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‘Fluid Mask’ Category

Fluid Mask, Photoshop and macOS High Sierra

macOS High Sierra IconMost of the changes made when upgrading to High Sierra are under the hood.

MacOS High Sierra introduces APFS (Apple File System) to Mac computers. APFS replaces Mac OS Extended (HFS+) as the default file system for solid-state drives (SSDs) and other all-flash storage devices, and this caused the plugin linking system within Fluid Mask to no longer call Photoshop successfully.

We have a fix that enables Fluid Mask to plug into Photoshop when operating macOS High Sierra. Please update your Fluid Mask with our High Sierra build which you can download here.

You can overwrite (replace) your previous build when installing. To then link to Photoshop, firstly please ensure neither Fluid Mask or Photoshop is running.

Then delete the plug-in aliases Photoshop has previously stored. In your applications folder, click on the Photoshop version(s) folder, then select the ‘Plug-ins’  sub folder. Delete any folder named ‘Vertus’ or Fluid Mask 3.plugin alias you find contained there.

You can now launch Fluid Mask as a free standing application, and go through the process of linking Fluid Mask to Photoshop again. A reminder on the process to do this:
From Fluid Mask’s menu bar, select, ‘Help’ , then ‘Enable Plug-Ins’. The version(s) of Photoshop you have installed and wish to plug into should be listed. Ensure the check box is ticked and hit ‘Enable Photoshop Plug-in’.  When prompted, enter your administrator password. If your version of Phtoshop is not listed, please navigate manually to it’s ‘Plug-ins’ folder, as per the path listed above when you previously deleted old plug-in link.

Quit Fluid Mask and launch Photoshop, Fluid Mask should now be accesible via the Filter menu again.

If you have any problems please contact our support team.

 

Posted on: October 22, 2017 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, Photoshop, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting

New Fluid Mask for Mac build available

We have released a new build of Fluid Mask for Mac, version 3.3.16. This fixes an issue that affected users running Sierra 10.12.2 or later, which caused mask overlay colours not to load correctly. Please launch your current version of Fluid Mask and via the help menu, go to ‘Check for Updates’ to be directed to the download page for this update.

Please do not use any third party software to uninstall your old version, as this may cause you to lose licensing info’ and you’ll need to re-enter your license activation code. Instead,  allow the install process to overwrite your old build, ( Mac OS also gives you the option of keeping both).

If you have experienced this issue, once you have updated to the new build, it may be necessary to restore the color defaults. Please launch v3.3.16 and in the Menu Bar go to ‘Fluid Mask 3’ -> ‘Preferences…’ . This will bring up the Workspace Settings pane. Click on the ‘Colors’ tab, and hit ‘Restore Defaults’. This step is only necessary once, your color preferences will then be retained for subsequent sessions.

 

Posted on: February 10, 2017 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Announcements, Fluid Mask, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting, Uncategorized

Fluid Mask & Photoshop 2017

Photoshop 2017 Splash Screen

 

Adobe have just released Photoshop 2017. A full list of what’s new can be found over at the Adobe Blog. Fluid Mask has now been updated to maintain plug-in compatibility, and the previous version, 3.3.15, will also successfully plug into CC 2017, you just need to do so manually. Here’s information on how to do this:

Mac build:

1. Ensure Fluid Mask and Photoshop are not running

2. Launch Fluid Mask, then go to the ‘Enable Plug-ins’ window via the help menu (if you have retained your previous version of Photoshop CC, that should already be showing in the Enable plug-ins showing as linked with a tick in in it’s box). You should also see Photoshop 2017 there, with a white tick in a blue box.

3. Please click the ‘select’ button and then navigate to Photoshop 2017’s plug-ins folder, typically found:   Macintosh HD / Applications / Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 /Plug-ins, then hit ‘choose’.

4.  Then click ‘Enable Photoshop Plug-in’.

You should now have a green tick next to the CC2017 option. Should you have any problems with this please submit a ticket via our support portal. Our support team will be happy to help with any issues you experience.

