Review: AKVIS SmartMask 5 (Best Deal)

With SmartMask’s powerful tools, you can make perfect selections and intricate masks without damaging your original image. SmartMask has two working modes. “Auto” mode lets you pick areas to keep or remove by marking them out with colored brushes. This works best on images with strong contrast and clear backgrounds.

“Manual” mode features two main tools: Quick Selection and Magic Brush. Quick selection works like Photoshop’s Magic Wand tool, allowing you to paint areas to select and then edit, while Magic Brush allows you to select up to ten colors via an eye dropper to keep or remove before painting them away on screen. This is a great way to cut around detailed areas such as hair or the spines of a lizard. Both selections are also editable once selected, which helps fine-tune them.

SmartMask’s view modes are useful because you can see your image in split-screen as a “before and after”. You can also view your selection with a transparent or colored background (like Photoshop’s Quick Mask) or in monochrome (like an alpha channel). But you can’t edit your actual selection as you would with a Layer Mask in Photoshop, and need to export it to another photo editor.

The bottom line.

SmartMask’s versatile selection tools can get great results, but ultimately works better in its plug-in than as a standalone app.

Requirements

64-bit processor, OS X 10.6 or later

PROS:

  • Non-destructive editing. Multiple view modes. Powerful selection tools.

CONS:

  • Other functionality is limited.

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