EXPORT EZMask results as an Alpha Channel

I use a number of methods to build masks for my composite photo illustration builds.

The little bit I have experimented with Optics in my 2 week(!) ‘trial’ I find your EZMask produces results similar to, and in some cases Better Than, other processes I work with.

Why couldn’t we be able to export that mask as an Alpha channel – as I can quite easily do working with Pixelsquid 3D objects in a complex project? (Save Selection/choose what file to save as a new, titled Alpha channel which is then available later when I close out the Smart Object).

SEE ALSO my comment within “Importing a Mask” topic.

Thx.

In a future update to Optics, we allow a selected layers’s mask to be exported to the Photoshop layer mask.

Optics was previously named DFT from Digital Film Tools. At the time Digital Film Tools sold DFT, they also sold EZ Mask as a separate masking plug-in for Photoshop. The decision was made to not allow the export of masks in DFT since that product focused on applying filters and also because there was a separate masking product (EZ Mask) to serve that function. In addition, the masking in DFT processed at the lower working resolution for performance reasons and then uprezzed at final render to mask the filter being applied.

So, fast forward to the release of Optics. Optics inherited the previous masking export restriction that DFT had, and since Boris FX will no longer be selling EZ Mask as a separate Photoshop plug-in, a future version of Optics can be modified to export full resolution masks. The emphasis on Optics is the filters and less on masking, but clearly multiple users are interested in the masking, so this is a feature we are willing to enhance.

1 Like

That’s TERRIFIC NEWS Marco, thanks.

You can see how this added functionality would be a great overall addition to the Optics package, eh?

It does seem (by way of my employing a bit of a work-around I devised the other day to accomplish that ‘on the sly’, utilize the mask produced in an effect Optics rendered for me) EZMask DOES A Cool Job (catching some very subtle translucent elements in the image I was using other processes may well miss). Layer-mask Export would be a wonderful ADDED Tool compositors like myself could employ – or consider – in our workflow! :relaxed:

A work-around is to first make a copy of your layer in Photoshop, and on the copy run Optics, create your EZ Mask, then apply the “constant color” to that Optics layer and set it to white.

Then select your background Optics layer and again add the “constant color” effect, but set this one to black.

The result will be a black and white layer in Photoshop which you can select (CMD-A) and then copy (CMD-C), then select a mask on your original layer while holding Option/Alt (to activate the mask), and paste (CMD-V) the information into the mask.

A few extra steps, but it gets the job done.

2 Likes

Thanks for sharing! Yes it is a bit clunky but at least a good workaround if you have spent a long time finessing an EzMask and want to resuse it back in Photoshop.

One thing to consider here is that the mask is generated at 2K resolution and then scaled up to full size. So, the quality will not be as if you masked at full resolution. This method is fine for masking filter applications, but may fall short for compositing purposes.

When we provide proper support for mask output in Optics, the mask will be full size when output.

1 Like

Thanks and good to know!