For me, working with ReMask has been the quickest and easiest way to achieve my masking needs for selective adjustments and background replacement. However, I’m sure you will agree, that the faster and better your tools work, the quicker you can get off the computer and get back to shooting. So today I want to share a few tricks with you, that I use in my personal workflow, on how to speed up the ReMask 3 masking process.

A little background information….
ReMask is able to create masks and extractions be analyzing the colors in each of the three selections (red, green and blue) you make when creating your tri-map. So the more colors you sample the better your initial mask will be.

My workflow tips:
1. I make it a habit to sample as many colors in my image as red (cut) or green (keep) when creating my tri-map…this also means less refining at the end.

2. I use a smaller brush size when making my blue outline…it doesn’t have to be precise but smaller tends to work better for me.

3. I also mark red or green in areas with gaps or openings (where the background shows through….I call it dead space). Such as between branches and fingers. Thus minimizing the amount of blue in my tri-map.

So when I am marking more of my image as red or green, I am essentially limiting the amount of blue (compute) selection in my image. The reason behind this is that:

An abundance of blue may result in longer tri-map processing times
An abundance of blue often leaves more areas in need of refining at the end

This example shows my tri-map results when using a larger blue outline with more green and red selections. As you can see, my initial results are OK, but there is a lot more refinement to be done.

This example shows my tri-map results when using a smaller blue outline with more green and red selections. As you can see my initial results are more precise and there is less refinement to be done.
Now, if you are working on smaller images, then there is a second way that you can also speed up the computing process…this is found in your Menu -> Preferences. Here you will find a high / low quality compute option.

Using the High Quality (slow) option will process your larger images slower, however your final processed image will have better quality. The default setting (when unchecked) is Draft qual ity (fast) which will process your larger images faster, however you could see blurring or distortion of fine edges.

Happy Masking!
This post was originally posted on January 14, 2011
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