Vertus Fluid Mask 3

Vertus Fluid Mask 3

Fluid Mask uses algorithms to locate the edges of an image to help you make your masks.


Adobe keeps infusing more masking magic into its various Photoshop iterations, but digital-imaging wizards need all the help they can get when it comes to perhaps the most difficult imaging task: the challenge of separating an object from its background. Fluid Mask 3 is an impressive, time-saving tool that focuses on this challenge.


The previous version of Fluid Mask was impressive (4 out of 5 stars), and the new version offers some important improvements. Fluid Mask 3 works as a Photoshop plug-in or as a stand-alone app - those serious enough to invest a pretty penny for masking software are likely already using the de facto standard of image-editing apps, but the option to use Fluid Mask on its own can be a handy convenience. Fluid Mask 3 is faster than its predecessor and now runs full screen, in addition to providing a more Photoshop-like interface and a few ingenious new tools aimed at tackling the hard stuff - think wisps of hair, intricate lattice work, translucent objects, busy backgrounds, and the like.


Using robust algorithms, Fluid Mask analyzes an image and does its best to locate all of the edges, laying the groundwork for the selections you’ll need to create a cutout. (This can take a while and depends on many factors, including, but not limited to, your hardware specs and the size and complexity of the image itself.)


After that initial analysis, you use three basic tools to do the masking: a Delete brush, a Keep brush, and a Blending tool. It’s a fairly straightforward approach to separating what you want to keep from what you want to delete. “Straightforward” doesn’t mean this is easy software to master - on the contrary, a significant learning curve accompanies the more advanced work. But once you understand how and when to best use the tools, it becomes clear how much time and frustration the app can save you in the long run.


Fluid Mask now has a Patch brush, which is an update of the Regions functionality in the previous version. Using the brush, you can paint over a localized problem area, to which edge-blending and edge-finding parameters can be independently modified without affecting the rest of the image. A tip window explains the functionality of each tool as you mouse over it and provides direct links to
help files.


The bottom line. We still love the simplicity (and magic) of Photoshop Elements’ Magic Extractor, and Photoshop CS3’s Quick Selection/Refine Edge combo is impressive. But neither of these applications offers quite the level of control that Fluid Mask 3 does.
This app may be overkill for the more straightforward masking jobs, but if you’re tasked with creating complex cutouts, Fluid Mask 3 can prevent a whole lot of headaches.




PRICE: $239 $100 upgrade

REQUIREMENTS: G4 or later or Intel processor, Mac OS 10.3.9 or later, 512MB RAM, Adobe Photoshop CS2 or CS3 if used as a plug-in

Great results. Robust and precise tools. Logical interface layout. Extensive guidance and support. Universal binary.

Expensive. Significant learning curve.





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This Mask very helped in my work, thank you guys.



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