Fluid Mask 3.3.14 released – adds CC2015 compatibility for Windows users and more

Now available for all Fluid Mask users is version 3.3.14.  The major changes are to the Windows build, adding Photoshop CC2015 and Serif Photoplus X8 compatibility. Below is a full list of changes and additions made. If you wish to update, and it’s recommended that all users do so, you can download the new version by launching Fluid Mask and going to ‘check for updates’ via ‘help’ in Fluid Mask’s menu bar.

Fluid Mask 3.3.14 Change Log


- Added Photoshop CC2015 plugin compatibility.                                                                – Added Serif Photoplus X8 compatibility.                                                                            – Fixed bug where for some users, Fluid Mask crashed instantly upon launch.                       – Extended free trial period from 15 days to 30.


- Added Apple Developer code signing certificate.                                                              – Extended free trial period from 15 days to 30.


Vertus applications & Windows 10

Windows 10 WallpaperAll our testing shows Vertus applications running as normal in Windows 10, however if you should encounter any problems after upgrading your Windows operating system, please let us know with an email to support@vertustech.com.

If you’re interested, check out this youtube video to see how the image above was created and photographed in a studio, rather than CGI. Good to see Microsoft investing in real photography!

Adobe Short Cuts and Key Commands sheets

We spotted this over on Petapixel and thought too useful not to repost – the folks over at setupablogtoday.com have created a handy Photoshop CC Short Cuts sheet. They’ve also created them for Lightroom, Bridge and most other Adobe applications (see ‘related posts’ on their site).

Don’t forget there’s also a Fluid Mask 3 Short Cuts and Key Commands sheet you can download from our blog.

Whatever application you’re using, familiarising yourself with it’s short cuts and key commands is the quickest, simplest and easiest way to speed up your workflow and work smarter!

Fluid Mask and Photoshop CC 2015

**UPDATE** The most recent windows build of Fluid Mask, version 3.3.14, now plugs into Photoshop CC2015. For more info’, see this more recent blog post.



Adobe have this week announced an update of Photoshop from CC 2014 to CC 2015.

The Mac version of  Fluid Mask will successfully plug into CC 2015 (you just need to go through the ‘enable plug-ins’ process, via the help menu in Fluid Mask’s menu bar). Should you have any problems with this please contact our support team who’ll be happy to help with any issues you experience.

Unfortunately the current Windows build of Fluid Mask does plug into CC 2015 – we are working on an updated build and will notify you as soon as that’s available.

The good news is that there’s a workaround. If you’d like to continue using Fluid Mask as a photoshop plug-in, you have the option to leave CC 2014 installed on your PC alongside CC 2015. If you have not already updated to CC 2015, and wish to keep CC2014 temporarily installed alongside CC2015 to use with Fluid Mask, when you get to this panel during the update process…CC2015_updatepanel

.. leave the ‘Remove old versions’ box unchecked – this will preserve CC 2104 and you can continue to use Fluid Mask as a plug-in.

If you have already updated and CC 2014 is no longer on your machine, there are instructions here on the adobe blog as to how to re-install CC 2014.

What’s the big deal??!!?!

Our friends over at FotoPromos.com have put together a summer bundle that looks to be the real big deal – over $4,000 of photography resources for a crazy $99! A massive collection of training videos, presets and actions, plus e-books and tutorials from some of the industry’s best – plus some smart savings on software and cloud synced photo storage products (hot tip: check out Athentech’s ‘Perfectly Clear’ Photoshop and Lightroom plugin.. we reckon this deal is worth it’s purchase price for that alone!).


With 20% of total sales going to charity, everybody wins with this big deal – but you’ve got less than 10 days to grab yourself a bargain! Check it out over at FotoPromos.com.

How Jim LaSala adds value to his photography business with Fluid Mask

We talked to Jim previously in the Vertus blog about how he uses Fluid Mask in the workflow for his fine art photography. This time we’re focussing on the kind of jobs that are a working photographer’s bread and butter. Let’s start with portraiture. Over to Jim;

“…remember the days where we all ran out and bought the latest and greatest backgrounds? Let’s see. There was backgrounds for babies, seniors, engagements, weddings, high key, low key… the list goes on and on. We would spend a fortune just keeping up. So how do we work around that? What are some of the things that we can do to show our creativity. FLUID MASK!!!!!!

20140129_maggie_isaac-0020Here we see a before and after that was shot just using a plain white background. Now, many people will say, well you put it on a background that was easy to mask (we will get to one that was more difficult in a minute). My answer to that is (duh) yeah!!!!! Part of the planning is understand what you want the final image to look like. If I know i’m going to shoot a young model with black hair and a black dress, you better believe I won’t being using a black seamless paper. The idea of masking and montaging is to make your job as easy as possible. Think ahead, pre visualize.”

See how Jim uses Fluid Mask in his commercial portraiture work in his Portrait Backgrounds Video Tutorial.

“My backgrounds are endless. I can go as far as my imagination will take me. “



Here’s another job that Jim’s put Fluid Mask to use on, masking both foreground and background elements from 2 separate images to realise his vision:

20140706_camiolo_miata_006520110905_landscapes_0006“A client who’d just got a new toy (his car), wanted something other than a plain background. So, we went out towards the end of the day and found an empty schoolyard. I used a fisheye lens. Although it is a lens that has so much distortion, I put the subject in the middle of the lens as to lessen this effect. I then went into my background library and was looking for something that would compliment the product as well as tell a story. The camera angle on both subjects works nicely together, and just take note of the transparent areas (windshield), as well as the trees in the second image. The original sky was ok, but I was looking for a bit more drama knowing that I would be turning this image into black and white. So, once again, back into my bag of goodies and pulled out a sky.

