Complex Masks Quickly in Photo Raw 2019
Minor release with a major advantage
ON1 just released their second revision on Photo Raw 2019, Photo Raw 2019.2.
Along with expected bug fixes, performance enhancements and support for some new cameras it has a very cool and useful new feature called AI Quick Mask Tool. This new tool makes use of artificial intelligence to create intricate masks far more quickly than using other masking techniques. It also speeds up masking broad areas of your image such as skies in a landscape.
It’s not that you couldn’t create almost any mask you wanted previously with Photo Raw. ON1 has had a vast array of masking tools for some time but this really speeds things up and is very easy and intuitive. The intelligence part of it looks at many aspects of your image, such as tone, color, and texture to identify the borders for your mask.
Bottom Line First
Normally minor revisions don’t warrant a review, but this one feature is quite useful. If you already own ON1 Photo Raw 2019, it’s a no brainer to get this revision because it’s free. If you do a lot of masking and have been on the fence about upgrading or buying Photo Raw then this may put you over. I don’t advocate buying a whole program or a major upgrade on just one tool, albeit a pretty cool one, but if you read my recent review of Photo Raw 2019 you’ll see this is a nice feather in ON1’s cap for a mature image processor with good organizational capabilities. You can download a free trial if you want to try before you decide whether to buy it or not.
If Quick Mask A.I. tips the scale for you, use the coupon code JWPHOTO and lower your price of upgrade or new purchase by 20%.
How It Works
Below is a pre-dawn image I captured that requires masking so I can adjust the mist in the background separately and with different settings than for what I want to do with the foreground. The transition/horizon has lots of fine detail like trees and bushes, the villa, and the mist. Quick Mask A.I. greatly speeds up the task over using the masking tools available up until now.
The video above and sequence of images below show how I used ON1 Photo Raw 2019’s new Quick Mask to quickly create an intricate mask.
Quick Mask A.I. is a welcome and useful tool. Personally I do this kind of masking often and although the rest of the masking tools in ON1 Photo Raw 2019 are extensive, this really speeds up the process of making complex masks. Although it does a great job, one still needs the Refine tool. And of course there are many other tools in Photo Raw to tweak your mask when necessary. The lion’s share of the work is still done by Quick Mask with the net result being a big time savings.
Joel Wolfson is an internationally published photographer who loves teaching as much as shooting. He shares his 30 years of experience as a working pro with other photographers and enthusiasts by way of his workshops, 1 on 1 training, webinars, articles, blog and speaking engagements. His technical articles have been translated for use in more than 30 countries yet he is best known for his artistic images of nature’s fleeting moments and unexpected views of everyday places around the globe. He is one of the pioneers of digital photography having conducted digital photography seminars for Apple and other corporations starting in the early 90s. His roster of notable clients includes numerous publications and fortune 500 companies. He currently works with great affiliates like Arizona Highways, Topaz Labs, ON1, and Skylum to have more avenues for working with those wanting to pursue their love of photography. His goal is to make learning and improving one’s photography easy, fun and rewarding.
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