AKVIS SmartMask Workspace: Masking Objects on Images

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Tutorial: AKVIS SmartMask



AKVIS SmartMask can be used as a standalone program or as a Photoshop compatible plugin.

  • Standalone is an independent program; you can open it by clicking on the program's icon.

    To launch the standalone version, run the program directly:

      On a Windows computer - select it from the Start menu or use the program's shortcut.

      On a Mac computer - launch the app from the Application folder.

  • Plugin is an add-on for a photo editor, for example for Photoshop.

    To call the plugin, select it from filters of your image editing program.

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


The workspace will be arranged according to the chosen mode: Auto or Manual.

The Auto mode contains the 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.

Workspace of AKVIS SmartMask (Auto Mode)
Workspace of AKVIS SmartMask (Auto Mode)

The Manual mode contains the set of the smart brushes. These tools are helpful either if you need to quickly select a simple object with a uniform color, or when selecting complex objects: glass articles, trees, dishware, soap bubbles... You can also use these brushes to improve the result achieved with the automatic tools.

Workspace of AKVIS SmartMask (Manual Mode)
Workspace of AKVIS SmartMask (Manual Mode)


Most of the program's workspace is taken up by the Image Window with two tabs - Original and Processing. All operations are performed in the Processing tab. You can choose how these tabs will be shown by adjusting the Image View Modes.


In the upper part of the program's window you can see the Control Panel:

  • The button opens the home page of AKVIS SmartMask.
  • The button (only in the standalone version) opens the image which will be edited. A right mouse click on this button displays the list of recent files. You can change the number of recent documents in the program’s Preferences.
  • The button (only in the standalone version) saves the edited image to a file.
  • The button (only in the standalone version) prints the image.
  • The button lets posting pictures from the program to the social networks: Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+.
  • The button lets you save a project into a file with the .akvis extension.
  • The button lets you load the saved project (the .akvis file).
  • The button / (only in Auto mode) turns on/off drawn strokes.
  • The button cancels the last operation made with the tools. It is possible to cancel several operations in a row.
  • The button returns the last cancelled operation. It is possible to return several operations in a row.
  • The button (only in Auto Mode) starts image processing.
  • The button (only in plug-in) applies the result, closes the plugin’s window and the selected object appears in the workspace of your photo editor.
  • The button calls information about the program and opens the registration window.
  • The button calls the Help files.
  • The button calls the Preferences dialog box for changing the program’s options.
  • The button opens the How-To panel with links to video tutorials and instructions.


Also, in the Control Panel, you can find three modes:


At the left side of the Image Window there is the Toolbar. Different tools will appear, depending on the workspace mode (Auto/Manual) chosen. The tool’s parameters are shown in the Settings Panel or in a pop-up box after right-clicking in the image window.

You can set up keyboard shortcuts ("hot keys") for all tools and actions.


At the bottom part of the left panel you can switch between the Mask View Modes:

Mask View Modes


Below you can adjust the Image View Mode.

Managing View Modes


Navigate and scale the image using the Navigator. The frame in the Navigator surrounds the area of the image which is visible in the main window; the area outside of the frame will be shaded. The frame can be dragged, thereby changing the visible portion of the image. To move the frame, place the cursor within it, left click the mouse, and then drag.

Navigator window

You can hide/show the Navigator by clicking on its title.

In addition, you can move the image in the Image Window using the scroll bar or by holding down the space bar, and then holding down the left mouse button while moving the mouse. The mouse’s scroll wheel can move the image up and down, while holding Ctrl on Windows, on Mac – while moving the scroll wheel will move the image left and right. Holding Alt on Windows, Option on Mac will scale the image. Right-click on the scroll bar to activate the quick navigation menu.

Use the slider or the buttons and , to scale the image. When you click on the button or move the slider to the right, the image scale increases. When you click on the button or move the slider to the left, the image scale reduces. You can change the image scale by entering a new coefficient into the scale field. The fall-down menu shows some frequently used coefficients.

You can also use hotkeys to zoom in and zoom out.


Under the Navigator there is the Settings Panel with the parameters of the chosen mode and the tool’s options. The Default button recovers the default settings of the parameters.

Below you’ll find the History palette (which is only available for the Deluxe and Business licenses), that shows the list of every change made to a file. By clicking on an item in the list, you can revert the file to a previous state.

Under the Settings Panel you can see Hints for the parameters and buttons when you hover over them with the cursor. In Preferences you can choose where the hints will be shown or hide this field.

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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