The ON1 System Bonus Video #2: The ins and outs of Masking in ON1

In ON1 by Matt K54 Comments

Hi again! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the process of developing a huge training system for the latest version of ON1 Photo 2018. It’ll be done in a few days (December 5th officially), but I thought I’d give you another quick peak at one of my favorite parts of the training. Also, I’ve got a free webinar on Wednesday at 12 Noon (ET) on migrating from ON1 to Lightroom. The sign-up link is below.

The Ins and Outs of Masking in ON1

The masking tools in ON1 are some of the most powerful masking tools out there. So I wanted to make sure that I covered the ins and outs of how they work.

Also, stay tuned for more info on the ON1 Training System. If you’re not already part of my email community, then make sure you sign up here. You’ll get first crack at the system and a big discount as well.


Sample Photo (Click Here to Download)


  1. James K

    Matt – Great “lesson”. Can’t wait for your entire On1 Raw training package!! I’ll be purchasing pronto Monto!!

  2. Jeff Ornstein

    Matt………….you did it again!
    Great tutorial….can’t wait for publication

  3. David I Steele-Davidson

    Matt. Great tutorial. All I ask is keep it simple for us senior citizens who want take their photography a little higher as part of their retirement activities. Thank you, David.

  4. marc labro

    hallo Matt,
    Great tutorial.
    I am in a hurry to discover the on1 system course

    i hope on1 will add some selection tools in the future like pen tool, dodge and burn on mask, selection with channel with most contrasty color, painting mask with brush in overlay mode to fine tune mask,…
    but something i have never understood is why on1 doesn’t use the classical method (photoshop old extract filter, topaz remask, fkuid 3…) of painting in blue (compute) the limit of the topic to select, bucket green to keep or red to remove instead of painting outside and hoping it won’t eat the subject hairs or face,… in my case it often eats the subject.
    photoshop quick selection mask is nice too but time consuming with respect to paint just the border where soft must compute.

    best regards

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi Marc.
      1) Just from the questions you asked, you may be a bit advanced for this course. You’re doing some serious masking if you’re using those tools and it sounds like you already know it pretty well.
      2) Make sure you write those points to ON1. I personally haven’t had a problem with the way the tools work, but the more feedback they get the better so make sure you drop them a note on their website.

  5. Tom garland

    Hi Matt
    Brilliant tutorial keep it simple please I will be 85 in a couple weeks and my
    Brain is slowing a bit but I still love my photography.
    Thank you

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Thanks Tom. I believe a Beginner/Intermediate person will get the most from this. It is not advanced training. Thx.

  6. Jackdowell

    Looking forward to it Matt. Been tutored by you for some time now, THANKS.

  7. Walter "Ski" Szymanski

    Thanks, Matt, for this very helpful lesson. Question: Do you see a need for a Pen tool in ON1 PR?

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Personally I don’t. The Pen Tool is really a graphic designers drawing tool. People made use of it for selections, but rarely is a selection edge ever as neat as a Pen Tool edge would draw. So you won’t see me lobbying for it to get added any time soon 😉

  8. Peter Kingma

    Thanks Matt. As always a perfect explanation of the tools. It’s so much better when I am able to work with you on the same photo, because I better understand and remember how it works.

  9. Jennifer

    Brilliant Matt, as always! I love your style of instruction & concur with Peter K

    Had On1 for a long time but not used it often enough but hope to from now on.


    Super video…Nice and easy to follow. thank you very much.

  11. Scott Warner

    Will they ever bring back the portrait module? I find myself going to 10 often for that. I believe it does the eye and mouth selection much better than I can in 17 or 18 doing it myself.

  12. Marcia Fasy

    Thanks for the great tutorial, Matt. I have had On1+ for a long time but do not use it as much as I should. It is so easy to go to the familiar Lightroom and Photoshop when you have been using them for years and years. I hope to do more now that for the first time I really understand the tools in On1.

  13. Howard Tilis

    Thank you for the tutorial on masking, I found it helpful. Could you please tell me the settings you use for the Perfect Brush?

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi Howard – it’s tough to say (and too much to write here) since they change based on the image. I do cover it in my ON1 System though.

