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TUAW's Daily Mac App: Decompose

Decompose for Mac

Cutting out people, objects or even text from images for creation of new ones is an old-photoshopper's favorite. But it's not as easy as it looks and, for the most part, requires a steady hand and some pricey software.

Decompose is a program that does one thing -- it extracts foreground objects for overlaying on other images. Now, for those of you who are proficient with Photoshop, you're not going to find much value in a US$29.99 app that extracts elements in this way. But for those of us who don't own Photoshop, or even Pixelmator, having a program that allows you just to roughly draw around your target object letting the computer take care of the rest is great.

Decompose resultIn testing, I was a little skeptical, but on several, admittedly plain images, I was really impressed with the ease of use and end result of using Decompose. You simply outline the object within the "Contour" mask, fill in the rest of the image within the "Front" mask, and hit "Result." Decompose then does its thing, using Grand Central Dispatch as of a recent update, and shows you the result for fine tuning or saving as a color-corrected TIFF. It was fast, simple and a great alternative to much higher priced packages.

The problem is that Decompose is a single use program, and therefore, however clever the programming behind it may be, $30 could be asking a little too much. Still, if you're looking for a program that will quickly and easily extract objects out of photos, Decompose certainly gets the job done.

If you've got a quick and handy image extraction alternative to Decompose, help your fellow TUAW readers out and let us know in the comments.

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