I was a little hesitant when I signed up for this review. A masking program? I’ve seen quite a few masking programs that were hard to work with, with steep learning curves, bad tools, poor quality and more. I went in to it with pretty low expectations, to be honest, so I was blown away when I encountered the level of quality in Fluid Mask.
Most of the time I create cutouts using photoshop layer masks and spend a lot of time zoomed in up close. It’s seemed to work pretty well — I thought I was doing a good job, and fairly quickly. That was before I tried Fluid Mask…
Wow. Just wow. All that time I wasted! All those images that could’ve looked so much better! I wish I’d discovered Vertus Fluid Mask 3 sooner.
When you load your image, Fluid Mask fills it full of little blue edges, which cut the image up like a puzzle. You can customize how wide the edges are and how many the program should find. I just left mine at the default setting and it worked well. You can also customize how much it feathers the edges, and there are tooltips describing each one of these options in detail when you move your mouse over them.
The basic idea is that you paint red in the areas which you want deleted, and green in the areas which you would like to keep. You can also auto-fill unpainted areas of the image with either one, which is quite time-saving. There are quite a few brush options to choose from, there are local fill brushes as well as global fill, and exact brushes.
There are also quite a few other tools that give you greater control over the edges. All the painting is done in the ‘Workspace’ tab, which lets you control whether you see the lines or not and the mask opacity (which is nice for checking that the line you just picked was the right one.)
After you think you’re done painting, you can preview the cut-out in the aptly named Cut-0ut tab. You do have to render the cut-out every time you want to update it, however. It doesn’t update every time you select the tab just because you want to see it, and that threw me off a little bit. However, I just got used to pressing U+Ctrl every time I wanted to see the cut-out preview, and it automatically selects the cut-out tab as well as rendering it for me, which is very nice.
Then Fluid Mask 3 blends the edges for you! The masked object looks like it’s really supposed to be in whatever image you put them in, with no lines or borders around the edges and all of the person’s image data nicely preserved.
Vertus has really knocked it out of the park with Fluid Mask 3. Quality masking that would take hours in photoshop can be done in minutes, quite easily. In my opinion, this software is well worth the money. Check out some other stuff people have been doing with it in the Cut-out gallery on the Vertus website. They even have free video tutorials up on there.
Download a free trial version of this software and play around with it. Watch the tutorials. With a little practice, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to cut anything you want out of a photo with nice, realistic edges. Have fun with it, and keep watching tutorialblog, because I’ll do a tutorial for the more advanced techniques in Fluid Mask 3 soon, such as fine detail like hair and whiskers, and low-contrast areas.