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Archive for July, 2014

Topaz Remask has been around for a while now, and it has earned high marks from photographers and graphic designers who need to isolate some elements or create complex masks to break the image into distinct layers. Remask 4 is the latest and most powerful version, released in July 2014. It is also more elegant and simpler to use than the previous versions. This program is different from most of the other Topaz plugins, and as such it uses a different user interface. If you used Remask 3 before, you’ll notice several differences how the new user interface is configured.

In this example, I’ll be using an image of a tiger which I photographed in a zoo and then pasted onto a sandy beach.

Source Image

Below is the Topaz Remask 4 version screen that appears after you invoke the plugin from Lightroom, Photoshop or other host image editing program (click on the image to display it in full resolution).

When you invoke Remask plugin from your editing program, it loads your image and paints it with semitransparant green color (as a default color for keeping the parts of image you’d like to work on).

Source Image

The procedure to cut out the desired part of image is very straightforward. Since the default brush mode is blue, you can immediately drop your pen or mouse on the tiger and start outlining the body with the blue color. It doesn’t matter where you start and you can draw the outline in as many steps as you like. When you finish outlining, fill the outside area with red (one click on the red bucket icon, and another click anywhere outside the tiger), and click on COMPUTE button.

To see the original image and compare it with the newly created mask or a cut out element. you can click on the desired option in the upper display option menu.

Display Options

Topaz Remask 4 Trimap screen

Extracted tiger

If you are happy with the outcome, press OK, and the program returns to your editing program (Photoshop or equivalent), having created a new layer with the cut out element on top of the original layer.

In my case, I copied the tiger and pasted it into another image, scaled down the new layer slightly, flipped it horizontally, and voila – a much more inviting prowling hangout for our tiger (almost exactly as I saw it in my mind when I pressed the shutter – just kidding).

Beach scene with the tiger pasted in

The whole procedure from start to finish took only a few minutes. The mask was created with a minimum effort and it looks quite good. There were a few color contaminations outside of the tiger body which I cleaned up in Photoshop. You can also finetune the mask in Remask by using the adjustment brush and changing the parameters shown in the Remask Control Panel.

 

The second example shows a felt hat, which was photographed with multiple backgrounds around the hat. The top portion is a white board which makes for an easy extraction, on the bottom there is a graduated shadow, shiny metallic can, and a patterned ground touching the right side of the hat.

Felt hat with a brim

The picture below shows the black and white mask layer with the very fine details all around the brim, all accurately rendered regardless of the surrounding background. Click on the mask to see the details at 100%.

Mask Layer

Cut out hat

Topaz Remask 4 works with both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Photoshop CS5-CS6 and CS CC on Mac and Windows systems. To download the latest Topaz Remask 4 version, use the following link to enter the Topaz Labs website.

Topaz Remask

You can use this link and a discount code “lespalenik” also for other Topaz single plugins or a complete bundle at anytime for 15% discount

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