Saturday, May 07, 2005

Photoshop - Cut Out Object

I cannot figure out how to cut a picture of an object out of the entire picture. I used the magic eraser and got rid of the background. The problem is that I would like to both change the color of the background and also to have the bird as a separate object, so I could place it with other things. There must be a very simple way to do this, but I have been trying for days and cannot seem to figure that out. I know nothing about "masks," and I think this might have something to do with it. I want to place the cutout parrot on a card I am making. I hope someone can help. If the background could be clear, I would be able to do what I want. I also tried to use the magic lasso, but that did not work so well.

Is there an easy way to cut out something where there is not great contrast between the object and the background? Then, if you do get rid of the background (even pixel by pixel), how do you cut out that object and take it to another program without the white background.

1. Duplicate your background image and select the copy.
2. Make a very crude selection around your bird using the lasso tool, the marquee tool or what ever is convenient.
3. Click the "Add Layer Mask" icon at the bottom of layer palette. A layer mask icon will appear next to the image icon in the layer.
4. Alt+Shift+Click on the layer mask icon. This will display your mask made from the selection in a dark (usually red) color superimposed on your image.
5. Choose the brush tool. Adjust size as needed. Hardness=100%; Feather=0% Make sure foreground color is black and background color white. Enlarge the image as needed.
6. Paint with black to add to the mask and get right up to the edge of the bird. If you go too far switch to white and correct your mistake.
7. When you are satisfied, RIGHT click on the mask icon. This will bring up a menu where you can select "Apply Layer Mask". When you choose this your bird will be all alone on a completely transparent background. Take it from there.

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