updated 09:15 am EST, Thu February 7, 2008
AKVIS SmartMask plug-in
AKVIS has released SmartMask 1.2, a plug-in for programs including Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro. The software is designed to ease the process of masking, which often requires complex object selection made difficult by surrounding objects. To remedy this SmartMask supplies red and blue pencils, with the blue being used to draw a line inside a desired object, and the red used to assign a general outline. The computer will then attempt to select the desired object.
Depending on the object, people can choose between Sharp, Soft and Complex modes. The Soft mode adds a green pencil for defining segments like hair; the Complex mode handles selections from color-matched backgrounds or uneven edges, and has its own touch-up brush. In all cases, SmartMask has its own tint removal tool, for when cut-outs have a color cast from nearby lighting. The plug-in is a Universal Binary for Mac OS X 10.4 or higher, and costs $120.