20140706_camiolo_miata_0084This was a fun project to work on and would have been very very difficult without having the right tools.”

“The right tool for me is Fluid Mask. Thank you Vertus for a software that has changed the way I do business.”



Thanks to Jim for sharing his work with us, see more at www.jimlasala.com

For a limited period… click here to save 40% and get Fluid Mask for $89

See how far your imagination can take you…

Download this Fluid Mask 3 Key Commands and Shortcuts sheet.

A Happy New Year to all readers!

Here’s a handy reference sheet listing key commands for Fluid Masks’s tools and commonly used actions via the menu bar. You can really speed up your workflow by getting to know and using these shortcuts. Please click on the image to view and download the .pdf version.  Work even smarter with Fluid Mask 3!!



Elmo, meet Maleficent!!

Photographer & Art Director Mark Magner uses Fluid Mask in his role as Design Director at Sesame Workshop. He recently demoed on the Wacom stand at Comic-Con International in San Diego last month, where two very different characters met for the first time…

Elmo says hi to Malifecient, (with a little help from Mark!)on the Wacom stand at Comic-Con International '14 in San Diego last month.

Elmo says ‘Hi!’ to Maleficent, (with a little help from Mark)on the Wacom stand at Comic-Con International ’14 in San Diego last month.

HIs workshop was very well attended with an audience keen to see his workflow, and Fluid Mask plays a big role: “I have found that Fluid Mask is one of the best applications available for masking the kinds of textures that our characters have.”

Here’s Mark to explain a little more:

“Working with Sesame Street photography has one challenge that is unique, masking images of the characters while maintaining enough soft hair on the outside edges to still look natural…… There is no end to the masking software that’s available as well as methods that you can do in Photoshop alone. We’ve tried them all with varying degrees of success. Most do very well on smooth edged objects, human hair or animal fur, but the Sesame Street Muppets have very fine fur which is often so lightly colored it’s difficult to find the edges between the background and foreground…..

Another challenge we have is completely removing the white background that is visible between the hairs. If the masked photo is used against white or a light color it’s not a problem, but if the photo is placed against a darker background a halo of the residual background color often appears and this doesn’t look natural. I have found that Fluid Mask is one of the best applications available for masking the kinds of textures that our characters have. The program is intuitive and the process is reasonably fast. However, for best results, if the artwork is going to be seen large I tell people that the results are directly related to your patience and knowledge of the software.”

Here's Mark (center) with Diana Leto, Freelance Illustrator and Douglas Little, Sr. Public Relations Manager  at Wacom

Here’s Mark (center) with Diana Leto, Freelance Illustrator and Douglas Little, Sr. Public Relations Manager at Wacom

Maybe it’s just the childhood memories the thought evokes, but we’re stoked that Elmo, Grover and the rest of the Sesame Street gang benefit from Fluid Mask!

If you haven’t already, it’s worth spending a little time browsing the learning resources on this blog, and check out our tutorials in full on YouTube. Work smarter with Fluid Mask!

See more of Mark’s design and photography work on his website http://www.magnergraphix.com , or re-live your childhood a little, over at the Sesame Workshop.

It’s a sunny day, everything’s – A-Okay, and we’re off to where the air is sweet..

Fluid Mask Training: project file and video tutorial

Here’s a Fluid Mask training project file. This is designed to be worked on while following the short instructional video on our YouTube channel. After applying a patch to the whole image, you’ll be shown how to easily mask out the sky, without losing any of the fine detail. This utilises the color workspace, one of Fluid Mask’s key tools to help you achieve perfect masks, quickly and easily.

Fluid Mask Training - before/after image

Here’s the original image and the final mask, click for larger image to see the detail

..and here's our image with a new sky added

..and here’s our image with a new sky added.  A definite improvement!

Please download the .vfmp file here, and view the accompanying tutorial on YouTube.

The project (.vfmp) file will download automatically after accepting license conditions, and can then be opened in Fluid Mask, either by launching Fluid Mask, then in the menu bar going to ‘File’ -> ‘load project’ and selecting the downloaded file (FM3_Training_1.vfmp).
Or you can just double click the project file which will launch Fluid Mask and load the project.
Upon first opening, the project shows you how your completed mask will look. You can clear this and apply the mask again, working along to the video, by going to File -> ‘Revert Mask’. As always, remember when adding to your blend selection, that you must extend your blend by brushing all the way into your keep and your delete selections.. it’s leaving a selection out, however small, that confuses Fluid Mask and results in contamination.

As always, we welcome any feedback.


Jim LaSala featured in LensWork

LensWorkCongratulations to Jim LaSala, whose documentary work in Haiti is featured in the latest edition of LensWork Magazine. As well as an interview with Jim, one of his images also made the cover. LensWork is a bi-monthly print magazine that’s also available as a digital version.. “about Photographs (rather than cameras!)” … how refreshing!

We’ve previously featured some of Jim’s work from Haiti on the Vertus blog, as well as his use of Fluid Mask. You can also see his video masterclass using Fluid Mask in his digital studio on our YouTube channel.