Further Tips Archives - VertusTech

‘Further Tips’ Category

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

Focus On: Jim LaSala. How Fluid Mask helps him realize his vision

Jim was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and currently resides in Flemington, New Jersey. Inspired by photographers such as George Hurrell (the master of Hollywood glamour photography during the 30’s and 40’s) and Ansel Adams – “his ability to visualize how the final image will come alive, has certainly helped me in understanding how to take what he has done in the darkroom and apply it to my digital darkroom.” You can see this in Jim’s black&white work (below). As well as a Moab Master, Jim is a multi award winning fine art Photographer. His workflow setup sees him using Adobe Lightroom as a primary batch editing and file management tool and for basic correction…

“My next stop is Photoshop, where I spend the rest of my life (so addicting). It is here where I can take my fine art visions to a new level. There are some third party plugins that I have been using for quite sometime and have been an important part of my process.”

“I guess now I can talk about a subject that always comes up when I am doing programs and workshops. Extraction, masking, removing the background or whatever else you want to call it. I have tried them all. They all seem to have there good points and unfortunately they also fail in other areas. Photoshop’s extraction has come a long way and although they want to be able to be the best in everything, it falls short. OnOne’s Perfect Mask is another program that I just have a hard time mastering……(Fluid Mask) is my weapon of choice. I remember being blown away while watching a demonstration on how Fluid Mask was making extractions painless. My fine art photography may call for replacing a sky or photographing a model with a specific background in mind…This is why Fluid Mask has played such an important role in my imagery. It helps me to realize my vision. The power to handle transparent objects is just incredible. I wish I could tell you that all you have to do is push a button and poof it’s gone, but Fluid Mask is the closest thing to just that.”


“One of the questions I’m always asked is why I always use the plugin version and not the standalone application. Well, its very simple. By using the plugin I have the power of using my history brush to make my extractions as perfect as possible. Another thing to remember is after extracting  your image and you are looking to now use a second file (for ex: a new sky), make sure that you bring the sky into your extracted image. If you move your extracted image into the new sky, you lose the ability to use the history brush…… Lastly, have a plan in mind when extracting. Although I use a powerful tool like Fluid Mask, I’m still going to plan on making my life a little easier. I will be thinking about what the final image will look like. What type of background will I be using. It is then I can determine how to photograph my subject.”

As well as Still life and fine art images, Jim has been passionately involved in documenting the people and their lives in Haiti.


I first became involved with documenting Haiti by accident. I was asked to donate one of my pieces of artwork for a benefit. One Heart for Haiti became involved with helping build a school in a place called Grand Vincent. ….. Well, I found out that they were making a trip there in June of 2010 which was just a few months after the earthquake disaster. The rest is history. I am making my fifth trip there this March. The country and people of Haiti have touched my heart and have given me a whole new look on what hope, love and faith is all about. It has been a tough few years trying to keep the needs of the people of Haiti in the news. I continue to have hope that through my images I can help keep the story alive.”

“Let us not forget the unique profession that we are blessed to be part of. With just a click of a shutter we have the power to make a lifelong statement.”

Wise words indeed. Thanks to Jim for taking time out to talk to us, and sharing how Fluid Mask works for him. See more of Jim’s work at jimlasala.com,

We love to hear from Fluid Mask users and share their work and masking tips. Want to be ‘focused on’?? Drop us a line on focus@vertustech.com

All images © Jim LaSala

Posted on: March 17, 2013 Discussion: 2 Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, Further Tips, How to..., Photoshop, Reviews, Testimonials

6 of the best (tips for getting the most out of Fluid Mask)

Here’s 6 of the best tips and reminders for getting the most out of Fluid Mask.

These are all in response to questions or feedback thrown up by the Fluid Mask User Questionnaire  – this is an ongoing survey; we’d love to hear your opinions to help us better tailor support and future product development to you, the user.

Responses so far has given us some useful suggestions for future features to be considered, but we’ve also had some requests for features that already exist, or for workflow features that by employing good practice with shortcuts and hotkeys, it’s already possible to achieve.

So without further ado, here are your questions answered.

1. Customising Colors – Did you know you can fully customise the colours for all your masks – keep, delete and blend as well as all other display colors used within the workspace? Bring up your Workspace Settings by going to the Menu Bar -> Fluid Mask 3 -> Preferences…, then click on the Colors tab. Click each individual Color to set to your personal preference………..      2. Saving Settings – Still within your Workspace Settings, a reminder that under the ‘General’ tab, you can choose for Fluid Mask to restore your last used setting for edge finding, blending and workspace resolution, rather than reverting to the default settings. Whilst the defaults are a good place to start when working on a new image, if you’ll be working over multiple sessions on a series of similar images, it would make sense to switch to ‘Restore from Last Session’, rather than ‘Use Defaults’………        3. Shortcuts & Hot Keys – One of the quickest ways to speed up your workflow (in any application, not just Fluid Mask), is to learn the keyboard shortcuts. Hover over any tool in the toolbar to see the shortcut displayed. You’ll quickly pick these up and pretty soon switching between tools using shortcuts becomes a natural part of your workflow – there’s a real efficiency return for working this way……   4. Other useful shortcuts in FluidMask – Switching to any tool (using the key command shortcut of course!) that functions only within the Workspace (which is all of them except the hand(H) and zoom(Z) tools), will take you straight back to your Workspace, but also useful to remember that the number 1 , 2 and 3 keys switch you between Source, Workspace and Cut-out respectively. Our recent update now means that ‘show object edges’ stays in it’s user defined state when switching between tabs, rather than defaulting to ‘on’. If you do want to turn it on or off, then again, learn and use the shortcut:  Fn+F2…….       5. Auto-fill feature – For your first pass, decide which is easier, masking out your background or filling in your keep selection, then use the Auto-Fill with keep/delete function to quickly complete the selection process…Remember the shortcut keys! :  ‘⌘/Shift  K’ = Auto-Fill with keep….. ‘⌘/Shift D’ = Auto-Fill with delete…..    6. Working with the 2D Color Map – Here’s a request we had , that was echoed by several users –    “Can you allow me to cut across the color pallet colors…I can choose vertical parts of the color histogram…but what about letting me paint on the pallet and not just take big vertical bars of color..” You can do this already! Bring up the Color Workspace (shortcut = ‘S’). Selected by default is the ‘show histogram mode’. Bottom left of the color workspace panel is a mini histogram that is the button to select this. Next to this is the ‘show 2d color map’ button-click between the two to switch modes. As well as fulfilling the request above, the 2d color map allows for much finer control selecting colors, either by sampling from the actual image using the pipette, or by selecting from within the color map. As is standard across many applications, you can add / subtract to your selection, in either histogram or color map mode, by holding down the shift / alt key while making a selection.
Of course sometimes when you’re working on an image with less subtle graduation of color, the broader control offered by the histogram is preferable. You can also further control the sensitivity of both the histogram display and 2d color map by using the resolution slider within the color workspace panel.

We hope these insights will help you get the maximum return from Fluid Mask. As well as the Tips (⌘ T) box to learn as you go, view our online tutorials for more detailed instruction and advice on achieving results fast using Fluid Mask 3.

Happy Masking from all at Vertus!

Posted on: February 22, 2013 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, Further Tips, How to...


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