• Price When Reviewed: 149

  • Pros: Powerful. Much faster than Photoshop’s pen tool

  • Cons: Expensive for a plug-in. Manual a little unclear.

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10 Best Buy We rate this 9 out of 10

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Cutouts and masking are the bugbears of many designers. Manually tracing paths around objects is only topped by client ‘input’ and Comic Sans in the list of things that annoy creatives, so Photoshop plug-ins such as Fluid Mask can be a major boon.

There are two important aspects to a masking plug-in. First is the ability to deal with painstakingly complex detail such as hair and multi-coloured backgrounds, which is something that Fluid Mask 2.0 excels at. The second aspect is to automate the simple but still time-consuming everyday task of creating paths around objects against single colour backgrounds.

Version 2.0 is based around new algorithms – serious maths that works out where edges meet backgrounds. Fine detail is pulled more cleanly from backgrounds than by version 1.0.

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