Another month, another killer Topaz sale. This time around, it’s ReMask. On sale for half off through the end of the month, they’re also going to be offering a free, “substantial” update for existing customers, so if you’re a ReMask user, get on it! I’d reviewed Re-Mask a while ago, and I have been using it religiously since. You can find Re-Mask HERE via the Topaz website for 50% off!!! ($35, normally $70) Use code “julyremask” to get the discount. If you’d like to hear more about my thoughts and see a quick example/tutorial on how to get started with it, come on in…
If you’ve spent any time in Photoshop trying to mask out a subject from a background, no matter how seamless and continuous that background may be, you’ll know how time consuming it is. For me an “easy” mask will still take 10+ minutes, which all said and done isn’t a huge amount of time. Enter Topaz ReMask… I can normally turn that 10+ minute simple masking chore into one that takes maybe 1 or 2 minutes, tops. For the more challenging masking jobs, those that can take up to multiple hours in Photoshop, you can greatly reduce working time to a few minutes, or at worst a mere fraction of the time as well. Sure, there are situations where you will need to pay a bit more attention to fine detail, but you can use Re-Mask to do the heavy lifting, and few Photoshop plugins that I’ve ever used (I have used, and currently use quite a few) come close to offering a more useful time saving tool as Re-Mask does. It’s kinda nuts. Click on any of the following images to see a larger version.
Basically, it works like so:
1. Open your image in Re-Mask, which will look something like this:
2. Anything green will be kept, anything red will be masked out, and blue is the area that will determine the mask’s edge. To start, paint with a blue brush around your subject or subjects (basically, around anything you want to keep). For fine detail, like hair, you can pretty clumsily paint over the whole of the area, like so:
3. Next, grab the red paint can on the bottom of the tools panel, and click on any of the green areas in the image (background, etc) that you want to mask out keeping in mind that you’ll need an area closed off by blue, (otherwise it will fill into any connected area) like so:
4. Finally, click on the “Compute Mask” button on the lower left and adjust the edges via the sliders below:
After that, you can drag that newly masked layer anywhere, or open various other images as layers, and just place them below your masked, ReMask layer and Viola!
I chose this image because of the hair, which to be honest, can be an absolute nightmare to select and mask for in Photoshop. There are very intricate methods, some that work very well, but none are as quick and easy as ReMask is, or at least any that I’ve tried and found to be as effective. This image took me no more than 2 minutes to paint her outline, hair included, and get it returned to Photoshop as the masked layer you see below. I will admit that I could have done a better job, and if I were doing this as a paid project, I would more finely look to paint the mask, and adjust the sliders, but to show what is possible with very little effort, I feel it gives a good example of just how powerful, and easy this plugin is.
…can quickly become something like this:
Proof is in the pudding. Try it out for free (find and download the free trial here), and if you like it, get it for half off through the end of the month using the code “julyremask”. Have fun taking a subject and plugging them into various scenes. Use this to quickly and easily replicate the look for product shots on a pre shot background, or replacing the background for head shots, or family shots where one or more people are missing, etc, etc.
Re-Mask requires a “compatible host program” (PS, PS-CC, PS-Elements, Aperture, LightRoom, iPhoto, PhotoFXLab, Corel Paintshop Pro/Photoimpact, Serif Photo Plus or Irfanview) in OS 10.6+ or Windows 7+ with a recommended 4+ GB RAM.
You can find the deal for Topaz Re-Mask 50% off ($35, normally $70) HERE – Use code “julyremask” through July 31st, and watch your post processing time in Photoshop, or whichever program you use melt away.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Topaz stuff. They offer very useful and unique tools for very reasonable prices. If interested, you can have a look at what they offer via their website, see info and download free trials HERE.
You can see more of my reviews on various Topaz plugins via the Reviews page HERE if you’re interested. And I normally review whatever they happen to be promoting, which normally runs monthly, so feel free to sign up to receive my articles as they’re posted by entering your email at the top right of the page, or find me on Facebook or Twitter.
Thanks for the read and as always, happy shooting!
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to fire them off in the comments.
your demonstration of the power of remask is right on the money…This past winter I had undertaken a large project which required masking out subjects from 18 images…and the backgrounds were a bit busier than the image you are showing….I tried all the selection tools offered by photoshop…and it was painfully slow…I found Topaz Remask …watched a couple remask tutorials on youtube…did a little practicing and once I got it down…I whipped right through those images with very clean and accurate selections…sometimes I had to go in and fine tune…but that was no more than an extra minute…this is my go to tool to select a subject from the background
It is really a lightbulb moment type plugin. Once you have need for it, and figure out how to use it, it makes selection and masking SOOOOOO much easier 🙂
Thanks for sharing your experience SLF, always good to hear other’s experiences so that I don’t sound like I’m blindly beating the drum 😉
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Perfect,this is just what I’m after. Thanks for the walkthrough, very helpful. I love my Topaz collection and have been considering the mask for a while. Thanks, great review!
While many of the Topaz plugins are very cool, this and DeNoise might get my votes for the most useful. Both killer tools.
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any different than the CS5 refine edge tool? look very similar
The Refine Edge tool in CS5, or CS6 happens after you’ve selected your subject. The key to ReMask is in the selection itself, and it blows anything that Photoshop has out of the water. I think the quick selection tool in PS would be the closest tool that PS has built in. I don’t know how much you’ve used that, and while a nice tool for certain situations where you have a lot of contrast, it sucks in comparison and that doesn’t take into consideration selecting things like hair. Hair is the type of selection that can take hours in Photoshop with the included tools. Using difference filters to extract the strands and flyways from backgrounds, and usually only work (after a lot of work) if the background isn’t very busy and the hair stands out contrast wise to begin with. ReMask is a totally different animal.
If selection and mask refinement is a tree that needs to be cut down, Photoshop is a hand saw, ReMask is a chainsaw. So much quicker, so much more efficient.
I’d suggest downloading a trial version just to see how different it is to the more traditional selection tools in PS.
Hi Tyson , I just got remask 4,my host application is PS6. I want to swap the background in an image,so I have the background to use open in cs6,When I create a mask in remask, click OK to go back to PS6 I was expecting to see the image I want to place my mask on to in the layers panel, but it only contains the masking layers , so how do I get to place the masked image on to the new background?
Probably something simple I have missed.
Many thanks Paul T
My guess, if I’m understanding correctly, is that you just need to either open the “background” image as a layer in your masked image, or drag your masked image onto the image that you want as your background. Remask is going to help select a subject while removing the other elements in the image in question. That selection then needs to be placed on top of whatever background you may want, whether that is within a layered document where the “selection” needs to be above the background in the layers panel, or merely dragged onto the image you want as a background if that makes sense.
Does that help?
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