How to Perform Sky Replacements in After Effects

How to Perform Sky Replacements in After Effects: The realty sector and builders practice photographing architectural models as the default medium in visual communications. Sky replacement enhances the colour of the sky in your photograph, allowing images of other objects, especially front buildings, to stand out more clearly and be presented more attractively.

Sky Replacement

For long shots, the exterior photos of the buildings are edited to create a bright and clear looking sky in natural blue, and they are shown in the open sky in the background. Professional sky replacement services edit photos to enhance the sky element in the sense.

Sky Replacement tool

The Sky Replacement tool uses AI-powered Adobe Sensei, which replaces the sky you shoot in the original image with new skies, from clear skies in blue to attractive sunsets. This tool automatically selects the original sky area and masks and blends the interior. Photoshop analyses and identifies the current sky and then plugs it into the digital canvas.

The following steps are brief to access the Sky Replacement feature.

Swap Sky

  • Go to Select and choose Sky from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose Edit › Sky Replacement. The Sky Replacement dialogue opens.
  • Use the sky drop-down to select a new sky from the Sky Preset images.

You can select the desired sky from a collection of skies listed in three categories:

  • Blue Skies – day sky in solid blue or with clouds,
  • Spectacular – dramatic storm clouds and rainbows and night skies
  • Sunset – Sunset hues in yellow, orange, pink and red colours

Alternatively, you can import your sky image stored in JPG or PNG format to change the sky. Click the down carat and then the plus sign and import your custom sky image.

Sky Replacement steps

  • Select the main photo elements of your original photo and place them on different layers (e.g. trees, birds, benches, etc.) so that you can edit them separately from the new sky image.
  • Go to the Edit menu and select the Sky tab.
  • Select Edit > Sky Replacement.
  • In the Sky drop-down, select a new Sky from Preset Sky Images.
  • Adjust the sky colour and intensity.
  • Make use of the Move tool to place the sky image properly.
  • Output the image to new levels.
  • Adjust image colour, sharpness and gradient as desired.
  • Turn your new photo into a smart digital object where the layers act as a single image.

Enhancing Sky Replacement

The good thing about Sky Replacement is that the work is editable through the traditional Photoshop workflow. You get control over the new sky being placed in the layer in the background and all the front elements related to the original image. Adjustments are made by layer masking applied subtlety to your image.

Edit Photo Elements

It is recommended to edit the main items in your photo before changing the sky. This is necessary to create a natural effect in the scene, such as blurring the fruit and flowers of the tree on tree branches in the background or enhancing the colour tone of the scene.

Apply Edge Effects

The masking sliders are used to adjust the edges of the sky image.

  • Shift Edge slider – To create a visible distance from the image at the front of the skylines.
  • Zoom – Drag the slider to the right to zoom in the layer and set the correct halo effect to the left.
  • Fade Edge slider – To sharpen or blur the sky.

Realign Edges

When the new sky is wrongly aligned, leaving a gap in the background, or it goes back to the original image, zoom and edit in the Sky replacement window with the following tools:

1) Move tool – If any rearrangement is required to control the position of the edge of the sky.

2) Brush Tool – Paint to show more or hide to subtract from the new sky.

Adjust Brightness

Set the Brightness for the sky by adjusting the brightness and contrast of the image using the brightness slider. It affects the brightness and contrast layer.

Similarly, set the sky warmer or cooler by dragging the Temperature slider. This setting is protected in the colour balance adjustment layer.

Alternatively, use the Scale slider to make the size of the sky image smaller or larger.

Use the Flip checkbox to flip the sky horizontally when needed to match the light direction of the foreground image.

Lighting mode

The default pixelator drop-down option in Lighting mode adjusts the brightness of an image.

  • Multiply – To darken,
  • Screen – To lighten

Drag the foreground lighting adjustment slider to lighten or darken the front of the original image where it connects to the new sky so that it merges with the new sky. Similarly, the

Edge Lighting slider controls the light adjustments applied to the edges of an object in your sky image.

Colour Adjustment

Use the Colour Adjustment slider to create curved adjustment layers to match colours. This takes on the colour of the new sky image and applies it to the original image at the front.

Output image

Changes to the image can be placed on New Layers called Sky Replacement Group or select Duplicate Layer when a single flat layer is required.

Finishing Touch

The Colour Lookup adjustment layer helps you colour-grade your new image in the foreground and reflects the look and feel of the sky as it looks for natural or unrealistic skies.

  • New Adjustment Level > Colour Lookup.
  • In the File drop-down menu, pick 3DLUT. (3D LUT is a 3D network of RGB values).

Select Moonlight.3DL or NightFromDay.CUBE when you want to get a night look.

Lastly, use curves to give your photo a more natural look or add Hue and Saturation adjustment layers to refine your image further.


The Sky Replacement feature adds character and dimension to the structure of a photograph. The key outsource photo editing services strive to make your images memorable and picture-perfect.

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