AKVIS SmartMask can be used as a standalone program or as a Photoshop compatible plugin.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Also, in the Control Panel, you can find three modes:
The Chroma Key mode (only for Deluxe and Business licenses) lets you quickly remove a monochromatic background.
The Refine Edges mode (only for Deluxe and Business licenses) lets you quickly adjust edges of selections or cut-out objects.
The Custom Background mode lets you insert a cut-out fragment into a custom background.
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:
Below you can adjust the Image View Mode.
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.
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.