Vertus Fluid Mask 3.0.10 for PhotoShop CS2/CS3/CS4
Fluid Mask 3 is the professionals’ choice. Fluid Mask 2 established itself as the market leader in still image cutting-out – Fluid Mask 3 takes masking to the next level. Quick to pick up and intuitive to use, Fluid Mask 3 gets professional results fast.
Benefits of Fluid Mask 3
Now professional results are more possible than ever before. Make super fine mask selections using new sampling and selecting tools. Check out the new edge blending algorithms. And the new complex hair blending that automatically gets great results from multi-colored whispy hair. No longer should hair be the cutting-out nightmare it is today.
Faster than ever
Not only is image processing time dramatically reduced but we have concentrated on speeding up workflow. Check out features like saving your workspace settings from one image to the next for runs of studio shots; and our new Patch technology with its intuitive tool-set for working on those difficult problem areas with compression artefact, poor edges and complicated backgrounds.
Easy to pick up and use
Fluid Mask 3 benefits from a simplified interface and masses of on-application help to make picking it up easy and fun. For the professional user there are new features such as selecting areas for local detailed edge finding and blending that make masking challenges simple to overcome.
New Features in V3
Highlight new key features are:
Localized edge detection and blending – for faster workflow
Faster initial image processing – up to 40%
Better edge blending
New look application – full screen / no desktop visible
Localize problem areas for greater workflow enhancement
Great new tools for fine mask selections
Best of breed Help – now there’s an innovative in-application Tool Tips box with links to application based xml help files and tutorials
Set out below are the new features in more detail:
Now works on CS2 and CS3
Stand alone mode
Fluid Mask will also work in standalone mode (i.e. not as a plug-in) for image formats that accept transitions to transparency but only in 8 bit RGB color – e.g. TIFF and PNG.
Plug-in to other platforms
It is the intention in v3.1 (later) for Fluid Mask to plug-in to other platforms including for Quark and Paintshop Pro.
A core issue for users of Fluid Mask 3 has always been the initial image processing time at start up. V3 is now 10% faster than in V2 for a single core machine. For dual core the processing time is cut by 33% and for a 4 core machine it is an even faster 40%. Blending speed on hair blending will be slightly slower but that has never been an issue.
In V3 now the entire application workspace fills the whole screen (it used to be floating windows only which showed the desktop through the application – users found this to be “unprofessional”). There are three views to choose from: Palettes docked (default) - although the main Tool Palette can be docked / undocked; Tool Palettes floating and Tool Palettes floating and screen maximised. All of these are actioned from the main Tool Palette.
Tool Options layout
Now each Tool has its own separate tool settings on the bar below the menu. The icon for the Tool is conveniently displayed on the left hands side next to the Tool Option settings.
Brushes The number of brushes has been increased; the Eraser is not only an Exact Brush but can be a Local as well as a Global one. The user can also brush a Patch (see below)
Looking at brush behaviour, users can now commence masking at start up before the initial image analysis has finished – great for the professional user that understands mask behaviour for his/her images.
Mask brush size may be adjusted mid-brush stroke – this works very well when hooked up to a pen based tablet like Wacom’s where pen pressure sensitivity determines brush size.
Edge Finding Options
Edge Finding options have been rationalised. We spent a lot of time trying to make edge finding easy to use and understand. Note that the Edge Contrast and Filter Out Texture settings are now hidden in an advance tab and the names of the sliders have been changed to Edge Width Threshold and Number of Edges.
Edge Blending Options
Edge Blending Options have been rationalised. Now the range settings for automatic edge blending and blending type are in the same place – before they were linked to brushes or performing a Test Render.
We enhanced our morphologically based edge decontamination blending and renamed it “Smart Blending” as it preserves edge artefact and is a unique feature of Fluid Mask. For purposes of information, the alternative and more commonly used blending is “feathering”, well known to Photoshop users, which is a simple straight-line transition from foreground to background without regard to local edge information.
Now it is possible to select only Feather Blending (where the feather width is set by the width of the blend mask) in those circumstances where edge information is so poor that “Smart” blending can’t be used effectively.
Or the user may opt to use the slider and move it to a position in between Smart and Feather blending where Fluid Mask decides on the level of edge contrast required for the blending algorthms to switch from Feather to Smart blending. This may be performed either for the whole image (as for V2) of locally (within a Patch).
Fluid Mask has completely new blending…
Patches (called Regions in V2) have become more important to user workflow. Principally they should be used to solve problem areas.
New key features are below:
Now it is possible to Paint Patches, like an Exact Brush
Right click on a Patch to erase masks, auto-fill masks and perform a mini cut-out in the Patch
Use Patch Properties (see below) to localise edge finding and edge blending
Use 2D color maps and histograms in the Color Workspace to make color based selections in Patches
Use Patches to protect masks
Patch Properties allows the user to perform local edge finding and local blending within a Patch.
In V2 was called the Region Editor. This has been completely redesigned from V2 – now the Color Workspace includes a 2D color map for better selections and a “Photoshop – themed” histogram.
New to V3, the Color Sampler allows the user to sample a color in the image and see where the color lies in the Color Workspace – this selection can then be converted to a mask. This behaviour is the opposite to normal Color Workspace behaviour where colors are sampled in the Color Workspace and their analogue highlighted in the image.
To improve user workflow, the user may save Edge Finding, Edge Blending and Workspace Resolution options from one image to the next checking “Restore from Last Session” in Workspace Settings (viewed from the Edit menu). This is useful for professional users working on a run of similar images (e.g. from a professional studio shoot).
Improving Loading Large Images
On loading large images the user may quit loading and choose to alter the Workspace Resolution manually and use “Restore from Last Session” in the Workspace Settings (see directly above).
Also note that Workspace Resolution now has a 1:16 (Workspace : Image) ratio to improve speeds for very large images.
The Test Render tool can now be fired from all Patches. Right click on the Patch and choose Test Render Patch.
On application Help – Tool Tips
Roll over any part of the user interface and see the Tool Tip window inform the user of that part of the imterface. Also included are the Short-Cut keys to aid faster results. The Tool Tips also guide the user to the relevant Tutorial or xml Help file.
There is now an XML based Help file which may be searched by sections or by keywords. Also included are video tutorials.
As before Fluid Mask may be used with a Wacom tablet, now pen pressure is hooked up to Brush Size.
Intel® Pentium® 4 class CPU or later or AMD Athlon XP or later;Dual core recommended
Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista™
320MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
250MB of available hard-disk space
Product activation available via an Internet connection or e-mail
Photoshop CS2, CS3 (if Fluid Mask is installed as a plug-in).
Note: Installation as stand-alone software possible