Welcome to the Vertus blog; news, reviews and special offers

Fine hair masking with Fluid Mask 3

Better than chocolates…give the gift of YOU this Valentines! Spend less time on tricky cutouts and more time with whoever you want to be with….  work smarter by using Fluid Mask for wispy and fine hair masking.

We have several tutorials dealing specifically with hair and it’s own unique problems.. and if you’re a trial user, get Fluid Mask this Valentines for half price! Use coupon code ‘LOVEMASKING’ at our online store to apply the discount.

Whatever you’re doing (and whoever you’re doing it with!), Happy Valentines from all at Vertus!

fine hair masking with Fluid Mask

Posted on: February 12, 2016 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Hair Blending, Fluid Mask, Discounts & Promotions

Photoshop CC2015 Update – New Features and How To Plug Into Fluid Mask

Adobe this week announced a Photoshop CC 2015 update, which adds functionality and improvements to various tools. For those who do a lot of retouching and masking, improve mets to the healing brush (a diffusion slider) will be a welcome addition.

A lot of the changes have been  ‘to address several workflow issues’. A full list of these can be found over on the Adobe blog, and it’s a fairly long list!

While at first glance, additonal functionality is alway welcome, the flipside of this is ‘busier’ tool displays. With all this granular functionality, it’s harder and harder to reach some commonly used tool functions, via drop down menus via disclosure triangles, and results in a generally more crowded toolset. So another welcome addition is the ability to customise your toolbar.

Photoshop CC2015- new custom toolbar icon

The new ‘toolbar’ icon with ‘edit’ selected

Click and hold on the ellipses and select ‘Edit Toolbar’ for a simple drag and drop editor that allows you to consign the tools you seldom (or never) use to an ‘Extra Tools’ set, revealed by the disclosure triangle within the ‘Edit toolbar’ icon, you can also save a configuration as  customised toolsets.

Photoshop CC2015.1.2 customise toolbar window


It’s the addition of a ‘Welcome’ screen and flatter user interface design that will be the most obvious changes most users will notice. The welcome screen adds quick drag and drop access to Creative Cloud libraries (no doubt useful for some users, especially if you’re collaborating on projects), recently opened documents and a customisable ‘presets’ option for commonly used empty documents as starting points. Our jury is still out on this ‘welcome’ screen. If you are too, and would prefer not to use or even see this new feature (which does only appear in Application Frame Mode),  it’s easy to disable via ‘Preferences’ -> ‘General’ (shortcut: cmd K), and simply un-tick the checkbox “Show “Start” Workspace When No Documents Are Open” … we’re leaving that off for now!

Photoshop CC2015.1.2 update and Fluid Mask

If you use Fluid Mask as a filter/plug-in to Photoshop, you’ll need to relink it to Photoshop after installing the CC2015.1.2 update. Instructions and troublehsooting are available in detail via our knowledge base, here’s the info’ again for easy reference:

1. Ensure Fluid Mask and Photoshop are not running

2. Then please delete any sub-folder called ‘Vertus’ from the ‘plug-ins’ folder for whichever version(s) of Photoshop that you wish to plug Fluid Mask into (i.e CC2015), as well as any alias present named ‘Fluid Mask 3.plugin’

These folders/aliases can be found in the following locations:

Windows (typically, dependent on your configuration)

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\Plug-Ins


[your applications directory]\\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\Plug-Ins\Filters


Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS6/Plug-ins / Vertus    <- delete this folder

Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 /Plug-ins / Fluid Mask3.plugin      <- delete this plugin

3. Launch Fluid Mask, then go to the ‘Enable Plug-ins’ window via the help menu

Versions of Photoshop you have installed should all be showing in the Photoshop Window, with grey ticks.

4. If so, click Enable Photoshop Plug-in and go to step 6. If not, or a version you wish to plug into is not showing, then click the select button and navigate to it’s Plug-ins folder following the paths as listed above.

5. If the version of Photoshop you wish to plug into is not available to select, as it’s not showing in the Adobe Photoshop pane of ‘Enable Plug-ins’, then you’ll need to link manually:

– Please click the ‘select’ button, then navigate the same path as described above through the chooser window to the ‘plug-ins’ folder within your version of Photoshop (having made sure you’ve already deleted the existing sub-folder named ‘Vertus’). then hit ‘Enable Photoshop Plug-in’ and you should be successfully linked.

6. The click enable, and when prompted, enter your administrator password.

You should now have a green tick next to the version of Photoshop you have just successfully plugged Fluid Mask in to.

Should you require assistance then please contact us by submitting a ticket via oour support pages, for further help from our support team.

Posted on: January 25, 2016 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Announcements, Fluid Mask, Photoshop, Digital Imaging News

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.


Posted on: September 28, 2015 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Announcements, Fluid Mask, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting, Photoshop

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!

Posted on: August 1, 2015 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting, Bling! It, Play With Pictures

Adobe Shortcuts and Key Commands sheets

Photoshop Shortcuts SheetWe spotted this over on Petapixel and thought too useful not to repost – the folks over at setupablogtoday.com have created a handy Photoshop CC Shortcuts 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 Shortcuts and Key Commands sheet you can download from our blog.

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

Posted on: July 7, 2015 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Photoshop

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 to CC2015.

The Mac version of  Fluid Mask will successfully plug into CC2015 (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.

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.

Posted on: June 18, 2015 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting, Photoshop

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.

Posted on: June 15, 2015 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Discounts & Promotions

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 photography.  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!!!!!!

Portraiture Photography Cutout - BeforeHere 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. “


Portraiture Photography Cutout - After

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…

Posted on: April 29, 2015 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Testimonials, Fluid Mask, Discounts & Promotions

Fluid Mask 3 Key Commands and Shortcuts sheet.

A Happy New Year to all readers.

Here’s a handy download –   a Fluid Mask 3 shortcuts sheet listing key commands for Fluid Masks’s tools and commonly used actions. 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!!

Fluid Mask 3 Shortcuts Sheet


Posted on: January 8, 2015 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Further Tips, Fluid Mask, How to..., Tutorial

Elmo, meet Maleficent!!

Photographer & Art Director Mark Magner uses Fluid Mask a his go to cutout tool 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..

Posted on: August 12, 2014 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Testimonials, Tradeshows


Vertus is a market leader in creating accessible ways for people to work with digital imagery. We are a propriety leader in image segmentation and matting technology.

Get the latest news and special offers from vertus