Please log in or register to do it.

Welcome to PSD Vault’s in-depth tutorial on the Sky Replacement Tool in Photoshop. Designed to simplify and revolutionise the process of replacing skies in your photos, this tool is a game-changer for both seasoned Photoshop users and beginners. In this guide, we will explore the tool’s features, options, and provide valuable insights to ensure you achieve stunning results effortlessly.

The Challenge of Traditional Sky Replacement

For long-time Photoshop users, replacing skies has been a challenging and time-consuming task. The process involved numerous steps, extensive fine-tuning, and meticulous attention to detail to achieve a seamless look. Recognizing this challenge, Adobe introduced the Sky Replacement Tool to streamline and save valuable time in the editing process.

Why Do Adobe Introduce this New Tool?

The amount of time that you need to perform sky replacement is surprising, A LOT! It’s a tedious process that requires a lot of fine-tuning, clearing up the edges and dealing with complex objects.

With the introduction of the Sky Replacement tool, all these above processes are simplified, thus saving huge amount of time.

Where Do I find Sky Replacement Tool

The Sky Replacement is located under Edit > Sky Replacement

What Are The Tool Options

Once you click on Sky Replacement, the following window will pop up:

You will notice that the Sky has been replaced perfectly from the preview, much better than you do it manually in the previous version of Photoshop! If you wish to further enhance the look, there are many options you can use. You can find detailed explanation of each option at Adobe Help.

You don’t need to use all these options – However, from my experience, you will definitely need to have a look & adjust the following options to achieve the optimal outcome:

Fade Edge – This helps clearing any blending imperfections you may have between the new sky and original photo;

Lighting Mode – experiment with different blend mode and see what they bring;

Lighting Adjustment – this is the setting you need to fit your new sky perfectly with the rest of the image, especially around the edge;

Color Adjustment – you need to adjust this in order to ensure the colors are consistent throughout the image.

Pay Attention to the Output Options

The Sky Replacement tool offers you two different Output options: New Layers or Duplicate Layer:

If you choose “New Layers”, you will see Photoshop creating a layer group with the sky layer, lighting layer and color adjustment layer inside it:

On the other hand, the “Duplicate Layer” simply makes a new layer for you without any individual layer:

I suggest you use the “New Layers” option – simply because it is a non-destructive way of editing your photo. Plus you have more freedom on adjust each layer on its own.

Before and After Photo Comparison

Here is a couple of before-and-after result of a photo effect using the new Sky Replacement tool:





As you can see, the replacement was done perfectly even with complex objects like those tree branches. All these took me less than 30 seconds from start to finish.

Additional Tips and Tricks to Enhance Your Sky Replacement in Photoshop

1. Choose the Right Sky: Selecting a suitable replacement sky is crucial for a realistic result. Consider factors such as lighting conditions, color tones, and overall atmosphere. A well-matched sky will seamlessly integrate with your original image.

2. Pay Attention to Lighting: Ensure that the lighting in your replacement sky aligns with the lighting in the original photo. Adjust the lighting mode and intensity to create a harmonious blend. This step is essential for a natural-looking composition.

3. Refine Edges: After applying the sky replacement, zoom in and inspect the edges of objects in your photo. Use tools like the Eraser or Layer Mask with a soft brush to refine any rough edges. This meticulous adjustment contributes to a polished and professional finish.

4. Experiment with Blending Modes: Don’t hesitate to experiment with different blending modes for the sky layer. Overlay, Soft Light, and Multiply are commonly used blending modes that can enhance the integration of the sky with the original scene. Adjust the opacity as needed for subtlety.

5. Match Colours and Saturation: To achieve a cohesive look, match the colours and saturation of the replacement sky with the rest of the image. The Colour Adjustment option in the Sky Replacement tool allows you to fine-tune the colour balance. Consider the overall colour temperature and adjust accordingly.

6. Add Realistic Elements: For a more authentic result, consider adding realistic elements such as clouds, birds, or sunbeams to the replacement sky. This extra detail can elevate the visual impact of your composition and make the image more convincing.

7. Blend Horizon Lines: Pay special attention to the horizon line where the sky meets the landscape. Use the Gradient Tool to create a smooth transition between the two. Mimic the natural gradient that occurs during sunset or sunrise for a seamless effect.

8. Create Depth with Atmospheric Effects: Introduce depth to your composition by incorporating atmospheric effects. Adjust the visibility and contrast of distant elements in the replacement sky to simulate depth. This technique enhances the perception of distance and scale.

9. Consider Reflections: If your original photo includes water or reflective surfaces, don’t forget to add reflections of the replacement sky. Use the Transform and Distort tools to match the angle and perspective, creating a convincing reflection.

10. Save Versions and Experiment: Before finalizing your sky replacement, save different versions of your work at various stages. This allows you to experiment with different skies, settings, and adjustments. Having multiple versions enables you to compare and choose the most effective result.


In conclusion, the Sky Replacement Tool in Photoshop is a time-saving and powerful feature that simplifies the once intricate process of sky replacement. Embrace this tool to elevate your photo editing capabilities and share your experiences in the comments below. Stay tuned for more insightful tutorials and Photoshop tips on PSD Vault!

How to Create Vintage Photo Effects in Photoshop - A Step-by-Step Guide
Crafting Precision: A Beginner's Guide to the Pen Tool in Photoshop