Step 1: Open a photo into ON1 Photo RAW
Open a photo into ON1 Photo RAW and access the Edit module.
Step 2: Access the Local adjustments
Next, click on the Local tool on the left (this can also be accessed using the Local tab within the Edit module).
Step 3: Select a custom brush
Now, in the Options bar at the top, click the Shape icon to reveal a drop-down menu with thumbnails of all custom brushes you have installed into ON1. Scroll down to reveal the pack you just installed and click on a shape to activate it.
Step 4: Set the Perfect Brush options
If you have a sky and you want to mask the clouds around objects in the foreground, you will want to use the Perfect Brush options to do this. I also recommend playing with the Color Threshold setting as well to make sure that a good amount of the cloud shape will be stamped on your image while also auto-masking behind any objects in the sky. This setting will vary depending on the color of your sky and the color of the details in the foreground.
Step 5: “Stamp” the cloud shapes on your image
Now it’s time to add the clouds to your photo! With a cloud shape selected, hover the brush over your image and use the right and left bracket keys — [ and ] — to decrease or increase the size of your cloud brush. Then click once over the image to stamp your cloud.
If you are stamping a cloud in an area that requires masking (with the Perfect Brush option selected), make sure that the center of your brush’s cursor is over the sky portion of the image. You might have to eyeball this a bit since the cursor crosshair is not visible with custom brushes.
Don’t worry about what the color or tone of the clouds looks like at this stage, this will be fixed in the next step.
Step 6: Refine the Local adjustment settings
In the settings within the Local tab, you’ll need to make adjustments to the clouds look like they blend in naturally with the environment. For this scene, I made the following adjustments:
- Opacity: 75%
- Exposure: +2
- Noise: +20
- Temperature: +9
- Tint: –18
These settings will vary, depending on the light and colors of your sky and overall scene. You can also use the “Paint with color” optin if you need to add a colored tint to the clouds.
Step 7: Manually brush the mask (as needed)
If your cloud stamps are visible in the foreground, you will need to do some manual masking to bring back the origianl color and tone of these areas. There is a small area on the upper-left part of the rock that is too bright and needs adjusmtnet. To do this, I made the following adjustmetns to the brush options at the top:
- Shape: Round (default)
- Mode: Paint Out
- Feather: 100
- Opacity: 50%
- Perfect Brush: Off
Then I brushed over the area a few times, making sure to not brush over to the sky region of the image, until the bright area was removed.