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Old 12-18-2007   #1
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Default what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

I am looking at Mask Pro, is it the best? Is it worth the money?

thanks,
Danny

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Old 12-18-2007   #2
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Default Re: what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

I have heard a few good things about Mask Pro. Those that don't like a "tool" to do it, do it manually because it is better than some "action" making decisions. You have a lot of control doing it yourself, but it is more work but could be an educational experience in learning how.

Most of those people that go manual recommend Katrin Eismanns books and DVD's on the subject. You can learn more about the "Photoshop Diva" here:
Photoshop Diva - Katrin Eismann
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Old 12-18-2007   #3
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Default Re: what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

Thanks, I will check it out.

thanks,
Danny
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Old 12-19-2007   #4
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Default Re: what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

Danny,
I do ALOT of masking out of backgrounds for my competition and fine art images...daily as a matter of fact. Hopefully I can shed some light on this for ya.

Masking programs and plug-ins work by asking you to "define" the background, ie: what you want masked out.
This is easy if your background is a solid tone, mild gradient, or background with not much detail.

If your going to be masking out a background or separating the subject from a busy or multicolored background, no plug in or masking program will make the job easier. There's just too many tones the program is dealing with to speed up the job.

We gave up after years of trying several programs and PS's background eraser tool.

Now, we use PS's Polygonal lasso tool with a slight feather to select the subject, then separate it from the background.
Does it take awhile? Sure does. But not as long as it does trying to mask using a plug in.
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Old 12-19-2007   #5
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Default Re: what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

Good notes Mark. Masking, cutting, pasting in PhotoShop is a very tough thing to get right, but once you know all the tools (and masks) that can do it (not just the lasso or eraser), and how each is a bit different, and you actually do it a few times, you're golden.

Katrin's Photoshop Masking & Compositing book is a wealth of information about this very thing. Pricey? Yes. Needed if you need it? YES.
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Old 12-19-2007   #6
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Default Re: what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

Thanks, Mark, and Mr Pickles, I am ordering that book.

thanks,
Danny
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Old 12-19-2007   #7
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Default Re: what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

im kin dof with mark on this one. i have tried some of the extraction tools and found the best way is just good old fasion brush work. i start out by roughing out the selections with selection tools (often using chanels) but it almost always comes down to brushes and masks by hand to ge teh edges i want. you can definately make the job easier by shooting on chroma key backgrounds.
ive never read this particular book but ive seen her other work and tutorials on the web. she knows her stuff and has been around for ever!
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Old 12-24-2007   #8
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Default Re: what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

I think,if you can master the use of Pen Tool, it can help greatly in knocking out the background, aside from the Lasso Tools.

The Built In Extraction of PS works fine in some cases, too.
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Old 12-27-2007   #9
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Default Re: what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

I totally agree with Mark! I've tried several plugins including Mask Pro and they all stink on busy backgrounds. Especially with hair!

Best,
Jay
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Old 12-28-2007   #10
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Default Re: what is the best photoshop extraction plugin?

I have tried them all and Fluid Mask 3 works best for me especially if I am trying to cut the background away from hair or other small items when the background and the item to be saved are close to the same color. None are perfect.
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