How to Replace the Sky in a Photo using Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

With the release of Adobe Photoshop 22.0 in October 2020 Adobe released a feature they titled Sky Replacement. What this allows designers to do is edit the sky to create a more dramatic look. Powered by the Adobe Sensei system, the Sky Replacement tool will work for you by doing all the masking and blending automatically. No longer is there a need for meticulous edits and fine tuning for seamless Sky Replacement.

Sky Replacement in Three Steps

Replacing the sky in an image only requires three simple steps within Adobe Photoshop.

Step 1: Open Sky Replacement

With the image opened in Adobe Photoshop go up to Edit > Sky Replacement. This will open a new panel on the right-hand side of the window.

Step 2: Choose a New Sky

The Sky Replacement panel will feature a sky at the top which it is using to replace the existing sky. Using the dropdown arrow, select a sky from the list of preset skies or you can create new skies to use. We will cover that in a bit more depth in another article later however the possibility is there.

Step 3: Adjust the Settings

The Adobe Sensei system automatically selects and masks the existing sky and replaces it with the new selection, however it is not always perfect. Sometimes this requires a bit more tweaking which we will discuss next.

Settings & Options

A. Sky Move Tool
B. Sky Brush
C. Hand Tool
D. Zoom Tool
E. Select a replacement sky
F. Settings
G. Recently used sky
H. Create new group
I. Create new sky
J. Delete sky
K. Preset Preview Zoom

Shift Edge

Shift edge moves the border between the new sky and the original image.

Fade Edge

Feathers the new sky image across the edge of the original image.

Brightness

Adjusts the overall brightness of the replacement sky.

Temperature

Adjusts the color temperature of the sky to be either warmer (more orange) or cooler (more blue).

Scale

Scale resizes the sky image.

Flip

Flip will flip the sky image horizontally.

Lighting Mode

This setting determines what blend mode is used for the adjustment sliders.

Lighting Adjustment

An opacity slider which lightens or darkens the main image where it blends with the sky. Setting this slider to zero will not make any adjustments to the image.

Color Adjustment

An opacity slider to determine the amount of blending between the sky and the original image. Setting this slider to zero will not make any adjustments to the image.

Output

Allows you to select whether the changes to the image are placed on New Layers (named layer group with masks) or a Duplicate Layer (single flattened layer).

Conclusion

Sky Replacement within Adobe Photoshop is an amazing addition to the featureset. The Sensei system cuts out the time-consuming process of most of the blending and selection. Replacing the sky in images can create a more dramatic look, and correct less-than-favorable conditions. The Sky Replacement tool seems like a more powerful neural filter that requires its own system to operate. I hope to see more features like this in the future from Adobe. Check out our other articles on the 22.0 update: Neural Filters, Live Shapes, and Pattern Preview.

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2021-07-09T09:31:33-04:00
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