Capture One Pro 12: How to Use the Luma Range Tool?

With Capture One Pro 12, came the addition of a new feature to Capture One’s masking tools, which is the ability to create a mask based on luminosity values. The tool is very flexible and easy to use. It can potentially save you of a lot of round trips to either Photoshop or Affinity Photo, by allowing you to create luminosity masks directly in Capture One Pro 12.

In this article, you will learn how to use the Luma Range tool in Capture One.

What is the Luma Range Tool in Capture One Pro 12?

The Luma Range tool in Capture One allows you to create a mask based on the brightness values. This comes in handy when you have an image, where you want to enhance the structure or exposure of the areas that fall within the same brightness values. It could be a bright sky or shadow areas.

One of the great things about the Luma Range tool is that you can control how quickly the selection fades, so you avoid getting disrupted edges between the changes you make with the selection and the rest of the image. 

The Luma Range tool is basically the same as using luminosity masks in Photoshop, just much easier to control. It is also quite similar to the range mask tool that you can find in the newer versions of Lightroom CC.

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luma range mask applied in capture one

The Lumar Range tool in Capture One gives you the possibility to create complex masks in very little time. Like for instance, with this waterfall image above, you can in a matter of seconds create a precise mask of the flowing water without selecting the rocks.

At any time during post-processing, you can come back and adjust the luminosity mask, if you feel that it includes too much or too little.

How To Add a Luminosity Mask in Capture One Pro 12?

In Capture One Pro 12, you can go to the exposure tab (or any other tab that shows the Layer Tool,) to add the luma range mask.

Under the Layer Tool, click on the + icon and select New Filled Layer.

This creates a new mask that covers your entire image. You can now modify the mask with the Luma Range tool by clicking on the “Luma Range…” button.

Luma Range Button in the Layer Tool in C1

This brings up the Luma Range dialogue, which allows you to control everything about the luminosity mask.

luma range capture one dialog

You will see a bar with luminosity values. Just like a histogram, it has shadows to the left and highlights to the right.

At the top of the bar, you will find to range-handles, which allows you to control the range of the brightness/luminosity values you want to include in the luminosity mask. (See the two topmost arrows in the screenshot)

As you drag these handles towards the middle, the mask that covers your image begins to diminish, so the ranges that are left out of the luminosity mask no longer is covered with the red mask overlay. Everything between these two top range-handles is included in the luminosity mask.

At the bottom of the bar, you have the falloff handles that gives you control of the edge transition of the mask. (See the two arrows at the bottom of the image in the screenshot).

If you want to have a softer edge transition, you can pull the shadow falloff handle to the left so it includes more shadows. Likewise, you can pull the brightness falloff handle towards to right to make the transition span over a greater brightness range.

If you hold down the Shift key while adjusting a falloff handle, you will adjust both the shadows and highlight falloff ranges simultaneously.

If you need to adjust the entire range, you can move it by placing the cursor in the center of the range and left-click and drag it to where you need to.

Below the bar, you will find two additional sliders called Radius and Sensitivity.

These sliders help you fine-tune the edge of the mask, so it suits your particular image. 

If you pull the Sensitivity slider to the right, the mask becomes more refined towards the edge of the mask. If on the opposite, you bring the Sensitivity slider to the left, the edge of the mask becomes softer. 

The Radius sliders control how strong the effect of the Sensitivity slider is. 

When you are satisfied with the luminosity mask, click Apply.

Sometimes it is easier to see how the luma range is applied if you view the mask in grayscale. You press Alt + M to enable Grayscale view or choose it from the layers tool by clicking on the brush tool and then selecting Display Grayscale Mask.

grayscale representation of a luminosity mask in capture one

Now click on the Luma Range icon on the layer to modify the mask further. 

After finishing adjusting the luminosity mask, press M twice to toggle off displaying the mask.

In the Layers tool, you can see that the layer has a luma range icon to imply that a luminosity mask is applied to the layer. (The black/white sun icon). If you need to tweak the luminosity mask at any point, select the layer and click on the Luma Range button to edit it.

When you are satisfied with the lumonisity mask, you can add all the different adjustments like you normally would in Capture One Pro 12 to affect the areas selected by the luminosity mask. This could be changing the clarity or structure of the waterfall or modifying the exposure, color tones, sharpness or noise levels if that is needed. As long as the correct layer is selected all adjustments you make to your image will respect the luminosity mask applied to the layer.

The Luma Range Tool Work Together With Other Masking Tools 

After applying a luminosity range mask in Capture One, you might want to modify it further by using some of the other masking tools. This could be masking out specific elements from the mask, that you for some reason don’t want to include in the mask.

Press E to get the eraser and then begin to erase the object from the mask. 

If you at a later time want to include the object again and paint it back in with the brush tool, then the brush tool will respect the luma range applied to the masking layer. Note that this will also prevent you from using the brush freely on the same layer, where the luma range is applied. In general, though, it is a huge advantage that you can modify the mask with the brush and eraser, but still respect the luma range.

If you want to work outside the luma range mask, you need to rasterize the mask before you can work freely with the brush tool on the same layer as the luma range. However, by rasterizing the luma range mask, you can no longer adjust the luma range, as rasterizing it “stamps” the mask as it is and converts it into being a normal mask.

Before rasterizing the mask, you need to make sure that you are finished with adjusting the mask, so it covers the luminosity ranges that you want.

To rasterize the mask, right-click on the layer and choose Rasterize Mask.

How to Copy Luma Range Masks Between Images

copy luminosity mask to other images in capture one pro 12
Above only the image to the right has a luma range applied.

One of the really powerful features of the Luma Range tool is that you can copy the luma range mask from one image to another, and the mask effectively adapts to the luminosity values in the target images.

Capture One copy luminosity mask to images

To copy the luma range mask to multiple images begin by creating the luma range for the first image.

To select the other images you want to apply the luma range to, hold down the shift key and click on the images to select them.

Next, simply shift-click on the copy and apply icon in the layers tool to copy the luma range mask to the other images. 

As you can see the mask will look different because the luminosity values in the other image are different.

copy the luma range mask in Capture One
Above the left image now has a luma range applied copied from the right one using the method described.

How To Remove A Luma Range Mask From a Layer?

In order to remove a luminosity mask altogether from a layer, if you don’t want it anymore, you can click on the Luma Range button under the Layers Tool. In the Luma Range dialog that appears, you should then click on the remove button to get rid of the Luma Range for this particular layer.

Concluding Words

With the ability to create luminosity masks Capture One Pro 12 has become an even more powerful RAW processor. The Luma Range tool is very flexible, and especially the possibility to copy luminosity based mask across images opens up new opportunities for fast editing of multiple images. The Luma Range tool opens up for a new level of precision when it comes to creating masks for your adjustments or adding styles selectively to your image in Capture One.

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Hey I’m Peter. I’m the owner and editor of Photography-RAW. I make sure that you get the best articles about photography. Personally, I prefer to shoot landscape, nature and macro photography. I hope you enjoy the site 🙂
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Hey I’m Peter. I’m the owner and editor of Photography-RAW. I make sure that you get the best articles about photography. Personally, I prefer to shoot landscape, nature and macro photography. I hope you enjoy the site 🙂
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