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Danielle Skerman testifies for Fluid Mask

Danielle Skerman is a professional photographer based in Australia. She creates artistic photographs of horses with beautiful lighting. Here she tells us why she uses Fluid Mask.

“I first came across Fluid Mask in 2008 at the Photo Imaging conference in Brisbane Australia. I, like many in the crowd watched in amazement at a seemingly effortless demonstration of masking. I was suitably impressed – however ever skeptical as many like to claim greats but perform in the averages. I went home and thought about it, and decided ‘What the heck I’ll give it a go!’  Three years later and literally hundreds, if not thousands of edits, have involved Fluid Mask. Hence to say [sic], I have a great love for Fluid Mask; It’s fantastic and saves me so much time.

“This shot with the white stallion cantering towards the camera was shot in the stallions’ paddock. I used Fluid mask to separate him from his background and create a black background.” As you can see Danielle has cut out the horse’s hair beautifully. Says Skerman, “This stunning 22 yr old stallion was so striking in person; I wanted to create the same charisma in the photo that he is in life. Masking all that fine hair would have been painful and time consuming normally but with fluid mask it literally took about 1 minute to do so.”



Skerman doesn’t only photograph horses as you can see in the image below…“To shoot at this time of day to get it lit correctly just isn’t possible, as it would take so long to get the lighting right and the light continually changes. With fluid mask I was able to use a shot with a darker exposure for the sunset, going that extra mile in a professional image without the stress and time taken normally to create such a look.”

She says of the image of a black stallion in a blue background, “The original shot was unexciting and normal; I wanted to create an artistic image – something to put on a wall. I had this great background and only took seconds to mask the stallion out, enabling me to spend more time in the process and editing of the new image as a whole.”

“I had taken this shot of the white stallion being ridden but just wasn’t that happy with the existing background and I had this other great image that would work better.  So all I had to do was to cut the rider and stallion from original shot and carefully place into alternate background I know I take on more technical work knowing the time fluid mask saves me, allowing me to keep to being creative and to worry less about the tedious job of masking!”

This is a beautiful image, which like all of Skerman’s work, highlights her ability to create magical imagery with the use of light and tone. The girl on the white horse gives a fairy-tale feel to the image as they travel through the brilliant patch of light breaking through the forest canopy.

Woman bowing with Friesian stallion                                                                                  The original image of the stallion actually had the owner standing behind the stallion assisting him in bowing, which you can see below. As this can be a very brief moment, and to gain the best results, it’s better to shoot images such as this, separately, bringing them together seamlessly using Fluid Mask. (See below for finished image).

“I just about use Fluid Mask on a daily basis. I use it from simple masking, to altering a background, add blur or colour effect, as well as major manipulations, which  involve  wild hair strands of a horse and design work. Fluid Mask is without a doubt a piece of software that I could not do without.”

Danielle Skerman is a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers and her work can be found at

Posted on: June 4, 2011 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Reviews, Testimonials

Fluid Mask on Flickr

Here’s a quick look at some of the creations people have been making with Fluid Mask 3. Recently we trawled through Flickr to find that these images were all made in part with the help of Fluid Mask 3. A number of the images we found were produced by those experimenting with the Fluid Mask Trial and keen to show off the results. We think that’s a great testament to the ease of use and versatility of Fluid Mask 3, but more importantly we love seeing the amazing work people have been creating.

Here are five we thought were pretty great and worth bringing to your attention, but there are many more on Flickr for you to find yourself.

This is a subtle but fun image, as the balloon rises out of the frame bringing it and it’s spectators to life. A simple enough concept, but achieved beautifully.

This one I love, as it looks like a real-life scene from a Hayao Miyazaki movie. The HDR effect is exceptional, and the lines in the sky mirror the length of the dirt pathway and it’s tire tracks, giving the image real depth.

‘Steel Vertorama’ by Marty.FM


Both of these next two images are by the same artist, of which we are a fan. I like the first for it’s imaginative collaboration of images to compose a very surreal subway scene in striking detail.

‘Ny subway 1 am friday’ by ed7929

Hot Rods have always been cool and this second image from ed7929 seems to prove it. The vibrant colors are electrifying against a sky-scape and stylized stretch of Tarmac that help give a classic style and a little sense of awe.

‘HotRoded HDR’ by ed7929

Below, szeke’s image of Vienna is regal, utilizing Fluid Mask to join two differrent exposures, plus some additional treatments as he goes on to discuss on Flickr. Clearly a gifted photographer, and his first attempt in Fluid Mask 3, we hope Szeke find many more uses for it in his work.

‘Hofburg, Vienna’ by szeke

In all of these, the eye catching imagery is a result of some great photography work to start with, but also the additional effects, like the HDR treatment, produced through Photoshop and in some cases some additional plug-ins. Meanwhile, Fluid Mask 3 goes unnoticed if not for the admission of the artists themselves, which is exactly as it should be – a great mask maintains the illusion no matter how contradictory or unlikely the composition might seem.

