Making selections and masking are essential skills for photographers and it’s common to encounter images where it’s difficult to cleanly select just the desired subject from a busy background. In recent years software has become much smarter and innovations like Photoshop’s Quick Select and Refine Edge tools have greatly simplified the process. But even with recent advances the process can still be time-consuming. So any product that can improve the process has the potential to be a big time-saver. And if you don’t have Photoshop but still want to do some compositing or localized image adjustments you need an alternative such as onOne Software’s Perfect Mask. I recently got the version 5 of Perfect Mask as part of onOne’s Perfect Photo Suite 6. I was eager to find out if the new version could help me save time in my masking and selection chores. Watch this in-depth video review of my experiences using Perfect Mask and find out if it could be a useful tool in your tookit. If you have problems viewing the video here you can also watch it on YouTube:
Masking and Selection with Perfect Mask 5, Part 1
Masking and Selection with Perfect Mask 5, Part 2
If you have problems viewing the video here you can also watch it on YouTube:
I agree with your observations about this version of OnOne’s Mask tool. Years ago, this was the first product that I purchased from them, and over the years, it has been my go-to tool for complex masking. In this version though, they seem to have made it far harder to use than any previous version. You used to be able to make a rough outline of the regions that you wanted to keep and to drop, and then to use the keep and drop color tools and the magic brush tool to refine the edge as necessary. This process was very quick and effective. As you’ve shown, where your eye can obviously see the edges that you want to concentrate on, the s/w just doesn’t seem to “get it”. They’ve clearly bitten off more than they can chew this time around, IMHO.
Thanks for your comments and for the reality check. I haven’t used the prior versions of Perfect Mask but I was aware that onOne is calling the current version V5. Usually, by the time software reaches V5 it’s stable and full-featured. So, I was wondering if I was missing something in my attempts to use PM on what seem like relatively easy subjects. So, before I made this video I dug into the documentation repeatedly and tried every option I could find. But, I was still disappointed. It’s a shame as I was hoping that this might become one of my go-to tools also. Maybe they’ll get it sorted out by V6.
In the meantime, I’ll be taking a look at some of the other apps in the suite. Perfect Portrait looks promising and I’ll be interested to see if I can get printable images when upsizing photos with Perfect Resize.
Im glad you made this video, i too was not happy with Perfect Mask either. Photoshop is much better, thanks.
thank you very much for restoring my sanity!…I thought that it was me that was not able to do the tasks….but after watching your 2 videos I was happy to see that I was doing everything correctly!. Thanks
I could not agree more with you. In addition to the lack of a proper interface with my Walcom pen which I found very frustrating, because I was using a big file, the picture kept flashing on and off. Luckily I was just using the demo version. Back to Photoshop for me!
Thanks for saving me a great deal of work! I too had trouble with edges, understanding the “documentation” (which is especially poor), and so on, and I thought it was me. Nope–the software, so I’m abandoning Perfect Mask 5.
Thanks for this David,very useful. I’ve just downloaded the trial of Perfect Mask and only played with it for a few hours but already encountered most of the problems you found. As you put in much more work to learn than I did, I just watched one tutorial and jumped in, this is depressing. I did manage a decent sky replace but this now seems like beginners luck, I also used a LOT more selection points than recommended. It’s a shame because the logic behind the system seems good but the processor really lets it down.