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Old Sep 12, 2003, 1:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,139
Default Automask by Human Software - IMHO DON'T waste your [email protected]

I just purchased AutoMask from Human Software - $99. My impression from reading about it in the advertising was that it was very powerful and indeed that may be true, but unless one has a crystal ball, they will most likely not be able to learn how to use it from the paltry instructions.

It comes with a 16 page PDF file of which a grand total of 4 pages are actually devoted to instructions on using the product. I've spent around 20 hours now attempting to use it and have finally given up. I've wasted the money because even if it has incredible power to mask - it's of no use to me if I can't figure out how to make it work, and four pages of instructions are simply not enough for anyone, even someone like myself with years of PhotoShop experience and extensive experience with masking tools to make it work.

To do fine masking, it's necessary to enlarge an image to the pixel level. To do this in AutoMask, it's necessary to reduce the size of an already tiny selection rectangle to a pinpoint, and then be able to select and move it about on the page. This is a very poor way of zooming and selecting an area to work on. Fiddling endlessly with simply trying to enlarge to the pixel level leaves me longing for the simplicity and utility of MagicMask which apparently is no longer available and only works with PhotoShop 5 and earlier.

AutoMask is sold by several sources including B&H which doesn't offer a return. I think I know why! This is the second Human Software product I've purchased which fails to live up to their advertising hype in my opinion and I suspect it will be my last.

As I said earlier, the product may have great power and utility, but any software product is only as good as the instruction manual and the ability of technical support to help. To be fair, I emailed a question and an answer was quickly returned, but for a busy professional, a tool which requires frequent emails for answers to questions which should easily be found in an instruction manual is relatively useless. My recommendation? Buy a product which has a decent manual and simple walk-through examples showing the use how to use the product step-by-step. Save your money and pass on this one!

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