Sky Replacement for Window Views, by Hunter Lomayesva

This video by Hunter Lomayesva provides a detailed tutorial on changing the sky in a window view using Photoshop. The process involves several steps, starting with selecting and duplicating the blue channel from the channels palette. Adjustments are made using the levels tool to darken edges and create a clear distinction between the sky and window. The pen tool is then used to isolate the window, followed by inverting and filling the selection to focus only on the window view.

The gray areas around the window are refined using the dodge and burn tools to create a stark black and white contrast. After ensuring the sky area is perfectly white, the selected sky image is resized and dropped into the scene. The final touches include adjusting the layer blend mode, using filters to refine edges, and applying curves to balance the brightness of the sky. The tutorial is comprehensive, guiding viewers through each step to achieve a realistic and aesthetically pleasing sky replacement in a photograph.


In order to change the sky from a window view, you’ll want to go to your channels palette. If it’s not visible, go to the window menu and select channels, which will appear somewhere on your screen. Start by going to your blue channel, which should give you a good initial selection. Duplicate this by dragging it to the plus icon. Next, use Ctrl+L to open your levels, where you can adjust the mid-tones and darks, darkening the edges for easier selection. After this, click OK.

Now, isolate the windows from everything else. Use the pen tool (shortcut ‘P’) to make a rough selection of your window. Once you have a path, press Ctrl+Enter to convert it into a selection. Invert this selection with Ctrl+Shift+I, and then use Shift+Backspace to bring up the fill dialog. Fill the inverted selection with black, leaving only the window view. Deselect with Ctrl+D. Your next step is to dodge and burn the gray area, turning it black and white. For burning, ensure you’re using the burn tool set to shadows. If it burns too quickly, adjust the exposure slider.

After cleaning up the edges, ensure the sky is perfectly white by using the levels tool (Ctrl+L). Use the eyedropper for highlights to brighten it. If necessary, switch between the Dodge and Burn tools to adjust the highlights and shadows.

Go back to your RGB channel and create a selection from the blue copy by Ctrl-clicking it. Convert the sky to black and white with Ctrl+Shift+U, then use Ctrl+L to adjust levels and bring in the highlight slider slightly. Finish by dodging the highlights to fill with white.

Next, drop in your chosen sky image. Resize it as needed. Return to your channel palette, Ctrl-click the blue channel copy to activate the selection over your sky, and create a layer mask on your sky layer.

For rough edges, change the layer blend mode to multiply and use the maximum filter under the “other” category to adjust. If it overlaps unwanted areas, use Ctrl+Shift+F to fade the adjustment. A setting between 50 and 60 often works well.

If the sky looks too bright, adjust it using a simple curve (Ctrl+M) on the layer (not the layer mask). And there you have it, a new sky.