We continue to enjoy the images shared on Flickr. So, if you’d like to share any of you own images created with Fluid Mask, we suggest you post to Flickr and tag your creations with Fluid Mask to share with us all.

If you haven’t used Fluid Mask, please do, a trial version can be downloaded on our website.

Vertus HQ

Posted on: June 4, 2010 Discussion: 1 Comment Posted in: Fluid Mask, Reviews, Testimonials Review of Fluid Mask 3 – 5 Apple Rating

We would like to thank Gary Coyne & Apple Links for writing such an in depth review on Fluid Mask 3. We feel Gary has really put our software through its paces – over to you Gary…

“Photoshop is filled with redundant features. For every task there needs to be a variety of mechanisms to accomplish the same thing, because every image is different. And because every image is different, some tools work better in one image while other tools work better in other images. Amongst those redundancies, none of them have more redundancy than selection tools. I just made a mental count of about a dozen different ways to create a selection in Photoshop, and when it gets right down to it, that’s not enough. That’s why there are third-party solutions, and I have to admit that of all of the solutions I’ve seen, none creates as good of a selection as Fluid Mask 3. With great power comes great responsibility, however, and that means that Fluid Mask has a greater learning curve and is a bit more challenging to learn. But the results you achieve will be exactly what you wanted.” read the full article >>

Posted on: November 16, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Reviews

Fluid Mask 3 is awarded 4.5 stars by

We are delighted to announce our recent review on

Here is an excerpt:

“Fluid Mask does an excellent job of isolating and cutting out objects that have high contrast or sharp edges from an image background. But the product really shines in difficult situations where foregrounds and backgrounds are similar, or where objects have soft, unfocused edges. Fluid Mask analyzes an image and creates outlines at the edges of areas with distinct color and texture, breaking the image into regions that you can choose to keep or to delete. It also blends image edges to avoid artificial-looking, hard-edged cut-outs. The initial edge analysis occurs automatically and without noticeable delay.”

To read more on the review by Jan Kabili click here>> 

Posted on: October 30, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Reviews

Fluid Mask 3 – Highly Recommended

Posted by:
Jason Busch
16 August 2007

Fluid Mask 3 is one of the best graphics editing programs I’ve used this year. It simply takes the labor out of editing images where a replacement background is needed. While Photoshop does an ok job at removing backgrounds with its Magic Wand tool, it is no match for Fluid Mask 3. In areas where Edge Blending has occurred, FL3 does a spectacular job of dealing with this very difficult issue.

I recommend a dual-core processor system for this application, however, I used FM3 on DD PC #1 just to see how it would run, and didn’t experience any problems except for the predictable slower processing times. FM3 is very stable.


Vertus has also created one of the best electronic manuals I’ve set my eyes on. Full color images, not the cheap black and white which I’ve experienced in several electronic manuals over the years. Color images are essential to a complete learning experience for a graphics program, and Vertus has impressed me.

Fluid Mask 3 also has a collection of recently uploaded tutorials which can not only be viewed online, but downloaded for later viewing at your own leisure.

One of the more difficult tasks in image editing has now been minimized, thanks to Vertus. Fluid Mask 3 welcomes the toughest images you have and will surprise you with its simple interface and will amaze you with its results.

[read full article…]

Posted on: August 17, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Reviews

Macenstein gives Fluid Mask a 9 out of 10 rating!

(original post: April 2007)

“If you are a digital artist who relies heavily on compositing, the decision to buy Fluid Mask is a no brainer. The time-savings it provides will quickly pay for the plug-in after only a few images. For the pro-sumer hobbyist or Photoshop prankster who likes putting people’s heads on other people’s bodies for a laugh, the decision is less clear-cut. However the controls on Fluid Mask are so straight forward that no one should be scared away thinking this tool is only for the pros.” [read full article…]

example image:


image source:
Copyright (C) 2007 Macenstien

Posted on: August 14, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Reviews

The Right Tool for Masking Difficult Images: Fluid Mask 3

(original posted by: Erik Vlietinck, Jul 15 2007)

Creating cut-outs for magazines or for the web is not an easy thing to do when the object you’re trying to cut out has hair or has details that interfere with a background (tree branches, for example). There are a number of cut-out help tools out there, that all make life a little easier, but if you want to get on with your life and not spend a whole afternoon making that mask perfect, you should give Fluid Mask 3 a try.

We’ve been following and covering Fluid Mask 3 since the two previous versions, and this is a Photoshop plug-in that has been improving ever since it came to market. With version 3, Fluid Mask’s developers, Vertus Technologies, have taken a step back in Mac OS X human interface compliance, but that doesn’t mean the program has become harder to use –quite the contrary, in fact. Much that you do when creating that cut-out, is automated in Fluid Mask’s workflow. And the results are nothing short of perfect. With Fluid Mask 3 you can create a perfect image object or cut-out in about a third of the time it takes with Photoshop or with competing products. [read full article…]

Posted on: August 14, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Reviews


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