06 Restoring the filter effect
Even so, the sky around the top of the boat has been lightened slightly by all these control points, selective as they are. But I can make this masking effect altogether more precise by switching to the ‘+’ control point button and clicking in the sky just above the boat. This forces the filter effect back into these areas and produces a much tighter masking effect around the edge of the boat. I’ve circled some of these control points in red so that you can see where I’ve placed them.
07 Viewing the mask
Now if you want to see the mask produced by your control points, you can. Click the arrow (circled) next to the Control Points heading to expand the panel. This lists all the control points you’ve added and, if you click this masking icon at the top of the list (also circled), the display changes to show the black and white mask created. As you can see, it’s not perfect – some areas have a faint outlines where you might expect the mask to be either on or off, but this doesn’t matter. In fact, this slight vagueness and ‘ghosting’ in the mask helps prevent any obvious and artificial transitions in tone in the picture.
You can use this mode, however, to keep adding control points where there are obvious gaps in the mask which might be hard to spot in the normal view.
08 The finished picture
Color Efex Pro’s control points are a novel alternative to conventional selections and masks. In fact I think they’re both quicker and more effective, and they’ve certainly done a good job here in masking the graduated filter effect.