Wishlist: sky darker tool

As written in another post, it would be good to having a folder with all these requests and pinning them to the beginning of the list.

I use two external tools with PL7 (yes I updated recently). The one is Topaz Photo AI which is useful for some things like sharpening, computing larger pictures and alternative noise reduction. The other one is Luminar AI. I do not like the way, the latter tool is going to, but there are some features I am using which could be implemented in PhotoLab, e.g. blurring the background in pictures, and I asked for something like this in another post.

The other thing I very frequently use - super useful in PhotoLab - would be a tool which identifies sky and is able to making this darker. I have that in almost all my landscape pictures

Try the Control Line, which comes with FilmPack installed in PL


Or a luminosity mask which also comes with Film Pack 7. I believe the Control Line local adjustment is available in PL7 without FP7.


Control lines as local adjustments were available with PL5 already. And yes, that’s a quite useful tool for modifying the sky (or generally, too bright areas like windows etc).


There is a whole subcategory just for PhotoLab feature requests.

Having just picked up FP this Black Friday I can tell you that the Control Line is available without FP.

…which this thread appears to be in. I’d guess a moderator moved it to the appropriate place(?)

Of course you are right. I was getting confused with other stuff. But then I have always used the complete bundle, so I am not that aware of what I would be missing without FP.

How do you deal with leafless tree branches? I’m not able to go beyond a subtle change for the sky without introducing a contrast border around the edges of the branches. Pretty much like any selection tool used to do with hair.

Is a clean isolation of the branches possible in PL with FP (7)?

EDIT: Where I live the sky is often grey or almost white.

If you don’t like your idea, don’t vote for it … (0 vote for now) :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

I’d say, it depends very much on the photo and what you are going to do with it. Carefully adjusting some brightness should be no problem, while recoloring is difficult / might look strange.

The luminosity mask in PL/FP 7 can be adjusted (mask range + fall off) and corrected (manual brush to include / eraser to exclude from the selection). If that suits your needs depends …

Otherwise you use control line(s) + control points, where to finally adjust you can use chrominance as well luminance sliders and negative control lines/points to exclude from the selection. If that suits …

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You should be able to do this with luminosity mask , control point or smart lighting, which is probably the quickest and easiest way. Just use spot weighted tool to draw a rectangle over the area of the sky and adjust with a slider the amount of darkening you want. Simple.

To prove its a “sky darkening tool”, here I’ll darken everything and it will leave the sky as is. See. Simple. Few people talk about this method, but works better than most AI selection tools and its quick and easy.


Yes, finally attempting to do more with those images made me realise that there is no simple answer to that question. Maybe for one specific image. In general it is using whichever mask or combination thereof is suitable.

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Yes – and even though PL isn’t a pixel editor, I like to edit as much as possible in “raw file state” because it’s more effective.

And the masking capabilities could be improved by simple things like

  • be able to draw (paint) straight lines
  • to display auto mask selection w/o temporarily using the exposure slider
  • even an option to fix the mask position

I fear we will never see that bug fixed. :frowning:
Automask was designed broken from the start, and despite being promised to be fixed really soon after that, there was absolutely no change or correction during the last six years.

Many thanks for the answers.

I use the local tools quite a lot, actually this is one of the main reasons, why I use PL at all (together with the clever color management and the great noise canceling algorithms) However - in Luminar there is just a slider “improve sky” which is basically “darken sky”. And that saves a lot of time. Enough time vs. the workaround with control lines to doing the task with all the effort of converting and starting the other application.

Again, I do not like the way Luminar is going at all - but there are a few functionalities which are quite handy like the darker sky or providing a bokeh with an auto masking tool. Unfortunately it works only with people in Luminar, so I again try to use the local tools in PL - but as Tilmann pointed out: AUTOMASK IS NOT WORKING IN PL

I just tried this properly. Thank you very much @MSmithy

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No problem. I wish more people knew about this tool, because even if its not AI per se, it does a more “intelligent” job than most advertised AI tools. Shame, DXO is full of clever solutions that may not be apparent at first. Cheers!

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I use exactly this method - however in Luminar since years, there is just a slider darkening the sky. Works only for sky, and not always great. But in about 80% of the cases it is just that simple.

And I am sure, that DXO would be capable of easily make something even more intelligent.

I posted example of the tool that works 100% of the time and its easy to use. Already implemented for a long time in DXO.