Mask-R-Aid
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Create application and document icon masks.   Shareware ($24.99)
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Mask-R-Aid is a tool that simplifies the creation of icons by focusing on the creation of icon masks. If the edges of an icon are not blended properly with the background, then the icon will end up with rough looking edges. The focus of Mask-R-Aid is creating proper icon masks so that your icon will look great sitting on the desktop. Since Mask-R-Aid does all the work of creating the mask for you, it saves you a lot of time. In seconds you can have a completed icon!
What's New
Version 5.0.1:
  • Improved the stability of Mask-R-Aid.
Requirements
Intel, Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later



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Mask-R-Aid User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 5.x:
Your rating: Now say why...
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(1)

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burypromote

Lars Jensen reviewed on 22 Feb 2006
[Disclosure: I am a beta tester -- and a happily paying customer.]

Mask-R-Aid greatly eases the task of creating good-looking masks for images that are surrounded by whitespace. The masks can then be used (via copy/paste or saving to a file) in other applications that create icons or perform other graphic operations.

Its basic operation could scarcely be simpler: drag your image to the application icon or window, and typical icon sizes with masks are created automatically for you, using white as the transparency indicator color. The program isolates the silhouette of the input image and creates the mask from this, blending its edge using one of three different edge-handling techniques that you can set within the program. You also have the option to mask interior white pixels, or not.

The best refinements of 3.1 have to do with workflow: you can set preferences to bypass a scaling dialog, and you can see previews of all icon sizes, against two background images of your choice, simultaneously. This means that with one drag and drop operation, you can instantly see how your icon or image will look, and play with edge settings at your leisure.

Pros:
- Can generate a complete set of icons and masks with one drag & drop (once you've set preferences appropriately)
- Can create masks for images that aren't icons
- A thorough set of previews is available without user interaction

Cons:
- Only white is supported as a transparency indicator color
- Can't mask some interior areas and not others
- No feature to help you get rid of "fuzzy" off-white pixels or complicated backgrounds
- No drop-shadowing, halos, or other mask-intensive effects

Mask-R-Aid is a great example of a tool that addresses one task well. Its feature set is not super-deluxe (see the cons), and there are some minor UI deficiencies (lack of ellipses on some button titles, non-live sliders, etc.).

But for what it does attempt, it's a solid workhorse that has saved me countless hours of tedious pixel twiddling. The documentation is clear and complete.

If you've got an image with clean whitespace around it, and you want a nice crisp mask without becoming a Photoshop expert, you should try out this tool.
[Version 3.1]


burypromote
Eep1 had trouble on 20 Apr 2005
I don't quite understand how you go from the black and white pict image this program exports to a functional os x icns file. Am I mistaken and it doesn't do this, or is there something I'm missing?

The documentation on the site does not explain sufficiently. It looks to be a nice program, but I'm not sure it does what I thought it did.
[Version 2.0]


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Downloads:10,382
Version Downloads:148
Type:Utilities : Icon Tools
License:Shareware
Date:03 Aug 2011
Platform:Intel 32 / OS X
Price: $24.99
Overall (Version 5.x):
Features:
Ease of Use:
Value:
Stability:
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Mask-R-Aid is a tool that simplifies the creation of icons by focusing on the creation of icon masks. If the edges of an icon are not blended properly with the background, then the icon will end up with rough looking edges. The focus of Mask-R-Aid is creating proper icon masks so that your icon will look great sitting on the desktop. Since Mask-R-Aid does all the work of creating the mask for you, it saves you a lot of time. In seconds you can have a completed icon!


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