I very much enjoy re-making images that I take in to something new and different. This is particularly true when the image has “issues”. I always leave a few images that need major work in a folder to work with on a rainy day. Today was one of those days and it is also Topaz Labs ReMask month and so I decided to find an image that ReMask could help me with. I was looking at images from my Winter Wildlife Photography Workshop and I found this horse image. I loved the pose and the alert ears (critical for a horse image), but I hated the grouping, the background and the overall composition of the image. Pretty much everything except the horse!

Click here to check out the full tutorial workflow and see how this image was created.

As you may know, August is Mastering Mask’s Month here at Topaz and we have been working all month to provide new webinars, tutorials and educational material (in addition to the User’s Guide) to help smooth the ReMask learning curve for you. I have created a compilation of the various ReMask resources so you can easily see and access them. Whether you’re a Photoshop novice or guru, you will still pick a few things up from the following Topaz ReMask educational resources.

ReMask Documentation

ReMask Quick Start Guide (pdf) – Already know the masking basics? Learn the essentials and jump right into the ReMask workflow.

ReMask Users Guide (pdf) – Get detailed information on all of the tools and features of ReMask.

ReMask Shortcut Keys (pdf) – Learn the shortcut key is ReMask that can help speed up your workflow.

Intro to Masking and ReMask

Masking Explored(Blog Article) – New to Masking? This is the best place to begin! Explore the what and why’s of masking, and learn more about ReMask’s powerfully simple tools that make masking easy.

Masking Made Easy(Webinar Archive) – Join Topaz Expert Greg Rostami as he demonstrates the easy use of ReMask. If you are new to ReMask or searching for an easier and faster masking solution, you don’t want to miss this presentation.

ReMask 3 Overview (video) – Greg gives a intro on how Topaz ReMask works 3 and demonstrates the new tools. He also shows the process for doing a basic mask and also a tree and a veil.

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.

ReMask 3 Overview (video) – Greg demonstrates how you can use ReMask to mask hair.

Advanced / Masking Specifics

ReMask: Veil & Transparency Tutorial (pdf) – A tutorial that demonstrates the best ways to mask veils.

ReMask: Tree Masking Tutorial (pdf) – A tutorial that demonstrates the best ways to mask trees.

Blending and Merging (pdf) – A tutorial that helps you beyond the mask. Learn more about the Photoshop tools that you can use to add in a new background and blend your image elements.

Selective Adjustments with ReMask (pdf) – ReMask makes it easy to isolate elements in an image for selective adjustments. This tutorial quickly highlights some of the things that you can do.

Mastering ReMask for Landscape Images (Webinar Archive) – Learn how to quickly and realistically replace that boring sky for a better one using the advanced controls in Topaz ReMask.

Tips and Tricks

Topaz ReMask Workflow Tips (Blog Article) – Ashely explores Eric’s original best practices and adds some new tips to help you improve your masking technique and workflow.

Simple Masks with ReMask & PS Selection Tools (Webinar Archive) – Follow along as Topaz Expert Greg Rostami demonstrates his streamlined and simple way to create masks using Topaz ReMask and the selection tools found in Photoshop.

Non-Destructive Masking/Using Layer Masks (Blog Article) – A tutorial that shows you how to mask your image without actually cutting your image (a non-destructive workflow).

Saving a Mask in Progress (Blog Article) – A tutorial that shows you how to save a mask that is in progress so that you can return to it later.

Speed Up the Masking Workflow (Blog Article) – A tutorial that shows you how to speed up your ReMask workflow.

Create Clipping Paths (Blog Article) – A tutorial that shows you how use ReMask and Photoshop to create clipping paths.

Quick Tips

Selective Adjustments using ReMask (Webinar Archive) – A quick tip webinar that shows you how use ReMask for selective adjustments.

Merging and Blending for a Natural Composition (Webinar Archive) – A “after-the-masking- tutorial that gives you helpful tips on merging and bleniding your masked image with a new background.

Need more? Sign up for one of our upcoming ReMask webinars -OR- ask Ashley.

SmugMug + Topaz + You

We’re giving away three SmugMug accounts and three sets of Topaz software to three lucky digital photographers.

To enter, follow @SmugMug and @TopazLabs and Tweet this:

Enter to win prizes from @SmugMug and @TopazLabs. More info: http://smu.gs/QocA87. Please RT. #SmugMugTopazGiveaway

We’ll randomly pick three winners on August 10, 2012, who will win:

1. SmugMug Basic account + Topaz Adjust program (A $89.99 value)

2. SmugMug Power User account + Topaz Adjust, B+W and Simplify programs (A $209.97 value)

3. SmugMug Pro account + Topaz Bundle, which includes 10 Topaz programs: Adjust, DeNoise, Simplify, Clean, ReMask, B&W Effects, Lens Effects, Detail, InFocus and DeJPEG. (A $449.99 value)

As always, we’ll announce the winners in this space, so stay tuned. Good luck!

August is Masking Month here at Topaz Labs and I’m super excited about the new tutorials, webinars and resources that we have lined up for you. As you are reading this, you may be wondering if the need for masking applies to you. If you are a photographer then masking is ABSOLUTELY for you! Masking is an essential tool to every photographer’s post processing workflow because the ability to quickly create accurate masks and cutouts provides greater flexibility to your post processing workflow. This means an easier way to selective adjustments, background replacements, subject repositioning, web-ready images, multi-layer compositions and more!

Already looking to get started with your masking workflow? Enjoy a special 30% Masking Month discount on Topaz ReMask just by entering coupon code: ” promasker ” during checkout!

So all month long we will be exploring the many uses and benefits that masking offers. Plus we’ll show you ways to accelerate your masking workflow and give you the tips you need to get most out of your work with ReMask. Plus we’ll also be exploring the built-in masking technology found in photoFXlab and show you how, together with ReMask, you can have even more power and control.

A Photo Masking Challenge, Masking Freebies, Exclusive Discounts, a ReMask gallery and new masking tutorials are just some of what’s in store.

New Masking Webinars include:
ReMask for Beginners
The Benefits of Masking
Double Your Control – The Power of Masking with ReMask and photoFXlab™”
Creative Compositions – Sponsored by LayerCake Elements
ReMask vs. photoFXlab’s Masking Tools
Enhancing Backgrounds – Sponsored by PhotoBacks
Understanding Layer Masks in photoFXlab

If you’re curious about masking or if you have masking questions let me know by leaving a message below. If you have ReMask examples or masking stories you’d like to share be sure to join in on the conversation with on Facebook.

A special thanks to our awesome sponsors LayerCake Elements and PhotoBacks who are supplying us with fantastic resources and goodies to enhance your photos. Stay tuned for more details!

Seeing Bob’s Topaz Tuesday image reminded me of some awesome images my cousin and I took while exploring the Deep Ellum area in Dallas. So I dusted out my gone-but-not-forgotten storage device and rummaged around until I found a good candidate.

Original Image

Before jumping into Adjust 5, I did make a light levels adjustment. Then I brought the image into Adjust, and similar to Bob’s workflow I added the Grunge Me preset – adjusting both the Saturation and the Protect Highlights sliders.

After Grunge Me Preset

What I did differently with my image is that I also increased the Regions slider (in Adaptive Exposure) to 5 and I set my Saturation Boost slider value to .75.

Final Image

Which version of the image you like better. Be sure to let me know where I can see your Topaz Tuesday images. Feel free to share them on our Facebook page.