As I stated in yesterday’s post, Topaz Labs seem to be the most innovative photo software company at the moment. They’ve restructured their software into two groups:
- Topaz Studio, which contains all their ‘regular’ plugins and enhancement tools.
- The AI range, their specialist tools. And now they’ve added AI Mask.
I’ve played with it for literally 10 minutes and am excited enough to write this quick mini-review.
What is Mask AI?
Topaz describe it this way:
Creating complex selections by hand and perfecting them almost always takes way longer than expected. Meet Topaz Mask AI. Mask AI allows you to create tricky masks in record time thanks to our intuitive machine learning technology and trimap technique.
Less user input for an extremely high-quality mask has always been a photographer’s dream, and now you can have it with Mask AI.
You use this software to make selections in your images for the purpose of removing something, such as the sky, to replace it with something else.
It’s easier to see than it is to describe so here’s a screen shot:
In this image I want to remove the sky. All I had to do was paint a blue line across the top of the building with the brush tool. Then I used the Green bucket tool to flood fill the area beneath the blue line. The sky was already red. I then clicked the Compute Mask button and less than a minute later I had removed the sky. So easy. I can adjust the results if they are not optimal until the effect is complete.
Once done I can save my image for further processing.
Topaz says that if the main object in the scene is readily identifiable, AI Mask can automatically mask it for you. I haven’t tested this, but it sounds good to me.Affinity Photo Compatible
AI Mask comes with a Photoshop compatible plugin. That’s a necessary feature as you still have work to do after you finish masking. I installed the plugin to Affinity Photo, and it worked perfectly. Fantastic.
Results and Conclusion
Here’s a closeup of the output:
I’d say that was perfect. Could I have done it by hand? Maybe. But it would have taken hours whereas this took seconds…
What uses does this program have? I can think of some:
- Sky removal/replacement. Skylum Luminar is about to upgraded to do that automatically, so it’s a hot feature right now.
- Product shots. This will make it easy to remove the background and place the products in ideal settings. Even eBay images will benefit from this
- Detailed selections, such as taking a person from one picture to paste into another.
I guess the only limit is your imagination.
AI Mask is on sale at the introductory price of $69.99. It’s a fine tool for anyone who needs it.