Vertus, the graphics and imaging software division of Heligon, has announced the
official launch of Fluid Mask 3 masking software. Addressing the challenge of
quickly and easily separating problem images, such as human hair and tree leaves,
Fluid Mask 3 is said to leverage a more effective edge detection system, along
with the improved "Smart Blending" capability unique to the software.
Fluid Mask 3 presents a slider that enables the user to switch between "Smart
Blending" and standard feather blending. Next, within focused areas, the
user may invoke complex edge and special hair blending algorithms, which, for
the first time, automatically cut out tricky edges and difficult hair such as
highlights and hair with wide color differences (e.g. black hair next to white
hair against a grey background).
Fluid Mask 3 boasts improvements to the initial image processing time, enabling
users who are operating multiple processors to realize increased speeds up to
40% faster than the previous versions. The result is a quicker transition from
a base image editing program, such as Adobe Photoshop, into Fluid Mask. Ultimately,
Fluid Mask significantly improves the overall efficiency of the image editing
process, from loading to the final cut-out.
In addition to new blending and loading capabilities, Vertus has improved the
intuitive workflow of Fluid Mask 3 and added new tools to the program. These new
· A new "Save Settings" option enables users to easily recall
edge detection, blending, and resolution options from previous sessions, eliminating
the need to continually reprogram these options when working with batches of pictures.
· The "Color Workspace" palette now includes a "Color
Sampler" which enables users to select specific colors from an image and
see where else within that image the same color appears. Also available in the
"Color Workspace", the new 2-D color map enables more accurate color
· A new "Patch" system allows users to make changes affecting
a selected localized region without affecting the rest of the image. "Patches"
can be easily selected with a highlighting brush tool rather than relying on a
standard box shaped patch. Once a "Patch" has been selected, users
can call up the most popular editing options with a simple right click of the
Localized "Edge Detection" tools enable users to automatically detect
hard to find edges inside a Patch. In the same way, localized edge blending techniques
are used in Patches to overcome common problems such as masking hair and complex
colored foregrounds and backgrounds.
Fluid Mask 3 is currently available for Windows XP & Vista and Mac Intel and
Power PC 10.3.9 upwards and is priced at $239. Fluid Mask 3 will continue to function
as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS2, CS3 & Elements; and for the first time
will also work in stand alone mode for image formats that accept transitions to
transparency in 8 bit RGB color -- e.g. TIFF and PNG. Users working on tablet
style computers and peripherals, such as the Wacom Tablet, should note that Fluid
Mask 3 contains a new pressure sensitivity control that can regulate brush size.