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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.

PRESS RELEASE: Vertus Releases Fluid Mask 3

New Features of Fluid Mask Include Enhanced Blending Power for Hair and Other Problem Objects and More Intuitive Workflow Capabilities

BOSTON, Mass. -- July 12, 2007 -- Vertus, the graphics and imaging software division of Heligon, a technology business specializing in image data interpretation, today announced the official launch of its much-anticipated Fluid Mask 3 masking software. Previously available only as a public beta in Windows, the new version of Vertus' award-winning image editing software is the professionals' choice for rapid, powerful and intuitive masking and high-quality image blending.

Addressing the pressing challenge of quickly and easily separating problem images, such as human hair and tree leaves, Fluid Mask 3 leverages a more effective edge detection system, along with the improved "Smart Blending" capability unique to the software. Fluid Mask 3 presents a slider which enables the user to seamlessly switch between "Smart Blending" and standard feather blending. Next, within focused areas, the user may invoke complex edge and special hair blending algorithms, which, for the first time, automatically cut out tricky edges and difficult hair such as highlights and hair with wide color differences (e.g. black hair next to white hair against a grey background).

"Fluid Mask 3 is the most powerful masking tool available today. The accuracy and speed with which this software separates difficult images such as human hair from a background takes image editing to a new level. Based on experience and the feedback we have received we are confident that Fluid Mask 3 is unrivaled in its abilities to perform these detailed functions accurately and efficiently," said James Carr-Jones, president & CEO of Vertus. "This newest version of what has already been an extremely well-received masking tool greatly enhances some of its most critical features -- namely its speed, edge blending and overall ease-of-use."

Long recognized as the fastest and most accurate masking tool on the market, Fluid Mask 3 boasts improvements to the initial image processing time, enabling users who are operating multiple processors to realize increased speeds up to 40% faster than the previous versions. The result is a quicker transition from a base image editing program, such as Adobe Photoshop, into Fluid Mask. Ultimately, Fluid Mask significantly improves the overall efficiency of the image editing process, from loading to the final cut-out.

New Features

In addition to new blending and loading capabilities, Vertus has improved the intuitive workflow of Fluid Mask 3 and added new tools to the program. These new features include:

• A new "Save Settings" option enables users to easily recall edge detection, blending, and resolution options from previous sessions, eliminating the need to continually reprogram these options when working with batches of pictures;

• The "Color Workspace" palette now includes a "Color Sampler" which enables users to select specific colors from an image and see where else within that image the same color appears. Also available in the "Color Workspace", the new 2-D color map enables more accurate color selection;

• A new "Patch" system allows users to make changes affecting a selected localized region without affecting the rest of the image.

- "Patches" can be easily selected with a highlighting brush tool rather than relying on a standard box shaped patch. Once a "Patch" has been selected, users can call up the most popular editing options with a simple right click of the mouse.

- Localized "Edge Detection" tools enable users to automatically detect hard to find edges inside a Patch

- In the same way, localized edge blending techniques are used in Patches to overcome common problems such as masking hair and complex colored foregrounds and backgrounds

- Users are now able to launch a test render of the localized Patch (a "mini" mask) and toggle between the working image and a rendering of the final mask;

• Improved intuitive help features such as "Best of Breed Help" offers XML help files and direct links to Fluid Mask tutorials, enabling easy access to hands-on demonstrations.

Fluid Mask 3 is currently available for Windows XP & Vista and Mac Intel and Power PC 10.3.9 upwards and is priced at $239. Fluid Mask 3 will continue to function as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS2, CS3 & Elements; and for the first time will also work in stand alone mode for image formats that accept transitions to transparency in 8 bit RGB color -- e.g. TIFF and PNG. Users working on tablet style computers and peripherals, such as the Wacom Tablet, should note that Fluid Mask 3 contains a new pressure sensitivity control that can regulate brush size.

The new product is available for download through the Vertus website at http://www.vertustech.com.

About Fluid Mask

Fluid Mask is the top rated digital imaging tool used for cutting-out objects from their backgrounds by adapting techniques that mimic the way the human eye and brain see edges and objects. The software identifies the outline of the various colors, textures and shades, and separates them into individual puzzle-like pieces. Each piece can then be selected individually or in groups making cutting and masking simple. Through the use of this innovative technology, Fluid Mask enables the fastest and most accurate cut-outs on the market.

About Vertus

Vertus is the graphics and imaging software division of Heligon, a technology business specializing in image data interpretation. Heligon's groundbreaking technology uses complex algorithms to mimic the way the eye and brain perform visual processing so that complex shapes and colors can be recognized within images. Heligon licenses its technology to market leaders in industries including design and graphics, printing and video.

(First posted on Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 17:13 EDT)

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