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 newsletter!
The Note 9 is three devices in one.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo Find X review: Damn.
- 2 Dell G5 review: An easy-to-live-with laptop that's light on thrills but more than capable of getting the job done
- 3 HAVIT G1W True Wireless Earbuds review: Budget buds with a wireless edge
- 4 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 5 Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
Latest News Articles
- Apple set release date for iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave
- Telstra announces refreshed fixed-broadband plans
- Parallels Desktop 14 arrives
- Bitdefender unveils new 2019 product line
- Opinion: Is Microsoft already killing off Windows 7?
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?