Working with Parent Masks for Simultaneous Inside and Outside Grading

Apply two corrections using the same mask

The concept of a Parent Mask is to create a single mask, apply it to more than one layer as dependents, and then add color corrections both inside and outside based on that Parent Mask.

The workflow to use a Parent Mask for inside/outside grading is different than the standard layers workflow. Start by adding a Group, rather than a color correction tool. Click the Mask button at the bottom to apply masking to that group. Click the Mask icon on the Group to open the mask controls. Now, add a shape mask and set the parameters. Exit the mask controls.

To create the inside grade, add the first color correction tool, which should end up inside the Group. If not, drag it into the Group. The color correction you apply will occur inside of the shape mask area.

The next step it to select and apply a tool for the outside. Make sure to drag this layer into the Group. Optionally, you can also drag it under the layer used for the inside grade. Now, right-click that layer and select Invert Parent Mask. A small invert icon will appear next to the layer name. Adjust the grade for that layer as desired and you will see the results being applied outside of the mask area.

It is also possible for this outside layer to have its own mask. Simply apply masking by clicking the lower Mask button. That layer should now show both the invert icon and a mask icon next to the name. Enter the mask controls and add a mask. Whatever you do with the masks on this layer will appear behind the inside grade. You can even increase the complexity by embedding and masking groups within this main Group.

Last modified July 14, 2021