Digital Film Tools Press Release
Oak Park, CA, October 9, 2006—Digital Film Tools (www.digitalfilmtools.com) announces the release of EZ Mask version 1.0, an easy to use interactive image masking tool. Masking is the process of extracting or isolating an object in a picture. EZ Mask extracts almost any object in an image—even if you are dealing with fine hair detail, smoke, or reflections. This extraction process creates what is known as a mask—essentially a black and white cutout. White mask areas are extracted, black areas not, and gray areas in between represent a level of transparency. Once a mask is extracted, the foreground object can be seamlessly composed onto a new background in Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements as well as apply filter and image corrections only within the area defined by the mask. EZ Mask works on both 8 and 16 bit images and takes full advantage of the speed realized by multi-processor or dual core machines.
To work this masking magic, EZ Mask iteratively estimates the transparency value for every pixel in the image, based on a small sample of foreground (what you want to cut out) and background pixels marked by simple strokes on the image. Results show that compared with previous approaches, our method is more efficient and requires minimal effort to extract high quality masks for foregrounds with significant semi-transparent regions. In addition, the foreground colors are estimated in the semi-transparent areas to create a seamless composite. What was once thought of as the Holy Grail of digital imaging is now a reality with EZ Mask.
EZ Mask is based on unpublished research and technology by Jue Wang from the University of Washington and is exclusively licensed by Digital Film Tools. Digital Film Tools is an offshoot of a Los Angeles based full-service visual effects facility specializing in feature film and television special effects. EZ Mask 1.0 is available for download or purchase at: www.digitalfilmtools.com for $150.