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To this date it is MIA.
There are other programs to mask out backgrounds. Whether they really work or not is one of those questions I haven't investigated - so I can't say one way or the other. After my MM fiasco, I haven't bothered.
So I do mine "manstyle" - by carefully eliminating anything I don't want and saving what I do want in one (or several layers) over a transparent background. You can use a combination of filters, contrast tweaks, color tweaks - all kinds of stuff to get the job done. If you cruise some of the photoshop tips pages - you'll find an arsenal of techniques that will allow you to even separate things like hair and smoke from your (unwanted) backgrounds.
A pen tablet also works wonders instead of a mouse. Really. If you're going to do this for a living - by all means - BUY one :) Since mine no longer works - I've been remanded to doing it with a mouse... and it really, really s**ks, to put it mildly.
Idiotgirl: veteran of hair, smoke, grass, and cloud masks - and have the war medal pinned on my chest to show I survived.
Corel also puts out a program called Knockout that's designed just for masking objects like that.
<added>I bought a pen tablet. I hated it. I went back to using a mouse. ;) I'm waiting for those spiffy flat-screen touch sensitive Cintiq monitor/tablets to come down a couple grand in price.</added>
joined:Apr 13, 2002
Another big help is if the original is at a high resolution/size. One pixel at 300 dpi contains more information than one pixel at 72 dpi. You're getting a finer cut.
Unless... of course... there's something that does that for you. Who knows - maybe Knockout works! Corel had an online demo that looked impressive.
Personally, I favor the duplicate-image-in-new-layer --> go-to-town-with-eraser-&-lasso method, but I don't deal with too much grass, smoke or hair either. (Never was the hippie type...)
Thanks for your suggestions, I'm going to go work through some Photoshop tutorials and possibly look into Knockout --> Although I heard it was no Sunday picnic too...whatever those are.
As for ferret photos, the little buggers don't hold still long enough to get a photo with my poky old digital camera, so I don't have to worry about all that fuzzy stuff... and nobody ever asks me to make pink clouds either, so that pretty much eliminates fluff as well.
Knockout just requires a steady hand (same as the Photoshop eraser/lasso technique), since you need to trace along the outer and inner edges of the transition/edge area between your image and the background. (At least the old version I was using did... YMMV with Corel's version.)
joined:Apr 13, 2002
I lasso the object I wish to lift out of the picture. Once I have it properly selected, I feather the selection by 1 pixel (to soften the edges of the selection so that they look natural).
Then I copy and then I paste. The pasted image is now on it's own layer with transparency around it.
At this point, I magic wand the transparent section and then turn on the mask (turning everything Pink and not-pink), and using the air brush, I alternately add or subtract to the selection.
Afterward, I jump out of mask mode and do another copy and paste, and this last version should be the best. Soft edges... Nice.
The air brush is superior to the pencil tool in these situations as the pencil is exact, and creates aliased looking edges while the air brush creates soft natural looking edges.
Just thought I'd add this to the pot of ideas. :)