  14. Ed Adams

    Love your little ‘tips’… Which in reality are great tips. I know this isn’t how you do it but I’m about ready to move to ON1 as my primary DAM as with 2018 I feel it has gotten enough right it is worth it. I believe your current workflow is still Lightroom to plugins including on1 just because I love the way on1 handles DAM better than Lightroom and because I have no intention of moving to a subscription based product so Lightroom is heading to the shelf anyway for me. If it was priced just for Lightroom I probably would keep it but I have absolutely no use for PS because of the huge learning curve and the use it or lose it for me.

    Right now it seems I have a smorgasbord of products including Lightroom, on1 , Luminar 2018, Nik and Topaz plugins because each of them do something better than the others. Without a doubt I feel On1 has the best and easiest to use Masking…

  15. Diane

    Matt, your upcoming course on ON1 2018…will it cover both using as a standalone and a plug-in?

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi Diane – there will be two options when you purchase.
      1) For a full ON1 user who uses it stand-alone
      2) For a LR user who just uses it as a plug-in to get Effects and Layers.

  16. Ebbe

    Hi Matt
    Looking forward to your webinar on how to move from Lightroom to On1.
    I just registered, but may not be home to catch it all…
    Will there be a replay?

  17. Shaun Gaffey

    Hi Matt

    I am finding it difficult to use Layers on 2018. I wonder why going into layers it does not work IE, when I press on layers, and prompted to add a layer I can’t merge the layer, could you help with this problem.


  18. Charles Lehman

    I hope this is recorded so we can possibly watch later as i have an appointment that day , this is a must see event.

    Charles Lehman

  19. Daniel Martin

    I Matt, I can’t make it to your webinar ” From lightroom. To ON1″.
    Will it be available for viewing after the 6th of december?

    Keep up your excellent work.

  20. Rusty

    Please don’t skip explaining steps you take. At the beginning you use the move tool on the cloud layer but don’t show how you selected it. At the end you say I can bring in a different cloud and put it between the other layers. Do I put it on top of the existing cloud layer…do I first delete the existing cloud layer…what’s the procedure? If the tutorials are meant for people using the software for the first time each step should be verbalized. If they’re not meant for first timers it would be helpful to make that clear at the beginning.


  21. Delshad Xenakis

    Thank so much for all you do! This was great and glad you are covering On1 not just LR. 🙂

  22. Bernadette Buechler

    great video-thank you. Is there any way to save a copy of the mask and bring that into photoshop. I would like to do my masking in On1 and then go back to photoshop with that mask.. when i have exported to photoshop it brings it in as a composite tiff

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi Bernadette. Yes, save it as a PSD. Close it in ON1 and open it in PS. But in all honesty (and to try to avoid confusion for people) – you’ve got equally as powerful masking tools in Photoshop with the Select/Mask dialog and brushes.

  23. Richard

    I see where the ON1 training system is now available but can’t locate a description of what is included. Can anyone help?

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Sorry Richard – you caught us during a testing phase. We’ll be releasing everything (and a link) tomorrow. Thanks and sorry about that 🙂

  24. Nick Marshall

    Thanks Matt – super helpful. Do you have any videos on cutting a section out of an image and replacing it with the same at a better exposure.? I take interior shots of vacation homes and so often I have to expose for the dark room and take another image to get a good exposure of the bright window.. Often I can just blend in Lr using the Photo Merge HDR option but in extreme cases that does not work so well. So, I was wondering if there is an accurate way of cutting out an over-exposed window and replacing it with a nicely exposed window. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi Nick. The Masking section shows how to use the masking tools which would/could probably get the job done. I don’t use your specific example, but hopefully after watching the masking tutorials you’ll feel better about it. Thanks!

  25. Richard

    Ok,thanks. Looking forward to learning from a pro instead of my usual trial and error!

  26. Len Saltiel

    Hey Matt. Great video. When watching your video, you used the Quick Mask tool. For some reason, my versions of OnOne 2017 and 2018 don’t have that tool. Is there some setting that hides it?

  27. Gerhard

    Hi Matt,
    just ordered the On1 Photo 2018 training and now I’m really looking forward to the videos!

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