We’ve been pretty quiet on Twitter and the blog lately, but that’s because we were busy preparing a new product that we just released today called Topaz ReMask. Thanks for the very positive reaction!

There are a few commonly asked questions so far that I wanted to clear up. ReMask is definitely a little bit different as plug-ins go (mainly because it doesn’t have a user interface) but as soon as you get the hang of it it gets much easier and faster.

First, you don’t actually need to use the actions to run the software. The actions can speed up the process and make it easier on you, but they’re not required. The Topaz ReMask workflow with actions looks like this:

1. Open image and select layer.
2. Run “Before Masking” action.
3. Immediately brush gray for areas you want ReMask to process, white for areas you want to keep, and black for areas you want to remove.
4. Run “Process” action.
5. If refinement’s necessary, run the “Refine Mask” action and then run “Process” after you’re done refining.

That’s the ReMask workflow with actions – it’s simple and without too much fiddling around with layers and different views. Now, the actions won’t work if you’ve already completed some of the steps by yourself. For example, if you’ve already created a layer mask and you run the Before Masking action, you’ll get an error that says the “Make” command is not available. This is because it can’t make a layer mask on a layer that already has one.

By the way, the actions location was incorrect in the Quick Start video. Here are the actual locations:

Mac: HD->Library->Application Support->Topaz Labs->Topaz ReMask->Actions
Windows: C:\Program Files\Topaz Labs\Topaz ReMask\Actions

Or just download the actions here.

But it’s perfectly possible to use ReMask to great effect without using actions – there’s just a couple more things to keep in mind. Basically, ReMask requires the following condition to run:

You must have a layer selected with a layer mask containing white, gray, and black. The layer itself must be selected (not the layer mask).

Under the above condition, Topaz ReMask works completely fine by itself without the help of actions. After playing around with it for a bit, though, I find that using the actions greatly sped up my masking process. (For example, did you know that I actually did time trials and practiced my masking speed before making this video? Turned out that actions shaved off at least a couple of seconds from my record…)

But it’s up to you whether you want to use the actions or not. If you want to learn a bit more about exactly how ReMask works and our recommended workflows, please check out the Quick Start and How ReMask Works tutorials in the ReMask tutorials section.

Thanks! Feel free to pose any ReMask questions here.

This post was originally posted on September 26, 2009
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