today unveiled KnockOut 2, a major new upgrade to its masking software. It’s the third product to be added to the procreate stable, and it introduces a variety of enhancements and changes requested by users of previous versions.
With KnockOut 2, users can create masks of complex objects using simplified methods compared to the tools built into most imaging programs. It makes it much easier for designers and visual artists to “knock out” fine detail like liquid, glass, ice, hair, smoke or fire than they could with ordinary imaging tools.
In a recent meeting with MacCentral, field marketing manager Jill Perry explained that KnockOut 2 has been changed to help meet the needs of users of previous versions of the product. First and foremost, the software’s core architecture has been changed to a plug-in, which can be installed in Adobe Photoshop 5 or higher, or other compatible applications including procreate Painter 7 or Corel Photo-Paint.
Designed to work with Mac OS 8.6 or higher, KnockOut 2 runs natively under Mac OS X, as well, and will also function in Mac OS X’s “Classic” environment in tandem with software like Photoshop.
“CMYK support has been added,” explained Perry. “That was a big request from users of previous versions.”
The software also features up to 99 levels of undo, as well, so you can backtrack from mistakes you make along the way. New precision tools have been added, including new Eraser and Brush touchup tools, which greatly enhance the user’s ability to incorporate fine detail into the mask.
Perry also explained that KnockOut 2 makes it possible to define multiple alpha channels, so users can create masks for shadows, for example, while still avoiding other background elements.
To make KnockOut 2 easier to use, the software has implemented shortcut keys, menus and commands consistent with other imaging software, too. Regardless of the basic familiarity, though, Perry encourages users to follow along with an included tutorial.
“I recommend users walk through the QuickTime tutorial,” said Perry. She explained that the included tutorial helps explain how the software works and how new features have been implemented, which can greatly improve KnockOut 2’s ease of use even for the most experienced imaging software guru.
Perry also told MacCentral that a memory leak present in previous versions has been eradicated. Memory requirements for KnockOut 2 have been reduced, as well.
KnockOut 2 is being released simultaneously for Mac OS and various flavors of Windows. The software carries a suggested retail price of US$329 and will be available in stores beginning in November. An upgrade for previous versions is available for $149.
A German language version of KnockOut 2 is coming in late December, with French to follow in January. Italian, Spanish, and Brazilian-Portuguese will follow early next year, as well.
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