Mask AI in CorelDRAW

I know, your saying, “Wait… What? CorelDRAW?!?” But bear with me.

I use CorelDRAW for a lot of graphic design. While I know that CorelDRAW is not an officially supported product, the Topaz products can be identified and used as plugins, as they would be in PhotoPaint or Paintshop Pro.

Most of the products work just fine as plugins in DRAW. Except Mask AI. I had the same issue when trying to use ReMask, and upgraded to AI in the hopes that I could get around this, but no.

Here’s the issue: When attempting to send a bitmap to Mask AI, a message appears
"Background layers cannot be used. Please create a duplicate layer."

While DRAW does have “layers” of a sort, it does not use the concept of a Background Layer in the way that something like Photoshop, or even PhotoPaint, does. I know I can first send the bitmap to PhotoPaint or Studio then to Mask, but it’s extra steps and inefficient.

So… if there is any way to allow bypassing the “Background Layer” requirement, or hard coding a bypass for CorelDRAW, that would be super.

Hi Ray, how did you install Mask AI to CorelDRAW?

No special “install” required. From within CorelDRAW there is a setting for Plug-ins. Simply add the path to Topaz labs to the list of “Plug-ins Folders” [C:\Program Files\Topaz Labs LLC] and the next time you launch CorelDRAW they will be available from the Plug-ins menu item, much like they would be in Photoshop. There is just the extra step of manually adding the path.

(If you are trying to do this and want more detailed instructions, let me know.)

I haven’t used CorelDraw in years (Draw 11) but I have been thinking about giving it another try. I am a long time user of Corel Painter and started playing around with adding in filters. Mask AI also works in Painter. I also have Photoshop CS 5 but it’s outdated and doesn’t support the new Topaz products any more. I have PaintShop Pro with all the Topaz filters and that works fine.

But that is really strange that CorelDraw doesn’t recognize a copy of background layer. Maybe it is seeing it as a Vector layer