February 06, 2010

Sneak peek: Future Photoshop masking technology

In this brief demo, Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes shows off some new selection technology that offers better edge detection and masking results in less time–even with tricky images like hair:

(You can see it in higher resolution on Facebook.)
Hopefully this helps explain why we put the Extract filter out to pasture in CS4.
[Update: See also another great mask made with Photoshop :-). (Via Steven Johnson)]

Posted by John Nack at 3:31 PM on February 06, 2010


  • Jon — 3:50 PM on February 06, 2010

    The Mask of the Futurrrrrrre!

  • Doug Nelson — 4:45 PM on February 06, 2010

    It’s about time we saw some progress in Photoshop’s LOLcat technology.
    But seriously, this looks wonderful, I can’t wait.

  • Arpan — 5:22 PM on February 06, 2010

    [Update: See also another great mask made with Photoshop :-). (Via Steven Johnson)]
    Those mask edges are too sharp. There is no feathering.

  • David — 9:12 PM on February 06, 2010

    Nice, the Quick Mask icon doesn’t have a border around it that makes it look selected at all times.
    It would have made more sense to remove the extract tool in CS5, not in the version before its replacement.
    [No, it wouldn’t, because we would have had to invest resources in moving it to 64-bit, only to throw that work away. As it is, you can download and run the plug-in in CS4. –J.]
    I haven’t needed it recently, though.
    Nice Masking tutorial.

  • _mark — 9:54 PM on February 06, 2010

    Great Post. Now it’s gonna be hilarious if you guys make CS5 only available for PC and Linux (for a while at least) until Mac comes crawling back on their hands and knees and suddenly Apple becomes Adobe’s bitch. HAHA.
    It’s so backhanded how Apple and all these Apple Fanatics are treating Adobe like Adobe is their bitch and they want Flash to Die. What is wrong with those people and Steve Jobs? It’s just disgusting.
    Anyhoo, great job Adobe! Fan for life here.

  • Raph — 11:46 PM on February 06, 2010

    Cool feature. Although the edge was a bit to sharp. But I think this is only adjustment stuff to get it right.
    Hopefully we can use it soon.

  • Drazick — 12:28 AM on February 07, 2010

    This is great.
    Masking is a key technology for Photoshop.
    I would like to see a vast improvement in the “Color Range” tool. Maybe something similar to U-Point technology.
    Will those improvements be available in the “Color Range” tool? Or any other improvement is planned for it?

  • garoo — 5:19 AM on February 07, 2010

    So you removed the Extract filter from the latest upgrade because you’re going to replace it in an unspecified future upgrade?
    [We didn’t “remove” it, in the sense that it remains available to you. We did, however, start ramping down resources devoted to maintaining the plug-in, and we signaled that we were moving to something else. –J.]

  • elfriede — 5:56 AM on February 07, 2010

    Yes, Photoshop (and all other tools) for Linux… *dream*

  • Peter — 7:09 AM on February 07, 2010

    Looks amazing. I suppose you are not at liberty to discuss how it works?
    But that is really some fantastic stuff, and it is definitely going to make people’s lives easier. I’m particularly excited about the “Decontaminate Colors” option, it was about time that those “Defringe” and “Remove Black/White matting” options got an update/replacement.

  • Danny — 7:38 AM on February 07, 2010

    Let me echo a wish for an improvement to the Color Range tool. And please make the window a lot larger. it is way too small to see any subtle changes.

  • Wishful Thinking — 12:03 PM on February 07, 2010

    Linux users willing to pay for software…. *dream*

  • nvonatiq — 12:56 PM on February 07, 2010

    I had a Linux. It was a horror with Linux. Know i buy Apple MacBook PRO. And now it´s better.
    Many regards from Germany

  • Peter — 3:06 PM on February 07, 2010

    Why not add preview mode buttons like Refine Edge has them (or a dropdown as in the updated version in the video) instead of making that window larger? That seems what the Photoshop UI design team seems to be moving towards. And that small preview area is really a relic of the stone age of Photoshop. But if the dialog box is resized, It would probably also make sense to visualize the range being selected on a gradient bar like in the Hue/Satauration dialog box. By the way, it never made sense to me why that code and interface was neve merged with Color Range and then used for both dialog boxes.

  • Jim Pogozelski — 5:46 PM on February 07, 2010

    A Photoshop post!. And FutureMask a nice-looking feature, too.

  • jones — 4:47 AM on February 08, 2010

    Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about and are just a fan boy.
    I dont have an iphone, i dont need one, I do have a mac and use it to design websites.
    I hate flash, it is the worst bit of software, used to make horrible ads and crap games that pop up or scream out to be seen.
    Websites have no need for flash in its current state.
    Let it die with IE6…or are you telling us we should save that too?

