Refining and Saving Topaz Studio Masks

Tip 1: Viewing a “full size” mask image

Although mask accuracy is not always important, sometimes it is. It’s essentially equivalent to the importance of an accurate selection. Discerning how accurate is a Studio mask is difficult because of the small size of the image showing the mask. Here is a way of obtaining a large mask image: place a yellow (or other colour) overlay on your image in Studio; create the mask for the colour overlay (the accuracy is easy to see because you see your “full size” image with the yellow colour overlay superimposed on it with the yellow colour disappearing where you brush); after you are satisfied with the mask, copy and paste it to whatever layer you wish. Finally, disable the colour overlay layer.

Tip 2: Storing Topaz Studio Masks

After you have created a mask in Studio you can save the effect but the mask information is not saved, even if you save the image as a TIFF file. To avoid losing the mask you can create a duplicate image that contains the mask information. First you duplicate the image. Then, to the duplicate add a colour overlay using a colour not present in the original image. Copy and paste the mask to the overlay layer. Now your image shows the mask as a different colour superimposed on the original image You can save the image as usual and the original image too (so you need to save two images!). Later, when you need it you can load the image containing the mask information into Studio and create a mask based upon the different colour. That mask can then be copied and pasted to the original image after you load it into Studio.

Both of the above tips use colour and mask copy/paste to transmit the mask information.

Does anyone have other ways of helping us refine and save masks? Are there any issues with the above procedures?

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Thank you so much for sharing these tips

You’re very welcome ShazzyCo. I hope that these tips prove useful and serve as the basis for further ideas on masking in TopazStudio.

Hello Forever, saving the Project is something I consider an essential. Used it in the FxLab, and miss it in Studio.
To duplicate the image, do you mean add an Image Layer??
I have the steps as I understand them in place now, but unsure on how to duplicate the image.

There is a little “hamburger menu” (it looks like a few lines, one on top of the other) in the lower right hand corner of the image in the filmstrip at the bottom of the display. One of those lines is “duplicate”. When you click it a duplicate appears adjacent the original image in the filmstrip. You can treat it as a separate image.

Actually now using the colour overlay to help in the masking away of unwanted background … brilliant … thanks

Great! So glad it works for you too.

Forgive me, I’m a slow learner.
I have an image of the USS Kitty Hawk when she visited Brisbane Au ten years ago. Lots of detail and masking. I cannot do it all in one session.


I have saved the two images as described (I think) and opened them again to recreate the mask.
I have tried fruitlessly to recreate the mask from the overlayed image. I have tried clicking “color” under the blank mask, but the result is a much degraded mask compared to the original.
Do my images look right at this point?? Assuming the screenshot appears.
If so, what next, step by step please. My understanding this is necessary for me if I’m to continue using Studio without the Save As Project option.
Thanks very much for any suggestions and input.

This idea depends on colour. We know that Tip 1 works quite well: we can generate the mask with the help of colour to guide us. Our eyes are judging the adequacy of the mask. The question is how well can we go in reverse. I’m still learning this too. My suggestions are as follows:
i. Be sure that the colour in the duplicate represents the mask accurately. I can see in your duplicate that some structures are excluded. However, I expect that you want that. Also, I think it’s a good idea to save the duplicate with as much colour accuracy as possible (I used TIFF, prophoto, 16 bits, no compression).
ii. Now, to generate the mask from the loaded green coloured image, we should again use our eyes to judge the accuracy of the mask. That means adjusting the colour range in the mask creation as a fine tuning as necessary.
So, the steps for generating the mask are as follows:
i. load the original image and the green coloured duplicate image
ii. select the original image and drag to create an image layer
iii. select the duplicate image and drag to create a second (“green”) image layer
iv. create a mask in the second (green) image layer using colour to determine the mask and fine tune it using range
v. copy and paste the mask from the green image layer to the original image layer.
This is all I know at this point. I hope it helps and that you post your experience.

@ForeverStudent Thanks for sharing this information :slight_smile:

You’re most welcome, mhardisty.

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Thanks for sharing this info @ForeverStudent. I’ll have to give it a try and get back to you if I have any questions.

Good luck with it, cre8art!

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