Windows build:

It’s necessary to re-install Fluid Mask to access the plug in window that’s part of the install process. You can download Fluid Mask 3.315 again here.

1 . After accepting licensing terms and choosing install location for Fluid Mask (by default; C:\Program Files (x86)\Vertus Fluid Mask 3), you’ll come to the Plug-In host location page.  Tick the relevant box(es) for any other locations you wish to plug Fluid Mask into (if you have retianed older versions of Photoshop you also wish to plug into into), then scroll down the window of Plug-in hosts available and last option here is ‘Other (64-bit)’, see image below.  Select this and hit ‘Next > ‘

plug-in-locations

2.  Then navigate to Photoshop CC 2017’s plug-in folder, located: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2017\Plug-ins\

3.  Hit ‘Next’ and continue the installation process.. You should now have successfully plugged Fluid Mask into Photoshop CC 2017

Should you have any problems with this please submit a ticket via our support portal. Our support team will be happy to help with any issues you experience.

 

Posted on: November 3, 2016 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, Photoshop, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting

Landscape Photography – creative sky replacement using the color picker

 

landscape-cutout

 

Mother nature’s rich color palette at this time of year is a gift for landscape photography, often accompanied by mellow light and artistic skies that further enhance an image.. but not always. If conditions aren’t totally perfect, don’t let that stop you getting the shot.

Photography, of course, is all about light, and no amount of post production can replace the magic that happens in camera. But, if you don’t have the luxury of time, the location on your doorstep, or any of the other factors that mean this is your only chance for an image, then take it! It’s easy to replace flat grey skies using Fluid Mask with just a few clicks. This example was done in less than 3 minutes, utilising the color workspace to pick out the background with just a few clicks. Here’s a step by step explanation:

01–  First up, I selected the color picker and set the resolution to it’s coarsest setting. The sky we’re looking to select is the lightest part of the image, so by selecting just the first band, furthest to the right on the histogram, that’s highlighted most of the sky areas for me.

I then assigned these to my delete mask, by clicking on the red bucket on the left hand side of the color picker pane.

With the blend mode set to ‘thick’, I then hit ‘create cutout’ for an initial first pass at this mask.

 

– That’s given me a pretty good cutout, but viewing in the Cut-out tab, by setting the background color to something ultra contrasty (black!), you can see that there’s still a few small areas of sky showing though the leaves.

So, going back to the color picker, I zoomed in and manually selected some of these areas sampling directly from the image. Holding down the shift key allowed me to add multiple areas to my selection.

See the image below where I’ve zoomed in even further to show this.

 

picker

– Using the coarsest setting the color picker offers to get to this point so quickly, I ended up with a few of the highlights in the leaves also added to my delete mask, so tabbing between the original and the workspace, using the keep brush I spent a minute adding these highlights back to my keep mask, keeping the blend mask width to ‘thick’ to avoid any unnatural hard edges.

And that’s the job done. Super easy, super fast!

You can of course work the other way around – use the color picker to select hues for your keep mask, and then use the autofill with delete option, instead of autofill with keep. It would depend on whether it’s your foreground or background that has the easier selection to pick out. For landscape photography, it’s often the sky that an easier selection to make.

Enjoy the magic of fall, whatever the weather, and work smarter with Fluid Mask.

Posted on: September 27, 2016 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, How to..., Trees & Lattices, Tutorial

Fluid Mask 3 Key Commands and Shortcuts sheet.

 

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: September 8, 2016 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, Further Tips, How to..., Tutorial

Fluid Mask Training: project file and video tutorial

Here’s a cutout tutorial along you can work along to by downloading a Fluid Mask training project file. 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 cutout tutorial, by going to File -> ‘Revert Mask’. 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.

 

Posted on: December 1, 2015 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, How to..., Trees & Lattices, Tutorial

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

Windows:

– 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.

Mac:

– 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, Photoshop, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting

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: Bling! It, Fluid Mask, Play With Pictures, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting

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, Photoshop, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting

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.”

20140706_camiolo_miata_0065_bw

 

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: Discounts & Promotions, Fluid Mask, Testimonials

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