Subject Selection

I just tried Lightroom for the first time ever. That subject selection feature is AWESOME! We need this!!

I need more money but I doubt I’ll get it :upside_down_face:

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The very first image I tried subject selection on flummoxed Lightroom, and I chose it because it was a very clean subject.

When it works, it’s AWESOME! When it doesn’t, it’s kinda pointless. Control Points/Lines are never fundamentally wrong. There is almost always “close enough”.

Is this the same as this feature request?


Looks like it.

How do you use control lines to isolate or mask a bird or other wildlife.

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Wrong tool! Control lines are like using a hammer and a chisel when you need a precision tool with an accuracy of a micrometer when masking irregular objects. There is just not precision enough in control lines or control points when it comes to masking objects.

That’s why I still feel forced to use Capture One for more demanding precision jobs. Is this the way we shall have it even several years to come?

That’s sort of how I felt but I’m trying to make it work…

Good luck! It’s not that it always is impossible to use Photolab to accomplish these tasks, but compared to software with far better precision masking tools it’s very very inefficient.

This subject has been discussed intensively in other treads here but so far I have not seen any feedback from DXO when they will be ready to deliver something useful.

Maybe it’s because the control point system isn’t all that integrated in Photolab, it’s more like it’s bolted on. In Capture one all editing tools are possible to use both generally and on every type of selection and mask. Everything is layers.

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I’m pretty sure that the control lines suggestion was only for selecting and replacing skies. DxO’s existing tool for many other subjects is the Auto Mask, and it’s not very good. (Requires far too much precision in painting to be “auto” and can’t intelligently select a subject - which is the point of the present feature request.)


Agreed. I was just using it and takes some work, especially with feathers…
With Lightroom it was pretty darn easy. I hope they get this feature soon. I really like DXO.

Well, not quite perfect. LOL.

And subject selection is really great, right?

I actually looked for a really simple example to try it out… and it failed. Yes, I can correct the mask manually, but that requires doing precision work by hand… precisely the task the AI is trying to save me from doing.

Sure, Control Points aren’t perfect, and often require a bit of effort, but none of it is precision work. Also… when it comes to birds, I often don’t want the whole bird selected.

You can see some of the (fake) branch is being affected, but only just, and it’s really not noticeable in the final image.

I agree Lightroom’s solution isn’t perfect but when it works it saves a TON of time. For me, that means a lot.

I’ve honestly not tried it on many shots, but I would guess it’s weakness is “holes” in the subject. If your subjects don’t have holes, maybe it’s great. Many of mine do.

But you say “when it works”. What do you do if it doesn’t? Resort to manually (and precisely) painting it? Speaking of which, I just as often use the Auto brush in PhotoLab. It does a decent job of finding the edges and is quick to paint in.

Lightroom’s masking system is certainly more powerful — the ability to build up all the different types into a single adjustment mask, for instance — but the “magic” bits over claim, I think.


Not necessarily because there are methods to refine the selection in many softwares and it is for example posdible to narrow or widen the scoope of a selection for example with tools that works like the color wheel. Often there is no need to manual precision jobs. To widen a scope can also be done by just an extra click like with Magic Brush in Capture One

PhotoLab is about automatically doing the right thing: Select a module, apply sharpness and smart lighting, perspective etc. Why not get an automatic masking feature?

Note: I consider this to ba a long term target, imo, there are more pressing issues. Nevertheless: :+1:


… and improving simple masking options (like painting a straight ‘line’ with the brush / eraser) would be a start …

Lr’s implimentation is new so you can expect Adobe to improve it. Overall, masking in Lr is far superior imo.

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@colin_g I’ve only used it for a few days and I have to agree.
I love DXO but LR’s masking is making me want to use it more right now.
The great thing is that both are constantly improving!

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Lr is definitely doing some interesting and useful things when it comes to AI. The flip side is that Adobe seems wholly devoted to Gee-Whiz features and hasn’t really addressed basic image quality in forever. I’m sure that they would disagree, pointing to features like “Enhance” but these improvements feel both insignificant and like band-aids. Don’t get me wrong. The masking features are impressive. My point is that there is a trade-off.

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