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With the latest versions of ACDSee, ACDSee Pro, and ACDSee Ultimate, there’s a ton of new features to explore, but let’s start with one of the biggest. Pixel Targeting!

Generally, you use Edit mode tools to make a variety of global adjustments to your images. Pixel Targeting, on the other hand, allows you to target distinct tones, colors, and skin tones, and then select any number of Edit mode adjustments and apply them to those targeted pixels. Pixel Targeting itself does not do anything to the image, but allows you to specify which pixels the tool that you are working with will affect in your image.

What am I talking about? Well, the best way to understand is through example. There are so many applications for this that it’s hard to know where to begin. But this time, let’s start with something really simple — a targeted exposure adjustment.

I start by finding an image that could use some exposure adjustment in specific areas, but that I’m hesitant to make a global exposure adjustment to because I’ll blow out parts that are already light enough. I then open that image in Edit mode, and click on the Exposure tool.

Exposure Tool

In the Exposure tool, on the top left, I press the Pixel Targeting button.

Pixel Trageting Button

On the Pixel Targeting panel, you will see the Targeted Tones, Targeted Colors, Skin Targeting, and Target Mask sections. Targeted Tones allows you to target pixels based on their brightness. Targeted Colors let you pick which colors you want to be affected by the current tool, (in this case, the Exposure tool). Skin Targeting, we’re going to return to in a later tutorial. And lastly, the Target Mask, which displays in white which areas of the photo are currently being targeted.

Neutral

You will notice that at the moment, the Target Mask is all white. This is because I haven’t specified any targeted tones or colors. All of the sliders are at Max. And if I made exposure adjustments right now, they would still by applied to the entire image.

Under Targeted Colors, I press Min. This deselects all colors. Now I can choose the specific colors I want to target. You will now observe that the Target Mask is entirely black. This means that no colors are being targeted.

Min

Let’s take a quick moment to learn about the Target Mask. Now, let’s say that I wanted to target just the green of the grass and trees. Under Targeted Colors, I would move the green slider up somewhere between 0 and 100, depending on my desired intensity. In other words, just play with the sliders until you see the area you want to target in the Target Mask in white.

Target Orange

Maybe I want to expand the target to include yellows to make sure I get all of the yellow flowers, etc.

Target Orange and Yellow

Hopefully this is becoming a bit clearer. Now, let’s get back on task. The sky of my selected image is very light. A lot of detail is lost. By experimenting with the Targeted Colors, I can figure out which setting I need in order to apply an exposure adjustment to just the background — the sky and the sea. Once I see the area I want to target in white in the Target Mask, I can configure the settings on the Exposure panel. These adjustments are only applied to the area that I targeted.

Exposure target
Beacon Hill Park

And, the before and after.

Before and After

Ta da!

Next time we talk about Pixel Targeting, I’d like to take a look at how you can use it to achieve natural, but augmented color. I also want to talk about how to combine it with the Edit Brush for absolute precision adjusting. And let’s also talk about using Pixel Targeting for fun with some effects. And targeting skin tones. And—and—There’s so many applications to explore!

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