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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 Launches Public Beta of Fluid Mask 3

New Features include enhanced blending power for hair and other problem objects and more intuitive workflow capabilities

BOSTON, MA -- May 23, 2007 -- Vertus, the graphics and imaging software division of Heligon, a technology business specializing in image data interpretation, today announced the launch of the much-anticipated Fluid Mask 3 Public Beta. This latest version of Vertus' award-winning image editing software is the professionals' choice for rapid, powerful and intuitive masking and high-quality image blending.

Fluid Mask has generated worldwide acclaim as the fastest and most accurate masking tool on the market. With improvements to the initial image processing time, Fluid Mask 3 users who are operating multiple processors will 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.


With a more effective edge detection system, along with the improved "Smart Blending" capability unique to Fluid Mask, this latest version makes separating problem images, such as human hair and tree leaves, quick and easy. First there is a slider which allows the user to seamlessly switch between "Smart Blending" and standard feather blending. Second, within focused areas, the user may invoke special hair blending algorithms, which for the first time automatically cuts out tricky hair such as highlights and hair with wide color differences (e.g. black hair next to white hair against a grey background)..

"The real test for masking software is how accurately it can separate individual pieces of hair or individual leaves from a background," said James Carr-Jones, president & CEO of Vertus "There is no other product on the market which can perform these detailed functions with the same accuracy and efficiency as Fluid Mask 3. With the improved capabilities offered by our newest version, Vertus has taken what was already the most powerful and accurate masking tool available, and greatly enhanced some of its most critical features -- namely its speed, edge blending and overall ease-of-use."

Workflow Efficiencies

In addition to new blending and loading capabilities, Vertus has improved the intuitive workflow of Fluid Mask 3 and added additional 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 Work Space" 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 Work Space", the new 2-D color map enables more accurate color selection;

• Several new brush tools and the improved "Localized Edge Detection System" enable users to perform more detailed edge finding and more refined blending;

• 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. Users are now able to launch a test rendering of the localized patch, 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 Public Beta is currently available for Windows XP and Vista; a Mac version will follow shortly. 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.

Users can download a free 30 Day Trial of Fluid Mask 3 Beta by visiting the Vertus website at http://www.vertustech.com. During the beta phase, Fluid Mask 3 will be available for $199 US.

(First posted on Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 12:56 EDT)

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