  • Kevin Neal — 10:44 AM on February 08, 2010

    Looks good, but does it beat mask pro? is it flexible enough to handle transparent objects?
    and please can you fix the banding in grads! :)

  • Chris Cox — 1:57 PM on February 08, 2010

    What banding in grads?
    The only known “problems” with banding boil down to: bad display profile, bad printer profile, or just not enough bits and not enough noise to break up subtle edges (that the human eye is too good at detecting). None of these are problems in Photoshop itself.
    We have yet to receive any reports of actual bugs involving banding in gradients. (though I have 2 reports that came down to bad display profiles, and one that was a bad printer profile).
    Also, this is off topic and probably better handled in the user forums.

  • Silence7 — 3:14 PM on February 08, 2010

    ” I hate flash, it is the worst bit of software, used to make horrible ads and crap games that pop up or scream out to be seen.
    Websites have no need for flash in its current state. ”
    Are you even serious? The software doesn’t “make” crap, it makes whatever the people using it want to make. People want to make crappy ads and crappy games, fine.
    Other people use this same exact software to design amazing interfaces, award winning online games, online music players, etc..
    If you’re seeing all of this crappy use of flash, maybe you should think about going to sites that don’t resort to all that nonsense to get their ads shown.
    Yes, Flash has it’s issues. But the web is a far more interactive place with it.

  • ValkyrieStudio — 11:18 PM on February 08, 2010

    Ah, back to the good stuff here. I love seeing sneak peeks of new technology that you can’t “can’t confirm nor deny” will actually be a part of Photoshop CS5. Because officially, there’s no such thing as Photoshop CS5. I get that it’s a legal thing, trade secret, whatever, though it’s a bit funny since anyone can read between the lines. They may as well just let you all talk openly, if you’re showing this anyway, no?
    So yeah, this looks very cool. Looks like we may get the results we always HOPED to get out of Extract (Which I think I’ve wanted to use once since getting CS4, but not enough to go install it). As others have said, adding some of these nice selection refinements to Color Range would also be cool one day.
    Oh, and for some reason I get a kick out of scrutinizing these things, and like both the new subdued “Ps” at the top, and what’s sure to be a banner feature, the redrawn tools. (At least until the complaints roll in that people can no longer quickly identify the Pen tool at its new upside-down 45 degree angle, and how dare you, and if you cared for your customers you’d rotate it back properly.)
    Okay, I’m done. Excited for the next video!

  • David Stevenson — 10:36 AM on February 09, 2010

    I was never a big fan of Extract, but its hard to get excited about this without seeing the mask in action. I would be very surprised if the grayscale mask we saw in that video produced a convincing selection of the cat.

  • James — 4:42 AM on February 10, 2010

    This new masking technology has got me all excited. I do hope it improves its color tone as well.
    Maybe Steve Jobs will change his mind about Adobe people being “lazy”…

  • Frank — 4:03 PM on March 09, 2010

    This is cool, but it brings up the burning question I’ve wanted answered for a while. Maybe it’s been announced somewhere and I just haven’t seen it, but when is CS5 going to ship?

  • Daniel Gabriele — 10:41 AM on March 27, 2010

    I’m one of them. *reality*
    Linux is an operating system. Nothing about that means that people who use it aren’t willing to pay for good software that runs on it. In reality, I’ve known more individuals using Photoshop on Windows who have pirated it than have bought it.

  • Digitalkamera — 1:59 AM on April 16, 2010

    The Update looks nice. And many thanks for the explain Link. Need it and works :)

  • OuahabiX — 7:00 AM on April 28, 2010

    I agree, and in fact I didn’t know that big companies and studios are using Linux for their Compositing in their Movies and using thousands worth Products for that and they’re far away better than Adobe’s, like Nuke/NukeX from the Foundry, Apple Shake from Apple, Roto/Mocha/…etc and also the Products like Silhouette or even Autodesk IFFFS (Inferno/Flare/Flame/Flint/Smoke) and Autodesk Maya/Toxik…etc
    Eyeon Fusion and the list is so long for professional Color Correction to Video Editing and Compositing and let alone the Rendering Engines such as Pixar Renderman, what I’ve discovered is that I’m reducing the need to work on an Adobe product as days passed on and I do find better solutions each day and day after, let’s say we’re going to work with some Keying and Green Screens, would you choose Blender for the Task or After Effects?
    The answer is Blender and you can Google it and amaze yourself with the differences although Blender is free and Open Source, please check this http://www.blendedplanet.com/?SFX_Tutorials:The_Ultimate_Keyer , so here comes down the theory of Open Source is for low quality tasks, what I want to say is that Linux is not a simple cold OS but a fully Dynamic Motivating experience free from bloats and Viruses and reinstalls, it’s just Linux!
    The only wronged side here is Adobe and time will prove it, look at the Foundry’s Nuke 4 years ago when AfterEffects was in Top and look at it Now? You’ll understand what I’m saying, just check the 3D Motion Tracking and the new capabilities that have been implemented and how it’s mixing Compositing and Editing at the same time and the success it get on VFXtalk forums.
    It’s Adobe’s call but who knows what will happen next!?

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