From Dull to Dynamic with Topaz Remask
UPDATE: The offer in this post has expired, but you can use coupon code “angandrieux” to get 15% off all Topaz Labs software anytime!
I reviewed Topaz ReMask a while back (see that post here), but they just released an update and it is 50% off through the end of the month! (read on for the coupon code…) so I thought it warranted another walkthrough. I decided to put Topaz Remask to the test and used it to replace the sky in the photo below. The sky is flat and boring, but I really like details of the historic Cole Block (located in the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego).
The photo I chose for the sky was captured a couple of weeks ago from Tidelands Park in Coronado. This photo stands on its own, but what I love most about this photo are the wispy clouds in the sky and the lovely jewel tones.
Topaz ReMask, as the name implies, helps mask an image. Imagine you want to paint a wall, but you only want to paint a certain area. To protect an area you apply masking tape. Masking in Photoshop and Topaz ReMask is similar. It protects a certain part of your image so changes can be made to the unmasked areas.
For the Cole Block photograph I wanted the changes to affect only the sky so I created a mask of the building. Topaz ReMask makes this process a lot easier (unless you are already a Photoshop wiz…then you can probably do this with ease in Photoshop without the aid of a plug-in).
I will be honest – I took quite a bit of time refining my mask in Topaz ReMask. The initial calculation was close, but needed a bit of fine-tuning to get it just right. While time-consuming, the process is much more intuitive in Topaz ReMask than in Photoshop. There is also an instructional window that pops up when you open the program for the first time and the pdf user’s guide is extremely helpful.
Once I had my mask finished I clicked ok, and went back into Photoshop where my masked layer was now saved and available for use. I drug my photo with the brilliant sky into my masked photo, moved it to a layer below the masked image, and viola!
Well, maybe not quite viola…I did feather the edges of my selection a couple of times to make the transition between the foreground and background a bit smoother, but otherwise, that was it!
Topaz ReMask is normally $70 but you can grab a copy for just $34.99 through july 31, 2014 using the coupon code “julyremask”.
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