Within Topaz ReMask there are a variety of brushes to choose from that will assist in correctly masking out an object from its background. If you’re new to the program, then all of these options might be confusing at first. To start, you’ll need to learn how to create a basic tri-map. After you understand how to do that you can move on to using the Dual Color brush, which is specifically used for masking transparent objects.
The Basic Tri-Map
If you already understand how to create a basic tri-map you may scroll past this. If not, to form a basic mask start by creating a tri-map using three colors (green, blue and red).
To summarize: Green = Keep, Red = Remove, and Blue = Process (the boundary between keep and remove).
The tri-map shown below was created by outlining the boundary with a Basic blue brush and then using the red paint bucket to fill in the background, while the foreground was kept green.Basic Tri-map
Dual Color Selection
The Dual Color Selection brush in ReMask is specifically used for masking transparent objects, where there is no distinct boundary between keep (green) and remove (red). A great example of this is a wedding veil.
After you’ve created your tri-map, choose the Dual Color Selection brush. With the green eyedropper, pick the main color of the foreground that you wish to keep. I selected the whitest part of the veil in this instance.
With the red eyedropper select a part of the background that is bleeding through the transparent object. In this case the reddish-brown in the bricks is what I chose. Make sure that you don’t actually select the color inside of the transparent object, as it might be contaminated with foreground color. You’ll want the color to be pure, so select it just outside the veil or opaque object.
Once you’ve done that, carefully brush over the transparent object and you’ll see that the technology within ReMask alters your tri-map to this selection, effectively creating a tri-map around the veil according to the colors you selected.
After the mask has computed, change your view in the top menu bar to either a split screen or quad screen mode. This will allow you to see the image and mask in different view modes. Switch one of your views to Keep mode to see what touch ups need to be made on the actual image. For tips on fine tuning your mask, check out this tutorial which offers some good advice: Tips for Fine Tuning with Topaz ReMask.
To bring back missing parts of the veil, I increased the Recovery slider under Foreground Color and then checked the High Quality option (you must be in Keep view mode to do this). Depending on how large your image is, this option may take a few minutes to compute, all the worthwhile.
While this option helps to bring some of the white veil back, you might notice that the background becomes more apparent too. To fix this, try increasing the Desaturation slider to reduce the saturation of the red hues. Another option is to use Topaz Clarity’s HSL panel to selectively reduce the saturation of warm tones in the veil and then use Clarity’s masking tool to bring back the color everywhere else.HSL and masking tools in Clarity
Back in your host editor, open a new background image to place your masked image onto.
1. Go to your layers panel and select the mask you just created.
2. Press ctrl/cmd + A to select everything.
3. Press ctrl/cmd + C to copy your selection.
4. Now go to your background image and press ctrl/cmd + V to paste that selection.
5. To resize, press ctrl/cmd + T and then hold the shift key down to maintain proportions.
The replacement background image used was taken with a cell phone and the light didn’t match at first. I brought the background image into Adjust and Clarity for exposure correction and tone level adjustments, which helped my new creation appear more realistic.
If you’d like to learn more about masking transparent objects using the Dual Color Selection brush, check here fore additional learning resources: