I received a message from a user named Jeff who attended our Benefits of Masking webinar yesterday. He mentioned that he uses ReMask to mask images of his cat, but that his biggest problem is that it takes him so long to mask.

I don’t think I’ve ever masked a cat before, so I decided to give it a try. It was a fun little challenge for me. I thought’d I’d share my image and also some tips that might help you and Jeff.

Now, I was able to do this in less than 5 minutes. After I created my tri-map, I bumped my Recovery slider up to the max and then used the Magic Brush (just a few clicks and strokes) to clean up around my subject. For most images your will spend the majority of your time either creating the tri-map or refining your computed mask. Your masks don’t have to be perfect, but include as many selections as you can. Personally, I spend more time upfront creating my tri-map. This gives me more accurate results off hand…which means less time spent refining.

Here are three key tips to help you get better results faster:

1. During tri-map creation, limit the amount of blue (compute) selections. You don’t have to be precise, however an abundance of blue may result in longer processing times, a less refined initial mask and more refining at the end. So this means, use a smaller blue brush to outline your subject – you may need to zoom into your image more for this. You should also try to sample as many colors as red or green as possible. The more information you give ReMask to compute the better it will do.

2. If you are working on a complex area like hair and you have made several touch-ups with the red and green magic brush, you can then go back and paint over an area with your blue brush (you’ll probably want to increase your brush size a little). This will refine the area more (by recomputing) based off of the additional red and green Magic Brush selections you made…it’s a faster way to clean up difficult areas. It also helps with cleaning up those light gray areas you see when in mask view…that could transfer back to Photoshop as a light film-like contamination from the cutout background.

3. Make use of the various views and background color change option (located in the Menu -> Preferences). This will help you identify areas of clean up much faster.

Have a masking question? Let me know!

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