than the other tools.

Hmm. Are you sure we are talking about the same thing? lol You sound like a person who’s prison is in his own mind. The tools are fine.

Jag var tvungen att översätta det själv, länken till översättningen var på svenska så det är inte lätt att se om jag inte översätter det själv.

I had to translate it myself, the link to translation was in Swedish so it’s not easy to see unless I translate it myself.

I don’t know what changes you made to the image or which image in particular or what you wanted, but I don’t see many images in these links that I would consider to be a problem for me to make color and tone adjustments. Without knowing what exactly was the problem or how skilled or not skilled you are, that is all I can say. Judging by some of your comments, the impression I get is that you either lack skill or have unrealistic expectations in using these tools. Because I do not see a problem. As I’ve said.

The precision just isn’t there in Photolab and that is not a question about skills - it’s just a fact. If you really need that you have to go somewhere else today and that isn’t really optimal. There are no tools to achive detailed precision and refinement yet in Photolab. If you can live with that to 100% that is fine for you, but I can’t sometimes and it’s far from optimal having to switch application of that reason.

This tread is about intelligent and efficient masking but they have to go hand in hand with precision masking refinement tools too to be really useful because sometimes even AI or " magic brushes" get it wrong and have to be corrected.

The NIK Tools are originally bolted on old Optics Pro and there is definitely a distinct border in the user interface between the general tools that just works globally outside the NIK Local Adjustment “Quick and Dirty” sphere. In some way the Control Tools are unique and useful but also limited because they don’t give the control their name hints of. They are dependent on light and/or color for masking and are completely indifferent to our needs of an area and/or edge-based refinement option.

For me they really are more about the lack of real precision and they are limited since they live in its own spere only. How different isn’t Capture One compared to that where everything is layers or even a selection can be turned into one and where every tool that can be used globally even work in a local layer.

I think even the Control Tools for everything evangelists here will understand this the day DXO might succeed in delivering a software that give us consistent tools and a consistent application interface and a consistent masking and layer system that is consistent throughout the application. … but maybe we will have to wait some years for that because that will force DXO to rewrite a good part of the Photolab application.

One thing is for sure, DXO will find themselves under a growing pressure to catch up with the competition and others like Adobe has come far in many fields lately. It will not be enough anymore to lean on a superior noise reduction as the main selling point. Even here for example Lightroom has improved a lot and offers quite a lot more for the money I hate to say than DXO, so the market selling PureRaw and/or NIK Collection-plugins to Lightroom owners might just be about to vanish too. All the more important to start to focus on intelligent masking and precision mask refinement tools.

I don 't really see any way around that because these functions are already mainstream on the market and DXO has already ignored this for years now. Quite a few Photolab users expect these tools to be there today and not in a far distant foggy future.

1 Like

Fully agree with this.
AI is artificial, but not intelligent. That’s it.
And often gives half done result. Every automated tool should have manual refinment possible.
Photolab sharpness for example : won’t you like to be the one to decide where to put more or less ?

1 Like

Every masking tool in PhotoLab today relies on colour or edge detection. AI selection uses much more than that. Try any of the current tools to select either of the circled cats in this picture. Maybe AI would have trouble, depending on the implementation, but I know none of PhotoLab’s tools will do it except the standard manual brush.

How will react your AI if you play with dog chess game ?
Just kidding :upside_down_face:
Or half kidding, maybe.