Example 4 Soltuion: Masked Lemurs

MoviesClick the play button to see a movie version of this solution.


Adding saturation to this image creates orange “demon eyes” in the upper right lemur.

Channel surfing turns up the b channel as providing the best separation between the eyes and the rest of the image.

When the object you want to mask differs in color, but not brightness, the a or b channels of Lab often make the best masks.


Keeping in mind that the mask should be dark for the areas we want to protect, I click on the invert mask button.

If you forget this step, there is no penalty. Tou can always invert the mask later on.

Now it’s time to curve the mask, to snap up the contrast. We look for a pure black/white separation, with no overly harsh edges.

Before cranking up the saturation, I set a neutral on the gray fur of the animal’s head. Without this neutral, the fur will turn a rather bright blue, as shown in the image at the top of this page. Now, you may not know ahead of time that lemurs have gray fur, but you can be pretty sure that they do not have blue fur.

We have cranked up the colors of the animal’s fur, so that there are interesting shades of brown and yellow, without any demon eyes at all.

Suppose we want a little color in the animal’s eyes, just not as much as we got with no mask at all. Piece of cake. All that is necessary is to lift up the lower left endpoint of the mask, effectively limiting the darkest area of the mask to a higher value.

As you make this move, the areas that were protected by the mask – the eyes – will light up with an amount of color that you can choose.


That’s it for now – happy curving!

For best viewing, adjust your monitor until you can see all the squares.