AKVIS (http://www.akvis.com) has announced SmartMask 4.0, an update of its image area selection tool for the Mac and Windows. A Home license for two computers costs US$90. A demo is available for download.

SmartMask helps in selecting a specific area of an image. Version 4.0 includes tools for masking objects on images and removing backgrounds as well as for selecting various types of objects, both with soft and sharp edges. With a few mouse clicks SmartMask helps select fluff, hair, fur, tree branches, glass, or a transparent veil as well as remove unwanted color shades left on the cutout object by the environment.

Version 4.0 introduces two modes of image processing that intelligently help you make the selection you want. Auto mode offers an algorithm for automatic recognition of areas; Manual mode includes a set of brushes to touch up the results where needed.