A "Magic Wand" masking tool?

Jlane0710 Posts: 34 Just Starting Out*


I am working on a project where I want to do some complex masking such as masking out multiple layers of mountains from a hi-res photo to create 3D movement effects.

I remember a "Magic Wand" selection tool in a PhotoShop Elements program I had (almost 20 years ago now, I think) and I think my old Movie Edit Pro had something similar.

Currently, I have Hitfilm Pro and Vegas Pro 19 and don't see anything like that. I saw that I could just buy Photoshop Elements but thought I would ask here if anyone has any other options than paying $70 for one feature.

Thanks for any advice you have.



  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,609 Ambassador

    Sure! Look at Krita or GIMP. Both are capable, free options that have magic wands. Gimp is more photomanipulation, Krita more painting tools.

    Make sure you export as PNG with Alpha. This also might be called 32-bit color or RGBA.

    Trim your canvas before export. Hitfilm had to process the entire area of a layer. If it's transparent pixels Hitfilm still had to process them. Crop your elements tight before exporting from whatever paint program you use. If just about 25% of your pixels in a full image are cropped after masking, and you're working with a bunch of layers the performance boost from trimming can really add up.

  • pbattersby
    pbattersby Posts: 49 Enthusiast

    What you are looking for is "background removal". I've used GIMP for that sort of thing. There are good videos on YouTube about using Gimp for background removal.