Edge Blending Archives - VertusTech

‘Edge Blending’ Category

When a cutout is not as easy as it looks…. patches to the rescue!!

Here’s an image that’s a good example of the flexibility that the patches tool can offer. Patches allows you to blend a large variety of edges with different characteristics independently of each other, to create a successful cut out. The forced edge tool also plays a role. Although this is sometimes seen as a tool of last resort, it allows you the flexibility to decide for yourself where the cutout should start and finish. This ability to create and define an edge can be an enormous advantage, when there’s no discernible edge to find.


At first glance this image looks like an easy task, shot in the studio against a plain white background. But zooming in closer you can see that the lighting used to create the high key effect has produced some quite different edges to consider, from the dark shadow area around the feet and jeans, to the soft edges generated by the rim and fill light along the tops of her shoulders and torso, and of course there’s also her hair to consider. No problem for Fluid Mask!   (click the image to see a larger version –  please note this image is © shutterstock )

Here’s my Color Workspace, and here’s what I did:



First off, edge width threshold at 6 pixels, number of edges at 50% and blend width set to to thin does the job for all of the image except where I’ve applied patches (around her head for the hair and along her shoulders and torso). I’ve added a forced edge with a few clicks along the top of her laptop and where she’s in contact with the floor, as I don’t want that shadow retained in my cutout.

I’ve used the blend brush on her hair and around the shirt, and then applied patches to shoulders and torso and set the blend ratio (controlled by the feather/smart slider in the edge blending pane) over towards feather, (at ratios of 4:1 for left shoulder, 3:1 for right shoulder and left torso and at 2:1 for right torso). It was really just a matter of drawing in the patch and then playing with the slider and previewing what looks best. I then applied another patch over the head and neck and again, after trying a few different ratios and previewing my results, using the preview cut-out tool, I set the feather / smart ratio at 1:1 which gave the best rendering.


And here’s the finished cutout below. I’ve placed her against a red background so you can best see the edges (click for high res’). An image which whilst looking to be a simple masking task, actually has a few complications and tricky edges, handled by with Fluid Mask 3 with the use of patches.

You can learn more about patches, getting edge blending right and the forced edge tool from our techniques tutorials.

Work smarter not harder with Fluid Mask.

Posted on: February 4, 2014 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Edge Blending, Fluid Mask, How to...

Fluid Mask and a Humming Bird

Here’s a photo of a humming bird taking nectar from a flower. Nice and sharp with a long lens ensuring a shallow depth of field and a high shutter speed to freeze the wings. The masking task is made easier by the contrasting colours in the foreground and colour blending in the background. As you can see this was shot outdoors on a bright sunny day, which means that some light reflections and colouring may make it tricky to cut the flower and bird from their background. By increasing the amount of edges and reducing the edge width in Fluid Mask, this problem is easily resolved.


The next image (below) shows how the photograph should look once the background is masked out. The background colour was created using the swatch in Fluid Mask. The use of colour here prevents any visual confustion regarding the reflections, which creep on to the subject matter.


If you can achieve these great results, just think what else you can do when you start incorporating more interesting backgrounds and creating complicated cut outs!

Posted on: March 22, 2010 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Edge Blending, Fluid Mask

Understanding Edge Blending – A Feather vs. Smart Blend

One of the crucial components of producing realistic cut-outs is how well the extracted object (cut-out) blends into the new background. Tools in Photoshop, for example, allow you extraction images with the extract tool or quick select tool but it’s when you drop in new backgrounds you see the cut-out sticking out like a sore thumb! Then is hours spent of your time trying to feather / soften / blend that hard edge – who needs that? Exactly!

So let us introduce to you yet another time saving function in Fluid Mask 3. Users of Fluid Mask 3 are already benefiting from Smart Blending – this tutorial will show you how to set parameters within Fluid Mask 3 that will automatically recognise and react to soft and hard edges within the same image!

Make a few adjustments, analyse the image and let Fluid Mask 3 do the work for you! Too good to be true? Nope! just watch the video, all will be revealed.

Click on image to watch the video

Posted on: January 16, 2010 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Edge Blending, How to...


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