Digital Film Tools: Power Matte is an easy to use interactive image matting tool capable of extracting 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 matte–essentially a black and white cutout. White matte areas are extracted, black areas not, and gray areas in between represent a level of transparency. Once a matte is extracted, the foreground object can be seamlessly composed onto a new background as well as apply filter and image corrections only within the area defined by the matte.
To work this magic, Power Matte 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 (what you want to get rid of) pixels marked by defining simple masks on the image. Results show that compared with previous approaches, this method is more efficient and requires minimal effort to extract high quality mattes for foregrounds with significant semitransparent regions. In addition, the foreground edge colors can be estimated in the semitransparent areas to create a seamless composite.
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