SmartMask does have some advanced tools for those that wish to make an absolutely perfect cutout and these take some time to learn. Overall this is a plug-in that will only really suit those who do an awful lot of cutting out.
A lot of the software that Akvis makes is available as a standalone product as well as a Photoshop plug-in, which makes the products universally accessible. Unfortunately that’s not so for SmartMask, which is a real shame. Despite this, if you do own Photoshop and have the need to cut people and objects out from images then you may be looking for a solution that can save you time and effort. Well, look no further. This plug-in is by no means perfect but it will, without question, save you some time once you get the hang of it.
Once you’ve loaded the image you wish to chop up in Photoshop and unlocked the layer, you can select SmartMask as a plug-in from the Filters list. The image will then be loaded in a new window where you can use the SmartMask tools. The premise is really simple – use one brush to select items to keep and another to select those to be lost. The idea is that with two rough outlines offering the software an inclusive and exclusive path, it can detect all of the actual edges and make the selection very exact. It’s a little hit and miss at times but the results can be startling. There is salvation fo
r those hit and miss areas in the form of a Soft brush that you an use to detail where the edges meet and the software should work a little harder. With these extra lines drawn on tough areas, SmartMask will take a second look and improve the selection. Once you are happy you click a button to return to regular Photoshop with just the portion of the picture you wished to keep. This can then be added to any other picture you want as a separate layer.