Selecting Objects on a Photo with AKVIS SmartMask: How It Works

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Tutorial: AKVIS SmartMask

How to Use The Program


AKVIS SmartMask is an efficient selection tool that saves time and is fun to use. The software can be used as a standalone program as well as a plugin to a photo editor.

Follow these instructions to cut out an object using AKVIS SmartMask:

  • Step 1. Open an image.

    - If you work with the standalone edition:

      The dialog box Select File To Open appears if you double-click on the empty workspace of the program or if you click on the button on the Control Panel. You can also drag the required image into the workspace of the program.

      The Standalone edition of AKVIS SmartMask supports BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, RAW, and AKVIS file formats.

    - If you work with the plugin:

      Open an image in your photo editor by calling the command File -> Open or using the key combination Ctrl+O.

      Call the AKVIS SmartMask plugin. To this effect, select the menu item Filter:

        in AliveColors: Effects -> AKVIS -> SmartMask;
        in Adobe Photoshop: Filter –> AKVIS –> SmartMask;
        in Corel Paint Shop Pro: Effects –> Plugins -> AKVIS –> SmartMask;
        in Corel Photo-Paint: Effects –> AKVIS –> SmartMask.

      Attention! Before you call the plugin you must copy the image to a separate layer. Or just unlock the layer.

  • Step 2. The first time the program is opened it will be in the Auto mode. It contains tools that let you create a selection automatically. This mode is ideal for images with a good contrast level and for objects with sharp edges. It can also be used as an initial stage when working with complex objects.

    AKVIS SmartMask window (Auto Mode)
    AKVIS SmartMask Workspace, Auto Mode

    When you switch to the Manual mode in the Control Panel, the interface’s appearance will change, granting access to the smart brush tools. These tools are helpful if you need to quickly select a simple object with an uniform color, or when selecting complex objects: glass articles, trees, dishware, soap bubbles... You can also use these tools to improve the result achieved in the Auto mode.

    AKVIS SmartMask window (Manual Mode)
    AKVIS SmartMask Workspace, Manual Mode

    Make a selection in any mode - Auto or Manual, or using both sequentially.

      Note: If you switch to Auto mode, adjust the parameters or redraw lines, and run the image processing again, the result of using the smart brushes will be lost. Please use the modes sequentially: first Auto, then Manual.

  • Step 3. To remove a monochromatic background, use the Chroma Key mode (only for Home Deluxe and Business licenses).
  • Step 4. Using the Refine Edges mode (only for Home Deluxe and Business licenses) you can quickly adjust edges of selections or cutout objects.
  • Step 5. To add the cut-out object to a custom background, activate the Custom Background mode (available only in the standalone version).
  • Step 6. You can save your project into an .akvis file by clicking on . Load it with .
    The AKVIS file contains the original image, the image in the current state, the tools’ parameters, the color groups, and the checkpoints (Deluxe/Business) if they were created.
  • Step 7. You can share your image by clicking on . It opens the list of the services where you can publish the image: Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+.

    In the standalone version, you can also print your picture with .

  • Step 8. Save the processed image.

    - If you work with the standalone edition:

      Click on the button to open the Save as dialog box. Enter a name for the file, choose the format (TIFF, BMP, JPEG, PNG, or AKVIS) and indicate the target folder.

      Note: If you activate the Color Background option in the Mask View Modes please keep in mind that the result will be saved on the selected color background, just as you see it in the Image Window.

      To save the selected object on a transparent background please choose the corresponding mask view option and use the PNG format when saving the image (or other formats that support transparency).

    - If you work with the plugin:

      Press the button to apply the result and close the plugin window. The AKVIS SmartMask plugin will close and the fragment will appear in the workspace of the photo editor.

      Call the Save As dialog box using the command File -> Save As, enter a name for the file, choose the format and indicate the target folder.

How It Works How It Works
   — Workspace — Workspace
   — Using the Program — Using the Program
   — Mask View Modes — Mask View Modes
   — Custom Background — Custom Background
   — History Palette — History Palette
   — Save and Load Projects — Save and Load Projects
   — Preferences — Preferences
   — Hot Keys — Hot Keys
Making Selections Making Selections
   — Automatic Selection Tools — Automatic Selection Tools
   — Manual Selection Tools — Manual Selection Tools
   — Quick Selection — Quick Selection
   — Standard Selection Tools — Standard Selection Tools
   — Magic Brush — Magic Brush
   — Chroma Key — Chroma Key
   — Refine Edges — Refine Edges
   — Post-Processing Tools — Post-Processing Tools
   — Additional Tools — Additional Tools
Video Lessons Video Lessons
   — Quick Selection & Mask View Modes — Quick Selection & Mask View Modes
   — Auto Selection of Similar Objects — Auto Selection of Similar Objects
   — Auto Tools & Edge Priority — Auto Tools & Edge Priority
   — Smart Color Picker — Smart Color Picker
   — Selecting Hair: Auto & Brushes — Selecting Hair: Auto & Brushes
   — Magic Brush for Transparent Objects — Magic Brush for Transparent Objects
   — Automatic Recognition of Areas — Automatic Recognition of Areas
   — Quick Selection & Background Eraser — Quick Selection & Background Eraser
   — Extract a Person from a Photo — Extract a Person from a Photo
   — Selecting Water Splashes — Selecting Water Splashes
   — Improve Selections with Refine Edges — Improve Selections with Refine Edges
   — Removing Green Screen Background — Removing Green Screen Background
   — Adding a New Background — Adding a New Background
Examples Examples
   — Separate a Person from a Photo — Separate a Person from a Photo
   — Around the World in One Day — Around the World in One Day
   — Magic Window — Magic Window
   — Little Princess — Little Princess
   — Changeable Landscape — Changeable Landscape
   — Golden Colors of Fall — Golden Colors of Fall
   — Snow Paradise — Snow Paradise
   — Cat and Dog: a Fantasy Collage — Cat and Dog: a Fantasy Collage
   — Breaking the Fourth Wall — Breaking the Fourth Wall
   — Flight under the Moonlight — Flight under the Moonlight


SmartMask v. 10.0 - Free 10-day Trial    Download


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