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KnockOut 2

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Have you ever tried to use animage-editing program to composite one part of an image with another? If so, you know how hard it can be to select complex shapes such as hair, or semitransparent shapes such as glass and smoke. KnockOut 2, from Procreate, makes it easy to create complex masks in any program that supports Photoshop-compatible plug-ins; KnockOut's stand-alone days are over.

In KnockOut, you create a mask by using a lasso selection tool to trace an inside and an outside path around the edge of an object. Version 2 has excellent automatic path-generation tools. Once you've drawn the inside path, the program will duplicate it to create an outside path. You can then enlarge or shrink the outside path to make a better fit.

KnockOut 2 offers several other handy new features, including multiple undos and CMYK support. This version also has superb new touch-up tools that let you restore colors lost during processing.

Even with these new features, this program could use some better path-creation tools. In addition to the lasso tool, we'd like to see spline tools--either Bézier or natural.

Macworld's Buying Advice

KnockOut 2 is a great tool for complex masking work, and if you use KnockOut 1.0 or 1.5, the automatic path-creation tools make it well worth its $149 upgrade price.

KnockOut the MaskWith simple tools that can define the inside and outside of an object, KnockOut 2 lets you create complex masks.
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