Masking and image extraction software ReMask 2 is out! See here for more details, including some killer new videos that really show off what it can do:

http://www.topazlabs.com/remask

Existing ReMask 1 customers get it for free – your license keys will still work when entered in ReMask 2.

Enjoy!

This post was originally posted on November 23, 2009

Ashley wrote a new noise reduction tutorial, in which she covered the following topics:

– Benefits of using Topaz DeNoise
– When to use Topaz DeNoise in your workflow
– Best photo noise reduction and cleaning methods
– Basic DeNoise operation
– Working with image color noise
– Advanced steps to take with Topaz DeNoise.

Check it out here: DeNoise Tutorial (pdf)

Any questions? Discussion here: DeNoise Tutorial Discussion

This post was originally posted on November 12, 2009

Discussion here.

Much has been said about Topaz ReMask, but now there’s one more thing to talk about: ReMask is about to become faster, easier, and prettier right in front of your eyes. We’ve been working Topaz ReMask v2, which includes a user interface for easier and more intuitive use – and even enhances the already high masking speed and mask quality of the original.

Just to give you an little sneak peek of what it will eventually look like, here’s a shot of the current alpha user interface:

Topaz ReMask 2 screenshot
Topaz ReMask 2 screenshot

(note that this may undergo significant changes by the actual release of ReMask 2)

The overall workflow will be like this:

  1. Paint the KEEP (green), CUT (red), and PROCESS (blue) areas with a combination of fill tools and brush tools.
  2. Hit the process button. The mask immediately updates right there in the user interface.
  3. Refine the mask if you wish by specifying more parts of the image to keep or remove. Refinement much easier because you can see exactly what you’re doing right there on the screen.

Extremely simple, highly intuitive, and still blazing fast – just the way masking should be. Here are a couple of other cool features in the new version:

  • Vastly improved and specialized hair masking algorithms.
  • Saves result to a layer mask in Photoshop if you have one enabled on the layer, or just cuts image out of its background if you don’t.
  • Four views that show all aspects of your mask at all times for the utmost control over your final result.
  • Undo/Redo functionality and full keyboard shortcut support.
  • Highly improved memory management – uses own memory instead of sharing Photoshop’s memory. This makes it a little faster and a lot stabler than original ReMask.

Personally, when I tried using the new version of ReMask for the first time, I was actually extremely surprised by how easy it was to use. Astronomical props go to our developers for releasing a completely redesigned and reworked product in such little time. This is not a little minor update, this is practically an entirely new product – looks like it, feels like it, and works like it. I usually don’t like to gush catchphrases but I was sincerely blown away by the difference between the new and old ReMask – it’s simply amazing. PSP and Elements will also be supported by ReMask 2 in addition to Photoshop.

Despite all these improvements, we really appreciate our early adopters and would therefore like to offer ReMask v2 when it’s released as a completely free upgrade for existing customers of ReMask v1. Your support and feedback is what makes the constant improvement of our products possible.

Thanks again! ReMask 2 is scheduled for a mid-November release, so you don’t have too long to wait.

This post was originally posted on November 5, 2009

This has been a good month for website feature additions! We’ve just released a Photography + Photoshop + Topaz discussion forum that you can access here:

http://www.topazlabs.com/forum

Sign up for lots of benefits! We have big plans for the forum, and in the future we will be integrating our customer back-end into it, which means your owned products can be integrated into your profile for forum perks and recognition. More immediately, we will be putting up contests (with prizes!), tutorials, techniques, and other goodies onto the forum. We also think it will be a great way for Topaz users to get in touch with other Topaz users to share tips and show off their unique images.

But it’s not exclusively Topaz-related stuff either – feel free to post about general photography or Photoshop topics as well! Occasionally we might even have a guest poster that will write a “How I Did This” tutorial or something similar on the forum. We at Topaz are also very heavily involved in our forum, so it’s a great way to get in touch with us as well.

All gallery submissions will now go through the forum. If you’re interested in beta testing Topaz software, we’ve also now formalized a beta tester program.

See you on the forums!

This post was originally posted on October 22, 2009

This post was originally posted on October 8, 2009.

(Go to the Topaz ReMask homepage here.)

There’s pros and cons to having a software that is completely integrated with Photoshop with no user interface of its own. Even though the complete Photoshop integration makes it much faster and easier to use when you understand how it works, the same thing makes it a bit harder to learn. That’s why we’ve been hard at work since its release to provide tutorials and educational material (in addition to the User’s Guide) to help smooth the learning curve for you. Whether you’re a Photoshop novice or guru, you will still pick a few things up from the following Topaz ReMask educational resources.

These resources are ordered from least advanced to most advanced:

ReMask: The Basics (pdf) – The complete beginner’s guide to using ReMask. If you don’t know how to use layer masks in Photoshop, start here.

Getting Started with Topaz ReMask (pdf) – The fastest way to get started with Topaz ReMask without having to know any theory. Involves the included ReMask Actions set for ease of use.

Topaz ReMask Quick Start (video) – The video companion to the Getting Started guide. Ashley shows you a basic step-by-step way to get a quick mask with Topaz ReMask.

How Topaz ReMask Works (video) – Eric gives a quick primer on how Topaz ReMask works and explains a bit about tri-maps.

Topaz ReMask Best Practices (video) – Eric goes into more depth into how Topaz ReMask processes its masks and three best practices to keep in mind while using it. This video is highly recommended if your masks aren’t turning out the way you expect.

You can also check out a short ReMask FAQ here.

If you find something unusual while working with ReMask, please take a look at the most appropriate resource. There’s usually a very simple explanation for anything that might go wrong. Hope that helps!

This post was originally posted on October 8, 2009