I’ve tried CS4’s extract plug-in (why it’s even a plug-in is baffling) and multiple CS4 tutorials using layer masks, etc. I found both to be complicated and quite tedious ways to extract the background, as well as left a lot of detail behind. So I checked out the Topaz Remask.
Long story short, it works like a charm; it is user-friendly, quick, easy to navigate, and captures the details. My only con: For some reason I cannot use my Wacom pen/tablet. Maybe there’s a fix out there? But I am good for now. My next project: Extract a beautiful graduation photo from a very tacky “high school pictures” background (why they just don’t use black, I’ll never know). I’ve heard CS5’s extract is quite improved but I don’t feel the extra $$$ to upgrade is justified .