Vertus Fluid Mask
- Fastest, most accurate cut-out tool available; new Color Workspace
- No path creation, standalone version can output only PNGs
Fluid Mask 3 is the best cut-out tool on the market. It's just as adept at producing cut-outs of simple objects such as product photos as it is at helping you create better compositions from intricate images with hair and similarly coloured foreground and background.
Price$ 239.00 (AUD)
As every creative knows, cut-outs are a pain. Extracting objects from backgrounds by hand is one of those mundane jobs that takes time that could be spent more creatively.
Fluid Mask automates the creation of cut-outs, an area where it faces strong competition from the likes of OnOne's Mask Pro 4.1 and Digital Anarchy's Primatte 3 for Photoshop.
It's also up against Photoshop CS3 itself, which added the Quick Selection tool -- although this is simply one step up from the original Magic Wand.
Fluid Mask runs as a plug-in for Photoshop, as well as a standalone application. Using it as a stand-alone application is suited to creating a large number of cut-outs, as Fluid Mask runs faster without Photoshop running beneath it. However, it can output only PNGs, so further processing is necessary before use in production. Even as a Photoshop plug-in, Fluid Mask 3.0 is noticeably faster than the previous version.
There are three main toolsets for creating cut-outs within Fluid Mask 3.0. As before, the software will create a Web of similarly-coloured areas that you can select areas that you want to keep or remove in a 'painting-by-numbers' fashion, best for objects with hard edges. For intricate details such as hair, you can paint areas as 'keep', 'remove' and 'blend', with it working out the detail in the 'blend' area.
The latest version of Fluid Mask adds the Color Workspace, which allows you to keep or remove pixels based on shade. It gives you a graph or colour map of two properties selected from hue, lightness, saturation, red, green or blue. You can then draw on areas to keep, remove or blend.
The Color Workspace provides an excellent way to touch up areas that are too small or fiddly to do using Fluid Mask's other tools, or even manually.
The new Patch tool lets you mark out areas and work on them without affecting the rest of the image. Patches allows you to work on nooks and crannies and tufts of hair individually without ruining the rest of your image.
For example, when cutting out a full-length shot of a person, you'd use the 'painting-by-numbers' technique for their clothes, then use the Patch tool to paint on their hair. Then use Patches to fine tune problem areas.
However, while the rest of the interface has been moved to a CS3-style panel structure, the Color Workspace and Patch controls are in floating palettes that often get in the way. It also doesn't run as a Smart Filter -- a hindrance when you need to go back and change a cut-out after seeing how it interacts with other elements of your composition. Now it can produce paths instead of alpha channels, which can be a timesaver for designers.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Google's new AI aims to end abusive online comments using 'Perspective'
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPProject Support OfficerQLD
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- FTSalesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- CCProject Manager (Event Management)NSW
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Networks Specialist - DNS PlatformVIC
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- TPSoftware EngineerWA
- CCNetwork Engineer/ Network AdministratorQLD
- FTSenior Project Manager - PERMANENTACT
- CCMultiple System Engineers - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- FTDeveloper - XML & JavaVIC
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTChange Manager - Large Transition ProjectNSW
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- TPSenior Java Developer - ContractQLD
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC