EZ Mask is an easy to use interactive image masking tool capable of extracting almost any object in an image–even if you are dealing with fine hair detail, smoke, or reflections. This extraction process creates what is known as a mask–essentially a black and white cutout. White mask areas are extracted, black areas not, and gray areas in between represent a level of transparency. Once a mask is extracted, the foreground object can be seamlessly composed onto a new background in Adobe Photoshop as well as apply filter and image corrections only within the area defined by the mask. All this is made possible without the aid of blue or green screen photography.
To work this magic, EZ Mask iteratively estimates the transparency value for every pixel in the image, based on a small sample of foreground (what you want to cut out) and background (what you want to get rid of), marked by simple strokes on the image. Results show that compared with previous approaches, our method is more efficient and requires minimal effort to extract high quality masks for foregrounds with significant semi-transparent regions. In addition, the foreground colors are estimated in the semi-transparent areas to create a seamless composite. What was once thought of as the Holy Grail of digital imaging is now a reality with EZ Mask.
After intense research and development, we’ve created an enhanced rendering algorithm coupled with multiprocessor acceleration for EZ Mask v2 to allow it to render incredibly faster using far less memory. This means that you can mask much larger images at much faster speeds than before. Just how fast are we talking about? Using a 3250 x 2315 pixel image on an Intel Quad Core CPU (Q6700) running at 2.66GHz, the previous version of EZ Mask would process the mask in 2:03 minutes. EZ Mask v2 now processes the same mask in 10.78 seconds using 2.5 times less memory. In addition to the speed and memory enhancements, EZ Mask v2 has a new Refine mode which changes the behavior of it’s brushes so that they are interactive. As you paint a stroke, Refine mode automatically updates the mask or composite making it quick and easy to edit the mask.
EZ Mask is based on unpublished research and technology by Jue Wang from the University of Washington and is available for download or purchase at: www.digitalfilmtools.com for $195. Upgrade pricing is available for existing customers.
Digital Film Tools brings together the unbeatable combination of superior software designers, motion picture visual effects veterans, video editors and photographers. Add three Emmy Awards and experience in creating visual effects for hundreds of feature films, commercials and television shows and you have a recipe for success.
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